Retina Gaming

SimianSquared

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 8, 2012
17
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Lets keep a list of known Retina supported games* (as currently not all are!), please let me know if you find one :)

Retina-ready games:
- Diablo III
- Portal II (can someone verify if all Source games are the same?)


Perhaps this would be a good place to put discussion and troubleshooting relating to running games in this resolution (perhaps hacks to enable the resolution option?)

*games that support the resolution under windows and have assets suitable for it (i.e some HUD elements in current games are currently blurry!
 
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0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
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I've been playing games around that res for a year now on my 27" iMac ;)

And honestly, even with AA off you don't see pixels even though the DPI isn't as high.

But if this means we finally get higher resolution textures in games then I'm all for it. It's annoying having such a huge resolution and screen, yet textures, even on the latest games are so tiny.
 

SimianSquared

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 8, 2012
17
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I've been playing games around that res for a year now on my 27" iMac ;)

And honestly, even with AA off you don't see pixels even though the DPI isn't as high.

But if this means we finally get higher resolution textures in games then I'm all for it. It's annoying having such a huge resolution and screen, yet textures, even on the latest games are so tiny.
You're right, you know it proves how great apple's marketing is- it hadn't occured to me that it's only high res relative to size, we've had 30"ers for ages, granted I rarely use them- I live in a portable world :)

I think this thread should still stay open for keeping track of what games support retina and discussion of issues or praise in relation to gaming :)
 

0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
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Yeah, there is way too much marketing hype around this. I watched the keynote but I still don't know what a "retina game" will entail. Will it mean higher res textures? More or less AA? Higher than usual AF? Will these benefits make it to the 27"?

I mean I don't always sit right infront of my 27", if I'm playing a game with a controller I'll sit back, and hope the game I'm using has some kind of UI scaling. I assume that Retina games will have larger UI's and therefore benefit 27" iMac users.
 

doh123

macrumors 65816
Dec 28, 2009
1,304
1
I love the machine.. the size what is in it and everything... its awesome, but the retina display? well its cool, but i'd been just as happy with a standard 1920x1200 screen.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,551
Yeah, there is way too much marketing hype around this. I watched the keynote but I still don't know what a "retina game" will entail. Will it mean higher res textures? More or less AA? Higher than usual AF? Will these benefits make it to the 27"?
It's just like the iPhone. When the iPhone 4 debuted, the real estate remained the same, but you had 4x the number of pixels, making everything crisper.

It'll mean in-game AA is unnecessary, because the pixel density will do your AA for you.

Apple might choose to add a HiDPI mode to the iMac 27, in which case your real estate would be halved but the detail would be 4x greater (there's a way to enable this in Lion if you want to see what it looks like). Apps and games would have to be updated to take advantage of it, though.
 

SimianSquared

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 8, 2012
17
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indeed, the savings from dropping AA mean you can throw more into post processing for example.
 

antonis

macrumors 68020
Jun 10, 2011
2,085
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Retina is a relative term (relative to the device that is) which means that the ppi is too high that is not allowing to the human eye to catch the pixel information on screen, when viewed from the normal distance that each device is supposed to be worked at. This results to even the smallest part of info (for example, a small icon, a letter etc) to be displayed totally smoothed, like it is not made from pixels.

Having passed from iPad 2 to the new iPad (non-retina to retina) all I can say is that if you put those 2 devices side by side, then the differences are too obvious to miss and retina wins hands down any other display.

Still, in the gaming context, this would require much more gpu power hence it makes be a bit sceptical about it. I mean, laptop gaming performance is already a challenge, without the insanely increased resolution.
 
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nilka

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2008
53
0
Well to be honest, there are already mobile GPUs pushing more or less that kind of resolution. The big problem is that none of them is in the new macbook pro.
The iMac have a mobile GPU, the amd 6970. It is quite good and push both diablo 3 and wow at the same time with quite decent performance. D3 in full 2560x1440 and then WOW on my secondary monitor at 1920x1200. I also have my desktop up on my third screen at 1920x1080.
When we only look at the two games running it is 6 Megapixles as opposed to the 5.1 of the macbook pro. It is also running 2 different games which is quite a lot more taxing for a gpu, when you then add my third screen its getting quite impressive. I am not saying I run the games perfect. But they are quite playable, and its not like I have the settings on low.
The new generation with 7970 and 680m is way more powerfull and should handle it with quite ease.

The problem however is that apple has gone for the 650m which is not even close in performance to the 6970 in the iMac. And this was the dealbreaker for me, I really wanted the retina MBP, but with that Graphics card it is close to useless for me as I do a lot of gaming.
 

0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
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I wouldn't call 40% less pixels "around that".
Wow yeah, the raw X and Y resolutions aren't too distant, yet it really is 40% more.

Which brings up the issue of performance. I have the 6790 card in my iMac and it just about runs all modern games at native res, high settings for 30-60fps. I couldn't imagine a weaker graphics card trying to push a higher resolution.
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
Wow yeah, the raw X and Y resolutions aren't too distant, yet it really is 40% more.

Which brings up the issue of performance. I have the 6790 card in my iMac and it just about runs all modern games at native res, high settings for 30-60fps. I couldn't imagine a weaker graphics card trying to push a higher resolution.
You could say the 15" has 40% more pixels than the 27", you could also say the 27" has 70% of the pixels of the retina display and both would be correct. Isn't maths fun!

Anyway back on topic trying to run modern games at that resolution with 1GB of VRAM and a mobile card will likely not give great results especially if you have other effects turn up to max.

If people want HD textures for Retina displays then you likely need more VRAM. 1GB of VRAM for a display (30/40% bigger than the 27" iMac) is going to be too little.

Retina is great but apart from making FSAA redundant in some cases I don't think it will make an impact on the high end games straight away as we will need the card technology to catch up.

Then again I will be able to comment on how Feral games deal with it when the retina MBP arrives at our offices :)

Edwin
 

misterquin

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2010
28
0
"Retina gaming" just a marketing term. Apple would need to include a graphics card larger than their computer to make it a reality. For example- running a game with the current graphics card in the 27" iMac produces 1080p at maybe 30-40fps. Now doubling that resolution is gonna require a graphics card that doesn't exist and wouldn't even fit inside of an iMac or be financially reasonable to include. Retina gaming is something touted by those that don't understand the requirements for such things.
 

Erasmus

macrumors 68030
Jun 22, 2006
2,654
165
Hiding from Omnius in Australia
I should imagine that by "retina gaming" they would be looking to get the game running with the same performance as 1440x900 with 4xAA, but with some simple things, like text, and maybe object edges, rendered properly at full resolution.

Considering Diablo 3 runs at 1920x1200 on an OC'd 6750M with everything maxed, and AA on at ~25-40 fps (Windows 7, obviously), the 650M should be able to fill the Retina screen's pixels (or at least an indistinguishable fake) at well above 50fps with AA off (as it won't be needed).

Textures are a different problem, as far as I know, very few games actually have textures that I would consider sufficient for even normal screens (ME3 and Skyrim, I'm looking at you!). But I don't think changing to a "retina" screen would necessarily require higher textures than a non-retina screen. Just better filtering and post-processing.
 

nonameowns

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2010
151
0
retina gaming only make sense if the game render at half the resolution at max quality without AA.(jaggies would be smooth out due to high pixel density)

native resolution is pointless. you gonna crossfire 7970 radeon cards to handle 60fps max settings on 2560x1600 in battlefield 3. so resolution is expensive to render.
 

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