League of Legends and other games on the MacBook Pro 16" - my experience

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
Hi guys,
I have noticed that there isn't a post about this and other specific game running on the MacBook Pro 16", so here It is!

Context:
  • Room temperature: 20 Celsius degrees
  • The MacBook is to a CallDigit TS3 Plus
  • to the CalDigit are attached my mouse (Logitech G502) and my keyboard (Logitech G Pro) using USB-A ports and also a monitor (Aorus AD27QD) using the DisplayPort 1.2 port. The monitor is also attached to the dock with cable USB-B to USB-A that enable the I/O of the monitor (2 USB-A ports, and an headphone jack splitted in in/out)
MacBook specs:
  • MacBook Pro 16" 2019
  • CPU: i9-9980HK
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5500m 8GB VRam
  • Ram: DDR4 32GB (2x16GB) 2667 MHz
  • SSD: 2TB
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

League of Legends:
  • For this test I wasn't using the external monitor
  • Running on MacOS 10.15.1
  • Is an OpenGL (1.5 if I am not wrong) application
  • Is obviously 64-bit
  • Is not really demanding but is not optimised for MacOS, it is really buggy indeed
The MacBook is placed on a cooling pad (AMAZON LINK). (without active pad the CPU temperature stabilizes around 65 degrees Celsius)

I have used iStat Menu to monitor loads and temperatures of the CPU, GPU and Ram, and to make the fans working at the maximum speed all the time.

At the native resolution of the screen (3072x1920), with all the graphic settings at Very High (the maximum possible), the in-game fps counter reach about 200 - 220 fps during the "laning phase" and about 100 - 120 in "team fight". Obviously there is no reason to let the fps uncapped on a 60Hz screen so I decided that the 80 fps cap is the best for this laptop.

I also noticed that scaling the resolution from the in-game setting doesn't make the GPU perform better, maybe worst.

Using iStat I have noticed that:
  • CPU: was working at 15-20% load, at around 3.7GHz. Temperature around 60 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 15-20 watts.
FREQUENCY GRAPH - TEMPERATURE GRAPH - CONSUMPTION GRAPH
(the game has been played between 11:50 and 12:25, fps cupped at 80)

  • GPU: was working at the 100% load, and using about 3GB of VRam. Temperature around 55 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 25 watts.
TEMPERATURE GRAPH - CONSUMPTION GRAPH
(the game has been played between 11:50 and 12:25, fps cupped at 80)

  • Ram: this game used about 4GB of Ram.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rise of the Tomb Rider:
  • For this test I wasn't using the external monitor
  • MacOS 10.15.1
  • Is powered by Metal API
  • Is obviously 64-bit
  • Played trough Steam
The MacBook is placed on a cooling pad (AMAZON LINK). (without active pad the CPU temperature stabilizes around nd. degrees Celsius - haven't tried yet)

The CallDigit TS3 plus can't provide enough power to the MacBook pro during the game, indeed the battery drain really slowly (about 1-2% every 10 minutes). At the moment It provides max 87 watts, but as far as I know CallDigit will realise a firmware update bringing the output to 96 watts.

I have used iStat Menu to monitor loads and temperatures of the CPU, GPU and Ram, and to make the fans working at the maximum speed all the time. Unfortunately for some reason iStat doesn't read the GPU load correctly (It is shown a workload of 0-1%), however is easily assumable that It works at 100% all the time.

At the native resolution of the screen is almost impossible to play with decent graphic settings but with a FullHD scaled resolution (1920x1200) the performance are pretty good. With all the graphic settings at Very High (the maximum possible), anisotropic filter at 8X and, the game runs between 30 and 60 fps. Setting al the graphic option at medium guarantees 50-60 fps in almost all the situations.

Using iStat I have noticed that:
  • CPU: was working at 20-25% load, at around 2.6GHz. Temperature around 75 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 15-20 watts.
FREQUENCY GRAPH - TEMPERATURE GRAPH - CONSUMPTION GRAPH
(the game has been played between 15:00 and 15:35)
  • GPU: was working at the 100% load, and using about 8GB of VRam. Temperature around 70 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 60 watts.
TEMPERATURE GRAPH - CONSUMPTION GRAPH
(the game has been played between 15:00 and 15:35)
  • Ram: this game used about 4GB of Ram.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Call of Duty: Modern warfare:
  • For this test I used my external monitor
  • Running on Windows 10 (version 1909, OS Build 18363.592) with Boot Camp
  • Is powered by Direct X 12 API
  • Is a 64-bit application
  • Played trough Battle.net
The MacBook is placed on a cooling pad (AMAZON LINK). (without active pad the CPU temperature stabilizes around nd. degrees Celsius - haven't tried yet)

The CallDigit TS3 plus can't provide enough power to the MacBook pro during the game, indeed the battery drain really slowly (about 1-2% every 10 minutes). At the moment It provides max 87 watts, but as far as I know CallDigit will realise a firmware update bringing the output to 96 watts.

I have used MSI Afterburner and HWMonitor to monitor loads and temperatures of the CPU, GPU and Ram.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: with the original AMD driver for Boot Camp I was suffering important graphics glitch and errors in texture rendering that almost made the game unplayable in my opinion. The most updated AMD driver for my Mac at the moment is the 19.30.03.05 and this is not optimized for Call Of Duty. So I have decided to install the 19.50.11.10 version from bootcampdrivers.com. This driver is unofficial and as said on the site "By downloading and installing the modified drivers you accept that any irreversible losses are not my responsibility. You also accept that any current AppleCare warranties may be voided by using these drivers. It is strongly recommended that you back up your data before installation.". However with this driver the game runs normally and I have only some sporadic freeze on a couple of seconds sometimes.

I have tried out a lot of different graphic settings and this one seems to works pretty well with a good balance between performance and video quality (I play on my external display AORUS AD27QD). Here I list the more important:
  • Display Mode: Full Screen
  • Screen refresh Rate: 144
  • Render resolution: 2544x1351
    • Video resolution: 2560x1440
  • Sync Every Frame (V-Sync): Disabled
  • Custom Framerate Limit: Custom
    • Custom Framerate Limit in game: 144
    • Menu Custom Framerate Limit: 30
    • Out Of Focus Custom Framerate Limit: 30
  • Texture Resolution: High
  • Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
  • Particol Quality: Low
  • Bullet Impact: Enable
  • Tessellation: Near
  • Shadow Map Resolution: High
  • Ambient Occlusion: Static Objects
  • Anti Aliasing: SMAA 1X

Using MSI Afterburner and HWMonito I have noticed that:
  • CPU: was working at 30-35% load, at around 2.35GHz. Temperature around 77 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 16 watts.
  • GPU: was working at the 100% load, and using about 7.5GB of VRam. Temperature around 80 Celsius degrees. Consumption stayed around 50 watts.
  • Ram: this game used about 6GB of Ram.
(HERE YOU CAN SEE ALL THE GRAPHS ON THE MACBOOK SCREEN WHILE IS PLAYED A CINEMATIC ON THE EXTERNAL MONITOR)

I will update this post with others information when I will perform some deeper test.

Have a nice day and sorry for my poor english!
 
Last edited:

DubCity

macrumors member
Aug 8, 2019
38
32
I have the same FPS on the stock 5300m 4GB. Have no idea why anyone is paying to upgrade to the 5500m and get the same FPS results.
 

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
I have the same FPS on the stock 5300m 4GB. Have no idea why anyone is paying to upgrade to the 5500m and get the same FPS results.
The difference between 5300 and 5500 is minimal I guess. How ever I will try some games that could have a benefit of the 8GB of VRam.
- - Post merged: - -

What were the temps with uncapped frames?
Mmmmh, I haven’t check. I will try it tomorrow (I live in Italy and right now here it is 22:38)
 

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
What is the GPU without the cooling pad? My MacBook with the same GPU is hitting 80 degrees.
80° is hot! By the way the temperature in my room is around 20°, maybe this help the laptop. I have already try to play without the pad and there wasn't any difference in temperature for the GPU, while le CPU was a little more hotter "(without active pad the CPU temperature stabilizes around 65 degrees Celsius)". Do you have the 5500m with 4 or 8 GB? What games have you tried? Have you set the fans to full speed?
 

_Kiki_

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2017
961
276
this game is 10 years old, try something new from recent titles like for example Anno 1800, Metro Exodus, Tropico 6 or Anthem
 
  • Like
Reactions: beppedessi

Seppolainen

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2017
12
10
LoL via macOS sucked donkey. Via win10/bootcamp is rock solid.

ok, now experienced major latency issues in win10 too, starts at 30 then skyrockets to 250-500ms. Anyone else?
 
Last edited:

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
Could somebody try Dota2 via Steam on MacOs? Its the only game i play, would help me alot!
Dota 2 seems to be a more intensive graphic game compared to League of Legends. By the way in a game against BOTS I set all the graphic options at the maximum possible in fullscreen with the native resolution and the frame rate was about 45/50fps. Using a scaled resolution at 1440p It reached 60fps. I also noticed that for some reason is not possible to overcome the 60fps even with lower graphic settings, maybe Dota automatically capped it at 60 because the screen runs at 60Hz? And if you are wondering I have set the cap for fps at 240 in the option menu. The temperatures were a little more hot: about 75 Celsius degrees for the CPU and 70 Celsius degrees for the GPU (with a really similar load behaviour compared to LoL).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bubba_Chucks

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
321
120
Los Angeles, CA
The difference between 5300 and 5500 is minimal I guess. How ever I will try some games that could have a benefit of the 8GB of VRam.
- - Post merged: - -


Mmmmh, I haven’t check. I will try it tomorrow (I live in Italy and right now here it is 22:38)
The difference between the 5300M and the 5500M is that the latter can boost perhaps 250 MHz higher than the former. Everything else is the same betweeen the 5300M 4 GB and the 5500M 4 GB. A 5500M 8 GB is not going to improve performance much at all. It's like, yea, you can pay an extra $100-200 for the 5500M 4-8 GB option when customizing a build to order 16" MBP, but it's never going to be worth it because the rest of the 5500M is going to bottleneck your performance well before you need more than 4 GB of VRAM. Sometimes, less is more. Don't let the bigger numbers confuse you.
 

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
The difference between the 5300M and the 5500M is that the latter can boost perhaps 250 MHz higher than the former. Everything else is the same betweeen the 5300M 4 GB and the 5500M 4 GB. A 5500M 8 GB is not going to improve performance much at all. It's like, yea, you can pay an extra $100-200 for the 5500M 4-8 GB option when customizing a build to order 16" MBP, but it's never going to be worth it because the rest of the 5500M is going to bottleneck your performance well before you need more than 4 GB of VRAM. Sometimes, less is more. Don't let the bigger numbers confuse you.
Correct me if I am wrong because I am not an expert at all, but if the textures of a game (for example of Tomb Rider) above a certain quality need more than 4Gb of VRam they simply can't load on a GPU with 4 Gb, is it right?
 

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
321
120
Los Angeles, CA
Correct me if I am wrong because I am not an expert at all, but if the textures of a game (for example of Tomb Rider) above a certain quality need more than 4Gb of VRam they simply can't load on a GPU with 4 Gb, is it right?
The issue is not the VRAM in itself, it is the fact that the dGPU is so underpowered that it would not be able to process the textures you're suggesting to a reasonable degree.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,479
2,739
SF Bay Area
The difference between the 5300M and the 5500M is that the latter can boost perhaps 250 MHz higher than the former. Everything else is the same betweeen the 5300M 4 GB and the 5500M 4 GB. A 5500M 8 GB is not going to improve performance much at all. It's like, yea, you can pay an extra $100-200 for the 5500M 4-8 GB option when customizing a build to order 16" MBP, but it's never going to be worth it because the rest of the 5500M is going to bottleneck your performance well before you need more than 4 GB of VRAM. Sometimes, less is more. Don't let the bigger numbers confuse you.
Maybe true for gaming, but for many apps the extra memory seem to have a fairly sizable impact.

 
Last edited:

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
321
120
Los Angeles, CA
Maybe true for gaming, but for many apps the extra memory seem to have a fairly sizable impact.

Yes, there are definitely apps that will benefit from the additional video memory. However, this is a thread about gaming performance, and I was letting everyone know that there will be no meaningful benefit if that's the only reason you wanted to upgrade past the 5300M 4 GB.
 

beppedessi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2013
86
54
Impruneta (FI), Italy
Yes, there are definitely apps that will benefit from the additional video memory. However, this is a thread about gaming performance, and I was letting everyone know that there will be no meaningful benefit if that's the only reason you wanted to upgrade past the 5300M 4 GB.
This is a screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Rider and at least this game seems to need more than 4GB of VRam to performe well.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: jerryk

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,479
2,739
SF Bay Area
This is a screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Rider and at least this game seems to need more than 4GB of VRam to performe well.
Agreed. 30+% better performance with 5500/8G vs 5300/G is significant. Looks like it also crushes the Vega 20 on other benchmarks.

Still thought is a MacBook Pro. A generalized business/created laptop. How does it compare to Windows based gaming laptops?
 

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
321
120
Los Angeles, CA
This is a screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Rider and at least this game seems to need more than 4GB of VRam to performe well.
Sorry, but there is no way a 5500M 4 GB or even the 8 GB is gonna run Rise of the Tomb Raider on Very High settings with Very High quality textures with Anisotropic Filtering set to x8 at a reasonable frame rate. The video card is not powerful enough to do that on any level. It may require more than 4 GB video memory, but what I'm trying to say is like the processing power of the 5500M is not strong enough to power those graphics at a decent frame rate. It's just not gonna work out so well. You might possibly be able to since Rise is a bit older than it's newer sibling, Shadows, but I'm not gonna hold on my breath on that. The graphics processing power of the 5500M will simply be the bottleneck that limits the performance of the game instead of the lack of video memory.

The same is true of a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme(Gen 2). It's Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4 GB wouldn't be able to power those settings either with good performance either, even if Nvidia were to offer snake oil in the form of an 8 GB model. This is common enough that the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 only comes with 6 GB of video memory/VRAM, and the 2060 is magnitudes more powerful than the 5300M, 5500M, 1650, 1660, 1660 Ti, and 1660 Super. The 2060 could probably do Very High with Anisotropic Filtering at 1080p. Likewise, barring any driver issues preventing it from running properly, the 5700 or 5700XT 8 GB could probably do Very High with great performance on 1080p, and decent performance at 1440p. Please trust me on this.

The only way the 5500M 8 GB is gonna be properly used is in professional video and perhaps photo editing.
 
Last edited: