Gaming?

Jamesesesesess

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
594
66
I just got my new Macbook Pro 15" (base Feb 2011 model) a few days ago and tonight I tried running GTA IV on it. On my HP Envy that had a 1GB graphics card, the game ran flawlessly. However, on this, I can't even get past the loading intro and the highest res I can get it 800x600. All of the setting are automatically at the lowest possible level. I know that Macs aren't made for gaming, but I was only using 300mb of VRAM on my Envy for GTA IV, so I figured 256mb would be enough.

So anyway, what should I do? Is there anyway to overclock the 6490m? Would it be worth it to install Windows on Bootcamp and try installing the Windows version of GTA? Thanks.
 

iThinkergoiMac

macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2010
2,664
4
Terra
Windows is far better at gaming. If you want to game, use BootCamp. Some games it doesn't matter much, but others it's a huge difference.
 

Wehrwolf

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2009
307
10
What graphics card is in your HP?

The 6490 is a low end GPU, so it's not surprising that it struggles with your game. Comparing graphics RAM in your case is uninformative.
 

Jamesesesesess

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
594
66
Windows is far better at gaming. If you want to game, use BootCamp. Some games it doesn't matter much, but others it's a huge difference.
Alright, I'll try that out tomorrow then, thanks.

Actually I found this thread (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1161199/) with overclocking tips on Windows so I think I'll definitely give those a go too.


What graphics card is in your HP?

The 6490 is a low end GPU, so it's not surprising that it struggles with your game. Comparing graphics RAM in your case is uninformative.

Right, sorry I didn't specify that. It's an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830. They both have GDDR5 RAM, but here's the full specs http://www.amd.com/us/products/note...00/hd-4830-4860/Pages/hd-4830-4860-specs.aspx
 

Wehrwolf

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2009
307
10
Have you gone into your game options customized the graphics settings? You may not be able to crank up the detail level up very high, but you should be able to play around with it to find a happy medium.

The 4830 is a much more powerful card (on par with the 6750 in the mid-level MBPs from earlier this year) than the 6490. That was one of the major criticisms when the new notebooks were released earlier in the year. The performance gap between the 6490 and 6750 is significant. The 6490 is on par with the GeForce 330M that was in last year's MBPs.
 

mgartner0622

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2010
1,018
0
Colorado, USA
First of all, Grand Theft Auto 4 is not that good of a port to PC. It doesn't even run well on Windows most of the time, not to mention Mac OS, which has been known to have less impressive frame rates than windows. I own a steam copy of it, and on my Mid-2010 15" with the GT330m, I could only get it to run on Medium settings at 1024x768... in Windows.
Second of all, I don't remember there being a "legit" copy of GTA IV for Mac...correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm not, this may be your problem.

FYI to everyone that's not very familiar with this game, it basically scans your computer and determines "optimal" settings, which it doesn't let you adjust any higher. Notice how optimal is in quotes, as most of the time it picks a very low resolution and then higher detail and something like 16X Anti-Aliasing.
 

Jamesesesesess

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
594
66
Have you gone into your game options customized the graphics settings? You may not be able to crank up the detail level up very high, but you should be able to play around with it to find a happy medium.

The 4830 is a much more powerful card (on par with the 6750 in the mid-level MBPs from earlier this year) than the 6490. That was one of the major criticisms when the new notebooks were released earlier in the year. The performance gap between the 6490 and 6750 is significant. The 6490 is on par with the GeForce 330M that was in last year's MBPs.
Yeah, I was able to access the Graphics settings from the main menu, but it was actually even over the max amount of vram available (not sure how that's even possible...). I tried turning down the specs a bit so they were basically at the absolute lowest, but the game still wouldn't start up even after 5 minutes of the loop intro loading screen.

You're really right, I'm starting to wonder why I even decided to get a Macbook Pro if we're stuck with such basic gpus. I could get a new Envy with a better gpu and the same processor for $1,000. I suppose the build quality and OSX

First of all, Grand Theft Auto 4 is not that good of a port to PC. It doesn't even run well on Windows most of the time, not to mention Mac OS, which has been known to have less impressive frame rates than windows. I own a steam copy of it, and on my Mid-2010 15" with the GT330m, I could only get it to run on Medium settings at 1024x768... in Windows.
Second of all, I don't remember there being a "legit" copy of GTA IV for Mac...correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm not, this may be your problem.

FYI to everyone that's not very familiar with this game, it basically scans your computer and determines "optimal" settings, which it doesn't let you adjust any higher. Notice how optimal is in quotes, as most of the time it picks a very low resolution and then higher detail and something like 16X Anti-Aliasing.
Well the game played basically perfectly on my old Envy, but that's probably because of the 1GB gpu and 6GB of ram.

Yeah, I torrented it lol. But I did buy the Windows version when I had my Envy. I suppose that would make sense that I'd get crappy graphics if the game was never even designed for OSX... I'll definitely need to try it with Windows.
 

seanman236

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2009
13
1
Washington DC
Which actually means that all copies for OS X (unless you've used a Windows copy that you own) are illegal.

As for rudeness, your reply was as rude as the one you were replying to. What's your point?
*head nod of agreement*

If a product is made for windows, someone in their basement ports it to mac, and then puts it out onto the internet, it doesn't suddenly "become" free. The development team still spent millions producing that product and is looking to be compensated. Just because you found a way to get it onto a different platform, and as such, seems to be the source of some of your problems–doesn't mean you are exempt from paying.

In short, do a smidgeon of research (GTA IV is not, has not, and probably won't for a while, be commercially available for mac) next time. In this case, get windows, BUY the game, and then move on with your day.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
You're really right, I'm starting to wonder why I even decided to get a Macbook Pro if we're stuck with such basic gpus. I could get a new Envy with a better gpu and the same processor for $1,000. I suppose the build quality and OSX
Well, for casual gaming, you should have bought at least either the late 2011 base model or the early 2011 high end model... or another Envy, which are also quite nice machines (I think the redesign is coming this month).

As for the torrent, since you bought the windows version of your game at some point, that's fine for me. It's always a problem with these unofficial ports... even if you do buy the Windows version of the game, you usually need some "patched" version of the .exe to run it.

In windows you will get better performance, but probably still not as good as on your old laptop. Also, don't forget to buy a new 64bit license for Win 7 ;)
 

Zeov

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2011
634
113
Odense
Rude much? Gtfo.

It isn't even possible to buy it for OSX, get your facts straight.
i already knew that the game doesn't work on Mac OS..where did i mention otherwise?.

-That just makes you even more stupid to think that a cracked version would work.

Buy the game, on a Bootcamp windows partition and stop crying.. i'm not even trying to be an ******* here, but come on..?
 

JazzyFizzle

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
66
0
GTA IV runs terribly even on my HD 4870 1GB over clocked. It's a horrible game to run on a PC. They didn't even attempt to optimise it or anything.

Trying to run this game on a MacBook pro is a bad idea. If the game WAS ported properly, the HD 6490m would run it fine. (the 6490m is on par -or better than- the xbox 360 graphics card)

Yeah, Apple screwed up, but I have the 6490m MacBook and I haven't run into any limitations yet. I can play Battlefield 3 absolutely fine. I can play Skyrim maxed out with a smooth framerate. I can play Portal 2 maxed out at like 40-60 fps.

This laptop is more than enough to play any proper PC/Mac games. Don't even bother with crappy ports (GTA IV)..
 

Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
1,954
4
In this case, get windows, BUY the game, and then move on with your day.
The OP owns the game for Windows. Now, that may or may not legitimize pirating it for another platform in your view, but can we at least read the thread properly before moralizing?
 

Jamesesesesess

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
594
66
*head nod of agreement*

If a product is made for windows, someone in their basement ports it to mac, and then puts it out onto the internet, it doesn't suddenly "become" free. The development team still spent millions producing that product and is looking to be compensated. Just because you found a way to get it onto a different platform, and as such, seems to be the source of some of your problems–doesn't mean you are exempt from paying.

In short, do a smidgeon of research (GTA IV is not, has not, and probably won't for a while, be commercially available for mac) next time. In this case, get windows, BUY the game, and then move on with your day.
Yeah, I know that it's still illegal even if I own it for Windows.

Well, for casual gaming, you should have bought at least either the late 2011 base model or the early 2011 high end model... or another Envy, which are also quite nice machines (I think the redesign is coming this month).

As for the torrent, since you bought the windows version of your game at some point, that's fine for me. It's always a problem with these unofficial ports... even if you do buy the Windows version of the game, you usually need some "patched" version of the .exe to run it.

In windows you will get better performance, but probably still not as good as on your old laptop. Also, don't forget to buy a new 64bit license for Win 7 ;)
Oh I would've bought one of the latest models but I'm tight on money lol. I would've bought another Envy too but I've been wanting a Mac for Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc.

Yeah I just used my serial from my old Envy :p nothing illegal going on there.

The OP owns the game for Windows. Now, that may or may not legitimize pirating it for another platform in your view, but can we at least read the thread properly before moralizing?
Thankyou :)




Well I got Windows 7 installed just fine on it, and about an hour ago I installed GTA IV. The game runs great! I'm able to get 1280x900 (I think that's the res, I can't remember off the top of my head) and that looks fine. While the settings are all at low, it's playable, there's no lag. I didn't know much about porting games to other operating systems so I thought the OSX version would've worked fine lol. Guess not.

Thanks for all the replies guys, I appreciate it.
 

cirus

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
582
0
GTA IV runs terribly even on my HD 4870 1GB over clocked. It's a horrible game to run on a PC. They didn't even attempt to optimise it or anything.

Trying to run this game on a MacBook pro is a bad idea. If the game WAS ported properly, the HD 6490m would run it fine. (the 6490m is on par -or better than- the xbox 360 graphics card)

Yeah, Apple screwed up, but I have the 6490m MacBook and I haven't run into any limitations yet. I can play Battlefield 3 absolutely fine. I can play Skyrim maxed out with a smooth framerate. I can play Portal 2 maxed out at like 40-60 fps.

This laptop is more than enough to play any proper PC/Mac games. Don't even bother with crappy ports (GTA IV)..
How can you play skyrim maxed out with the 6490? I am assuming maxed out means ultra at native resolution.

The 6490m is not capable (especially with 256 MB vram) of maxing out skyrim.
 

JazzyFizzle

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
66
0
How can you play skyrim maxed out with the 6490? I am assuming maxed out means ultra at native resolution.

The 6490m is not capable (especially with 256 MB vram) of maxing out skyrim.
It's an easy game to run. Just turn off AA and V-Sync. You'll find that the vram doesn't actually make any difference in framerate. If I had a 1GB 6490m, the only difference I would see is a little less frame stutter when it loads in new textures. Sometimes on my 256mb, when I turn round quickly, there'll be a tiny bit of stutter. I'm fine with that though.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
It's an easy game to run. Just turn off AA and V-Sync. You'll find that the vram doesn't actually make any difference in framerate. If I had a 1GB 6490m, the only difference I would see is a little less frame stutter when it loads in new textures. Sometimes on my 256mb, when I turn round quickly, there'll be a tiny bit of stutter. I'm fine with that though.
Turning off some graphics features means that you're not actually running the game "maxed out."
 

JazzyFizzle

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
66
0
Turning off some graphics features means that you're not actually running the game "maxed out."
AA and V-sync isn't really considered when benchmarking games. At least I've never seen it. I personally never use either because I always play at high resolution and I prefer the faster mouse response time that V-Sync slows down.

If I turned AA on in my ATi control centre and disabled it in-game what would you call that? See it can be confusing.. (that's why it isn't considered)

edit: just tested out Anno 2070. Can play it medium at native resolution smoothly. It's a pretty demanding game!
 

cirus

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
582
0
It's an easy game to run. Just turn off AA and V-Sync. You'll find that the vram doesn't actually make any difference in framerate. If I had a 1GB 6490m, the only difference I would see is a little less frame stutter when it loads in new textures. Sometimes on my 256mb, when I turn round quickly, there'll be a tiny bit of stutter. I'm fine with that though.
AA and V-sync isn't really considered when benchmarking games. At least I've never seen it. I personally never use either because I always play at high resolution and I prefer the faster mouse response time that V-Sync slows down.

If I turned AA on in my ATi control centre and disabled it in-game what would you call that? See it can be confusing.. (that's why it isn't considered)

edit: just tested out Anno 2070. Can play it medium at native resolution smoothly. It's a pretty demanding game!
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6490M.43843.0.html

I doubt what you are saying, Skyrim's minimum system requirements are 512 MB of graphics memory (recommended 1 GB).

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1284595/


Quote/
Hi all. I got my early 2011 15" MacBook Pro with the 6490m just a couple weeks ago and I am just here to clear up some questions about how it performs.

In Skyrim I can play with high textures and everything else set to medium with a resolution of 1440x900 at around a stable 25+ FPS. This is very playable for me.

BF3 gets about 25 average with everything set to LOW. This is still very playable and I only tested it on the opening level (which even lags a bit on my gaming desktop). I have yet to test it on the multiplayer maps which are much better optimised so you will probably expect 25+ FPS.

I haven't upgraded my graphic drivers yet! Which means when I work out how to do it, I might even get BETTER performance still!

This basically means that I am set up for gaming even on the low end. I was a bit worried about whether I could play my two games of the year (BF3 is probably my game of the next 5 years), so it's great that I can play them without lag issues.

The lack of VRAM doesn't seem to be an issue. I am actually surprised at how well this little beauty runs my games. Portal 2 is flawless too.

So if you want a refurbished/2nd hand MacBook Pro, the 6490m model isn't actually as bad as most people say it is. I can run BF3 FINE!
/Quote



You did state here that skyrim runs at medium with high textures at 25 fps (which is low to be considered "smooth"--generally 30 fps is considered playable) at 1440 by 900. THIS IS BY NO MEANS MAXED OUT.
So don't spread the FUD and better yet don't contradict yourself.

According to you BF3 gets 25 fps at low settings.

Now true, you did not update your drivers, however, I doubt that will allow you to max out skyrim.
 

JazzyFizzle

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
66
0
Since updating my drivers I can play Skyrim maxed (without AA & V-Sync) at about the same framerate as before. I think the only bad thing about the 6490m is the lack of vram. Other than that it's actually a pretty good little card. As I said before, the vram only makes the loading in-out of textures faster, therefore reducing stutter when turning round or travelling fast (generally loading lots of new objects).

Being able to run BF3 on low is actually quite an achievement. Firstly, there's isn't even visually much difference (when AO is on), and secondly there's still a LOT going on even on low. With updated drivers I can put a few things up, such as AO.

The ATi drivers make a huge difference. I remember back when I was benchmarking the original Crysis on an integrated desktop gpu (before I got a HD 4870). ATi released a driver specifically for Crysis and it literally doubled the framerate.

ALSO, on a side note, I think you're over estimating the requirements of Skyrim. It's not graphically intensive at all. The requirements say 512mb vram which I think I've pretty much proven doesn't actually matter. They probably use it as a safe guard.



25 fps (which is low to be considered "smooth"--generally 30 fps is considered playable) at 1440 by 900.
Considering the human eye can only perceive 24fps I'd have to disagree slightly here. The only difference one should notice between 24fps and say 60fps is a tiny improvement in response time (a few micro seconds). I would only require more than 24fps when playing a fast online game like Call of duty or BF3 for faster and more responsive mouse movements. Other than that, for games like Skyrim, Portal 2 and Anno, more than 24fps is un-necessary.
 
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cirus

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
582
0
Since updating my drivers I can play Skyrim maxed (without AA & V-Sync) at about the same framerate as before. I think the only bad thing about the 6490m is the lack of vram. Other than that it's actually a pretty good little card. As I said before, the vram only makes the loading in-out of textures faster, therefore reducing stutter when turning round or travelling fast (generally loading lots of new objects).

Being able to run BF3 on low is actually quite an achievement. Firstly, there's isn't even visually much difference (when AO is on), and secondly there's still a LOT going on even on low. With updated drivers I can put a few things up, such as AO.

The ATi drivers make a huge difference. I remember back when I was benchmarking the original Crysis on an integrated desktop gpu (before I got a HD 4870). ATi released a driver specifically for Crysis and it literally doubled the framerate.
Quite an achievement since even the 6770M can't max skyrim. Some drivers you have there.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6770M.43955.0.html
Tested on a 15 inch MBP. Not sure on the resolution though.

When I say max I mean play on ultra at native resolution (what max usually means--one cannot turn up the settings anymore).
 

JazzyFizzle

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
66
0
Quite an achievement since even the 6770M can't max skyrim. Some drivers you have there.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6770M.43955.0.html
Tested on a 15 inch MBP. Not sure on the resolution though.

When I say max I mean play on ultra at native resolution (what max usually means--one cannot turn up the settings anymore).
Probably tested with AA at 16x and V-Sync on then. And possibly using the HD screen.

I was gonna record a video of it for YouTube, maybe I'll post it here when I get round to it.

I'll admit I was wrong about playing it maxed out. Maybe it's just me that never bothered turning on the AA and such. Probably because I've never had a computer fast enough to be able too :p
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Probably tested with AA at 16x and V-Sync on then. And possibly using the HD screen.

I was gonna record a video of it for YouTube, maybe I'll post it here when I get round to it.

I'll admit I was wrong about playing it maxed out. Maybe it's just me that never bothered turning on the AA and such. Probably because I've never had a computer fast enough to be able too :p
Well, you just have a different idea of what "maxed out" means. This was quite clear 10 posts ago, when cirus said that maxed out for him means "ultra at native resolution", and you replied that you had AA and V-Sync turned off.

Most games come with preset graphics configurations, usually "low", "medium", "high" and some have "ultra." For most games, anything but "low" turns on AA.
 
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