Heat and noise with Vega 20 while gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dhalsim, May 19, 2019.

  1. Dhalsim macrumors newbie

    Dhalsim

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hey,
    I am planing to buy a 15" Macbook Pro with a Vega 20. I will wait till WWDC 2019 but if nothing new comes out, I will just go for the current model.

    I am planing to use it for work and also for gaming. Does someone has experience on playing for example Cities Skylines, Pillars of Eternity 2, Diablo 3, WoW, etc.? I guess the performance should not be a problem at all, but I am wondering how hot the Macbook gets and how loud the noise of the fans is while gaming.

    Thank you!
     
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #2
    As loud and hot as any other laptop when playing games. I don't find it noticeable over game's sound, but it depends on your personal preference. If you want to have a quiet computer for gaming, you probably need a custom gaming desktop with carefully selected components.
     
  3. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #3
    What I find annoying about MBP and gaming is that Apple prioritizes noise over heat. Mind you, I have only 555x that's 30W vs 50W of Vega 20, and still the top surface around WSAD keys gets too hot for me to rest fingers on keyboard. The shallow distance from the aluminum to the top of the keys doesn't help.

    What I do, I set the fans to fixed 4k rpms (both) and disable turbo boost, the games are bottlenecked by GPU anyway and this allows for fairly comfortable occasional gaming. With Vega 20, I'd probably set V-sync on and lower the graphics settings to let it run below the maximum power. Just a warning - you can't control the fans in Windows, but if you set them in MacOS to fixed value and reboot into bootcamp they will stay at last value.
     
  4. Painter2002 macrumors 65816

    Painter2002

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I would add that if you plan on gaming at a significant level, I’d consider other brands. Apple’s MacBook Pro isn’t very thermally designed for sustained gaming workloads without loss of performance. Additionally, the specs for the current MacBook Pros graphic wise are on the lower end of what you can expect to game with, especially considering their high price point.
     
  5. Flabasha macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #5
    My suggestion? Dial back your GPU to Vega 15 (or less), use that cash for a $500 eGPU (Aorus RX580 Gaming Box is a nice choice). You'll get way better gaming performance (and editing, etc. performance if you do that), and much less noise than the laptop alone.

    I bought a Vega 20 for high performance, but the fans were very loud, and the performance wasn't that amazing (heat throttling kicks in quickly). I returned the $5,000 laptop, went back to my old MacbookPro, got a Vega 56 eGPU for $700... got 5x the performance and saved $4,300.

    Only downside is that the eGPU can be ungainly to transport. But unless you're trying to playing AAA games at Starbucks, who cares.
     
  6. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #6
    Pumping money into an MBP for gaming is an exercise in futility. If your dead set on gaming on macOS the eGPU solution is far better and you can always upgrade the GPU again at a later date. If I wanted that path I'd go for a 13" with i7, eGPU and external display.

    If the games need massive CPU performance, then it's dead loss as the MBP isn't capable of cooling both CPU & dGPU full tilt. TBH for the cost of Vega 20 you could probably get a 13" MBP and a cheap W10 gaming notebook or build a desktop...

    Q-6
     
  7. Painter2002 macrumors 65816

    Painter2002

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    So I did the eGPU route (RX580 in a Core X box), and it was decent, except my MacBook Pro is only a dual core i5. If you’re going that route, I wouldn’t even bother with buying a MacBook Pro with a Vega card, just get the model with the baseline Intel dGPU.

    Also, it’s really important to point out that eGPU does not work natively in bootcamp, it will require some workarounds to get working., and honestly more work than it’s worth when you can buy or build a Windows machine that does the same for much less. Like @Queen6 stated, buying a Mac for gaming is kind of futile.

    It’s one thing to buy a Mac and then later realize you want to try to play a few games on it, but if you already know you are going to game on the machine, there are much better performing options outside the Apple universe.
     
  8. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    #8
    a 13" MBP is actually better in so many ways. More simple egpu set up [no dgpu conflicts], cheaper, more portable etc.
    the only true benefit of a 15" is if you need the portability all the time. Otherwise as Q6 said, 13" I7 + egpu + screen is an awesome set up. Take the heat away from the laptop.
     
  9. acastic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    The fan on my Vega 20 pretty much runs constantly when gaming. You’ll get used to it pretty quick or if you use headphones, you won’t really hear it. All the games you mentioned will run on high or medium settings without much issue. I’d say the biggest negative is battery life. Playing XCOM 2 usually only nets me an hour of battery life. Despite the poor battery life, I love the MacBook Pro with Vega.
     
  10. Dhalsim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dhalsim

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Hey,
    Thanks for the answers!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want a Macbook only for gaming. 80% of the time I will use it for work. Also eGPU is not an option because of portability. I am traveling a lot for my job and just want to know if its to annoying loud or hot for gaming on it. Also Windows machines are not allowed in my department.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    Not for nothing, but just all laptops will have their fans running when playing games. The question is about whether the laptop will thermally throttle, i.e., fans not cooling enough

    Personally, if gaming is a major factor in the buying decision, I would say that other laptops are a better choice, be it due to running windows, and having more games available or better GPUs. I've owned a Razer and that's a gaming laptop.

    Well that answers that then. If you company forbids windows machines then you have to get a Mac or Linux based laptop.
     

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10 May 19, 2019