MBP 13" vs MBP 15" for decent gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kevin Paquet, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Kevin Paquet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm a bit confused about which Macbook Pro I should pick. Have been reading reviews about both the high-end 13-inch model and the high-end 15-inch model, as well as their low-end versions.

    I thought to get the high-end 13-inch model at first, since the high-end 15-inch Macbook Pro is a bit too expensive for me. I took a look at the mid 15-inch model and it specs look great and also affordable when it comes to the money that I have available.

    I'd just would like to ask if I could play games like FIFA 10 (via bootcamp) on the Macbook Pro 13-inch with no problems and smooth game play, or if I need to step up to the 15-inch mid model? Or would I run into trouble with it too when it comes to play FIFA and other similar (not so graphic intensive) games (via bootcamp)

    Among others, I am also planning to do some photo edits with Photoshop and just the other ordinary things a normal user would do. Check email, play music, surf the web, etc.
     
  2. JonHimself macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

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    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #2
    I would think the bigger concern would be having the discrete graphics card or not - not the screen size, though that is an issue as well. For gaming, I'd go with which 15" model has the two graphics cards to maximize performance - even if it is a bit pricey.
    I do not have any clue about well the 13" would handle games though, hopefulyl someone else can help you.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    If you really insist on getting a laptop for "decent" gaming you will want the 15" for the screen size alone.
     
  4. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #4
    If you want to be able to play games you are going to need the 9600m, I have a 13in with a 9400m and it's a pain to play anything recent. Like with boarderlands I have to have everything turned down to minimum and have the res at like 848x480 and it's still not smooth.
    While I always hate to suggest playing the waiting game, it might be in your best interest as whenever Apple updates the MacBook Pro line (probably Jan-Feb, who knows though) they are going to have to upgrade the graphics card because it is old as hell.
     
  5. vant macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #5
    9400m is terrible for newer games.

    I would suggest at least the Mid-MBP15 for gaming. Actually, I'd suggest going away from MBPs period. Windows laptops are clearly the winner if you want to game.

    Hint drop - Next refresh will most likely include new GPUs.
     
  6. shambo macrumors 6502a

    shambo

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    Apr 4, 2009
  7. rsholzma macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #7
    I have the 2.53 13" and I have been able to play red alert 3 for mac with only a little lag in places. the game runs on leopard thought so boot camp might be a little different.
     
  8. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #8
    When I run games in bootcamp, like MW2, MW, Borderlands, etc, they run fine for me in mid settings. I get some pretty good frames too. I only have 2gigs of ram at that.
     
  9. felt. macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 13, 2008
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    Canada
    #9
    I've always wondered how hard it was for people to Google for gaming benchmarks pertaining to the graphics card contained within the system they are considering purchasing?
     
  10. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    #10
    If your just gonna boot a few games to play the 13" would be enough, if you are a more intense gamer you want the 9600 card. Just getting the 15" with 9400 graphics card (the cheapest) is stupid, the screen isn't the issue.
     
  11. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #11
    Also, you could just buy the low end MBP and a desktop gaming PC.
    That way you get a nice MacBook and a real PC for gaming.
     
  12. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    The truth is, either one will suck for gaming.

    Buy the 13" and with the money you save, buy a 360/PS3
     
  13. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    Aug 26, 2009
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    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #13
    That's a question of preferences...

    Nothing beats keyboard and mouse when it comes to first-person shooters...
     
  14. vant macrumors 65816

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #14
    Exactly what I have. Nothing beats building your own PC :)
     
  15. phixiuz macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2009
    #15
    Hmm strange, my 13" plays Borderlands just fine on native resolution, medium/high settings under Windows 7. Same with Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare (already completed first three missions, very playable). Of course not 60 FPS constantly, rather around 20-35, but still smooth mostly.

    Nevertheless, both still suck if you use them primarily for gaming...
     
  16. six1ninepunk macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2009
    Location:
    California/Oregon
    #16
    I play alot of world of warcraft on my late 2008 mbp 15". It runs at about 35-40 fps on the 9400m and i can get 100+ with the 9600GT. I run games like CODMW2 and GTA4 in bootcamp and get 30-50 fps on the 9600. It does run rather hot(80-100c) so if heat bothers you I would go for something else.
     
  17. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    But what about the temperature?

    Is it really worth it if you have to crank your fans to 4k RPM and still have your CPU at 80*C+?

    You're really killing the life of your laptop
     
  18. flakes8 macrumors regular

    flakes8

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    Hey Jason, your sister is HOT !!!!! :D Thanks for the info I was wondering the same thing !!!!
     
  19. flakes8 macrumors regular

    flakes8

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    #19
    Would That Be Sarcasm ??? :D
     
  20. Tharian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    #20
    The most recent game I play on my macbook with the 9400m is Dragon Age.

    Graphics set to medium and resolution is 1xxx by 720 and it works smoothly. Looks great!

    -d
     
  21. cababah macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #21
    laptops in general are lousy at gaming, I support the idea of having a separate pc dedicated to gaming.

    gaming on any laptop destroys battery life and if anybody argues over using it to game on a desk then why not have a desktop just for that purpose?
     
  22. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #22
    Why spend money on something you are afraid to use?
     
  23. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #23
    Agreed.
     
  24. vant macrumors 65816

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #24
    Thats like saying, why spend money on a BMW that you are afraid to drive the crap out of?

    So I think it's safe to say that you probably redline your car at every stop light? Or are you afraid to use it?
     
  25. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    Because the MBPs aren't meant to be gaming machines. Sorry, but that's the honest truth. I can't rip a DVD without my CPU hitting 100*C, heck I can hardly play Mac Chess and keep my CPU temps under control.
     

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