Trying to decide between MBA 11" and M11x for SC2

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BrandonS5756, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. BrandonS5756 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    #1
    Hi there guys. I am trying to decide between an Alienware M11x and a 11" Macbook Air, mainly because I want a Ultra-Portable Laptop, but also because I want something for SC2. From what I can Tell, It's GPU performance over SSD. I know the MBA really isn't for Gaming. I have heard that the MBA will run SC2 at only low without lag, and other stories about Medium settings. The M11x I have heard can only run SC2 at Medium but I have been told it can run at high settings.

    Here are the Specs;

    M11x http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x-r3/pd.aspx
    Intel® Core™ i7 2617M 1.5GHz(2.6GHz w/Turbo Boost, 4MB Cache)
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT540M graphics with 2.0GB Video Memory and Optimus
    8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
    750GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s
    11.6 inch display (1366x768)
    2.0 Megapixel HD Video and Picture Camera with dual digital microphones
    Killer™ Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO for Gaming & Video
    Alien FX Lighting System

    :apple:Macbook Air 11" http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html
    1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 384MB DDR3
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3
    256GB SSD
    11.6 inch display (1366x768)
    FaceTime camera
    802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking;5 IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible

    If anyone has any insight into the performance of these machines for Starcarft 2 it is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. i0Nic macrumors 65816

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    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    If you're just looking at performance for SC2, obviously the M11x is going to be far better. Just depends what your primary use of the laptop is going to be.
     
  3. BrandonS5756 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    #3
    I have used both, OSX is really good but I wonder if SSD Performace is better than Pure GPU performance. Love how the Air has the Better CPU without Over Clocking/Turbo-Boost
     
  4. Chopstick217 macrumors regular

    Chopstick217

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    #4
    The SSD won't help much in regards to SC2 other than loading the maps more quickly. The speed difference between the cpu is small and wouldn't make much of the difference. The Dell's video card trumps the intel 3000hd. I play sc on my mba regularly and it runs decently on medium settings. search around the forums, there are a bunch of threads discussing sc2 performance on the new mba
     
  5. MRU Suspended

    MRU

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    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Other
    #5
    Get the dell....


    Seriously if your into SC2 now, I'm sure there are other games coming or already out you play or will want to play and the Dell's GPU offers you more security about being able to play them.

    Whilst the design aesthetics can not match the MBA - if FPS are a priority then it's the better option.
     
  6. komoornik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #6
    This topic is really funny.

    What should I buy to drive fast: Aston Martin Cygnet or Shelby GT500 ?

    MBA and m11x may have same display size, but Dell is pretty much two times heavier and much more bigger overall.
     
  7. Mmarzex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    #7
    If you are legit only going to play Starcraft 2 ever. Go with the air as I play starcraft 2 on my air when not able to be by my desktop and it runs actually very well.
     
  8. steve dave macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #8
    How is this a hard choice at all? The M11x is far better suited for gaming than the air.
     
  9. Oppressed macrumors 65816

    Oppressed

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #9
    Which do you value more?

    Higher graphics and FPS? M11x.

    Ultra Portability? MBA
     
  10. lukekarts macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #10
    I'm in an interesting position to advise, in that I have an M11x (albeit C2D / 330M) and a MBA13 2011.

    I guess the real decision hinges on how much gaming you're planning on doing. I can briefly summarise the benefits of both, hopefully this will help.

    MBA

    - Great Screen (especially in comparison)
    - More portable (yes, even the MBA 13 is far lighter/thinner/more portable than the M11x)
    - Better for work-related things e.g Office/iWork
    - Better for media - music / video / photo & editing
    - Ok for light gaming. Of particular interest to you, SC2 plays great on Low settings, but nothing more.

    M11x

    - poor screen (side by side, it looks crap)
    - Better for gaming (for reference, my worse spec M11x plays any game I've thrown at it on medium at least, inc SC2.)
     
  11. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #11
    The M11x is the best choice for the gamer. If you bought the Air, you might like the look and size of the machine a bit better but it will not do what you want. It's a productivity laptop, not a gaming laptop. :apple:
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #12
    One has a much faster CPU and GPU.

    The other is about 1/2 as thick. There's no comparison.

    If you want to game, get the Alienware. If you want to look hipster, get the air. You will never look hipster using an Alienware, but you will never game on an air.
     
  13. MadMac84 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #13
    Have you considered the Sony SA series? It's a 13" with Core i5/i7 and a 1GB Radeon 6630m, which is essentially aslightly underclocked Radeon 6750m (the GPU in the high end MacBook Pro). Very small yet very powerful. This would be roughly the same size as the m11x, but much faster. The screen won't be as good as the Macbook Air, but will probably be better than the m11x (I've got an m11x and the screen just isn't good). You'd have to look at the pricier Z series for an awesome screen. Not sure what GPU is in the Z series though.

    The SA goes for about $1200 on Newegg.com, around the same cost as the m11x with some upgrades.
     
  14. JusChexin macrumors member

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    May 28, 2009
    #14
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    My advice to you would be to figure out what your primary usage is going to be. If you predominantly want a portable laptop to game on, get the M11X with the better GPU. If you predominantly want a portable laptop to be productive in, use OSX on, and want the slimmest portable possible, get the 11" Air. I was trying to decide between to two for a long time, but once I realized that I'd only occasionally game lightly and would be using a laptop to be productive 99% of the time, I realized the current Air was a much better fit for me than the M11X. I'm hoping to get the Air in the next few weeks. Good luck making your decision and hope you get the best laptop for your own personal needs!
     
  15. komoornik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #15
    So Dell got faster CPU?

    Cool story, but where ?

    Starting from base Macbook Air, it has faster CPU.

    I would say that's kind of lame of Dell, to make that much thicker and that much heavier device with lower CPUs than in MBA :eek:
     

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