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MacBook Air for WoW: Core 2 Duo or Sandy Bridge?

post #1 of 5
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I understand that the to-be MacBook Air is to have SandyBridge processors with integrated graphics chips, as opposed to the current generation having Core 2 Duo with nVidia graphics.

I am looking to buy an air in the near future (although there is no rush, purely a question on what's best for me) and my needs will be the like of any typical college student - music, streaming shows online, work, and most importantly playing World of Warcraft.

Now, I know that the current generation MBA's perform shockingly well (due to the nVidia graphics, so I have gathered), so will the revision that includes integrat graphics be a worse off choice for me and my needs?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
iMac · iPad · iPhone 4 · MacBook Air (?)
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iMac · iPad · iPhone 4 · MacBook Air (?)
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post #2 of 5
I could be wrong, but I think WoW is a game that would benefit more from CPU speed than additional GPU speed especially in the anemic low voltage processors, and the HD3000 is pretty close to the 320M anyways.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrjoeyp View Post

I understand that the to-be MacBook Air is to have SandyBridge processors with integrated graphics chips, as opposed to the current generation having Core 2 Duo with nVidia graphics.

That is the current speculation. Of course there is always the possibility that Intel might produce a GPU less Sandy Bridge or that Apple could go the AMD route. However the most likely approach would be a Low Voltage Sandy Bridge.
Quote:

I am looking to buy an air in the near future (although there is no rush, purely a question on what's best for me) and my needs will be the like of any typical college student - music, streaming shows online, work, and most importantly playing World of Warcraft.

The current AIR could handle most of that work load. I'm not a big gamer so I can't comment upon WoW other than to say the GPU in the AIR is week respected.
Quote:

Now, I know that the current generation MBA's perform shockingly well (due to the nVidia graphics, so I have gathered), so will the revision that includes integrat graphics be a worse off choice for me and my needs?

Possibly! You see we can't say for sure until the Sandy Bridge based AIR ships. To lower the voltage and power Intel could run the GPU at a slower clock rate. Beyond that the GPU in SB does not support OpenCL and falls flat on it's face when attempting to deliver the same quality that NVidia can pump out.

How ever for many of your non gaming needs the GPU solution in SB should be better overall. Again though we won't know until the unit ships and gets benchmarked.
Quote:

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

No one can really help, for that you need to wait for the release machines. However I suspect that the CPU performance jump will be so great that the GPU performance won't matter for most users.

If you are a student getting ready for the start of the next school year I'd have to say you have another four months before you make a decision. It is clear where AIR is going but I'm very interested to see what happens to the MacBook. AIR might not even be the best choice for the next school year.
post #4 of 5
Since last expansion, WoW became more demanding on what graphics are concerned (water rendering, higher poly count on objects and characters, etc...) If Apple only goes with the Intel GPU on the processor I don't know if it will be good enough to handle the game, at least above medium detail settings.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganHunter View Post

Since last expansion, WoW became more demanding on what graphics are concerned (water rendering, higher poly count on objects and characters, etc...) If Apple only goes with the Intel GPU on the processor I don't know if it will be good enough to handle the game, at least above medium detail settings.

Especially if it comes in at a lower clock speed on the AIRs. Of course no one knows what Apple will actually have in the next AIRs, but I doubt it will excel at gaming.
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