Retina or not (Gamer/Developer)

JamerTheProgram

macrumors member
Original poster
Hello!
I am a trainee programmer aspiring to make a game. Having made a few buggy prototype games I have a long way to go before I get good at it, but I have been wondering wether or not to opt in for a retina display MBP... I am a bit of a gamer. I play MC and the occasional game of Skyrim. I would LOVE to get a retina MBP... Could you imagine how much screen real estate I would get during development??? Oh wow....
But then I would worry that it would take away a large amount of performance during gaming.... Like for example on BF3 it only plays at 30fps.

Any ideas?
 

charlieegan3

macrumors 68020
Feb 16, 2012
2,395
14
U.K
Do you know that you run the rMBP at scaled resolutions, not normally at native because then you couldn't read the text. (or find it hard, certainly not for long coding sessions, eye strain etc)

Also you can game at lower/standard resolutions to get very good performance, just acts like a std resolution screen then.

I love my rMBP but when gaming the fans really kick in and might not be the best choice for a heavy gamer.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
Hello!
I am a trainee programmer aspiring to make a game. Having made a few buggy prototype games I have a long way to go before I get good at it, but I have been wondering wether or not to opt in for a retina display MBP... I am a bit of a gamer. I play MC and the occasional game of Skyrim. I would LOVE to get a retina MBP... Could you imagine how much screen real estate I would get during development??? Oh wow....
But then I would worry that it would take away a large amount of performance during gaming.... Like for example on BF3 it only plays at 30fps.

Any ideas?
Any serious gamer would not play on a rMBP. The high-resolution Retina display combined with the mid-level GPU would make most games suffer at native resolution.

If you are serious about software development while mobile, the rMBP is pretty much the ultimate kit right now.

P.S. Unless you have really good eyesight, the Late-2011 Macbook Pro 17 maybe a better choice for you. It's 1920x1200 on a 17 inch screen. You can find the base-model (MD311LL/A) for around $1400-1500 on eBay nowadays.
 

Lord Appleseed

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2010
683
37
Apple Manor
I have been gaming on my Retina MBP since i got it about one and a half weeks ago.
While 2880x1800 looks insanely crisp and sharp it is mostly to choppy for gaming; 1200p looks very good on the retina display too though...not blurry at all.
The GPU is also surprisingly strong and can handle many modern games quite well on 1920x1200 and High to Max. settings, for Example Skyrim, which is my favorite game.

From my point of view the Retina MBP is well suited for you.
 

joer80

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2012
35
0
I love my rMBP at 1080p. I prefer 1680x1050p on some games. I play mw3, skyrim, and I am a web developer.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,373
4,905
Hello!
I am a trainee programmer aspiring to make a game. Having made a few buggy prototype games I have a long way to go before I get good at it, but I have been wondering wether or not to opt in for a retina display MBP... I am a bit of a gamer. I play MC and the occasional game of Skyrim. I would LOVE to get a retina MBP... Could you imagine how much screen real estate I would get during development??? Oh wow....
But then I would worry that it would take away a large amount of performance during gaming.... Like for example on BF3 it only plays at 30fps.

Any ideas?
You can play pretty much any modern game at 1920x1200 at 30+ fps which would be enough for me, or you can switch down to 1680x1050 or 1440x900 if you want more fps and still get better performance than the equivalent non-retina MBP while enjoying the vibrant IPS screen. In the nutshell: if you want to game on a Apple laptop, the retina is the best pick you can get right now, simply because of factory overclocked GPU, better cooling and IPS screen. But if gaming is your primary concern, then a true gaming laptop or a Windows desktop would surely make you happy.
 

AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,125
938
Any serious gamer would not play on a rMBP. The high-resolution Retina display combined with the mid-level GPU would make most games suffer at native resolution.
Gaming on the RMBP is not an all-or-nothing proposition as the above post makes it sound. You can game at a lower resolution that is comparable to other laptops out there and without a speed penalty. You're not losing anything. The gorgeous Retina display is there for you in every other situation when you want it.
 

mjn298

macrumors regular
Oct 25, 2011
201
0
Palisades, Washington, DC
Oh Minecraft will be fine.

One thing I've noticed (and this is not rMBP specific at all) is that a lot of PC games are now console ports so they shouldn't be particularly demanding on contemporary hardware (even 2 year old hardware.. my desktop has a GTX 460 which is almost 30 months old and it crushes everything). The one problem that sometimes comes up is that the ports aren't well optimized for PC and are subject to endless patches (at the developer's discretion, or enterprising independent programmers if the game has a devoted enough community).

So Skyrim doesn't need a graphics powerhouse to run out of the box - the hi-res texture pack makes it a little more demanding but still doable.

Of course developers like Valve and Blizzard still code with PC/Mac in mind so their stuff tends to be better and will run at a playable level on a much wider range of hardware.

But yeah the rMBP is awesome and if you need a computer now (and you have no pressing needs for a native firewire port or optical drive) get it, if you dont' need one now, wait until the next series when the displays and SSDs get less expensive.
 

geoffreak

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2008
2,193
2
Minecraft is also completely CPU powered as far as I'm aware, so you would get the same performance on the same processor regardless of the graphics chips.
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
Hello!
I am a trainee programmer aspiring to make a game. Having made a few buggy prototype games I have a long way to go before I get good at it, but I have been wondering wether or not to opt in for a retina display MBP... I am a bit of a gamer. I play MC and the occasional game of Skyrim. I would LOVE to get a retina MBP... Could you imagine how much screen real estate I would get during development??? Oh wow....
But then I would worry that it would take away a large amount of performance during gaming.... Like for example on BF3 it only plays at 30fps.

Any ideas?
there is no real increased screen real estate unless you're one of those crazies that set it to native 2880 res where everything is way too small. you're still on a 15" screen regardless of the resolution. i also code and having a second monitor is about 10000000x better than increasing the resolution on a 15" screen.
 

Zeov

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2011
634
113
Odense
Any serious gamer would not play on a rMBP. The high-resolution Retina display combined with the mid-level GPU would make most games suffer at native resolution.

If you are serious about software development while mobile, the rMBP is pretty much the ultimate kit right now.

P.S. Unless you have really good eyesight, the Late-2011 Macbook Pro 17 maybe a better choice for you. It's 1920x1200 on a 17 inch screen. You can find the base-model (MD311LL/A) for around $1400-1500 on eBay nowadays.
Just because the display can do 2880x1880, you're not forced to play with that...
I have the retina and the game at 1920x1200 looks just as good as any other computer with that type of resolution.. Hell even 1680x1050 looks great, and comming from a 2011 "15 (hi-res) i cant see any difference at all.

I only use 1080p gaming if i use fraps, due to black bars on top and bottom.
 

BlazednSleepy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2012
692
181
I'm an aspiring game designer and and use programs like UDK, Maya, Mubox etc. They will work just fine on the rMBP. Besides I'll be hooking it up to an external display for more work space. I'm assuming you would be doing that too. But if not the screen is wonderful and you have good options in terms of scaling within windows.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
Just because the display can do 2880x1880, you're not forced to play with that...
I have the retina and the game at 1920x1200 looks just as good as any other computer with that type of resolution.. Hell even 1680x1050 looks great, and comming from a 2011 "15 (hi-res) i cant see any difference at all.
1920x1200 on a 15" screen or a 17" screen for programming. I know which one I would like to work on.

----------

Gaming on the RMBP is not an all-or-nothing proposition as the above post makes it sound. You can game at a lower resolution that is comparable to other laptops out there and without a speed penalty. You're not losing anything. The gorgeous Retina display is there for you in every other situation when you want it.
When you game on a rMBP, the Apple upsample 2x and then downsample no longer applies. IF you game at non-native resolution, everything will look like blurry vomit.
 

Zeov

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2011
634
113
Odense
1920x1200 on a 15" screen or a 17" screen for programming. I know which one I would like to work on.

----------



When you game on a rMBP, the Apple upsample 2x and then downsample no longer applies. IF you game at non-native resolution, everything will look like blurry vomit.
have you actually tried real world usage ? i have compared the Retina at lower resolutions with laptops with the same resolution, and there is _NO_ difference at all, it looks just as good.


i came from a 2011 hi-res 15" (1680x1050).. and playing on my retina with same resolution and i seriously cannot see a difference, and no i do not have any problem with eyesight... hell i even compared it side-by-side with my friends laptop.. it looks just as good.. it's still a 15" screen with insanely high PPI. If you where to change a 27" 2560x1440 to 1920x1080, then you'd see a performance hit in display due to the larger display, but thats not the case here.
 
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Groovemaster17

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2012
63
38
Retina for almost a month

Hi all. New here and have been using the retina for about three weeks now and I'm really enjoying it for just about everything. I've been playing WoW and Diablo III @ 1920*1080 on "high" and have had no problems. I do a lot of writing and research and all that text has never looked better. When in my office I use a thunderbolt display in addition the notebook's own display and my only complaint is that the MBPr looks better :D

Peace
 

Vulcan

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2008
1,167
0
Pittsburgh, PA
I play Skyrim all the time on my base rMBP and am surprised by how quickly and seamlessly it runs. I can even run it with medium settings via VMWare which really impressed me. Highly recommend it.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
have you actually tried real world usage ? i have compared the Retina at lower resolutions with laptops with the same resolution, and there is _NO_ difference at all, it looks just as good.


i came from a 2011 hi-res 15" (1680x1050).. and playing on my retina with same resolution and i seriously cannot see a difference, and no i do not have any problem with eyesight... hell i even compared it side-by-side with my friends laptop.. it looks just as good.. it's still a 15" screen with insanely high PPI. If you where to change a 27" 2560x1440 to 1920x1080, then you'd see a performance hit in display due to the larger display, but thats not the case here.
I own one. I've tried real world usage gaming. I've sat my friend's 2010 MBP15 next to my Retina, and we both agree, if you do anything that requires precision, you can't use a downsampled Retina.

One very noticeable problem is that thinner text becomes a blurry mess when I run at 1440x900 on the rMBP.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
lol yeah, no SERIOUS gamers EVER play on lower than native resolution :rolleyes:
Name one who does? AFAIK all the Starcraft pros play on 21" monitors at 1680x1050.

There's a good reason for that. You need well-defined pixels to see the shimmering of cloaked DT/observers.
 
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tninety

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2010
244
5
Banned!
Name one who does? AFAIK all the Starcraft pros play on 21" monitors at 1680x1050.

There's a good reason for that. You need well-defined pixels to see the shimmering of cloaked DT/observers.
You don't have to be a pro to be a "SERIOUS gamer." I'm sure there's thousands of hardcore PC gamers who play at a lower than native resolution. Some console gamers even consider themselves SERIOUS gamers and they most often play 720p games on their 1080p TVs (don't give me any PC gamer master race crap either, I don't want to hear it, especially since many people play fighting/FPS games professionally on console anyway). The OP said:

I play MC and the occasional game of Skyrim.
Minecraft runs fine at native resolution and Skyrim looks great at 1920x1200 or 1680x1050 on this screen. Besides, his usage patterns don't sound THAT SERIOUS to me.

A lot of StarCraft pros also play on low, and you can play SC2 on low on the rMBP just fine at 2880x1800 anyway (especially in Boot Camp) at a good frame rate :confused: Besides, what's stopping you from just hooking up your rMBP to a 1680x1050 monitor? You probably want an external keyboard anyway if you're using it for PRO GAMING.

By the way, 16:9 is just simply superior to 16:10 in SC2. 1680x1050 puts a "pro" at a disadvantage compared to 1080p :rolleyes: So I think most pros would prefer 1080p to 1680x1050. In SC there's no reason why you would choose 1680x1050 over 1080p, everything else being equal, especially if your attention to detail is so high that you'd care about display scaling affecting your ability to spot cloaked units. If you REALLY cared about playing SC professionally and you had to use your notebook's built-in display, you wouldn't get an Apple laptop at all.

 
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minnus

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2011
347
0
By the way, 16:9 is just simply superior to 16:10 in SC2. 1680x1050 puts a "pro" at a disadvantage compared to 1080p :rolleyes: So I think most pros would prefer 1080p to 1680x1050. In SC there's no reason why you would choose 1680x1050 over 1080p, everything else being equal, especially if your attention to detail is so high that you'd care about display scaling affecting your ability to spot cloaked units. If you REALLY cared about playing SC professionally and you had to use your notebook's built-in display, you wouldn't get an Apple laptop at all.

Image
Erm, the PROPER 16:9 to 16:10 comparison is 1920x1080 to 1920 by 1200.
 

tninety

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2010
244
5
Banned!
Erm, the PROPER 16:9 to 16:10 comparison is 1920x1080 to 1920 by 1200.
You still get the same FOV in StarCraft 2 whether you're running at 1920x1200 or 1680x1050. Try it. :eek: You do get more pixels at 1920x1200, but I was talking purely aspect ratio.