Macbook for Average Gamer: Iris Pro or Nvidia GeForce GT 750?

Moritsuna

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
3
0
I am wanting to buy a macbook for normal computer use + gaming. I will not be creating any digital arts video or photography.

The games I play mostly are WoW and average steam games (Like the walking dead series)

The question I have is, is the Iris Pro good enough? I WOULD like to play the new Witcher 3 and dragon age, but I am perfectly fine with playing with low to medium settings as long as it's lag free. For me, No lag>The best graphics.

I am asking because I have no previous experience with iris graphics. Thanks.

(Also side note, was wondering how well the iris pro without the nvidia card but with a processor upgrade would fare?)
 
Last edited:

Moritsuna

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
3
0
How heavy is it? I was wondering if I just play WoW I could deal with the Iris pro.
 

pragmatous

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2012
1,378
96
Get the dedicated graphics card. Iris isn't designed to play games it was designed for facebook games and flash in mind. It's not a very good GPU for gaming.

How heavy is it? I was wondering if I just play WoW I could deal with the Iris pro.
 

Sifinity

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2014
322
1
Texas
LoL is playable on my mid 2012 13" intel 4000 cMB :cool: , im 99% sure its playable on a haswell iris pro
 

Moritsuna

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
3
0
So I heard it drains battery quick when gaming or other projects using the nvidia, but if I don't use it (work, internet surfing) will the battery last as long as the iris pro without the nvidia?
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
So I heard it drains battery quick when gaming or other projects using the nvidia, but if I don't use it (work, internet surfing) will the battery last as long as the iris pro without the nvidia?
On the model with NVIDIA, you can use gfxcardstatus to disable NVIDIA whenever you want to save battery.

So battery life will be identical to Iris-only with the NVIDIA card disabled.
 

EstebanLGJ

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2014
29
0
Austin, Texas
I am wanting to buy a macbook for normal computer use + gaming. I will not be creating any digital arts video or photography.

The games I play mostly are WoW and average steam games (Like the walking dead series)

The question I have is, is the Iris Pro good enough? I WOULD like to play the new Witcher 3 and dragon age, but I am perfectly fine with playing with low to medium settings as long as it's lag free. For me, No lag>The best graphics.

I am asking because I have no previous experience with iris graphics. Thanks.

(Also side note, was wondering how well the iris pro without the nvidia card but with a processor upgrade would fare?)
I'm in the exact same boat as you are. However I am leaning for the older retina models.
I am currently looking at the 2012 retina model http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC975LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macBook-Pro-23ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7-with-retina-Display

but I'm also considering the early 2013 model since there is minimal price difference
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE664LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macBook-Pro-24ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7-with-retina-Display

I think the 650M will help out with the game graphics being free of lag, and its a little cheaper than the Haswell models. I would get the 750M model is I could afford it :rolleyes:

----------

I also think it's a great time to buy refurbished as the "the big leap" will come with skylake, which we'll probably see in late 2015 if not 2016 with Intel's delays nowadays...
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
924
2
I am wanting to buy a macbook for normal computer use + gaming. I will not be creating any digital arts video or photography.

The games I play mostly are WoW and average steam games (Like the walking dead series)

The question I have is, is the Iris Pro good enough? I WOULD like to play the new Witcher 3 and dragon age, but I am perfectly fine with playing with low to medium settings as long as it's lag free. For me, No lag>The best graphics.

I am asking because I have no previous experience with iris graphics. Thanks.

(Also side note, was wondering how well the iris pro without the nvidia card but with a processor upgrade would fare?)
I would recommend Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2048MB VRAM
 

kupkakez

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2011
1,841
669
Austin, TX
How heavy is it? I was wondering if I just play WoW I could deal with the Iris pro.
I play WoW on a 13" rMBP with Intel Iris, not pro. It works for me, I don't care much about graphics, as long as it looks okay and doesn't lag I'm happy. I keep everything on fair, bump my view distance, environment detail and spell effects (can't remember the exact name) to good. I maintain 35 frames through the Shrine and also in 5 mans. Have yet to try 25m raiding though.

You'll be fine with the Iris Pro for sure. If you play more than Blizzard games I'd go for a dedicated card though, or if you really care about graphics.
 

Mooseiah

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2014
34
4
San Diego, CA
Assuming you wouldn't have much use for the extra ram, storage space or processor speed (I needed the 16gb and 512gb SSD in my case so it was a no-brainer to go to the high end model) it really comes down to how serious about gaming you want to be. Most of the games you listed will do fine on the Iris Pro, but you will likely want to use bootcamp just as games as a whole run far better in Windows. Especially with the 750M you will see a massive boost when in Windows just as the drivers are getting updated as time progresses as a demand for support is there. I find gaming in OS X to be a bit disappointing performance wise in most games just as the optimization tends to be far worse, but it is a pretty stout machine in 750M form in Windows. OS X is always lagging behind in support as well, frustrating I can use a Xbox one controller just fine in Windows but it's a no-go in OS X currently. It's still not quite at the performance of a dedicated gaming machine, but it does damn well considering it so good in other regards:)
 

poematik13

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2014
727
298
the iris pro is wayyyyy better than the previous gen intergrated chip (the intel 4000) and around 10-15% slower than last gen's nvidia 650m, which is actually a very capable card and can play most games on mid-high settings. So that should be your ballpark reference/estimate.

Of course, the 750 would be ideal especially as we move towards more apps (not just games) using the GPU more often. It's just nice to have that extra horsepower on tap when you need it and also to stay future proof somewhat
 

mr.bee

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2007
707
422
Brussels, belgium
I have bought the Iris pro model and I only play Wow as a game in OS X.

for me it's just fine, sure vents go up when doing raids, but I don't think that would be different with the dGPU. My settings are not topnotch, but just high and that's ok for my casual gaming :)

mind you, I took the 16 gig RAM.

The iris pro is very capable and I have to throw a lot at it to make it choke, which can happen, but I'm very satisfied with it. I'm happy that I don't have to use 3rd party software for graphics
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
I was going to suggest that you might be able to scrape by with the Iris Pro graphics until you mentioned The Witcher 3...

Performance wise the Iris Pro is basically on the same level as a lower-mid range dedicated chip, so it does less graphically intensive stuff pretty well (it's significantly better than the dedicated chip I've got in my current machine). However the Witcher series has always been pretty heavy on the GPU side and the third installment is going to be much of the same. We're talking about a game that isn't even coming out on the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 anymore, the console versions are for the Xbox One and Playstation 4.
 

vbedia

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2014
152
28
I was going to suggest that you might be able to scrape by with the Iris Pro graphics until you mentioned The Witcher 3...
I am on the same boat. I would like to play that game on my MPB 15'' with 750m nvidia gpu. However; if i have to lower the game settings to make it playable to the point where it looks ridiculously bad then i will not buy it for PC. I will opt for the Playstation 4 version. I would like to have as close as I can the demo experience I saw at E3. Supposedly it was running on Xbox One hardware.

I have played the previous Witcher games on my mac.

The Witcher. Solid 60fps with settings between high and medium. Looks nice.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. 40-30 fps, settings adjusted using Nvidia Geforce Experience. The game looks nice.

Hope it is well polished.
 

iKrivetko

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2010
598
475
It is very likely that if the Iris Pro isn't good enough for W3, the 750 will not be good enough either. It will merely look a little less hideous on the 750.
 

Godzilla71

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2009
527
396
WA state
I am planning on upgrading my mbp as well this year. (probably) Would the Iris Pro be decent for older games such as the ones found on GOG like Baldur's Gate etc late 90's early 2k stuff. Or would it still be better to get a dgpu if possible? I use my iMac usually for those games so I was just wondering.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Here's a rough idea of the GT 750M's performance.


Battlefield 4, 1680x1050, 16xAF and FXAA, mix of ultra and high.

47-50 fps average.
Lowest fps - 35.
Easily shoots past 60 fps in quite a number of situations.

It's a pretty respectable card still.
 

vbedia

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2014
152
28
Here's a rough idea of the GT 750M's performance./QUOTE]

The card is good for what it is, I may add it has surprised me a few times.
I hope it can hold up decently with this new games of only on next generation systems. I realize of what I want to throw at it and I have doubts whether it'd be better play those games on some more capable system (my case playstation 4). Time will tell.


Godzilla71 I am planning on upgrading my mbp as well this year. (probably) Would the Iris Pro be decent for older games such as the ones found on GOG like Baldur's Gate etc late 90's early 2k stuff. Or would it still be better to get a dgpu if possible? I use my iMac usually for those games so I was just wondering./QUOTE said:
Iris Pro is more than enough for that. It shouldn't be a problem at all.
 

boringtomi

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2015
2
0
I am on the same boat. I would like to play that game on my MPB 15'' with 750m nvidia gpu. However; if i have to lower the game settings to make it playable to the point where it looks ridiculously bad then i will not buy it for PC. I will opt for the Playstation 4 version. I would like to have as close as I can the demo experience I saw at E3. Supposedly it was running on Xbox One hardware.

I have played the previous Witcher games on my mac.

The Witcher. Solid 60fps with settings between high and medium. Looks nice.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. 40-30 fps, settings adjusted using Nvidia Geforce Experience. The game looks nice.

Hope it is well polished.
Hello, can you be a bit more specific? I'd like to play The Witcher 2 and I have the same computer that you have. I bought the App Store (OS X) version, but 1) what is the best setting for it and 2) should I use this version or get the Windows version on bootcamp?

Thanks!
 

Studflower

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2014
46
20
I wouldn't even think about running Witcher 3 with either of those cards.

Iris pro is perfectly fine for world of warcraft, but you have to realize that both iris pro and 750m will struggle in big raid settings. Casual playing and 5 man dungeons? Sure
 

vbedia

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2014
152
28
Hello, can you be a bit more specific? I'd like to play The Witcher 2 and I have the same computer that you have. I bought the App Store (OS X) version, but 1) what is the best setting for it and 2) should I use this version or get the Windows version on bootcamp?

Thanks!

Ouch! Don't buy games on the app store for mac OS X. Most of the games there, if not all, are available on Steam or gog.com and you can play them either on mac OS X or Bootcamp. However if you buy the game on the app store you cannot play the game on bootcamp, and most games perform much better under windows rather than OS X. Games on gog.com are drm free, so you can be offline to play them.

The Witcher 2 is definitely playable with good frame rates on Windows. The Witcher 3 on the other hand is playable but at the cost of making so much sacrifice on the graphic settings, after trying for some hours I've realized that I can't play the game like that. I just don't like it, I have to make too many concessions.

When I get home I will post a pic with the settings I use to play The Witcher 2 so that it may help you.
 

Atisha

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
70
19
My rMBP is a *piece of junk* at running games, completely worthless. But that is because laptops never were, and never will be gaming machines.

If you are like me, you're saying "I have an interest in games, but I'm not a hardcore gamer, so graphics don't matter." If that is the case, it is better to buy a PS4 and a normal Macbook. Or a cheap alienware PC desktop, and a Macbook Air. Or buy a used car, and an Xbox One. Or buy a desktop. A base, refurb Mac Pro is amazing. rMBP is truly the worst of both worlds: $3k for a gaming machine slower than an Xbox 360.

The cooling system is atrocious for gaming, or video editing for that matter. It doesn't result in an even decrease in fps, it creates a jarring stuttering to the fps which ruins the enjoyment of any game. Retina iMacs have cooling problems too, but at least the performance would be far better.

I bought a 15" rMBP in 2012, with 16gb ram and 1gb nvidia card, mostly for video editing but I assumed I could use it for gaming too. So you decide to game on this machine: first you need a laptop stand to cool it down and for basic ergonomic reasons (not tilting your head down 45 degrees every gaming session). Then you need an external keyboard because the laptop is on a stand. So now it is basically a desktop, with stuttering FPS and a fan that couldn't be closer to your face. If the laptop is now a desktop, why not just buy a desktop?

Retina is very nice when browsing the web, and that is it. Nothing uses retina effectively, and if anything games will be slower because you'll never play them at native resolution.

Recently I have discovered that my 2007 Mac Pro runs Skyrim significantly better than my 2012 rMBP. Not only that, but I can't even hear the fan, so I enjoy the experience much better even if it had the same performance. This Mac Pro can't even upgrade past OS Lion, and the rMBP "outperformed" it in every Geekbench benchmark before I bought it. A base Mac Pro from 8 years ago with 4gb of RAM outperforms this rMBP. That is not something you want to think about after spending $3k on a computer. Anyone who has the slightest interest in gaming should never buy a rMBP, unless your life involves constant traveling, in which case I'd rather game on my iPhone anyway.