Gaming on 16 inch MacBook pro

jinnyman

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Sep 2, 2011
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If this is an 4x Very weak performer, than how its the Radeon 460?
Frankly speaking, it's not meant for MBP class laptop. At the same time, PC laptops of similar class and form factor used atleast mobile 1060. Vega 20 or atleast 16 should have been included in 2016 MBP
 

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
321
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Los Angeles, CA
If this is an 4x Very weak performer, than how its the Radeon 460?
It's fecal matter to be completely honest with you. I really feel like having paid $2000 for my 16" MBP was too much for the dGPU it came with, and the 5300M beats the crap out of the 460. It's obscene that Apple put a 460 in a MBP at all, even in 2016. There's absolutely no justification for it. People who bought MBPs before the inclusion of the Navi architecture in the 2019 16" Macbook Pro were ripped off big time. Apple's refusal to use Nvidia in their computers has been to the detriment of Apple users like us. This is the first time in a long while that AMD has had GPUs that came so close to being on level with Nvidia.

And hey, yeah, I say that as someone who had 9 logic board failures in 2007-2009 because of whatever nonsense happened with the Nvidia chip on it. Apple should begin offering Nvidia options to it's customers again, especially now that the Mac Pro exists.
 

MrGunnyPT

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2017
876
557
It's fecal matter to be completely honest with you. I really feel like having paid $2000 for my 16" MBP was too much for the dGPU it came with, and the 5300M beats the crap out of the 460. It's obscene that Apple put a 460 in a MBP at all, even in 2016. There's absolutely no justification for it. People who bought MBPs before the inclusion of the Navi architecture in the 2019 16" Macbook Pro were ripped off big time. Apple's refusal to use Nvidia in their computers has been to the detriment of Apple users like us. This is the first time in a long while that AMD has had GPUs that came so close to being on level with Nvidia.

And hey, yeah, I say that as someone who had 9 logic board failures in 2007-2009 because of whatever nonsense happened with the Nvidia chip on it. Apple should begin offering Nvidia options to it's customers again, especially now that the Mac Pro exists.
That's why I got the 13" back in 2016 and upgraded to the 16" the dGPU just wasn't gonna cut it. Used the 13" with an eGPU at home

Now I just use the dGPU for World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 when I'm away from home
 
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leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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Just quoting max Db levels misses my point
I think the averages are more important than max level anyway.

how often does the laptop need to spin up to max? what constitutes 'load'? [...]
Just because the laptop does move more air (and get louder) if you really need it to doesn't mean its going to be doing it all the time, or even on a regular basis.
Playing games, for example, will do it. A modern game will load your thermally machine close to its maximum (especially if you have v-sync off). The reason for this is how games work — they try to grab as much computing resources as they can, redrawing stuff as frequently as your machine can handle. If you want to test how loud the laptop gets, just start a 3D game — any game — with v-sync off and let it run for a while. And regarding fans... you don't have much choice if your GPU is pulling 90-120 watts of power continuously. To dissipate that passively you'd need a radiator of a considerable size.

the Mac will almost certainly spin up the fans sooner for a comparable load because it's smaller and denser with a smaller heat sink. Basic physics of heat dissipation
I am not sure that you can make this kind of sweeping generalization. This has to be experimentally verified. Yes, the Mac as smaller thermal transfer capacity. But it also does not have the hot GPUs of larger gaming laptops. Comparable load is actually a misnomer since load is relative to the hardware specs. The work load is unfortunately to normalized. Under full load (CPU+GPU) the MBP is drawing around 90-100 watts of power, in games it will be closer to 80 watts continuous. A large gaming laptop's will draw almost the double of that while gaming.

I think you are perfectly correct that if one were to normalize the performance somehow, that is, if we could run a game at same visual settings and fix it to run at same exact FPS on a MBP and a large gaming laptop, the gaming laptop would run very cool and quiet — but unfortunately, this is not how things usually work. Gaming laptops are more powerful, but they will also do proportionally more work when running games.


(also you cut out the part of my post mentioning comparable internals)
I just had a quick look of a bunch of gaming laptops equipped with 1660/1600ti (including Blade, Lenovo Legion, MSI GF65, Asus Zephyrus), and their average fan noise levels under load are between 40 and 50 dB. Given the fact that most of these laptops are larger and heavier, use smaller batteries and utilize direct airflow (with large vents just underneath the heatsinks), I'd say that, the MBP is dong very well in comparison — relatively speaking of course. It is clear that in terms of gaming performance, these laptops are going to be better.
- - Post merged: - -

It's obscene that Apple put a 460 in a MBP at all, even in 2016. There's absolutely no justification for it. People who bought MBPs before the inclusion of the Navi architecture in the 2019 16" Macbook Pro were ripped off big time. Apple's refusal to use Nvidia in their computers has been to the detriment of Apple users like us. This is the first time in a long while that AMD has had GPUs that came so close to being on level with Nvidia.
You are being a bit overly dramatic here. The 460 was a perfectly adequate GPU in 2016 and compared well with Nvidia offerings at the time (950M and 960M). It 2017 and 2018, not so much, since Nvidia had a new GPU gen (GTX 1050) while AMD had nothing.
- - Post merged: - -

Frankly speaking, it's not meant for MBP class laptop. At the same time, PC laptops of similar class and form factor used atleast mobile 1060. Vega 20 or atleast 16 should have been included in 2016 MBP
PC laptops of similar form factor used a 950M or 960M. Mobile 1060 is double the TDP. As to the Vega... kind of difficult to use a GPU that doesn't exist (it was only available in 2018 and the high cost and low availability of HBM VRAM made it not feasible as the default GPU choise).
 
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darkmatter343

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Sep 18, 2017
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It's fecal matter to be completely honest with you. I really feel like having paid $2000 for my 16" MBP was too much for the dGPU it came with, and the 5300M beats the crap out of the 460. It's obscene that Apple put a 460 in a MBP at all, even in 2016. There's absolutely no justification for it.
Yeah... funny, I think the same thing when I see Dell's 15" XPS or Lenovo's X1 Extreme selling for over 2K packed with a GTX 1650 4gb... obscene right? :rolleyes:
 

fs454

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Dec 7, 2007
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The 5500M is too weak. Even it's gaming/linux desktop option, the 5500/XT, will not push Ultra settings unless youod massively drop the resolution. The 5500M is a VERY, VERY, VERY WEAK PERFORMER.
Do you own a Mac or do you just build PCs? The 5500M is pretty great for what it is, and the whole notebook is sitting under 100w TDP, has a 100wh battery, and a 10 hour battery life. It's a thin productivity device, not a gaming machine and the fact that I can run most of my gaming library with decent framerates while I'm traveling without having two laptops or packing my desktop is awesome. Sure, we all want nVidia back in the Mac but in lieu of that, this GPU does great for Metal-based workflows and other GPU bound work - being able to play a bunch of games at native res is icing on the cake. I don't know of another notebook that can check all of these boxes for me.
 

BarrettF77

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May 24, 2015
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AMD also uses TSMC which the A13 and previous chips are made by. I frankly trust AMD over anything Nvidia puts out regardless of the performance. Every Nvidia card I've owned has always been super hot temp wise, loud, and had issues.

I'm sure things have improved in the last few years, but just looking at AMD with their CPUs over Intel I think the company is doing a good job and obviously is forward thinking. Not exactly what Intel and others are doing as much.

The laptop isn't perfect, the fact we do have an Apple Tax which does in a way pay for the OS development is also factored into the price of the machine. Though Apple has certainly gotten complacent with their QC.

Now later this year we could see a Gaming Mac be released and that could open up a entirely new chapter for things...
 
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darkmatter343

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Sep 18, 2017
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Now later this year we could see a Gaming Mac be released and that could open up a entirely new chapter for things...
It's hard to believe the rumor mill that Apple may be getting into the gaming scene. First off, I can't see it being feasible unless they allow for future upgrades, similar to the new Mac Pro. But when you can walk into your local Micro Center and build a gaming PC, anywhere from $300-to infinity, how is Apple going to compete with that. Also taking into consideration, most if not all PC games are optimized (and made) for Windows.
What I could see, is a new mac geared more towards gaming as a whole (but not upgradeble)... as in a 9900K with a 5700 XT. But even then... you're still running MacOS which hardly any games are made for, or if they have ports available don't run as well as their Windows counterpart.

Anyways, it'll be interesting to see what comes of this rumor... if anything. Any game that is made for Mac today can be played just fine on an iMac or the Macbook Pro etc... albeit with lower graphics. An iMac with a 240hz LCD, i7 9900 CPU, and a 5700 XT or who knows maybe a RTX card... maybe this is what they have in mind in regards to the eSports gaming.
 
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jinnyman

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Sep 2, 2011
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Do you own a Mac or do you just build PCs? The 5500M is pretty great for what it is, and the whole notebook is sitting under 100w TDP, has a 100wh battery, and a 10 hour battery life. It's a thin productivity device, not a gaming machine and the fact that I can run most of my gaming library with decent framerates while I'm traveling without having two laptops or packing my desktop is awesome. Sure, we all want nVidia back in the Mac but in lieu of that, this GPU does great for Metal-based workflows and other GPU bound work - being able to play a bunch of games at native res is icing on the cake. I don't know of another notebook that can check all of these boxes for me.
I agree with your statement. However, it's still not a great graphic chipset. For MBP 16's form factor, USB-PD power charging capability and octo core are all good. Given those conditions, 5500M is pretty decent and huge upgrade from all the previous offerings from Apple.

However, it doesn't change the fact that it's not great graphic chipset. It's not really meant for gaming although you can game on this thing. I'd only understand that you can only have one machine and MBP is your only one. And you want to game, then it's only option available I get it, but it's not meant for gaming period. Of course it depends on what game you play, and that chip is more then enough to play Civ 6 for example. The other guy was talking about 4k playing with 5500M and going 8gig from 4gig which is not a reasonable decision only for gaming.
 

lJoSquaredl

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Mar 26, 2012
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Not sure how reliable these are but this site has a bunch of ballpark benchmarks for the GPU at the bottom. Keep in mind tho they may be using anti aliasing as well which taxes the system a lot more while...not sure any gamers really use it especially above 1080p.
 

Viamusic10000

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Dec 11, 2019
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Is it worth using bootcamp from an external SSD? The 512gb ssd in the base model is less than expected.
 

fs454

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Not sure how reliable these are but this site has a bunch of ballpark benchmarks for the GPU at the bottom. Keep in mind tho they may be using anti aliasing as well which taxes the system a lot more while...not sure any gamers really use it especially above 1080p.

It's similar to a GTX 1060 - or practically a GTX 970 without its memory issue. That's pretty nice for the casual or occasional gaming in a slim 8-core notebook with a respectable battery life. So far every game I've thrown at it has been able to run at native res and respectable settings. Definitely some fiddling to find the sweet spot on newer titles like BFV, but even Jedi Fallen Order runs nicely.
 
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maflynn

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Is it worth using bootcamp from an external SSD? The 512gb ssd in the base model is less than expected.
Worth is subjective - last time I tried to put windows on an external drive, I gave up in frustration and instead put macOS on the external drive and windows on the internal.

If gaming or windows is a priority then it may be worth the effort.
 

shardey

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2010
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Is it worth using bootcamp from an external SSD? The 512gb ssd in the base model is less than expected.
You ever though about just using bootcamp with a small partition and using the external to store all your games?

I just bought a 2TB USB C HD to use to offload all my games to for around $45 to see how I like it.
 
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faust

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Sep 11, 2007
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AMD also uses TSMC which the A13 and previous chips are made by. I frankly trust AMD over anything Nvidia puts out regardless of the performance. Every Nvidia card I've owned has always been super hot temp wise, loud, and had issues.

I'm sure things have improved in the last few years, but just looking at AMD with their CPUs over Intel I think the company is doing a good job and obviously is forward thinking. Not exactly what Intel and others are doing as much.

The laptop isn't perfect, the fact we do have an Apple Tax which does in a way pay for the OS development is also factored into the price of the machine. Though Apple has certainly gotten complacent with their QC.

Now later this year we could see a Gaming Mac be released and that could open up a entirely new chapter for things...
Yeah, AMD’s Navi GPUs are a good return to form, but no way are they actually competitive with Nvidia yet. I’m not much into being a fangirl because I’d be an AMD fangirl in that case(first PC I personally built had an AMD Athlon64 processor), but Nvidia beats the snot out of AMD. Say what you like, but it wasn’t until mid 2019 that AMD was able to almost match the performance of the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080/2070(2070 only if you omit ray tracing and CUDA cores, and if you omit CUDA cores for the 1080 comparison).


This is an difference between macbook pro 16" with amd 5500M and an windows laptop with 5500M
View attachment 886681
Yeah, see how the extra 4GB of VRAM doesn’t help with the performance of the 5500M? That’s because the video card is the bottleneck and adding more video memory won’t ever change that. However, this infographic doesn’t state whether or not the MacBook Pro is running these games natively or in boot camp. I’m hoping it’s natively, but probably not the case.
 

fokmik

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Oct 28, 2016
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"this infographic doesn’t state whether or not the MacBook Pro is running these games natively or in boot camp"
Both were running on windows so bootcamp on mac
 
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applesed

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Jun 25, 2012
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Do you own a Mac or do you just build PCs? The 5500M is pretty great for what it is, and the whole notebook is sitting under 100w TDP, has a 100wh battery, and a 10 hour battery life. It's a thin productivity device, not a gaming machine and the fact that I can run most of my gaming library with decent framerates while I'm traveling without having two laptops or packing my desktop is awesome. Sure, we all want nVidia back in the Mac but in lieu of that, this GPU does great for Metal-based workflows and other GPU bound work - being able to play a bunch of games at native res is icing on the cake. I don't know of another notebook that can check all of these boxes for me.
what is this gaming library you speak of?
 

venom600

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Mar 23, 2003
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This is an difference between macbook pro 16" with amd 5500M and an windows laptop with 5500M
View attachment 886681
This comparison is irrelevant. The MSI Alpha 15 uses the full speed RX 5500M instead of the downclocked Pro 5500M. Whoever ran the test couldn't even get which card the MBP has in it correct on the graphic. All it tells us is that the faster card with less memory beats the slower card with more memory. This is news?
 
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Selldit

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
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This laptop games as well as any non gaming specific laptop I’ve seen. If you want a computer specifically for gaming don’t buy this machine. If you want a versatile computer for basic and advanced needs (I do a lot of FCP video editing) that you can also game on then I think you’d be hard pressed to find something better. I have the 6 core base model but upgraded the graphics card to 5500 8GB based on my use. I think everybody pointing out that it’s not a great gaming laptop is correct. My gaming peaks at running Modern Warfare and Farcry 5 during my lunch at work or after my kids are asleep - which this excels at.

I post because it’s a weird argument. Anybody expecting this to compete with a desktop card or a high end Alienware laptop will be disappointed - I’m just not sure who was expecting that.

For any casual gamers just doing research and wondering if they can also game on here: I’m thrilled with my purchase.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2012
2,209
2,997
Sydney
Anyone reading this thread could be forgiven for thinking they should be giving their 16” MacBook away to charity. I played many games on my Mid-2015 15” with 370x, and many games on older laptops before that (like the 17” MBP). People always have and always will play games on their Macs, even those with iGPUs; including (but not necessarily) fast-paced 3D games.

My 2015 MacBook Pro could play GTA V successfully enough on Medium to High settings (from memory I think even some Very Highs and Ultras were enabled). Sure it wasn’t a stable 60 FPS, but I could get 30-50 or so, which was playable. I also played Cities Skylines—a game where FPS isn’t critical and other factors affected frame rates—well enough.

The 5500m is supposedly up to 3x faster than what I last had in that last MacBook from 2015. And while the older GPUs were kind of disappointing, I was still very happy overall with the machine. If I was happy enough then, I think I‘ll be happy enough playing games with these new graphics, in a slimmer and lighter overall package.

I can’t see how the 5500m is “very, very, very, weak” or “fecal matter” (as @faust puts it) in a laptop of this type without making numerous other sacrifices. That’s just a tad melodramatic. People say 50% of the experience is audio as well, and on that this laptop is supposed to be in a league of its own. I agree the prices Apple was charging for the 2016-19 15” MBPs (with their ****** keyboards) and the graphics upgrades were obscene, which is why I ignored them.

Now, while I sit and ponder specifications, the delivery estimate keeps slipping!
 
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