Retina Macbook Pro (Iris) VS Xbox360/PS4 for games?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by matthughes64, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. matthughes64 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Just wondering if anyone can provide an opinion on whether the Intel Iris (not pro) graphics on the retina MacBooks play modernish games as well as/better than previous gen consoles. I'm not much of a gamer, and all I've ever known is my xbox 360, but it would be nice to know how the iris would compare, as I no longer have a console.

    The reason I ask is because I want to get the next mac mini when it comes out (partly depending on your opinions), which will probably have Iris, if not Iris Pro. I'd love to try out games like Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Bioshock Infinite and maybe some newer CoD games.

    Thanks for all your opinions! :)
  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    There are dozens of videos on Youtube that show off gameplay using the Iris GPU.
  3. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    The mini uses quad-cores, so it will probably have the Iris Pro.
  4. matthughes64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Brilliant! Never realised that, thanks ikrivetko :)
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Apple will most likely continue to offer dual-core and quad-core versions of Haswells on the Minis, so there's probably still Iris and Iris Pro variants of the Mac Mini.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the console games, even the prior generation will still outplay a Mac Mini or rMBP's ability to play games while using the integrated GPU.
  7. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    Previous gen consoles will easily outperform iris/irispro. At the end of the day its still an integrated graphics card and while it is decent at most games, don't expect to play any of the latest titles unless you have the details turned low. And you definitely wont be able to play at retina resolution, for smooth play I think 1440x900 would be your best bet. My experience is with the iris pro, so with the iris you can expect a bit lower performance. dGPU is still the only way to go for gaming, especially at higher resolutions, unless you're playing older titles.

    If you install windows via bootcamp you will have significantly better gaming performance so that can help.
  8. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    It probably depends on what you're expecting. I mean, to do a real one to one comparison we have to remember that games run on a 360/PS3 are at 1280x720 (or lower) and capped to 30fps (and again many can't even sustain that). On top of that they run at low graphics settings.

    I don't have my rMBP anymore (returned due to dead USB port then decided to keep the 2010 for another year), but when I did I spent some time putting the Iris Pro through its paces and my subjective experience was that it could definitely match a 360/PS3 in a fair fight (same resolution, settings, and expectations).

    If you want to compare to the new consoles... it's not a fair fight, the Iris Pro definitely loses there. The PS4 is playing BF4 at 1920x1080@60fps (of course at some unknown, probably relatively low visual quality setting) and I don't think Iris Pro has a chance of keeping up.
  9. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    Even a midrange gaming PC will run circles around the Xbox One/PS4. I used to build them (well, the high-end ones, but midrange are great too for those on a budget). :)
  10. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Actually its running at 1600x900 at 40-50fps on PS4 :) It's also running at the equivalent of the "high" preset on PC.

    Still looks and runs a lot better than on the Xbone though, which is basically 720p@40fps.

    Even if the iris pro lags behind the 750m by 20-30%, it should still outperform all previous gen consoles. The most recent titles like Bioshock Infinite struggle to maintain 30fps at 720p on low/medium settings on PS3/360, yet with the 750m I can max out Infinite with everything but ambient occ at 1920x1200. Averages 40fps or so, but I have it capped to 30 to minimise judder.
  11. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    Maybe this link will help if you want to see how the Iris Pro compares to others (at least in the hierarchy):

    The Xbox 360 and PS3 have something to the equivalent of a 7800/7900 GPU.

    The Xbox One and PS4 have something like 7790 and 7870. Since these systems just came out, it will take a couple years to start seeing their REAL potential... it's like seeing Perfect Dark Zero (XB360) which came out 2005/6 vs Halo 4 which was a couple years ago.
  12. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    The Iris Pro may be powerful but it will never come close in terms of gaming performance to the Xbox 360 or PS3. The memory interface is so limited and gimped that any memory intensive applications such as games will suffer.

    I have the 650M GDDR3 (34GB/s) version and it gets a good 20-30% lower performance than my G46vw with the GDDR5 (90GB/s) version in games yet applications like After Effects, Litecoin mining and so on don't care at all and performance is identical. These kind of apps (not limited to litecoin mining or adobe apps :p) are where an Iris Pro will shine.

    Another reason the Iris Pro, and any integrated GPU for that matter, won't perform well in games is because the GPU has to share the same die as the CPU which is all under 1 TDP. Battlefield 4 for example is heavy CPU and GPU which is going to cause them to fight for power which in turns lowers performance greatly.

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