Dual monitor degrading performance?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by posnera, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. posnera macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2010
    I've got a late-2008 MBP 15" (2.4 ghz C2D, 9600M) attached to another monitor. I generally run both monitors for work. My gaming experience is limited, but I am having a hard time running L4D2 without turning all settings to low. 2 questions:

    1 - Would closing the laptop and running only the external monitor be better (or would the laptop screen be better)?

    2 - What settings can I reasonably expect to run on this computer?
  2. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2007
    1) Rendering for two displays does cost VRAM. Use only the laptop screen for optimal performance.

    2) Most things are high, some at medium. Disable AA.
  3. archurban macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    of course for sure. dual monitor performance is only satisfied with desktop. laptop can't cover that much. usually desktop PC or iMac (I'm not sure) has double graphic cards in it if you customize. but I believe that imac can't. your laptop has only 256MB video memory(?). it's insufficient to see performance you expect. I even doubt that your laptop has a good gaming performance (more than medium setting likely higher). if you want to expect that kind of performance, buy mac pro, or some PC desktop which has dual video graphic cards in it. of course, with intel core i7, 1GB video memory.
  4. Ainze macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    I don't know where some of these people get their info from.

    Yes, performance will be a bit better without the second display, but not by much. Most games only use the primary display, so the secondary display doesn't really consume many more resources, if any. Many games either leave the second display as desktop or make it go blank. You can try unpluging, but don't expect huge jumps. I have roughly the same laptop as you, and I never notice much difference. Actually, I never notice any difference, but I'm not exactly clocking it.

    And the 9600 does just fine for gaming, for those who don't think it can. Some brand new games (high performance 2010 stuff) have made mine struggle but for everything else, it's been stellar!

    If your game is running slow, play with some of the high performance settings. They're usually to blame. Once you find the biggest culprits, everything else should be able to go up. What Hansr said sounds pretty much dead on to me.
  5. posnera thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2010
    Thanks for the info.

    I would prefer to game on the external monitor (mostly because it is larger, less so for higher resolution). At equal resolution, is there a performance hit for using the external vs laptop screen?

    Obviously, I need to play around on my own to find my optimal settings.
  6. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2007
    I can't see why there should be much difference. IIRC the Valve engine will leave the non used monitor as a blanked screen but still consuming minimal resources. Turning off the main screen via closing or maybe ctrl+shift+eject (can someone confirm this turns off the screen and not just put's it to sleep?) should work.
  7. Ainze macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    Should work fine on the external. Just remember to make it the primary display first (in Sys Prefs). Just find those magic settings and away you go. I would do the same but my external is 5:4 aspect ratio, so I hate using it for games!

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