How smooth do external monitors run on 2011 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GekkePrutser, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. GekkePrutser, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2011

    GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    One thing that worried me in AnandTech's review is that he mentioned that driving a 27" display incurred a considerable lag when doing full-screen operations such as launch pad or space swaps. But he only glanced over it, and didn't go further into it. I wonder if the same is true for a full HD screen (my intended use). Has anyone tried this yet?
     
  2. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #2
    I wrote a good-sized response, and MacRumors seems to have eaten it. So, here's the short version:

    I don't know what the Anandtech reviewer was doing, but my 13" 1.7 GHz i5 2011 MBA drives my 27" Cinema display at its native resolution with no lag whatsoever.

    Here's a quick video of me running the machine thru its paces on the cinema display, including spaces, launchpad and mission control:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38209/27speed.m4v
     
  3. mfldmike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #3
    I can connect mine as a mirror display to my 46" LED...whether it would be similar, I wouldn't know.

    I watched a 1080p movie while I used a mini-display-->HDMI Adapter without any lag whatsoever.
     
  4. GekkePrutser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #4
    Thanks mkelly for your quick response! I'm happy that it is working without problem, and my use case would even be lower res (full hd 1920x1080 only).

    I also really appreciate the video, I'll download it now (I'm currently on the iPad so I couldn't watch it yet before writing this :) )
     
  5. GekkePrutser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    Thanks mkelly for your quick response! I'm happy that it is working without problem, and my use case would even be lower res (full hd 1920x1080 only).

    I also really appreciate the video, I'll download it now (I'm currently on the iPad so I couldn't watch it yet before writing this :) )

    Edit: I watched it now, thanks a million! The video actually worked on the iPad (in iCab). It does indeed look great and totally smooth.

    I'm definitely ordering mine soon (I'm in Europe and want the US keyboard so it becomes a BTO and it won't get there'd before my holiday :( So I'll have to wait until I come back.

    Ps nice wallpaper!
     
  6. SaintsMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    That is great to know. I plan on trying that this weekend on my 42".
     
  7. rmcnelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    #7
    Wow! That is what I was hoping to see!
     
  8. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #8
    No problem at all. I figured it would be quicker to show you than tell you. I really don't know what the Anandtech reviewer was complaining about - as you saw in that video, it was running quite smoothly even while Windows 7 was running in a Parallels session.

    and re: the wallpaper - yeah, that car is on my list of nice-to-haves :)
     
  9. Vicros macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    #9
    mkelly, you have the same model as I do. I'll be purchasing the new cinema display once it's released.

    Are you doing a lot of tasks while connected to the display? If so, how hot is the Air getting? Any noise or grumbling?

    While at home the Air will pretty much be connected to the display all day.

    I'll be doing photo edits via Lightroom, Canon DPP, and Photoshop. The usual suspects will be taking place as well: Safari, mail, youtube, iTunes, etc.

    I'm just curious how the Air is going to hold up for long sessions connected to the display.
     
  10. JMB1911 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    #10
    I am running a 27 inch ACD with the new 2011 base model 13. It runs it like a champ. However It does seem to run a little warmer and the fan is on more but it doesn't bother me.

    My 2010 air had a real hard time running the ACD. That was with several chrome tabs open, email and a couple spreadsheets. The new 13 inch air runs the same workload perfectly. NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENCE.

    In fact that is the only reason I upgraded to the new air.....cause it could run the ACD smoothly. A co-worker got a new air and I hooked it up to my ACD and saw how well it ran it. I was off to best buy right away.
     
  11. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    #11
    I really wish I could be crazy and dish out 1000 on a monitor -.-

    Maybe I'll sell my gaming PC and go full blown mac >.>
     
  12. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #12
    I do a lot of work with Parallels & other virtualization tools, so at any given time my Air is usually running simultaneous copies of OS X Lion, Windows 7 and a Linux distribution. So yes, I keep it pretty busy :)

    Because of all that, the fan is usually running and audible - usually somewhere around 4500 RPM. It's not terribly loud but it is noticeable in a quiet room. The fan does ramp up to 6000-6500 RPM from time to time when I really give it a workout. At that point it's definitely noticeable, although still not as bad as some laptops I've owned in the past (HP and Sony come to mind).

    When I'm just web browsing, or doing light coding work the fan is completely inaudible and runs around 2000-2500 RPM.

    Temperature-wise, I've seen the CPU spike to 80 C when booting all my VMs and really working the machine - but it typically runs around 55-60 C or so.

    I'm in a somewhat air-conditioned environment. If you're using your MacBook Air in a stuffy room without AC, expect the fan to come on more frequently & at a higher RPM. The other day I was using it in a very chilly cafe and I don't think I noticed the fan at all.
     
  13. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #13
    11" MBA i7: internal screen + 20" cinema = both smooth as silk.
     

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