Macbook Air Gaming, Would It Work?

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
Hey guys, I'm new here and I just got a Macbook Air as a totally unpredicted thank you present ( I was a ring bearer for a couple's wedding ). So I already had a Macbook Pro Early 2008 Perynn, with Bootcamp. I used bootcamp to game, and as you might have guessed, my graphics card was not the best, with a Nvidia GeForce 8800gt. This new Macbook Air I got has a Nvidia Geforce 9400gt, and I want to use bootcamp on it.

I've already tried using Winclone from my MPB and transferring it via external hard drive to my Air, failing, since the WinClone file must be restored on the computer you made it, I guess. So I decided to just fresh install Vista.

I tried to CD share with my MPB, and I guess that doesn't work either, since from what I've searched on google, theres a copy barrier thing. :mad:

I weighed my chances and I guess I could ask for an early birthday present or save up for a SuperDrive, but then I realized, if I use the Superdrive, I would need to play games on my Windows. So how would I do that if either:

1. I'm using the single USB slot for my mouse, to play the game, but for games like Call of Duty 4 and GTA 4, you need the CD to play. There would only be one USB slot, and the SuperDrive doesn't work with USB hubs. I'm stuck again. :(

2. Another way is to use the single USB slot for my SuperDrive and be able to run the game, but I won't be able to use my mouse, and you can't play FPS without a mouse.

I've realized I have two choices again, and I wanted to either 1.Run games using CD sharing (if you can, thats what I need you guys to answer), and I would only need the SuperDrive for installing bootcamp, this would save me money. or 2. Buy a mouse using bluetooth, or a mouse using a wireless network without a transceiver (if that's possible, since the transceiver would take up USB space). If so, can you guys recommend a cheap one for me? I don't want a fancy one, just one that can operate using bluetooth, or that wireless thing.

Thanks in advance for the help. I hope this computer will come to good use. :)

P.S I'm not selling it on eBay, it's a gift, although free 1,400 would be nice, I can't.
 

Esopus

macrumors newbie
Oct 5, 2009
24
0
Graphics card, is well, bad. GTA 4 doesn't play very well on it, and I was just thinking to have more space to game, since it's a totally new computer, and I have all my other crap on my Pro.
GTAIV may run, but it won't be anything more than a slide show on the underclocked 9400M in the MBA, if that's what you're hoping to do. Some older games, however, should be OK but don't expect too much. The MBA is definitely not intended as a gaming machine.
 

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
GTAIV may run, but it won't be anything more than a slide show on the underclocked 9400M in the MBA, if that's what you're hoping to do. Some older games, however, should be OK but don't expect too much. The MBA is definitely not intended as a gaming machine.
What would you mean by underclocked? Sorry, I don't really get this kind of stuff. And anyways, would playing a game through CD sharing work?
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
1,642
2,388
Hey guys, I'm new here and I just got a Macbook Air as a totally unpredicted thank you present ( I was a ring bearer for a couple's wedding ).
Wow. Congrats to the happy couple. If either one of them re-marrys I'll happily be the ring-bearer if it means a free laptop.

J/k.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
You have the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro, not 8800.

Secondly, the MacBook Air is fine for gaming, but the 9400M is only 55% the performance of the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro.

Lastly, GTA4 is terrible on dual core systems, so anywhere is gonna be bad. However, on the 8600GT, it's somewhat playable at all low. On the 9400M, you'll get 10 FPS at best.
 

gman901

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2007
601
14
Houston, TX
You have the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro, not 8800.

Secondly, the MacBook Air is fine for gaming, but the 9400M is only 55% the performance of the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro.

Lastly, GTA4 is terrible on dual core systems, so anywhere is gonna be bad. However, on the 8600GT, it's somewhat playable at all low. On the 9400M, you'll get 10 FPS at best.
I am glad that you mentioned the gameplay for GTA IV... I am playing it on all high settings on my Windows gaming laptop, but I need to go on a business trip for a while and was thinking about transferring my save games to my Air and play GTA IV on low settings at 800x600 - just because I like the game. Can the Air play the game at those settings okay (with the latest patch)?
 

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
You have the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro, not 8800.

Secondly, the MacBook Air is fine for gaming, but the 9400M is only 55% the performance of the 8600GT in the MacBook Pro.

Lastly, GTA4 is terrible on dual core systems, so anywhere is gonna be bad. However, on the 8600GT, it's somewhat playable at all low. On the 9400M, you'll get 10 FPS at best.
Ok, thanks for clearing this up for me. Haha, so the 9400M, not GT, and I got confused with the 8800 and 8600 thing. Alright, so my graphics card is better, so...what am I supposed to do with the Air? =/

Oh, and gman, I don't know how it would work on your Air, these guys still haven't answered my question : Would playing a game via CD sharing on a MBA work? Since GTA 4 requires a mouse, or extreme gaming skills. Oh, and I doubt you'll be bringing two computers on a business trip, so, no it won't work, but playing it at home might.
 

w00tini

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2008
641
10
Ok, thanks for clearing this up for me. Haha, so the 9400M, not GT, and I got confused with the 8800 and 8600 thing. Alright, so my graphics card is better, so...what am I supposed to do with the Air? =/

Oh, and gman, I don't know how it would work on your Air, these guys still haven't answered my question : Would playing a game via CD sharing on a MBA work? Since GTA 4 requires a mouse, or extreme gaming skills. Oh, and I doubt you'll be bringing two computers on a business trip, so, no it won't work, but playing it at home might.
you could buy a bluetooth mouse and not need to use your USB port

i do not think the remote CD will work. it does not browse like a drive does
 

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
you could buy a bluetooth mouse and not need to use your USB port

i do not think the remote CD will work. it does not browse like a drive does
Oh yeah huh, I had mentioned that in my first post, but since spending money AFTER buying the superdrive seemed so far away, I never thought of it. Sorry gman, and thank you w00tini. :cool:
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
I am glad that you mentioned the gameplay for GTA IV... I am playing it on all high settings on my Windows gaming laptop, but I need to go on a business trip for a while and was thinking about transferring my save games to my Air and play GTA IV on low settings at 800x600 - just because I like the game. Can the Air play the game at those settings okay (with the latest patch)?
You can play it, but it's not gonna be pretty. When I say 10-15 fps, I really mean 10-15 fps at best. If you're playing it on XP, it might be slightly better but, really, honestly, it's crap.

Ok, thanks for clearing this up for me. Haha, so the 9400M, not GT, and I got confused with the 8800 and 8600 thing. Alright, so my graphics card is better, so...what am I supposed to do with the Air? =/

Oh, and gman, I don't know how it would work on your Air, these guys still haven't answered my question : Would playing a game via CD sharing on a MBA work? Since GTA 4 requires a mouse, or extreme gaming skills. Oh, and I doubt you'll be bringing two computers on a business trip, so, no it won't work, but playing it at home might.
If I were in your situation, I'd probably use the air as a primary computer, basically anything everyday like E-Mail, Chat, iTunes and some websurfing, then leave the MBP to do the heavy work and boot camp for games. The advantage here, you get to chat with your friends or skype or webcam or whatever on the air while you're killing some random poor guy in GTA4.

For the CD Sharing, it won't work. You'll need a USB CD or DVD drive. You can build one yourself by buying an external 5.25" enclosure and buy a DVD-ROM drive for cheap.
 

Trixster

macrumors member
May 18, 2009
53
5
Why don´t you just buy a usb hub and connect both the mouse and superdrive/(cheaper external dvd drive) and be done with it?

But honestly, as people have already said... the air isn´t for gaming, it´s built to be portable and used for easy work like mail, writing, music, surfing, movies etc... not heavy editing or gaming. (that´s the reason it´s so thin) ;)
 

vstephenson

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2007
94
0
sounds like good advice

Sounds like good advice to me...

My MBP does the heavy work and BC for games

My MBA comes with me everywhere to do everything else

You can play it, but it's not gonna be pretty. When I say 10-15 fps, I really mean 10-15 fps at best. If you're playing it on XP, it might be slightly better but, really, honestly, it's crap.



If I were in your situation, I'd probably use the air as a primary computer, basically anything everyday like E-Mail, Chat, iTunes and some websurfing, then leave the MBP to do the heavy work and boot camp for games. The advantage here, you get to chat with your friends or skype or webcam or whatever on the air while you're killing some random poor guy in GTA4.

For the CD Sharing, it won't work. You'll need a USB CD or DVD drive. You can build one yourself by buying an external 5.25" enclosure and buy a DVD-ROM drive for cheap.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,058
198
Another possibility is to try making a disk image from the game's CD and then mounting it to run the game. I'm not sure how well it would work, but I know that I've had some success on windows with this method.

This is also a time when certain grey area cracks could be considered, but I'm not suggesting piracy, and won't say them here. If you need me to spell it out, feel free to PM me.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
Another possibility is to try making a disk image from the game's CD and then mounting it to run the game. I'm not sure how well it would work, but I know that I've had some success on windows with this method.

This is also a time when certain grey area cracks could be considered, but I'm not suggesting piracy, and won't say them here. If you need me to spell it out, feel free to PM me.
Theres a limitation to that idea, some disks have a physical marker that the drives read to determine a legit or non legit disk. Therefore, even if you make a DMG/ISO/CDR file, it won't work. Newer games incorporate this idea
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,058
198
ayeying, That's interesting to know. Of course, I have pretty much moved to console gaming as I know I can't afford to keep a PC up to spec. The last PC game I bought was the Orange Box, but even then, that was through Steam. :) I'm even clearing out a bunch of old games that I have that I no longer play (nor have I played them in some time).
 

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
Why don´t you just buy a usb hub and connect both the mouse and superdrive/(cheaper external dvd drive) and be done with it?

But honestly, as people have already said... the air isn´t for gaming, it´s built to be portable and used for easy work like mail, writing, music, surfing, movies etc... not heavy editing or gaming. (that´s the reason it´s so thin) ;)
The superdrive doesn't work with a USB hub, since it pulls a lot of energy from your computer, and ...well, yeah. Thanks for the advice guys, but my parents just came back from the wedding ( they came two days after me ), and my mom offered to buy the computer off of me, and use it to give to other people as gifts, well, business gifts. :rolleyes:

Whatever, so I thought about making a new thread for this, and if I have to I will, but since it's on the same topic. Do you guys know how I could restore my Mac, using the snow leopard install disc, or the disc that came with the CD, so that when whoever's receiving the computer will open up the computer, and the MBA will give it the install screen and welcome vid like I got? I want to make it so it acts like it was just store bought, like the first time it opens. I want to make it as new as possible.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
The superdrive doesn't work with a USB hub, since it pulls a lot of energy from your computer, and ...well, yeah. Thanks for the advice guys, but my parents just came back from the wedding ( they came two days after me ), and my mom offered to buy the computer off of me, and use it to give to other people as gifts, well, business gifts. :rolleyes:

Whatever, so I thought about making a new thread for this, and if I have to I will, but since it's on the same topic. Do you guys know how I could restore my Mac, using the snow leopard install disc, or the disc that came with the CD, so that when whoever's receiving the computer will open up the computer, and the MBA will give it the install screen and welcome vid like I got? I want to make it so it acts like it was just store bought, like the first time it opens. I want to make it as new as possible.
Pop in the DVD in your MBP. Run "Remote Install" in the Utilities folder. You can literally boot off the DVD on the MBA wirelessly or via ethernet cable.
 

gman901

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2007
601
14
Houston, TX
I think I may install it this weekend and test it out. If it's playable, it doesn't have to be pretty. Anyway, I finished Mirror's Edge on my Air and it played and looked great. I am almost finished with FEAR at high resolution and medium settings. It plays better on my Air than on my new Asus gaming laptop with the 260 GTX card with 1 GB gpu. The game stutters and is slow on the Asus while it plays smooth on my Air. I don't plan on playing a ton of games on my Air, but it is nice to know that the Air can do more than check email and browse the internet. Besides, if that's all I needed my Air to do, I would just use my iPhone.
 

j46g629h

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2009
26
0
Brisbane, Au
Pop in the DVD in your MBP. Run "Remote Install" in the Utilities folder. You can literally boot off the DVD on the MBA wirelessly or via ethernet cable.

Also can restore your mac os DVD on usb flash drive by using disk utility app. if you have extra usb,
installation will take about 25 mins on hd, less than 20 mins on ssd,
this is what I've been using and I think it should be the fastest way to install mac os on any apple computer.:D
 

froznkhemistry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
25
0
Pop in the DVD in your MBP. Run "Remote Install" in the Utilities folder. You can literally boot off the DVD on the MBA wirelessly or via ethernet cable.
I want to make it so that it doesn't re-install again. I want it to install the next time it opens, which would be the time the receiver of the gift opens it. Would that work? I don't want to be the one installing it again.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
I want to make it so that it doesn't re-install again. I want it to install the next time it opens, which would be the time the receiver of the gift opens it. Would that work? I don't want to be the one installing it again.
Um... if I understand you correctly, you can just install, after its done, just do a hard shut down (hold down the power button). Then when its turned on next, it'll show the "Welcome to mac OSX" window or whatever it is.