Retina Coming to Mac - Gaming Implications

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by 0neder, May 15, 2012.

  1. 0neder macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2012
    I'm curious what your thoughts are on the performance implications of the retina display coming to Mac. Since resolution is going WAY up, won't performance suffer for recent games and 3D applications? I'm thinking CS:GO, SC2 Legacy of the Void, and future 3D CAD and Rendering software. Isn't this overkill?

    Or is the NVidia 650M just that good?
  2. Frozzie macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Well, graphic card improvement won't be 4x to current chips, so resolution will be fixed.

    which means you are going to have to play games at same resolution, but with 1/4 size of screen.

    1280*800 on current MBPs = 13 inch game window screen size
    Playing at 1280*800 on 2560*1600 = 6.5 inch game window screen size

    This isn't the new iPad we are talking about where graphic performance jumped massively.
  3. antonis macrumors 68000


    Jun 10, 2011
    Although 4x pixels doesn't mean that the machine will need 4x gpu power (it doesn't work like that) still, working under retina display will surely need a much better gpu.

    In any case, I believe Apple will start investing on graphics power more and more in the near future.
  4. 0neder thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2012
    I wonder if there's a way for it to downscale resolution without slowing things down at all (EG keep same screen size)?
  5. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    just like now, you can run your screen at a smaller resolution than its made for. The higher the resolution, the smaller the pixels are, and the harder it is to notice that its not running the native res. It should look fine if you say run your game at 1280x800 instead of a super huge resolution.... it'll still fill the whole screen.
  6. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    You won't be able to play on native resolution, however you will still be able to play on higher resolutions that you can on the current machines. Basically the graphics cards cannot support modern games at retina resolutions even the even the over clocked Nvidia 590 graphics card we have in a PC Gaming rig in the office could run Deus Ex at the resolution a retina 27" would be at!

    Bottom line games will still run and will still look great just the habit of setting your resolution to Max without thinking will have to change :)

    You are correct but only to a point, the 27" iMac with a Retina display is so huge no available graphics card will be able to drive AAA games on max settings. It might not need exactly 4 times the power but it will mean that the resolution is larger than the graphics card can handle. Also you cannot fit a top of the line GFX card in an iMac or MacBookPro due to the heat and power restrictions.

    Yes, that is exactly what the resolution option does in full screen games.

    Exactly doh123 that is how it would work. I don't know if the entire line will go retina though the cost seems a little high to me as you would need to update the screens and the graphics cards to more expensive parts which would drive up the Mac costs.

    Only a guess though.

  7. mike2100 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    So for a person that is currently shopping the iMac to use as a gaming system (about 50% of its intended use) there's no reason not to wait a few weeks and buy the updated version?
  8. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Yes. You will be able to select a non-retina resolution that won't kill your FPS.
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Totally pointless!

    This is the ultimately the problem with the 27" iMac. I play most of my games (under Bootcamp) at native res and max settings. At that resolution things start to go a bit funny.

    Textures become blurry, yet things in the distance are totally sharp (unless there's a DOF effect). Modern games aren't built to support such high resolutions. Pushing that even further? That's daft!

    (of course this only applies to 3D games)

    I've also never seen a pixel on my 27". It's a huge display, you don't sit right up to it. This retina push seems a bit silly on already high res, large displays, for now.

    Implications for gaming? Unless they put in a powerful enough card you won't be running games at native res. That's not a big deal to me, but it is to people on this site (from previous discussions).
  10. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    If the iPad is anything to go along with, it seems that a retina display makes sure lower res looks good!
    "iPhone App x2" on the 3rd gen iPad look good. ;)
  11. Frozzie macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Problem is if you are stretching a lower res into a higher resolution, pixellation problems are bigger. Ideally you want to play at native resolution with 1:1 pixel matching, but even with Haswell chips the increment in performance increase will not be sufficient.

    I would rather play a game at lower res on lower res screen without any pixellation than a lower res on retina with pixellation on full screen. It just looks so ugly really distracting from playing games.
  12. Json81 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2012
    1:4 is not really a problem.
    Say that you have the rumored 2880x1800 on the new MBP 15".
    Playing a game at 1440x900 will be pixelmatched, the screen will show 4 identical pixels instead of the 1 pixel that the GPU has to render.

    So not a big issue if the rumors about retina are true.
    It's actually way worse with say 1920x1080 because you really don't want to play at 960x540 and any other resolution lower than 1920x1080 will look bad because the pixels aren't matched.
  13. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    AS above. For gaming you could just run the game in the "non-retina" resolution that is half in both directions if performance is inadequate by pixel/scanline doubling.

    For fast moving stuff like games, you won't even notice (hell, a trick used by gran turismo on the PS3 is to render stuff further away from you at lower detail and unless you're looking for the effect it is pretty hard to notice. rendering stuff at low resolution to gain speed is an old-school PC demo coding trick as well).

    Retina is of WAY more benefit for legibility of text, etc.

    Just because you have a retina display, it doesn't mean you need to run everything in retina high-resolution.
  14. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    With a few (very rare) exceptions it's always better to buy the newer Mac. In this case I would wait and check out the new iMacs first but the current ones are hardly slow :)
  15. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Is playing a low resolution an actual problem? On modern displays it doesn't just magically erasing or doubling some lines. It blurs them. Someone mentioned you don't notice this on fast games... as a gamer of low-end computers for years (until last years new high-end iMac) I never noticed it unless I was playing a half the resolution.

    I run some games at 1920x1080 on my 2560x1440 iMac, one of my games I made maxes out at 1080p. Does they look bad for it? Nope. Not in the slightest.

    Audiophiles are one thing. With good equipment most ears will hear the difference.
    You'd need laser guided eagle vision to spot differences in minor resolution shifts.
  16. Miharu macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2007
    I really don't want a retina display on iMacs... Playing on max resolution on my 27" iMac is already a challenge due to weak graphics cards, and dropping the resolution makes the game look blurry since the iMac screen is right in front of your face. Dropping the resolution to 1080p is the lowest I can go and even then going from full screen back to the desktop takes a while for the eyes to adjust.

    I don't see a difference if a console game is in 720p or 1080p since you sit further away from the TV but try to play a game with 720p on an iMac sitting close to it and damn, it hurts.

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