MacBook Air Gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Macways, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Macways macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2011
    #1
    My girlfriend is stuck deciding which MacBook Air model she wants to get. All she mainly wants it for is emailing, her accounts and playing the Sims 3 (high settings). Which model would be best suited for these tasks?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #2
    Well, Sims 3 is quite demanding. I'd get the fastest computer I could afford...
     
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #3
    Minimum system req is Core 2 Duo for macs and intel x3100.
    The MBA has a 1.6 or higher i5 which is about 3 times faster than the slowest Core 2 Duo around, the Intel HD on MacBook Air is also at least 3 times faster than the X3100, so I'll guess you'll be fine.

    I'd get a 4GB version tho since it has 384MB video memory compared to 256MB on the 2GB version.

    Keep in mind, I've not tried it, I have merely looked at the system requirements and made an assumption.

    SHe might have to drop some shadows and other effects to get it 100% smooth.
     
  4. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #4
    I would rather go for a 15in MBP.
    Since they are quad cores, they would run sims3 great.

    MBA would not be the best for gaming.
    Its more of portability for users who carry it around like businessman's do.
     
  5. Mandork macrumors member

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    May 8, 2011
    #5
    If the settings are dropped a bit, the Sims should be fine. I'm sure she'd benefit more from the Air in terms of slimness and all, than the slight drop in graphics she'd suffer playing Sims.
     
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #6
    I doubt Quad Core will help as much on gaming compared to the dedicated graphics. I have a dual core machine with Nvidia GTX 285 and I can run things much smoother at higher setting than my friend with a Quad Core i7 and AMD 6670 (i think or maybe 6750?).
    My graphic card is twice as fast as his, but he have twice as much CPU power.
     
  7. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #7
    But thats for a desktop...
    We are talking about notebooks here.
    MBP with AMD Radeon HD 6750M has 1GB.
    Its obviously better than MBA's Intel HD 3000 with 384MB tops.

    Only Mac Pro or iMac can have a graphic card over 1GB
     
  8. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #8
    Judging GPU's on VRAM alone really isn't saying much.

    As for the OP, all of the models should have relatively the same performance (although if you want the low-end 11" then you should bump it up to 4GB of RAM). Choose based on storage space and screen size.
     
  9. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #9
    If you want to run it in real great quality and real smooth, laptop is not a option.
    But its obvious that MBP runs games alot smoother than MBAs.
     
  10. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    #10
    I was just playing the free Portal download on an MBA13i7.

    The game ran perfectly smooth at all times but the fan was also going full bore at all times, nearly 6500rpm according to iStat.
     
  11. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #11
    If you want to run Sims 3 at max settings then a laptop is not the option? Couldn't be farther from the truth

    The HD 3000 in the MacBook Air will run at around 32FPS on medium
    The 6490M in the MacBook Pro will run at around 47FPS on medium
    The 6750M in the MacBook Pro will run at around 51FPS on max settings
     
  12. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #12
    If your using your Mac for gaming, just buy a desktop.
    No need for it to be portable unless if you want to carry it around.

    But in this case its just sims 3, so MBP would be great.
    MBA, I wouldnt really recommend it but sure it will run.

    On my earlier post, I was talking about natural gaming, not just Sims 3.
     
  13. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #13
    Again, disagree. Not everyone wants to be tied to a single desk in a single room. Buying a desktop can lead to a lot of unwanted annoying complications down the road when or if you need to move it. If you need your machine to be portable then there are plenty of laptops (including the MBP) that can handle any game you throw at it.

    As for the Sims, the only reason it performs so poorly under Mac OS X is because it's a cider port and even at that the MacBook Air still plays it just fine. It's the Sims.
     
  14. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #14
    Still low FPS.
    Not really recommended fro pure gaming.
    For Sims, yes the emulator makes the lag.
    But if its just mail and Sims why not just buy a windows machine?
    Or just simply put bootcamp on mac and play it on there?

    For serious gamer, laptop would not be the best choice.
    I would rather play Crysis on iMac rather than MBP nor MBA due to the heavy load.
    MBA isnt made for gaming.
    Its only for portability.
     
  15. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #15
    Still low FPS? This is the Sims we are talking about FFS. :rolleyes:

    Maybe she's used to using a Mac or maybe she wants a light and thin machine? Do you honestly think that all this machine is going to be used for is the Sims? :rolleyes:

    For a serious gamer, a laptop would be a fine choice. You would rather play Crysis on an iMac with a weaker CPU and the same GPU(only the iMac has less VRAM) that's in the high-end MacBook Pro? That's funny.

    No one is saying the MBA is for gaming. The Sims is not serious gaming.
     
  16. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #16
    FPS- frame per second mate. Not first person shooter.
    You really think iMac has a weaker CPU and same GPU than the MBP?
    Dont forget, MBP has a mobile CPU not desktop.
    I have a 6970 with 2GB. Only low end has the 6750.
    I dont know how a quad core 3.4GHz i7 is weaker compared to a 2.3GHz quad core mobile CPU.
     
  17. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #17
    No ****, I knew exactly what I was abbreviating when I used FPS. :rolleyes:

    Do I think the iMac has a weaker CPU than the MBP? No, I know the iMac has a weaker CPU than the iMac. You did not say to buy the highest end iMac, all you said was iMac.

    The 2.3GHz quad core or faster will outpace every single iMac with the exception of the i7 on the 27" model. Clearly you should learn a little more about processor technology before you try to get into an argument about it.
    http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

    Congratulations, you said iMac. Not "someone who wants to game should buy the highest-end iMac".
     
  18. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #18
    When did I ever say low end iMac then?
    Desktop i5 is also fast since they arent mobile CPUs.
    Or if you are just really into gaming just buy a ****** game console or a gaming pc rather than mac.
     
  19. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    #19
    You said iMac so therefore you weren't talking about a specific model. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt because simply saying iMac could mean an iMac with a X1600 in it. :rolleyes:

    Again, just because the processor is a desktop variant does not make it faster than mobile parts. Did you click the link I posted that showed relevant processor difference? No? Might want to brush up on it before you try to act like you know what you're talking about.
    http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/
     
  20. Northwestern macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #20
    Wow, 32 FPS is great for the MBA. How about The Sims Medieval then?
     
  21. VeganHipster macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #21
    The Sims Medieval does not seem much more demanding than the Sims 3, the graphics look similiar to the Sims 3 so I would assume it would be very much the same performance wise. Sims games aren't too bad with taking up resources!
     
  22. holterzoff macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2011
    #22
    If You're using bootcamp on a MBA the framerates are much better - like said before often the bad ports are the bottleneck.
     
  23. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #23
    If the gaming experience is more important than the laptop vs. desktop debate, yes - a dedicated gamer will be on a desktop. This is not debatable. Gaming tournaments take place on desktops. High-end gaming equipment is made for desktops.

    The MBP (and MBA) can "handle" any game you put on it... to a point. Performance obviously becomes an issue much sooner on a less-powerful laptop compared to a gaming desktop. But again... people who want to play games on laptops have obviously decided that the tradeoff between performance and portability is worth it.

    Haha. Good one. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Macways thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2011
    #24
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Thanks so much for the replies guys, do u think she should just get a desktop then? She's got her heart set on a laptop, so u think she would have a better chance of running it on the MacBook pro?

    Thanks again!
     
  25. Northwestern macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #25
    If she is not a hardcore gamer, I would recommend the MBA. A lot of games are running on the MBA (together with Bootcamp many more), the design is thin (easy to carry around), you can do all the office work (+internet) on it and watching movies also works.

    If she is a hardcore gamer, I would recommend an iMac.
     

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