Is the MacBook Pro 15 inch Mid-2012 still good for gaming ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by comics addict, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. comics addict macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    I admit that I am extremely late for this but I just discovered during Christmas season the usefulness of PC gaming. :D Currently I own a MacBook Pro 13 inch Mid-2012 non-Retina laptop which comes with Intel HD Graphics 4000 which isn't ideal by any means for playing video games. I have managed under low settings to play recent games like Batman Arkham Origins and Tomb Raider on Windows via Boot Camp so in that respect it has managed fairly well. However I was thinking that about maybe selling my current mac laptop and upgrading to one of those 15 inch models because of its dedicated GPU.

    However the current 15 inch portable Macs, the only one that sports such GPU, costs $2599. :eek: Since I can't afford that upgrade just for extra gaming under no circumstances (being a college student and all ;) ) I was maybe looking for old refurbished models on Apple site. I'm not really that into the Retina Display per se and kind of like the convenience of having an optical drive on my notebook for the occasional movie and disc burning. Also bought a SSD for my current sucker that I would hate to let go to waste.

    Sooooo, my main concern is if I were to get the old non-Retina 15 inch MacBook Pro from 2012 is the the Nvidia GT 650m GPU still useful for PC gaming on a laptop. I'm thinking of getting a model with the standard 1440x900 resolution display (Since it's not Retina which just packs the pixels under that resolution I see no value in the higher-resolution display for this model) given that a) I like my resolution to be low for the most part since I have seen laptops with 1080 display and they look "atrocious" for regular PC use beyond gaming since everything is so small on the display. And always had bad experiences when choosing a different resolution on any given display that its not its native one. And b) I prefer to play at 720p and occasionally like to connect my computer to a HDTV which for regular PC uses all look better at 720 unless I am watching a 1080p video.

    If by no it's not very clear still, my current laptop covers all my needs for a PC besides gaming more that ok but am considering doing the 'upgrade' (it still is from my current setup even though its a older model) for serious gaming. My gaming interests are console games the likes of Skyrim, Assasin's Creed IV and the like, capable of high level of details. Chose to skip the new gaming generation because I commute and the only device I carry everywhere with me is the laptop and smartphone. I also prefer OS X for main OS on the computer before anyone comes saying that for the amount of money I should just get a windows PC and that windows 8... :mad:

    Also what is the advantage of the base model with 512MB of RAM and the high-end 1GB ? Is the performance about the same besides the added memory for game data and that it comes with a higher clock CPU ?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Why not get a windows gaming machine just for gaming? There is a good choice of adequate ones for under $1000. Or does the work and game machine needs to be the same one?
  3. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
  4. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    I sure would like it to, to be honest. The all-in-one device idea, you know? Are there any windows gaming laptops that you could recommend I look into that you refer to? Sorry I ask but weeding out choices in the windows world isn't exactly straightforward since I am not that knowledgable in dedicated GPUs.
  5. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013

    Lenovo Y-series....half the price of a rmbp 15 inch, more powerful for gaming....less portable but if your using it as a gaming machine chances are its on a desk somewhere...much more value dollar for dollar....if you want something thats similar to a macbook then you should look at the Razer Blade/Blade Pro depending on your budget. The lenovo y-510p has the added bonus of being able to use dual dGPUS..

    You won't be able to play any modern games at retina resolution anyways unless you turn down the quality way down, so even though these may have lower resolution screens you would end up having to play at 1080p or lower on the retina anyways if you wanted decent performance.
  6. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Well the 650m is almost the same as the 750m in the newer ones.

    I agree with the other posters, get a DESKTOP gaming rig. Buying a computer just for gaming and getting a laptop is a huge waste of money. You can get a desktop twice as fast for less money then a laptop.
  7. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    The MSI GE60, though thicker than the cMBP, it actually weighs less (5.28 lb vs 5.6). It's not available with dual GPUs like the Lenovo Y-Series, but there's more opportunity for customization. It also comes standard with an accidental damage warranty, something not offered on a MacBook of any price.

    I had an MSI GX740 before I got my current MBP, and it was great. One of the last Windows-based notebooks to offer a 16:10 screen if I remember correctly.
  8. Anitramane macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2013
    If you want a laptop thats built like a Mac then look on the Razer blades.

    If you dont have a gaming rig then i suggest you build one (or haver someone build it for you)
  9. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    He said that he can't afford the current 15" model with the dedicated GPU or any retina-machines at all for that matter, so what makes you think he can afford a Razer Blade when they start at $2000?

    On topic: The non-retina 2012 machine and higher end 2011 machines should be able to run Batman: Arkham Origins it to some extent, but GPU wise it seems like a botched port as the recommended AMD GPU is a desktop Radeon HD 6950 (an upper mid range card if I recall right).
  10. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    It seems that this decision has ended being more complex than I originally thought... :(
  11. D4RTH macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    You should get MSI GS70. The design are slimmer as rMBP and they cost about the same. MSI has Dual Graphic and I think $1,400 is decent to pay after selling your current macbook pro.
  12. Anitramane macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2013
    Razer blade starts at $1799 which is way cheaper than the Dgpu Rmbp. The Razer blade also has a better Dgpu.
    The Razer blade uses the same aluminium unibody as the Macs.
    It does not have the same screen, not the same connectivity.
    The Mac will have better battery life thanks to Osx, but the blades battery life is similar.
    I'm suggesting the Razer blade because if you are getting a Mac and play games the reasoning behind it I see the most is the design of the Mac, the portability and so on. But the razer blade does have better value to it for a gamer.
  13. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    The standard configuration is actually $2000, i.e the same as the cheapest Pro and to get the $1800 you have to downgrade from a 256GB SDD to a 128GB one. I mean really? A 128GB SSD in a close to $2000 machine in 2014? Let's not forget that it's an mSATA SSD when the Pro comes standard with a 256GB PCIe SSD.

    Also, the processor on even the cheapest Pro is better and the integrated GPU in it is also leaps and bounds better than the HD4600 in the Razer.

    Of course it's the same kind of thing considering it's basically knockoff where the main difference is that it's in black and the keyboard is some kind of cheapo attempt at the Optimus Maximus. Let's not forget that with all that black, lime green accents and LED's, it's on the same level of garishness as Alienware's christmas trees for laptops.

    According to the Anandtech review the screen on the 14" model is pretty much awful with bad color accuracy, narrow color gamut, absolutely dreadful contrast, abysmal viewing angles (it gets compared to a really cheap TN panel) and can't display black properly. Let's not forger the screen on the Razor only has a resolution of 1600x900 and the reviewer literally calls the panel used "atrocious".

    In essence you're basically telling him to buy a Windows machine and I'm not certain if he really wants to do that. The Razor blade does offer better value for money for playing games, but otherwise it is a knockoff where they've cut corners. If you want to compare it to the 15" Pro with Nvidia graphics you should configure it with a 512GB SSD like the Pro, which bumps up the price to $2300. Lets not forget that the Pro comes with a much better screen, faster CPU (even in the most basic configuration) and better integrated GPU when you want to conserve the battery.

    I after reading the Anandtech review I really wouldn't recommend it anyone with taste in good displays...
  14. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Feb 21, 2016
    No. No. No. That is not why we buy Macs. You can get Steam and for your Mac, and their are games that can run on OSX, but my computer is the baseline rMBP 2015 and it can only sort of play games. I wouldn't even bother. Just get a console if you prefer OSX over Windows and want to play games
  15. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I remain extremely happy with the many new Mac Laptops I've owned and relied on for my work.

    Yet they suck when it's gaming we're talking about.

    That's why I've spent a few thousand to build an awesome gaming PC.

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14 January 21, 2014