Retina and games (vs Air)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by spacetoaster, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. spacetoaster macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2010
    Hi There!

    Can anyone tell me how the retina display performs when playing games?

    Im definitely wouldnt buy a mac for gaming but i think i might find myself in a situation where i'd play League of legends or some steam game (which should work on a >1k$ machine).
    The thing is, if i would set the display to the native resolution, the pixels get "multiplied by 4" - i get that. But what happens in a Game? Will the pixels also just magically get multiplied and the GPU will only have to render 1200x800?
    Scaled resolutions just seem so lame to me.

    The reason why im asking is because im thinking about getting either the rMBP or MBA and for that little occasional gaming i might to, the MBA will do the job, but im curious if the rMBP could handle that too.

  2. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Just don't game at native resolution on a retina. It's just unnecessary, as it is so pixel dense already. I usually go with 1920x1200, and games run very well.
  3. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I run SCII and DIII at 2880x1800 without any issues. The nice thing about 2880x1800 is that it entirely negates the need for antialiasing. I get better frame rates at the max resolution and antialiasing off than I do at a lower resolution using antialiasing.

    Different story for more 3D intensive games though. If I want to run Skyrim at 2880x1800, I have to use all low settings for a really playable experience. In these instances, I tone down the resolution to something more like 1680x1050 at high/medium settings.
  4. spacetoaster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2010
    Are you too talking about the 15 inch retina?
    I wasnt mentioning it, but i meant the 13 inch model.

    When you set the monitor to a non-native resolution, how do they still make it look so good, does anyone know?

    Thanks guys
  5. radiohead14, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

    radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2008
    i play via windows 8.1 bootcamp. these are my usual fps.. all at 1280x800 and they look real good imo (especially dead space 3 - i'm able to set options pretty high). vsync off, fxaa on, anisotropic @ 16x, high texture qualities. i have resource intensive options like SSAO and post processing turned off.

    dead space 3: 45-60+ (real smooth gameplay even at busy scenes)
    skyrim: 40-60+ (i have texture mods installed as well)
    tomb raider 2013: 31-55 (this one isn't as smooth as the other two, and i do notice fps spikes more. but i'm not surprised since this is a newer game.)

    since 1280x800 is a 16:10 ratio.. you won't notice any weird stretching.

    gonna be testing out the mass effect trilogy this weekend.
  6. spacetoaster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2010
    So when i play a game at 1200x800 i wont get any artifacts and stuff, since it will be using the pixel-doubeling?
  7. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    I think it looks better playing at 1440x900 - but neither the Air nor 13" rMBP can really handle gaming at a level that I find acceptable. Though with LOL and such, you should be just fine... I want 60 fps BF4 type performance myself for gaming with maxed out settings, and that is something that not even the high-end 15" can handle.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    A 2x2 pixel cluster on the retina screen looks virtually indistinguishable to a single pixel on a 'normal' display. So when playing a game at 1200x800 pixel-doubled resolution on a rMBP it will look the same as if you are playing the game at a native 1200x800 screen. Similar is also true for otter scaled resolutions - because the actual pixels are so small, you can scale resolutions more or less arbitrary, the filtering makes sure that it still looks good. You will lose some quality compared to a native display, but only because the retina pixels are still not small enough. As the physical DPI will increase, the whole concept of resolution will become utterly meaningless. If I am not mistaken, the professional standard of photo print is 300ppi, so I guess that the displays have to reach these levels in order to have close to 'perfect' (e.g. indistinguishable to human eye) scaling. Although, in order to approach the fidelity of the real world, we would need much higher pixel density. But before that, the contrast and brightness problems must be fixed. I'd love to have a true high dynamic range monitor :D

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