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Mac Air, anyone?

EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6

I'm purchasing a low end Mac Air next week, and am curious to see if it will support any MMORPG's.   I used to be a console gamer only, but got rid of the playstations and am considering joining the online world using my laptop.

I know that my biggest issue may be the graphics card coming with the unit, but am I totally off base to hope that a game like Rift or Guild Wars 2 can be played on a Mac Air?

I will be getting one with a solid state 1.7ghz, and 8gb


Any help would be appreciated, and...if it turns out I'll be able to game lightly on it...feel free to weigh in on what game direction to choose.   I'm a noob ;)


  • EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6
    keep in mind, I fully expect to get laughed at by people with insane rigs and the time to build them.    :)
  • etherealantlersetherealantlers Member UncommonPosts: 9
    You'll regret getting a mac. Trust me.  I regret getting my iMac. Completely.
  • LyrianLyrian Member UncommonPosts: 412

    You might be able to play some of the lower end and older MMOs at reduced graphics (I can say Old EQ will work without a doubt in my mind. Lol), though large scale conflicts and events happening will tax your machine. I think GW2 might be beyond it however as I've not tested it on a low end machine. Rift may work as long as you don't raid or pvp in large groups.

    I'm not sure what your budget is or why you are leaning towards a mac air, but you would get better performance for your dollar going to a PC laptop, even more going to a desktop.

    With a mac you are limiting your online game choices, since some MMOs don't have mac support.


    If you link a direct model I can give more advice, but without something to look at. I can generally say your experience gaming on a mac will be less than desirable.

  • EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6

    I see.  Sounds about what I was expecting.    I was aiming to be a casual gamer, as I own my own company and am always out and about.    One reason why I'm ditching my heaving Toshiba laptop for the Air...lighter, more versatile, etc.


    Are there any external add ons, such as graphics card/accellerator thingy, that could possible help?   I don't mind using the Air as a base, then get some add ons for it when I'm at home or something

  • EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6

    My old Toshiba is faster, it seems.   

    intel core duo [email protected] w/ 4GB

  • LyrianLyrian Member UncommonPosts: 412

    Unfortunately the mac doesn't have that sort of option to it. Once you buy it, it's pretty much a closed system from there and you don't have any ability to modify it.

    I would say it's better to have a work machine for work, and to see if you can buy a separate desktop for any games you wish to play.


    Or possibly look into the Asus thin laptops which would be easier to carry around with, but still have some punch for gaming.

  • reb007reb007 Member UncommonPosts: 613

    (Sorry for editing this post again, removed the snarkiness. I have disputed with friends and family for years about MAC versus PC, and I've adopted a rather unpleasant attitude toward MACs. I own a MAC and use them at work, but PC will always be my choice. Sorry if I was obnoxious!)


    If you intend on gaming with a MAC, you'll probably end up buying a Windows license and using Boot Camp, at which point OS X is dead weight.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845

    I'd like to suggest that if you have ideas about playing games, you ought not seek out the lowest end hardware that you can possibly find.  Anything based on a ULV Intel chip running integrated graphics will be faster than a netbook, but slower than anything else on the market--including budget laptops that cost half as much.

    If you want a capable gaming laptop in a small, lightweight form factor, you can try this:

    If you're dead set on Apple, the MacBook Pro offers middling performance rather than very low end performance like the MacBook Air.

  • Elevenb4Elevenb4 Member UncommonPosts: 362

    I dont' want to burst your bubble, but as I have tried to game on my 2011 MBP, it wasn't a good thing. I had traveled to South America for a 1 month trip, thinking all I would need was my MBP since it had all my work stuff. I could do without gaming for a month right? Well what sucked is that my month turned into 13 months... nice surprise right? I tried everything I could to get GW2, D3 and any games I might be interested in working, and while it kind of worked? It was just bad. I was stuck playing browser and flash games, it was horrible. 

    Never again will I travel with a mac that is very one dimensional. Very good at that one dimension for sure, but it was torture. 

    -Unconstitutional laws aren't laws.-

  • asrlohzasrlohz Member Posts: 645

    Despite what everyone says, Macs are fine. I mainly use mine for office work and such. Just know that Macbook Air (I believe) is nigh impossible to upgrade in the future. But a lot of games will run on it, but just not that well.


    TES:O will run on it when it's out, but don't expect amazing performance.


  • jdnewelljdnewell Member UncommonPosts: 2,237

    I would second the laptop that Quizzical linked. As is it just needs you to choose the OS option and you would be good to go.

    Small and lightweight and can easily game on just about anything with reasonable settings.

    On a Macbook Air expect to play browser games mostly and maybe a few older games at low settings. Not knocking it, it is great at what its for, games just are not it. Cant have the best of both worlds.

    The 13" laptop Quiz linked is a happy medium IMO and would serve well for work and games during downtime.

    Just my 2cp

    Edit: Having played TESO beta you might get it to boot up and render on a mac book air, anything beyond that would be a bonus. Playable with any amount of people on the screen I highly doubt it would be anything more than a slideshow.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375

    Air can play some games ok. Older games (WoW on low graphics, EQ, etc) run fine. You won't do 40-man raiding on max-max detail in anything though.

    The best way to do it is via Bootcamp - where it partitions your hard drive and installs a full copy of Windows.

  • Crusix221Crusix221 Member UncommonPosts: 100
    if its in the budget I have a 15-inch retinia macbook pro and love it; I also can play most modern day games (GW2 for example) on high with a steady 35-40 fps
  • EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6

    well, that is a wealth of knowledge!   Thank you all for replying :)

    I'm pretty budgeted in my laptop selection, its already on its way so if I decide to keep it then it looks like I won't be joining you all in some wicked world.   I currently play Parallel Kingdoms on my phone haha

    But if I manage to squeeze more out of budget I may opt for the macbook pro...but I am totally on board with those that say Macs are over priced and under powered.  I've lived that mantra for years, hence always had PC's.    Why the change?  eh, I don't really know.   I don't do anything that requires a nice rig, and I own a lot more apple devices these, apple tv, I guess for continuity, etc.

  • EntityZeroEntityZero Member Posts: 6

    Here are the specs of the Mac Air I'm getting:





      • 1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
      • 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
      • 256GB Flash Storage
      • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
      • Accessory Kit

      (has the Intel Graphics 5000 card)


      <ul text-alt"="">
    • iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand
    • Pages, Numbers, Keynote
    • OS X


  • udonudon Member UncommonPosts: 1,803

    The Air is a super light compact laptop with great battery life that trades performance for weight and space required.  I own one for the sole purposes of when I am flying as it will fit on the seat tray and when I'm working in Datacenters it's a very mobile remote console.  I really like it but over the last few years tablets have pretty much completely replaced it so it rarely get pulled out anymore.

    I also have a 17" MBP that I really like and is my main travel laptop. While if you dual boot to Windows (Not parallels or Fusion) it will run some MMO games ok it's not a game machine.  Of course even those expensive Alien Ware Laptops that weigh twice as much don't really compare to even a halfway decent desktop at half the price.  The tradeoff's made for battery life and heat control just don't equate to a good game machine with mobile chip sets regardless of the graphics card used.

    On the other hand Steam and Good Old Games both have a lot of Mac ports of games some of which run quite well even on Air's.  When I travel I tend to play Single Player Games anyways since most hotel Internet's are way over saturated in the evenings with people trying to watch NetFlix or download Porn to be really usable for MMO's. 

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925

    I love my macs and use them for my creative work.

    I've always felt I've had better "experience" with them BUT game performance. At least because most of the games I want don't come with mac versions. I used to just buy mac games to support the platform (a looooong time ago) but as most of the more interesting games seem to be PC I just adapted.

    I specifically have a pc for video games.

    Also, I'm thinking of buying a mac air because my mac laptop is a pain in the neck to lug around. It's one of those older white cased machines. I would never think of playing games on them unless I bought a higher end machine. Also I don't really think laptops are great gaming machines, at least from what I've seen.


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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    Originally posted by Crusix221
    if its in the budget I have a 15-inch retinia macbook pro and love it; I also can play most modern day games (GW2 for example) on high with a steady 35-40 fps

    That's a vastly more powerful machine than what the original poster is looking at.  Same architecture, but you can pack vastly more performance (e.g., three times as much) into a 57 W high power laptop chip than a 15 W ULV chip.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    Originally posted by EntityZero

    But if I manage to squeeze more out of budget I may opt for the macbook pro...but I am totally on board with those that say Macs are over priced and under powered.  I've lived that mantra for years, hence always had PC's.    Why the change?  eh, I don't really know.   I don't do anything that requires a nice rig, and I own a lot more apple devices these, apple tv, I guess for continuity, etc.

    Add $200 to get a MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display base model and you probably about double your performance.  That's a huge difference for gaming.  A lot of games will still be problematic just because most games use DirectX, which Mac OS X doesn't support (because it's proprietary to Microsoft), but a lot fewer will be problematic on the basis that you simply don't have enough performance.

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