new macbook air for gaming

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by bondibeach, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. bondibeach macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2010
    Hey guys,

    has anyone experience with the new macbook air 13" and gaming? I am looking for a new laptop and the air is my favourite so far. But i definitly want to play counter strike source and starcraft 2. Do you think this would work with the macbook air 13" and 4gb of ram?
  2. foiden, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Very easy question. The Macbook Air 13" has already been shown to run Starcraft 2 at a high clip with all medium settings on. Here's a video showing a stock 13" macbook air doing just this. You might be able to push up the game spec a bit with 4GB ram since he said the performance drops when using the high or ultra texture settings.

    I believe Youtube also shows Counter Strike Source running fine, with nearly maxed settings, on the 11" macbook air. It's shown late in this video. Yeah, it's the 11", but since the 13" is with higher specs, expect as good if not better performance for the same resolution.

    The real kicker is how well it runs Starcraft 2. Something that at medium settings requires a pretty decent amount of hardware. Not bad at all for a machine not made for gaming. This would also mean that you should be able to even run Crysis on the thing, with some of the graphic options turned up. Maybe not high detail, but definitely medium spec, given that the 13" MBP 2009 model actually does Crysis on the lower settings.
  3. acastic macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I've been playing Dragon Age on my 11" and it plays great!
  4. archurban macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    but what if somebody doesn't like strategy game? why most people here suggest star craft 2? I don't play that kind of game, it's not my favorite. I think that old games are fine. but what about new games? can you play black ops or even assassin's creed 2 or tom clancy's sprinter cell conviction (2010)? I don't think so. you can't play with your satisfaction. with very lower setting? I can't do it. that's why macbook air is not for gaming, and I'm never interested in getting it. I said before. but why do people continue to push macbook air as gaming machine? it sounds like that in here.
  5. Jayomat macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2009
    OK one more time: this clip does not proof anything, as it only shows VERY FEW units on campaign map. If you find a video which shoes 200-400 units on a multiplayer map while in a fight, we'd be talking, but this video is totally useless if you want to rate the MBA's ability to PLAY SC2...
  6. bondibeach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2010
    and for that it would be cool to hear an review from someone who actually uses the macbook air for starcraft 2 (or other games). Normally the game should run as on the macbook pro 13" or am I wrong? Graphics are the same and processor is not so important I think
  7. DiamondGCoupe, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    DiamondGCoupe macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2007
    If you're looking to do a lot of gaming on a MacBook, go with the Pro. Can the new Air's handle it, yes, but not for very long. I played StarCraft on my old MBA 2.13ghz and it was fine for about 15-20 minutes but after that it got so hot, it lagged like crazy. Had to turn it off for ~10minutes to cool down before I could finish. Not as much of an issue with my 13" MBP but all my SCII settings are on low. Decent frame rate when the games start but gets killed and slows down with more units. I have a gaming PC but it's nice to play on my laptop every once in a while. Can play TF2, Killing Floor, and L4D 2 on my MBP, Air wouldn't handle it for long at all.

    Hardware isn't really the issue, it's heat and crappy graphics drivers on Macs.
  8. foiden, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Well, before this question, I didn't see one answer on this, so I'd hardly think it was a one-more-time, issue. But at least I could compare apples to apples when it comes to comparing it's performance on that same scene compared to what my machine did, on the same scene. Though to be fair, SC2 is still a very good-looking game and doesn't spare expense in terms of unit and building animations even at the low settings. However, as you say, the true test is in multiplayer, for which I can still run the low settings while a major raid is going on, and tons of units are in play. Even in the midst of battles there's not even a stutter. Though on my late 2009 MBP 13" model, you may see a slight frame pause if you decide to bump the textures to the medium setting. If kept to low, large scale combat seems rock steady on OSX. Very nice of Blizzard to support smooth gameplay on a 9400M, even when the screen is just plain filled with units.

    People will ask these questions, just because they wonder if their non-gaming machine can still run their favorites. Others maybe aren't really shooting for the moon, but if they know it would run X, they know it could run everything they really wanted that is less resource heavy than X. Others are just curious what the "tiny machine that could" could do.

    Though to be fair, this isn't MacBook air specific. If I had a nickel for every person that bought a cheap windows laptop, with the intel integrated graphics chip, and got interest in gaming on one of those, I'd be sitting on a beach owning 20%. At least this topic is nowhere near the same level of tall order.

    Still, hopefully some more answers will come, just for the fun of it. Heating issues may be a factor here. Perhaps unlike my MBP, even if the Air proves it's graphical might, they might only be able to pull this stuff off in short sessions; whereas I can push my MBP for hours and hours and it'll still perform since it seems to keep things reasonable temp.

    If I were to get the Air, it would mainly be for what seems to be the best desktop experience for an ultra-portable.
  9. Venkman90 macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    A better question is why you feel the need to crash every thread with **** punctuation and rant about how "mac iz not 4 gaem!"

    We get it, the opinion you hold so dear is noted, if someone wants to drop $800 on a laptop to play games on that's up to them, slap bootcamp on it and it can run the latter of the 2 games you mentioned.

    Frankly, anyone serious about gaming will either already have a console or a Rig, if someone wants to see what WILL run on their mac they got for other purposes that's what this forum is for.

    If that bothers you so much get the **** out and stop trolling every thread.
  10. gnychis macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    the old MBA (which I have) horribly overheats... what his people's experience been while gaming and overheating? Any issues?

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