Settings recommendations?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by InfiniteLoopy, May 22, 2011.

  1. InfiniteLoopy macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2010
    I'm interested in trying Portal 1/2 and a few other games on my MacBook, that has a 9400M and is connected to a 27" screen.

    As I don't know much about settings, can anyone offer any advice regarding what would be ideal in order to get the best experience and fps/resolution?

    I don't really want to, but would playing on XP (Bootcamp) make a big difference?
  2. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    Just keep it on the default settings Valve puts it on. Valve does a really great job of selecting the proper video settings on Mac OS X specifically for your machine to make sure it runs the best it can.

  3. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    The 9400M is pretty weak, and a 27" monitor is high resolution. You could probably get away with running Portal 1 on Medium settings, but forget about Portal 2.

    You'd see a minor boost in bootcamp, but nothing substantial.
  4. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks very much for this info.

    Based on what asdf542 quoted, it seems that Valve have made the effort to make Portal 2 run on the 9400M, however, I'm not sure it that would work with my 27", especially as Cougarcat doesn't seem to think it will.

    Can anyone offer any further advice on such a setup?

  5. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    It will work fine so long as you don't use the native resolution of the 27" display and keep it at what Valve defaults it to.
  6. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2010
    I tried Portal 1 and am getting 14-17 FPS on average when I use the lowest resolution (1280x720) and Valve's settings.
    This results in choppy audio and/or lower FPS in some screens.

    Could I improve on this by disabling some stuff or would you consider the above acceptable?
  7. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Portal is all about the puzzles and narration. By all means turn the settings down to get smoother gameplay. 14-17fps isn't acceptable by any means.

    FWIW I recently played and finished Portal 2 at 1280x720, everything set to low to get a constant 60fps on my 5 year old iMac. It still looked great on a medium sized display.

    And I'd strongly recommend Bootcamp. You get much more than a slight performance boost, especially under new drivers. Even throw in a little overclock.
  8. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2010
    I've tried again with low settings in 720p and can get FPS in the 20s when moving around and it drops to 14-15 when looking in a portal. I get even better FPS in windowed mode but find it distracting.

    To be honest, it seems playable to me as from what I can tell it's not a game where each and every frame gained is vital.

    If Portal 2 plays similar to Portal 1, that seems acceptable to me.

    However, I really don't want to install XP (finding old CD ... going through the pain of installing it, the service packs ...) but may consider it if it would let me play with much higher graphics ...

    What would you all advise? Go through the pain of installing XP or play it natively?
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Definitely go the XP route. Huge performance boost (my iMac would run HL2 at 15fps, whereas the same machine, under XP, ran it at 40-60fps at the exact same settings. But with the added benefit of newer drivers and overclocking) and Portal 2 probably won't run at all given how Portal 1 runs. You're looking at half that frame rate.
  10. asdf542, May 22, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    Make the resolution lower than 1280x720. If you can't go any lower than 1280x720 then first change the aspect ratio then change the resolution.

    I suggest switching it to 16:10, setting the resolution to 1024x640 and having full screen enabled then go up or down from there depending on whether or not you're satisfied with the performance.
  11. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    The idea of playing a game with a 9400m on a 27" monitor makes me sick.

    You'll be able to play it, but, it wont look pretty. Just leave it on default settings I guess.

    And Portal 2, along with being more demanding of graphics than the original Portal, has a lot more sections that require fast movement where you pretty much need at least 35fps. You'll probably end up needing Bootcamp for Portal 2.
  12. Reasec macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    Just play it on your macbook 13,3" screen. Problem solved.

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