Choosing a gaming laptop, MacBook or MacBook Pro?

redun77

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 30, 2007
2
0
Hi,

I am looking for a gaming laptop i am switching from windows xp to mac (mac is much more reliable and easier ti use) and the only game i play is world of warcraft. and i was looking what is the best one i could go for i am spending a maximum of $3000 Australian dollars thats $2772.60 US Dollars,

Which would be the best configuration i was hoping the blackbook would be good because of it's screen size which could easily fit on an airplane food tray (fold out ones)

Here is the configs

Blackbook

PROCESSOR – Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.16GHz
MEMORY - 1GB (twox512MB) of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300); supports up to 2GB
HARD DRIVE - 160GB Serial ATA; 5400—rpm
OPTICAL DRIVE - 8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL⁄DVD±RW⁄CD-RW)
COLOUR DISPLAY - 13.3-inch (diagonal) glossy TFT widescreen display
RESOLUTION - 1280 by 800 resolution
VIDEO – Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory
CAMERA - Built-in iSight camera
LAN - Built-in 10⁄100⁄1000BASE-T (Gigabit); Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (based on IEEE 802.11n draft specification)
SPEAKERS - Built-in stereo speakers
USB PORT - Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)
IEEE1394 PORT - One FireWire 400 port (8 watts)
BLUE TOOTH - built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) module
WARRANTY – Your MacBook comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a one-year limited warranty.

$2199AUD

MacBook Pro

PROCESSOR – Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.20GHz
MEMORY - 2GB (two SODIMMs)
HARD DRIVE - 120GB Serial ATA, 5400rpm
OPTICAL DRIVE - 8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL⁄DVD±RW⁄CD-RW)
COLOUR DISPLAY - 15.4-inch (viewable) widescreen
RESOLUTION - 1440 x 900 pixels
VIDEO – NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM
TV-OUT PORT – DVI video out with support for DVI video
CAMERA - Built-in iSight camera
USB PORT - Two USB 2.0 ports
EXPRESS CARD SLOT - one ExpressCard⁄34 slot
IEEE1394 PORT - one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port
INFRA-RED PORT – Apple Remote
ESTIMATED BATTERY LIFE - Up to 4.5 hours
WEIGHT - Approximately 2.54 kg
WARRANTY – 12 months warranty

$2899

Im hoping the black book is enough.
Would it run with all the settings to low and how many fps could i get?
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
if you're gaming on it, get the MBP - or wait a week or two to see if the X3100 gets in to the new macbooks.

the X3100 is in a different league to the MB's current GMA 950.

i don't know about FPS, but comparing games side by side between my MBP and my flatmate's MB, there's no contest.
 
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thies

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
202
0
you'd need to have *really* low standards as to what is an acceptable gaming experience if you are fine with a GMA950. If you need a laptop right now and want to play new games at decent FPS get a Macbook Pro. If you can wait, upgraded Macbooks are likely to be released soon with a GMA 3100. That one won't be awesome but at least decent.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
The Macbook Pro will be INFINATELY better, as it has a proper, discrete, half-decent video card in it. You'll be able to run WoW at about 60fps (varying depending on environment and situation - probably 30-40 in Outlands, up to 100 in cities, 60-70 in the old world, 60-90 in instances and raids). That's with all graphics settings on MAXIMUM, even full screen glow.

The Macbook will run WoW, but even with maxxed out RAM (currently 2GB I think) you'll only get about a max of 30fps. Most playtime will be around 10-15fps, with instances better at around 20-30. This is with all graphics settings on MINIMUM.

The integrated graphics card in the Macbook, even an improved on in the rumoured upcoming new Macbook, won't perform as well as the card in the Macbook Pro.

I speak from first hand experience - I play on a 20" alu iMac and my wife plays on a Macbook with 2GB RAM.
 
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iBecks

macrumors 6502
Nov 24, 2006
406
4
Nottingham, UK
I'd go for the MBP, if you can afford the extra $ or maybe look at a refurb MBP.

WoW looks amazing on a MBP, I haven't seen it on a MB though.
 
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bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
The Macbook will run WoW, but even with maxxed out RAM (currently 2GB I think) you'll only get about a max of 30fps. Most playtime will be around 10-15fps, with instances better at around 20-30. This is with all graphics settings on MINIMUM.
My 733MHz G4 Quicksilver with 1.2GB RAM and 32MB Graphics gets around that. I'd be shocked if a MacBook can only manage it.
 
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thies

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
202
0
My 733MHz G4 Quicksilver with 1.2GB RAM and 32MB Graphics gets around that. I'd be shocked if a MacBook can only manage it.
I recall discussions from when the mini debuted with the 950 and reports came in that it was slower than the iBook with a mobility radeon 9200.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
My 733MHz G4 Quicksilver with 1.2GB RAM and 32MB Graphics gets around that. I'd be shocked if a MacBook can only manage it.
Nope. 2.0Gz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook (black). 2GB RAM. Every graphic setting on absolute minimum. My wife's game is mostly 17-22fps. Can be higher in instances, depending on the action (peaks at about 30 I think, but that's a peak).

Needless to say she is very envious of me, playing on a 20" screen, max details (even full screen glow), at anything between 60 and 120 FPS...
 
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panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
3,025
82
Kilrath
Hi,

I am looking for a gaming laptop i am switching from windows xp to mac (mac is much more reliable and easier ti use) and the only game i play is world of warcraft. and i was looking what is the best one i could go for i am spending a maximum of $3000 Australian dollars thats $2772.60 US Dollars,

Which would be the best configuration i was hoping the blackbook would be good because of it's screen size which could easily fit on an airplane food tray (fold out ones)

Im hoping the black book is enough.
Would it run with all the settings to low and how many fps could i get?
Go with the Pro. For games its the only way to go. I sold my Macbook to buy the Macbook Pro so I could play Company of Heroes with decent options enabled.

Cheers,
 
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bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
Nope. 2.0Gz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook (black). 2GB RAM. Every graphic setting on absolute minimum. My wife's game is mostly 17-22fps. Can be higher in instances, depending on the action (peaks at about 30 I think, but that's a peak).
I'm shocked:eek:

I knew I loved my Quicksilver for a reason!

It handles WOW better than my 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook with a 128MB gpu. Of course, it may not help that my PB only has one fan working at the moment so everything crashes when it gets too hot.:rolleyes:

EDIT: I've never been a big fan of games on the Mac, but I got WOW cheap. So all the arguments about poor GPUs didn't mean much to me until now. :eek:
 
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redun77

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 30, 2007
2
0
Bottomline

Ok

Thank you heaps for giving me this information, i am going to the the MacBook Pro.

Really, Thanks a million.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
I should point out that WoW on the Macbook is entirely playable - my wife has done 5-man, 10-man (Karazahn) and 25-man instances (Gruul's Lair) on it and has been absolutely fine. The FPS is in the green usually, and she didn't have any issues with lag or choppiness.

Before I got my iMac I played on an 867Mhz 12" PowerBook G4. That gave me 3 FPS in Outland. Now that was tough!
 
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lucky3killer

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
216
0
Intel GMA X3100 is best for HD video playback (first supported for smooth HD video) but GMA 950 isn't good, even good for SD video playback and games with low-medium graphic setting, depends on age of games like many older games can run it.

For gaming with little or no lags then get MacBook Pro, GeForce 8600M GT smoked GMA 950 by many of time.
 
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TheStu

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
1,245
0
Carlisle, PA
Intel GMA X3100 is best for HD video playback (first supported for smooth HD video) but GMA 950 isn't good, even good for SD video playback and games with low-medium graphic setting, depends on age of games like many older games can run it.

For gaming with little or no lags then get MacBook Pro, GeForce 8600M GT smoked GMA 950 by many of time.
I ran WoW on my MacBook back when they last had a 10 day trial, and it ran more than well. The graphics were wow-like, it ran smoothly, and kept running smoothly even with lots of people on the screen.

As for HD, it can play back 720P files without a hiccup, how is that 'isn't even good for SD'? Lucky did get some things right though, if you are planning on any serious, modern gaming, then from Apple, your choice is the MacBook Pro.

Honestly, do like a lot of people do, get the MacBook for OS X since it can handle anything and everythign you throw at it, save for gaming and heavy graphics work. Then, with the money you say (not much I fear since you are getting the BlackBook) buy/build a gaming desktop, you can build a damn nice one for less than a grand.
 
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lucky3killer

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
216
0
I ran WoW on my MacBook back when they last had a 10 day trial, and it ran more than well. The graphics were wow-like, it ran smoothly, and kept running smoothly even with lots of people on the screen.

As for HD, it can play back 720P files without a hiccup, how is that 'isn't even good for SD'? Lucky did get some things right though, if you are planning on any serious, modern gaming, then from Apple, your choice is the MacBook Pro.

Honestly, do like a lot of people do, get the MacBook for OS X since it can handle anything and everythign you throw at it, save for gaming and heavy graphics work. Then, with the money you say (not much I fear since you are getting the BlackBook) buy/build a gaming desktop, you can build a damn nice one for less than a grand.
Do you use maximum setting for WoW, or just low setting?

I was means about GMA 950 is highly optimized for video playback, mainly are normal resolution like SD, HD video can be played on it (HD video from media player (Quicktime, Windows MP) and BD/HD-DVD aren't supported. GMA X3100 will be optimized for HD, even full HD too, also BD/HD-DVD drive are supported, HP and Dell require GeForce 8000's to use BD (from Dell) or HD-DVD (from HP) drive as optional for notebook and means GM X3100 is probably not best as GeForce or ATI does. Well, I will find out about some info.

I don't say GMA 950 or X3100 are bad, just good for consumers who not interested in hardcore or newer games, also GMA X3100 support Directx 10 when you are running on windows vista and support T&L (Transform and Lighting) since GMA 950 isn't support T&L and Directx 10. T&L is important for modern games and less demands on CPU.

There's info...
http://download.intel.com/products/graphics/intel_graphics_guide.pdf
 
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nines

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2007
36
0
I haven't read through all of the posts now, so sorry if I'm repeating someone but I can assure you that you defenitely would have a much better experience with the MacBook Pro. For World of Warcraft the 'entry level' Macbook Pro 2.2GHz/128 VRAM is fine.

But regardless of the performance I assume that you spend a lot of time in aeroplanes after reading your post and one of the very reasons I decided to get a MBP was because I have to travel a lot too and the MBP seems to be the most reliable computer for that matter. Just recently a co-worker of mine was on the countryside in China and all computers except her MBP stopped functioning because of the high humidity.

That's a lot like if you compare a Hanwei blade to a sword let's say forged by Matsuba Ichiro. The Practical Katana would do the job but for professional reasons you would always pick the Shinken. Like the Apple laptops, the MacBook does the job but if you need your computer for business you just have requirements beyond consumer level and go for the MacBook Pro. Your benefits would be a higher reliability, better perfomance for your game (especially when raiding, I guess) and the MBP would be a lot easier on your eyes if you choose a non-glossy screen.

A MacBook Pro will stay sharp-edged a lot longer and you don't even need to treat it with clove oil after use!
 
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