15" rMBP with dGPU for gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by IntuitiveBanana, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. IntuitiveBanana macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    Hey all, first post after just browsing for many months waiting to purchase my first macbook!

    Just wondering, here in Australia the top of the line 15" rMBP is around $3000 with my student discount, it's a lot of money but after having my hp HDD die randomly this year and not being able to install the windows on the new HDD I purchased due to its not being a genuine hp factory built HDD, I have had enough and asked my mates at university who gave good reviews of their MacBooks.

    I will mostly use my macbook for uni work and the occasional photo and video rendering :) however, since new consoles are about to be released (xbox one and ps4) I see myself moving away from them and just playing battlefield 4 on the macbook, so my question is with the new dGPU, will it be able to handle such a graphics intensive game?

    A lot of people have mentioned a desktop for gaming etc, but I don't want to game that much, just bf4 and only occasionally. I know that I don't need such a powerful laptop for uni work, but I have chose that model to also future-proof me as well.

    Thanks guys!
  2. IntuitiveBanana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
  3. thaifood macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    It should be able to run it but do not expect ultra settings and 60 fps.

    If you do want the maximum gaming performance you should consider using Bootcamp.

    My opinion is to wait until Anandtech release their review. That will give you the most comprehensive technical review of the new laptops. They tend to include a gaming section in their review + benchmarks that will give you an idea of what to expect.
  4. IntuitiveBanana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    I'm not expecting incredible graphics or graphics on par with a desktop setup for gaming, I'm looking at a nice smooth gaming performance with respectable graphics :) I have seen the youtube channel "retina gaming" playing bf3 and if I could achieve that level of quality with the top of the line rmbp I will be happy! :) after all it's more the portability I require than the gaming experience :p.

    With bootcamp, do you recommend 64 bit or 32 bit and windows 8 or 7? If so why? :)

  5. safetravels macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2013
    64 bit of course, and I'd choose windows 7 because I hate the design of 8. But if you want longer legacy support from Microsoft go with 8.

    It should run battlefield at 1080p at perhaps medium to high settings with a decent frame rate, at least that's what I'm hoping. The 750m is a modest upgrade to the 650m which was already a reasonable laptop gaming gpu.
  6. yabot macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    exact same position as you my friend, i moved away from Xbox after the Xbone announcement was a flop in my eyes. Now i have a early 2013 version and run BF3 on it, IMO its much better than the 360 version i used to play, graphics and gameplay wise. i run it at 1650x1050 with a mix of medium/high and it runs it between 30-45fps.

    Bf4 lagged alot even on lowest settings, so i'd wait for it to be optimised before committing to it.
  7. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    its simple, you know the performance of the 650m? its exactly the same gpu
  8. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    Good thing reviewers don't do their job with that kind of thorough investigation or we'd all be still using GPUs from 1998.

    It's not the same GPU, you don't even seem to know there were different versions of the 650m and Apples was even overclocked afterwards. Great job. Wait for Anand's review if that's the best advice you can come up with.
  9. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    Apple's solutions are thermally-limited so I'm not sure we'll see big differences in performance between GT750M and GT650M. They're practically the same GPU so the performance per watt ought to be similar. I wouldn't expect big differences.

    I'm actually considering ordering a BTO mac with the same configuration and price as the high-end one (minus the GT750M) because when I boot to Windows, it'll use the Iris Pro graphics which will consume less battery power.
  10. raybies, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    raybies macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2013
    1.- HP don't make HDD. And if you couldn't install windows on a new HDD, it's cos you have no idea what you're doing.
    2.- xbox one and ps4 are in a different league to all Macs/bootcamp for gaming. So no the dGPU GT750M will not handle BF4 at playable fps even on minimum. The 7970 struggles at 1080p high, let alone ultra... mind you AMD haven't released optimized catalyst.
  11. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    That's nonsense. Go onto YouTube and search for retinagameshow.
    He clearly has no problem playing the BF4 beta on med-high settings on last years rMBP. Plus remember this is with immature drivers and a very badly optimised early version of the game!
  12. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    So, you pay $2599 just to get a subpar machine for gaming. Hmm.

    For $2000-ish you could have purchased those with GT 765M, wake up pls.
  13. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    Wow. Could you please point me to the GT 765M machine capable of booting OS X? ...
  14. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    Yeah! And for the other 600$ you could built a cart carrying that thing...
  15. exigentsky macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2007
    I don't think it would fare well over extended sessions due to power supply issues and because the 750M is underclocked. Detailed stress tests are needed for an answer.
  16. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    Nah, it's actually quite slim, he's talking about the Razr, but the thing obviously cannot run OS X and runs too hot and gets throttled heavily. But it's the go to laptop for PC guys bashing on the MBP lately.
  17. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    there are only 2 versions of the 650m, if apple is going to rebadge a 660m into a 650m its their problem

    case in point its the same damn card

    aside that the razor blade only throttles in your dreams, its the only one in the 11-14 gaming capable category that doesn't throttle
  18. IntuitiveBanana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    1. If you're hard drive is not a genuine hp "approved" hard drive, you will find yourself in a bad position. I know how to install windows, but the laptop refuses to cooperate. It does not recognise any of my recovery disks, and even another hard drive in a desktop PC I have access to, that I know is working as the pc is used daily, is not recognised. Doing research, many who have the same laptop I have found similar problems when trying to replace the hard drive.

    2. Obviously, they are designed purely for gaming. I'm not saying the macbook will be better, simply stating another reason why I want a macbook. Again, I'm not serious gaming... I'm a uni student who likes to unwind occasionally..

    Also, look on youtube at "retina gaming", they seem to play bf3 at reasonable fps at (from what I believe) good levels of graphics, again if I wanted a seamless and amazing gaming experience I would just buy a gaming PC/laptop.

    Portability and OS > gaming.


    You clearly didn't read what I wrote. The main use of this macbook is for uni where I will use it for video rendering, photography, etc with gaming only occasionally... It will NOT be a laptop purely for gaming that would be stupid.
  19. HurryKayne macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    So is it the same buying an old retina 650m ?
    Also,I was wondering .
    New Retina Haswell sports the new thunderbolt 2 which is as far i can read
    not even close a real pci express 8x-16 ,(consider i'm not a proof here so feel free to correct me),
    but with the entry MacBookPro starting at about 2000€ and with no discrete,
    having to pay +600 euros to have a 750m (sorry for the long period),
    do you find acceptable to spend that money on an MLogic external solution
    like this one http://www.mlogic.com/products/mlink-x
    which starts at 499$ able to load a 3/4 graphic Gpu card?
    I mean a 3/4 gtx 760 could do the "trick"?
    In this way i can program my expense step by step,
    first the MBPro,then the Malogic,then the Gpu card,even if hate that 750m policy which leads me to not accept that price for a discrete.
    I mean,which kind of performance would be able to achieve a solution like this?
    On par with a 750m?Lower?Higher by far or not?
    Thanks for your attention and your posts which are helping me choosing which machine to buy (an old 650m,a no discrete one or a new 750m..which frankly could burn an hole in my wallet).
    Consider also that i'm a casual gamer and i use my lap just to work while to game i do prefer consoles.
    Here's a thread about Mlogic http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1593386


    I agree.
    I'm quite disappointed as well.
    Also,if Air next year gains the Retina,maybe the 13"inches retina could gain a quad core,so now to spend over 2600€ for a 750m is quite a mistake.
    I said if retina goes on Air,because i don't think Apple will,nevertheless i could not spend 2600 or 2000 € for a Pro machine without a discrete or for that price and if 750m is a 650m rebranded well the refurbished sellings will literally fly this time.
    Not easy to take a decision this time,worths to wait?worths to buy an external thunderbolt enclosure (...) or worths a refurbished one?
  20. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    Don't use the recovery discs. Download the ISO that is the same edition of the Windows version you have and use the windows key from the label on the bottom of your laptop. I have done this with several HP laptops.
  21. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    I'm pretty sure NickPhamUK isn't being sarcastic.
  22. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    buy high end mac 15 inches with 2.6...
  23. Sym0 macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2013
    I was in the same position as you back in May, but I banked on Haswell being a lame update (and performance wise it is), so I bought the top model for 20% off in a DJs sale online using an additional online code welcome10.

    So glad I did now.
  24. raybies, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    raybies macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Seriously, don't go around repeating that... anyway out of curiosity what laptop?
    BTW: HP don't approve hdd or ssd... they mix and match ALL the time.

    Seriously... I know you're not a serious gamer, bcos if you were, you wouldn't dream of asking this question!
    Now seriously again, you'll be disappointed... unless your idea of unwinding is being fragged constantly.

    You could possibly get +30 frames at 720p low... but I wouldn't count on it in multiplayer.

    I aim for 40-60fps.

    A friend at work has a Samsung 880z5e which has an AMD 8870M, and he says it's unplayable... he had BF4 last Friday.
    The MBPr + (underclocked)750M can't match the Samsung in gaming.


    20% off... lucky bastard.
  25. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    That's a solution I am going to be testing in the future following the guides at tech inferno, but it'll be more of a project than trying to be serious about it. Gaming on a laptop is a subpar experience in any case, so the best solution is always to have a gaming rig. But I find it an exciting proof of concept thing which could deliver quite good results: talk is about 85 to 95% of the card's normal performance through TB2 - considering the mobile versions of cards can't reach anywhere near that (a 780MX probably cannot reach the performance of a desktop 580 GTX even today) makes it a wonderful idea.

    For the occasional boom boom and if you're not that much into gaming, the MBP is alright, even the Iris Pro one. Then there's the money and value, that part is very personal and it's a lot harder for someone with a tighter income to dive in for a MBP than something else, although in many cases it will pay for itself quickly (plus the resale value is great). Then again, I buy my Macs for work and then some gaming, for real gaming there's the PC and always desktop, no compromises there unlike with all laptops.

    Finally, as much as some are into saying the 750M offering is the same as the 650M, take that with a grain of salt especially with all the benchmarks out there that don't make it clear wether they're using the DDR5 or DDR3 version, plus the OEM's clocking, it's very clear they're not the same card. It's the same chip and a rebrand, that much is true, but the first most observable thing is it has 1 more GB of VRAM, and you don't need anyone to see if that's true or not, it's right there in the spec sheet. Other than that, minor changes like clock and increased bandwidth. Initial impressions are that the card is under clocked, however I would suggest waiting for Anand's thorough review which will let us know the ins and outs.

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