Do i need a MBP if my heaviest app is WoW?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rsarno, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. rsarno, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

    rsarno macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Please forgive the ignorance .. I have never owned a Mac or even used one, I have always been die-hard Windows (dont laugh). But due to enough errors and forced reboots, im thinking of switching.

    I was about to buy, but see a refresh might be around the corner, so i might as well wait, im not in a rush.

    The reason for me posting is laughable in itself. Im not a DJ, or an engineer, or even a student. I have very little reason to have a powerful laptop ... with one exception; World Of Warcraft! Dont laugh, we all have our addictions.

    I want to be able to play my game in full high quality graphics, without it slowing me down, or overheating my laptop. Windowed mode would be a huge bonus.

    So I dont necesarily need a SSD, or a CD drive, or crazy battery .. my first and somewhat only heavy usage will be that game.

    So i guess im asking if the current MBA models can handle my game without straining? If not, no sweat ill wait for the refresh and buy the newest version which im sure will be ample.

    besides WoW i do all the typical heavy surfing, facebooking, photo cataloging, etc. Nothing at all even worth noting.
    Thanks all
  2. BlackbookGuy macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2012
    Since no one else is replying to you...

    I don't play WoW, but I play Minecraft, and it runs fine on a MBA, and great on a MBP.

    I leave it to you to judge the aptness of the comparing WoW to Minecraft.

    I will say that if you don't have an external monitor, a 15-inch screen is much nicer that the 13...
  3. JNL Productions macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Hey I was in your boat a couple years ago. The current generation Macbook Airs use Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics along with the 13" Macbook Pro. Although I'm pretty sure the integrated graphics are capable of running the game, you certainly wouldn't be able to crank up the settings to max (at least not on full resolution). If you search YouTube for some game play videos on the computers you're considering then you might be able to get a better idea of the performance. However, if I were you, I'd simply wait to pick the new 15" Macbook Pro when it comes out. You'll have a beastly discrete graphics chip that will run WoW on max (just speculation of course). Or, you can always by the current generation to save some money when the new one is released. can always wait until summer (or later) and pick up a Macbook Air that will have Intel HD 4000 graphics from the Ivy Bridge processors that will most likely be able to run WoW on high settings. I know, lots of options. Do some research and decide what is best for you.

  4. macbook pro i5 macrumors 65816

    macbook pro i5

    May 13, 2011
    New Zealand
    The MacBook Air seems perfect for you!
  5. Suno macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2011
    I don't have any doubt that the Air can't run WoW, but I do have doubts about how it can handle heat when you play for long periods at a time.
  6. shanimal macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    MBP can run WoW on low to fair settings with the intel GPU active.
  7. Ohrstrom macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2012
    Im a bit sceptic about the "on high settings bit" my 09 mac with 9400 gpu ran on rather low settings... preferrably 8 gb of ram would be nice to avoid pageouts, and a better gpu than HD 3000... maybe HD 4000 will be enough.
  8. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    I play WoW on 2 very different Macs

    I raid in WoW using a 2008 2.8 Ghz Octo Mac Pro with 16GB RAM, 128 GB SSD and a HD5870 or a 2011 Macbook Pro 13" with i5 CPU 8GB RAM and Intel HD3000.

    The workstation runs it fantastically well for a 4 year old beast, the laptop runs acceptably with everything turned down low. If I had to choose a Macbook to play WoW on it would be a 15" i7 with 6770M graphics. Not a great GFX card but better than an integrated one.

    Ideally Apple will dump AMD GFX on the next generation MBP and adopt an Optimus Nvidia card instead:
  9. blazeken996 macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Nope you don't. Wait for the new Asus gaming laptop series with Ivy bridge. Should be coming out this week.
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You would need 4GB of ram and at least 128GB SSD if you got an Air, I would recommend waiting for the refresh if you're going for the Air.

    My concern for an Air and gaming is the screen resolution. But that is personal preference.

    If you went with a Pro, I would recommend 8GB of ram since you wouldn't have an SSD like the Air has.
  11. justin216 macrumors 6502


    Mar 31, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Mists of Pandaria expansion set has slightly higher graphic requirements than the Cataclysm expansion set. It even taxes my Late 2011 17" MBP with discrete video -- I have to turn down a few of the options to get it running smooth at native resolution.

    To that end, I wouldn't recommend investing in the Intel HD 3000 (or lower) if you want an enjoyable experience once that new expansion hits. If you'll be running it on Low at more limited resolutions, it'll likely be fine, but if you want to turn up some graphical details, I'd look at something with a discrete video card (ie, MBP 15/17, a PC, or wait until the Ivy Bridge Macs hit with the Intel HD 4000).
  12. srxtr macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    Are you going to play D3 when it comes out?

    WoW can probably run on any current model. I'd wait for 2012 model though
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I would make sure any Mac you get meets the recommendations for both WoW and Diablo III as the next expansion for WoW seems ot be headed towards where Diablo III is in terms of graphics and OS support.
  14. finchna macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002
    A 2011 MBP 15" with discrete graphic chip (and turned on to only use it in preferences) with 8GB ram would be what you want for an Apple portable that plays wow. This was the first Mac laptop that ran wow with no lag, stuttering, beach balls, etc. for me.

    just played the d3 open beta and it runs fine on a 2011 MBP 15"
  15. Hexiii macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2011
    Prague, Czech Republic
    The MBA will run it well, but it overheats a lot, therefore I would go with the MBP.

    I tried Guild Wars on Macbook Air 11" (its quite an old game). Although it runs well on high setting, after 10 minutes the macbook was really hot and it was running loud.
  16. ncaissie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2011
  17. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Heat is definitely a problem when running games on the MBA 2011.
  18. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    MBP obviously. The Intel H3000 is too weak to max out WoW. :)

    I'd suggest the 15" 2011 MBP. Or if you can wait, the 2012 15" MBP.
  19. rsarno thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Thank you all, I didn't realize id have such a great response to this thread!

    It sounds like regardless of anything, id benefit from waiting on at least the new MBP to drop.

    For those that mentioned "discrete video" what do you mean? is this an option when purchasing a macbook?

    And a few mentioned 8gig memory, im guessing the MBP doesn't come with 8gig in the base build so it would be an upgrade, probably a very expensive one! yes?

    My mouth is drooling, i really cannot wait for the new MBP to drop.
  20. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    For the current MacBook Pro models, those with only "Intel HD Graphics 3000" listed (13" models) have integrated graphics only. The ones that also list the AMD graphics have discreet (separate) graphics.

    If you buy it from Apple probably (but we'd need to see the new offerings first to know for sure).

    Most people buy Crucial or similar third party memory. Right now it's about $45(US) for an 8GB memory kit. Apple would charge you $200.

    Do note that you want to keep your original Apple memory. It's needed for some types of warranty issues or if Apple decides a machine needs to be replaced under warranty/AppleCare.
  21. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Basically, you need to buy a 15" Macbook Pro or a 17" Macbook pro. No other Apple laptop will offer a discrete graphics card.

    And even towards that end, I wouldn't get the low-end 15" Macbook Pro, as it only has a 512mb graphics card, which is the low-end for gaming these days.
  22. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    What everyone means by discrete is that the 13" only has an integrated graphics processor which means that it's a less powerful graphics processor that is built into the CPU, the main processor for the computer. The 15" and 17" models have the same Intel HD3000 of the 13" and MBA's, but they also have a different dedicated, or discrete, graphics card in addition that is more powerful than the one on the 13" or MBA. The 15" and 17" MBP's will very smartly switch between the two depending on what it needs at the time.

    And as another person mentioned, an 8GB RAM upgrade will only cost around $40-45 and can be installed in around 5 minutes at your own house. It's very easy to do and does not void your warranty.

    Whatever you end up getting, enjoy your machine! Best of luck! -Michael
  23. rsarno thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Oohh i understand now. I got burned with integrated graphics on my current Dell Studio XPS 1640 .. which had specs that made me drool, until i found out the graphics card sucked donkey balls and couldnt be switched or upgraded without an entire mobo switch! EEK!
  24. Ohrstrom macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2012
    If youre going to do gaming, I strongly suggest you get a 15" for the real gpu to power the games. I believe the Intel HD 4000 will not suffice enough. And if it does the time it does suffice will not come near the time the 15" gpu will have.
  25. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Since you say you're not fussed about battery, and you'll be primarily playing a game, you're gonna be plugged in a lot. Sounds to me like you'd benefit much more from an iMac. They just provide greater value if you don't need portability.

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