Gaming on 16 inch MacBook pro

icyfire

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 6, 2010
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I know of course that no MacBook is meant for gaming but I was wondering if anyone knows what the capabilities are with the new 5500m. Any benchmarks out yet?
 
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Deacon-Blues

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2012
554
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California
MacBook Pros may not be meant for gaming but I have been gaming on them since 2012. I’m currently gaming on my 2016 in clam shell mode with a 27” monitor at 1440p.

I was going to get an iMac but this new MBP seems like a lot more machine for less money. I’m going to get the 5500m with 8gb and see how it goes.

I haven’t seen any gaming benchmarks yet but I’m looking for them as well.
 
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Strangedream

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2019
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What games are you playing?

I read in another thread the 5500M is equivalent to a GTX 1650 in terms of performance. The post didn't mention the source of this claim tho.
 

Deacon-Blues

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2012
554
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California
Hard to mention gaming and Macs without the obligatory "PCs are better at gaming" post.
No thread on gaming would be complete without it! I actually have a PC, a Dell, I switch back and forth from time to time.

OP, I play World of Warcraft, Elite Dangerous (Bootcamp), Ghost Recon Wildlands, Elder Scrolls Online and Fortnite. I play a lot of WoW. My Radeon 455 handles it great.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
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I know of course that no MacBook is meant for gaming but I was wondering if anyone knows what the capabilities are with the new 5500m. Any benchmarks out yet?
Should slightly outperform laptops like XPS 15 or X1 extreme.
 

cap7ainclu7ch

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2010
367
321
I saw someone complaining that it wasn't as powerful as a xbox one x in another thread 😂 The fact that we have a nice 7nm GPU that far exceeds the previous gen at a lower price point is great. Looking forward to gaming on mine when I'm away from my desktop. I have no doubt it can run Fortnite and CS GO at reasonable settings. I am curious to see more demanding titles like the new COD on it.
 

mario-64

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2012
234
105
I realize that Windows is a better platform for gaming but I really like Mac OS and the new MBP features. I only play WoW and WoW Classic. I’m interested to see frame rate numbers with the 5500 8GB config.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,154
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SF Bay Area
These guys were impressed with the gaming performance of the entry level 16". They are still waiting for the 16" with more powerful 5500 to test.

 

nbuubu

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
186
34
What I really want to know is if the 8GB option is worth the extra money.
In terms of game performance the added GPU VRAM helps with both texture size, texture quality (anti-aliasing levels and as well as individual texture resolution), level of detail distance (texture draw-in) and overall resolution.

At 1080P there's usually a negligible difference between 4GB and 8GB. Some games like Shadow of Mordor will request higher than 4GB of texture RAM at 1080P, but most games won't (as of now). If you want to game at the 16" Macbook's Native Res of 3072 x 1920, the added VRAM will help. The MBP-16's resolution is closer to 4096 x 2160 (4K) than it is to 1920 x 1080 (Full HD).

As we move up to those higher resolutions the added VRAM could mean the difference between Medium and High settings in games. Or being able to run at native res vs dropping to a lesser res. Generally framerates aren't dependent on VRAM but if the VRAM fills up and needs to swap, the 4GB choke point could certainly hammer framerates. Which is why you'd drop to Medium/Low settings.

It's all pretty dynamic and depends on multiple factors, but if you're at all interested in gaming going forward the 8GB upgrade for $100 is pretty good. If all you're doing is playing WoW, maybe it's not worth it.
 

MacBookGamer

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2019
47
22
My old Vega 20 did around 40 fps in Black Ops 4 with native res, low settings. Modern Warfare is pretty much the same, so I'd guess the 8GB 5500m would do around 60 fps under the best case scenario.

This is all guesswork though based on Apple's alleged 55% improvement in Fortnite and the fact that 8GB of VRAM will help (possibly additional 15% increase) with the native resolution.

Apple has been slowly closing the gap between lightweight gaming laptops. I remember the 2015 MacBook struggling to reach 25 fps in Black Ops 3. Now we're potentially flirting with 60 fps in Modern Warfare.
 

venom600

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2003
834
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Los Angeles, CA
Based on what I've read the Vega 20 was roughly equivalent to the GeForce 1050, so what is the rough equivalent to the 5500M? Is it too much to hope for Geforce 1650 level performance?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
4,815
Based on what I've read the Vega 20 was roughly equivalent to the GeForce 1050, so what is the rough equivalent to the 5500M? Is it too much to hope for Geforce 1650 level performance?
Should be slightly faster than the 1650 mobile edition (non max-q). The performance of Pro 5500M is somewhere between 80-90% of the mobile RX 5500M, so I’d expect it to score 3800 in time spy.
- - Post merged: - -

This is all guesswork though based on Apple's alleged 55% improvement in Fortnite and the fact that 8GB of VRAM will help (possibly additional 15% increase) with the native resolution.
Navi 14 might not have that big of an advantage over Vega in compute performance, but it is a gaming-optimized GPU, so I expect games to perform much better.
 

nbuubu

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
186
34
Based on what I've read the Vega 20 was roughly equivalent to the GeForce 1050, so what is the rough equivalent to the 5500M? Is it too much to hope for Geforce 1650 level performance?
According to AMD's leaked press kits, the 5500 is positioned to directly compete with the 1650 (of course this was before Nvidia announced the 1650 Super which now presumably beats the 5500).

I would expect the 5500M to beat the 1650 Max-Q. I dunno if it could touch the full power desktop 1650 though.

The interesting thing to me is that the 5500M used in the MBP16 has two additional compute units more than the 5500 desktop card version.

Really looking forward to benchmarks.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
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By the way, don’t confuse the Pro 5500M in the MBP with the regular RX 5500M, different cards. Apple will get higher binned chips but they them lower, that’s why they get into 50W envelope.
 

hovscorpion12

macrumors 65816
Sep 12, 2011
1,248
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USA
With bootcamp (Windows 10) you could run a fair amount. With Google Stadia launching the bridge between PC/MAC may no longer exist if streaming services come to fruition. Give it 5-10 years until we get mainstream.
 

Homy

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2006
11
0
Sweden
Here is a test of 5500M 4 GB. It's ca 2,5 times faster in Unigine Heaven 1600x900 Ultra/Extreme than 560X in previous Macbook Pro. I think iMacs will get this GPU update next year so we don't have to wait two years again for the next update. They probably will get the desktop versions.
 
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MrGunnyPT

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2017
817
546
No thread on gaming would be complete without it! I actually have a PC, a Dell, I switch back and forth from time to time.

OP, I play World of Warcraft, Elite Dangerous (Bootcamp), Ghost Recon Wildlands, Elder Scrolls Online and Fortnite. I play a lot of WoW. My Radeon 455 handles it great.
do you play WoW in boot camp or MacOS? Also play WoW
 

BeatWilson

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2019
37
5
Yeah im hoping to play some quake champions on there. Not a very demanding game. I dont really need much. Its been awhile since i played a first person shooter on a mac.
 

dan9700

Suspended
May 28, 2015
3,347
4,590
It’s crap because and never release boot camp drivers the only drivers are ones they come with so games are never optimised my 2019 15 Vega 20 hasn’t had one driver change but amd has new drivers every few days but boot camps don’t get updated
- - Post merged: - -

My old Vega 20 did around 40 fps in Black Ops 4 with native res, low settings. Modern Warfare is pretty much the same, so I'd guess the 8GB 5500m would do around 60 fps under the best case scenario.

This is all guesswork though based on Apple's alleged 55% improvement in Fortnite and the fact that 8GB of VRAM will help (possibly additional 15% increase) with the native resolution.

Apple has been slowly closing the gap between lightweight gaming laptops. I remember the 2015 MacBook struggling to reach 25 fps in Black Ops 3. Now we're potentially flirting with 60 fps in Modern Warfare.
Vega 20 didn’t have one amd driver update so games never get optimised that’s the problem
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,805
4,160
If it can top a GTX 1650 then the 5500M should be good for at least moderate gaming (you will undoubtedly have to turn down the settings on most of the latest AAA titles though) - the bigger problem is games often run terribly under MacOS, even on the same hardware, so prepare to bootcamp into Windows if you want a decent experience.
 

Marzel

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2018
214
441
If it can top a GTX 1650 then the 5500M should be good for at least moderate gaming (you will undoubtedly have to turn down the settings on most of the latest AAA titles though) - the bigger problem is games often run terribly under MacOS, even on the same hardware, so prepare to bootcamp into Windows if you want a decent experience.
Yeah, gaming in MacOS is pointless since most games run way worse than Bootcamp (that’s assuming there is a MacOS version to begin with). The only downside of bootcamp is battery life but I guess no one is gaming with the laptop unplugged.
 
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