Resolved Retina Macbook Pro: Is it yet known if it can run Guild Wars 2 with settings maxed?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Libertine Lush, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Libertine Lush, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    EDIT (8/20/2012): I will update, as often as I remember, key information we know about the performance of this game at the top of this post so that new people coming in don't need to go through all the posts.

    - To the point: Yes, it can run Guild Wars 2 with most settings maxed.
    - The GT 650M in the rMBP is overclocked so much by Apple that it is faster than the GTX 660M. The core runs at 900MHz!
    - At 1920x1200 (!) with all settings maxed and enabled (except shadows at medium, reflections at "Terrain & Sky", native sampling), the frame rate is usually above 30 for me. 50+fps in some areas, but that is not the norm. In WvW, with many people and effects on screen, it's usually in the low 20s; if you lower shadows or shaders you can probably bring it back up to the 30s--I haven't tried. This is all on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
    - One person reports significant improvement in performance with the latest 306.02 drivers--getting steady 40-60 fps and never dropping below 30fps in WvW with 100+ people. Two have seen no difference with these drivers--I am one of them.
    - Arena Net is not done optimizing the game.
    - There was talk at the Guild Wars 2 Guru forum of a dev. driver in the works at Nvidia that will bring further performance improvements specific to Guild Wars 2.

    Hey everyone,

    Concerning Guild Wars 2 in Bootcamp:

    1) Does anyone know if the Retina Macbook Pro (whichever i7 CPU you choose) will be able to play Guild Wars 2 with settings fully maxed/enabled at 30+fps in even the most hectic scenarios (i.e., World PvP with 50+ people on screen), at any of it's available resolutions?

    This (Guild Wars 2 on Macbook Pro Retina - YouTube) is the only video I've seen showing Guild Wars 2 on the rMBP. However, FRAPS isn't on (though the poster says it runs 40-60fps at 1920x1200, with only some settings on high, some medium, one ultra), and most importantly, none of the footage is in big scale combat.

    2) In the absence of definitive videos or forum posts (here and elsewhere) on this matter, I've also just looked at the performance of the GT 650m card in other games, with settings maxed. I found this site's data possibly quite helpful/predictive: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M - Tech

    I don't follow gaming much anymore, but from the list of games on that site's list, I'm guessing Skyrim and Battlefield 3 would be the most, or amongst the most, demanding. It shows that with the 650m--with settings maxed and resolution unspecified--that Skyrim and Battlefield are not very playable and not at all playable, respectively. If Guild Wars is close to Skyrim/Battlefield, then perhaps the Retina MBP won't fare so well with settings maxed. But if it's graphical demand and consequent performance is closer to other 2012 games on that list, like Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and Mass Effect 3, then perhaps all will be well.

    So where does Guild Wars 2 stand graphically compared to the games on that list?

    3) I presume the difference between the i7 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 2.7GHz isn't anything meaningful to game performance? At most a few frames per second difference?

    4) Can Guild Wars 2 be played at an effective 1400x900 resolution (like the 1400x900 on every other non-HDPI screen, not the quadrupled pixel version of 1400x900 on the Retina) even though it's not one of the available scaled resolutions in OSX?

    Welcome your thoughts, predictions on this.
  2. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I just read that the Guild Wars 2 Beta versions everyone's played so far hasn't been optimized much at all ( One person running a rig with a CPU at 5GHz and a GTX 680 (2nd most powerful consumer card on the market, I believe) said the game hasn't even utilized 50% of the CPU and GPU for him. So for now, there's good reason to believe that the smooth seeming 1920x1200 footage in the above vid will be improved upon...
  3. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    1) No, most likely not. The 650M isn't that impressive of a GPU and GW2 should be at minimum as GPU hungry as D3, if not easily more. Large battles like that always put an intense strain on the GPU and a rMPB or 2012 MBP won't be able to handle that on full settings/resolution.

    4) Probably significantly better chance at something like 1440x900 at max settings and more fluid FPS. Also it's not going to be an OS X game, so you're going to need to run VM/Parallels/Bootcamp.
  4. Ov3rlord Falc0r macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2009
    I wouldn't worry too much. I would imagine the 650m will play the game well, even if that means you have to lower the settings a bit. The original Guild Wars game which I played happily for three years used a graphics engine that was custom built to run on low and high end rigs alike. The GW2 engine is a heavily modified version of that same engine and they've even said that they're trying to make it run on less powerful systems similar to GW1.
  5. Libertine Lush, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Yea, from some googling, seems to be regarded as mid-range compared to other 2012 mobile GPUs. However, I just noticed this today: it may be just a bit more than mid-range ( It is, surprisingly, overclocked to where it might outperform the GTX 660m, which NBC considers upper midrange (

    Can't wait to hear what beta players might have to share about performance with the supposedly optimized beta weekend in 5 days...
  6. Dr Man macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    I am pritty sure...

    I am sure it can run on it maxed on 1920 x 1200 because when she was videoing in the descriptions, she said that she was using a 32 bit copy of windows and they are generally much worse so only 4gb of the 8 gb ram was used and your computer reading and writing speed are slower so generally everything is slower especially the ram. It will also depend on your specs. I gues the 2.6 ghz RMBP should be atleast 5 fps better ( I found this out on other games ) Also, BF3 is much more action based so that will be way more demanding than GW2 and the RMBP on 1920 x 1200 got atleast 30 fps on Ultra... so I am pritty sure it will have no problem with maxing out Guild wars 2... the proof is there. Hope that solves your question.
  7. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Good point. Somehow I overlooked that she was running it in 32bit. Didn't know that it would also have an affect on RAM performance.

    Thanks for sharing that. 5 fps certainly isn't enough reason alone for me to choose the 2.6GHz instead, though I can imagine if a game were running barely at 30fps, having that extra 5 is a really nice buffer against occasional choppiness.

    So the Guild Wars 2 latest beta starts today. Hopefully somehow might be able to chime in on the rMBP's performance in this latest build. Checked a couple threads in a GW2 forum and the responses are varied about any performance improvements, and certainly none were rMBP users.
  8. topscorer17, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    topscorer17 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    I have just tested this out this morning, and I can run gw2 on bootcamp at the notch just beside ultra with anti aliasing turned off at a steady 30+ fps ( asura start zone) at 1900x1200. The game looks amazing. However full retina resolution requires me to lower the settings quite a bit.

    Running the base line 2.3/8/256 model
  9. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Thanks a lot for sharing that. If you don't mind a few questions:

    When you say "at the notch just beside ultra," do you mean "high"? So you achieved 30+fps with everything set at high? And "high" presumably is the second highest seconding?

    Do you also have all other things enabled to its max setting, like Reflections, Depth of Field, Animation and High Res Character Textures?

    If you have a chance, could you share the FPS in high activity scenarios (lots of ppl, effects, etc)?

    Finally, can you choose 1400x900 or 1650x1080 in the resolution drop-down menu? While I'd prefer to play at 1920x1200, if I can't play with settings fully maxed/enabled at 30+fps in even the busiest scenarios, I'd be okay with those 2 resolutions.
  10. topscorer17 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    Yes would be high settings. I just recently tried all settings on ultra besides shadows set at medium and AA off. ( not needed with such a high res screen) and I am above 30 fps in all locations I have encountered playing my asura or an hour and a half. These were highly populated because I got in after waiting in the "overflow". Hi res character models are on, and you can drop your resolution to the ones you mentioned, but I find the game looks a bit "fuzzy" or "blurred". This may only be because the game is not optimized for retina screens yet (hoping it will be). I hope I answered your questions, but if you or anyone else has anything they would like to ask I will do my best to answer any questions as quickly as I can.

    I apologize for the long post, hope it helps.
  11. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Wow! That's really exciting to hear.

    You mean 1400x900 and 1650x1080 looks fuzzier than 1920x1800? That's kind of unexpected, since they're all scaled resolutions anyways, so 1400x900, based on what little I've read about scaling and integer-some-techie-word, would seem to be the non-native resolution that would look the best. Or maybe I'm too much of a layman to understand what I've read at Anandtech.

    Don't wanna burden you with too many questions, but should you find the time, would love to know how the FPS is in World vs. World.

    Not at all. The more the better. And your info definitely helps a good deal. I've already decided to get a rMBP base model, but it's still great to know in advance what I can expect (excitement or disappointment), and your shared experience is really giving me something to be excited about. Thank you!
  12. topscorer17 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    I just checked the resolutions again after hearing that. 1650x1080 does indeed look blurred but 1400 x 900 isn't even there, though I thought I had seen it. I will try world vs world after work and let you know as soon as I can.
  13. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Oh, yikes. Is the 1650x1080 blur quite obvious--bad enough that even if you can max out everything, it would still look better at 1920x1200 with some things not maxed?

    So it seems like rMBP Guild Wars players will only have one resolution, 1920x1200, to reasonably go with.

    Thanks! Take your time.
  14. Anician macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2007
    Looking forward to how this works! Make sure you test the FPS in those large-scale zerg WvW battles. Planning to get a 2012 non-Retina MBP but worried it might not handle WvW well!
  15. arashb macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2009
    Isn't that a very awkward resolution? Why not 1680x1050? Or did you mix the two up?

    The reason why I'm asking is that 1650x1050 is the 16:10 ratio our screens are made to display, maybe that's why it is slightly blurred?
  16. topscorer17 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    I personally find that the game doesn't look very nice on a 1650 x 1080 resolution. Maybe I'm just to picky, but I'd rather run it on higher res with a little less detail. I tried world vs world, and I am getting the same Frame rates, but I have not encountered a huge battle yet. I assume that if anyone is playing from an external monitor that the game will run smooth on Maxed settings, but I don't have the adapter to test it out myself.
  17. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    Add it as a custom resolution in your Nvidia control panel.

    P.S. It's 1440x900.
  18. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Even so, that sounds very hopeful. Based on what you've shared so far, seems like it wouldn't be a stretch to say that you may still be able to play huge WvW battles at 1920x1200, at worst with just a couple more settings lowered.

    Thanks for the insights.

    I haven't used Windows in a couple years. So with the Nvidia app, you can force whatever resolution you desire even if the game doesn't make it originally available?
  19. PunktPunktPunkt, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    PunktPunktPunkt macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    Hey there.

    I got my rMBP just in time for the Stress Test ~3 weeks ago and played 40 hours during the recent 3. BWE.

    Of course the first thing I tried was running the game at the full 2880x1800 resolution - just to see if the game supported that. You already know the outcome of that experiment, so I'll just say: I, too did not find it playable.

    For the actual gaming I connected my 24" 1920x1080 display via the HDMI port and deactivated the display of the MBP to reduce the strain for the GPU.
    The important part: I was delighted with the performance! Had the settings at a mix between High and Ultra (the game most ceratinly still is playable at Ultra, it just doesn't feel smooth enough to warrant the few extra textures) and the game ran buttery smooth, even during the final event, when ~100 guys ran around the screen and particle effects went off everywhere. Not the slightest dip in performance.
    Another note: I used the "Find best settings for my system" button and am pretty sure it selected the second highest available setting for me.

    Now during the BWE last weekend the situation had changed. The game started with what I assume to be the same settings I chose last time and there was a noticeable "choppiness" when panning the camera. I adjusted the setting to the medium option and it didn't change much.
    Only on second lowest (out of 5 by the way) setting did I find it comfortably playable. The "Find best settings for my system" button apparently agreed with me and suggested the same - a pretty drastic difference to last time. (On the other hand the fps were constant throughout the whole game, in the main cities just as much as in big WvW battles)

    I have no idea what caused that drop in performance. I didn't have anything else running in the background, i didn't change any system settings since the stress test and Crysis still runs at wonderfully smooth 60fps.
    I am pretty confident I never reached those 60fps in Guild Wars 2, not even with the lowest available settings - I did not try to change the resolution however, so maybe that will make a difference.

    Of course, ArenaNet is still hard at work at optimizing the game, but a thorough look at different forums showed, that pretty much everyone else's perfomance improved by quite a bit. My research is actually what brought me here.

    A last word: Stupidly I never ran fraps to check if my subjective feelings about fps were actual facts. But after all, if you don't plan on playing competitive sPvP you probably won't notice it as much as I did.
    I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the experience will improve again for release.
  20. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Thanks for sharing.

    Did you have a chance to also test it using the rMBP's screen?

    And does Bootcamp now include the drivers for the GT 650M? Believe I saw some threads about it being absent initially or not updated. And some other threads where people said they've had to use modded drivers from a site called LaptopVideo2Go, which is certainly not something I understand.
  21. PunktPunktPunkt, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    PunktPunktPunkt macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    Only during the stress test. Performance-wise there was not any noticeable difference (at the same resolution of 1920x1080). But again I don't have any numbers to back that up. I really hope they'll do a final stress test before release, so I can run some detailed tests.

    The drivers are perfectly fine - I didn't mess with those at all and everything seems to work perfectly, including the NVIDIA Preference Center thingie.
    I found this interesting thread on reddit regarding performance issues with NVIDIA cards ( and tried to install the linked driver. But although the 650M is listed as supported it won't install, because "There is something wrong with your system configuration" or something.
  22. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Wow, how serendipitous you're posting about that, cause just yesterday, I came across another thread where a rMBP user was suggested that same 304.79 Beta driver to resolve an issue with Diablo 3 and got the same error message. It was there that someone suggested the LaptopVideo2Go site I mentioned above, and by installing a modded INF thing, it improved his game performance. You can see my confusion about modded drivers and all in the last post:

    So perhaps that driver along with the modded INF would have us Guild Wars 2 players eek out even more impressive performance.
  23. mattdo93 macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2010
    Sorry if I'm hi-jacking the thread, but I have the same question as the OP, except that instead of the Retina Macbook Pro, I have the normal one. Therefore, my max resolution is 1440 x 900. Will Guild Wars 2 run smoothly if I set it to high or maybe even medium?
  24. PunktPunktPunkt, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    PunktPunktPunkt macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    Thanks for that link! Yesterday I decided to try if those drivers do make a difference for me and since testing it on Guild Wars 2 is unfortunately not possible, I fired up Diablo 3 again.

    I do remember that "your driver is outdated" message it posted when I started it for the first time - at that point I just decided to ignore that though and it ran beautifully still.

    To compare the old- with the beta driver I made a new character, set all graphics options to max and the resolution to 2880x1800. I got 23-25fps.

    After the installation of the beta driver, using the modded inf as described on their website and rebooting I visited the same area again and got 23-29fps with the same settings. So there clearly wasn't a big performance gain for me there and I am still convinced, that for Guild Wars 2 to run smoothly (again), it is a question of optimization done by ArenaNet until Release. And I am sure they'll figure that out.

    I wouldn't worry about that. After all the minimum requirement for running GW2 is having a Intel Graphics HD 3000 - your Mac Book Pro is blessed with the considerably more powerful successor Intel HD 4000. And on top of that you have got the NVIDIA GT 650M, which again is way more powerful than the Intel HD 4000. Combined with a low resolution such as 1440x900 you will probably be running GW2 at High-Ultra settings.
  25. Libertine Lush, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Darn! Well, hopefully the beta drivers will behave differently in GW2.

    How did you figure out which INF to choose for the 650M (presumably for Win 7 64bit)? The INF and driver links that someone in that thread provides ( are for, going by the file name in the links, for Win 8 64 bit.

    And in one of the LaptopVideo2Go's FAQ instructing how to find the INF for your GPU (, I don't see our GeForce GT 650M listed. Only a "NVIDIA GeForce 7190M / nForce 650M" under the "Laptop-based GO cards" scrollable list and under...

    In general which series you should use with your card is;
    GeForce 8xxx cards - 160 and up.
    GeForce 7xxx cards - 80 and up.
    GeForce 6xxx cards - 70 and up.
    GeForce FX (5xxx) cards - 70 and up.
    GeForce 4xxx cards - 60 and up.
    GeForce 3 cards - 60 and up.
    GeForce 2 cards - 60 and up.
    Quadro cards - 80 and up.

    ...Our Geforce 6xx series isn't listed.

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