Help ... dont know what to do!!! Macbook Pro Gaming Question.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GraphicRhino, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. GraphicRhino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    #1
    Ok, i recently traded my old 20 inch imac for a 13inch 2.26ghz 2gb DDR3 9400m macbook pro unibody. I like it alot and its been helpful when designing on the go ... but then Valve opened the gates of heaven for me and announced steam for mac launching next month.

    regardless, a guy is willing to trade his 15in 2.4ghz 2GB DDR2 8600g 256mb aluminum macbook pro for my unibody. Plus it comes with snow leopard which my unibody doesnt have (just leopard). Everything seems to be an upgrade, including the L2 cache from 3 to 4, for me other than the bus speed of the memory.

    In your opinion is this a good trade for me just to get better gaming performance when steam hits mac like a fireball to the face?

    Should i keep my 13inch 2.26 unibody and simply double the ram to 4gb DDR3 ...

    Or trade for the 15inch 2.4 aluminum with the dedicated graphics card (and double the ram to 4gb ddr2) ...

    Need some good advice from fellow apple and gaming enthusiasts. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #2
    Really? all that for a few Steam games?

    meh.

    Snow Leopard is is $29, not a big deal.

    I guess its a good trade, but the AL MBPs are really hard to get into and arent as sturdy as the unibodys...
     
  3. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #3
    If you just care about steam games, keep the machine that you have. As long as the source engine runs similarly to how it runs on a PC, that macbook will have no problem playing any of the games.
     
  4. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #4
    Sounds like a good deal. Not only will the 8600m gt be about 40-50% faster than your integrated 9400, you will also gain a bigger (and matte) screen for the designing on the go you mentioned. It's really a trade and you don't have to pay anything on top?

    One thing to consider though, is the high failure rate of the 8600. You may want to search for it, there is a long thread on macrumors regarding this issue. Apple even increased the warranty for the card to 3 years. That said, I never had a problem with mine, and I play a lot of demanding games on it apart from also using it for design.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    I would avoid 8600M GT like plague! Even though Apple gave 3-year warranty for all 8600M GT MBPs, that is over soon so it's quite risky buy.

    2.4GHz 15" MBP with 9600M GT is 1299$ in refurb store so if you sell your current one and put couple hundred $ from your wallet, you can get one. Full warranty and no known issues
     
  6. GraphicRhino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    #6
    Ahh ... the opinions seems to be mixed, so I don't feel bad now going back and forth in my mind. Can anyone vouch for the performance of the 2.26 ghz unibody with 9400m with 2gb ddr3 (which I'd probably upgrade to 4gb) for games like Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead? I'd spend most of my time playing those 2 games really. If they run pretty good, i'd keep what I have for a year or so and then upgrade to a newer 15 or 17 inch. Regardless, thanks for the insight.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    If you're upgrading within a year, then the best choice is to keep your current as it'll handle the games you mentioned
     
  8. PandaOnslaught macrumors regular

    PandaOnslaught

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    #8
    all in all both laptops arent good for games lol, they will run on poor settings and will still feel sluggish your better off getting a new PC laptop, or waiting for the macbook pro update to compare them, but if you go PC you can get a monster gaming laptop for like 800$ gateway p-6860 is like 600 used, that has a 8800m gts, and a socket P processor slot that you can upgrade to a core 2 duo 3.0 then overclock it lol

    i like macs but if your thinking about getting an old model macbook over your newer one just for games your wasting your time, 8600m has terrible benchmarks, especially if you wanted to play like l4d2
     
  9. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    I currently play all of the Half Life 2 games (especially Team Fortress 2) with my ancient MBP... it has an ATI Radeon X1600, which supposedly is just a tad weaker than the 9400M. I run on max settings without a problem. TF2 will not be an issue for the 9400M at all. Of course, this is using Boot Camp w/Windows XP, but I assume performance will be close to comparable on the Mac OS side of things...
     
  10. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
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    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #10
    A "lol" at the end of every sentence is always a good indication of someone being extremely competent.

    I played Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, l4d, Mass Effect 1&2, STALKER, Bioshock 1&2, and many more on mid-high settings & native resolution on my 8600 mbp with decent fps. Of course a newer one would do better, but the op didn't want to spend any money.
     
  11. nigameash macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    Space: The Final Frontier
    #11
    The 8600s are cursed, you dont wanna go anywhere near em :p
     
  12. GraphicRhino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    #12
    hearing that TF2 and L4D will run at med to high settings at decent frame rates have kinda eased my mind in keeping my 13 inch unibody. i guess the 1280 by 800 res is a blessing in this case.

    I still want to upgrade the ram and hard drive .... as well as upgrade to snow leopard. Can anyone suggest a great hard drive compatible with my 13inch unibody? I'm reading tons of reviews with alot of mixed reactions. Some people say seagate .... others say western digital. Some say it runs flawless, other say its noisy and you can feel the vibrations. Some say there is a clicking noisy ... others say there is an issue with the sudden motion detector. It's maddening. i just want a bigger hard drive that maybe operates a little faster than my stock hitachi 160bg without an increase in noise, temp, vibrations. My stock hard drive is already 60 percent full after less than a month of use :( Whats the hard drive everyone is generally buying and installing themselves for the unibodies ... other than the SSD I really cant afford.
     
  13. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #13
    For every person that says "I love XXXX drives" you are going to get another that says "I hate XXXX drives"

    Just buy the best deal and make sure you have a backup.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/

    this would be one of the fastest, Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB -- $74

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136280

    $99 would get you 500 gigs with the same specs
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N=2010150380 1035507776 1309740009&name=500GB

    pickup a cheap USB 2 case for your 160 gig drive for a bootable backup, about $10
     

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