High end 2011 MBP 13 - light gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by veast, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. veast macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum but have been patronizing all around for quite some time.

    I'm considering my first mac purchase and have been very tempted with 13' high-end model.

    My concern here is about the presumably equal to slightly lower GPU Intel HD 3000 as compared to Nvidia 320m for last year's. I expect to use quite fair amount of light gaming, and by light gaming here is mainly emulation (PC SX2 & Dolphin).

    As I read around the internet, both of these emulators run "fairly well" in previous gen of MBP. Moreover, emulators are CPU intensive rather than GPU dependant. Yet I'm still not fully convinced that the 2011 13' high end will do as well as last gen.

    Please all emulator's pro to shed me a light here :)

    One more point to ask, according to some quite detailed benchmarking on Intel HD 3000 (which I forgot the source, sorry..), these onboard GPU is somewhat unique. And by that I mean the processor's capability will have impact on graphic capability. By this I'm assuming there is a graphic performance difference between 2011 13' low-end and high-end. Is this correct? Or is it that the difference is negligible that those who do benchmarking so far generically specify as 13' 2011 MBP instead of talking about two entirely different machine in terms of graphic capability.

  2. Macmadant macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2005
    At Low settings the higher end may give you more a few more FPS due to the CPU speed increase, but nothing more than a few. As long as you don't need to have settings at med-high it should be okay. it's a shame about the Intel graphics as the machine really is a speed demon just that card that is holding it back.
  3. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Do the emulated games even use the GPU? Or are they just brute forced in software? I don't know the answer to that, but traditionally emulation has been entirely software. Either way the HD 3000 performs essentially the same as the 320M.

    I wrote about this here to some degree: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1103082

    The people who benchmark the 2011 13" without specifying which chip is in it are not doing their jobs properly. There is a difference in the GPU's allowed maximum turbo frequency, and how great it is depends on many things. It would not be a large difference even under the best conditions, perhaps a few frames. The difference in CPU performance is definitely quite substantial.
  4. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Benchmarks posted by users here on the forums, show the new mbp is up 20 fps behind the 2010 mbp with a core 2 duo and 320m.
  5. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Go away. That's not what they're showing at all. Stop disseminating false information. Benchmarks are showing the machines to have largely similar framerates in most cases.
  6. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    How is it similar? Dont be mad if you bought it, im sure its find, i mean its a bit louder then the 2010 model. And gets much warmer, and have worse gpu peformance, but maybe its good in other areas. This benchmarks doesnt show it being similar.

    Resident evil 5 benchmark
    Medium Settings (shadow med/texture med/overall quality med)
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (fps) = 26.6
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (fps) = 35.9

    Thats almost 10fps.

    Black ops
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg) = 26
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg) = 44

    Thats almost 20fps.

    Starcraft 2
    Medium Settings
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg) = 33
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg) = 46

    Thats 13fps.

    Left for dead:
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (mavg) = 63
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg) = 75

    Thats 12fps.

    That included with high fan noise and extra heat. Meh.

    Sound: 48.7 db 2011 mbp
    32.7 db 2010 mbp

    Who ever did this, thank you very much.

  7. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    384mb will be fine for Steam (CS:S etc) so I don't care. If you want to cry about FPS, then get a PC with a real graphics card:rolleyes:
  8. Deliak macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Here is someone who speaks the truth. As I said in another thread the 3000 is utterly crap.
    By the way I've bought the 15" 6750M so it is not my problem...
  9. LoganT macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    Why do I feel like all of these threads are just to make 2011 13" MBP owners feel badly about their purchases and 2010 13" MBP owners to feel superior?
  10. Evil Spoonman, Feb 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    My primary computer is an 8 core Nehalem Mac Pro. I certainly have no personal investment in the graphics performance of the 13" MBP.

    So what are we actually seeing here? From that very same site the SC2 test under Mac OS X favoured the Intel GPU. Do you know why? I don't.

    I suspect Apple is writing the drivers for the Intel GPU on Mac OS. Intel is of course writing them for Windows. Maybe Intel's drivers are worse than Apple's. Maybe Apple's Nvidia drivers are worse than Nvidia's. Perhaps Intel is writing both sets of drivers. Maybe Window's power management is worse than Mac OS's so we're seeing different clocks on the GPU between the two OSes. You keep making these definitive statements when you don't actually know anything. We are TWO DAYs into this machine's release, things could easily change dramatically, or not… YOU DON'T KNOW. Stop pretending like you do.

    Also note that this is the base model 13", the 2.7GHz has potential to deliver different GPU performance.

    What we can say for sure now:
    - Graphics performance under Windows is presently bit lower than the 2010 MBP's.
    - Graphics performance under OS X appears to be very similar.
    - The HD 3000's performance under Windows appears to quite closely match its performance under OS X (lending to the Intel writing both drivers theory).
    - The 320M appears to be scoring better frame rates under Windows than OS X (normal, reinforces the fact that OS X's Nvidia drivers suck).

    That's very interesting. The previous generation 13" was using 25W CPUs. This time around they got 35W parts, but sans the 15-20W IGP. Is the fan spinning faster? Is the thermal paste heavily over-applied causing excessive heat and thus fan speeds? Could this be causing the CPU and GPU to clock down creating worse results in this specific sample? Would be curious to see RPM and temp along with noise here. Is this fan a different (perhaps lower quality) part? Is the internal design of the new 13" dramatically different?

    There are so many questions that must be answered before you can make a determination. A sample size of one also isn't very good. Other places have reported generally better benchmarks than we are seeing here with larger sample sizes. Which makes me suspicious.

    If you're not contributing, and you don't know what you're talking about, don't waste bytes.
  11. Deliak macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    My contribute is to rise awareness in a well known apple forum that a potential customer (cmon I am not alone with this opinion) is very displeased. Someone who matters could even read these forums...
    Anyway, I bought the 15" 6750, so I'll follow your advice and stop posting on this matter.
  12. veast thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Thanks for all the response guys.

    It's painfully true that graphic issue is the only thing that stops this beast from really good to really really good :D However, as Apple noted during last gen release, they weren't adopting Core-i series that time on 13' due to onboard size which can't contain extra GPU. This time around this same reason might limit them as well.

    Congrats on your purchase, if only they are a few grams lighter and less bang in my wallet I might also consider the 15' :D

    Indeed, in game benchmarking so far the results are equal to slightly worse. However, as EvilSpoonman pointed out, this might be due to driver issues (which I certainly expect near future update as currently HD 3000's main users are Macs). But everybody seems have accepted the fact that HD 3000 will perform worse in some circumstances and better in others. Well, it implies that both are on tie.

    @Evil Spoonman
    Thank you for making a lot of clarifications here. :)

    Some games in emulation consume quite fair a bit of GPU power, mainly those with good graphics or 3D. But, yeah, I guess HD 3000 can manage low to med settings. Personally I'm not so into nitty gritty super high FPS or anything. As long as it's playable with decent speed and picture quality. :D

    Well, I guess I will wait 2 or 3 weeks before actually making my purchase, as usually first batch has higher chance of misproduction. I'm checking the experts' review sites every few hours. Gonna stop the habits duh.

    Thanks! (PS: Please do contribute if you have tried these emulators on 2011 13' MBP)

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