next gen MBP gaming suitability

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by purplewarlock, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. purplewarlock macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    So what are the chances the next MBP will be noticeably smaller?

    I bought the low-end Air about a year ago (with smallest screen and SSD) and to be honest it just seems to run clunkily. I thought with the SSD it would be insanely fast, for web browsing.

    Long story short, I have about a 3 year old 15" Macbook Pro with normal hard disk and it is WAY faster, and better. I kind of randomly started to use it recently for the first time in a while, instead of my Air, and I don't even touch the Air now. Yeah, it takes an extra 2 pounds in my backpack, but that is barely noticably. And in return, the user experience is simply stupidly better. The 15" screen shows so much more real estate which is a huge advantage, and it renders web pages basically instantly, instead of me having to wait 2 seconds per page on the Air. Also, not that I am playing games now on it, it plays games awesome (and you can't really play much on the Air). I play Starcraft 2, League of Legends, as well as was in Star Wars The Old Republic MMORPG beta and that is coming out soon (this runs boot camp for that).

    Anyhow, I read a rumor a few months ago the next MBP will be smaller. My question, is nice as that is, will this kill the MBP's gaming capabilities? I'd rather have awesome power, even at 2 pounds heavier etc, then something more Airish. I have a bad feeling graphics/CPU / heat dissipation will get very bad on the new one, but just a hunch, want to see what you guys and gals in the know say :)

    Also, I have a 6 month old lowest-end iMac, which is my desktop. But I suspect this MBP is even faster for games.. (yeah, I spend waaay too much money buying Apple computers, I know, I know :p) .

    Now, some would say, I should wait for the next MBP (assuming it has equal or better GPU + CPU + heat sink dissapation.. which I'm concerned about..), and then sell/trade my existing computers (the iMac, Air, and this awesome MBP) for the brand new MBP. But I need two computers since my wife has a very old MacBook that won't play Star Wars The Old Republic, so I need two of these that can play it so we can play together.

    In an ideal world, we could sell all 4 of our macs and get two next-generation MBP's and 1 flat-screen monitor (for me at home since I like a kind of desk situation at home, my wife purely uses laptop by itself). Not sure if the resale value will support that though.

    This is very rambling, I know :p, so really my question is for the next generation 15" MBP, is its gaming capabilities going to take a big hit (assuming it is thinner/smaller?)
  2. Neolithium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    Only Apple knows. It'd be nothing but speculation on our part, AFAIK there have been no leaks regarding what Cupertino will be tossing into the next gen MBP's.
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Your statements about the old MBP being faster are simply not true.
  4. theipadkid macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    we dont know cause they havent been released

    pretty obvious?
  5. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    Remember that when they introduce new MBPs they're going to be Ivy Bridge and based on the numbers on TDP coming out- the power required is going to be a lot lower for even the same amount of performance. Less power = Less heat. I highly doubt the new machines will take a performance hit or a heat hit really. The other thing is that if theres no HDD or ODD it means theres less potential heat buildup through those two devices alone. Two less components to cool means that the fans in the machine will literally be cooling just the CPU/GPU.

    As much as people complain about heat issues in macs, its actually quite the opposite: people just notice the heat issues because they can feel the heat being removed from their machines through the aluminum- something that other computers do not have. The reason you don't feel the heat on other machines is cause the heat is not being dissipated away from the chips. Apple has built one of the most effective heatsinks on laptops without going as far as going to a Asus Gaming grade 'stealth fighter' by using the case as the heatsink.
  6. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    I suspect that it may have something to do with insufficient ram. The lower-end Macbook Air's have 2 gb, which if using Lion is not enough. If on the other hand the Macbook Pro has 4 or 8 ram it will probably run much faster.
  7. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Yep. Definitely it would take a hit if Apple outfits it with hardware that has the same thermal envelope as the current generation.

    With the body being as "thick" as it is, we are already running into overheating problems. I have used a 2010 Macbook Air, and had a chance to test out the 2011 Air to verify that with that thickness, heat dissipation is just not fast enough (especially so on the 2011 model). The tradeoff between a thin body and heat/fan noise is immense when you start stressing the hardware. Things like web surfing or document editing likely won't effect it, but gaming would definitely make it noticeable as the hardware is pushed to its limits. I have had the 2011 Air throttle down on me a few times.

    Also a 15" MBA, as I can imagine, would have some serious build quality issues. Aluminum is simply not solid enough for such a thin body. I can flex my 13" MBA with little efforts. Making the slab wider obviously won't help.

    If his is an older Air (not 2010 model and onward) then the statement is true.

    In fact, if it's about rendering websites and not about loading apps, then the statement is still true for the 2010 models and onwards. I have done comparisons and can verify that.
  8. philio32383 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    OP- "I bought the low-end Air about a year ago (with smallest screen and SSD) and to be honest it just seems to run clunkily. I thought with the SSD it would be insanely fast, for web browsing."

    First off the SSD has nothing to do with internet connection or ping rate. The SSD has to do with data storage and retrieval speeds. So you are complaining about the wrong thing.

    Second, a Mac (anything mac really) is not a gaming device. Get an Alienware if you want gaming. fps ping and graphics rendering at speed will be vastly superior in a gaming computer rather than a Mac. You could even get a 14 yr old korean to make you one and send three to the states for the cost of the top of the line MBP.

    Third, I assume you are playing games at various locations via wi-fi on the MBP and MBA. And that your iMac is plugged into a broadband connection. Then the internet speeds from the location at question to the DSL server is the main concern. wi-fi loses about 20-30% of the broadband width, so if at home to have a 3mb/s connection plugged in and you take the MBP to a place that has 10mb/s then you end up with a connection of 7mb/s meaning ping rate goes up, and latency goes down. of course your MBP will work faster than your iMac at home

    Fourth, my understanding is that running anything though windows sucks!

    in summery if you just want to play games on it and watch movies/word process get something else, and forget about the brand name. Just buy me a MBP for saving you a lot of money.
  9. philio32383 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    LOL - just read that it takes 2 sec for the web page to upload. Visit China. At my work I get about 5kb/sec. It has taken me 5 min to download a 75kb word doc file from my hotmail that took me 2 min to get into. streaming video? LOL!!! I will have 6 CNN articles open at a time. I read one click on the next article, then go to the 2nd page read click, 3rd page, and so on. And most of the time when I get back to page 1 I have a new article, if not I play badminton. Save yourself the hassle and get 100mb/s at home. No more connection issues for anything for the next 15 years.
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I missed the bit about buying the MBA a year ago so it's clearly the 2010 model. Tell me more about the rendering tests.
  11. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    The nextgen MBP will have a big jump in GPU capabilities. The jump from ATI 6XXX to 7XXX is quite big due to moving to 28nm from 40nm.
  12. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
  13. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Thanks for the responses!

    Regarding my Air browsing, this is over my home Wi-Fi, my router is connected to a cable modem which on speedtest it has about 10ms ping, 15 Mb/download and 5 Mb/upload. All computers connect via WiFi. My iMac is upstairs, but it connects great and is very fast. The MBP and Air I usually use downstairs, literally 20 feet away from the router in the same room, and that is where I was surprised. The MBP browses internet sites very quickly, while the Air is noticeably slower. It isn't terrible or anything.. probably another 3/4 second of time to display most web pages but you can feel it for sure. This is on Chrome on bootcamp/Windows 7 for all 3 computers. My Air has the SSD + 4 GB Ram, so I was very surprised web browsing was slower than I thought it would be. All three are using the exact same of Anti-Virus software too (the cheapest Norton Utilities package, which I've never found to slow things down even video games, and the scan is done in the middle of the night).

    Again, the browsing on the AIr isn't terrible, it's ok and definitely usable, but it is better for sure on my other computers which is surprising seeing as the Air CPU is pretty nice I believe (just it's GPU / heat sinks are terrible but that doesn't matter for web browsing). If this isn't your experiences, maybe it has something with my Win 7 configuration, though I try to keep things nice and light without too many apps installed, only the 5 things I actually use.

    Actually, my previous desktop was in fact a generic, cheap ($400 or so) Best Buy windows box with about a $120 graphics card added in. It worked great.. for 6 months then blew up (not sure if it is the power supply, motherboard, or what). Around the same time, my 7 year old Dell flatscreen was getting less and less usable, which was too bad since that thing was very nice when it was working. So the iMac wasn't a bad deal, as it was the cheapest one and saved me from needing to buy a monitor too.
  14. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It sounds like there is an issue with your MBA's wifi
  15. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    2010 or 2011 Air would still suffer from website rendering performance.

    I didn't have a 2010 Air with the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo to test, but here is the benchmark metric:

    Go to that website on any Mac running Safari 5.1.2 (has to be on Lion 10.7.2, too), click on the "Run FPS test" and wait for it to finish.

    Here is my data for the "CSS 3 Transitions (width + height)" line that you get in the result screen:

    1.86GHz Macbook Air 13.3" 2010: 40fps 39fps 32fps 20fps
    2.40GHz iMac 24" 2007: 40fps 40fps 37fps 24fps
    2.5GHz Mac Mini 2011: 40fps 40fps 39fps 37fps
    2.0GHz Macbook Pro 15" 2011: 40fps 40fps 39fps 37fps

    Here is the data for the "CSS 3 Transitions (width + height + opacity)" line:

    1.86GHz Macbook Air 13.3" 2010: 40fps 35fps 15fps 7fps
    2.40GHz iMac 24" 2007: 40fps 37fps 19fps 10fps
    2.5GHz Mac Mini 2011: 40fps 38fps 24fps 16fps
    2.0GHz Macbook Pro 15" 2011: 40fps 36fps 23fps 15fps

    As you can see, the 2010 Macbook Air is markedly slower than the iMac 24" from 2007 past the first test, which was light enough.

    Depending on the complexity of the layout of the website being visited, I don't doubt that in many situations, the iMac 24" would be able to render the contents a little tiny bit faster than the Macbook Air, and that's how it is in real life when I simulate a local network using my own website layouts (now this one is an unscientific test).

    It might just be perception, but fact is that the 2010 Air's just had very slow CPUs. The 2011 Air's might be able to match or slightly exceed the iMac thanks to Turbo Boost, but I don't doubt that it still can't catch up to the Mac Mini and Macbook Pro 2011.

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