Macbook Air (2012) performance w/ external display

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jeremyx, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. jeremyx macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    I'm considering getting the 2012 MBA 13" as my main computer. Problem is that that is not enough for me, but having desktop also doesn't sound intriguing so as a compromise I'm thinking about getting a Thunderbolt Display to operate as a display plus a dock to have a more desktop like experience.

    I did some research and have a few questions. Andatech did a great review on TBD ( ). Overall it seems good, but the reviewer said that often times it felt little bit sluggish because the Air (it was 2011, so Intel HD3000) doesn't have enough GPU power to operate such a highres display.

    How much difference does the 2012 update to HD4000 make? Anyone have any experience on this?

    Also I don't want to buy 999 € display to see new one come in couple of months w/ USB3 and whatnot, any ideas of they're gonna update the TBD this summer/fall?
  2. shorn macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    I did exactly what you proposed, and it arrived today! :D

    Sat here now, with the 2012 1.8/128/8GB Air, connected up to a new Thunderbolt display.

    Im coming from an 24" 2.16 C2D iMac with 3GB ram, and its an obvious big upgrade.

    Ive not tested it fully yet, still setting up, but the Air is quick, and it is handling the display with no problems at all. Was a bit concerned about having another adapter (the magsafe>magsafe2 one), but its hardly noticeable.

    I had the same concerns about a new display coming out, but to be honest, I think Retina at this size is a long way off, and where the monitor sits it hardly seems that necessary. With regards to USB3, well you still have a USB3 port on your air, so if your desperate for one, you can still use that.
  3. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I'd second the positive review on the TBD ... mine is one of the best investments I've made. Apple learned much from the two iterations that preceded it.

    If you are waiting for upgrades, you'll always be waiting. There will always be something newer and better in the pipeline.

    I was wondering how a 2012 MBA would fare with the TBD, so thanks for the feedback! I'm opting for an "ultimate" 13", and I imagine the 4000 will power the display without difficulty.
  4. shorn macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    I always gauge iTunes as a decent test!
    Loaded my Match library, 400 albums, iTunes opens in a snap, and browsing the albums full screen is nice & smooth. All animations flow really nice.

    With only 128gb I plan to, and will have to, keep this machine fairly lightweight. So I'm hoping that it will remain as good as it seems now.

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