Will the next Macbook Air double gaming performance?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacLappy, May 21, 2013.

  1. MacLappy macrumors regular

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    #1
    2011 base 13" vs 2012 i7 11"

    Using Cinebench R11.5

    openGL 2011 = 8.82 FPS
    openGL 2012 = 20.60 FPS

    Last year i switched from a based 13" to an i7 11", the gaming performance was quite noticeable. I am wondering if this year model would show such a jump in performance again. Perhaps pushing about 42 FPS in openGL score. Looking for a good reason to upgrade and a doubling of gaming performance would do it for me.
     

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  2. Verix, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    Verix macrumors regular

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    #2
    Intel HD5000 will have +50% increased performance, so we're definitely looking at ~30FPS. There might just be an HD5100 option; the high-end power hungry Iris HD5200 should hit ~40FPS, maybe that one will be featured in the (r)MBP. It actually makes sense to make the HD5200 exclusive to the rMBP to further drive people to that machine.

    Anyway, OpenGL drivers will be heavily tweaked as far as I know, which might just drive performance to 34-35FPS in our ultrabooks and further boost 5200 performance for that benchmark.

    Just speculating, of course.
     
  3. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    34 to 35 fps sounds pretty good, though i am not sure if it is worth the upgrade for me. Must say that the 2012 macbook air handles all the games i play (D3,WoW,SC2) with aplomb, was really only going to go ahead if the graphical upgrade was at least as noticeable as last year's.
     
  4. bp1000 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I will be getting the '13 MBA when it is released to replace my '11 i5 - I've missed out on pc gaming because the MBA can't handle it, however I have a related question...

    Do you dual boot to windows or do you run games under osx somehow?
     
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #5
  6. Verix macrumors regular

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    #6
    There's games that support OSX, but the performance is pretty much guaranteed to be better under Boot Camp, so that would be recommended.
     
  7. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Nope, i do not dual boot. Just run them under OSX.
     
  8. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Well i am really looking forward to the openGL score since i am a mac gamer. I guess the closes appreciable measurement would be 3DMARK06, which honestly does not look encouraging.
     
  9. any-key macrumors member

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    #9
    MBA Sandy Bridge vs Haswell

    Not much of a gain between Ivy & Haswell I think. How would the Haswell MBA graphics compare to a 2011 Sandy Bridge MBA?
     
  10. bp1000 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Thanks
     
  11. TouchMint.com macrumors 68000

    TouchMint.com

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  12. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Even if Haswell HD 5000 on Cinebench R11.5 does about 26 to 27 FPS, it would be 3x of Sandybridge HD 3000 on the 2011 MacBook Air. Seems like a pretty reasonable jump.
     
  13. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    #13
    In answer to the OP, no.

    And I wish people would stop using the FPS metric. That's like comparing who's car is best judging by the top speed only and not factoring anything else in.
     
  14. Verix macrumors regular

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    #14
    ??? for one thing you can say that using synthetic benchmarks rather than real-world performance isn't the way to go, but I don't think that's what you meant.

    Between an upgrade of a previous product, you'll obviously look at the improved performance, which just happens to be expressed in fps. I can't follow your car reasoning at all, we are talking about graphic cards(chips) after all..

    There is no way that the 20fps card will be better than the 30fps card, unless that last one is prone to overheating or something but let's not go there.
     
  15. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Got to agree with Verix, how else are we suppose to gauge a graphic processor if not by FPS.
    Of course running on a MacBook Air, it's not likely that anyone is going to be able to run games with all the eye candy on, but yeah a graphic chip that runs Cinebench OpenGl at 30FPS would most likely make gaming more feasible than one that runs at 20FPS.

    Again, we are talking playable and not gaming at uber ultra setting here.
     
  16. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

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    I can't wait to see real world user impressions of the MBA HD 5000 in gaming. But if you're planning to get the 13" might as well wait for the 13" rMBP since it will be the one with the better graphics jump to utilize HD 5100 'Iris'.
     
  17. Bear macrumors G3

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    #17
    But with the much higher resolution of the Retina screen, you may not have any FPS improvement over the Air.

    The question for any modern game, is how much does the performance rely on each of the GPU, CPU, and to some extent internet speed. For example, a games performance may be restricted by the GPU, improve the GPU and then it could become CPU bound. So for the OP, I would say it's all dependent on the game and the GPU/CPU combination in the machine.
     
  18. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

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    #18
    Yet the Airs will still continue to be the lesser in FPS performance as it has been in this generation even when both the Air and the 13" Pro are using the same HD 4000. Keep in mind, that because of its ULV profile, the processor in the MacBook Air will throttle itself down during heavy graphics tasks like your games in order to maintain an optimal operating temperature. That's why with the coming Haswell generation, the 13 retina will slightly distance itself further from the ULV siblings.
     
  19. Verix macrumors regular

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    #19
    You can just run the game at a resolution lower than the native retina resolution, and if retina uses a better version of the Intel graphics combined with the bigger current (as was said, MBA=Ultra Low Voltage exclusively) that should yield a definite advantage. Unlike right now, where all chips perform roughly the same. I have to laugh when people recommend the macbook pro over the macbook air only because of performance, since the difference isn't all that big (except for the 15'' of course).

    Anyway, what you said about CPU+GPU, since we are talking laptops the GPU will pretty much always be the deciding factor. Modern intel chips are more than capable for games, it's the graphics chip that needs to be up to par. Internet speed won't decide performance.
     
  20. Bear macrumors G3

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    #20
    Some games are more CPU intensive than others, and with the ULV design of the Air, you could run in to CPU limitations for some games. And as for internet speeds, if you're playing a multiplayer game, yeah internet speeds can affect performance, especiialy if it's an mmo.
     
  21. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Me too, hope guys/gals in our community get it soon after WWDC and post their impressions on gaming(and everything else) and benchmark scores (plz plz plz do Cinebench OpenGL R11.5, thank you so much =)). Need to decide by 23th of June, either to keep my current 11" and buy applecare or sell and upgrade to the latest.

    I get your drift regarding the 13" but I absolutely loveeee the 11". It is so so adorable not to mention extremely light, thin and portable. I take it almost everywhere, something I never did when I had both the 2010 and 2011 13" Airs. I guess the 11" fits my lifestyle needs more than the 13".
    :D
     
  22. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

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    #22
    yeah, and?
    ;);)
     
  23. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

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    #23
    Good choice, OP. An 11" max spec'd Haswell is gonna rock. And what's more, Intel promises approx 50% more battery life for ULV machines but even if that's an over estimated claim, an 11" Air with 7 hours battery life in real world usage is defininitely welcome.
     
  24. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

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    #24
    i honestly can't think of a more perfect computer for my needs!
     
  25. MacLappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Me too! Unfortunately the 512Gb upgrade is so expensive. A cost I am not willing to pay at this point, seeing how i still got 44Gb of free space on my 128Gb, 2012 MacBook Air. Got to love my 500Gb external usb 3.0 hard disk. Cheap, efficient and good. Still..... if you can afford it, man the maxed out 11" sure sounds perfect.
     

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