How is playing games on the new MacBook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Ramius, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2008
    I didnt buy the MacBook to play games at all. But I couldn't help but notice that Call of Duty 4 is made for Mac, and so is Spore right?

    I was thinking of perhaps buying a game actually, but I need to know some things first.

    When you buy a game for Mac, is that game just as the PC-experience is? Do you have to tweak the settings in graphics etc til you get it just right, so the graphics looks good but also gives you a stable framerate?

    Or do they tailor the games a bit differently for Mac? Like, if you install it on the new MacBook, the game detects it and sets its own graphic settings, which the developer has specially configured for this MacBook model.

    If not, and you have to adjust the games yourself, how well do Macintosh-made games perform? Can you actually play them without getting a lag? Do they look as good as they do on their PC equalents?

    Anyone here who plays on their new MacBook aluminium and can share their experience?
  2. macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2008
    Allerød, Denmark
    When not feeling like sitting in a basement, I use my MacBook to play on. Currently the only game I have installed in OS X is WoW. Except for the screen size it runs okay. Not awesome, not bad, but definitely playable. When questing in Northrend it's usually about 30fps average (as far as I remember).
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    I play WoW, Spore, and Sims 2 (w/ Expansions) on my MacBook and it runs amazingly well with the graphics set to high!

    Spore seems to be the only one that struggles here and there.

    I'd be interested to know how Call of Duty 4 runs.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
  5. macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2008
    I played CS 1.6 (crossover) and yes getting around 70 fps :D
  6. macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2008
    Culver City, California
    Well, let's put it this way:

    If you want to see most of the games made in the last couple of years in decent quality, then you're not going to want to play it on a MacBook. The MacBook just doesn't have a good enough GPU to play games decently enough.

    Sure, you can turn everything down in WoW and pull off 30 fps, but good luck raiding lol. Also, really playing any sort of multiplayer FPS or RTS after Starcraft, WC3, or CS is going to be painful. Plan on getting a cooling pad to dissipate some of the ridiculous heat the MacBook is going to make.

    Having used a new gen MacBook, it plays stuff quite a bit better than the GMA x3100's, but really it's not going to give you the ability to play games with decent quality.

    Just don't set your expectations too high with the new Macbook as a gaming machine, which you can hardly call it. The GPU is still integrated, and the few games that are made for Mac don't typically run as well as their Window's counterparts, just due to the lack of hardware to back it up.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    I've found that my new 2.4 Aluminum MacBook is on par with my 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro with an x1600 256MB video card, which is pretty damn impressive for an integrated chip. I'm more than satisfied with it's performance, but yes, if you're a hardcore gamer, you'd still be much better off with the 9600m card that's in the new MacBook Pro.

    On my MacBook's 9400m, I run the OS X version of WoW beautifully on high settings, and it stays smooth even when there's a lot going on. Fallout 3 looks great runs at a steady 25-30fps on medium settings under XP. The OS X version of Call of Duty 4 also runs very smoothly for me at native resolution on mid to high settings.

    The MacBook not only keeps up with my older Pro model, but it runs cooler and I'm actually able to use it on my lap without it feeling too warm. If you can look past its other flaws (no firewire, and the screen), it's a wonderful machine.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    Im playing Call of Duty 5 (world at war) in windows on my macbook. Sure I gotta turn down a few settings to normal and so on, but it still looks good while keeping a decent framerate. This with using the included video drivers, could prolly get even better with using modified ones.
  9. macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2007
    Cupertino, California
    Spore, simcity4, WoW, Call of duty 4 play really well based of my experiences.
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2008
    Thanks, but as some of you should not, I'm asking about the games made for Mac, not games run in Windows.

    What resolution can you play Call of Duty 4 in on the new MacBook?
    And still, isnt it a bit wrong to say the GPU is integrated, when its infact a full valid graphics processor on par with other budget GFX cards out there.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    Hows cod 4 multiplayer? No one ever seems to give me an answer.

  12. macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    I play CoD 4, Spore, R6: Vegas, and CS:Source all with no lag at all and default settings
  13. macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    This apply to multiplayer as well right?

  14. macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2008
    Allerød, Denmark
    No I don't play WoW at maxed settings, it's about medium-high, but definitely not everything turned down. Surely is enough for me when I'm not at my desktop. You're right about one thing though, it is not a gaming laptop. That being said I don't mean that it can't be used for games at all, just probably not something you'd like using everything you're playing games.

    Btw, I will install CoD5 sometime soon and see how it runs.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    I use my MB as my only computer :) Works like a charm, then again I do not have time with games that often as I got too much to do irl.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    I've been playing UT3 on my aluminum MacBook. 2GHz model. Using XP in Boot Camp of course.

    Using the default/auto detect features I'm at 60 frames most of the time. Rarely dips below 40.

    Fallout 3 gets 30+ with the default auto settings.

    I didn't measure the frame-rate in Call of Duty: World at War, but it "looked" plenty smooth using the default settings (which was everything set to on and normal).

    GRID runs beautifully too as long as you tweak it to tone down some things.

    So to whoever said the MacBook is not capable of running modern games, you're very wrong.

    It can and (surprisingly) it does so very well as long as you keep your settings and resolution reasonable.
  17. macrumors regular


    May 31, 2008
    Cali baby!
    COD4 for the guy who asked:

    it runs DECENTLY, but you need to turn the resolution down a bit + turn down graphics. you'll get a very good 40ish FPS. definitely playable and enjoyable but compared to say, COD4 on a console, it is definitely not as pretty.

    i'd say COD4 is pushing the 9400M G to it's limit.
  18. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2008
    Source Engine runs great - I was a bit surprised when TF2 suggested high settings.
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2008
    What resolution can you play COD4 in? Anyone care to post a screenshot?
  20. macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2008
  21. macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2008
    Philomath, OR, USA
    My wife and I play Guild Wars on our Macbooks via Crossover Games...she has the new aluminum Macbook (I have the white one) and she's hitting 60fps+ consistently. Not sure how that relates to what you're wanting to play, but I hope it helps!
  22. macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    Too bad it is hard to get consistent reports about what game is really playable under what settings. I've been checking several forums and threads about gaming on the new MacBook, and overall it's a great improvement compared to the old one, but it's still hard to know if a game is really playable or not when buying a notebook with integrated graphics.

    Personally I am interested if Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 will run okay on this new MacBook. They are both isometric viewed games, not sure if that would ease up the requirements. I wish we could get indications from the game companies what hardware they are targeting. Would be great to hear a comment from Bliazzard saying: "Diablo 3 plays fine at lower settings right now on the new MacBook".
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    Dont games have minimum hardware requirements printed on the box? Just compare that
  24. macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Heh heh... excellent! :D
  25. macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    The Alu MacBook do not really use a integrated graphics card, it does not have dedicated memory, but it has a dedicated GPU.

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