moep

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2004
71
93
Very interesting. Thank you for testing this. Did the bottom case get hot during the testing?
 
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wyatterp

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2020
78
82
Very interesting. Thank you for testing this. Did the bottom case get hot during the testing?
Yes it's definitely warm and I wouldn't want it on my lap - but it is amazing that a silent machine is still pushing nearly 30FPS after 2 hours; but clear the MBA needs an assist if you really want to maintain performance. I think i said before, for games that aren't FPS sensitive (i.e., like a shooter) or multiplayer, you can probably deal with the FPS drop over time and still have a decent experience. I would say that I bet in a few months we will see a nice accessory that provides active cooling for this, but if you have a laptop stand with fan it would probably maintain performance a lot better
 
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SpecMode

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
92
149
NorCal
i'm downloading uningine valley - i saw in maxtech review he got no image rendering on screen for heaven
I wonder if he was trying to use 8x MSAA? Valley does the same thing on my MBA with that setting, but works fine with 4x or lower.
 
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lastcosmonaut

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2008
20
15
Of all the people who bought air and all the hundreds of reviewers on youtube NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE talks about or tests the macbook air gaming or heavy application use for longer periods of time. They just start a game, play for 5 min and say it runs great! Thats a BAD test. You need to test it for at least 1-4 hours and THEN say whether it runs great or not. Why arent there anyone reviewing the sustained performance!?

I'm honestly tempted to buy both just to review that, im honestly shocked no one else has yet.
I am very impressed with the performance of my MBA m1 base model so far. Look, I see it this way. Gaming is not a problem with this machine. Intensive OpenGL graphics are like 30fps and higher and Metal is 60-70fps and higher on multiple games I tested. However, when you take CSGO for example, the game is crap on MacOS even on Intel and dGPU. So if you want real gaming then you need Windows, PC hardware, a decent monitor (144hz) and a gaming keyboard/mouse. But if you want a Mac that _can_ game: yes, this MBA is wow. But it still won't support modifying the Razer lights on your keyboard and games will still be un-optimized.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,730
3,302
I saw the blank screen on the guys YouTube video today.

From a technical point of view. Can anyone tell me/us why Heaven would not display an image.
It's one of those very very VERY well known graphical "show off" tests, which is one of the ones I'm sure someone at Apple would have thought people may have wanted to test.

It's OpenGL isn't it?
Might that be the issue?
 
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moep

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2004
71
93
FYI, I popped a USB powered fan underneath and propped up the MBA - still been running the Valley bench for over 2 hours at this point.

Scored leapt up to 38.2 and 1600 points
Ok, that's super interesting info, again thank you.

From what I can tell it doesn't use the bottom case as a heatsink and instead dissipates most heat via the area above the function key row. I imagine an axial fan on the side blowing along the hinge, covering the top and bottom would be most effective.

A bit pointless in light of the MBP but considering your results I can imagine some fun detachable 3D printed fan duct designs that might bring the MBA close to the 2-port MBP under sustained loads without voiding warranty.
 
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lastcosmonaut

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2008
20
15
I saw the blank screen on the guys YouTube video today.

From a technical point of view. Can anyone tell me/us why Heaven would not display an image.
It's one of those very very VERY well known graphical "show off" tests, which is one of the ones I'm sure someone at Apple would have thought people may have wanted to test.

It's OpenGL isn't it?
Might that be the issue?
With 11.1 Beta (20C5048k) Public Beta CSGO works, but it sucks. The framerate is like 70fps... but as I said the I/O is not very precise and frames dropping a bit. But that's not the MBA's fault, that happens even on MBP16.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,730
3,302
70fps in Heaven sounds good to me.
But I guess that depends on settings, and how much tessellation is turned on.
How spiky is the dragon :)

Oh, sorry, I thought you were speaking about the Heaven Benchmark. I just realised you were talking about the counter strike game
 
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MK500

Contributor
Aug 28, 2009
287
311
From all the throttling tests I have seen, the most impressive statistic is that the M1 has never throttled more than 15% on the Air.

This makes me very comfortable owning my M1 Air because that 15% sacrifice is perfectly fine to give me fanless operation. I have always found that I personally don't notice performance boosts/degradations until they hit around 20%.

I have also thrown every game at my Air that I own, and it only got noticeably hot once. This is a massive improvement over any other fan equipped or fanless laptop I have ever owned. This thing runs cool!

Also I strongly dislike the keyboard on the Pro; especially for gaming. So the Air wins in my book.
 
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Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
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4,050
Magicland
Maxtech and Rene Ritche have done cinebench tests and/or game tests showing throttling occurs after about 8-10 minutes. Cinebench went from about 7400 done to about 6300 as the M1 went from about 3.2Ghz down to about 2.4Ghz.
The sustained outright performance is still incredible for a fanless machine. Apple has truly moved the goalposts.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,730
3,302
I'd have to agree with many.
The Air is probably almost too good in comparison with the Pro.
Or the Pro is not good enough to be the Pro.

Given the Pro's fan barely kicks in, I'm surprised they did not clock the pro's chip just a little higher to just move it up little further to justify the price.

It's hard to say it's worth £300 more given how almost identical the Air is.

Thinking about it.
Perhaps like AMD chips often are, the A14 is VERY stable at normal speeds, but clock it just that little bit higher, and it becomes very hot very quick and becomes unstable.
that could explain why they were unwilling/unable to give the pro that extra little bit more speed?
 
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ag99uk

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2019
20
30
60 minutes into battery session of Civ VI - 900P/Medium (don't know how to increase rez in this game beyond this for some reason) - still running at 60FPS with little or no noticeable throttling to actual FPS.
The screen resolution is linked to the desktop scaling. If you go into system preferences->displays. Click scaled and select more space. Running Civ VI you should now have more resolutions to choose from.
 
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wyatterp

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2020
78
82
I am very impressed with the performance of my MBA m1 base model so far. Look, I see it this way. Gaming is not a problem with this machine. Intensive OpenGL graphics are like 30fps and higher and Metal is 60-70fps and higher on multiple games I tested. However, when you take CSGO for example, the game is crap on MacOS even on Intel and dGPU. So if you want real gaming then you need Windows, PC hardware, a decent monitor (144hz) and a gaming keyboard/mouse. But if you want a Mac that _can_ game: yes, this MBA is wow. But it still won't support modifying the Razer lights on your keyboard and games will still be un-optimized.
I'm actually returning my base MBA for the 8 core 512GB model because I think it can play the games I want on the go, which is largely strategy games. I have a gaming desktop and an Xbox Series X for everything else, but being able to silently play some strategy games in the backlog I've been wanting to play wherever sounds incredible.

I'm hoping the extra core will ensure, even after throttling, the MBA will keep most titles above 30FPS that I am currently testing.
The screen resolution is linked to the desktop scaling. If you go into system preferences->displays. Click scaled and select more space. Running Civ VI you should now have more resolutions to choose from.
THanks for this!
 
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killmoms

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2003
3,724
13
Durham, NC
I'd have to agree with many.
The Air is probably almost too good in comparison with the Pro.
Or the Pro is not good enough to be the Pro.

Given the Pro's fan barely kicks in, I'm surprised they did not clock the pro's chip just a little higher to just move it up little further to justify the price.
Hasn’t that been the case with the entry-level (2-port) 13” MBP for years now though? It has pretty much been “a MacBook Air with a bigger battery” ever since the debut of the 2016 machines. It having “Pro” in the name really just means “Premium”. When the 4-port Apple Silicon 13” MBP arrives, that’s when I think we’ll see the real differentiation.
 
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dboris

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
56
38
Capture.PNG
 
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moep

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2004
71
93
I'm actually returning my base MBA for the 8 core 512GB model because I think it can play the games I want on the go, which is largely strategy games. I have a gaming desktop and an Xbox Series X for everything else, but being able to silently play some strategy games in the backlog I've been wanting to play wherever sounds incredible.

Yes, your testing has me thinking the same way. I was going to order a 13" MBP as a portable laptop with some casual gaming capability, but your tests suggest this SOC is so efficient that there isn't a lot to be gained from the active fan/heat sink as long as you ensure some airflow around the MBA. There's also the option of streaming games locally or via the cloud.

In my eyes that puts the 13" 2-port MBP in a niche position for these use cases, particularly if the 4-port 13" MBP models come with larger GPUs in the same form factor.
 
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dboris

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
56
38
yep I'm comparing air base model vs pro base model.
One was dual core, the other quad core.
 
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wyatterp

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2020
78
82
First Valley run is scoring 41.1 FPS and 1721 points at 900P, High, 4x MSAA

Will let it run in the background for 30 minutes and retest

Ok after looping for 90+ mins here is the Valley score

27.9 FPS and 1167 points
I returned the 7-core for the 8-core MBA and ran Valley just like above on the 7-core, and as I suspected, the throttling dropoff for GPU centric titles is much less severe.

First Valley Run, same settings as above
42.8 FPS - 1789 points

After 90+ mins of looping
37.5 FPS - 1568 points

So the 7-core experiences a 32.2% drop in performance as thermal throttling occurs

The 8-core a 12.4% drop!

This was only one run between two machines, so there will be variability. Experience way, so far, I am noticing the 8-core keeps games above that min 30FPS better - but on the CPU side, I'm seeing similar impacts as the base MBA in CPU limited titles (for example, Cities: Skylines can really get throttled down on both machines).

In general the 8-core can reach up to 1050P resolution a bit better and still stay above 30FPS.
 
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dboris

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
56
38
Wow, that's interesting !
Have you been able to repeat the test consistently?
 
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klik

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2011
2
0
First Valley Run, same settings as above
42.8 FPS - 1789 points

Those scores are just, wow. With the same settings my 2019 MBP 13" i5 got 15.7 FPS - 656 points, running @ ~75C and fans on high.

So the 7-core experiences a 32.2% drop in performance as thermal throttling occurs

The 8-core a 12.4% drop!

I am a bit surprised that the 7-core fared so poorly over time. I would have thought that fewer working cores meant less heat, giving more thermal headroom, and less throttling. Maybe the part binning affects performance under load, and not just core count.
 
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botolo

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2014
3
0
This thread is super interesting. I am inclined to get the Air with 8 GPU cores. Question: does it make sense to up the RAM to 16GB or the difference with the 8GB basic would not be noticeable?
 
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dboris

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
56
38
This thread is super interesting. I am inclined to get the Air with 8 GPU cores. Question: does it make sense to up the RAM to 16GB or the difference with the 8GB basic would not be noticeable?
Considering you can get light SSD type C storage for cheap and that the 8th core makes near to no difference, that even with 8GB of ram you can do a CRAZY amount of stuff before running out...
Not saying the pro ain't worth it.
Depends of your needs. If it will be a secondary computer go air, if not go pro or wait for 14"/16".
 
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