MBA external moni performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HurdSL, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. HurdSL macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2011
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    #1
    Gonna order the 13-i7 soon and was wondering how it would handle a Dell U2410 when used for a good chunk of the day; any noticeable performance differences running at the Dell's native res (1920x1200).
    Thanks
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    It can run that just fine, you would only run into problems trying to game at that res.
     
  3. kamuix macrumors regular

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    california
    #3
    i run a dell 2709 all the time. it works perfectly. but like alust said, it does kinda snag a bit at video games. especially ones like left 4 dead and what not. i usually have to tone those a bit down to play. otherwise for everything else, media wise, browsing wise, etc works great.
     
  4. ShiftClick macrumors regular

    ShiftClick

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    Los Angeles
    #4
    I use a 24" ACD with my 11" i7 I don't notice any issues what so ever but I'm not doing anything graphically intense. No games here.
     
  5. HurdSL thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Thanks guys. Another quick q : the U24 has a display port, and I know the MBA has a mini dp / thunderbolt jack; does it come with a mini dp -> dp cable.
     
  6. GrendelsBane macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2011
    #6
    No it doesn't. You'll have to buy one. There are plenty available online. I'm in a similar situation: just bought a 13" Air (and love it!) but couldn't connect it to my old Dell 24" monitor because it only had one digital input, connected to my Win7 PC. So I just took delivery (2 hours ago) of the new 24" Dell U2412M which is very nice. It has DVI (for the Win7 PC) and a display port. I'm waiting on delivery of a mini DP to DP cable.
     
  7. mattpreston11 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #7
    Everything runs alot nicer when your laptop lid is closed. Although Ive found wifi performance to be poor when the lid is down.

    Got a usb to ethernet adapter to get round this, however ive heard you can put a magnet on a certain part of the device which makes the laptop think the lid is down.
     
  8. enigma2k macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2010
    #8
    Running the MBA in clamshell is just horrible for the ears as it get a lot louder because of the heat.
    Playing a 720p mkv movie in VLC with lid open I have constant 2000rpm. If I close it, however, I get 10 minutes later about 4000rpm.
    All the heat can't flow away with the lid closed...
     
  9. Spacemarine macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2011
    #9
    Why?
     
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #10
    Really, I find it's quite the contrary. More pixels = more enjoyable experience. Everything runs a lot nicer with the lid open. Guys, get over it, the GPUs of today can absolutely push immense amounts of pixels without issues. We used to plug external monitors into laptops with 4 MB GPUs with hardly any issue. Some of you may be to young to remember and I understand if the performance fears come from that lack of experience, but really, there's nothing to worry about.

    Heck, even for games. I play Civ IV and Worms Armageddon just fine at my external monitor's native res of 2048x1156, while also having the internal display at 1440x900 up and running. It depends on the game. And even then, no one says you need to run games at a monitor's native resolution, even on LCDs, games tend to not show the blurry effect of running a non-native resolution as much as displaying a desktop with sharp text does, thanks to the already healthy amount of anti-aliasing going on in 3D engines these days.
     
  11. mattpreston11 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #11
    I'm not saying it doesnt run, Just from my experience of having a MBA 11'' connected to a 24'' external since Jan as my primary machine, It seems to run alot nicer when only driving one display. And I personally found it difficult to look between the two screen because of the different res.

    Each to their own, but mine runs better with one screen. Especially in lion where the 2nd display (mba one) becomes redundant when running a fulll screen app..
     
  12. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #12
    Yours is broken then. My MBA 13" makes no difference whatsoever no matter if it's pushing 2 monitor's worth of pixels or just its internal display. My older 2005 Dell didn't either, and neither did my 9400m equipped Macbook.

    IE: It's in your head.
     
  13. HurdSL thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2011
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    San Francisco
    #13
    Would you guys recommend that I get a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable - or a Mini Display Port to DVI Adapter. The only reason I'm weary about the MDP->DP option is because Apple does not sell this cable itself and the reviews for the one cable I could find on amazon were average / mixed.
     
  14. HurdSL thread starter macrumors newbie

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  15. PAC88, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    PAC88 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 23, 2009
    #15
    my 2010 13" MBA is arriving soon.. I already have the mini DP to HDMI adapter ready to go. can't wait

    and by the way.. I use my old ibook g4 kinda like a crappy media center connected to 40" monitor. runs both displays pretty well for its age ..that baby has like a 64mb radeon gpu.. and I still use Tiger on it. awesome
     
  16. bill-p macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #16
    I would second that an external monitor wouldn't be any trouble.

    I usually code on my 2010 13" while driving an episode of Netflix or a recorded TV show at 1080p to the HDTV. Works fine. Absolutely no problem.
     
  17. karohan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #17
    From my experience it's not an effect that's just in his head. It basically amounts to some people not having a problem with jitteryness and still considering it smooth versus some people that are more annoyed by it. I sort of relate it to the smoothness difference between Android and iOS phones. Some people don't notice any difference, but when switching between homescreens and scrolling, iOS is smoother than Android. A similar level of jitteryness is introduced when using both monitors versus just one.
     
  18. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #18
    Again, in your head guys. Maybe it's just the bigger monitor that seems "jittery", on account of just having bigger pixels (external monitors usually have lower PPI).

    GPUs have been able to push insane amounts of pixels for quite some time already. You guys really underestimate the power of the computing hardware we have today. Remember : We used to play full on 3D games back in the 90s, on GPUs with barely 8 MB of RAM and it worked at 60 fps. We're talking about simple Alpha blending effects as far as a desktop goes and big pixel numbers... That's it. It requires a big framebuffer (which we have plenty of space for these days what with 256 MB of VRAM) and plenty of bandwidth to the display (which again we have plenty of thanks to DP 1.1a).
     
  19. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #19
    I would really like to agree with you here because it makes sense completely, but it is not the case. I would tell you I've tried this with a wide range of Macbook Pro's extending beyond just my own, but you're probably going to take that with a grain of salt because I'm just a random guy on the internet.

    However, with dual monitors there is definitely an increased choppiness. You can say it's not choppiness, but I think the one undeniable observation is that the animations look different. The oddest thing is that it is not (seemingly) due to the number of pixels being displayed. I will get NO choppiness that I am claiming when using my MBP in clamshell mode with an Apple Cinema Display (2560x1440). But if I run two 1680x1050 monitors simultaneously (which has less pixels than a single ACD), the choppiness appears. The best way to test this choppiness is to run Dashboard or Expose in one mode, then quickly change to the other mode and try it. You'll notice a significant difference. Another way to test this is to determine the threshold at which lagginess in scrolling and other operations set in. With a single monitor (regardless of resolution), I may be able to play 2 or 3 movies simultaneously without choppiness in scrolling. With dual monitors (even with less total pixels than a single larger monitor), I will experience heavy choppiness in scrolling when playing 2 movies/videos. So the effect is definitely real. The explanation is beyond me. Your rationale makes perfect sense, which is why it's extremely frustrating to see Expose act more choppily in dual monitors like this.
     

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