Diablo® III

Macbook Air 13" Mid 2012 Gameplay Experience

As for screen tearing I didn't have any until the latest patch but once I enabled verticle sync it went away. Also my ecu does get very hot so I purchased one of the non fan cooling pads. It helps a little but that's also why you have a warranty on the computer if it breaks take it in and get it replaced.
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You can try limiting your FPS and see if that helps. Even though you can't see it right now due to a bug, limiting Max Foreground to 20-30 will help. You can use no shadows or low shadows (regular) and turn off AA. This may help with gameplay.
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I cannot attest to the heat issue that you are having as my machine rests on a desk while I play. I also use a mouse to play.


You're doing it right! Playing on a desk will definitely help your MacBook Air from overheating.
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I imagine with a MUCH weaker cpu then the nvidia counterparts, and the fact the 4000 series is actually more integrated with the cpu, they probably run considerbly hotter then the dedicated graphics card models. Possibly unavoidable with the air, unless you use some excessive cooling measures like maybe a small fan blowing are away from the vents (not into the vents, but more like a T, where north end of I in the T is back of case where it vents, and the left or right side of top of T are the fan blowing air left or right away from case type deal, that could be really helpful. what i used t do with an older model MBP years back before i started using a mac pro
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I tested the temperature of the air (the actual atmosphere, not the machine) surrounding the bottom, back left of my laptop (which is the area that felt the warmest) and it averaged around 101 degrees Fahrenheit ( 38.33 Celsius). The temperature while not playing and only web browsing is 96.5 degrees Fahrenheit (36.94 Celsius). I have Applecare, so I am not too worried about the temperature. For comparison purposes, my MacBook air at 101 degrees is ice cold compared my old white bodied MacBook core 2 duo, and the white MacBook was only used for web browsing. I would literally need a blanket or piece of cardboard between the machine and my legs while it was on my lap. And for what it's worth, my white MacBook lasted 5 years, and the only reason for its disposal was liquid damage caused by a 7-11 big gulp.

EDIT: I have no scientific basis for what I am about to say regarding CPU temperature besides general knowledge.

But don't most, if not all, machines have a failsafe to power off when CPU temperatures exceed a certain threshold, assuming no over-clocking or BIOS tampering has taken place? I assume Apple products have a type of "limiter". so to speak, regarding CPU temperatures, which will not allow the CPU to reach temperatures that will compromise the hardware. Again, this is all speculation and is in no way a statement of fact. I only base this belief from years of building and working with computers, and never once having a hardware issue be a direct result of the CPU in a non-over-clocking setting. The only issues I have encountered regarding CPUs in general, was the system not turning on because the heatsink/fan/thermal paste was not properly installed/applied. The reason for the system not turning on being that the CPU was not below the temperature threshold to initiate a hardware-safe boot. Again, this is only my 2 cents.
Edited by Dwoskeezy#1419 on 6/26/2012 11:25 PM PDT
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06/25/2012 04:15 AMPosted by Wutzup
I currently have a new macbook air with 4gb of RAM as my 8gb one is in order. You can change those game settings. You can run the game at 1440x900, anti alliasing on with everything on high except shadows which is turned off and it is very playable. I would say at least 30fps as I have not noticed and stuttering.


Did your 8GB come in yet? Mine is still in the mail. :( Really wondering if the 8GB made a difference with that lil extra vram. Please LMK as I'm hoping either that or a patch will improve things. Im like 95% satisfied with D3 on this machine so I'm hoping for good news...
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I have the same MBA 13" as the OP, and can tell you mine gets hot as well. Using iStat, mine shows that the CPU temp will shoot up to around 210 F while playing. I have my MBA elevated on the back end with a book to allow about 1/2" space between the CPU and my desk for airflow. While it gets incredibly hot, I've simply started taking breaks every hour or so, hitting Command - M to put it into windows mode, and then minimizing the D3 window. Doing this will drop the CPU temp about 60 degrees in less than a minute. I let it hang out there for a few minutes, then jump back into playing.

Other than that, the new 13" MBA is a champ on D3. Default settings are 1200 x 800 widescreen resolution. Textures are on High, while Shadows default to Medium (more on this in a second). Physics are on High, with Clutter on Medium. Anti-Aliasing and Clutter are still on (unchecked) while sound is on Low (32kb). When Control - R (FPS gauge) was working, I was pushing between 25 and 50 fps (average was solid and over 30). As I got through the second act, I started getting hiccups during large battles that would drop the fps to <20. After this happened a few times, I simply turned the Shadows down to Low. Since then, i've burned through Normal, and am now 1/2 way through Nightmare, and the FPS has been silky smooth (while upping the sound to 64kb). Can't give you a more exact count on FPS, as the the function has been disabled/unavailable for a couple of weeks now.

I was skeptical the new MBA would be able to run D3. After 2 weeks, I can recommend it without hesitation.
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Unfortunately I can't report back yet as it is still in China. So far i am not impressed with apples order / delivery process since it was supposed to be here this past Wednesday.
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For best results, capping foreground fps to 32(ish), turning off shadows and AA should do the trick

The 8gb of ram aids the onboard graphics in a round about way, so does getting a better processor.

As much as I dislike apple, I will be getting a macbook air as well... I think
They're just so hard to hate in all honesty
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I have the 2012 MBA. Base model (4 gb ram).

The computer runs incredibly hot. With a temperature software, it reads anywhere from 90c to 99c (haven't seen 100c yet), and I imagine it will only get hotter as the computer gets more taxed/dust buildup.

That being said, i haven't noticed any decrease in performance due to the extremely high temperatures. the temperatures are hot to the point that laying skin over the specific area is literally uncomfortable, but the computer has yet to freeze/shut down.

I know nothing about stress testing, but based on my internet reading, it seems as if the MBA doesn't shut off, then everything should be fine, and that continually running the computer at such a high temperature, although not great for the machine, shouldn't drastically alter future performance.

OR SO I HOPE.
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85 Night Elf Warrior
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For those asking about VRAM on any Mac with integrated video (MBA 11/13, or MBP 13), listen up.

Integrated GPUs like the Intel HD4000 (and HD3000 before it) use system RAM, they don't have dedicated VRAM. What they do, however, is set aside some of the system RAM for their own use. On a Mac, the amount set aside is based on the total RAM you have. Thus, with the stock 4GB of RAM, you'll get 384MB set aside for VRAM. With 8G of RAM, you'll get 512MB set aside.

So by all means, if you're picking up a MacBook Air and plan to run Diablo or any other game, pick up the 8GB model. After all, you can't upgrade later - it's all soldered on.

To help cooling, look at picking up a stand of some sort that elevates your MacBook to improve airflow underneath. Something as simple as the Targus Podium CoolPad (formerly the Roadtools PodiumPad), the Griffin Technology Elevator, or Rain Design's mStand. But you're going to get some crazy fan action regardless.

One last pointer that I haven't seen in this thread - you can disable trilinear filtering, which will have a solid impact on performance. The option isn't in the UI, so you have to manually edit the D3Prefs.txt file:

  • Quit Diablo 3
  • From the OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G and enter the following path:
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/Diablo III/
  • Find and locate the “D3Prefs.txt” file, and open it in TextEdit
  • Hit Command+F and search for “DisableTrilinearFiltering”, change the setting from “0″ to “1″
  • Save the file and exit out of TextEdit
  • Relaunch Diablo 3, start a game, and hit Control+R to see the FPS difference


(via OSXDaily)
Edited by Sib#1678 on 7/2/2012 10:41 PM PDT
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One last pointer that I haven't seen in this thread - you can disable trilinear filtering, which will have a solid impact on performance. The option isn't in the UI, so you have to manually edit the D3Prefs.txt file:

  • Quit Diablo 3
  • From the OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G and enter the following path:
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/Diablo III/
  • Find and locate the “D3Prefs.txt” file, and open it in TextEdit
  • Hit Command+F and search for “DisableTrilinearFiltering”, change the setting from “0″ to “1″
  • Save the file and exit out of TextEdit
  • Relaunch Diablo 3, start a game, and hit Control+R to see the FPS difference


(via OSXDaily)


What type of negative impact does this have on the graphics, physics, etc.? I would test this out myself, but with the current bug preventing the FPS to be shown I don't think it is worth it.
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First of all, thank you all for your comments under this threat. based on your comments, I bought a Mac Air 13' with 4GB. I thought my experience would help some people out there as yours helped me a lot.

With this entry level Mac Air, I am able to play Diablo 3 with the default settings with shadow is on, texture detail is on high and AA is closed. Sometimes there are delays but it does not bother me at all.

Heat is the biggest problem but it is not as bad as I thought. It is really hot but not at a level where you feel like you need to get a break. I played 9 hours Diablo 3 and took 2 breaks only for about half an hour.

I will keep playing and if it starts to bother me I will just lower the settings a little bit and turn off shadow. I am sure it will be fine.

To sum it up, if you are unsure to get an entry level Mac Air 13" to play Diablo, I recommend you to go for it. In the worst case scenario, you can return it in 14 days which I am sure you wont need to.
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I recieved my 8gb air and I can honestly say I see no difference what soever in performance. Though I am in hell difficulty now and the fps took a hit for some reason and this is when there arnt any enemies around either just standing in town. So I don't know if the fps drop is due to the latest patch or not but figured I would let you guys know.
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Posts: 42
I also got my 8GB today. I didnt notice any improvement with the extra little bit of vRAM that comes with the 8GB models. What did offer significant improvement however was editing the D3PREFER.TXT file. When I did that on the 4GB model it was night and day. Im returning my 4GB tomorrow for other reasons, but as far as D3 is concerned the base model is great. Maybe down the line some patches will make it even better.

Here is the link to edit the D3PREFER.TXT file.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5978351198
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Limit your foreground fps to reduce heat, it's right there in your game opions. I play on a 2011 MacBook Pro with 1GB 6750 graphics, everything set to high quality at 1440*900. I noticed it getting very hot and the fans running on max, so I limited the fps to 30 - which looks identical to me. Now the fans are pretty quiet and the heat is way down, battery life is way up. Love it!
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man, dropping the max fps to 30 really did make a HUGE difference in heat. W O W. also w/ the trilinear filtering off I can now play at full resolution on my external monitor (1920x1080) w/ everything on low (still looks good though, with the higher res) at a near stable 30fps.

T H A N K Y O U for this thread.
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