Poor gaming performance (Macbook Pro Mid-2012). Advice needed!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by quantap, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. quantap macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    Hi guys,
    just for fun, I tried some gaming with my newish Macbook Pro (Mid 2012, non-retina). I tried out Counter-Strike Source, but was a bit shocked to see the notebook perform so poorly.

    I have a dual monitor setup, with the external monitor being the primary one and running the game.

    Even though Counter-Strike Source automatically sets all video preferences to high, I put them all to medium including a resolution of 1280x800. With those settings I get around 60fps if the screen is idle, but about 25-29 when something's going on, i.e. a smoke grenade, enemy fire, a bit more landscape etc.

    Now, that's a bit suspicious, as even my 4 year old laptop seems to do a lot better than that. I tried disabling the "automatic graphics switching", but to no avail.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Don't use a mac for gaming?

    Try disabling the external monitor and just using the laptop's screen, as keeping both on means the video card has to push more pixels. Also make sure that your mac isn't too hot, as it'll down-clock automatically if it is, which will destroy your frame rate.
  3. zachnelson macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    You're running two monitors and trying to play a game on one? ;)
  4. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
  5. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Windows = gaming
    Mac = everything else
    Boot camp = happy pc!
  6. quantap thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    It's the 15 inch one. Shutting of the external monitor does not really make that much of a difference. Gaming on Macs really that ******? Would love to see how the games run under windows...
  7. Ricanlegend macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
  8. ivoruest macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2010
    1.Try using the Laptop screen.
    2.If its MacOS, I suggest you install bootcamp to get better quality and FPS.
    3.If its Windows, make sure you have the latest drivers from Nvidia. I recommend wiping the display drivers that come with BootCamp and then install the latest from Nvidia.
    4.If the game automatically sets all the settings to high it must be because your hardware its capable of that. This is not always true though. I mostly think this is because of the dual display setup and/or not having adequate drivers.
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    A Mac is a PC. You mean like this one?

    lol. You might mean to say "Everybody knows if you want gaming run Windows". The hardware is tits.
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I don't understand why a lot of users here automatically bash gaming on a Mac, as if every post about gaming or performance suggests that person purchased their Mac with the priority of gaming.

    There is nothing wrong with dual-booting and using your Mac to play games - in fact if the hardware in the Mac meets or exceeds the system requirements for a specific game(s) that you wish to play, it's a better idea to partition for Windows than it is to go out and get a Windows desktop/laptop because "PCs are better for gaming."
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Exactly. Have you seen the amount of Macbook Pro's on the Microsoft campus? It is obscene. Of course it is mandated they run Windows. But even MS knows their partners make some skanky crap.
  12. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
  13. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Not here to suggest that Macs are better than PCs or Mac OS X is better than Windows - I like them both in their own ways, but it's just common sense to me to consider dual-booting first instead of immediately going out and purchasing a new PC based on hearsay that "PCs are better for gaming" or " PCs have better hardware," or any variant of the claim.

    I gamed for a solid year on my laptop that is a Mac and has integrated graphics, I guarantee if I made a post about a gaming related subject - if I even make it past "don't use a Mac for gaming," I would get hit with "don't game unless you have a dedicated graphics card." I played a wide variety of games both in OS X natively and in a dual-booted Windows 7 partition. I most likely can't go out today and purchase a recent game and run it smoothly, but I am not trying to do that - my point is that everyone has to consider their own needs and usage and decide if their hardware is capable of doing what they are trying to specifically do. General, unbacked claims such as "Macs should not be used for gaming at all" simply do not make sense.
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Not sure if agree or disagree or what? But no one should see a difference except in marketing if you have the same mobo, GPU, CPU, DVD, HDD, sourced LCD as everything else out there in a Mac case vs a PC distro case. They are effectively the same, will bench the same running the same OS. Apple has an efi layer that allows booting OS X. That's it. And of course the build quality.


    Neither am I. Hardware is Hardware. They are what they are. I like metal over plastic. I like stability over certain conveniences. So I continue to buy Apple brand computers. Also it is my job so I kind of have to.
  15. nvb macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2012
    I have the Macbook Pro 15" Mid-2012 High-End (non-retina), and I don't have any problems.

    In Windows 7 I play Guild Wars 2 max settings with 40-60 FPS.
    Also I can overclock my 650m. I play stable on 1050/2350 clocks.
  16. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    Its about time I seen Mac users bash people saying that Macs are not gaming and to buy another computer for that. I hate hearing that I tried gaming on pc and on a Mac, the Mac ran the games better and they even looked better too. If this is there way to encourage others to buy Mac and Mac hardware it isn't working.
  17. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Let's face it -- dollar for dollar you get much more bang for your buck with a Windows laptop in terms of pure processing and graphics power (unless we're talking about the Razer Blade). Note that this does not take into account: hardware build quality, customer service and support, and OS (all of which make Apple computers worth their price premium imo (wouldn't be here if I didn't think that).

    However, to say that MBPs are not capable of running modern games competently is a complete fallacy.
  18. MacKid macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2003
    Let's face it: dollar-for-dollar, this is a PRAM problem.

    The 650M can drive two displays easily, especially if one is a game at 1280x800 or whatever. The fact that a Mac v. PC debate erupted here is hilarious.
  19. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    all these comments are worthless to OP.. stop bashing... OP, is your MB 13 incher, or 15 incher? if it is 13 incher - performance is poor cause you have only intel hd GPU, if it si 15 incher, it is strange as you have decent gpu in your mac (I have been playing on my imac sc2, valve games on full or almost full details and full hd - gpu in 15incher must be capable of this as well)
  20. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Point already addressed upthread:

    Part of the reason Valve's games (Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead) run poorly on OS X is that they are not true ports/apps. When you install them from Steam, it's actually downloading the Windows files. OS X compatibility is added via a wrapper/emulator.

    The one thing I've found that improves performance the most when playing Source games on a Mac is disabling anisotropic filtering. Set this to Trilinear, rather than 2x/4x, which is the default. There is a bit of a hit to image quality, but the improved performance more than makes up for it.
  21. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Well, it is strange, on my ati 6750M left for dead runs well on full hd.. nvidia in 2012 cmbrpo 15inch iss a little bit stronger... there shouldnt be any problem
  22. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    "Runs well" is subjective. Games running on an engine as old as Source (the most "recent" builds of the engine date back to 2007) should be absolutely fluid at full HD resolution with max AA and AF, even on mid-range laptop hardware. And that's the case when on Windows. Valve could certainly do the same with OS X if they were to take more time to do a proper port. As is, I would consider their games playable, no more.
  23. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Even with a good port OSX would still lack the graphic drivers. Nvidia and AMD spend a good amount of time working on their drivers for Windows. Nothing like it happens for OSX. When Nvidia finally released a serious Linux driver, performance jumped 100%.
    Some ports are so abysmal they are unplayable on OSX. e.g. Civilizations V.
    Starcraft 2 is pretty decent though.
  24. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Well, it is more than playable.. I am not arguing that using bootcamp would give OP better results, BUT I do play source games under osx with ATI mentioned above - full hd, details set to max, not sure about AA (definitely set, but dont remember value) - no lags, absolutely smooth... saying this, OP should be able to do so on his mb pro, if not, sthing is simply wrong
  25. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Which is the fault of Apple, not NVIDIA or AMD. Allegedly 10.8.3, should it ever come out of beta, is supposed to have improved graphic drivers.

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