Help an ignoramus re. Gaming on MBP

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by BothBarsOn, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. BothBarsOn macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Hello all,

    I recently went through the MacBook/MacBook Pro dilemma that so many of us seem to suffer with and ultimately went for the cheaper option. Although I could possibly have stretched to the price of the MBP, it wouldn't have been easy. "I'm not missing out," I told myself. "I don't do any 3-D work and I'm not really into games."

    Well, guess what? I've dipped my toes a little with free first-person shooters like Sauerbraten and OpenArena and am beginning to wish I had the power of the MBP to give the experience some oomph. Also, the prospect of running Call of Duty 4 et al via Boot Camp has me all a-flutter. So I’m considering selling the MacBook and upgrading to a Pro (I know - financial genius at work …)

    Now, I understand that the MBP is (much) better than the MB for 3-D games but I'm wondering what that means in practice. My most recent significant gaming experience was with a PS2 years ago. Is a MBP roughly that sort of level? Better? Worse? Is saying that a MacBook Pro is a better gaming machine than a MacBook like saying a punch in the face is better than a brick in the face? Or will I be blown away?

    I’d appreciate hearing some opinions.

    Thanks in advance!

    PS I know that the simplest (and cheapest) thing to do would be to hang on to my MacBook and just get an Xbox 360 or a PS3, but I'd prefer to have just one does-it-all, take-it-with-you piece of kit, if possible ... Having “the very best” isn’t important to me.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  3. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    It depends on what games you will be playing.

    Newer games? Stuff like Half-Life 2 will barely run on the MacBook (640x480 resolution for a smooth framerate), and more modern games like Portal won't run at all, whereas they'll run buttery smooth on an MBP.

    Older games will run great on both. The Star Wars Battlefront games run at nearly maxed settings on my MacBook. But you won't be playing new releases on the MB.
  4. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Let me put it another way: I know that my current MacBook is severely limited when it comes to games. Is the MacBook Pro merely "less limited" or does it run all of the latest PC games with reasonable/high settings?

    I get the impression that it does but I'd like to hear it from someone with direct experience! Having made the wrong purchasing decision once already, I don't want to spring for a Pro then find that it's better but still not great ...
  5. onejed1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    i play cod4 on bootcamp 1.4 (tiger) with my MBP 2.2ghz and it runs awsome.
  6. mongrol macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    MBP is "great" for games. It runs all current killer games at full native resolution with little or no slowdown at normal -> high settings.
  7. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks all for the replies! Much appreciated - just what I wanted to hear too, which is a bonus ...
  8. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    ^ If your going MBP route then get the 256mb graphic card version. It will make a big difference.

    BUT.... at least wait a couple of weeks and see if the new MBP's are actually out. Buying now when a possible hardware refresh is literally around the corner is risky (unless you don't ever suffer from slight buyers remorse).
  9. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks MacRumorUser, I certainly will wait to see what happens over the next few weeks.

    I dunno about the 128/256 thing. While the extra 128 is an improvement, it isn't such a huge deal according to Barefeats (a site I discovered thanks to this thread).

    I couldn't afford it anyway ... :rolleyes:

    Thanks again.
  10. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    Keep in mind that a lot of people believe that the new MBP refresh will bring it to 256 and 512 vram on the 8600. So, if you're patient, you can get that 5-10% performance bonus for free basically. Oh yeah, and a faster cpu and bigger HD..

    /bring on people saying but it enjoy it now :rolleyes:...but myself, I would rather get like 400$ of value (diff betweenlow and high end model) just by waiting another week or two.
  11. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    here's a rough analogy

    Macbook - PS1'll run games..but at lowest settings..barely
    Macbook pro - PS2'll run games at mid-high
    Desktop with 8800GT - ps3'll run everything perfectly
  12. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    Gaming on a mbp is so-so. Anything Half-Life runs great, as the Source Engine will probably run on a Pentium 1, but games like Bioshock, or Crysis don't run super well. I got Bioshock to be ~25-30fps on medium settings at a decent res but it doesn't do games justice, especially since for about the price of a mbp you can get a macbook and a good gaming PC.
  13. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    OK, thanks all. I'm beginning to rethink.

    My MacBook meets all of computing needs, bar games. Seems like upgrading to a Pro would be a long run for a short slide ...
  14. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The current MBP is not a gaming laptop, but it is as powerfull for gaming as the best non-gaming laptops on the market.

    It will run most new games at medium settings and a bit older games like WoW runs extremely smooth with everything maxed
  15. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    On the other hand (he said, changing his mind for the fifteenth time today), maybe decent as opposed to stellar performance is plenty.

    I a) need a laptop as opposed to a desktop and b) don't want a PC and c) don't want a console ... so I guess the Pro is my only option.

    Back to watching the Apple Store for the updates for me! Thanks again everyone.
  16. mongrol macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    I forgot to mention that I have a 256MB model. You would definitely need 256 to get anything decent out of Crysis or Bioshock.

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