Macbook Pro 15" Gaming performance?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Gata, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    I was planning to get a Macbook Pro (i7 + 8 gb of RAM w/ 512 mb of VRAM and 1680x1050 AG and 7200rpm HD), and I was just wondering how well it would run games.

    Mainly wondering how well it would run videogames in general.

    In particular, these are the games I would be running:

    -Transformers: War For Cybertron

    -Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

    -Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

    -Maybe TFU USE (for Mac) or TFU 2 through bootcamp (assuming it's windows-only).

    I was basically wondering how well it would run these.

    And also, I was wondering if it would be better if I were to get games through steam if I could (in this case, all except Revenge of the Fallen), or get a windows CD and bootcamp them.

    If I were to bootcamp, I would do so with my Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

    I currently don't have steam, but plan on eventually getting it. It looks good.

    I'm not a hardcore gamer, but any graphics settings that will make the game look a good deal better than the Wii's Graphics (aside from games developed by Nintendo) are good enough.
  2. macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2010

    I've never heard of any of those games. I hear bootcamp is annoying, but I don't use it. I tried, but never could get it set up. If you can get them installed since their windows games, I think that they'll preform just fine though. It'll run good with your 8 cores.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    I'm going to be running these on a 15" i7 dual-core hyperthreaded Macbook Pro with 8 GB of DDR3 Memory.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    There is nothing annoying about bootcamp. Just open the bootcamp installer and follow the few simple instrcuctions.

    The i7 Macbook Pros are running most games on the market at high settings. You may have to drop some down to medium here and there but youll typcailly player at the higher end.

    Your only concern should be the high resolution screen. The higher the resolution, the more your GPU has to work to support it, and the 330m isnt THAT strong, so you will be losing some FPS. It may not be too noticeable in some games, but may be in others.
  5. macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Bootcamp is one of the easiest Windows installations I have ever done :p And the only annoying thing about it is that you'll have to reboot to use it, and then of course you can't use your mac apps any more until you reboot again ^^

    And you'll be able to run those games, I have a 4GB 2,8GHZ Core 2 Duo with the 9600 gpu and I can run these games, so you'll be able to run them very nicely ;)
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    From what I've seen, these games don't take too much of a performance hit when you jack up the resolution a little bit(i.e. from 1400x900 to 1680x1050).

    Besides, I'm going to be overclocking the 330M in bootcamp.


    Would there be a big difference (performance-wise, graphics-wise, etc.) of getting them through Steam?

    Or should I get Windows CDs for all of them (except TFU)?
  7. macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2010
    I don't think there is any performance difference. So if you already have the games then just use those copies. If not just see what you like more, if you want the box of the game just buy it, otherwise steam is very useful (very easy for updates and stuff ^^).
  8. macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    A nice thing about Steam is that it automatically takes care of game updates for you, so you might get more stable performance unless you are a dedicated person willing to keep up with the latest game updates and install them on your own.
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    I plan on eventually getting these games (through Steam or via CD).

    Does Steam still have that offer going on where if you have downloaded windows games and you switch to a mac, you can re-download all of your games for free?

    In that case, I would probably like to go with Steam.

    And also, how would Steam work? Would I pay for the games and just download them and natively install them on my computer? Or would the game be running within the Steam app?
  10. macrumors G3


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    It should run them very well. I know because my older MBP runs everything I've thrown at it. Most demanding was probably Crisis and although my hardware only produces mid 20s fps tops, that seems to be the going rate for my generation hardware for Mac and PC. I think you'll be pleased.
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    Reaching a Decision

    Going for the MBP.

    Almost there.

    The only quirk I have about the mac is that I have to reboot in order to get good performance every time I want to play a game.

    Play games once-twice a day.

    So, thoughts?

    Also, none of the games that I'm looking at are available for Mac on Steam.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Not anymore. The new MacBook Pro's use an Apple version of Optimus. The discrete GPU is auto switching or you can set it to always on under 'energy saver' settings.

    I got a 17" i7 at launch and was pretty disappointed with the graphics performance. I suppose it didn't help that it was running at native res.

    I really hope these new drivers that are coming out will fix that.

    If I could go back, I'd get the 15", much easier to carry around I think :p

    As for Steam, it's great. Each app opens it's own instance but is managed via Steam. You can even add non-Steam games to the games library (it's simply a shortcut) but you still get the Steam overlay (handy for IM'ing people on your Steam friends list).

    Any game that's available through Steam you can just purchase and download straight away and it also stores your save games and achievements on their servers even if you log in via Windows, you can continue where you left off.

    I have played around with Boot Camp and installed W7 64 and it runs well but since I rarely have the need for Windows, I removed the partition to get some space back. Boot Camp is very easy to use though. It comes with drivers for Windows to support the Apple keys for Brightness, Volume, Keyboard backlight etc.
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    As far as the performance issue was concerned, I was talking about virtual machines vs bootcamp.

    None of the games that I will be buying ('cept Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition) have OSX versions, meaning that my only alternatives were to virtual machine it or bootcamp.

    There aren't Mac versions for them on Steam, either.

    So basically, it comes down to this:

    Is it worth rebooting for every time I want to game in return for the OSX/Mac experience?
  14. macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    My guess is that some of those games are too new to run well in a virtual machine. I believe War for Cybertron came out just a few months ago. Virtual machines work better for games at least a few years old, and only if they are DirectX 9 or lower. I don't believe any of the VMs available have support for DirectX 10 or 11.
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    Right, so the genera l conclusion that I'm getting from the replies is that, for my needs, the Macbook Pro will do pretty well, though by no means as well as an Alienware machine would.

    Are there any drivers that one would recommend over another while maintaining overclocking ability?
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    Would it be better if i were to play at a lower resolution but jack up the settings or if I played at native resolution with lower settings?

    When I say lower I'm thinking 1280x800 with medium-high settings. Maybe 1400x900.

    And also, are there any big differences in performance as far as drivers go, or are they all the same?

    Assuming that both of the cards have 512 mb of GDDR3 VRAM,

    How much of a performance hit would it be going from a 1400x900 15" to a 1920x1200 17", in terms of frame rates?

    How much from 1680x1050 to 1920x1200?
  17. macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    Lower res with settings up works best for me.

    Oh and trust me, it's worth using Bootcamp if your going to game on a mac, just install rEfit in OSX which gives you a menu when you boot up so you can choose your OS (saves you having to remember to hold down alt).

    Even with Steam for mac, you get almost no choice and the performace is middle of the road, and VMware will get crap fps.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2002
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    I'm not sure about for the 330M, but for my 8600M, I used the latest Desktop Nvidia drivers and the modded INF from here so that I can overclock.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    I have a two year old MBP. It runs games surprisingly well. Usually at medium settings but that's not a big deal to me. SCII is a problem though, that one is on the lowest settings possible but I get 30 fps which is all I care about. I try to run at native res first but usually end up just cranking down the screen res to help my performance.

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