MBP versus the VRAM Monster

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by sneenlantern, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. sneenlantern macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    #1
    Hello, I see and searched for a bunch of posts about Macs running PC games, but I haven't quite come across one that answers my exact questions. I'm a Mac person. I love them. But I want to get more into PC games, which I grew up playing, and which offer things console games do not. Now, in order to do this, I bought myself a mid-level PC gaming laptop for Xmas, but I'm not satisfied. It's not powerful enough, and the keyboard really sucks. It's also time for me to upgrade the Mac I have which is a 2008 Macbook Unibody. I'm leaning towards the 13", for portability, but I'm also looking at the 15" and wondering if I might be able to play PC games on one of those. Is there a vast difference between the standard 15" setup or is it worth upgrading to the full 1 gig of VRAM? Can you play PC games pretty well on a pumped up 15" macbook pro? I'm not talking about BAttlefield on ultra settings or something, but decent settings for most modern games, including low settings for BF3 and SWTOR. What kind of frame rates and resolutions can I expect to run smoothly? I want to catch up on a lot of older games too, like Dragon Age and the Witcher and stuff.

    anyway, that's where I'm at. thanks for your time and your help. If the 1 gig of VRAM macbook pro can play games well (it doesn't have to be spectacular) I would rather get that than another PC.

    Thanks!
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Pa
    #2
    A mid-level gaming laptop from x-mas should have an i5 and 6000 series graphics card in it (or the nvidia equivalent). What can't that play? The MBP only uses the 6750 or 6770, so I wouldn't even expect to see that big of a jump.

    Bottom line: If you got a mid-level gaming laptop, you're not going to see a big jump with a MBP, plus you have to deal with Apple's craptastic bootcamp drivers.

    EDIT: Didn't see the 2nd part of your post. I have a Dell business laptop with an upgraded GPU, and I can run Skyrim on high settings. I don't play many other demanding games, but I have yet to find a game that wasn't playable.

    It's also definitely worth upgrading to the higher vram if you get the 15", as vram is becoming more of a deciding factor than it used to be. For example, my MBP could run Skyrim, but I run into a vram limitation, not a GPU one though.
     
  3. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #3
    I play demanding games on my MBP (see sig) and am very happy with its performance. Played SWTOR (20-50fps) and currently Skyrim (25-40fps).
     
  4. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #4
    hey thanks guys. I think one problem is I've only been testing it on starwars and old games like dragon age (that look great). But I do know I need a mac to do music production which I spend a lot of time on, and also word processing. This PC's keyboard sucks. I guess I'm just hoping I could get a MBP that could do this basically in bootcamp but then i could use it as a regular mac the rest of the time. I don't need two computers. But for buying a PC I would only be getting it for the games, which makes me feel guilty about spending the money. But I really want to get back into PC games and stuff as console games aren't it.

    I'm just not sure if I should say to hell with the games and get a 13" like my old mac, or a 15" with game possibilities. I don't think starwars is a good indicator of this machine -- I run it on low and I get about 25 frames a second. I need to check Skyrim or something.

    Thanks again though, and I'll do some more investigating. Is it so crazy to dream of a computer that can do both???

    :)
     
  5. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Aug 9, 2007
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    Australia
    #5
    The Radeon 6770M seems to be identical to the 6750M, with the only difference being that the 6770M is clocked slightly higher (about 15% extra GPU core speed.) You could probably overclock it in Windows.
     
  6. Killery96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #6
    Sorry to butt in an make sort of an obscene tangent here, but SWTOR, people say it's running well... ...Kay. So, it has graphics far inferior to Dragon Age Origins, which runs maxed on the 6750m 1b and 2.2 i7 15", and SWTOR performs worse, from reports. Is it just that there are so many other players in the game world or is it that Bioware got REALLLLY lazy during optimization?

    E.
     
  7. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #7
    What are the specs of your "mid-gaming" laptop? After that you should be able to figure out if its worth it or not.
     
  8. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #8
    I have an i5 at 2.4 ghz with megs of ram and a Nvidia Geforce GT 525m with 1 gig of Vram.

    It plays games okay, but I wish it played Starwars better, and I'd like to check out Battlefield at least on Low. Plus, the keyboard really pisses me off, so I know I need a new machine of some sort. Would a 15" macbook pro with the gig of VRAM do better than my machine? Mine costs $600.

    thanks!
     
  9. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    New Hampshire
    #9
    Wouldn't it be cheaper to hook up a usb keyboard that you like ?
     
  10. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #10
    i have a wireless keyboard that i do use sometimes, but it limits the portability. Coming from a Mac, I demand a decent keyboard from my laptop. if the keyboard was the only issue, and I was willing to turn it into a desktop, they keyboard would help. but I'm not happy with some other things too, like the power of the machine, etc. I like having access to a PC though, but I guess i can do all that with bootcamp.

    I have to buy a new Mac anyway, it just depends on what type....
     
  11. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    Should check out: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html

    Select the 6770M, the 6750M, and your 525M and then hit "Restrict." Will show the results and compare each with the GPUs. As you'll see, the 6770 can barely run BF3 on Low well.

    Honestly, the 6750/6770 is a late 2011 mid-level GPU at best. The 525 was, but is older.

    You wouldn't get that much better GPU performance for spending an extra $1,400 (MPB 6770 price - $600). You'd be better off buying either a consumer laptop with a better GPU for a cheaper price from Lenovo/HP/Dell or buying a gaming laptop from ASUS, Sager, etc. if you need to use a laptop.
     
  12. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #12

    yeah, I kind of get that now. I guess I will probably buy a 13" just for word processing and music production, and then a PC for just games and everything else. I don't want to carry two around, but I move around a lot and can't get a desktop.

    thanks for the help, man.
     
  13. Json81 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #13
    Thats not a gaming laptop, possibly a media laptop.
    525m is a low end graphics card.
    The 6770 will perform alot better.
     
  14. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #14
    I would assume that the problem here is CPU, and not GPU, due to all the other stuff that goes on in the background of an MMO.
     
  15. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #15
    thanks. I'm still on the fence. I want a laptop that can do everything, you know?

    I'm looking at the macbooks but also high end PC's. All I know is this computer sucks. I might just have to gamble on this one. But the 6770 will run better than this? that might be good enough for me.
     
  16. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #16
    Go down to your local Applestore and check it out!
     
  17. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #17
    I have to admit I'm almost convinced to go Mac. I love Mac. I just want to play PC games. It seems like this 15" with 1 gig of VRAM isn't bad.
     
  18. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Location:
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    #18
    Do it! :D

    Somewhere I've said this before: there are PC boxes out there that will play games faster, but if you want to live in the MacOS and play PC games, especially if you are traveling with a laptop, a MBP is the only way to go. For a price/performance comparison, the MBP is very competitive. Can anyone tell me what large advantage this Alienware M18x has over a new MBP?
     
  19. Json81 macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #19
    The 560m is a bit faster than 6770m, the other options in graphic cards is alot faster.
    There are better alternatives than alienware if you want a gaming laptop though, I don't know the prices outside sweden but I would guess that MSI has laptops below $1000 that is faster than MBP.
    Pure price/performance MBP is not competitive at all I would say, but when start to look at size/weight/other stuff it's a really nice choice.
     
  20. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #20
    yeah i want to just have to carry one laptop and I need a Mac for work. Maybe if my Mac can play games okay I will then invest in a desktop PC for hi rez play.

    ----------

    yeah the Mac has a lot going for it, and I NEED one for music work and other things, so I have to get one. I guess I will go with the 15" and see how that works. If it only plays games at medium that will still be pretty cool.
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    Don't forget that Apple is a reputable company, not to imply that others are not. My last MacBookPro was out of warranty by a year. It had a graphical issue with the motherboard. I took it in and they replace the motherboard for free. I don't believe you can plan on this with all the PC makers out there. Another thing, Macs have a high resale value if they've been take care of. The last MBP I purchased for $2000 and sold it for $600 4 years later on ebay. Try that with your average PC. :)
     
  22. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #22
    yeah, in fact I am looking to sell the macbook I have now and I'm impressed by its resale value. I'll probably buy a MBP but I think I'll wait for the redesign for what I imagine to be a slightly faster GPU.
     
  23. Json81 macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #23
    Yes, I was more focused on the comparision with the alienware and pure price/performance ratio.
    My choice would be MBP aswell.
     

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