How powerful is my rMBPs GPU compared to other laptops?

renosausage

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2012
158
0
Hey everyone,

I just want to know exactly how powerful is my rMBPs GPU compared to other competitive laptops?

I am able to play some really cool games that I've never had the processing power to play before,

But I also noticed that some games like StarCraft Heart of Swarm is not playable at the highest settings.

So does the rMBP have an awesome GPU or is it sorta okay?
 

B...

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2013
1,949
2
I assume you mean the 650M in the 15". It is a high middle class to low enthusiast level. It's good, not great but better than ok.
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
1,213
18
As Apple is a premium priced brand, there are of course better GPU's in Windows laptops at the same price or cheaper.


There are several gaming laptops that have 2GB of video memory and are superior in gaming.

However in my opinion you're silly to buy a Mac if you just want to game. There are better suited options for a "hardcore gamer".
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,292
4,818
I hope you are not trying to play games at the native resolution ^^ The rMBP will happily play modern games like Bioshock Infinite at 1680x1050 and high settings, which is really good.
 

elpamyelhsa

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2010
94
21
Geraldton, Western Australia
As Apple is a premium priced brand, there are of course better GPU's in Windows laptops at the same price or cheaper.


There are several gaming laptops that have 2GB of video memory and are superior in gaming.

However in my opinion you're silly to buy a Mac if you just want to game. There are better suited options for a "hardcore gamer".
But if you want a gaming laptop that you can actually use for things other than gaming the MBPr is perfect - even with Windows.

You wont find one that has is usable on battery like the 15" MBPr
4-10hour battery depending on graphics, display brightness and CPU use. The closest thing on the market gets 45min and weights 4x that of the MBPr.

And for the price of the MBPr to include 8GB-16GB RAM, a very fast SSD and huge resolution LCD, Anything else on the market even close will either overheat and kill its minboard, GPU or its hard drive will fail from all the heat. Did i mention they would have noisy fans as well. but you would get slightly better performance - for a few months anyway.

I work in a computer store an see these all the time. some paying the same as a quality MBPr but have basically a desktop replacement that is useless as a laptop.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,081
Montreal, Canada
It's a factory-overclocked GT 650M.

It's comparable to laptops that have a GTX 660M, which has lower clock speeds but 2GB of VRAM instead of 1GB.

Laptops that have a GTX 670M/675M/780M are definitely better at gaming though. Those however are often at least twice as thick and heavy as a rMBP, and have much weaker battery life, and also tend to try to visually please teenagers with multicolored LEDs and alien-inspired design.

So, considering the rMBP's form factor and battery life, it has an execellent GPU. I still wouldn't call it a gaming laptop though. It can handle some gaming, but isn't built around it. I'd say it's good for casual gamers (those that don't mind not maxing every game or hitting 60FPS) but hardcore gamers would still prefer a dedicated gaming desktop or laptop.
 
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renosausage

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2012
158
0
I hope you are not trying to play games at the native resolution ^^ The rMBP will happily play modern games like Bioshock Infinite at 1680x1050 and high settings, which is really good.
Thats my struggle every time I play games.
2880 by 1800 looks so awesome compared to the other resolutions, but unfortunately I cannot operate at that high resolution.

Is is necessary to switch my rMBPs resolution before playing a video game?

will that help at all with the performance?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,292
4,818
Thats my struggle every time I play games.
2880 by 1800 looks so awesome compared to the other resolutions, but unfortunately I cannot operate at that high resolution.

Is is necessary to switch my rMBPs resolution before playing a video game?

will that help at all with the performance?
To play those games at native resolution you'd need a pair of powerful desktop cards. Again, the rMBP will happily play most games at 1920x1200 or 1680x1050 and it looks more than good on the 15" IPS screen - certainly much better than most gaming laptops. Don't forget, most gamers use 1920x1080 monitors with 23-24" diagonale, this is approximately 95 PPI. At 1680x1050, the rMBP emulates 130 PPI, which gives you a much sharper picture, despite the interpolation and other quirks.
 
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dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
It was or still is the best GPU in that TDP class. It is obviously not a desktop GPU. Those are allowed to suck 150W+ and are obviously a different league.
It is just as good as any other 650M in other notebooks. Like the Asus UX51VZ or Samsung Series 7 (the new one has a 8870M which is slightly ahead).

If you want more performance play in Windows (bootcamp). Apple writes there own drivers and they simply do not come with all the DirectX optimizations for even individual games that exist in Windows. Games on the Windows side simply get more attention in every possible way.

Personally I think in Starcraft 2 the difference between low and med is huge. Yet everything past medium makes very little difference. I would just crank up the res to the highest that works GUI wise. Set most settings to medium/high. Add AA/AF. If there is still room raise the settings a bit more.
Resolution first. AA second. The rest imo doesn't really need to be any higher than medium/high.

A game engine always picks its own resolution. It doesn't give a rats ass what res you have set in OSX.

If you want comparisons to other GPUS out there.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html

In general though you need a real gaming notebook like all the Clevo to get significantly more performance or wait for the next gen.
The coming next gen is mostly just better auto over clocking. Nothing you cannot do yourself in Windows with the laptopvideo2go drivers and some profiles. 20nm serious next gen with an actual big performance increase will show next year. That is when you can start complaining about to little performance compared to current top of the line.
If you complain now get a desktop. Much cheaper much faster. In a desktop you can exchange for 200 bucks the GPU after 2 years and it will again blow every 2000$ notebook out of the water in performance.
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
1,213
18
But if you want a gaming laptop that you can actually use for things other than gaming the MBPr is perfect - even with Windows.

You wont find one that has is usable on battery like the 15" MBPr
4-10hour battery depending on graphics, display brightness and CPU use. The closest thing on the market gets 45min and weights 4x that of the MBPr.

And for the price of the MBPr to include 8GB-16GB RAM, a very fast SSD and huge resolution LCD, Anything else on the market even close will either overheat and kill its minboard, GPU or its hard drive will fail from all the heat. Did i mention they would have noisy fans as well. but you would get slightly better performance - for a few months anyway.

I work in a computer store an see these all the time. some paying the same as a quality MBPr but have basically a desktop replacement that is useless as a laptop.

I agree the Macbook is a great product. I own one and love it.

All I was answering to the OP is better GPU exist in laptops. The retina is fairly mid level just taking into account GPU, not screen, battery life etc.

When taking everything into account the rMBP is great. Just GPU in mind, mid level power.
 

magbarn

macrumors 68000
Oct 25, 2008
1,927
1,099
A free and huge increase in performance would be to install a bootcamp win7 partition. Yes you lose SSD space and yes you have to deal with windows, but the majority of games will get a free 25%+ boost in performance over their OSX counterparts. It's just that Apple and gaming developers don't even come close to the frequency of updates that windows games/drivers go through on a regular basis.
 

renosausage

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2012
158
0
A free and huge increase in performance would be to install a bootcamp win7 partition. Yes you lose SSD space and yes you have to deal with windows, but the majority of games will get a free 25%+ boost in performance over their OSX counterparts. It's just that Apple and gaming developers don't even come close to the frequency of updates that windows games/drivers go through on a regular basis.
What exactly do I need to do in order to get Windows 7 on my rMBP?
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
A usb and a iso with win. With bootcamp assistance is very easy. But i play starcraft 2 on MAC at 1080p with high resolution, and i get at the beginning of the game like 85fps and in mid game like 37-38fps so for me its more than ok, but i understand if you play it in bootcamp you will have a boost of min 10 fps so 95-100fps with a minimum of 45fps.
 

magbarn

macrumors 68000
Oct 25, 2008
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1,099
LOL, I know that you Knuckle Head!

Where do I get this ISO you guys are talking about?
Get a legit copy of Win7, use disk utility (on a mac with a dvd drive or hook up an external one to your rMBP) to make an iso file out of it. Google has plenty of websites that will walk you through this. An alternative would be to borrow a buddy's windows machine to do the same thing through program called img burn.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
if you got the new model without optical drive, you can get a copy of the windows now online, like starcraft 2, digital buy
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
You also can download the iso from Microsoft. You just need a legit serial number.
You can buy it online. I would get Windows 8 though. Boots a little faster and given that you need to reboot annoyingly often that is something.
Also Windows 8 can in theory be installed without bootcamp in UEFI mode. I read about it somewhere once. A guy pulled it of but it is not exactly a simple porcedure. If it would work the boot speed could potentially reach almost Windows notebook like boottimes. Those with newer full support for all the features boot in like 8 seconds.

Also can get an extra speed boost for some games if you install GPU drivers from laptopvideo2go.com.
Apple only releases bootcamp drivers once with a new OS and now they got out a Window 8 update but that stays the same with the same GPU drivers. If you want to benefit from updates and optimizations to newer driver version you need to install them yourself.
They also allow you to install performance tools to over clock the gpu if cooling allows.
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,924
51
Another thing to note is that when installing Windows via Boot Camp, the NVIDIA GPU runs all the time. There is no graphic switching like there is on OS X. As such, your run time on battery will be reduced by 50% or more.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,715
1,782
As Apple is a premium priced brand, there are of course better GPU's in Windows laptops at the same price or cheaper.


There are several gaming laptops that have 2GB of video memory and are superior in gaming.

However in my opinion you're silly to buy a Mac if you just want to game. There are better suited options for a "hardcore gamer".
Where are you looking? Having personally compared to satisfy my curiosity, most of the 15" Windows notebooks cap out at whatever implementation of a 650m (sometimes more memory) at the 15" level. The really hot ones are typically restricted to 17" gaming notebooks. Notebooks marketed as mobile workstations use quadro mobile or firepro m gpus, which aren't designed for gaming.
 

TLewis

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2007
1,130
0
left coast, US
Performance issues aside, the biggest other issue with MBPR's and games is that the MBPR can get HOT. It can get hot enough that using the keyboard can become very uncomfortable. For me, it gets bad enough that I actually use a separate Apple Bluetooth keyboard if I play games.
 

Asuriyan

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2013
622
16
Indiana
Where are you looking? Having personally compared to satisfy my curiosity, most of the 15" Windows notebooks cap out at whatever implementation of a 650m (sometimes more memory) at the 15" level. The really hot ones are typically restricted to 17" gaming notebooks. Notebooks marketed as mobile workstations use quadro mobile or firepro m gpus, which aren't designed for gaming.
This is true.

The 650M is (arguably) the best compromise between performance and TDP on the market. Anything more powerful requires more juice- a bigger power adapter, a wider chassis, more airflow. In other words, not feasible for a computer with the design goals of the MBP.

Maxwell architecture will change this category in the same way that Ivy Bridge CPUs differ from Nehalem and Westmere. The smaller the die, the more computing power you can put on a chip without it running too hot.
 

Exana

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2011
219
0
GeForce GT 650m is the best GPU suitable for such a thin laptop.
More power -> More heat, more fan noise.

Most games run fine @ 1440x900 with good settings.
 

swerve147

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2013
791
53
With respect to modern games in Windows like Crysis 3, Tomb Raider 2013, etc. I would say that as long as your happy with Medium settings at 1080p or lower then you'll be happy with the 650M in the 15 inch Retina. I think in maybe 3-4 years as long as you're willing to drop the resolution down to 1440x900 or 1280x800 with medium settings you'll still be OK. That's just a scientific wild a** guess though.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,715
1,782
This is true.

The 650M is (arguably) the best compromise between performance and TDP on the market. Anything more powerful requires more juice- a bigger power adapter, a wider chassis, more airflow. In other words, not feasible for a computer with the design goals of the MBP.

Maxwell architecture will change this category in the same way that Ivy Bridge CPUs differ from Nehalem and Westmere. The smaller the die, the more computing power you can put on a chip without it running too hot.
I don't know if the macbook pros can still drain a battery while plugged into the wall. This was the case with 2011s, so yeah I wouldn't want them to cram in a bigger gpu there with the current power adapter. Die shrinks are nothing new even though gpu manufacturers tend to change architecture less often. What makes you excited about Maxwell? Westmere was also a die shrink. Apple skipped the quad nehalem chips in their notebook lines.