2016 12" Retina Macbook M7 game list

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Ovedius, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Ovedius, Sep 24, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016

    Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    Okay, I'm about to list a bunch of games and my subjective perception of how well they run on the MacBook.
    -I'm not going to list actual frames per second because a: I can't be bothered and b:shut up.
    I'm going to add a few words for each title regarding what settings I used, resolution and how they ran.
    Details will be sparse, because the list is long and I'm writing mostly from memory.
    I've tried to colour code the games for your convenience.

    The key to maintaining stable fps both under MacOS and Bootcamp for me has been preventing throttling due to heat. And to do this I've had to disable Turbo Boost.
    In Windows this is simple, just go into advanced power settings and set the maximum CPU performance to 99%. -also make sure that minimum isn't set to 100%.
    Under MacOS you need some software, I use Turbo Boost Switcher.

    This is for the M7 MacBook.


    First, under MacOS:

    Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs -poor
    Low to medium settings, 1440x900.
    Not playable in my opinion, unless you have a supernatural ability ti suffer through low fps.

    Baldur's Gate I and II Enhanced Edition -great
    1440x900
    Runs smooth

    The Banner Saga -great
    1440x900
    Very playable

    Civilization V -great
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Very playable, some slowdown late game and zoomed out but it hardly matters.

    Divinity Original Sin -okay
    Low to medium settings, 1440X900.
    Just playable, runs well outside of towns and as long as there aren't a lot of characters on screen.

    Empire Total War -poor
    Low to medium settings, 1440x900
    Just playable, quite a lot of stuttering.

    Homeworld Remastered (App Store version) -okay/great
    Medium/Low settings, 1440x900
    Runs quite well. Some stuttering with many ships and effects on screen.
    Sensor mode (strategic veiw) runs perfectly smooth.
    The old ones run great.

    Invisible Inc -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth.

    Legend of Grimrock 2 -okay
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Playable, some stuttering.

    Pillars of Eternity -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Not playable, too much stuttering when spells start flying and there are plenty character on screen for my tastes.
    EDIT:
    dnh44 says okay.
    Either way, you should PLAY THIS GAME.

    Satelite Reign -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Not playable

    Shadowrun (Returns, Dragonfall, Hong Kong) -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Very playable, mostly smooth.

    Sim City 4 -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs well, mostly smooth.

    SOMA -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Haha, no, not playable

    Starcraft 2 -great
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Very playable, mostly smooth.

    Star Wars Jedi Knight II -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs perfectly smooth

    Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs perfectly smooth

    Star Wars Knight og the Old Republic 2 (Restored content mod) -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Very playable

    Steamworld Heist -great
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, smoot.
    -PLAY THIS GAME!

    Stellaris -okay
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Playable in the early game, fps skydives when there are lots of ships or empires (on the galactic map) on screen. Bearable late game.

    Sunless Sea -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    Wasteland 2 Director's Cut -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Not playable

    The Witcher -okay
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Playable, runs well, recommend playing in isometric mode to keep fps up.

    Xenonauts -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    XCOM Enemy Unkonw/Within -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Barely playable.





    Bootcamp:

    Bioshock -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    Crysis -okay
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Runs okay, low fps in heavy action.

    Dead Rising -great
    Low settings, 1280x800
    Runs very well, mostly smooth, slowdown when zombies fill the screen.
    -annoyingly, Dead Rising 2 crashes at launch and no fixes available online help.

    Dead Space -great
    High settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    Dead Space 2 -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    Dead Space 3 -poor
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Not really playable, too much stuttering
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Okay, still too much stuttering and slowdown for my tastes.

    Deus Ex Human Revolution -great
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs quite well, some stuttering in city hubs but otherwise very playable.

    Dishonored -great
    Medium to hight settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth (God I love this game!)

    Dragon Age Origins Awakening (word salad!) -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, some stuttering in heavy action.

    Empire Total War -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, mostly smooth.

    Fable Anniversary -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Not playable, fps too low.

    Fallout New Vegas (with some mods) -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs mostly nice and smooth, occasional stuttering

    Homeworld Deserts of Kharak -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Very low fps, not really playable.

    Mass Effect 2 -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth

    Mass Effect 3 -great
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs nice and smooth, with occasional stuttering

    Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes/V -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Barely playable, but occasional heavy slowdown.

    Pillars of Eternity -okay
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Playable, runs quite well with stuttering in populated areas and heavy action.

    Resident Evil 4 -great
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, mostly smooth.

    Risen -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Not very playable.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series -great
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Very playable. Tried Stalker Complete mod; not playable.

    Skyrim (with a couple mods) -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Very playable, mostly smooth.

    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory -great
    Medium-high settings, 1440x900
    Runs fine, mostly smooth.

    Supreme Commander Forged Alliance -okay
    Medium settings, 1440x900
    Performance is very good early game, slows down once the unit count goes up.
    Has a nasty habit of crashing for me.

    System Shock (remastered beta) -poor
    Low settings (there aren't really any settings to speak of in the beta), 1440x900
    Poor performance, not playable.

    Total War Shogun 2 -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Poor performance, not really playable in my opinion.

    Valkyrie Chronicles -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, mostly smooth.

    Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 (+ Chaos Rising, Retribution) -great
    Medium to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs very well, mostly smooth with slowdown in heavy action.

    Warhammer 40k Space Marine -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Poor performance, not playable.

    Wasteland 2 Director's Cut -poor
    Low settings, 1440x900
    Poor performance, not playable.

    XCOM Enemy Unknown/Within -great
    Low to high settings, 1440x900
    Runs well, very playable.





    Finally I'm going to include some words to make this show up when people google Intel HD 515 inch gaming performance 12 inch MacBook ;)

    Edit: remembered Dead Space 3, Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Academy, altered Homeworld.
     
  2. Chub macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #2
    Nice write up, I have the exact same machine. Strangely I couldn't get Turbo Boost Switcher to work I don't know whether that has something to do with Sierra? It's interesting to see the performance difference in some of the games between Bootcamp and macOS.

    I've played both Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty 4 on OS X, and both ran pretty well. I can't remember the exact resolutions and settings I played at, but definitely playable.
     
  3. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #3
    Thank you, figured it might be of interest to some people out there.

    Sorry to hear about Turbo Boost Swithcer.
    It can be a bit finicky and sometime takes about 5 seconds to activate, but luckily for me it works.
    -both under El Cap and Sierra so far.
    I did shell out for the Pro version though, don't know if that matters.
     
  4. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #4
    I only have three games: COD4, AOEII, & CIV5. I've since got rid of my rMB, but all three games made my m3 a sizzling hot skillet. I never felt comfortable putting that much heat stress to the components with no active cooling. Just my $0.02. Anyone else feel this way?
     
  5. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #5
    Hence the disabling of Turbo Boost.
    Prevents the CPU from superheating.

    -which is not a problem, if it gets too hot it shuts down there is no danger.
     
  6. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #6
    This is odd, since COD 4 runs well on my m3 and doesn't make it super hot.
     
  7. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #7
    Ah. So does disabling Turbo Boost make the CPU run at it's base clock? If so, wouldn't that make the games almost impossible to play?
    I was running in OS X. Are using Bootcamp?
     
  8. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #8
    Ran it in OS X, 10.11.6. Let me try running it again; I do remember the m3 getting warm, but not terribly hot to the point where I couldn't touch it.
     
  9. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    Exactly, base clock.
    Actually, surprisingly, no.
    Not older titles anyway.
     
  10. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #10
    Hmm maybe my CPU was doing something funky. It was hot, not warm though. Glad yours is working well. Oh well, I got rid of it anyways, couldn't deal with the keyboard.
    Interesting. So you must have to drop the settings very low on everything? I remember even playing Civ5 on low and it would be hot. Maybe my definition of hot is different. If I put my hand up to it, it was not comfortable.
     
  11. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #11
    If you read the first post again, you can see what ballpark the settings for each game are in.

    TLDNR: no.
     
  12. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #12
    Weird. For my m3, on COD4, I had res down to 800x600, and all settings to low or off and it'd still be very hot. Maybe that's the difference between our perspectives; I am not ok with high heat on my MacBooks which equals not being able to play the game without worrying about stressing the components over a long period of time. Same reason I don't buy used or refurb because I'm not guaranteed the person who owned it before me treated it the same way I would. I don't like pushing the limits on anything I own. I prefer to baby them and see how long I can get them to last. Different approaches I guess.
     
  13. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #13
    I can understand that you want to treat your machine well. It's admirable.
    These things are built to handle it, though, so I wouldn't worry.
    Especially on these passively cooled MacBooks, they get hot.

    Let me tell you about my old MacBook Air.
    I had that thing for four years, four years of suffering.
    -I imagine it would say, if it could speak, or if you typed "say four years of suffering" into Terminal, but I digress.
    Even though it had a fan, a loud whiny POS fan, it got hot as a skillet.
    I'm convinced you could fry an egg on it.
    And yet after four years of getting superheated every damned day, it still worked just as well when I sold it as the day I bought it.

    I'm just saying it really is isn't detrimental to it's health. If it gets too hot it shuts down and before that it throttles itself to stay safe.
    But I can't fault you for taking good care of your stuff :)
     
  14. christ0pher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    #14
    Wow, I no longer game but I'm surprised this machine is able to handle some of those games comfortably. Good to know if I'm ever bored and want to play something on my MacBook.
     
  15. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    It is surprisingly capable :)
     
  16. dnh44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    #16
    I also have the same MB, and I must disagree with you regarding Pillars of Eternity, it runs great. I have it running at 1080p on an external monitor on low with max frame rate set to 30, and it runs really nicely; more than playable actually enjoyable.
     
  17. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    Well as I said, these are how I feel the games run :)
    And if you're comfortable with how it runs, thats great.
    -it is after all a spectacularly engrossing game.

    Problem is that I've already played that game on a more capable machine and the slower performance on the MacBook irked me just a little too much.
    Spell effects and lot's of characters brings with it too much stuttering for my tastes.

    Tell you what, I'll edit Pillars of Eternity on the list a little, to include your experience with it.
     
  18. dnh44, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016

    dnh44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    #18
    I must admit that while the MacBook is the second machine I've played it on, neither machine is what I would describe as terribly capable so I've never experienced it in its full glory.

    I would agree in describing Satellite Reign as totally unplayable for example, I just thought there was a vast difference between that and PoE.
     
  19. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #19
    Did you mean Pillars under macOS or Bootcamp?
     
  20. dnh44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    #20
    macOS
     
  21. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #21
    What would the difference be between an M5 and an M7?
     
  22. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
  23. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #23
    Great thread!

    So I have an m7 as well and all Blizzard games on macOS work fine (30 fps) in either medium to low resolution and depending on the game switching from 1440x900 to the lowest available.

    I find it amusing that you are actually disabling turbo boost which is the "only" way you can achieve higher processing power. I mean wouldn't it better to have turbo boost enable and a laptop fan cooler?

    Regarding SOMA: I have been able to play it on my old 2010 MBA with everything set to low. Granted I was probably getting less than 30 fps with some stutteringa but it was playable. Try tweaking the setting and lowering the resolution, it might help.

    The retina MacBook does not have a fan so often times is the heat that it's throttling your CPU performance so a good laptop cooler can help you have steady fps.
     
  24. Ovedius thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #24
    A laptop cooler would be a huge boon, definitely. -And I have considered it.
    But you see, and I'm now going to reveal how much of a curmudgeon I am, I loathe fan noise.
    I loathe it.
    The main draw of the Macbook for me is that it is juuust powerful enough without needing active cooling.

    So I disable Turbo Boost, because it is impossible to maintain peak output over time.
    This is the only way, on my machine at least, to ensure stable performance.
    I find the dips in performance due to throttling far worse than the "gimped" performance without Turbo Boost.
    And older games are not so dependant on the CPU, I find, also the m7 is a pretty efficient little trooper even without Boost.

    About SOMA, I did lower the settings as far as I could.
    But (curmudgeon alert!) I refuse to go below 1280x800 in resolution and I demand a certain minimum of graphical fidelity.
    Everyone has different tastes and opinions on what looks and plays "good enough", personally I just don't bother playing if I have to turn too many settings to low -especially textures, effects and resolution.

    So, actually, you could say that this list is slightly pessimistic :)
    -which is good, don't want to give people false hopes ;)
     
  25. Narxt, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

    Narxt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #25
    Hi. Awesome list, thanks very much for the effort.
    I too run 1080p Pillars of Eternity. About 80% through and I haven't noticed any slowdowns. Perhaps its the cool weather here?

    Edit: I should point out that menus when saving get a bit laggy.
     

Share This Page