MacBook Air + External Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Papa Shank, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. Papa Shank macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    Hi all,

    I'm going back to uni in September and am in need of a quiet, light, and compact laptop- hence I will probably be getting a MacBook Air 11". I'm planning on connecting it to an external monitor, but I'm a little unsure about things like the resolution that the Air can send out etc. I also wonder whether the 1.7GHz i7 would be best for linking the Air to a large resolution/ultrawide monitor?

    Any help is much appreciated!
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    The i7 will have little to no effect on your display. The GPU is what will be powering your display, and both computers use the HD 5000. This may be an issue you will have to worry about if you are doing a UHD setup, but an i7 will not solve that problem. You will have to get a computer with more powerful graphics. The MBA supports up to 2560x1600. It should run that resolution fine for word processing or watching a movie, but any sort of graphics work will suffer.
  3. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    I run a 23" external at 1920x1080. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the max resolution an MBA can drive is 2560x1600.
  4. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I run a 27" Apple Cinema Display with my 2013 MBA and it runs perfectly.
  5. Papa Shank thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    Thanks guys, so it should work quite well with a 21:9 ratio screen. That's all I needed to know, thanks! :)
  6. JPamplin macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    Either CPU will be fine (if buying used, get the 4000 video or above. Of greater importance is RAM - get the 8GB if you can. Video memory uses a greater percentage of total RAM with 4GB and an external screen. Mavericks allocates video memory dynamically, but could get high.
  7. Papa Shank thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    Cheers everyone! I'll go with the i5 with 8GB ram :)
  8. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Papa, I will agree with you but I think it doesn't make a big difference....
  9. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    Display Port 1.1a only supports 2560x1440. idk how you guys do it with the Air, I took back the TB display because the Air's fan was constantly on an made the surrounding area hot even while idling at the desktop.. made it too slow to do anything but basic tasks.
  10. micrors4racer macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I am running 2 thunderbolt displays on my 2012 11" mba and it runs fine. Even plays older games like Half Life 2 on high-medium settings. The UI is responsive even while using photoshop or lightroom.

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