MBA 2011 13-inch performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Sparkax, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Sparkax macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Hey everybody!
    Well, I was wondering how powerful was the MBA 2011 13-inch with the custom 1.8 Ghz chip?
    Is there a way to know it it'll play nicely with iMovie and, say, Civilization V?
  2. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    It should be fine. Both the i5 or i7 can handle that task.
  3. cozmot Guest

    Mar 16, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I haven't used the app or the game, but it's blazingly fast. What really amazed me is how quickly it loads Windows Vista (using Parallels 6). Much, much faster than my iMac with its Intel Core i5 3.6 GHz chip. The difference of transferring data from a SSD than a HDD is remarkable. Plus, the Intel Core i7 1.8 GHz processor helps speed things along.
  4. Sparkax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Thanks for answering so quickly!
    I currently have a October 2008 unibody MacBook (at the time, it wasn't called pro, although it's the aluminium version). With 4 Gb of 1067 Mhz RAM and a 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, it still feels nice. How does the MBA 13-inch 1.8 Ghz compares with this one you think? What about the graphics card? Is the 9400M less powerful than the shared Intel card within the MBA?
  5. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Graphic cards on the MBA are the exact same. It's just up to you if you want i5 or i7.
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    On paper, the Intel HD 3000 is nearly as powerful as the NVIDIA 320m that was in the last MacBook Air, and more powerful than the NVIDIA 9400m that's in yours. Newer games might be better optimized for the Intel graphics than older games (if Macworld's testing results are any indication), but the HD 3000 should be better in most circumstances than the 9400m. The new CPUs are very powerful, however. Between the SSD, and the Core i5/i7, the new MacBook Airs will be considerably faster than your 2008 MacBook. The CPU is about 75% faster.
  7. Sparkax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Ok, very well, the answer seems close now.
    Why should I choose a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.7 i7 instead of the 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8 i7? Is the difference so big?
    In fact, why would people choose the MBP? For more storage? I'm going to university next year, and I don't want a compromise on the performance of my Mac.
    If I buy a MBA now and then, in 3 months, a revamped version of the MBP comes out with a design similar to the MBA's I'd feel stupid.
    If the MBA 2011 is powerful enough, I'd go with it. So, I guess the ultimate question is: what can't I do with the MBA?
    I ask a lot of questions, but I want to make a educated choice.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The only reasons to get the 13" MacBook Pro over the Air right now are if you need to have an 8GB RAM option, an internal optical drive, or Firewire 800. This was also the case between October 2010 and February 2011. There is significant overlap between the 13" Air and 13" Pro that I'd recommend the Air to almost everyone.

    If there is a revamped Pro, it likely will be a 15" model that is nearly as thin as the current 13" Air but which has a discrete GPU and a quad-core processor. I would not be surprised if the 13" Pro is either dropped, or is repositioned as a new "base" model now that the white MacBook is gone (if Apple finds that loses more sales than expected from the discontinuation of the MacBook).
  9. Sparkax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    I see. It would seem logical for Apple to replace the current MacBook Pro 13-inch with the MBA since the difference in terms of performance is thin. I will certainly purchase the new MBA and hope not to be disappointed when the new MacBook Pro generation comes out. Thanks.
  10. retrorichie macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Civ V runs fine on recommended settings, which are pretty much all "low." I played it for hours the other night with no issues on my 13" i7.
  11. retrorichie macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    That's one reason, yeah. But if storage is your concern I would just put an external hard drive on your desk. If you are like most folks, I would imagine you don't need all that disk space while you are mobile.

    IMO the MBA is a way nicer machine. The screen resolution alone makes it a no-brainer over the MBP (unless you have terrible eyesight), and you will never notice the difference in CPU speed between the MBA and MBP.
  12. zerind macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    Sparkax, I don't know if this helps but I was able to import a 20 minute 30p 1080p AVCHD clip from my Vixia HFS10 and edit it down to a 3 minute clip just fine on my MacBook Air i7 13" in iMovie. The fans screamed and the CPU temps hovered around 90 - 94c while rendering the clip for final output but it encoded the 3 minute clip in roughly 5 minutes. Video was never choppy or laggy when running through the interface either.

    For comparison I can render the same type of clip on my Core i7 desktop with 12gb of RAM in Adobe Premiere in about 3 minutes (basically 1:1) depending on quality settings. Not too far off.

    Link to the clip...there's no stuttering or frame loss at all.

    That being said, I won't be using the MBA to do much video at home but maybe a few clips here and there while on the road.
  13. Sparkax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Alright, thanks everyone.
    I'll get the i7 Air and I'm sure I'll be very happy with it.

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