New Mac for playing games?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by fdgjfg, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. fdgjfg macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    Hi, so I was planning on buying a new laptop computer for college next year. I would purchase this computer sometime this year, in the winter or the fall, so that the money used for the laptop is not included in financial aid assessments.

    I would mostly be doing normal academic work with this computer, but I would also like it to be able to play games, specifically battlefield 3. I have been looking at various computer sales websites, and have found that many PC computers offer better hardware for a cheaper price.

    However, I have used macs my entire life, (my family has never owned a PC) and I am afraid that I will find the windows operating system frustrating. I am also a fan of the high build quality, compatibility, and ease of use of macs.

    Simply put, is it worth it to go for the mac? I was thinking of the 15" i7. In later years, will it be able to continue playing new games?
  2. Killery96 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2011
    You WILL have frustrations with the Windows Operating system. Because you'll be using Windows to play BF3. So no matter what, the Windows problems like driver incompatibilities, virus protection, and other things will be a problem. However, if like me, you use Windows 7 primarily for gaming and little else, then you won't have as many issues.

    As you probably know, Macs are generally quicker and more responsive, sleeker, and possessive of fewer of the "small headaches". People who complain that the "convenience of mac" is just an overrated commercial ploy, have just gotten used to the slow un-indexed searches and impudent updates that will literally quit applications and restart the computer.

    Superior hardware in windows computers? my ass. You will find a more powerful graphics processor in those things. That's about it. Asus G73 whatever has a lower price and lower clock graphics card than the one in the Macbook Pro, a crummy screen in pixel ratio and cleanliness, a huge weight, 10% the battery life of the MBP, a lower processor, pretty much same RAM (you need no more than 4 gigs for maxed out gaming), a hard drive that gets loaded with obscure things. IT DOES HAVE: a GTX 560M. Did I mention it gets ugly, scratched, and dusty really quickly?

    Presently, the Graphics card in the Macbook Pro (as of today, a 6750m with 512mb at minimum) is meh for Battlefield 3, however it WILL DEFINITELY PLAY IT. If you're one of those people whose self esteem hinges on whether or not he/she can run games at max settings with FPS rates only a humming bird could see, then Mac is not right for you.

    I would say, however, that because of the good-running and long last of Apple computers, their wonderful processors, convenient applications, and clear screens, that for virtually any schoolwork (including graphics processing), they are worth the extra money. Besides, if you look at the computers spec for spec, PCs and Macs are really the same price. No joke. People who say Apple overprices their computers by a long shot are ignorant.

    All in all: If you want GAMING POWER AND LONG ERECTION BECAUSE OF BURN-OUT PROCESSOR AND 2-TON LAPTOP: Get a PC. It's worth the workout from carrying it and the endurance gained from headaches. If you want to play the game with only some of the eye candy enabled, and have a nice computer for everything else, Apple will provide. Presently, the top end 15" computer can be outfitted with a great hard drive, 3rd party RAM, a good GPU, and a perfect processor to play BF3 for entertainment purposes. Decide NOW.
  3. fdgjfg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    Yeah, I am pretty sure that I want to go with the mac. Really, I would not mind playing the game with all possible settings on low, as long as I could play at all.

    Mostly I just wanted to post here as my PC friends have been trying to convert me, and I thought I might ask the opinions of some people who really know what they are talking about with the mac vs. pc debate.

    Thanks for the advice!
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    I use Windows 7 for gaming and nothing else and have no problems.

    But the graphics card is what matters most, by far, for games performance. I gave up on Mac gaming and spent $500 on a PC.

    For that $500, I get superior gaming performance to ANY Mac, save for the Mac Pro optioned with the Radeon 5870 (which costs $3,200.)

    My advice is to get a cheaper Mac for your work, and spend $500 you saved on a PC for games.
  5. Killery96 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2011
    I agree with what you're saying. But he doesn't seem like the kind of person who needs two computers cause he wants the best of both right now... ...I think a mac is perfectly capable for the gaming the OP would want to do, and the 15" has more screen real estate so that graphic design and stuff could be made possible. I am on a 15" and I feel right at home, no more 13".
  6. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Simply answered, yes and yes.
  7. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Yeah if he's not really into games then a 15" (NOT a 13" or Air) would do pretty decently, as long as he doesn't push the graphics too hard.
  8. Killery96 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2011
    I'm on a 15" from early 2011 (6750m 1gb, 2.2 i7), and I got every single game I play maxed out, and it's almost never choppy. I run through windows. Love the new Space Marine Game, and looking forward to BF3 like the OP.
  9. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Could always grab a 13" MBP refurb for $929 in the Apple store and then build a pc for $700ish including monitor that plays games better than any Mac.

    A 15" MBP would be more expensive than this.
  10. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    That MacBook Pro is not going to cut it when it comes to games as the dedicated GPU only has 256MB of VRAM. You need one with 1GB of VRAM especially if you want it to last a long time regards gaming. I doubt BF3 would run on it as it requires a minimum of 512MB of VRAM.

    This one would be a better recommendation.
  11. MasterTick macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    Good god you're wrong on so many things, I don't have time to point out all the things wrong with your post so I'll sum it up for the OP.

    Both OS X and Windows 7 are fine operating systems, you won't have driver issues or whatever else he said on Windows.

    I prefer having OS X on my laptops just because I think it works better on the smaller screen, and the Apple hardware is second to none. Plus you can run both OSs.

    For gaming I'd recommend building a dedicated PC for a few hundred bucks.
  12. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    Pretty much agree. Though I prefer OS X for a number of things, I find Windows 7's not too far behind. As you say, one great thing about Macs is the option of having the best of both worlds on one computer.

    Re the Windows viruses & driver issues another poster warned of, IMO, using some common sense along with the free, but non-intrusive (unlike Norton, etc.) Microsoft Security Essentials should keep your PC or Boot Camp partition clean. Also, in my experience, W7 has excellent drivers, recognizing all my hardware peripherals instantaneously... so far at least.

    As for the OP's query about whether that 15" Mac laptop will play new games in later years? Yes, but a fair number of them almost certainly not at very high settings. For that, an upgradable PC remains the best way to go.
  13. rossip macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    ok, you're right, that model is rather vram deprived, consider my original recommendation bear minimum for gaming relatively decently, the system shouldn't be too bad for blizzard/valve games in the next 3 years (but I realize you want to play bf3). The $1,699.00 system your've recommended Mr.C would be a better choice. If you wait a month or 2 that price will probably drop more as new macbook pro's were just released and it takes a few months for them to go on refurb.
  14. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    You mentioned that you "NEED" a mobile computer for college. As far as I see, you have 2 choices:

    1)Get a macbook (Air/Pro) and super fast PC desktop for gaming

    2)Get a insanelly fast Macbook Pro

    Note that since you already have to buy a macbook, the macbook + desktop PC configuration may be more expensive than solely a solo macbook with matched configuration to the desktop PC

    So, do the math and figure it out!!!

    PS: Having windows as your 1st computer is kinda suicide, speacially if you are used to Mac OS, but as far as you only loggin into windows in order to play games, you will not have any headaches. Just install "Microsoft Security Essentials" its a free anti-virus/spyware and you are done!
  15. Killery96 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2011
    It's true I was definitely venting over some problems I've had with Windows 7, but really, there are plenty of problems with Windows, more of which are immediately obvious than with OSX. I agree with everything you said. unsnip.
  16. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Go for it, always get the best machine you can afford too.

    I've been running Windows (XP and later 7) under Bootcamp since the first capable iMac. Truth be told I've had more problems under OSX than Windows. I've only had to install XP once and 7 once, OSX (outside of upgrades) I've had to reinstall a few times. Never had a driver problem, I've had AVG installed and never a virus. Auto-updates enabled for Windows and AVG... I think that's it.

    Will it run Battlefield 3? Possibly. It's a powerful game. As time goes on you'll have to lower settings for new releases but, if the game is good then it's not too much of a problem. I spent the best gaming years of my life on an x1600 iMac overclocked with TF2, L4D etc on lowest settings (but a high res still) just to get 60fps.
  17. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Gaming on a Mac, despite it being a hell of a lot better than it was a couple of years ago, is still not recommended. If I were you, I'd spend your money on a much more powerful Windows box.
  18. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The 15 inch is pretty capable for gaming.
    Both 6750M and 6770M are good graphics cards, for a laptop.
    The problem with laptops is that they have three limiting factors.
    Space, cooling and power usage.

    The 67X0 series is a very good compromise, but no match for a *real* graphics card.

    If you look at the top performance cards like desktop GeForce and Radeons these days you'll realize they are about 10 inches long, one inch+ high and uses about 200w. In a laptop you need a GPU that need less than 30w and can fit inside a less than half an inch high compartment.

    So how good is a 6750/6770M? Well, it does have as much power as the best offerings for desktops in 2006. They do have more features like DX11, but a 2006 GeForce 8800GTX is still slightly faster than a 6770M.

    I have a two year old gaming rig, with GTX285 and an over clocked C2D @3.67GHz, it is quite a bit faster, for games, than the best macBook Pro. The good thing is that the laptop CPUs are performing very good, and the Quad i7s in the MBP is about twice as fast as my old CPU, but in games, GPU is always the bottle neck.

    I know benchmarks doesn't always reflect real world performance, but 3Dmark gives a pretty good estimate. Previous top of the line MBP with 6750M and 2.3GHz i7 scores about 5600 in 3DMark Vantage (DX10), my old gaming rig scores 11300. DX9 benchmark 3DMark06 scores are 9400 vs 18000.

    The MacBook Pro is still a good gaming laptop, but if you spend $1000 on a desktop, you'll get a machine that can outperform mine with a good margin. A $500 desktop will still be faster than the MBP, for gaming.

    Unfortunately there are no laptops that give both mobility, battery life and gaming performance.
    You have to choose what you want, and the MBP is a very good compromise of speed and mobility.
  19. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    If you want a mac laptop that can handle gaming, it's going to cost a bundle. Why not get an iMac which will be faster than the laptop for gaming, and the leftover money can be used to get an iPad for your mobile needs.
  20. fdgjfg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    Wow, thanks for all the replies!

    There are a lot of interesting ideas in here. The desktop for 500 sounds like it could be a good idea, as my dad has a macbook that is a few years old that I could have .

    The only thing is, I don't know if my parents would be fans of building a pc specifically for gaming and bringing it to college; a laptop might be a bit more discreet.

    Also, I don't know where I would buy a high quality, cheap PC. Could anyone tell me a good site?
  21. Dahkot macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2011
    While I'm definitely pro Macbook Pro and OS X for anything but gaming ,

    The person bashing the G73 for gaming and "slower graphics core" is clueless.

    A G73 wiped and setup properly for gaming will crush , absolutely crush a Macbook Pro at a much less price and the screen is 1920x1080 in both 15" and 17" versions so again that poster is dead wrong on the screen.

    The Macbook Pro is much much better overall for everything else , but considering a G73 and G74 can be had with 1080p screens , 8 GB RAM , 460m/560m 1.5 GB video cards , 7200 rpm harddrives stock , at around 1300 , for gaming , they blow the Macbook Pro out of the water.
  22. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Ah, but we are talking about 1 laptop. The Mac is a better choice, one box that does it all, runs the MacOS, and plays Windows games when required. Gaming, by itself while fun is not the most important activity for most people. I'm one of those who believe that PCs can provide a faster gaming experience, but I if it's my only computer, I would pick a MacBookPro over a PC any day and run my games under Bootcamp/Windows.
  23. dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
    Even slightly serious about playing games OP? Do yourself a favor and just put together a little gaming box.

    Of course still get a Mac though, lol. :)
  24. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2006
    A million times this. Get a MacBook Air and sink the difference in cost from a MacBook Pro into a desktop. You'll get better performance, and can incrementally upgrade it as required.

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