Gaming on 15" MBP i5 or i7 with GT 330M good enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NateEssex, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. NateEssex macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    I'm thinking of getting a new MBP, but want to be able to play MMORPGs like Warhammer Online or similar games coming out. Can anyone speak to first hand experience with the various 15" MBPs with i5 or i7? With 256MB GT 330M vs 512 MB? I would love to be able to get the 13", but I'm sure that video card won't make it happen.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. thecarrot macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    If you are planning on gaming on a MBP, first off u need the 15 or 17'. Secondly you will want to use bootcamp and game in windows. Thirdly you will want to overlclock the GPU (although with MBPs it is actually underclocked by default so its fairly safe
  3. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    It's good enough to play anything out there now, but don't expect to play newer stuff at max detail settings or resolution. Also, ditto on the bootcamp suggestion.
  4. NateEssex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    Follow up..ATI

    I thought I read somewhere on a new site that Apple was going to go with ATI cards in all new laptops. Is this true? If so, would it be smart to wait for the change over for a better video card?
  5. Nipz macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2006
    Im playing starcraft 2 on my 15 i7 and its fine. Ive had to put the graphics down to medium to maintain a good FPS but doesnt bother me. Gaming on windows is better as people have said but i really cant be bothered to put windows on my machine :)
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  7. thomaskc macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    Is there no way to overclock the gpu in OSX as it is in windows?
  8. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    i play starcraft on high settings with perfect frame rates.

    this is the reason u go bootcamp
  9. I'mAMac macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2006
    In a Mac box
    ^ Agreed. If you want to game you will definitely want to bootcamp it. At least until 10.6.5 when most of the graphics drivers are updated (hopefully). WoW I can play pretty much maxed out in win7 along with SC2. Crysis you gotta go mostly medium. But pretty much anything out now the 330M can run it and run it well. As long as i can run GW2 nicely I'll be happy.
  10. NateEssex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    Can anyone speak to the i5 vs i7 & the 256 card vs the 512?

  11. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    You'll need the 512 if you plan on gaming a lot with boot camp.
  12. Gata macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    1-2 FPS, on lower settings. You'll only really notice the extra 256 MB come into play at higher resolutions. The i7 makes little-no difference.
  13. reticulate macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    Most games aren't very well threaded, so the CPU isn't really as important as the GPU is - both the i5 and i7 will do the job nicely.

    As for the choice of GPU, more video RAM is always better. If you plan on gaming, get the 512MB version.
  14. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    Your laptop is going to run red hot if you game on it. Just a heads up.
  15. NateEssex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    My older MBP runs red hot now. Are the newer models susceptible to high heat to the point where it's dangerous?
  16. newbiemacguy128 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    Not really, my core i7 15in doesn't usually go pass 75*C when gaming. Starcraft 2 used to run really hot until i capped my frames at 30. My Asus gaming laptop, now that thing could cook eggs.
  17. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    haha this is completely false, it will run warmer because you are using more of the computers abilities for more hours but it will be just fine.
  18. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    How is it false if you agreed that it will get warmer? Macbooks get incredibly hot when gaming, it's pretty well known. The heat levels are within tolerance, but don't dare game with the computer on your lap, or you're going to get mighty toasty.
  19. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    If gaming is your priority while staying with a Mac and portability isnt necessary, might I suggest the base model 2.8GHz Mac Pro with the stock 5770 or better yet the 5870. It'll run all your games like its nothing.
  20. Zak.V macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2010
    With smc setting fans to 5200 rpm, my 13" mid 09 plays sc2 on a custom low-med no problems. Temps are always mid-low 80s, never been higher than 87C.

    It does get too hot to use on your lap though.

    I do need to cap frame rate at 12 for menus. Otherwise while working on other things while waiting for friends my hole system bogs down. In game i range 20-30 fps, not great but for the gear i have very acceptable.
  21. NateEssex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    I like to be able to play in different rooms in my house, so I'm trying to stay away from a desktop. I wanted the least expensive MBP that CAN play current MMORPGs, which is what I usually play.

  22. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    well if you purchased the games or look it up it will show you the minimum graphics requirements, you look at several games take an average, lets say its 128 MB, and the graphics card has 256 it will run it very smoothly and 512 is almost over kill, but for SC2 512 is practically the minimum >_< haha, there is other important specs but thats the basic over view =D
  23. green86 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2007
    North Carolina
    No it isn't completely false. I have the i7 and the 512 of VRAM, and I'm able to play Star Trek Online in the native resolution with everything turned on high (8x anti aliasing!) except for shadows that are turned on low. It isn't silky smooth but its more than playable. Anyways, the Macbook Pro gets so hot while playing I can't have it on my lap without it being highly uncomfortable. Even with pants (as opposed to shorts). I often have to put a pillow under it, which actually props it up a good bit for more air circ, and solves the heat problem.

    I've actually found that STO is actually easier to play on a laptop thanks to the proximity of the trackpad to the keyboard. I can have both hands on the keyboard while using my thumbs for the trackpad. I've become so spoiled I actually can't play using a regular keyboard/mouse setup, as this particular game requires constant attention to both the keyboard and trackpad/mouse to be played anywhere close to competitively.
  24. NateEssex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    That is a similar build to one I'm interested in. With some of the settings turned down, is STO smooth and fluid?

    I'm curious if you think the HiRes display was worth the cash? Did you get it for gaming alone? And the 1 TB hard drive? wow....

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