Macbook Pro for Gaming Laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Haxley, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Haxley macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2010
    I play video games a lot and my current MBP with a nvidia 330m just doesn't cut it these days. I've considered buying a cheap PC laptop for gaming but I really want the retina display. My girlfriend plays games with her retina display MBP and it blows my mind.

    Would you consider the new Haswell MacBook Pros an excellent option for laptop gaming? If not, please state alternatives. If so, please explain why. Thanks!
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You can get a refurb 2012 15" rMBP, they are ok for gaming (as long as you don't expect too much). The Haswell model is decent, but you will need the top-end model with the dGPU, which is expensive.

    If really all you are interested in is gaming, look at the PC laptops. There are some decent ones with a good screen and GPU for around $1600 and less.
  3. AdolfCaesar macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2013
    Rmbp can game, but it is by far a poor choice as it's primary use. Don't buy a mac if gaming is your priority. New haswell dell xps15 is a better choice for a Rmbp like device, but you're better off with either a real gaming laptop or a ultra book/air + gaming desktop


    What kind of games do you play to be more specific? Stuff like sc2, wow, diablo3 will run fine. But any type of recent fps or single player mmo; bf3, crysis3, bioshock, sky rim will run like crap for the money.
  4. Haxley, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    Haxley thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks for the replies.

    Cost isn't so much an issue and I definitely don't want a refurb. I want the latest technology. I make it a point to only upgrade at the most opportune time, so buying a refurb is out of the question.

    Regarding the XPS 15, it seems too have the same hardware specs but cost $250 less. That said, I would gladly pay $250 more for a Mac with bootcamp vs a Dell with uhh McAfee?.

    One big question I have; Is the Nvidia 750m the latest in laptop gaming right now? And if not, does the laptop with a superior graphics card have a 3200 x 1800 display?


    @AdolfCaesar It's not so much the games I play now: DotA 2, SC2, SWTOR, WoW. It's the games I will want to play. I've been running into the issue of downloading games on Steam that are completely non-playable, no matter what. I expect that won't happen with any new machine I buy, but I also don't want that to happen after having my computer for a year.
  5. REM314 macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2009
    Coming as someone who loves to game I would only recommend the top tier 15'' for gaming and even then its only an okay gaming laptop.
  6. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    750M will run those games perfectly at 1080p. Some at 2880 like WoW.
  7. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    No and no.

    Gaming laptops tend to have 1080p displays at max, and that actually helps them keep the frame rates up. The GTX 780M is the top of the line gaming GPU from Nvidia, and it makes the 750M look like a peanut!

    If you want to drive a high resolution display and game, you'd do far better just getting a proper gaming desktop. Even the highest end of gaming laptops can't keep up do desktop gaming prowess.
  8. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    The 750M is a solid mid-level graphics card, nothing special. The 2GB of GDDR5 is nice. Hard to tell how Apple tweaked it until more benchmarks are in, but given that they really overclocked the previous generation 650M, it's likely that it will perform well above stock levels. It will easily handle all the games you listed at high levels.
  9. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
  10. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    That's the problem right now. There are only a few Windows notebooks out currently with HiDPI displays, unfortunately they all have sh** graphics cards.

    I like the desktop idea for gaming. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck building a custom Windows rig than buying a Macbook.
  11. T-Bob macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2013
    Actually in some Euro countries Asus Zenbook is on market with Iris, but not pro!
  12. AdolfCaesar macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2013
    dell has a coupon for the XPS15, comes out to 2150, basically for the same specs as the higher end rMBP, 450 savings + tax. It does have a 3200x1800 igzo display. if you want purely a gaming machine I suggest you get a desktop, or a portable gaming laptop such as asus rog series with GTX 780M(3x faster then 750M)

    for that kind of money I'd rather build a gaming rig with; I7 4770k, 32GB ram, 2x radeon R9 280X. will be under 2500 bucks all together. and run games maxed out 2560x1440p, no issues. (This is probably like 8-10x faster for gaming then a rMBP)

    Something like this would be great for gaming, but utterly terrible as a portable device. Although you can lug it from place to place.
  13. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Dell XPS 15 is the top of the line in what you would want to done and its cheaper! But not "cheap" like other computers. Its the same machined aluminum, but also with carbon fiber!

    In addition....
    - 3200 x 1800 display, which the rMBPs do not have
    - 11 hour of battery life, which rMBPs have only 7 at 15 inch
    - Touch Screen

    rMBP does have better technology in terms of:
    - Iris Pro (best integrated card, supposed to save battery, but funny enough, Dell did a better job in optimizing the battery life with discrete card only compared to Apple with both of them in the system. Your probably going to game with 750m anyway more than Iris Pro as 750m beats out Iris Pro anyday, just "less power", which is meaningless based on the aforementioned)
    - PCIe SSD (but Dell does have SSD)

    The rMBP might put less strain on the graphics card because of its lower resolution than the XPS 15, but really, all signs point to the XPS 15 as the best value.
  14. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
  15. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    "/thread" isn't enough to kill a zombie thread. You have to destroy its brain. Carefully though ... Don't let it bite you.
  16. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    Biting me is enough to destroy one's brain :D
  17. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2014
    Well, as long as this thread has been necro'd anyway:

    I'm very happy with the gaming performance of my MacBook Pro thus far but I think it is important to keep expectations in line when considering the power of the machines (especially ones as thin as the rMBPs).

    A 750m is a fine midrange card and really doesn't have any trouble gaming at high settings in modest resolutions like 1440x900 (which scales well to the retina screen luckily due to 2x2 scaling).

    That said, expecting to game at the 2880x1800 resolution with that card is just silly. Many desktops have issues pushing resolutions that high including my own which is powered by an AMD 8350 and 7970 with 3gb of VRAM.

    In the end, the best comparison to a MacBook Pro in terms of gaming is the Razer Blade. An almost-as-expensive PC with slightly higher specs and similar form and build quality; in use it is practically the same. I don't think it's crazy to buy a Mac to game on, especially one with dedicated graphics. That said, they will fall behind a purpose built machine and in terms of price-performance you wont get a great deal out of them. However, most gaming laptops have awful battery life, build quality; they're thick and ugly. Most just aren't great to use as a laptop and most occupy the space of being a portable desktop more than anything else (although that has been changing for the better over the last few years).

    But in the end, this thing has played everything I've thrown at it at native resolution and 60fps which is about all it takes for this framerate minded gamer happy. And the best part is that it actually works well as a laptop too. There are only a few other laptops (such as the Blade) that can claim to both well.
  18. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Yep. I have the 750M version too, and it handles 1920x1200 gaming in bootcamp very well.
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I have a late-2013 15" rMBP, 2.6/16/1TB/750M and it handles BF4 well.

    1680x1050, 16xAF, FXAA, mix of high and ultra, and I get 47-50fps on average, with the lowest being 35fps and easily shooting past 60fps in quite a lot of situations.
  20. kittencounter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2013
    It can handle games very well. But man, it gets really hot.
  21. nexus4life macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2014
    Not sure why anyone would actually want to game on a laptop. Light games, maybe, or in a pinch to login to WoW or League with... but beyond that, you get so much more from a desktop.
  22. captainbill macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011

    I hear this question a lot, and I think the ones asking it are making general assumptions that others live the same lifestyle they do.

    For me, it's not so much that I want to play games on a laptop, but rather that I cannot be tied down to a desk for more than a few minutes at a time.

    Being able to move about from one room to another is crucial for me, and if it were impossible to play a game at all on my MBP, then I would just have to eliminate gaming entirely from my daily routine.

    Someday, I hope to be able to sit down and relax in front of a powerful desktop computer, but that is years away for me.
  23. AnonDP macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2014
    Macbooks are not built for gaming; for the $$ you can get far better gaming machines.
  24. Dmaynard83 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2012

    depends on the game. I play dota 2 and it runs perfectly fine. Gets a bit warm but that's to be expected from such a slim device

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