13" rMBP (Haswell) and Gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nope7308, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I haven't been following the Haswell rumors, but I think it's safe to assume that the 13" rMBP will not be getting a dGPU. Assuming an iGPU is all but certain, which one is the likely candidate?

    I'm currently running a late-2008 Aluminum Macbook, and my biggest complaint has always been the damn GPU (9400M). That, and the lack of an HDMI port, but I digress...

    Something as simple as web-based flash gives this machine a workout. The fans fire up like a jet engine, and a modest decrease in performance can be felt. When I tried playing COD4 on medium settings back in 2009, the frame rate was crap (somewhat jittery), the fan noise nearly drowned out the game play, and the computer was so hot it felt like it was going to combust.

    So, my question:

    How will the Haswell 13" rMBP hold up to light gaming? Does the iGPU doom the 13" to sub-par performance as the technology/software advances? Between the iGPU and retina screen, I'm worried that I might be making the same mistake twice. Aside from the ****** graphics performance, this is the best computer I've owned and I'd happily use it for another 5 years if only it could do flash/gaming reasonably well (which it doesn't).

    I really dislike the 15" form factor, so that's not even an option. Frankly, I'm surprised it's so popular - I don't consider it portable at all. Is it really so unreasonable to put a decent GPU in the 13"? The difference in form factor is so large that I don't think it would cannibalize sales of the 15"... and if it does, that just means Apple hit the nail on the head. Isn't that what they ultimately want? To produce the best product to meet customer demand?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #2
    Simple, we wont know until we know the specs of the machine. So repost this in 3 months and we will be glad to help.

    But i felt the same way as you did about the 15" I hated the look and the speakers on the side seemed hideous! But I needed the dGPU for my gaming, so I went for it. Im actually really surprised on how light and portable the 15" is! Without hesitation I turned around and sold my 13". If the 13" had a dGPU, and became as thin as the 15", I would get that one again in a heartbeat. But personally, I was willing to sacrifice a few inches for significant performance. The dGPU and quad cores were well worth it for me.
     
  3. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    I find that most of the reputable rumors turn out to be true, so I see no reason why I'd have to wait until the official release. I'm sure there's only 1-3 iGPUs that would even make sense, so surely someone can help answer these questions.

    It's not the weight of the 15" that I find off putting, but it's the actual footprint. I find the keyboard is too spaced out, the screen a bit too big for a portable, and the case size is just too cumbersome when you're trotting about town. I initially purchased the 15" in 2008 for the additional power, but I had to return it because the form factor was just horrible (at least for my needs).
     
  4. Laco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #4
    I play the following games on my Macbook Pro 13 with intel hd 4000 all natively in OS X:

    XCOM Enemy Unknown
    Assassins Creed 2
    Assassins Creed Brotherhood
    Borderland 2
    Dirt 2
    Batman Arkham Asylum
    Star Wars the Force Unleashed

    Just to name a few. They all work well on mid to low settings. Since the graphics card will be updated you will certainly be able to play most games at least at mid settings.
     
  5. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #5
    Right, but until the release we wont know "How will the Haswell 13" rMBP hold up to light gaming." We can tell you how the Intel HD5000 might hold up to gaming. Search youtube for gaming on the 2013 macbook air. Odds are that it will be the same as that. But we cant really do much other than compare it to gaming on the air. Scavenge around those subforums, they have several topics on gaming.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1594690&highlight=macbook+air+gaming
     
  6. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Are any of those games taxing on the GPU? I'm not a huge gamer, so I'm not even sure what the recommended hardware would be. Basically, I don't want to play games on anything lower than a medium setting for the next 2 years.

    Honestly, the GPU is such a bottleneck for this machine. I mean, what's the use of a retina screen if you have to scale down the resolution, handicap the game settings, and all for what? To get average gameplay? It's like building a ferrari and then chipping the engine so it cuts out at 160km.
     
  7. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #7
    Well to be fair, macs arent exactly built for gaming :p
     
  8. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    Well, to be fair, if Apple claim's that Macs are "best of class" (with pricing to match), then they better do everything pretty damn well. I don't want to pay $2k for a computer that's mediocre at some things, and great at others. If that's what I wanted, I'd buy a damn PC. :p
     
  9. Laco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #9
    Yes, the games are very taxing on the GPU. And I play all of the games on medium to low settings. My point is that you will probably be able to play the majority of games but just not high settings.
     
  10. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    How's the fan noise and temperature of the computer? Any discernible difference compared to standard web browsing? Do you think extended play (and heat) would be detrimental to the life cycle of the machine? I know that heat kills batteries, which is another concern I have.
     
  11. tgi macrumors 65816

    tgi

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    #11
  12. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #12
    Its best for the greater population. If you want more from the machine, you are going to pay more for that model. Generally speaking, 13" gaming laptops arent really a popular choice amongst gamers, so it seems impractical to put gaming specs into one. Its always give and take though, they could probably make the 13" an awesome gaming computer. Im not sure of the size and shape of the internals, but odds are the something would have to go. Probably be a reduction in battery size, and lets not forget the dGPU would consume even more battery power than before. Apple is right for choosing a lower spec option with a larger battery life against a mighty powerful machine with laughable battery life.
     
  13. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    Well, yes. Isn't that why people visit these forums? To bitch and complain about what they want versus what's available? :D

    I think my frustration is shared by a lot of people. My opinion of Apple has decreased dramatically over the past few years, partly because they seem more occupied with upselling their customers than addressing actual customer needs. The new MBA is a perfect example. It's nearly the perfect notebook for college kids, but comes with an inferior screen that you obviously can't upgrade (time to switch to the MBP!). You have the 13" MBP, which has the perfect form factor/screen, but a completely underpowered GPU (time to switch to the 15" MBP!). And so on and so on. I just wish they would create a computer that fits its function perfectly - with no compromises.

    Thanks for the link - I'll check it out.

    ----------

    But that's just it - I have no problem paying more, provided it meets my needs. The problem is, Apple doesn't even give you the option. Why can't we have a dGPU as a BTO option? Surely it wouldn't cost them that much, and with the battery improvements that Haswell will bring, you would still get respectable battery life. If Apple really is about innovation and engineering, then they would find ways to make it work. Isn't that their whole mantra anyway? Doing the impossible and whatnot?

    I don't disagree that an iGPU is probably enough for most people, but I'm not a hardcore gamer by any stretch of the imagination, and even I experience the bottleneck of the iGPU. I also think of the GPU in future-proofing terms, so to speak. While I might not need a dGPU for today's games, having one would certainly extend the life of the machine given the more demanding games/applications that will follow in the future.
     
  14. bill-p macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #14
    The 15" rMBP may well lose dGPU comes Haswell...

    So the next lineup isn't looking so hot at all. (quite literally)
     
  15. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    Say what? Man, I am out of the loop...

    If they replace the existing 650M, would there be a performance boost at all? I would expect lower power consumption, and thus improved battery life, but I can't imagine a current iGPU actually competing with a dGPU under intensive tasks. Wouldn't this move essentially alienate all power users?

    Or have I been living under a rock?
     
  16. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #16
    The Intel Iris Pro I believe. It will be a bit less powerful than the 650M but improve battery life.
    Also, power users tend to go for bigger screens :p
     
  17. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #17
    When you're talking about a notebook smaller than 15 inches, there will always be compromises, be it in terms of internal hardware, screen, whatever.
     
  18. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    Wow... one step forward, two steps back.

    I'm actually in disbelief that they would do this. In effect, they are reducing the computing power to extend battery life, and yet still charging a premium as if that were some groundbreaking improvement. When you already have 7 hours of battery life, I wouldn't sacrifice power for more (but that's just me).

    If I wanted a 15", I'd wait for Haswell to be released and then scoop up the current model at a heavily reduced price.

    ----------

    And I bet that's what everyone said about CD Players before the introduction of the iPod. You can't change physics, but you can certainly change your approach to get the desired results.

    If Apple is going to start falling back on that kind of reasoning, then they're already finished as far as I'm concerned.
     
  19. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #19
    Hmmmm... Im not sure if thats true... People didnt really had expectations for smaller CD players. They were pretty small as they were. The iPod was just a surprise that shook the world. Its different with computers and arguing over what specs to put in it :p
     
  20. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #20
    Maybe I'm just old, but I distinctly remember toting around a "portable" cd player that would skip with every bump, thinking to myself: "Jesus, there's got to be something better than this. This isn't portable at all!"

    I don't much care for the specs of the machine, what I care about is a computer that has reliable graphics performance, where you don't have to scale down the native resolution, lower game settings, etc., simply to achieve satisfactory performance. I think the portable CD player is the perfect analogy. Sure, it worked at the time, but you always had to make silly compromises that affected your enjoyment of the music/playback. The same line of reasoning applies to notebooks.

    I don't care how they fix it, I just want them to fix it! lol
     
  21. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #21
    Oh I recall the skiping, but that has nothing to do with the size of the thing :p No but what you were saying is that, well they could make the concept of playing your music on a smaller device possible, why cant they fit all that I want into a 13" rMBP, otherwise you wouldnt have referred to the iPod. Im at that point where Im in disbelief of how much power is packed into the 15" with its size. The 17" Asus gaming laptop I had was thick, huge, heavy, and had no more than 2 hours of battery life at best. So we are arguing packing something into a smaller package vs creating something new to do the same thing as that package, to replace it essentially.

    Apple is a single company, and they will produce a selective set line of products. Like you said MBA is perfect for college students and light browser users, 13" is perfect for more professional users who do light music, video, and other kind of creations, the 15" is perfect for those high end professionals who require the maximum power to do what they need, sometimes thats not even enough and they go for the iMac line. Because you fall into the 15" line, but prefer the 13" youre in a bind. Apple will not accommodate, you must choose which you want to go with. That's why most people turn to PCs, they have a lot more choices in what they want.

    But to put this to rest, yes, the 13" haswell rMBP (assuming HD 5000) should be able to handle games on medium settings.
     
  22. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #22
    No, I still think the CD player is the perfect analogy. :p

    When I said CD players weren't a portable solution, I meant exactly that. They weren't portable, and they weren't a solution. I had a big rubber Sony thing that wouldn't fit anywhere, so I had to carry it. Combined with the skipping, it simply ruined the experience of listening to music. So it was a failure by all accounts! Whatever the solution was, it had to address not simply the technological roadblocks, but the conceptual ones too. That is, it needed to redefine what a portable music player was, and how the listener interacted with it. The iPod did just that, which is why it gained such widespread success.

    Compared to notebooks, we are still allowing technological roadblocks to constrain or determine what we believe these machines are capable of, and how we should be interacting with them. To use the MBA, for example, you have the correct form factor, excellent battery life, portability, etc., but there was a conscious decision not to include a premium display. In fact, the current display is of such poor quality that it's eclipsed by the display on the cMBP, which I presume will be retired shortly. If Apple genuinely cared about creating the best product, and not merely upselling to make additional profit, then they would clearly address this deficiency. Because it is just that - a deficiency. You can say that so and so doesn't need a quality display, that you have to compromise somewhere to achieve that degree of portability, etc., and to that I say bullocks. If Apple wanted to manufacturer a MBA with a better screen, not necessarily retina, they could have done so easily. They chose not to. And that's the problem I have with their current lineup. Rather than creating the best products possible, they're trying to create categories of users, telling people what they do and do not need. It makes sense from a business perspective, but they can't claim to be a company focused solely on innovation, creating the best products possible... because they're not. As a wise man once said, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining! If only Apple would get the message...

    And thus concludes my rant for the day.
     
  23. Aylan, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013

    Aylan macrumors regular

    Aylan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    The 13" rMBP will most likely come with the 28W TDP Haswells. These include the newest HD5100 graphics core (Iris). Consensus seems to be that these will be significantly more capable than HD4000. They have twice as many execution units, and are a few Mhz faster. I would reccomend looking at the MacBook Air gaming reviews and expecting a decent improvement from that (some people are saying around 10-20% increase in performance). This is due to the HD5100 being clocked 100Mhz higher, and having a higher TDP to play with.

    I am still holding hope that the 15" rMBP will have a dGPU but the overwhelming majority are expecting it to only come with Iris Pro HD5200 which is the same as HD5100 but with 128MB eDRAM cache to speed things up.

    I will say that HD5100 is more than enough for the 13" rMPB. It will be the perfect machine if you ask me.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6926/intel-iris-iris-pro-graphics-haswell-gt3gt3e-gets-a-brand

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7072/intel-hd-5000-vs-hd-4000-vs-hd-4400
     
  24. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #24
    Very helpful, thanks!
     
  25. Laco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #25
    My computer runs really hot when gaming and the fans are on really high as well. But laptops are designed to handle a great deal of heat. People obsess way too much about how hot laptops get and in 99% of these cases it is just normal operating temperature. If your computer is not turning itself off because of over heating I would not worry about it. My previous laptop was a white Macbook which ran extremely hot and after 6 years it still works great.
     

Share This Page