Gaming Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sgrrsh26, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. sgrrsh26 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    Im going to get a 15" MBP with 3.06 processor

    I was wondering how well this does with gaming as i do game a lot. I dont necisarily have to have maxed out graphics but low wont cut it either.

    Will i be able to play upcoming future games with this laptop?
    I like a lot of hdd space should i consider 7500 rpm over a 500 gb drive?
    What about heat, will prolonged gaming periods affect the laptop? 2-10+hours a day?

    thanks for your input
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    Games are GPU. Everything else is CPU. Why the heck are you getting the best CPU but don't care about the GPU?

    If you get a faster hard drive, buy it separate and install it yourself.

    Computers are built to run 24/7/365. Heat, with proper ventilation, is normal.
     
  3. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Yea, you don't need the highest end CPU. The 2.8 will serve you well. Get the best GPU, though. That's where you see the improvements. It's not worth paying $300 for a couple MHz. Besides, the GPU will play an even bigger role when Snow Leopard comes about with Open CL.
     
  4. DdMac679 macrumors member

    DdMac679

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    Jul 25, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #4
    Wouldn't this computer http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC026LL/A?mco=MjE0NjE5MA serve the same purpose for way less the price? With some of the requirements the OP is asking for and if I was going to game for up to 10 hours a day I would spend $500 to $1K and build a tricked out PC or go with an Apple $1600 refurb before spending $2600 on a new laptop to game with.
     
  5. pnyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #5
    The GPU in the MacBook Pro is not meant for any kind of serious gaming, it really can't handle much beyond low to mid settings in the more demanding modern games. If as you say you plan on playing for 2-10+ hours daily then I'd say that you should consider other options than the MBP.
     
  6. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #6
    Not really true. That 9600 Is a very capable card. My 9400 can run cod 4 at medium setting's on my hdtv at 1080p and only lag minimally. Im sure that the 9600 would run it almost flawlessly in my case. A lot of people underestimate these cards.

    To the op, Get a model with the 9600 FOR SURE. You really don't need the 512mb version, but it may help a bit. In any case, the faster CPU will do nothing for you. Getting the best graphics card, and a faster HDD will help you a lot more than the CPU. The 9600 Is a good card and will let you run some games at high settings, and most new games at medium settings.
     
  7. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #7
    if you play 10+ hours on any computer i'd say you should consider a gaming console, or getting a job :)

    you'll be fine.. if i can play Quake 4 on my UMB on medium-high settings i don't see why you wouldn't enjoy some newer games just as much.
     
  8. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Winnipeg
    #8
    +1. Console Gaming is much better anyway. And if your a huge gamer, chances are you'd be better suited to the console anyway.
     
  9. pnyc macrumors 6502

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    May 12, 2007
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    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    I'm still gonna stick to what I said. Here are some benchmarks :
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9600M-GT.9449.0.html
    This is not a video card for someone who games 2-10+ hours a day.
     
  10. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Dec 31, 2008
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    Winnipeg
    #10
    He did not say he was gaming for 10 hours a day though. And saying 2-10 is quite a long time frame. I game for 2 or 3 hours sometimes playing cod 4 on my hdtv at 1080p on medium settings and its completely fine. The 9600 would be an improvement over what I have, and therefore should handle what hes going to be doing just fine. He already said that he does not need to run the games at high settings. The 9600 will handle almost any current game at medium settings and that should continue through the rest of this year. If not even a bit longer.
     
  11. pnyc macrumors 6502

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    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #11
    Hmmm he clearly says " ... prolonged gaming periods affect the laptop? 2-10+hours a day?" when he asks about the heat. Why would he ask about it unless that's something he does or plans on doing?

    The 9600 is an improvement over what you have but as I already said and according to what the benchmarks seam to indicate low-mid settings is what he can run the current games at.
     
  12. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #12
    Can you give us an idea of what games you are interested in? That will define if the game would run good on the system you should get.

    I do an occasional WOW on my MBP and it runs fine. WOW isn't a demanding game unless you flip on the shadows. However, if you are going to play Crysis, thats a different story and would run way better on a gaming rig.
     
  13. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    #13
    Sorry, didnt catch that he put that in there. But For what he's doing, at medium settings new games should run fine.
     
  14. rj-300zx macrumors regular

    rj-300zx

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #14
    Oh what a load of nonsense. The 9400m is essentially a integrated Quadro 140m. The Quadro can't push a game like Call of Duty 4 at 1280x800 with medium settings at 30+ fps let alone 1920x1080. Don't kid yourself. However, I shouldn't critisize your' idea of playability, some people its 15fps, I need at least 35.

    Now to the OP, I would seriously suggest that you get a PC or console if you plan on gaming. And for PC definitely a desktop, try out CyberPower PC. They make some good stuff at a decently cheaper price, they also have laptops as well if you must go that route. As a minimum, you should be sure to get a 512mb nVidia 8800 or equivelent card on any machine you buy. I'm pretty sure that the older 17" MBP's came with an 8800m. That way you know you could get decent performance out of any game running the Unreal 3, Dunia, and even CryEngine2.
     
  15. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #15
    For heat..... It will run hotly. Even 30 minutes of the sims on my 2.93ghz / 9600 512mb MBP, and it is extremely hot.

    Despite what people may say, I'm not convinced 10 hours of gaming at 85+ Celsius can be any good for a laptop.
     
  16. CoreyMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #16
    I just purchased a 2.8GHz uMBP June 2009 with 9600M 512MB, 4GB RAM.....

    It runs nearly EVERY game at high settings smoothly IF you dont care about not running games in 1440 resolution. If you're running the games on the MacBook Pro in the 1024x range you will find that the new macbook pros can run almost every game at that resolution with all high settings. Crysis with everything high at those resolutions is very playable. Its when you want to run this game at the displays maximum resolution that you begin to chug, but Idk why you'd want to run games at 1440 on a notebook anyways. Other games I've tried that run flawlessly: BioShock, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead
     
  17. rj-300zx macrumors regular

    rj-300zx

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #17
    1024x768. Thats the resolution PC gamers had been using back in 1998. On 10 and 12" screens no less. I have yet to find a person that would prefer higher settings over higher resolution. Plus the AA that you would have to turn on to offset pixelation would make it worthless to run it in a lower resolution. TF2 and L4D will run on medium settings on a GMA950 at 1280x800 so no suprise there. Bioshock and UT3 are optimized amazingly and will run on an old 8400m. Call of Duty 4 is fairly optimized as well and will run on anything you can pretty much install it on now days.
     
  18. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #18
    Well it does play the game, so I dont know why your saying that its a load of nonsense. I dont know how many frames per second it runs at. But at medium-low settings Id say it probably does run 20 fps or so. It playable, but I rarely use it on that resolution. I usually just run it on the macbook itself. Even on the macbook it isn't the greatest and I usually opt to play it on my 360. But for on the go its very playable. Why would I lie about something like that? Id want to help the op and not hinder him by lying.

    People have helped me immensely on this forum and I'd like to return the favor.


    Edit: I looked up some info on the quadro 140m. That graphics card is a few years old already and is compared to the intel x3100. The 9400M is 5x faster than that particular intel GPU. So the 9400M is NOT essentially a Quadro 140M like you said. It is around 4 or 5 times less powerful than the 9400M
     
  19. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #19
    So here you say cod 4 will run on almost anything that will install it nowadays yet above you criticize me for saying I can run it on my hdtv at medium settings?
     
  20. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #20
    The 9600GT can do mid-high on most current games, but obviously a 4870, etc is better :)
     
  21. Saint Luke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    #21
    I wouldnt agree with that at all. If your running a game in os x with the 9400, maybe. I have hardly had any problems with running any games. The only game ive had problems with is h/d swapping in fallout 3, but im running 2gb of ram so its to be expected on high settings.

    This was never bought for gaming, but im more than happy with how it performs. If you were purely buying im not sure it would be the best move (or any notebook for that matter). One thing id suggest is to turn the fans on in SMC control in OS X to full that way you can be sure there is no overheating problems. Ive never had any, i'd just rather play safe. I run CPUID to monitor current and max temps, and even with the 9600 overclocked to the same clock speeds as the 9700, which gave me round 1300marks more in 3dmark 06, ive had no overheating problems (even after a smashing too many hours back to back), no artifacts in games, and no complaints!

    EDIT - If you were that worried about temps, you could do what i did when i was running vista was undervolt the cpu. I dropped mine by about .3v from memory, which lowered overall temps by 10c on both the cpu AND gpu, without being unstable. The only reason i dont run that now is i swapped to W7 RC1 and havent been bothered to spend the time setting it up again.
     
  22. Helmigurt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austria
    #22
    Hi, first of all... thx for featuring this website..

    www.notebokcheck.com and the english version www.notebookcheck.net is a project of my brother. When time allows i´m doing some articles, benchmarks or other stuff.

    If the 9600M GT is sufficient for you depends what games you wanna play. For Counterstrike Source, HL2, Left4Dead and COD4 with medium settings even the 9400M is plenty, the 9600M GT can display even newer games like crysis reasonable. But GTA4 or Arma2 will be a pain in the ass. That said: Our experience is that newer games need cpu power en masse as well, so if you want to play for example Arma2 I would definately get the 3 Ghz option.

    Even if you don´t consider the best CPU, take at least the 512MB Version. For higher resolutions and better textures 512 MB GPU Ram do shine.

    As of SSDs: We found that while a decent SSD like the Intel X25-Ms do great things for your overall computing experience (Start-up, Application launching, etc.) gaming performance isn´t vastly improved. You definately will experience slower loading times, games will install faster, but the framerate stays about the same, especially compared to a fast conventional HDD like the WD scorpio black.

    Would be nice to hear some feeback about www.notebookcheck.net or .com for german speaking folks.
     
  23. ShiryuX macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #23
    All in all depends on the budget. I still think a bigger CPU can always help. Certainly when newer games come out the req. for CPU still remains a bit high. :)

    By the way, to overclock your graphic cards, how do you guys do it?
    Have been looking for overclocking (safely, don't want a fried card:p) the 9400M but the only thing I found for Windows was "Nvidia System Tools".

    Is there anything better to somewhat improve gaming on a 9400? :apple:
     
  24. Saint Luke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    #24
    I used rivatuner, with dox optimized 185.68 drivers. Some of the settings in rivatuner need to be changed first, from memory it was:

    Go to poweruser tab
    go to rivatuner\nvidia\overclocking
    Change these settings to 1:
    EnableLowPower3dControl
    EnablePrefLevelForcing
    UseAlternateStartupDaemon
    Then go to rivatuner\overclocking\global
    Change MaxClockLimit to C5

    Then on the main tab, click on the global driver settings at the bottom and click on the video card pic that pops up (the first one) which should take you to the overclocking screen.

    Tick enable driver-level hardware overclocking and make sure performance 3d is selected, and force constant performance level is set to performance 3d as well.

    Personally i dont check apply settings at startup until im comfortable that ive found a stable setup, that way if its unstable, i can just restart it and its back to standard clock. Make sure you use a temp monitor, i use CPUID hardware monitor as it records the current and max temps for just about everything, so you can see if its spiked in a few hour game session. I personally wouldnt go over 90c, but they are meant to be fine around 100c. I have my fans set to full in SMC under OS X before i boot into W7 for games that are heavy graphically, as i think windows only turns on 1 fan.

    In terms of clock speeds i just went to the same clock speeds as the 9700m and were satisfied with that. Its possible you could go further, but i would imagine you'd get artifacts in games before long and i couldnt justify the speed improvement/risk ratio. Just make sure you see no funny graphic glitches, like spikes in 3d models, textures flashing etc. If you do drop the clock speed back straight away. Hope this helps!
     
  25. Helmigurt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austria
    #25
    Are we talking about the 9400M here (which would be amazing) or the 9600M GT?

    EDIT: I see that you are using a MB Pro in your Sig so my question is answered. Anybody tested overclocking the 9400M yet?
     

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