Macbook Air for Full HD videos and as a primary computer...!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by heyholetsgo, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. heyholetsgo macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2009
    Hey guys...
    I'm planning to buy a macbook and and one of those awesome Apple LED Cinema Displays (24” flat panel)...
    Many people say the Macbook air isn't built to be a laptop AND the main computer, BUT I'll have an external hd anyway, I don't need more power than needed for playing full HD and I haven't used a real dvd/cd in months...
    So why shouldn't I be satisfied with a Macbook Air + the APLLE LED that gives me 3 more USB ports?

    When it comes to playing HD, do you think the

    * Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus
    * 2GB Memory
    * 128GB solid-state drive1
    * NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    will handle 1080p well?

    Thank for help,
  2. Jsimon9633 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    In a word - No.

    It will spend a lot of its ability just pushing that external display resolution. If you then run 1080P video, then you are asking for stutters and pauses and trouble.

    I have watched Apple video trailers in 1080P on this MBA but only on the small built in LCD not an external display.

    The CPU/Ram/GPU combination is not made for 1080P viewing.

    Buy an MBP with the discrete graphics card for that (9600M GT)

  3. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  4. heyholetsgo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2009
    That REALLY surprises me. I used a 2.0 Dual Core with a 7900GS for full HD videos without too many problems.
    Does apple have such bad codecs?

    Apart from the HD video playing, do you think I'll be happy with an air as a primary computer/laptop, considering I have the LED display?
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Depends on your needs and demands, but it is not what it was primarily designed for

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  6. Jsimon9633 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Now lets qualify what you mean by "without too many problems" it is not a codect issue whatsoever.

    Its a pure power question. Now I am really surprised if you are saying a 2.0 with 7900gs is running full HD videos fine.

    Maybe your "fine" is not my "fine".

    It will do it just not what I consider OPTIMALLY.

    remember that opinions of fine vary though.
  7. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    MBA won't be ideal for that, fan will run non stop, video may be choppy, will get hot etc.

    a MBP is what you're looking for, if size is a concern get the 13" that's the thinnest / lightest option capable of doing what you want it to do.
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I guess I'm late to the party...

    Yes, it'll work fine provided you have the right playback software (Plex or XBMC).
  9. Macintox macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2009
    just a comment on this "awesome" 24" led Apple flat pannel display ! to me just a consumer led , glass reflecting, hard on the eyes, lacking true colors and height adjustment, awkward to calibrate ...
    LG ( who makes the led pannel for Apple ) just came out with a led 24" for 3 times less $.
    I would recommend to buy yourself a Lacie 324 or an Eizo if you want to do some editing on a real display ...
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Yes, they have really back playback.

    It's totally a codec issue. Quicktime is one of the worst playback apps out there.
  11. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    You don't think there's a big difference between a dedicated graphics processor such as the 7900GS and a "on-board" processor such as the 9400M then?

    Well only you know if you'll be "happy" with it because only you know exactly what you plan to do with it. I do know that the Apple store near me doesn't recommend the air as a "primary" computer to anyone, but if you think you know Apple products better than Apple *shrug*
  12. heyholetsgo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2009
    Do the other displays also have the same features like the Apple Cinema Display?

    Although I'm kind of in love with the air, I'll probably buy the 13" MBP...
    Do you know if Windows 7 runs smooth on it, it"s built for running 24/7 and if HD will run(also under Mac) smooth with these system specs...?

    13-inch: 2.53GHz

    Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB Memory
    250GB hard drive1
    Built-in 7-hour battery2
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    Is it easy to upgrade a MBP on your own?

  13. Macintox macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2009
    not only the same but better, like an HDMI port, a bad omission of the Apple display
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Can you provide a link to this display?
  15. heyholetsgo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2009
    With features I mean does is support stuff like linking your macbook to the LED when it's closed and stuff like that they describe on

    And I just noticed. Except for the slightly better processor(2.53GHz) and 2 Gb more Ram, the Macbook Pro 13" isn't(performance wise) really better than the air...
    So why is the MBP supposed to be such a better Desktop PC replacement?
    Even if the Air heats easier up, does that matter?
  16. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    My only gripe with the MBA is the fact that it's limited to 2GB of RAM. The 400mhz processor or RAM won't make a difference when playing videos. The graphics will. And the graphics chip is the same in the 13" MBP and MBA. Like Cave Man said, use a software like Plex and it'll run just fine. I watch 720p videos on my Rev.A MBA with the X3100 :eek: and for the most part it runs fine.
  17. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2007
    Actually the graphics in the macbook air Revision B were under-clocked.

    Apparently now its not?

    The macbook air as a main system is unrealistic due to the ram! That 2 Gb with 256mb shared graphics memory will get eaten up in minuets just by safari and annoy the hell out of you when you get bogged down. The ssd may help.

    Did the revision C sort out the 1080p VLC inability to play Blu-ray rips?

    Apparently the bench marks don't think so, as the 2.13 ghz Air is still heavily throttled down to 1.5ghz!

    Coolbook lifts that limit, and run the chip at full speed if you want! Which really helped me when watching BBC HD Flash on my external 24" LED.

    I would say you could make it work and still be very! happy with the performance if you realise their are some downsides, eg, limited disk size 128GB , no firewire and bare minimum ram!

    I've also had problems with the mini display port allowing blu-ray playback on the 24" LED under windows! Says its not happening with the LED LOL!

    I opted for a 24" led with mac mini & ssd drive 4GB ram. And a macbook air as my kindle.
  18. Macintox macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2009
  19. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

  20. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    It actually takes quite a bit to use up 2 GB RAM. Average person reading this post should check activity monitor during normal usage and see how much RAM they are using. Most people don't need more than 2 GB!
  21. Macintox macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2009
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Instead of speculating, go to a local Apple Store and bring along a flash drive of some sample 1080p video. Ask the Concierge if you can hook up one of the MBAs to the LED displays and test the 1080p sample video. Most likely, it will work.
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

  24. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    +1. Even the LaCie 324 has S-PVA which although miles better than TN is still a little bit worse than a good IPS for color critical work.

    Honestly, if the lack of input/output, limited adjustment axes, and glossy screen are not big issues to you and your needs, the Apple LED Cinema display is a pretty good value considering it is a LED backlit S-IPS display. There are not many of them out there and I believe that Apple's is the cheapest. The best? Certainly not, but pretty good for the money.


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