Diablo 3 and the new Retina MacBook Pro - my findings.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by WilliamG, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #1
    So, if you believe what you read on many of these threads on Macrumors and review sites, you can run Diablo 3 at insane resolutions on the new MBP with Retina display.

    My findings are quite the opposite, but I suppose it depends on how you define "smooth."

    My preference is for games to run at 60fps. With Diablo 3, that's pretty much impossible at any normal resolution.

    For reference, it's the base model MBP with Retina display:

    2.3Ghz i7
    8GB RAM
    256GB SSD

    First, I always turn v-sync on. This is perhaps a personal preference, but with v-sync off the screen tearing is quite distracting. V-sync set to off will increase the maximum frame-rate the game can achieve (in this case - anything over 60fps), but does not increase the minimum frame-rate.

    All settings are set to highest except shadows, which are set to "Low," and anti-aliasing which is set to OFF. The resolution is 2048x1280.

    Frame-rate? 30fps, and not even 30fps solid. For example, with a lot of spells flying through the air in Act II Nightmare, I was able to get the frame-rate to drop into the teens. You don't even have to be doing all that much to get the frame-rate to nosedive, either. On one of the quests in Act II, you go to see the emperor child, and then have to escape to the sewers. Just before the sewers, there are a few pots/benches/carriages that line the outside pathways, and destroying those causes a complete frame-rate dip.

    All is not lost, though. For most of the time the game runs at a solid clip. 30fps is mostly attainable in most normal resolutions (1680x1050 and 2048x1280). 2880x1800 is not playable (to me) at any setting, since the framerate is in the teens with vsync on or off, and dips ever lower with action going on.

    Anyway, this game does not run at 60fps under most circumstances (the ugly 1440x900 with shadows off is one case where it does hit 60). I personally find the jump between 20fps and 60-90fps quite jarring, so I'd rather have it "locked" to 30fps with occasional drops below that by setting vysnc to on.

    As for me, I'm definitely disappointed in how Diablo 3 runs. Coming from my 2009 i7 iMac, I was hoping to improve somehow on that with this new laptop. My 2009 iMac runs Diablo 3 at a reasonably solid 30fps (with again, some occasional drops to the 20s) at 1920x1080 resolution, shadows off.

    So there you go. I was truly hoping for 1680x1050 at a solid 60fps with most settings enabled, but that's simply not possible on this laptop. Maybe next year!


    If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
     
  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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  3. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #3
    ctrl+r
     
  4. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #4
    Good write up. More reason for me to wait for next year. I don't *need* a new one now. So it makes sense to wait for the components to be better suited to push all those extra pixels for more graphical applications next year.
     
  5. ctbear macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    My personal experience is v-sync lowers the average framerate for about 30%.

    Cmd-R
     
  6. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #6
    As I said earlier, enabling v-sync does not lower the minimum framerate, only the maximum. It's also pointless since these panels refresh at 60 times per second, so any frames over 60 are not visible.

    And let's not forget the screen tearing...
     
  7. Marrakas macrumors 6502

    Marrakas

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    #7
    Good thing for me that I find diablo3 boring then.
     
  8. Blue604 macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for the review. I have been playing diablo 3 up to level 60 as witch doc on my 2009 mbp 13 at 800x600 at 15fps.

    Your review gives me something to look forward to. I will be happy with those performance on the mbpr.
     
  9. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #9
    Yes you'll definitely be happy with the performance upgrade. I should have mentioned that while 60fps is my preference, 30fps really is just great to play Diablo 3 in. I just hoped that this system could at least manage 60fps at 1440x900, and even then it can't consistently do that.

    I also wonder how much of this issue is due to the Mac client...
     
  10. hfm57 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #10
    I hear it performs better under windows. Maybe bootcamp and download the client there. I would fully expect the 650M to be more than enough. My older notebook with i7 720QM and AMD 5730 play it with all eye candy on at my 16" panel's 1366x768 native resolution.

    I would imagine the retina panel would look fantastic and play great at 1440x900 for games seeing it's half resolution. Mac diablo client is known to perform worse.
     
  11. ctbear macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #11
    When you are already struggling to maintain max framerate at 40fps, I say yes v-sync has a huge negative impact on performance.
     
  12. boto macrumors 6502

    boto

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #12
    This! I never play games on the Mac OS, unless it is source games from Steam. You will immediately notice the significant performance leap between Windows OS and Mac OS. This will support my claims. http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html
    The settings are at 1080p, Ultra settings, and 4x AA.
     
  13. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #13
    Well we're free to disagree :D. The screen tearing is hard on the eyes when vsync is off, and when the frame-rate bounces between 90fps and 20fps, that's quite jarring.
     
  14. Qbiinz macrumors newbie

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    Jul 15, 2010
    #14
    sorry but i have to disagree with you on this one i have the next model up(2.6ghz processor with 512gb ssd), with resolution turned to 2880 x 1880 i get a solid 30fps which is plenty for me. i was running a 2010 27'' imac at 1600 x 900 and getting like 15fps so this is a vast improvement in my opinion. i posted some screen shots in another thread if you wanna take a look

    pics are at the bottom of the thread
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1386245&page=2
     
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #15
    I'm pretty sure they said Blizzard was working on a release that supports retina not that there was a release supporting retina.

    Perhaps they have something in the works that greatly improves performance.
     
  16. PhaserFuzz, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    PhaserFuzz macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Are the resolutions other than 2880x1800 really blurry? I would think Blizzard would make a special "Retina" mode that would appear like 1440x900.. but with enhanced picture. Similar to what developers have to do with their apps. Also, didn't Apple say they're working on it? I doubt it's ready yet. It's obviously not meant to be played on that insane resolution.
     
  17. npgatech macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #17
    You're terribly misinformed. V-sync impacts the frame rate across the whole range. Look up a good article on Anandtech before claiming authority over your opinion. It does sync the framerate to 60fps and looks like its chopping off the upper end, but infact what it is doing is that its waiting for the screen refresh to occur. This essentially establishes fluidity in the gameplay by eliminating the tearing effect.
     
  18. xalexx macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    I'm wondering why people are reporting conflicting experiences with this game. I've heard people being able to get over 120 fps and I've heard of people only being able to get 15~25 fps.
     
  19. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #19
    Thanks for the pictures. I never tried settings set to low. So you're not disagreeing with me. Re-read my post. :)

    I don't need to read anything to know what I actually "SEE" with my own eyes. I tested with vsync on and off, and the lowest frame-rate was exactly the same. Maybe with different software/applications this will be different, but for Diablo 3 I've tested time and time again.

    And even aside from that, the screen tearing is ghastly.

    ----------

    I don't think these reports are conflicting. More that some people just don't test the same way. For example, yes, standing in a corner with nothing going around me with vysync off and settings turned to low, it's possible to get 120fps. For many of us later in the game where spells fly like bees from a hive and with higher graphical settings, 120fps is simply not possible.

    And then of course there are cases like mine where I simply refuse to have vsync off since 1.) it causes graphical tearing that is very distracting, and 2.) it causes absolutely huge frame-rate variances, literally from over 120fps to down to 20fps.

    I tend to be more cautious in what frame-rates I report, because unless that frame-rate is actually constant, it's not a "true" frame-rate.
     
  20. Phil21 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #20
    I actually have been fairly impressed with the d3 performance. It is extremely playable, perhaps not in "like my triple-SLI gaming rig" terms -but for an extremely mobile laptop it's great.

    This means it's now possible to hop on for 45 minutes here and there to play d3 with my son when traveling for business - that much more time with him, in my book.

    I play in 1440x900, and get a consistent 40+ fps during most stuff. Intense fights I'm sure it slows down, but nothing where I've felt impeded yet at least.

    I'm not sure why anyone would have thought 2880x1800 would perform well - for max settings at home on a 2550x1440 monitor, I need SLI'ed video cards rated at 200w/ea or so to get over 60fps during intense fights.

    That said, I don't have more than an hour on it.

    I think it will also only get better as blizzard releases high-dpi stuff, we'll see what comes up.
     
  21. Blue604 macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2012
    #21
    One thing I noticed is the performance on the osx is the same as bootcamp now. I installed them both when the game first came out, and was only able to play it under bootcamp. But lately I have noticed under osx, the performance is on par as under bootcamp. I think Blizzard had been improving it's mac support.

    Note, mine is 2009 Macbook Pro 13", so 15fps (bootcamp and osx) is what I have been playing up to inferno.:cool:
     
  22. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #22
    15fps is painful! It really is amazing how different people have such different tolerances. For me, with Diablo 3, 30fps is fine, but anything under that is not pleasant.

    ----------

    I have to disagree with you, too. I definitely don't get a solid 30fps with every setting turned off at 2880x1880. While it is 30fps at times, when it gets busy, or even just running around the encampment in Act II, the frame-rate drops below 30.
     
  23. houkouonchi macrumors regular

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    Oct 31, 2005
    #23
    As others have said when you can't actually get 60 FPS then enabling vsync will lower the amount of FPS you get in order for it to sync to screen refreshes (more frames will be dropped). I hate vsync as it causes a delay on the output and thus seemingly input lag but that is just me.
     
  24. Blue604 macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2012
    #24


    you are spoiled.:cool:
     
  25. MrGando macrumors member

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