How is 13" rMBP for gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by syndragore, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. syndragore macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2010
    How does the 13" Macbook Pro with Retina Display perform for games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3? I need to upgrade from my mid-09 13" MBP but I want to be able to play games on it so I'm not sure if the 13" is right for me since it only has integrated graphics, as opposed to the 15".

    Any advice? I apologize in advance if this has been asked before.
  2. Livewings macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    I think 2fps best at lowest settings.
    Get a 15" rMBP today to avoid being ripped off by Apple.
  3. nobackup macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008

    Not quite true here a link to a review and clearly more than 2 FPS

    also Youtube has a lot more reviews ...

    and about being ripped off .... lets think the only place on the planet where you can drive a car at fullspeed all the time is Germany... no speed limits ... does this then mean that all Porsche owners out side of Germany have been ripped off ?

    They buy it cause they want to have one ... so let people buy what they want and leave the chip outside ... just my 10 c :rolleyes:
  4. Ploki, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

    Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    cMBP15 vs rMBP15 you are barely paying more for the same performance.

    cMBP13 vs rMBP13 you are paying A LOT more for the same performance.

    cMBP15 vs rMBP13 you are paying roughly the same (100$ difference) for A LOT more performance.

    Thats what he means by ripped off. Apple is charging too much for the 13"er.
  5. hacke macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    I'm from germany and there are also speed limits (but not really much of them). sry for off-topic :p
  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    you really think a classic 13" pro has the same performance as the 15" retina? Are you crazy.....good luck with that stock 5200rpm hard drive. By time you upgrade a classic 13" to the specs of the retina 13" you are not that far off in add in the fact of a retina screen which always carries a hefty premium
  7. nobackup, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

    nobackup macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008

    not true as the 13" is smaller footprint and where that matters there is a market ... you need to look at the Whole picture :)

    Macbook 13R is a Macbook air on steroids foot print is actually smaller !!

    So if I have a AIR it might-be a big issue to move all the way up to a 15" .. so Apple give me a solution ... the 13-R ... more power than an air and a better screen as well

    looking here in Germany ...

    Air 13" Core i7-3667U 2x 2.00 GHz (3.20 GHz Turbo), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD ----> €2149
    Pro 13" R Core i7-3520M 2x 2.90 GHz (3.60 GHz Turbo), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD ----> €2599

    So €451 for a whole lot more power and performance ..

    or more realistic comparison would be to

    Pro 13" R Core i5-3210M 2x 2.50 GHz (3.10 GHz Turbo), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD ---> €2399

    So €200 for a whole lot more performance ..

    so why would any one want to buy a Porsche out side of Germany (yes we do have speed limits in some place .. but free driving for free citizens .. !), as they are paying way too much money for a product ... when any cheap Kia does the national speed limit and costs a lot more ... they do it because they can and it fits their needs :p

    so just to have a balanced view

    Pro 15"R Core i7-3610QM 4x 2.30 GHz (3.30 GHz Turbo), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD ---> €2549
    Pro 13"C Core i7-3520M 2x 2.90 GHz (3.60 GHz Turbo), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD ---> €2299

    that would give us a spread of ..

    Pro 13 ----> €2299
    Air 13" ----> €2149
    Pro 13"R ---> €2399
    Pro 15"R ---> €2549

    looks like a good spread to me ..

    how ever the Pro 13 Classic is the faster than the Air ...but is more expensive than an Air by €150... so the Air is a rip off, as you get a lot less for nearly the same price ? lol
  8. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008

    Base 13" rMBP: 1700$
    Base 13" cMBP: 1200$ (Ram 8gb: 50$, SSD128gb: 120$ >> 1370$
    + the computer wont have hiccups for driving such a huge display.

    512GB SSD?
    cMBP: 489$ for OCZ Vertex 4
    rMBP: 580$ for OWC. (another 100$ of difference)

    16GB Ram?
    cMBP: ~100$
    rMBP: forget about it.
    You are paying roughly 300-400$ for your Retina display.
    The difference on the retina/classic is:
    i.e.: (the initial difference is smaller for 100$ in the first place)
    rMBP 15": 2200$
    cMBP 15": 1800$ (Ram (GB 50$, SSD 256GB 240$ (vertex))> 2190$


    The high-end model is a tad different because you can't configure the low-end cMBP 15" to top-spec.
    rMBP 15" 2.7ghz/16gb/256ssd: 2750$
    cMBP 15" 2.7ghz/8gb/750HD: 2550$ (+100$ RAM + 240$ SSD): 2890$
    If you go up to 512GB SSD the price difference shrinks a bit because of high price of SSD from OWC compared to traditional 2.5"

    Add 100$ if you want a decent screen on either of the classic MBP.

    *I looked up prices for comparable performance SSDs. (~500mb r/w)

    That's not to say the 13" classic mbp isn'T pricey in the first place...

    Apple is overcharging their classic MBP 15" and their retina MBP 13". Whether you want it or not, that's an actual fact.

    edit: I personally went with the base rMBP 15" with maxed CPU and RAM because I want quad core, and because cMBP is ****ing expensive.
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    did you realize your initial post compared a 13" to a 15" retina....not a 13 to a 13 retina?

    this is what I was quoting that you said, "cMBP13 vs rMBP15 you are paying A LOT more for the same performance."
  10. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    You were comparing an ultrabook to a mainstream laptop. I was comparing TWO mainstream laptops with 1:1 comparable components and parts, and there, you can actually see you are paying more for less performance.

    We are not comparing the formfactor here, there are pros and cons to both designs, and 13" cMBP isn't that big and heavy to lug around either.

    The weight difference:
    13": cMBP in at 2kg, rMBP at 1.65KG, Air at 1.35KG.
    15": cMBP 2.5kg, rMBP 2kg.

    by your standards i should be comparing 15" retina with 13" cMBP! Which would wipe the floor with it, considering its already cheaper than a comparable cMBP 15".


    I said THAT?
    Sorry, it should have been cMBP13" vs rMBP13". I'll go fix it.


    Bottom line:
    If you want to game, you have a 100$ difference for:
    -discrete GPU (!!!) (the thread was about gaming)
    -two more cores
  11. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    :)...that is why I was confused
  12. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I was really confused too because he edited his post. Thanks for the clearing up. I think the 13" mbp isn't that great. It just seems like a MacBook air with retina display. I'd say get the 15" MacBook pro. That truly deserves the pro name..l
  13. nobackup macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008

    actually it was all about your silly/smart remark to the original poster..

    "How is 13" rMBP for gaming?"

    a correct response would be ..

    many people game on the HD4000 many threads show people playing games including Diablo & Skyrim and having 20-35 FPS ... not 2 !..

    So I can only guess that you are a troll, as you never actually answered the question you quoted false information and just trashed Apple ...

    my answered did actually answer the OP question ....

    Personally I travel 70% of the time so having more power than an Air and being able to light game when I feel like it on the road in such a small package is just about right ... I found that the 15" is just to cumbersome to use on a flight (even in Business or First) or on a train ... as its the footprint that counts and i think that's why they built the 13" ..

    small power pack on the road ... 27" iMac at home for serious things (including gaming) :)
  14. Ploki, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

    Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    MacBook Air 2012 has the same graphics processors with ******** less pixels to render.

    I'm not a troll or bashing apple, I just ordered a new retina for crying out loud.

    Also, rMBP 13" isn't on the market to compete with ultrabooks like MBA13". It has a mainstream processor and is as such rightfully compared with laptops such as cMBP 13" as opposed to MBA.

    They could make a QuadCore rMBP 13" if they made it as chubby as the old cMBP. But they rather didn't. wtf not, I don't know.

    @nobackup: I just checked benchmarks for i5 MBA and i5 rMBP. the difference for the base model is around 500 points. Thats ****nothing. less than upgrading from 2.3 to 2.7 quadcore 15"er.
  15. syndragore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2010
    Thanks for the input guys. So it sounds like currently the 13" retina is a no-go for any serious gaming, but does anyone have any idea if the next revision might get a dedicated graphics card like the 15" currently does?
  16. Barna Biro, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    For some reason, I was lazy to install any of those games although I've been playing them quite heavily months back on my late 2011 15" cMBP. Dota 2 might also have to do with my laziness, since lately, I've been playing it a lot.

    So, although I can't say how SC2 and D3 run ( but I'm guessing that both games should be more than playable on the lowest setting - you can most likely even push a few settings up to medium and still get decent fps ), but Dota 2 runs just fine on almost maxed settings at 1680x1050 resolution under bootcamp ( Windows 7 ). Sure, Dota 2 is quite a small game compared to the others, but it's quite well optimized and honestly, it performs 10x better than I was expecting when I first installed it.

    I might install SC2, D3 and WoW the coming days... If I do, I'll let you know how things play.


    "serious gaming" ? Not sure what you understand by that, but if it's "I want all the bells and whistles" ( a.k.a. "max settings and max resolution" ), then for sure, NO. Not even the 15" models can do that and produce high enough fps in all games / heavy fights ( but it's true that the tolerance level of each person is different ). IMHO, if you want a hardcore gaming notebook, then you're barking up the wrong tree...

    Macbooks ( no matter if retina or classic ) are really nice machines, but do not forget that Apple has never built them to target gamers. Sure, you can play games, but it's still a notebook in the end and it's main selling point is form factor, build quality and OS ( not really "performance" - in the sense that they never put latest CPU, GPU, etc. into the machines since it would 1) push the price even higher 2) cause some serious heat dissipation problems 3) it will make the entire notebook unusable and would drain battery in no time ).

    So, I'm not sure what you're "exactly" expecting from these notebooks...

    PS: Of course the dedicated GPU of the 15" will help out more when it comes to games than the integrated GPU of the 13" models. Also having a quad-core CPU compared to a dual-core CPU can produce quite the boost in certain games / software. If you don't really want / need the 13" form factor ( mobility and what not ), then there's no point in not going for a 15" model instead.
  17. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    It's true that both are HD4000, but the 13" rMBP does have the iGPU clocked slightly higher ( 768MB ). Of course this will not suddenly produce 2x performance compared to what people are getting on the MBA, but it could make games that were previously unplayable, playable. Let's also not forget that the MBA is running an ULV CPU compared to the non-ULV CPU of the 13" rMBP / cMBP. Sure, the MBA's CPU is quite decent and it's not extremely far behind the non-ULV CPU, but still, it can make a difference for certain games ( especially the slightly higher clock rate for CPU intensive tasks ).

    Again, it's not a huge difference, but it's a difference nonetheless.
    Just keep that in mind before rushing to conclusions...
  18. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    As I read this I am struggling to find a way to facepalm that would be appropriate. Please, please, stop.
  19. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    A good number of games like Quadcore chips now, and this will only increase as we move forward.

    Here is a list of desktop replacements that is ranked highly on notebookcheck, a good site about laptops. Many of them have great CPUs and graphics card;

    But they are all heavy, have crappy battery life and you wont wanna carry them around. Why not just buy a real gaming computer?

    If you need to take it with you. If you really need to take it with you, it will cost you. A lot. With that said, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 will run well on the Retina Macbook Pro 15 at 1080p! It's just not future proof. Something like Grand Theft Auto 5 might come to PC in about a years time(spring on consoles) and that might have some crappy system requirements due to porting or high density graphics.

    You can buy a gaming Laptop PC that is big and bulky, but fast and powerful for games and a small Ipad Mini that you can take with you for your portable needs. That would be a better deal than getting a laptop that is highly sought after for its design but not its gaming output.

    With that being said, a revision will come to Macbook Pro 13, when Hashwell comes with the next HD4000 successor. Such successor might/might not see a doubling in performance, making it useble for SC2 and D3. But are those the only ones you want to play for the lifetime of the machine? Surely there is bound to be great games released eventually that you will like but wont run.

    Find your needs. Do you really need a slim portable monster on the road. or do you just want to game and thought laptops was a good idea? big compromises either way.
  20. syndragore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2010
    Sorry, when I said "serious gaming" I wasn't looking for something that can run Crysis 3 on retina resolution. If it can run Starcraft 2 on medium with at least a constant 30-40 fps then that should be okay, and same with D3. And the option to play misc. games from a couple years back (so nothing really current, I have an xbox for that stuff) on low-medium with decent fps would be alright but it's not a deal-breaker.

    Of course, since gaming is fairly important to me it would be reasonable to consider looking at a windows computer, but I've been using macs for as long as I can remember and so has the majority of my friends and family so I'm inclined to stay with the apple brand. And portability is a must for me, which is why im considering the 13" here.

    I apologize if I mislead anyone!
  21. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
  22. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    Even better would be to just buy the desired model and mess it up as much as possible within the 14 days return period. If it lives up to your expectations, keep it, else you know what you have to do... That's the only real "benchmark" that will be actually helpful. :)
  23. Maven1975 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dont need to read the thread.

    The 13" Retina is lousy for games. Even with the full voltage CPU, I found very little performance increase over the current generation Air. (Neither are gaming machines to begin with) Think of the rMBP 13" as a heavier Air with strained graphics performance due to the outstanding screen. It truly makes the Air's screen look like trash.

    I do like my 15" Retina when gaming. However, I am currently thinking about going with a 27" iMac 680M and an iPad in the near future to replace the laptop in the field.
  24. nobackup macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008

    and your point is ?
  25. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    actually no. there is around a 30% difference from the HD4000 in the ulv cpus than from the standard voltage ones, they cant maintain the clocks, they oscilate, aside that the clocks are lower, sometimes this makes a good difference and in other times barely

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