Retina MBP a true gaming platform

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macguy360, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. macguy360 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #1
    Why is this not mentioned more? This needs to be stickied for others who are considering getting a retina mbp.

    I did some reading and found out that the gt 650m in the retina mbp is actually overclocked to a higher clock speed than the gtx 660m. This makes the retina macbook pro a better option as a gaming laptop than even an asus g75vw.

    For the longest time I was upset that Apple would put a gimped gt 650m graphics card in the most expensive laptop they sell. I bet there are many people who probably feel the same way and is one of the reasons for not purchasing a retina mbp. The only difference between the 650 and 660 is the clock settings so with the overclocked 650 you actually get performance coming closer to the 670m.

    Finding this out and also reading about gaming benchmarks has made me change my mind and consider the retina mbp as a real potential gaming laptop as well as all of the other great uses.

    Here's the links for the performance tests and information on the 650 being overlocked.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review
     
  2. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #2
    Well, I think we already have quite a number of threads on this...

    And apparently, people are more concerned about IR, dead pixels, uneven backlight, slight red/yellow tint, etc... on the screen than about whether their $2200 investment can game.

    From what little I have tried, many older games (like Street Fighter IV) can actually run at smooth 60fps at Retina resolution (2880 x 1800) PLUS antialiasing, so the GPU is nothing to scoff at.

    It's literally many times the performance of my old 2011 MBP 15" (with Radeon HD 6490M GPU), so I'm very happy with the way it works.
     
  3. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #3
    It is a quite capable machine. And if you've got an external monitor for gaming, then you don't even get the performance penalty of the 2880x1800 screen. I rarely use my desktop now
     
  4. macguy360 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #4
    Thank you both. I haven't yet bought the retina macbook pro but I am planning on getting one next week and hearing this information from you is really good to hear.

    I am not worried about issues with the screen such as burn in, ir etc because Apple is the best company when it comes to customer satisfaction and returns. I would rather spend $2200 on a computer from Apple and know that if I have an issue I can take it to an apple store versus spending $1500 for a gaming laptop from Asus or MSI and if there is an issue having to call some guy in India who may or may not help me with my problem and then waiting a couple months and hoping they fix the problem.
     
  5. MXChick23 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #5
    I have tried WOW, Diablo3 and Guild Wars 2 on mine (all in BC) just to see how they perform. All were easily playable... Not as smooth as my Alienware desktop, but not "unplayable" by any means. Only thing I noticed is I need to use a lap desk with a built in cooling fan. If not the rMBP gets very hot. Hopefully this does not make the rMBP fail at a faster rate.
     
  6. macguy360 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #6
    I read a gaming performance test where they ran the retina macbook pro gaming using windows and the performance actually beat out other gaming laptops with only an MSI with a 670m doing better. Mind you that they were conducting the tests at 1080p because the other gaming laptops weren't capable of retina resolution. So at 1080p the retina mbp outperforms other gaming laptops.

    They also conducted heat performance tests over the course of 20 minutes of gaming and found that the retina macbook pro actually stays cooler than the 2011 macbook pro after gaming for 20 minutes. This means you don't need to worry about your retina mbp overheating. Also the retina mbp would throttle itself before overheating which the 2011 mbp does.
     
  7. imperialnavy macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #7
    It gets even more interesting if you overclock the 650m to 1200/1600 ;)
    These kinds of clocks even beat the 670m. I am wondering if its possible to reach the levels of a 675m..


    Does anyone know by the way how the rMBP performs when you play Skyrim on ultra settings with 1080p resolution and some ENB mod?
     
  8. Dyno-Mike, Sep 8, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012

    Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    United Kingdom
    #8
    Ive been doing my own heat and performance experiments with turbo boost disabled and the results are very suprising. If anyones interested read post 15 here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1435088

    By using lubbos to control fan speed and disabling turbo on the cpu you get a massive difference in temperatures and lose only 1 or 2 fps.

    The link above shows the fps for skyrim at 1920x1200 at ultra but without the ENB mod or AA.
     
  9. macguy360 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #9
    Will using lubbos and disabling tb make my warranty invalid?
     
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #10
    It is certainly a capable machine in terms of the GPU.
     
  11. imperialnavy macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #11
    Well what i know already is, that it seems to be quite fluid at that resolution with and without AA.
    The ENB mod usually eats up a lot of performance though, so i would like to hear from someone about that. :)

    (Another off topic question : If you set the game resolution to 1440X900, how does it compare to the 1440X900 of the cMBP? Worse? Better? Same?)
     
  12. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    United Kingdom
    #12
    Providing they are using the same CPU then I believe it would be better because the rMBP is using an overclocked gpu.

    Ive just changed my res to 1440x900 but its limited to 60fps so need to find a way to remove the fps limit in skyrim to find out would the true fps are...

    Of course not
     
  13. imperialnavy macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #13
    I am sorry, i formulated my question the wrong way. What i meant is, how does it compare in terms of display quality? :)
     
  14. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    United Kingdom
    #14
    The display quality at 1440x900 would be better on the cMBP than the rMBP because that is its native resolution.

    My wife has got a windows laptop with a 1440x900 display and there is a vast difference between that and the rMBP bootcamp at 1440x900. Hers looks clear and the retina looks smudged and fuzzy as to be expected.

    Ill install skyrim on hers later and compare the 2 side by side at 1440x900 (I know hers is not a cMBP but its the best i can do - lol)
     
  15. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #15
    45 - 60fps at 1920 x 1200 on all Ultra with ENB.

    24 - 30fps at 2880 x 1800 on all Ultra with ENB.

    And yeah, you can play Skyrim at that uber resolution... it looks superbly sharp and insanely satisfying. Low framerate actually doesn't detract from the gaming experience much if you play in 3rd-person most of the time.

    At 2880 x 1800, it seems VRAM is the limiting factor. The GPU looks like it can still push on.
     
  16. MagicThief83 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    I've been holding out for the iMac refresh, because of the screen size and possibly better GPU options, but posts like this make it seem that getting the rMBP would be better a choice because of the retina screen and possibility of great gaming performance (not that I would game at the retina resolution). I expect the new iMacs to come with the GTX cards (i.e, 660m, 670, and 680m) with a minimum of 2GB VRAM each. What are some of the games you guys are playing, and what FPS are you averaging?

    ----------

    I have a good external monitor, maybe I should just couple that with the rMBP and that'll be my desktop replacement?
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    Guild Wars 2 with almost all settings Ultra plays at around 40-45fps on 1920x1200 (although it can drop in heavy WvW situations).

    The rMBP is a decent gaming machine for an average gamer. Most importantly, it can game without sacrificing the form factor or battery life (which gaming laptops are infamous for). Better put, the rMBP is a ultra-mobile workstation which is also above average as a gaming platform (it is also above average as far its price goes of course ^^).
     
  18. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #18
    I don't game much these days since I'm on some projects, but last I tried...

    Super Street Fighter IV - 2880 x 1800 8xAA 16xAF max every setting: 60fps
    Devil May Cry 4 - 2880 x 1800 8xAA Max Settings: 60fps
    The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim - 2880 x 1800 Ultra settings w/ ENB: 24 - 30fps
    Max Payne 3 - 1920 x 1200 Max settings: 30 - 40fps
    Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 - 2880 x 1800 Max settings: 30 - 40fps
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 - 1920 x 1200 Max (limited by game) settings: - 60fps
    Alice Darkness Returns - 2880 x 1800 Max settings: 24 - 30fps


    Not sure about you, but in Bootcamp, battery life can go poof in as low as 45 minutes. The most I could get in Bootcamp was 3.5 hours of usage. It's only under OS X (luckily I'm mostly in OS X) that I get 8 hours of usage.
     
  19. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    United Kingdom
    #19
    Im playing witcher 2 at the moment but having trouble keeping the framerate at decent levels. Im only averaging 20-30fps at 1680x1050 in certain areas without SSAO, I want SSAO but i need to drop the res to 1440x900 to be playable but it looks like crap at that res.

    Any performance boosting tips guys?
     
  20. BB.King macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    London UK
    #20
    For gaming, the 650m surfers from two problems. 1st, the overclocked chip does not reach the maximum frequency for me. The 650m in my retina only reach 2,000MHz memory speed instead of the 2,500MHz. 2nd, Apple only give the 650m 1GB video ram, a 2GB should been standard or at lest an upgrade option.

    Bottom line is Apple cheeped out as they always does by offering the bare minimum specs, to maximize profit and get more people to upgrade sooner down the line.
     
  21. MXChick23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #21
    I am running my machine with no modifications except installing the games... Playing GW2 this morning in BC I got about 2 hours on the battery. Typically though, I just play with the power cord...
     
  22. macguy360 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #22
    I don't know. I feel like if they were really trying to get people to upgrade early they would have just used a stock 650m instead of overclocking it.

    You might be right about the 1gb video ram not being enough though.
     
  23. imperialnavy macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #23
    Do you get these speeds when you overclock it or when you use it at stock?
    I am more and more impressed by this and i am looking forward to my retina´s arrival!! :D
     
  24. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    it runs games wonderfully! I've even been plugging into my TV with the HDMI cable and gaming that way. It's incredibly fast!
     
  25. imperialnavy macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #25
    Which overclocking program do you use? MSI Afterburner? You could try to use Nvidia Inspector for better results..
     

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