MBA 11.6 "base" against "ultimate" gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by naujoks, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. naujoks macrumors 6502

    naujoks

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Still haven't seen any gaming benchmarks comparing the base model to the ultimate. Has anyone else seen any?
    For the record, I'm hugely impressed with the base model's gaming performance, but with bootcamp on a 64GB disk there isn't much space for games, so I'm thinking about upgrading to ultimate, though I'd like to see how frame rates compare first.
     
  2. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #2
    For gaming, it's not really worth upgrading to the maximum specs, since you'll still have the same 320m.

    I have seen some gaming benchmarks somewhere, the difference wasn't that huge.

    You can replace the Flash modules of Apple btw. Apple uses 16 gb Flash modules in the MBA. But you can replace them with 64 gb Flash modules so that you'll have 256 gb in total :)
     
  3. JodyK macrumors 6502a

    JodyK

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    Northern Atlanta suburbs
    #3
    Windows / Microsoft have "Ultimate" editions ... I don't understand how anyone who owns, loves, thinking of buying an Apple product could refer to anything Mac as "ultimate" it's Apple blasphemy.
     
  4. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #4
    Yeah that's right, let's start a flame war.
    I hope for your sake this was said in jest. If you're that indoctrinated in all things in life I'm glad that in all likelihood we will never meet in real life.
     
  5. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #5
    It totally surprises me that anyone who considers gaming performance to be a key decision point in selecting a computer would even consider OSX devices at all.

    The number of games available on the Mac is abysmal relative to Windows. Sure there are a few that are decent but really...why even bother with the Mac if gaming is important to you?
     
  6. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #6
    I"m obviously running Win 7 on it via bootcamp.
    I can hear the waves crashing over my head already.
     
  7. SilentCrs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #7
    From a performance standpoint the 2 models are identical except for the CPU. You're not going to get much better gaming performance out of the "ultimate". You will get more space to store your games.

    I'm running SC2 in Bootcamp on the "cheap" model and it runs fine. However, if I really want to kick ass I switch to my gaming rig. I'm using the air primarily as an iPad replacement.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #8
    Personally, I'd not consider an MBA for a gaming right. Sure the GPU is great, but given the total specs, there are much better setups that cost a lot less.
     
  9. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #9
    I had the base and upgraded to the ultimate..

    Windows 7 experience score are:
    • Base: Processor 4.1
    • Ultimate: Processor 4.4

    Geekbench benchmark

    Base: 2041
    Ultimate: 2305

    COD 4 runs just fine on the base and it seems to run smoother and look cleaner on the ultimate.
     
  10. efirmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    Not that much improvement, but surely noticeable. I've seen a lot of new games that have the base requirements at 2.0 GHz C2D. Figure I'll future proof it a bit more and get the ultimate. 10-15% improvement in processor speed is worth $100 IMO.
     
  11. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    Jul 6, 2008
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    London, UK
    #11
    I could imagine that 4GB RAM would make quite a bit of difference as well, since on the base model one's down to 1.75GB, with the 320M taking 256MB...
    For that reason it would be interesting to see how big the increase in FPS is with 4GB and 1.6GHz.
     
  12. FAsnakes macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #12
    Yes you're right.. IMO the determining factor for me- is if you need to absolutely update the HD (which was the case for me)
    So, at that point - it roughly cost me $160 to upgrade to the ultimate (with my corporate discount).
     
  13. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #13
    Hrm odd.. my ultimate 11.6 gets 4.6 processor in windows 7. I'm running 64 bit... which are you on?
     
  14. FAsnakes macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #14
    Really!
    I'm on x86 i believe.. Let me boot over to win and throw up a screenshot.. Also, what's the max experience score on Win 7 64?
     
  15. FAsnakes macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2007
  16. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

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    Jul 6, 2000
    #16
    If you mean by "ultimate" the 1.6GHz 11.6" with 4GB RAM and 128GB Storage, it will run games that are CPU intensive about 14% faster than the 1.4GHz "base" model -- assuming the both have the same amount of RAM.

    I recommend 4GB of RAM because games like Starcraft use 1.2GB of real memory. OS X uses 700M. So you are about to go "under water" with only 2GB of RAM. It also uses 170% CPU so it's example of a game that benefits from more CPU power.
     
  17. MDave macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2010
    #17
    It would be great if someone with a 13 inch air can show their score too, just too see the difference in Windows performance of the new airs :)
     
  18. iRovaedne macrumors newbie

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    Nov 3, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    MBA 11.6 isn't really suitable for gaming.
    MBP is a better choice.
     
  19. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    London, UK
    #19
    I COMPLETELY disagree in the strongest possible terms!
    Most games I threw at it I was able to play at medium to high details and full resolution with around 25 FPS or more.
     
  20. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a

    EthanNixon

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #20
    Do you have Counter-Strike: Source?
     
  21. brotato macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2010
    #21
    I am running css on my base 11" with settings maxed and get 60fps on most inside levels. Outside ones I get anywhere between 25-40fps. If you turn the settings down slightly you can get really smooth game play.
     
  22. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a

    EthanNixon

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #22
    Are you running in Windows 7 or OS X? Can you run the stress test on 640x480 with all settings on low for me?
     
  23. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #23
    13" MBA "Ultimate" (check sig for full specs) in Bootcamp running Win 7 64-bit and the Apple-supplied drivers:

    Processor: 5.7
    Memory: 5.9
    Graphics: 5.3
    Gaming Graphics: 6.0
    Prmary HD: 6.9

    Overall: 5.3
     
  24. Appleind macrumors regular

    Appleind

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #24
    Hmm the mac app store is coming soon to Lion isnt it. So may be not a bad idea to start gaming on the mac afterall
     
  25. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #25
    I hope to GOD the Mac App store doesn't end up filled with 3,000 versions of a Fart app or recycled iPhone/iPad apps.

    But I'm betting it will.

    Until the Mac garners more than 25% of the PC marketplace, you'll always see game coming late to OSX, if at all.

    But if you must, then there's Bootcamp I guess.
     

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