College Gaming Laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DSM09, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. DSM09 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    As Autumn comes closer, I need to make a laptop purchase for college next year. While doing some research on which brand to buy, I have come up with a Mac. As an avid gamer, I am worried about playing next gen games on this machine as seeing the video card is not all that strong. Is it possible to upgrade a video card in a mb or mbp? How smoothly would games be played through bootcamp? Specifically, I am looking to play games like Battlefield 1943 and Star Wars Old Republic (new mmo). Any advice or suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated since I have no prior experience with a Mac
  2. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    College and gaming do not go nicely together. If you need a dedicated graphics card you must get a macbook pro.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Honestly, my recommendation to you is... if you are serious about gaming, do yourself a favor and don't buy a Mac. Buy a Windows PC and be happy. Otherwise you will lament that fact that the video card sucks, the specs aren't up to standard, you could have a bought XYZ PC for a lot cheaper with better specs and so on and so forth.

    If you want a Mac for the OSX experience, productivity, etc. then by all means, go for it. But understand that using VMWare Fusion or Parallels will not satisfy your gaming thirst. And booting with BootCamp will give you better performance, but for the money... buy a PC to game. You will be much happier.

    Having said that... a MacBook is a great college computer if you are using it for college and not gaming.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. Emerica macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    He's completely right. If you're serious about gaming you might even want to build your own PC.
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Build a mid-level gaming rig yourself, and buy yourself a MacBook. That way you have a system you can game on, and a notebook to take to the library/class/etc.
  6. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Yeah, if gaming is a huge concern, I'd buy the $999 White Macbook, and use the thousand bucks you saved from not buying the $2000 MBP on building your own computer.

    For me, personally, I do all my gaming on my Macs through bootcamp. But then, I don't play very demanding games. Just a bunch of L4D and TF2, recently, which the MBP would destroy. But no, the MBP certainly isn't gonna be able to handle newer games like Far Cry 2, Crysis, Last Remnant, etc...
  7. 007bond macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    why dont u buy a white macbook and a ps3 or a 360. it will be even cheaper and you will be able to spend the money on important things like booze and condoms:cool:

    jk on the second part
  8. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    you clearly dont have your priorities straight if you are buying a laptop for college, but having gaming as a major factor in your decision
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    :confused: College students aren't allowed to have hobbies anymore?
  10. windywoo macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    As others have said, buy a PC laptop, there are more games for Windows and you can get a better machine for less. If you were to play on a Mac you would need to setup Bootcamp, and be spending a lot of time in Windows rather than OSX. Which is hardly worth the extra expense.
  11. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    "I'm going to college so I need a gaming machine?" WTF?
    Do your social life a favor and just get a Macbook, that way you won't spend your Friday nights playing Counter Strike.
  12. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    It should be illegal to sell a laptop and call it a "Gaming Laptop". There is no such thing and if there is, it is too expensive and your going to have a new laptop every year.

    Macbook Alu or White.

    Shuttle XPC SP35P2, e7400, ATI 4870, XMS2 DDR2 4GB RAM, 250GB Hard drive, sata hard drive, sata dvd drive.

    Monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.

    This combo will save you money in the long run. You will be going to class with a small laptop and small ac adaptor. People forget how huge PC laptop adaptors.

    At home you will have a small form factor pc to play your games. As you go through college, upgrade the CPU to quad core and graphic card. Bet you can't do that with a "gaming laptop"

    The reason I am so bitter about this because I started college 3 years ago. Me and my roommate spent money on a gaming laptop. I got a Macbook Pro 17 and he got a HP Laptop. It did not take long for the laptop to get outdated. We ended up this year buying a desktop and I ended up with the desktop/macbook air combo.

    That only happens when we run out of money for beer and chicken bbq.
  13. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2008
    That's complete rubbish, Crysis and similar games do run fine on the MBP which can be proven by a quick youtube search.
  14. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2008
    :confused: no one said that, the OP just stated he was an avid gamer, and there's nothing wrong with that.
  15. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Apple doesn't offer a gaming laptop.. Unless you can afford high-end 15" or 17" MBP.

    If you want to do gaming, buy a PC gaming laptop which can be turned to Hackintosh or buy white MB for college and build yourself a gaming PC or console (X360&PS3) for gaming .
  16. NP3 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I have the base level Macbook Pro 15" Penryn and its great for games. I've Bootcamped with Windows 7 RC and play Eve & TF2 mainly. (at highest settings)

    Don't buy two computers. Everyone else at your college will be using their 'college laptop' to play with one another. The coolest thing is having 30 guys on your floor all playing together over the LAN. Male bonding at its finest. :)
  17. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    Get an xbox with a macbook air. You can game and be productive!
  18. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    My advice: don't buy a laptop for gaming.

    Get a MacBook for coursework and build a sub-$1,000 Windows desktop for gaming. If you're serious about computer gaming, a desktop PC is the only way. Otherwise, buy a console for half the price.

    As a console and PC gamer, I've gone a bit overboard. All three current consoles, a gaming desktop, a "gaming" (haha) laptop, and a MacBook Pro. I've started to simplify, though. I sold the laptop for half of what I paid to build it, and gave the (somewhat outdated) desktop to my little brother. I'm thinking of following my own advice and selling off the MBP and getting a MacBook and building another gaming PC.
  19. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Don't waste your money... you probably won't have any time to play games at college anyways. I just finished my third year, and I can count on one hand how many times I played video games the past year at school. (I used to play video games 24/7 in high school)
  20. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    You're going to play SWTOR too?! Awesome!!! :D

    BTW, get a MacBook Pro. And no, you can't upgrades the graphics card unless you open it up extremely internally, and that would probably void your warranty. Not so sure on that. On the MacBook, it's connected to your processor, so you would have to drag out the processor too. :\
  21. relativist macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    +1 for buying a basic white uMB or white MB and having a separate PC for gaming. I use my Macbook to play WoW, and my self built gaming rig to play BF 1942, BF 2, BF 2142, and other FPS games. In addition I have a 24" Monitor for my gaming. I also use the monitor with my Mac when I need more screen space. The particular board I have is one that is compatible with OSX86 project, though I've done nothing with that...
  22. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I thought long and hard about getting a uMBP over a uMB for portable gaming. Ultimately though, it just doesn't make sense. The extra cost and heft of the system do not outweigh the benefits of a mid-range discrete GPU just for gaming. I'm going to graduate school soon and settled on the uMB, and I'm very pleased with the decision. Don't let people tell you the pro isn't that much bigger than the 'book, because it is a significant difference in size, especially if you're going to be taking it to a lot of classes. It's literally the difference between fitting and not fitting on one of those little desks.

    Also, the 9400m GPU is fairly decent and will run many games around medium graphic settings. If you need the latest and greatest (like Crysis) then just buy a desktop PC or game on an xBox. The Pro's extra cost, decreased portability, and heat issues just don't make it the best for a portable system.

    That's not to say the Pro is a bad buy, it's just that it's a little more a desktop replacement than a truly portable machine.

    Oh and to respond to someone above, I did 4 years of college pre-med, and I found plenty of time to game ;). My gaming was on an N64 mostly though. Smash Brothers and Mario Kart 64 were incredible! Oh, and of course some CS and other things on the laptop.
  23. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    I was in the same position last year. I had a MBP but wanted a better gaming system for a larger screen and more power. This is what I did.
    I sold my MBP and bought a unibody MB and then built my own gaming rig, which is very capable of playing any game, for under $800 (with 22" LCD). It's a perfect setup and all for under the cost of what I purchased my MBP for.
    I couldn't be happier. I have a very powerful gaming Win7 machine and an awesome Macbook. Best of both worlds.
  24. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Thanks I like it too!

    I don't see how me thinking video games are a waste of time constitutes being a fan boy, but whatever.

    My uncle used to own a computer gaming store, so I know what sort of people spend hours on video games. I think it's fine for someone in middle school or high school to play every now and again, but once you get into college you really should grow up.

    Think of how much more productive one could be if one didn't spend 20 hours a week playing games.

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