How important is the processor for moderate gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jonesy85, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Jonesy85 macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2008
    So I've decided to buy a Macbook Pro so that I can have the bigger, better screen, and so I can mess around with creating music, and play a few games. Nothing too graphic intensive, just MMO's, Blizzard games (Diablo III when it comes out), and a few other games. Typically neither of these types of games are top of the line when it comes to graphics, but far enough along that I need something more powerful than my Macbook.

    When looking at the 15" Pro's, the processor goes from 2.53 to 2.8. The price difference is quite large. So if the 2.53 or 2.66 will perform VERY close to the 2.88, I'd rather save the money. I'm leaning towards the 2.66, but if the processor won't make a huge difference, then I won't worry about getting the best.

    Again, I'm not looking for a top of the line gaming system, just something I can play the above mentioned games on moderate to high settings. I believe the current Pro's should handle Starcraft II and Diablo III just fine when they come out, but maybe I'm wrong on that. This will be my last year in college and I want to take advantage of the student discount and free iPod Touch while I still can. If the 2.53 is nearly as good as the 2.8, then I'll go with that. Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. Joruus macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Id say, when you can wait 5-6 Months get the Arrandale MBP's, they should be 30-50% faster than the ones you can buy now, for pretty much the same Price, [edit] It's not like the upgrades we have seen nowadays, the first gen C2D MB(P)'s are just 5-15% slower than what we get now, unless you go for the 3+Ghz ones.[/edit]
    And no the CPU doesn't matter that much to answer your Question :) It's usally the GFX that keeps you from getting 60fps, at least at the 20"+ range, don't know really how it is with 13" or 15" screens.
  3. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    it goes from 2.53 to 3.06, there is no 2.88 (it is 2.80)
    +2.4 if you consider previous generation.
    id imagine that for gaming a discrete graphics card would aid you more than a 0.1ghz of clock increase.
    you can also peek at the previous gen 2.66 which has it (or previous previous 2.53 which also has the same gfx)
  4. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    Any CPU above 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo will not have any impact on moderate gaming. Go with the 2.53 with 9600GT.
  5. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    The 2.66 is 5% faster than the 2.53, and the 2.8 is 11% faster. It probably won't make any difference for gaming, and the GPU will probably always be limiting factor for what games you can play and what kind of framerates/resolutions you can get.
  6. RiCEADDiCTBOY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
  7. RiCEADDiCTBOY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
  8. Jonesy85 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2008
    OK, thanks for the advice, everyone. I may wait, but I may not. The student discounts are looking really good right now.
  9. DaveyandGoliath macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    i got a 2.66 15" for 1999-150, a free wireless printer and a free 8gb ipod touch.
    Plus it plays COD4 nicely.
  10. CoffeeWarrior macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2009
    "Our UAV's online" ;)
  11. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    I had a 2.4ghz AMD Athlon X2 paired with a 9800gx2 and it hit about 30 fps on Crysis for the particular settings I was at using my 22'' 1680x1050. Reading and listening up on forums and other places, people said it was my cpu that was bottlenecking my suspiciously low marks. Sure enough, after switching to an LGA775 750i and a 3.0ghz Intel C2D Conroe e6850, and keeping the same settings, my fps averaged 62fps.

    Now every set of graphics discussion is particular to each of its own circumstances, but just take from my case the concept that cpu speed CAN matter significantly. Whoever thought of that magical 2.4 mark must have been generalizing from a different scenario and should not play it off as universal.

    But take my words with some salt too since mine would be an extreme case on a hardcore gaming rig, and there are so many variables to account for. Another thing, its become general understanding that certain game engine types will be more dependent on cpu in whatever way it may be (bandwidth, or offloading processing for physics if you're not using the gtx200 series with builtin physx, etc).

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