Opinions on Macbook/Mackbook Pro for gaming

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by runebinder, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #1
    Hi there,

    where I work we didn't get a pay rise last year, instead they offered us a bonus which I'll be getting towards the end of this month, should be around £1200 after tax.

    Have changed my mind on what I wanted to get a few times, however narrowed it down to a notebook (have got a fairly high spec PC already so no point getting a new desktop), I've now pretty much set my heart on a Macbook or pro version.

    Used a colleague's Macbook at work when I was a writing an Apple course for our training department, and taking screens which I then made into a virtual leopard using Adobe captivate. Was one of the new unibody models, and was really impressed with the build quality (so much sturdier and solid than any other notebook I've used), the track pad and some of the utilities on Mac OS X.

    Decided it will be very useful to own a Mac myself as it will improve my general knowledge of them, which will be useful where my job's concerned. So pretty much decided to be extravagant with the bonus (possibly some of my wages on top), and spend it and on an Apple notebook.

    I support a reasonably big name store and will either see if I can get a discount from them due to association or get a refurb of the Apple site depending on what is cheaper. I'm very conscious of the big amount I'll be spending and want to make sure I go for the right model for my needs so would like some advice.

    I plan on dual booting using Vista, purely so I will also be able to play games. Web surfing etc I'll do in Leopard. So with that in mind, is it worth spending the extra money for the pro? Plan on playing stuff like Mass effect, Fallout 3, Sim 3 (When it's released), and possible Crysis if it will handle it.

    I'd like to know how much difference the 2.53 GHz model makes for gaming with its bigger L2 cache and VRAM over the 2.4GHZ version? For other Macbook pro users who game I'd really appreciate your opinions on this.

    Have spent quite a lot of time reading forums concerning this, but most talk about SW like photoshop, music editing etc, so would like some gamer's views on this.

    Also for anyone who has tried it, is the 2.4GHz Macbook with 4GB of RAM any good for gaming?

    Want to balance between getting something that will be good to use with not being too broke for the rest of the month lol.

    Any advice would be most appreciated.
     
  2. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #2
    hi

    i have a 2 ghz coreduo macbook pro whick has 256 mb of gddr3 graphics ram and it runs games great. In my opinion if you want to really game spend extra money and get the pro it has dedicated graphics which are good. The macbook has integrated graphics and even though it has the same amount of video ram its slower. In my opinion get the macbook pro
     
  3. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #3
    If you have any interest in gaming go for the Pro. The GPU is far better and it has dedicated vRAM.

    I don't think the increase in price between the 2.4 and higher models is worth it. Yes, there will be a small performance boost (only if you are running games with more than 256MB of visual assets that need stored in vRAM) but both are still 9600 chips.

    I have the 2.0GHz MacBook and it runs the games I want to play right now just fine. If you go for the cheaper Pro, consider spending the money you save on an Xbox 360.
     
  4. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #4
    Counter Strike Source, under bootcamp, a MacBook 2,4 GHz w/9400m is having around 30 FPS with almost everything at high, no aliasing (or 2x I can't remember). I was also getting a lot of crash, but it obviously coming from the trackpad glitch. There's was a first version of the drivers by Apple for the trackpad under bootcamp that was kinda ******, then they updated it, fixing the trackpad itself but affecting the sound (pop occuring when using it.) and sometime performances. At least I'm never using the trackpad under windows, I always have a mice.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    Counterstrike with a trackpad? ::shudders::

    I'd go for the Pro because of the GPU.
     
  6. Cheech73 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #6
    I run games two ways on my MB:
    I run XP in BootCamp for most gaming. Occasionally I run Codeweavers Crossover Games for Steam when I don't want to use Windows at all. Both work very well on my unibody 2.4 MB. It will get toasty after awhile, but I've played for hours with little noticeable lag.
     
  7. runebinder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #7
    Thanks

    Cheers for the advice guys, think I'll go with the 2.4GHz Macbook pro and get it upgraded to 4GB of RAM. Prefer the idea of the dedicated 9600GT, and from what I've read the screen is better quality than the Macbook.

    Cheers for the tip about Codeweavers Crossover Games for Steam, Cheech73, looks useful.

    Roll on the 27th April :D
     
  8. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #8
    If you want Mac to get acquainted with it, go ahead.
    If it's just an eccentricity, with the money of a MBP you'll get a PC much better suited for gaming. If all you're going to do with OSX is check your email, surf the internet, etc., I think you are wasting your money.
    Again, if you are going to use it for work and you need a Mac, welcome to the Mac family
     
  9. runebinder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #9
    Well I have a Desktop PC for gaming, want to get a notebook so I've got something portable I can take with me to other places but can still play games.

    The MBP appeals as it looks and feels way more solid than other notebooks and less likely to get case cracking etc, and as I said will be very useful where my job's concerned as Macs are becoming more popular, so would be good to have one so I can help support rather than just transfer. Also the more knowledge of different O/S's I have the better it will be for career advancement. Really want to get into IT training.

    Also in terms of security and viruses Mac OS X would be a better option for internet etc.

    Also looking at notebook specs there's too not much price difference between a MBP (refurb), and a Windows notebook. Ok so don't have Blu-ray, but hey I've got a PS3 and a 1080p TV for that.
     
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #10
    Feature creep on graphics requirements?

    I realize the futility of trying to buy present machines for possible use in the future, and I'm aware that performance wise there's not much difference between the 256 and 512 mb nvidia graphics chips between the entry and mid level MBP models. I haven't run a game on a mac in at least a year or two for lack of time.

    Nonetheless, aren't games, and especially windows games graphics requirements steadily requiring more and more video ram? Shoot, it wasn't that long ago when any mac game would run on my powerbook with it's 64 mb video card. I'm also wondering about the rumored 10.6's ability to off load more and more functions onto the graphics chip using 'grand central'. Assuming the OP will want to play the latest games and won't be trading in/buying mbp's every couple of years, wouldn't the 512 mb video chip on the mid level MBP make more sense?
     
  11. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #11
    High end 15 inch or the 17 inch the low end compromises slightly.
     
  12. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Hanover, NH
    #12
    I have a macbook unibody 2.4 and it plays all non-FPS fine. Games like call of duty 2 run well and call of duty 4 is (mostly, as long as you use modest graphics settings) fine. FEAR also runs well. A macbook pro, with its dedicated card, would doubtlessly be better.

    But if you're really intent on gaming you're doing to want this graphics card or something like it. You will not find that graphics card in any laptop. If you want a mac but also want to game, I suggest getting a refurb 2.0 uni macbook and getting yourself a desktop. You could build a solid PC gaming desktop for about $800 (well, maybe more since you have to pay VAT/sales tax) and use the rest on a laptop.

    Yes, the macbook pro is your best bet for a mac laptop that can play games, but no laptop can come close to even a relatively inexpensive PC for gaming. I don't game much, but if I did I would build myself a gaming PC for gaming and use my macbook for everything else (or just get a gaming console).

    My $.02.
     
  13. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #13
    I'm not using my trackpad, but just the keyboard. Even through the trackpad is unactivated (under windows) I sometimes happen to touch it, and the glitch happen.

    Even if a lot more thing would be put on the GPU, it won't really affect gaming, because, you know, you won't really use anything that will use GPU. And even if you did, gaming under bootcamp anyway is better then on Mac OS X. And Ram isn't really making any real difference for gaming unless you run more then 1 screen, which obviously you don't while gaming :)
     
  14. runebinder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #14
    Nice card, however as I've mentioned I already have a desktop PC (self built), it runs Crysis on high settings and has plenty of room for upgradability, get a Vista score of 5.7 on it so not too stressed about adding to it atm as it runs games very well.

    My idea behind getting a notebook is so I can have a portable but still want to be able to play games on it, for when I'm a away or going to a LAN party (much easier than lugging a PC, Monitor, speakers etc), and I don't drive.
     
  15. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Hanover, NH
    #15
    Oops, sorry. I should be less lazy and actually read the posts I'm responding to. ;) If that's true, the unibody MBP (even the entry model) will serve you well for your needs. Just get a refurb if you can find one and you're set.
     
  16. runebinder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #16
    Lol, no worries dude. Yeah pretty much deciding on the pro, and the refurb route looks good, £1200 for an entry level MBP on there. Been hearing that sometimes with the refurbs you can some times end up with extras which sounds good.

    Going to try somewhere first where I might be able to wrangle a discount, cause if I can pay and walk out with one I'd prefer to do that, not very patient lol, but if that doesn't work out, will definitely be the refurb route
     
  17. runebinder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #17
    Got paid a couple of days early, unfortunately have to buy a bed as well which was the final influence on my decision.

    Just ordered a 2.4GHz MBP from the refurb store, not bad for £1,149. Estimated delivery date is 28th-30th April so will be in time for my birthday. I can't wait :D
     

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