Exactly how crummy are the Macbook's graphics?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macgeek77, May 4, 2007.

  1. macgeek77 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    I am interested in purchasing a new machine in the next few months for school, and personal use. I just wanted to know exactly how poor the macbook's graphics were. I am constantly hearing that they are poor and slow. Thanks for any input!
  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    They are perfectly fine for photo editing, iMovie, Final Cut, and almost anything else you throw at it.

    They are not good for intensive gaming, some gaming, just not GPU intensive, and also 3D animation. Most everything else does not need a dedicated GPU.

    However b/c the VRAM is using system RAM, which is still a fixed amount, the more RAM the better.
  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    they are fine for most stuff besides gaming and 3D work. for the average user they are not as bad as most people here like to say.
  4. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I don't play games on my c2d macbook. The graphics are great for everything else. The machine is head and shoulders above my powerbook which has a dedicated/discrete card.
  5. Magnus Reftel macrumors member

    May 16, 2006
    Good enough for Core Image, which is the important thing. For gaming, it handles Doom 3 engine games (e.g. Quake 4) on the lowest setting and WoW on medium, but nothing fancier. The screen has less pixels than I'd like (1280x800), but it's no big deal.
    If you can wait a few months though, I'd recommend waiting until it's refreshed. The graphics are expected to improve a lot in the next revision.
  6. DVvM macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2007
    How bad for gaming are we talking? I only own a few mac games, and they're all several years old. Does the Macbook struggle with just cutting edge stuff, or will it also struggle with a 3D game that's 3-4 years old?
  7. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    It blows.

    Lego star wars drops down to unplayable rates, 5 to 10 fps, during faster paced scenes.

    WoW is better than my Powerbook 1.25 with 64mb graphics, but not by much.

    Three to four years ago = PPC, then you run into rosetta.

    Macbook = C2D Black with 2gb ram.
  8. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Name your games and maybe I can help. I occasionally play some older games with a friend of mine and my 12" powerbook definitely performs better than his macbook. Sometimes they are playable, and others not.

    BF1942 immediately comes to mind as an unplayable game. Age II/III, Rise of nations, Age of Mythology, Ghost Recon, Jedi Knight II/Outcast, and Quake III are all fine on lower settings. Rainbow 6 is a little slow.
  9. DVvM macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2007
    Sims 2, Civilization III, and Neverwinter Nights are the only ones I'm really concerned about.
  10. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Those will work great. I don't have a MacBook, but my mini has the same graphics card.

    I recomend getting at least 1 GB of RAM, My parents bought my Mini at an Apple store, so I still have the original 512 MB, which can be a little slow at times.
  11. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Ok, nevermind. I haven't played any of those. :)

    If Civ III is anything like Civ IV, I hate that game. I am still in the middle of the same game I was in like 2 weeks ago. I just don't like turn-based games...
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  13. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    So does the Macbook?
  14. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Kirkland, WA
    Civ III and NWN play fine, but I haven't heard much about the sims 2. But what I have heard hasn't been that great. YMMV
  15. blueflame macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2003
    Studio City
    what is going on here? this is like the 3rd person on this forum that has said that the c2d macbook can play age of empires 3, when everywhere I read says it "requires" hardware T&L to play or even intall. what is going on? am I missing something?
  16. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Nope. The Intel GMA950 is an integrated GPU and uses system ram instead of discrete graphics ram.

    I can verify it does work. However, update Age III ASAP as the 1.0 version has a problem with syncing player 0 (Gaia) on intel platforms. Basically, you can play for about 45 minutes, but just when the game really gets going it goes out of sync and crashes.

    It does, however, perform better on a 2-year-old Powerbook 12" than on the new blackbook...
  17. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    A Tip: With the type of GPU in the Macbook it is important to use RAM in matched pairs of DIMMs for best performance. Apple only sells MB configurations with matched pairs, but if you buy third-party RAM, be sure to buy two identical DIMMs. i.e., two 512MB DIMMs are better than one 1GB DIMM.
  18. blueflame macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2003
    Studio City
    how do you install? it gives me an error?
  19. RaMaz macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2007
    My MacBook runs everything great (read Signature for Specs)
    i run a bunch of games such as Call Of Duty 2, Halo, Need For Speed Carbon And Most Wanted, WoW and others,
    Windows Vista Ultimate in BootCamp (With Flip 3D and Aero Spit :p), Photoshop CS3, Parallels, VMware, CrossOver Mac, etc.

    They all run great, and for the Intel GMA its great, and fine for me,
  20. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    You're crazy, aren't you? COD2 runs at about the same speed at lowest possible graphics and 800x600 as my iMac G5 on highest 1440x900, which is about 10-18 fps most of the time in combat.

    Halo is crappier; didnt play WoW or NFS.

    To say Intel GMA is great, urgh...

    It doesnt even support Hardware T&L, which makes it incompatible with a lot of games, not to mention it runs awefully.
  21. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    I'm not sure why you are having problems.

    I promise you though, I have played Age III multiplayer with a guy on his blackbook.

    P.S. I just looked the game up on the Apple store and there are at least 2 users in the first page of comments that are using macbooks and say it runs fine.
  22. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    The next version with Santa Rosa should be a lot better, but who knows when that's coming out.
  23. Magnus Reftel macrumors member

    May 16, 2006
  24. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Haha, oh wow. You must be delusional or something :p
  25. CptnJustc macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2007
    I think he just has a very different standard of 'great'.

    WoW will run more or less serviceably with all the pretty options turned off, but it doesn't run nearly as well as it does on my CD MBP.

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