Macbook Pro, Bootcamp, and Processor Power for gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Professorbeej, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Professorbeej macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2009
    #1
    I am looking into buying a Macbook Pro (15 inch) by the end of the year. I want to buy a computer that will last me as long as possible. I'm a professor, so I will be getting the higher education discount for all this, so that helps set back the price of upgrading the processor and HDD.

    The most hardware intensive applications I will be running are a few video conversion suites and various games, so that's where my question comes in. I will be using OSX for most of my day-to-day tasks, and Bootcamp Windows XP or Vista for any gaming I want to do.

    The games I plan on playing are World of Warcraft (which runs native in OSX) and the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic, which doesn't have any set system specs, so I am assuming I will be Bootcamping it.

    I'm not sure how much difference the hardware customizations will make on Windows gaming performance. Will the ~300 dollars be worth it to upgrade the processor from the 2.66 to the 2.93 gHz? And the ~50 for the faster 320gb HDD?

    Also, am I making a mistake in assuming that even running Windows through Bootcamp that the Macbook Pro 15 inch will be powerful enough to run newly released online games as effectively as a comparable PC?

    I've had very good luck with my iPhone and the genius bar when I have a problem, so I really want my next laptop to be an Apple; I just don't want to be shortchanging myself since a few games I know I will be running are Windows only, and I am completely ignorant of Bootcamp performance.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Gaming is about GPU, not CPU.

    You'd fare better with an upgrade from 9600M to 260M, but that isn't possible.
     
  3. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    May 26, 2009
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    Minnesota
    #3
    The new 15" MBP should be fine to play the new SW game when it comes out. The cost for the faster HD is more useful than the cost for the processor speed bump.
     
  4. Professorbeej thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2009
    #4
    Exactly, which is why I want to upgrade as much as possible to get the best performance while I am buying.
     
  5. killianb macrumors regular

    killianb

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    UK
    #5
    I think Tallest Skil was trying to say a faster processor won't make a great deal of difference when gaming, as it's the graphics card that does the work. Therefore the extra money spent on upgrading the processor may not be worth it.

    That said, you cannot use this money to upgrade the graphics card, as that's not an option.
     
  6. Professorbeej thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2009
    #6
    Also, is it possible to upgrade a Macbook Pro's memory? The online Apple store doesn't give that option, but I don't know about the actual locations.
     
  7. killianb macrumors regular

    killianb

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    #7
    Yes, it's not a very difficult job either. I'm unsure why the Apple store doesn't give you this option though -- they usually do. :confused:

    However, RAM is much cheaper from other sources anyway! ;)
     
  8. Professorbeej thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2009
    #8
    That it is, but since this is my first Apple computer, I'm nervous about doing anything to the hardware myself. I've tinkered with PC hardware since I was in the 6th grade, but Apples are a completely new animal for me.
     
  9. killianb macrumors regular

    killianb

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    UK
    #9
    Apple make it very simple to upgrade the HDD/SSD and RAM. You will also save yourself quite a bit, both purchasing and fitting yourself.

    However if you're uncomfortable doing this and money isn't really an option, there should be an option to upgrade the RAM when you select your MacBook Pro on the online store. If it's not, I'd give them a call. Maybe they're updating the store or something and the option isn't there. :confused:
     
  10. Professorbeej thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2009
    #10
    And another question. Sorry to be such a bother.

    I've not read about any so far, but are there any problems with overheating while gaming through Bootcamp with a MBP?

    That's one of my main problems with my current desktop and laptop, and I wonder if the MBP is any better, straight out of the box.
     
  11. killianb macrumors regular

    killianb

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    UK
    #11
    No problem at all, that's what we're here for. I personally use my MBP for gaming -- I usually play Counter Strike: Source, Half Life 2, GTA 4 and a few others, and I've not yet had a problem with over heating.

    However from reading through these forums for the past few months, and others, it seems quite a few people have had heat issues. I believe there are fan control apps you can download to turn your fans up which will prevent this. "SMCFanControl" is available for the OS X side of things, however I'm not sure of an app for Windows, sorry.

    I've heard you can log in to OS X, bump up your fan speed with the above app, and then shut down and startup Windows and the fan speed you set will remain. But like I said, I'm yet to use this app so can't say for certain.
     

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