MacBook Pro Retina and Starcraft 2

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrmarts, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. mrmarts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #1
    Hey guys

    Just a quick question I was playing starcraft 2 the other day and i noticed my MacBook pro retina fan came on is this a common thing, as i never hear it when I am web surfing and wordprocessing.
     
  2. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #2
    Playing games is obviously a hell of a lot more taxing on your system than browsing the web. When your machine is taxed it generates more heat. When it generates more heat the fans kick on to keep it from frying.

    It's normal.
     
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #3
    Yep, that's what the fans are for. :D

    Playing 3D games is going to generate a lot more heat, especially from the NVidia graphics chip. The fans will ramp up to compensate.

    The fans are actually always running as far as I know, it's just that they're usually running fairly slowly so you don't hear them.
     
  4. mrmarts thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback I installed both starcraft 2 and diablo 3 on my MacBook I am dying to play them both this weekend. As I holded off playing them because of the fan noise.
     
  5. pgiguere1, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #5
    StarCraft 2 doesn't have a frame rate cap by default and if you'd like to have quieter fans while playing it, it would be better to put one.

    For example, if at your current settings, your CPU/GPU are capable of pushing out 100FPS, they will, but it's useless since most people aren't able to tell the difference when it's over 60FPS (for some it's lower). You'd be better off imposing a 60FPS limit so that your CPU/GPU aren't always at full load.

    You can also set a separate FPS cap for the menus. Even while in the menu, StarCraft 2 generates the background 3D graphics at maximum frame rate so your computer can't even take a brake to cool off in between games.

    All you have to do is modify a text file located at ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/StarCraft II/Variables.txt
    ~ is your username and make sure Library is visible because by default it's hidden in Lion.

    Open Variables.txt with TextEdit and add those two lines anywhere in the list of variables:

    frameratecap=50
    frameratecapGlue=30

    "frameratecap" represents your maximum frame rate in game and "frameratecapGlue" represents the maximum frame rate of background 3D elements (planets and stuff) in menus. Change the numbers with your desired max frame rates.

    Supposing your MBP was pushing higher frame rates (either temporarily or always)than what you set it there, you fans should be quieter since your CPU/GPU won't be working at full load 100% of the time, which obviously forces the fan to always be at full speed.

    EDIT: Before putting a frame rate cap, it might be a good thing to know your current frame rate without the cap. Press Control+Option+F while you're in StarCraft 2 to display it. To get best results, make sure your current average FPS is significantly higher than the FPS cap you will put. For example, if you were to put a 50 FPS cap, adjust your graphics settings so that you get 70-80FPS before putting the cap.
     
  6. Endymion42 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Here
    #6
    mrmarts, I'm interested in how Starcraft 2 plays on the Macbook Pro w/Retina display as I am considering whether to buy one. What were the default resolution and settings that Starcraft 2 chose when you first ran it? Have you tried setting Starcraft 2 to maximum resolution and max settings and what was the resulting framerate? Have you run any video benchmark programs on the computer?

    Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

    John
     
  7. VelfarreClubber macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    #7
    ^ I would also like to know how well Starcraft 2 plays on the retina MacBook?
     
  8. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #8
    I'e actually been looking for people to test SC2 on it, but never saw one, so here it is.

    I got my rMBP last night, and obviously the first thing I did was install Starcraft. Quick note, the installation literally takes around 45 seconds (SSD). I was quite surprised.

    I ran it at 2880x1800, ultra texture, and extreme graphics. Played a regular 2v2. No lag, consistent 30+ fps.

    Running at 2880x1800, as beautiful as it is, is impractical because your cursor becomes extremely small. It's kinda hard to explain, maybe I'll upload some screenshots later.

    Games like Nexus Wars, Survival Man, Marine Arena, etc, are difficult to run at Ultra or Extreme. Although you can get 30fps sometimes, it's really not consistent. I have it at high or medium always, and no matter how many units are on screen, there's no lag.

    I don't know what other tests you'd like to see done, but if you have any requests, let me know. Btw, I'm not good with technical aspects of benchmarking, like running extra programs, etc.

    Hope that helps!
     
  9. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I find it pretty amazing how well this computer handles games. Not been able to witness it myself but the video and typed evidence proves this is one hell of a laptop. Yes, you could go and build yourself another windows machine maxed out for games, but unless your obsessed with absolute maximum details at 250fps then why would you? Gaming experience on my 2011 13" has of course been very limited but I sincerely look forward to games on the rmbp when I get around to buying one.
     
  10. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    Fans will always turn on when gaming...its to keep your computer from setting itself on fire.
     
  11. teeejay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #11
    May I ask you, how does SC 2 performs in 1920x1200? FPS, settings High/Ultra. Is it blurry or something like that?

    I did not find any report about it in that res. But if there is any, I apologize.

    Thank you.
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    Are you also afraid to drive cars because the engine makes noise?

    Just play the games without worries, that computer is built to withstand tasks like these. This is what the fans are for.
     
  13. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #13
    Depends on what you call blurry. Anything that's not set for 2880 x 1800 on the rMBP will kinda look 'blurry'. I ran it 2880 x 1800 with ultra textures and extreme graphics and it was smooth. So I'd assume that 1920x1200 will run even smoother. But on heavy maps like some custom (marine arena), high/ultra might drop the fps to 20 or so.
     
  14. pacman7331 macrumors regular

    pacman7331

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #14
    My advice, if u want to be safe. Buy a cooling pad.

    I used to have a 2009 MBP that overheated so much in windows 7 running starcraft 2 it shut off in mid game (really annoyed my allies).

    Now that may be because I just didn't take care to remove all dust inside my computer, or perhaps some kind of damage due to trying to over clock the GPU... furtherstill the rMBPs do have better heat system.

    A cooling pad nonetheless is a good idea IMHO.
    MBPs get very very hot. Electronics run better the cooler the temperature.
     
  15. teeejay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #15
    I know it may sound stupid or funny, but could you take a screenshot for me?

    Thank you.
     
  16. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #16
    Sure. Name me the resolution, and the specific graphics settings, and the game you want played (1v1, marine arena, etc).
     
  17. teeejay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #17
    1v1 1920x1080(1200), FPS - ultra

    1v1 1680x1050, FPS - ultra

    You can put in some personal opinion about it. U know, something I cannot see just from screenshot.

    Thank you.
     
  18. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #18
    Here's ultra at 1680x1050: http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=346979&stc=1&d=1341688612

    Ran between 50-70fps, no lag.

    Here's ultra at 1920x1200: http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=346980&stc=1&d=1341688686

    This one was weird... It screwed up all the images, and went super messed up. Maybe it's just my computer acting up, but not sure why this happened...

    I took a screenshot of 2880x1800, but MacRumors won't let me upload it (7.36MB) so here's a dropbox link of it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ct3litq9jyjkke7/2880 ultra.png

    I guess Apple hides the cursor when taking a screenshot, so you can't see it. But it's quite small. A slight lag when controlling a big army.

    By the way, all these tests were done with ultra texture, and I had a few programs running in the background (mail, chrome, ical, etc).
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Skulltrail macrumors newbie

    Skulltrail

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Location:
    129.21.1.40
    #19
    Turn up the volume to counteract the fan noise! We mobile gamers have been doing it for years. :cool:
     
  20. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #20
    I'm still quite impressed with this computer, after all Macs aren't custom build PCs or MSI Gaming elite laptops. I plan to install Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 and run them at a nice 1650X1050 or 1440X900. Honestly I don't see a point in running at 2880X1800 while gaming, because;

    1. Your laptop is gonna run hot

    2. I probably won't be able to see the difference

    3. I prefer 50FPS+ while on 1650X1050 rather than 25FPS+ on 2880X1800.
     
  21. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #21
    I usually run it at 1440x900. But actually, you can see the difference in the 2880x1800. It's pretty much true retina display, where the quality of the images are so sharp. But pretty much unplayable because the mouse cursor becomes ridiculously small.
     
  22. teeejay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #22
    Similar thing happened somewhere on youtube during gameplay of Diablo 3.
    It looks like some issue of Blizzard games.

    Anyway, this MBPr has quite a performance. I think, I ll be satisfied with it. Cant wait to see it with my own eyes!

    Thank you for your helpfulness Jeffery. :)
     
  23. JefferyShin macrumors regular

    JefferyShin

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #23
    Yeah, I was definitely surprised with the performance on it seeing as how it's a Mac. No worries!
     
  24. RealEyes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #24
    Whoops! Found it!
     
  25. Rocky244 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #25
    AH HA! I can't find corroboration anywhere else on the internet that this problem exists, except for this thread.

    I tried to run starcraft at 1920x1200 and I keep getting the margins that you are getting. I tried reinstalling like 4 times but to no avail. It's good to know it's not just me having this issue.

    Every other resolution besides this one works, and unfortunately I think it's the best resolution to play on for frame rate/graphic quality.
     

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