Gaming capability

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by darngooddesign, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    So I normally don't game on my Mac, but both the upcoming Star Wars Battlefronts and MadMax games have me rethinking this. I am deciding between the 13" Air and 13" Pro and would run the games in a Bootcamp partition. I try to buy used but which ones of each from 2013 and newer do you think can run these games decently? I don't mind lower quality but don't want crappy quality.
     
  2. BrettApple, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015

    BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #2
    Honestly for the price, a console would be the best.

    Otherwise if you need it to be an Apple Laptop the only one that is decently good at gaming (in high res with meduim/high settings) is the 15" MacBook Pro, particularly the one with the dedicated video card. The Iris Pro is still pretty good for what it is but the 750m or the newer AMD card would be the best option.

    As for a 13" MacBook, I've got a Late 2013 rMBP (2.4GHz, 8GB/256GB, Intel Iris 5100) and the 5100 runs all of the games I play very well in 1080P resolution. But most of my games are older. Such as Burnout Paradise, Guitar Hero III, TF2, Portal 2, Half Life 2, and Call of Duty 4. Anything newer I haven't really thrown at it since I have a PS1/2/3/4 for 99% of my gaming.

    The 13" MBP will probably run your games, just don't expect high settings and you'll probably be running them at 1280x800 rather than anything close to the native resolution of the display. But that should still look decent. The HD6000 in the 2015 MacBook Air is pretty comparable to the 2013/14 13" MBP surprisingly. So it would be about the same but the TDP is a little lower so it might not sustain it as well as the Pro. The 2013 MacBook Air has the HD5000 and it's less powerful than the others, but still do able.

    Really you can throw what you've got at it and adjust settings accordingly (I gamed on a 256MB 9400M for 6 years) but don't expect it to look great.

    So, best - 15" MBP or separate console. "OK" performance - 13" MBP.

    I'd shoot for the 13" MBP and a console if you don't need it on your computer. Otherwise the 15" MBP isn't cheap!

    Give me a minute and I'll see if I can find system requirements for those games you listed. Battlefront II runs great on my rMBP and PS2, haha.

    Looking online the system requirements for Battlefront are just listed as "coming soon" so that's disappointing. But some sources list at least a desktop class GTX 460 or higher for Mad Max. So the 15" rMBP is the only way to go if you need it on a MacBook.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Agreed with BrettApple. Although I've never preordered a game in my life, and I avoid EA like the plague, I am preordering the crap out of the new Battlefront game. However even with Bootcamp, SSD & 16GB RAM, I'm very much aware that I won't be able to run it smoothly on anything higher than medium - I have the 2012 15" MBP. If I had a next-gen console I'd probably be getting it on that.

    It's best just to leave your Mac for work as they're not really gaming machines. That's not to say you can't game on them, but you will be disappointed with its performance. Failing consoles, you can build an extremely capable gaming PC for ~£800; definitely a lot less if you were to skimp on CPU/RAM. The advantages of a desktop PC is you can be assured that it'll be easily upgradeable in the future.

    TL;DR: build gaming PC or buy console if you're wanting a decent gaming experience.
     
  4. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    #4
    Yea, get a PC if you want Star Wars. Specs are not going to be generous for a Mac especially a MacBook.
     
  5. barca bear macrumors member

    barca bear

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    Have Apple ever attempted to push a Macbook as being capable of high-end gaming?
     
  6. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    #6
    Nope.

    Every couple years they might show a screenshot of a PC gaming run 'great' on a Mac during a keynote. Last one I remembered was like a Diablo 3 one showing off the MBP Retina. That was like 3 years ago.

    Look at Game Center on iOS and Mac. Its a joke.

    Look at Steam on the Mac and its a joke. If Apple cared, you would assume they could influence Valve to at least update the UI.
     
  7. darngooddesign thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    I would be running the games in BootCamp.
     
  8. droodles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    #8
    I've been playing DOTA on my MBA and it runs ok. There is some lag and 5 second freezing here and there though. I also tried it on a 21 inch monitor today @ 1920 x 1080 resolution and it handled it alright. Same lag and freezing appeared too.
     
  9. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #9
    There's a long thread here on MBA gaming. I believe it's based off the 2013 MBA though. Still, gives you an idea. I only play older stuff on my MBA -- no Bootcamp.
     

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