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(Tech Inferno)   If you have a PC, you can expand it, upgrade it, and turn it into a kick-ass gaming rig. To attempt that sort of thing with a MacBook Air, you'd have to be completely insane - like this guy   (forum.techinferno.com) divider line 37
    More: Unlikely, MacBook Air, adapters, Windows versions, osx, PCI Express, thunderbolt, GPUs, MacBook  
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4078 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Jul 2013 at 8:37 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



37 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-07-31 06:32:36 AM
I loathe Apple products simply because of the company - but I can't criticize this chap - surely going through all that agony will be the same for anyone with a laptop if you use those PC tower components.
 
2013-07-31 08:07:59 AM
Why?  Just buy a PC.  Some of these fanbois are totally over the top.
 
2013-07-31 08:41:36 AM

IronTom: Why?  Just buy a PC.  Some of these fanbois are totally over the top.


I tried Hackintosh (Snow Leopard on a dell PC) in a effort to develop for iOS, but why on God's green earth anyone would try to do the opposite?
 
2013-07-31 08:42:17 AM

IronTom: Why?  Just buy a PC.  Some of these fanbois are totally over the top.


Why not? People hacking together components has been a staple of computer enthusiasts. This guy (and many others, mind you) got excited about being able to use the native PCIe capabilities of Thunderbolt so they whipped together a solution. It's pretty damn cool.
 
2013-07-31 08:43:53 AM
If there was an easy way to swap out the DVD drive in a 27" iMac with a BluRay, I'd probably buy one.
 
2013-07-31 08:47:13 AM
Mac fanbois get laid, so playing video games on a computer is a foreign concept to them.
 
2013-07-31 08:48:40 AM

mayIFark: I tried Hackintosh (Snow Leopard on a dell PC) in a effort to develop for iOS, but why on God's green earth anyone would try to do the opposite?


Eh, the whole walled-garden thing makes it that much more of a challenge?  Got me.  I only mess around with stuff when somebody's paying me - OSX is for when they're not.
 
2013-07-31 08:56:29 AM

IronTom: Why?  Just buy a PC.  Some of these fanbois are totally over the top.


this, not only is it easier,  but a hell of a lot cheaper.
 
2013-07-31 08:56:48 AM
farm3.staticflickr.com

Did he install the DVD-ROM drive?
 
2013-07-31 08:56:54 AM

aintnuttintofarkwith: Mac fanbois get laid, so playing video games on a computer is a foreign concept to them.


It's not really getting laid if you're banging an iPad.
 
2013-07-31 08:57:04 AM
It isn't really insane given that it is mostly just constructing an external GPU box and getting it to play nice with a bootcamp install of Windows. It isn't like he had to try getting the Macbook Air apart to jury rig components internally or anything.

There are plenty of reasons why a Mac may be a better solution for you than a Windows machine. You may also want to do some decent gaming and not want a separate computer.
 
2013-07-31 09:05:21 AM

entropic_existence: You may also want to do some decent gaming


I'm sure I would get pretty tired of that stock puzzle game and WoW after a while.
 
2013-07-31 09:15:43 AM

Aarontology: aintnuttintofarkwith: Mac fanbois get laid, so playing video games on a computer is a foreign concept to them.

It's not really getting laid if you're banging an iPad.


C'mon, the iPad is basically a cocaine tray that plays Ja Rule Pandora.

The iPad gets. you. laid. Don't you get it?
 
2013-07-31 09:17:08 AM
Why not just buy a PC that comes with it.
No, you want the pretty lil mac book with the pretty icons and
the smell of Steve Jobs ass on your breath. And he's been dead
for a while, so Choose wisely.
 
2013-07-31 09:20:53 AM

TheEvilOne23: Why not just buy a PC that comes with it.
No, you want the pretty lil mac book with the pretty icons and
the smell of Steve Jobs ass on your breath. And he's been dead
for a while, so Choose wisely.


I'm just not understanding the criticism of this project. Is it because he did it on a Macbook air? Is that why people are acting pissy? Does it make it any easier to deal with knowing it can be done on any laptop (or desktop, for that matter) with a Thunderbolt port? Rather than having a gimped internal graphics adapter you can hook up a proper video card as a dock and play games at  higher FPS.
 
2013-07-31 09:20:57 AM

RoxtarRyan: entropic_existence: You may also want to do some decent gaming

I'm sure I would get pretty tired of that stock puzzle game and WoW after a while.


Pretty sure that's why he was also dual-booting.
 
2013-07-31 09:24:42 AM

TheEvilOne23: Why not just buy a PC that comes with it.
No, you want the pretty lil mac book with the pretty icons and
the smell of Steve Jobs ass on your breath. And he's been dead
for a while, so Choose wisely.


For the work I do a PC running Windows is probably the absolute worst option possible. My giant workstation running Linux does all my heavy lifting and computational work but my macbook lets me do my development work well (Unix environment) plus use decent office software compared to Linux for generating reports for clinicians and other scientists, working on manuscripts, etc. So my laptop travels with me, the workstation stays in the lab, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to put together a windows pc at home just for gaming.

Lots of reasons why people buy a macbook besides being fanboys or obsessed purely with the look. Although there is something to be said about a well constructed laptop with a nice design and a good operating system.
 
2013-07-31 09:28:45 AM
MacBook Air
$999
11.6" 1366 by 768 screen
i7 proc
4 GB ram
128 GB SSD HDD
Intel ntegrated graphics

Or
ASUS laptop
$999
15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen
i7 proc
8 GB ram
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
2 GB Nvidia graphics + Intel integrated

I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.
 
2013-07-31 09:32:33 AM
Didn't Sony already do this with the Vaio Z nearly 2 years ago.
 
2013-07-31 09:36:50 AM

IronTom: Why?  Just buy a PC.  Some of these fanbois are totally over the top.


maybe this is before your time young'n... but all I can say is:

C64 Hardware Expansions (for your viewing pleasure)
 
2013-07-31 09:37:55 AM

blue_2501: [farm3.staticflickr.com image 400x500]

Did he install the DVD-ROM drive?


actually, you are a bit out of date there... that has all been added to an SX64 and even more... :)
 
2013-07-31 09:56:00 AM

entropic_existence: TheEvilOne23: Why not just buy a PC that comes with it.
No, you want the pretty lil mac book with the pretty icons and
the smell of Steve Jobs ass on your breath. And he's been dead
for a while, so Choose wisely.

For the work I do a PC running Windows is probably the absolute worst option possible. My giant workstation running Linux does all my heavy lifting and computational work but my macbook lets me do my development work well (Unix environment) plus use decent office software compared to Linux for generating reports for clinicians and other scientists, working on manuscripts, etc. So my laptop travels with me, the workstation stays in the lab, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to put together a windows pc at home just for gaming.

Lots of reasons why people buy a macbook besides being fanboys or obsessed purely with the look. Although there is something to be said about a well constructed laptop with a nice design and a good operating system.


i have a windows pc at home as my workstation that i use for steam gaming sometimes and a tablet i use the rest of the time, most of my relatives/friends just use laptops and i have no qualm about recommending macbooks, i've seen too many PC laptops crap out because of hardware faults or breaks

fanboys are the worst generally speaking, i hope people don't ask them for recommendations because said people are probably always unhappy with what gets recommended
 
2013-07-31 10:07:45 AM

Glitchwerks: MacBook Air
$999
11.6" 1366 by 768 screen
i7 proc
4 GB ram
128 GB SSD HDD
Intel ntegrated graphics

Or
ASUS laptop
$999
15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen
i7 proc
8 GB ram
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
2 GB Nvidia graphics + Intel integrated

I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.


If what you wanted in the first place was a very small and light laptop, then that ASUS is completely unsuitable. Do you not see that?
 
2013-07-31 10:35:02 AM

thurstonxhowell: If what you wanted in the first place was a very small and light laptop, then that ASUS is completely unsuitable. Do you not see that?


I was considering gaming, which is what the article is about, but you can get a small 11.6" ultrabook PC for around $450 which has roughly equivalent specs as the MacBook Air and includes a touchscreen.

Like I said, I like Apple, but PC makers just give you more.
 
2013-07-31 10:35:58 AM

thurstonxhowell: If what you wanted in the first place was a very small and light laptop, then that ASUS is completely unsuitable. Do you not see that?


But he listed a bunch of numbers! You don't believe numbers would lie!

The MBA, in reality, has fine specs. They went to an internal PCIe bus which really speeds up the SSD, for example (the ASUS didn't even have one) and they were right there with Haswell designs practically on launch day. But it has what you would call an ordinary screen. Maybe next year it will go Retina as Apple calls it, probably 2560x1600, maybe even removing some bezel and go 12" on the smaller model.
 
2013-07-31 10:42:28 AM

thurstonxhowell: Glitchwerks: MacBook Air
$999
11.6" 1366 by 768 screen
i7 proc
4 GB ram
128 GB SSD HDD
Intel ntegrated graphics

Or
ASUS laptop
$999
15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen
i7 proc
8 GB ram
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
2 GB Nvidia graphics + Intel integrated

I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.

If what you wanted in the first place was a very small and light laptop, then that ASUS is completely unsuitable. Do you not see that?


There is absolutely NO defensible position on the pricing of Apple's product in terms of value, in any category. They make a good quality product that works within a nice walled garden, suitable for light to moderate use (not really gaming) and casual users.

You could get an ultrabook (small and light) with an SSD from a PC manu. for 1/2 to 2/3rds the cost of an equivalent Apple machine that would have 130% to 200% of the performance.

Apple makes good product, but it is priced at a premium based largely on branding.

/Do you not see that?
 
2013-07-31 10:56:51 AM

Glitchwerks: I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.


It depends on what your needs are. You're also comparing a relatively bulky 15" laptop to an 11" "ultrabook" and a large disk drive to solid state.

Plus, since I'm not a gamer, I'll take OSX over Windows any day thanks.
 
2013-07-31 11:01:20 AM

entropic_existence: It depends on what your needs are. You're also comparing a relatively bulky 15" laptop to an 11" "ultrabook" and a large disk drive to solid state.

Plus, since I'm not a gamer, I'll take OSX over Windows any day thanks.


Like I said, I was only considering gaming as a factor.  PC ultrabooks are still half the cost of an Apple product.  Like I said, I like Apple, but their prices are just kind of silly.
 
2013-07-31 11:15:04 AM
umm.. it's still a damned eleven inch display... and it's NOT a super-slim, ultra-portable device any more, it's a friggin ELEVEN-INCH SCREEN DESKTOP.

Waste of time and money.
 
2013-07-31 11:56:31 AM

Glitchwerks: Like I said, I was only considering gaming as a factor.  PC ultrabooks are still half the cost of an Apple product.  Like I said, I like Apple, but their prices are just kind of silly.


Looking through PC ultrabooks with similar specs in terms of size, RAM, and SSD size they all appear to be either slightly more expensive than the AIR or around the same price. Usually they do have processors with faster clock-speeds though. The "ultrabooks" that are half the price are nowhere near the same overall quality and usually have either now SSD or much smaller ones. While there is a price premium with Apple, and there are valid criticisms about the overall lack of upgradability and build options, the price differential when done fairly isn't nearly as large as people make it out to be.
 
2013-07-31 12:07:34 PM

RockofAges: You could get an ultrabook (small and light) with an SSD from a PC manu. for 1/2 to 2/3rds the cost of an equivalent Apple machine that would have 130% to 200% of the performance.


Funny, looking through the best buy website the majority of things in their "ultrabook" category are pretty similar in price to the Macbook Air base model or to the upgraded equivalent. Most of the ones that are significantly cheaper don't look much like ultrabooks (significantly larger and heavier), have HDDs instead of SSDs (which is the main reason they are cheaper and heavier), or have horrible reviews in terms of the overall build quality.

I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to hardware, OSX is a great choice for me in terms of my actual day to day needs but I also use a massive PC workstation running linux and I can see why many people would want to stick with windows, in which case there are plenty of options all over the price and performance spectrum, but the "Apple is twice as expensive!" schtick just doesn't seem to hold unless you really bias your comparisons.

I've owned lots of inexpensive laptops from different manufacturers. I just love when hinge lids and plastic casing start breaking and falling apart after a year or so of carrying it in my bag everyday to and from work.
 
2013-07-31 12:26:59 PM

Glitchwerks: MacBook Air
$999
11.6" 1366 by 768 screen
i7 proc
4 GB ram
128 GB SSD HDD
Intel ntegrated graphics

Or
ASUS laptop
$999
15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen
i7 proc
8 GB ram
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
2 GB Nvidia graphics + Intel integrated

I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.



I see where you're going, but you don't buy a MacBook Air for gaming.  After decades of exclusive PC use, I recently bought a 2013 13.3" Air.  I carry it around all day, so its tiny dimensions and 12 hour (!) battery life are amazing.

Also, calling its storage a "SSD HDD" is completely misleading.  It has a PCIe SSD, as opposed to SATA SSD, which is the fastest storage I've used on a personal computer.  The difference in storage speed alone will make the Mac feel faster in almost every task than your ASUS other than gaming.  I can also replace the battery in 10 minutes when it eventually dies.  With 12 hours of battery, I've never been left hanging otherwise.

The walled garden argument is also BS.  I work in enterprise storage and servers - nary a Mac to be found.  I have no issues administering equipment with my Air.  Everything is web based or Java these days.  On the rare occasion that I need an Ethernet connection, my $8 gigabit dongle connects me right up.

So, to your point, yes the Asus is better for gaming.  The Air is better for nearly everything else.

Oh, and one more thing:   Windows 8
 
2013-07-31 01:26:24 PM
My idiot boss -- who happens to be my cousin who is only 2 years older than me (32), but got left the family business by my grandmother, and pays herself 3x what she pays me, but that's a story for another time -- anyway, my idiot boss needed a new home office computer for Quickbooks and whatnot as her old one died. She bought one of the those humongous iMac monstrosities because she liked how it looked and apparently had somehow gone through (junior) college, yet never heard of the whole "Macs and PCs are different" thing. When she called me over to set it up, I laughed at her, explained that it was useless to us, and suggested she return it. She said she couldn't because she got it from some online clearance sale or whatever, and expected me to perform some magic and make it play nice with our business software, because it was expensive and she had to keep it.

Thank god for Bootcamp and one of the last available copies of Windows 7. I set up the iMac to boot straight to Windows, and I must admit, it makes a very aesthetically pleasing, and moderatly beefy PC. The wireless Apple keyboard and mouse are shiat (come on, "Delete" is "Backspace", WTF!?), but my boss is pleased and I came off looking even more brilliant, so I guess everything worked out.
 
2013-07-31 01:34:56 PM

animal900: The walled garden argument is also BS.  I work in enterprise storage and servers - nary a Mac to be found.  I have no issues administering equipment with my Air.  Everything is web based or Java these days.  On the rare occasion that I need an Ethernet connection, my $8 gigabit dongle connects me right up.


Yeah I forgot to comment on this in my original reply as well. Apple does run a walled garden with iOS, and they are trying to improve/implement/extend that model with Apple a bit as well with software distribution through their own app centre, but it's a Unix platform. Unless they change anything drastic in the next few years third-party software is still installable without any sort of issue (and easier most of the time than installling on Windows) and I can compile source-code and such for various software tools as well. And anyone who things Windows command-line environment even comes close to a Unix one needs their head examined.
 
2013-08-01 12:52:10 AM

Glitchwerks: MacBook Air
$999
11.6" 1366 by 768 screen
i7 proc
4 GB ram
128 GB SSD HDD
Intel ntegrated graphics

Or
ASUS laptop
$999
15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen
i7 proc
8 GB ram
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
2 GB Nvidia graphics + Intel integrated

I like Apple, don't get me wrong, but you just get more bang for the buck with PC.


1/10.
 
2013-08-01 01:59:57 PM
Why do you guys automatically go and a fanboy rant?  Can't you just appreciate what the guy did?  How many Windows laptops have Thunderbolt?

Found this, says it's a Lenovo Y500 w/ slot for an additional video card.  This makes more sense than dual graphics, why take up space/weight on your laptop if you don't use it all the time.  Anybody know more?

notebookspec.com

/Mac User on desktop
/Thinkpad latpop user
/link is hot
 
2013-08-01 04:05:58 PM

natgab: Anybody know more?


looks like they a swapped ODB, for a GPU.

From this article:

The right side of the notebook also features a removable drive called an Ultrabay. Users can easily swap out an optical drive for a second graphics card or an additional fan. Our review configuration featured another Nvidia GeForce GT 750M GPU with SLI support.
 
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