New to the Mac World - Time for a notebook - need your help!! - Gamer!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gavril, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Gavril macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
    Good Day Everyone!
    New to the macbook forums here, and new to Mac in general. About a year ago I made the switch to Iphone and then recently to an Ipad2. I have been a long time PC user, and spend my time surfing the net, and playing games. Medium amount of video/audio encoding. I recently had an opportunity to play around with my good friends Macbook Pro (2010) 13” and loved it. It’s time for me to get a new notebook and I’d love for it to be a MAC. My concern however is how capable it is to handle gaming both in Mac OS X and in Windows 7 under boot camp. I am curious as well on MacBook Air’s 13” performance as well, seeing as it does have a Nvidia 320M. On the macbook pro side I would be heading towards the 15” Pro with the 1gb 6750 for the extra gaming horsepower, even though I would prefer the 13” for size, but the Intel HD 3000 just seems very lackluster, and doesn’t even seem to have great World of Warcraft performance, and is limited to only “fair” settings.
    I’m reaching out to the community here to look for any feedback in the macbook gaming arena.
    The games I will primarily be playing are as follows:
    World of Warcraft
    Starcraft 2
    Diablo 3 (soon…)
    Mass Effect 1&2 (Bootcamp)
    Dragon Age 1-2
    Crysis 1-2
    Shogun Total War
    Half Life/Counter Strike
    Call of Duty Black Ops
    I’d really rather not go and buy another Dell XPS.
    Feedback Appreciated!
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    It should play most of those games at medium, some at high settings. Don't expect much more. Macs are not and never were catered to gamers, so I wouldn't expect miracles out of it.

    You're much better off with a PC desktop when it comes to gaming, much more upgradable and tons cheaper, and much more powerful too. This goes for any laptop, not just the MBP.
  3. WillEH macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2011
    United Kingdom
    A 2011 MBP would run those games, but if you really want them to run well, it's best to go for a windows laptop. (Gaming one)

    Mac's do struggle to run these games..

    I play Total War: Rome, on my MBP. You'd be best with a 15" 2.2ghz if you did want something to run all those games in medium settings.
  4. iMackPro macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2011
    you have time to play all of those games? not to sound rude but dude WoW alone can suck away some peoples lives how in the heck do you manage to ever go outside?

    EDIT: go with 15" 2.3..
  5. Skybar macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    I play WoW on my 17" (got it yesterday) and it works okay. I play on high settings, but I could probably play on ultra if I turned down shadows and water effects a bit. In Orgrimmar the FPS goes down quite much, but that is understandable. In 5-mans and other stuff where there isn't 100+ people its a lot better.
  6. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    If portability is important then definatly go 15" max spec MacBook Pro as it comes with the 1GB video card. The other one only has 256MB video card.:mad:

    Otherwise wait for the new iMac.:cool:
  7. Gavril thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
    I largely play World of Warcraft, the others are just options that I would like for it to be able to play as well, when I want to switch off WOW and play something else.

    Top 3 that it needs to play well are WOW/SC2/Diablo 3.

    Sounds like results are not that good, sigh maybe I will have to stick with a DELL XPS/Alienware.

    I'm not looking for it to blow FPS out of the water, but I do want it to be playable at the native res, in at least high detail.
  8. swarleystinson macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    You definitely won't be able to run crysis at native res.
    You'd be fine with running SC2, WoW, and (very likely) Diablo 3 and those setting.

    Crysis-no way. But you'd get surprisingly good details w/ Crysis 2. Especially if you overclock.

    You should be able to run other current gen FPSs (CoD etc) pretty well without antialiasing on.

    If you're looking for cutting edge though, you'd definitely need to go w/ a windows native computer.

    Have you thought about an iMac? I've got the i7 27" and love it, and if I'm not mistaken it's the same or cheaper than the 17". With overclock it runs everything I've thrown at it (except crysis) at native res (2560x1440). Honestly, when I max out the details on a lot of those game, and that dot pitch, the difference b/w 4x-8x AA and no AA is not a big deal.
    Most of the apple cards are standard or even underclocked, so you can get big gains across the board w/ overclocking the GPU.
  9. ThatNukkaMoe macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have to say this is true. Its funny because its true. :p

    I HAD a friend who played WOW 24/7. He never went outside or bothered talking to 'real' people. He only talked to Koreans online... :confused:
  10. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    I suppose it might be worth mentioning as well, that many games do work better under Windows on bootcamp than they do in OSX (difference between unplayable and very smooth in Civ V) (at the fault of the Dev, not Apple). I would say a 2011 MBP with the better GPU SHOULD run those games that you've listed.

    You could always try Google-ing the games you wish to play and see what people have said about their performance on a 2011 MBP. You won't find every game, but some of the more popular ones should be out there.
  11. Gavril thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
    Anymore feedback out there? Surely there are more gamers who are running 2011 series Macbook Pro's and Macbook Airs??

    Let's hear from the 13" crowd,
    #1 concern is how well does World of Warcraft really run?
    ANyone have video?
  12. jmd91 macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    McKinney TX
    I have absolutely no experience with the 2011 MBP series but I do quite a bit of gaming on my 2009 MBP (specs in sig).

    World of Warcraft - 30fps in Org on crowded server at medium video settings (native res), 20fps on high video settings.

    Starcraft 2 - Plays beautifully at medium video settings (native res), haven't tried on high video settings.

    Dragon Age 1-2 - Haven't played 1 on this machine but 2 is bearable at low video settings (native res)

    Civilization - Civ V plays alright on low video settings (native res)

    Half Life/Counter Strike - Run beautifully on highest video settings

    Call of Duty Black Ops - Don't know about this but COD 4 plays decently on low video settings (native resolution)

    If I can pull this off with only 256 MB Vram than your 1 GB should play most of these games in high quality no problem. Even though a 13" would be able to play these games no problem I would not suggest it unless you are going to be using an external monitor. Not trying to hate on anybody with 13"s but in my opinion its just not quite big enough to enjoy everything about the games.

    Macs are not really made for gaming but ever since steam was brought to the mac and the release of the app store mac gaming is exploding in popularity.
  13. Matrinix macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
  14. tobygw macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If you want to play all those games you listed on decent settings, why are you even considering the 13 inch? The high end 15 inch is clearly your only option.
  15. Chazn macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
  16. swarleystinson macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Again though, bear in mind that you will get significant gains when overclocking your GPU.
  17. room271 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I'm no expert, but given the heat issues with the latest MBPs/performance laptops in general isn't any kind of overclocking (of CPU or GPU) a pretty bad idea? It seems like Apple have pushed the hardware to the max as it is.
  18. Chazn macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    I don't mean to high-jack this thread, but what is overclocking and how do you do it? :p
  19. room271 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I've never personally overclocked a machine but here goes...

    Processors run at a certain speed which can be increased (overclocking) to improve performance but often at the expense of stability/overheating. Overclocking can thus significantly boost performance and, moreover, is often quite safe on desktop systems with good cooling. But generally it is not a good idea for laptops because they tend to be pushed to the limit in terms of heat anyway.

    Normally to overclock you tweak settings in the BIOS but there are lots of guides out there if you are interested.
  20. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    As far as crysis the 2011 MacBook pro goes, was able to get 40+ fps at medium on the high res. And 20-35 at high. With some mods , more than playable on the high res at 1680x1050. Crysis 2 was done on gamer settings on high res with decent fps.

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