MacBook Pro okay for gaming?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hauntedcity, May 7, 2007.

  1. hauntedcity macrumors member


    May 4, 2007
    I'm not sure if this has been tackled before, but some quick searches didn't turn up this exact issue.

    I'm looking to buy either an iMac or MacBook Pro. I like the larger screen and cheaper price of the iMac, but I love the ability to take the laptop to any room of the house. My main question mark has to do with gaming on a laptop. I think the 17" screen size would be fine, but how well does a laptop keyboard work for games? A major disadvantage would seem to be the lack of a separate numeric keypad. Any thoughts?

    I don't have any specific games in mind right now, although I have various 3rd person shooters that I'd probably play in bootcamp, and lots of adventure games that would be played mostly with a mouse.

  2. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    The MacBook Pro is a great for gaming. On some games, the graphics will need to be toned down, but overall it's really good.

    The keyboard get's interesting though. You'll have to use the ol' WASD, or the arrow keys.
    Also, get a mouse. It will help, trust me.
  3. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    You could always get the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard (which I highly recommend) if you want the numberpad. Also, hooking it up to an external display and adding a mouse while you're at it will make it very nice for gaming, even though it's a laptop.
  4. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
  5. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    If you've waited this long hang in a bit longer.

    New kit in about 6 weeks hopefully.
  6. hauntedcity thread starter macrumors member


    May 4, 2007
    Well, I don't actually NEED it now, and I most definitely should wait for the June announcements... BUT I'M SO IMPATIENT! :D
  7. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2007
    Here is a benchmark to show how the current MacBook Pro does in some games.
    Note: this shows a comparison between a 2.33GHz C2D MacBook Pro and 2.16GHz CD MacBook Pro.
  8. mooncaine macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2004
    I've played Call Of Duty 2 on my 17" MBP -- graphically, it's great for that game, but like most games, there's always something a little bit cooler that only the Windows users are getting. For online gaming, that's TeamSpeak, which makes team-oriented gaming really work great... on Windows PCs. On the Mac side, we get TeamSpeex, which just barely gets you into the TeamSpeak world, but without the best features [like being able to change channels, reconnect, etc. via your own custom hotkeys that control TeamSpeak even when you're in a game]. I miss that from my Windows days.

    I play WarBirds now -- they finally ported an Intel Mac version -- and it rocks, I'm glad to say. Minor bugs here and there seem typical of both PC and Mac versions, judging from the forum traffic. The graphics are definitely there -- this 2.16GHz MBP 17" has 256MB VRAM on an ATI Radeon X1600, which is great for the games I mentioned.

    But it's the "whole ecosystem" surrounding a game that suffers on the Mac side. Joysticks either work great with no OSX drivers, or you're screwed, because game controller makers don't bother with OSX-compatible wares. My Saitek joysticks have worked great, both the Cyborg USB Gold and the Aviator. You can't get some of the coolest controllers to work on OSX, so you should always buy something you can return if it won't work -- or do plenty of checking with other gamers before you buy a joystick or gamepad thing.

    Keyboard choices are slim, but the Microsoft Natural Wireless works well for me for everything, including games, in OSX. It gives you some extra buttons and an OSX prefs pane that lets you program almost any keystroke into those buttons. WAY NICER than using the laptop keyboard, and it cost me about $130 [with mouse] at CompUSA. Plus, you still get to use Eject, Volume +/-, a power button, and even more with that keyboard. I couldn't be happier than using that with gaming -- it's great.

    I'd rather have the MBP, cuz when I'm not gaming or working, I can take it anywhere in the house, on the wireless net. If I want to do WarBirds on the couch while my gal watches Roadshow, I can do that, or she and I can hit IMDB every ten minutes while we're watching movies, looking up people and stuff. I'd go with the MBP.
  9. mistafreeze macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    the macbook pro is great at it. Do buy an external keyboard and mouse. I only use the built in keypad when I'm browsing the net, or making a quick note, anytime I'm doing anything serious I have my external mouse and keyboard hooked up.
  10. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    If you're not quite set on 17" or 15", try to get one for a day so you can experience the difference. I have a 17" Dell Inspiron and it is FAR bigger than I would ever need. I used to be a gamer, so even then it was way too big...the screen tended to just add more unnecessary glare and weight to the laptop instead of a better viewing experience.

    Just my 2 cents.

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