Friend wants to buy a Macbook Pro for gaming as well as school = bad choice?

Discussion in 'Games' started by WillMak, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    My friend wants to buy a MBP for school and also to act as a gaming machine now that he can install bootcamp or use crossover. However, I have strongly advised him against this because It would be cheaper to just buy a macbook (he only needs the extra power for games) and buy a cheap PC tower to play games seperately. He already has an external LCD and peripherals so he can slap together a gaming rig for 600 dollars. So it would be a cheaper to buy the two systems I think. I dunno we could use some opinions.
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I completely agree with your assessment, especially since the battery life on an MBP whilst gaming is, at best, pathetic, so he'd need to be near an outlet anyway.

    The MBP running Windows is a decent gaming setup, but the $600 custom PC would be faster... and the Mac could be used at the same time to do other things.
  3. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    Yeah, this one is tough and is exactly what I am going through as well. I currently have an iBook but I do stuff for school (and light gaming) that requires a more powerful computer so I have a fairly cheap PC at home. I'm going to buy a MBP hopefully in the next week.

    I'm mostly just tired of having two separate systems. It gets to be a pain maintaining two physical computers and I'm finding myself wanting a powerful computer to be able to take everywhere and not leave on my desk at home. I think it really depends on how mobile he is, and how creative he wants to be looking for power outlets :)
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I'd say it depends. The $600 PC will probably be more powerful, but not by leagues, and with the MacBook pro he will have a portable gaming station that he can easily bring with him to friends or on boring vacations with the family and stuff like that. He will also have one less thing to drag along with him if he will be moving a lot in coming years.
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I can really see both sides of the argument. For personal use, I exclusively use a laptop. It's years old with IIG, so it more-or-less sucks for gaming (aside from the original UT and CS). A MBP would be a pretty good machine for gaming, though, not as good as a dedicated PC, but still good. What kind of games does your friend play. If he always has to play the latest games on his PC, then a dedicated system might be a better option. But if he's into current gen games (UT 2004, BF2, WoW) then a MBP would probably be fine.

    Maintaining 2 systems is definitely a pain, as is keeping files synced. Documents, etc might not be a problem, but music and movies aren't always fun to sync, and I know we listened to music and watched movies at LAN parties.
  6. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    I would recommend the laptop, because it's all in one unit, and thus saves on desk clutter. Also, while it's battery may not be outstanding while gaming (from what I remember, it's actually quite good...), you can take it with you from point to point - summat you can't do with a tower
  7. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004

    Depends what he's playing.

    I feel these days that most gamers have become graphics snobs. If I just want to play the game at a playable framerate, I'm usually willing to turn down the settings. That's why my gaming PC still has an overclocked Geforce FX 5200. Yet every "gamer" laughs at me if I mention the card (yes, it doesn't even compare to newer cards, but you know what? It plays every game I have at 30 FPS minimum, without looking like total crap).

    If he's willing to turn down settings, it'll work. My MacBook runs City of Heroes at 1280x768 and Jedi Academy almost maxed out. It should run WoW too, but I don't have that. And Half-Life 2 should run at lower settings.

    If he wants serious gaming performance though, he needs a desktop or a Macbook Pro.

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