Disappointed in gaming on new 15" rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hawkler, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Hawkler macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2013
    Hi there,

    i brought the 15" top rMBP and in general I love it, I use it for development and heavy graphics processing and it's been great, and coming from a window background, I'm really loving OSX (mission control is fantastic in particular as I run multiple VM's through Parallels)

    I was hoping to do a bit of gaming on the macbook, nothing too taxing, just games that have been released a few years ago that I hadn't got around to playing. I run Steam and a number of games in my library had mac versions through Steamplay, and while I thought these should be ok, generally I've been quite disappointed.

    I run the games at medium detail levels, and make sure i've closed Parallels, Safari, Mail etc, and while they run pretty smoothly, the fan kicks in and the noise is quite intense throughout the whole time the game is running. The games I'm running are The Witcher 2, Civ5 and X3:reunion.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Yes, I know, get a PC, or get a desktop, or get a console, the macbook isn't meant for gaming etc etc, but it's not like I'm trying to run Battlefield 4! I've heard suggestions that I should run all my games from a bootcamp Windows partition, which I really don't want to do - kind of defeats the whole purpose especially as the mac versions are there already, but I'm interested to hear if others have found this solves the problem.

    Any suggestions welcome, I'd love to hear if you have overcome this!
  2. sonyisawesome macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    The new rmbp is a stepdown from the last model.

    BTW, its running games like piss poor because its missing a dedicated gpu.
  3. Hawkler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2013
    My macbook is the top 15" rMBP with the dedicated GPU
  4. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    I can confirm the Witcher 2 is running bad on the 750m. It could be driver issues, because the 750m of rMBP is not working with the latest official NVIDIA drivers. Hopefully Apple fixes this soon. I haven't tried the other games you mentioned. However Battlefield 3 & Crysis is running with higher settings and looks better than the Witcher 2, so it could be bad programming / optimization of Witcher 2.

    For a serious GPU performance, wait for the NVIDIA Maxwell GPU which should be 100% faster than the current GPU's. It can be released early 2014 in a spec bump update or in the Broadwell rMBP (this one is delayed so not sure when this one will be released).
  5. sonyisawesome macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    You are trying to run gpu intensive games like The Witcher 2 on rmbp. That's why.

    Unless you are playing these games on low-medium setting, your fps will always run like ****.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Witcher 2 is quite a demanding game, especially with weaker OS X drivers. Civilization 5 runs perfectly well on native 2880x1800 resolution even on 650M under OS X. BTW, there are people who run BF4 on it, doing fine ;)
  7. Hawkler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2013
    So I wonder why my fan kicks in so much :-( I'm tempted to fire up windows 8.1 in a dedicated bootcamp partition just to check out the differences. I've heard that some games use an emulator to port to osx which can degrade performance.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Fan kicking in is perfectly normal, its a thin laptop. True, most ports just slap the windows binary into an API emulator, which can degrade or improve performance - its a case per case basis. Gaming performance in OS X is systematically worse because OS X drivers overall are slower then this in Windows/Linux. If you are interested in demanding games, Windows is the way to go. For games like WoW, Minecraft, Civ5 or SimCity, OS X is more then enough. Dota 2 can be run in Parallels - works really well.
  9. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    rMBP with dedicated GPU is the best portal gaming laptop on the market today. Make sure you're running the latest software updates to maximise performance on your machine. But yeah, you won't find a better laptop on the market than the high-end 15" Retina MacBook Pro.
  10. sonyisawesome macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    Why do some people in this forum blatantly post this kind of false herpy derp posts and expect people to believe this crap?

  11. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    The games you've mentioned are pretty demanding. I run Simcity on Medium, and StarCraftII on High. In both plays, the fans are typically on full blast within 15-20 minutes. But that's to be expected. If you never want to hear your fans, you can't expect to get full performance.

    Also, many games are better on BootCamp. The mac versions are not always going to give you the same performance.
  12. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    What I posted is a proven fact.
  13. yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    There would be varying degrees of improvements in performance, but the fan would be equally likely to ramp up should you be running anything intensive.

    In fact, out of fear of thermal throttling and to hope that my MBP can reach "cooling equilibrium" (that is max heat transfer out) faster, I simply pre-ramp up the fans using Lubbo's.

    Temperatures on this year's model aren't too high - Always under 80. Usually 70-76 degrees max.
  14. Mr. Amiga500 macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    Jan 19, 2007
    I'm disappointed too - not just with games, but other graphics intensive programs. I'm going from a 2004 PowerMac G5 (with X800 & SSD) to top of the line 2013 MacBook Pro with dedicated graphics - and I expected to be blown away by the speed difference. Obviously, it's faster - but all the programs I had graphics slowdowns on the PowerMac are still jerky on the MacBook (even using newer Intel-only versions of those programs). I thought maybe some of these programs were badly written or something, but it's consistent with all my graphics intensive programs. I get slow jerky movement at some spots of Half-Life 2 - and that game was released in 2004!

    I set it to use only the dedicated graphics, but it's only a minor improvement. Maybe my MacBook Pro is defective or something.
  15. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    No, what you posted is an outright lie. It's not even close enough to be a matter of opinion. There are many, many laptops that are far, far, far better for gaming than the Retina MBP.

    What you said is so absurd that I actually have to believe you were trolling. Well done.


    It isn't. Even games like World of Warcraft run worse on rMBPs today than they did a couple years ago. A big part of the problem is the Retina screen.
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    In fact, he is right. Please point me to a 2kg laptop with 7+ hours battery life which would be better at gaming then the rMBP. They simply do not exist. Sure, there are LOTS of laptops which are better at gaming. But, they are also heavier etc. The best thing about rMBP is that is makes a very good jack-of-all trades machine - it is very good for mobile work while being quite adequate for gaming. I know of no other laptop which brings all these qualities in one package.
  17. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    That isn't what he said. Why are you twisting it? Adding those attributes on is arbitrary. He said it is the "best portable [sic] gaming laptop on the market today." That blatantly isn't true.

    I'd argue that for gaming, the Razer Blade beats the MacBook Pro—and handily at that. It's lighter (4.1 lb vs 4.46 lb), has comparable battery life (7 hours in real-world testing), and has a better graphics card in the 765M. Plus it's considerably cheaper at $1999.

    And if you value performance, something like the Alienware 17 is a beast. Yep, it's heavy, and yep, battery life sucks, but it's still a better laptop for gaming.
  18. yliu macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    The fan noise is quite annoying and I think its present with all Macbook models.
  19. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    It's way, way better with the Retinas than it was with previous generations.
  20. sonyisawesome macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    What you posted is a complete utter bs, only idiots could fall for.

  21. jmthigpen macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    Charleston, SC
    I think this qualifies.


    Not trying to be smart, but the razer blade is actually thinner, and much better for gaming than the rMBP. Only downside is the not-so-great screen, similar to the MBA.
  22. pgiguere1, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    It seems like you're simply misunderstanding how most computer games work.

    Most games by default do not have a frame rate cap. What that means is that no matter how powerful your computer is, it will try to push out as much frames per second as it can.

    You could have an entry-level laptop pushing a certain game at 20 FPS, and a top-of-the-line gaming laptop pushing it at 200 FPS, and both would potentially produce the same amount of heat/noise.

    In short, noise and heat are completely independent from the raw performance of your laptop, and your laptop will just push as much frames as it physically can without overheating because that's what the game is asking it to do, simply because that's how game developers designed their game.

    Could the rMBP have been designed to make less heat/noise? Sure. They could have made the throttling treshold lower so that the computer would never generate enough heat to need that kind of fan spinning. But then it would have a negative effect on performance despite it not being needed to not damage the laptop. Some people would then complain about their laptop not being as powerful as they could just to avoid heat/noise which they don't care about.

    At the end of the day, prefering a cool/quiet laptop over a powerful one (or the other way around) is a personnal choice, so it makes sense you would leave that kind of decision up to the user. For that reason, some games offer frame rate caps in their settings.

    What those frame rate caps do is ask your computer to not generate as much frames as it could just so that it can have a little rest and be cooler/quieter. For example, you could set your games settings in a way you can push 90 FPS, but then set a 30 FPS frame cap. You would then end up asking the computer to only use roughly 1/3 of its peak performance, obviously generating less heat and noise.

    Unfortunately, not all games offer a frame rate cap. Those that do can offer them directly in graphics settings, or some need a little more digging to set them. If they don't, I think game developers are to blame here, as laptop hardware manufacturers could offer a hardware solution like underclocking/undervolting, but those are definitely more complicated and risky to do.

    If the specific games you try to play can have a frame rate cap, set one. You're saying you're not having any frame rate issue so you could very well be pushing more frames that you can perceive/appreciate anyway. If that framerate cap is significantly lower that the frame rate you had previously, you'll see a difference in heat/noise guaranteed. If not, lower graphics settings until there's a significant gap between your uncapped framerate and your capped one.
  23. byuister macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Why not run it in BootCamp just for games? It's a 12 second boot into Windows, and it's probably the only method to get an increase in FPS.

    Yup, but Razer Blade isn't the only portable gaming laptop out there. Tons of other thin/light notebooks offer the 760m/765m.
  24. sonyisawesome macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    True, fanboys can drop the false notion of "rmpb is the best portable gaming laptop in the market".

    I don't know how they say this with a straight face.
  25. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    It should be more than enough to run those games, the problem is drivers.

    Here is what happen to me.

    I installed windows and tried running Battlefield 4 and even on Low it was unplayable.

    I followed some of the guides on line to install the latest Nividia drivers for the 750m and voila I can now play with medium settings and 50fps.

    I would suggest installing bootcamp and updating the drivers to the new ones.

    the new rMBP is MORE than capable of running those games.

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