Macbook Black, gaming, wow, bootcamp etc etc. from a PC user.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zushiba, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. zushiba macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    Let me first start off by saying this, I hope I am in the right forum so if I'm not please go easy on me this is my first post.

    I am currently running a Intel Core 2 Duo system that I just recently built myself, (Yes PC) 2gigs of ram, nVidia GeForce 7950 GT KO 512mg etc etc, needless to say it absolutely destroys games.
    In World of Warcraft I get a steady 60fps (capped) everywhere I go with everything turned up as high as possible, that's in raids, in busy cities etc.

    The problem is, I'm not always home to enjoy it and while getting time away from a computer is probably good for me physically it's boring and I need a new laptop.

    I currently own 3 laptops.

    1) Sony Vaio 700mhz system, now won't start, no biggie not good for gaming.

    2) Some Dell something or other that was given to me for parts, it's DoA won't start and I don't care to spend $100 to get it fixed. It's 1ghz and has 256 megs of ram and while I could do work on it, I don't care to bother with it.

    3) A 400 year old PowerBook 3400 which amazingly still works. I obviously won't be using it for any games any time soon or be doing too much work on it. But the fact remains It still functions!

    I'm by no means a mac convert but I'm unimpressed with Sony's systems, dislike dell and don't really want to spend $3000 on some "gaming laptop"

    I am impressed with the quality of apples products, my 15gig 3G iPod just recently got a new battery and a new pair of headphones, it's over 3 years old now.

    Here's the trouble I am having, I am looking right now at apples site pondering the Black Macbook.

    I've searched all over hoping to find some definitive answers on the gaming performance of this little guy and hear conflicting rumors.

    I am using World of Warcraft to judge the performance of the system.

    One guy says he gets nearly 50 FPS in a heavily populated area while another says he gets around 6fps just walking around with no one around.
    I see this video on youtube
    displaying WoW on a 2Ghz, 2GB RAM MacBook. It looks to be handling things pretty well, I don't need amazing performance and that is certainly what I am looking for.

    I just need to know if this is some kind of tweak, or if I can expect this kind of performance from a system like this, or would I be wasting my money on the macbook?
    I also hear games like this tend to run better with bootcamp, if that's the case what is the process for setting something like that up assuming I have a copy of XP sitting here in my lap ready to install, what exactly are the necessary requirements? According to Apples site, bootcamp is in beta does this mean it will eventually cost money to license and use?
    And does it only work with XP SP2 (which is notorious for slowing down gaming performance)
  2. brando06 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2007

    I play WoW flawlessly on my Blackbook and i don't even have the upgraded 2gigs of ram i only have 1gig
  3. zushiba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    That's certainly encouraging, what are your settings set to? I hear the Intel GMA 950 can't handle any of the shaders.
    What FPS do you average?
  4. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    I don't own a MacBook, so I can't speak from first hand experience, but I have been gaming since the 80's (Apples and PCs), have built a multitude of different gaming rigs and will say, that as a general rule, the 3D performance of a notebook using the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of shared memory is probably not going to be satisfactory for most people playing today's 3D games, IMHO.

    With that said, the final judgment will always come down to which game you are playing, what graphics settings you are willing to live with and each individual's personal perspective.
  5. Alex Urchin macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006
    If you can afford a Macbook Pro - it will do the job you want much much better.
  6. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    ^^ agreed. If you're looking for the best gaming experience on a Mac laptop, the Mac Book Pro is the way to go, since the video card is worlds better than the Mac Book's.

    With that said, I own the Black MacBook and have been playing WoW on it since I got it on November 2006. I've been very happy with it so far. It's the C2D 2.0Ghz, and I got 2GB of ram. Here are some observations:

    -In one of the recent patches, Blizzard updated their code to run faster on Intel macs. There used to be a significant performance hit on OS X vs. running on Bootcamp, but after that patch, it's negligible. I run WoW on OS X all the time now.

    -40-man raids are fine, with no lag. The only time it gets laggy is when there are tons of monsters on screen, and I have health bars displayed for each one (default is V key to trigger this). For example, the lyceum in BRD. Once I remove the health bars, it's fine.

    -I've attached a screenshot of my video settings, and also one of my framerate indoors. Outdoors my framerate varies from 19-40, depending on crowds and terrains. Average is ~30fps.

    Attached Files:

  7. zushiba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    56.2fps isn't anything to scoff at.

    My main reason for wanting the macbook nonpro version would be it's size, I would like to take it to work with me and lugging around a giant macbook pro might be a bit much.
    On a side note, grats on the GM Dirk, I'm roughly 5k honor from mine :p
  8. acoustics940 macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2006
    I would get a macbook but then again I dont think I would buy a laptop just to play World of Warcraft.
  9. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    Thanks Zushiba. You'll have yours in no time. :)
  10. zushiba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    no, I want a laptop capable of playing world of warcraft, I have real work I do but it's not platform dependent and is thusly transportable to anything.

    My old laptops weren't able to run anything other than Word, Firefox & some old games like Total Annihilation. Since they are dead, why not pick up something that's not only functional but fun?
  11. findnemo macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2006
    How faster does WoW run on OSX then on Bootcamp?

    I would love it running it on OSX rather then Bootcamp because I can control the fan speed and have it run cool.

    But I also love using Bootcamp to overclock the card to have it run better.

    Does running WoW on OSX now better then on bootcamp overclocked?

    ^^Too lazy to install 4 disks on OSX :)
  12. findnemo macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2006
    Also I have a Macbook and a Macbook pro in the house and I can honestly say that the size difference so similar that if you have the money for a Pro....go Pro. Lugging around both....there is no difference....they are both soooo portable that the only difference is the price - performance.

    Playing w/the Pro is a lot better then on the macbook because the screen is much larger, and the quality is amazing.

    The only thing that is better on the macbook then the Pro is the material it's made of. Plastic is far superior for gaming then aluminum in terms of sweat. Also the latch on the Pro is really annoying compared to the magnet in the macbook.
  13. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    If you mean SMCfancontrol, that only gives you the ability to raise the base level RPM to about 3500rpm.

    When you run WoW, the fan will kick in and go much higher automatically. It will run hot no matter what.
  14. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If I were in your situation I would get the MacBook Pro because it's only 0.4 pounds heavier than the MacBook and the graphics card is a lot better. A bigger screen is better for games, don't you agree?
  15. GraceMolloy macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2006
    /e pets her Macbook Pro ... love's her precious ... watches it PWN the nasty hobitz desktop machines ...
  16. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    Just wanted to update this thread with some info.

    Blizzard recently released their new expansion pack to WoW called The Burning Crusade. One of the new areas added is "The Outlands". My MacBook doesn't do as well in the new area (hellfire penninsula) as it did in the older areas of the game. With all of the graphic settings off or turned to low, I get around 8-12 fps. Of course, once I go indoors or into a smaller area, the framerate returns to normal. But it does have some difficulty processing the large open areas. I've ended up playing WoW on my Mac Pro instead of my MacBook since it gets a bit frustrating at times.

    So while I love my MacBook, if gaming performance is critical, I'd definitely have to recommend getting the macbook pro.

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