Can the Intel HD3000 handle these?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleLou, May 7, 2011.

  1. AppleLou macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    Hi guys, i'm going to buy the base 13" mbp as soon as the student offer becomes available but the only thing bothering my is the integrated gpu.

    Is it actually any good?

    I am not looking for maxed out settings on games but I would like the games to look at least look nice and run smooth.

    If anyone has any experience with the gpu and can answer my questions i'll be very grateful.

    The games;

    1. Minecraft.
    2. WoW
    3. Sims 2/ Sims 3.
    4. Team fortress 2.
    5. Borderlands.

    Also, can you bootcamp windows on the 13" mbp? I would probably be willing to if it would increase the gpu performance.
  2. Prodo123, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

    Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    You can bootcamp Windows on ANY Mac. GPU performance will stay the same or similar, because the GPU itself will never change. If you wanted to game, then you should have gotten a 15".

    Rule of thumb (at least for me) for gaming on 13" MBP 2011 is: If the game is released before 2007, it will run it without fail. If the game is between 2007 and 2010, then the game will run on medium-high to medium settings. Anything after that will run on low-medium settings.

    Listed settings are graphics settings.
    Minecraft - Medium-high, runs fine
    WoW** - Medium, runs fine. WoW:Cataclysm** - Medium-low, may experience lag.
    Sims 2 - High, runs fine. Sims 3 - Medium-high, runs fine.
    TF2 - Medium-high, runs fine.
    Borderlands** - Medium, runs fine or with minimum lag.
    **: With the recent firmware update, these games have been known to cause graphical glitches and errors.

    As comparison,
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Medium-low, lots of lag. Performance-based graphics-intense game.
    Portal 2: Medium-high, no lag because it's not a demanding game.
    Halo 2: High, no lag. Although this is a high-graphics game released in 2007, it has the graphics of a game originally released in 2004.
  3. AppleLou thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    Thanks very much for your response!

    I haven't purchased the MBP yet but I am not using it as my main gaming machine.
    I'm a console gamer at heart because that's where all my friends are.

    The games I asked about were ones that I would play on the go (long train journeys / flights).

    Once again, thanks very much. Decided i'm going to go for that model now at the end of this month!
  4. ess5 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2011
    VERY helpful, I was wondering the same thing :)

    Thanks for the info!
  5. SylentSnipe macrumors newbie


    Jun 13, 2011
    Undisclosed Loacation, Iraq
    I am a PC gamer at heart, Minecraft actually was the first game I put on my mac before I maxed the RAM out on it. I had to take the draw distance down on it to be able to run smoothly. But it can do it. The fan will kick to warp speed after a while though. Nothing really to worry about.

    Havign said all that I just got done installing bootcamp and Win 7 ult. Just because I want to be able to play my C&C games and Starcraft.
  6. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    oh and dont be fooled that the HD3000 is a crappy GPU. Its actually no more different than the 320M in the 2010 13" MBP. If you actually add more ram to the computer, like from 4gb to 8gb, the HD3000 will actually register and use more(so from 384mb shared memory, it could go up, not sure how much) unlike the 320M.
  7. mac00l macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    From my experience with a 13" i5 with 4GB of RAM.

    Half-life 2: High settings, runs like a champ
    Starcraft 2: Med-Low settings, steady 60-70 FPS, up to 4 players
    Portal: High settings, minor FPS drop at some points
    Eve Online: Med-Low settings, everything great
    WOW Cataclysm: Med settings, everything great (never been at crowded places nor raids tho)
  8. AMacbook macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2011
    You really need 2 RTSs I have had SC2 since it came out and I stop playing like everything spent all my gaming time on it.
  9. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    So Halo 2 runs fine on a 2011 13" MacBook Pro with an Intel HD 3000 gpu?

    That's good to know, since I'm also thinking of getting a 2011 13" MBP, and I'm considering installing Windows 7 solely for the sake of Halo 2.

    Do you also know if the HD 3000 is compatible with:
    - Silent Hill 2 for PC
    - Far Cry
    - Battlefield: Bad Company
    - Star Wars Battlefront 2
    - Crysis (I think I know the answer to this is no, but it never hurts to ask)
  10. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    1) I don't know about Silent Hill 2, but looking at gameplay videos I'm guessing no.
    2) Far Cry: Definitely not.
    3) Bad Company: Might be able to get away with extremely low resolution and low settings.
    4) Battlefront 2: Yes. I bet you can get around medium settings at native res.
    5) Crysis: Nope.
    6) Halo 2: Possibly. Doesn't run too well because it's a crappy console port, but you can try.
  11. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    If you're going to game on your MacBook Pro, then I highly recommend people to stay away from the 13". It is small, weak, and meant for casual browsing, not a heavy duty or even casual gaming. Besides, the GPU inside the 15" will make everything better.
  12. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Well, I can't really afford the 15". When you talked about Halo 2 running fine, were you talking about the 13" or the 15"? I ask especially since if anything pre-2007 runs OK as you said, then really that's good enough for me, since pretty much the only games I've set my heart on getting is Half-Life 2 (and perhaps other Source games) and Halo 2, nothing really new or taxing.

    My last computer was an iBook G4 circa 2006 running OSX Tiger with 512MB RAM and 37GB hard drive. I played Halo for Mac on it, as well as Doom 3 (naturally not on high settings) and Command and Conquer: Generals. So your definition of what constitutes a weak computer or casual gaming is probably different from mine. My standards are perhaps quite low.
  13. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    TBH I have a 15" high end and I play TF2 on all high. It runs beautifully well.
    My definition of a weak gaming computer is one which has the brains to play the game, but cannot display a good image due to a lack of graphics power.
    Casual gaming is when you don't care about how good the graphics are, and can therefore be played on a 13" MBP.
    If you don't care how well your games look, then you will be satisfied with the 13". You will get mixed results on how well your games look, though.

    It's all personal preference. I like the 15", but you might fall in love with the 13", so I really can't recommend with total confidence on which laptop you should buy.

    The best advice is to try it out. Borrow a 13" from a friend or visit an Apple store or something, and test out the 13" MBP's horsepower to see firsthand what it's capable of.

    I will tell you this: HD 3000 performance on my 15" is a bit lower, because I have the hi-res screen and must pump around 1.7x as much pixels as the 13" 1280x800 screen. Since the 13" has a lower resolution and a smaller screen, graphics performance will be increased.
  14. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    If you plan to play HL2 on a 2011 13" MBP, you are going to be very pleasantly surprised by the results! I speak from experience!
  15. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Thanks guys. Like I said, my last computer (RIP) was a five-year-old iBook, so pretty much everything is an improvement from my perspective.

    I regret that there doesn't seem to be a decent survival horror available to me though. Amnesia is available for Mac but isn't compatible with Intel integrated graphics, according to Steam. I've always wanted to try Silent Hill 2 but if that won't work on the MBP 13" w/ Bootcamp, that's too bad.
  16. BrickbookPro macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2011
    I don't know. I feel like hard core gamers and computer enthusiasts over state what is necessary to play. I played WoW cataclysm on my 2010 Base model Macbook Pro (4 gigs of ram if that wasn't base) just fine. I did turn down somethings that I found to be trivial but was able to increase things that I found less trivial like viewing distance, without issues.

    On windows xp (Via bootcamp) I ran CoD Blackops just fine on med to low settings at 1600X900 on external monitor. Sure it's not quite as good for gaming as my old (and now cooked) Gateway FX with a 8800m card in it, but it's definitely enough for the casual gamer without the "must run at 100FPS" attitude. The human eye only sees 30-40fps anyway.
  17. Prodo123, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    They do overestimate the requirements. I mean, who the hell needs to pay $1400 for a freakin graphics card...
    BUT it's totally worth it buying a $1400 CPU because it lets the game run in the first place. What good is a hi-def game if you can't play it?
  18. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    There are many people, some on this forum, who would love to have you believe the HD3000 is incapable of processing even the simplest of graphics tasks. That simply is not the case.

    Are there better graphics processors out there? Sure. There's always something better.

    The last poster made a good point. You can invest in graphics, but then you've blown your budget on that and potentially lost out on a more powerful CPU. Whatever gains you make by upgrading the GPU are potentially lost in some cases, if you maxed out your budget.

    To get the better graphics card in a MBP you must upgrade to the 15" model. I'm sorry, but that's a big price jump. You would get a stronger processor in the 15" as well, but you don't need it for what you've described. For real-world purposes, you'd just be paying for the better graphics and bigger screen--if you even consider that a benefit, which I don't.

    The notebook computer is in and of itself a compromise. You knowingly sacrifice certain qualities for the sake of mobility.

    Don't be too scared of the HD3000. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but the claims people make about it are blown WAY out of proportion.
  19. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    The HD3000 is no slouch, you need to try it out before making up your mind. I was very skeptical before buying the 13" MBP, especially coming from last year's 15" equipped with the 330m! I decided to give the new 13" a try after reading the anandtech review that mentioned better gaming results than the 320m in OSX! I'm a happy camper now.
  20. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Agreed. My 15" only uses the 6750M when I'm playing a game or doing heavy encoding (e.g. Handbrake). All other tasks are handled by the HD 3000, and there's no lag whatsoever.
    I was mildly surprised at how well the HD 3000 performs. After all, it's Intel we're talking about. It's much better than some people make it out to be. It is a weak graphics card, but not weak enough to keep it away from light gaming and multiple simultaneous 1080p videos.
  21. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
  22. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Should work on medium-high settings
  23. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    What about From Dust (

    The 2011 MBP 13" meets the minimum requirements in terms of processing speed and RAM. It doesn't say it will work on the Intel HD 3000, but it does say that the GPU needs 256MB and I think the HD 3000 on the i5 has 380-odd MB.

    Sorry I keep coming back with "what about this game, what about this?" but it does factor into my decision of what laptop I'm going to get next. I'm not a hard core gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm wondering whether it would be worth getting a laptop that's not as restrictive in its gaming options as my faithful old iBook.
  24. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Just an FYI, adding 8GB RAM ups the Intel 3000 to 512MB of memory. It comes with 384MB if you have 4GB RAM.
  25. Gallium Spoon macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Thanks. I'd rather not spend extra on the RAM if I can help it, though. The MBP 13" in baseline configuration is already on the high end of my budget range.

    Basically I'm trying to decide whether to get a PC (superior gaming ability for equal or lesser price) or another Mac (pretty much every other reason).

Share This Page