OS X Gaming on rMBP w/ Parallels?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by iPoopeh, May 11, 2013.

  1. iPoopeh macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Hey guys!

    Sometime this summer, I'm planning on buying a rMBP when they come out with the new refresh models. I've heard good things about gaming on this machine, but I wanted to make sure I'm not over paying when it comes to the specs. I was thinking about getting a 2.7Ghz i7 with 16GB RAM and 512SSD [so the base high-end rMBP] However, with my Education discount, that's still $2,600.... Could I perhaps get the base model and still have games at medium to high settings?

    And I also wanted to know how it felt like to game on the newer versions of Parallels. I see a lot of people prefer to use Bootcamp, but I like the flexibility of Parallels on Mountain Lion. [I think you have to reboot the whole laptop in order to use Windows/OS X? While with Parallels, all you do is swipe the trackpad? Please let me know if this si correct.]

    Any help/advice would be great! Thanks in advance!
  2. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    There will be no perceptable difference between the low end and high end model for gaming. Actually, my 2.3ghz/16gb/256GB retina performed BETTER at games than my 2.7ghz/16gb/512GBGB retina, simply because the graphics card on the slower one was a factory freak and especially stable under overclocking (yes the standard graphics card is overclocked, but you can overclock it further to crazy levels, literally maxing out the core speed).

    It's crap, don't expect to do anything better than playing low spec games like diablo, or WoW or old games. Parallels slows everything down by around 50% as it's a windows emulator. Just spend $100 and get a windows 7 CD key and use bootcamp. It's much better. You'll have to turn the settings way down on modern games to make them play at reasonable speed in parallels.

    Yes this is correct, you have to reboot, which isn't that big a deal as it takes 10 seconds, literally.

    You probably wouldn't be interested as even rebooting scares you but there is another option that requires a very high level of technical skill to accomplish (I'm a programer and have been pulling my hair out, getting EFI windows to instaLl), but you can use eGPU with any mac laptop under windows (not the mac mini though sadly).

    The default MacBook Pro graphics card is a 650 GT overclocked by Apple with special cooling. It scores about 1500 on passmark. Overclocked it scores 1800, which is very very very very fast for a laptop. It's mind blowing.

    Most entry level desktop cards score 1800. I'm playing dead space 3 which came out recently on nearly max settings at 1920x1080 (hdmi out xbox controller) with the rMBP, the game is vsynched in a weird way that limits the frame to either 30 or 60 FPS with nothing inbetween and the fps NEVER drops below 30, maxed out - never.

    However I have a regular cheap MacBook pro 15 with a Sonnet Echo Express Pro and EFI windows (bootcamp is MBR windows, EFI windows allows direct driver passthrough and is a hack to get additional features LIKE egpu). I'm pairing the Echo Express Pro with a VisionTek 5.25" 450w free standing power supply and a GeForce GTX 690.

    Passmark score is over 5,500, per GPU. So because it has two GPU's on one card nearly 12,000. 7 times faster than an overclocked rMBP.

    So basically you can put the fastest video card money can buy in any Mac laptop with a little hacking. Suffice it to say you can play any game on any setting at any resolution. It's amazing.
  3. iPoopeh, May 11, 2013
    Last edited: May 11, 2013

    iPoopeh thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Thanks for the detailed response back! Really do appreciate it. The only other question I have is that I heard that the refresh 15" rMBP might have the 750m GPU. Do you know if that makes a big difference in gaming or is that just simply a rebrand of the 650m?

    And I will have to think about the bootcamp thing. We have a copy of Windows 7 at my house so I wouldn't have to pay for that. I just don't like the idea of stopping what I'm doing on my main OS (OS X) just to play a few games. But I'll wait for some more replies before I decide on that matter.

    EDIT:: I'm not into hacking/doing too many things inside the machine. Unless it's a RAM upgrade or putting in a HDD/SSD. I leave the rest to professionals. [I'm going to college to be an Art Major, not a Computer Major. xD] But thank you for that extra info!
  4. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    If you're going to buy a Retina MacBook Pro, you will be doing neither of those things. The RAM is soldered onto the logic board and cannot be upgraded after the fact. The hard drive is a proprietary SSD that can only be upgraded with a 2nd-hand OEM part or an expensive drive from Other World Computing. Any additional storage you require would need to be external.
  5. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    i installed the bootcamp partition for when i wanted to run windows natively with some gaming (not a heavy gamer, but the opportunity is there when i do want to), and then you can get parallels and tell it to simply access the bootcamp partition and run it in the virtualized mode, that way you get the best of both worlds- run it natively or run it emulated.
  6. iPoopeh thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    This I already know, I'm not interested in getting a cMBP for doing all the tinkering. But I don't want to rack up the price of the rMBP either. But I can only wait and see what happens after WWDC before I stress myself out too much about prices. u.u


    Oh Parallels can access the Bootcamp Partition? This is some good information that I didn't know about! And there wouldn't be any rebooting required since it's running in Parallels correct? [Just wanna make sure I completely undertand.]
  7. Sech macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2012
    That is correct. You won't have the native performance of booting directly into windows, but for some games I've seen acceptable to me performance.
  8. iPoopeh thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Great! Thanks for telling me. I don't plan on playing any big games like Bioshock or Tomb Raider [that's what my PS3 is for] However I'd like to play a lot of indie games and some MMO's. ^ ^

    If anyone else has any experience with playing games on Parallels, I'd love to hear it.
  9. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Many games in those genres have OS X ports and are available through Steam.
  10. iPoopeh thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Not the ones that I've seen/been interested in. Especially a lot of MMO's that I'm interested in. [the cutesy Korean ones are PC only. u .u]
  11. cmsj macrumors regular


    Oct 9, 2012
    So, I don't play games in Parallels, but I do use it to run Ubuntu and my Bootcamp partition.

    I would *strongly* advise that you get the 16GB rMBP if you do go retina - being able to close all your OSX apps and give 8GB to Windows will *really* help with games. If you're stuck permanently on the 8GB model then you'll be really limiting the amount of RAM you can give to Windows.
  12. iPoopeh thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Yes I'm going to get 16GB of Ram so I won't have to worry about it lagging later on. What I'm kinda worried about is how much storage I'll really need... I"m not sure if 256GB is good enough.

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