Should I buy a Macbook or Macbook Pro? (Games)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by skypirate7, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. skypirate7 macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008
    Hello folks,

    I'm split between the new 13 inch Macbook and the new 15 inch Macbook Pro. It will be primarily for web surfing, playing movies, and I would like to do some gaming-- I can't wait for Starcraft 2. :D I don't need top-notch-maxed-out performance but I would like at least moderate game playing performance. I'd appreciate advice from the experts.

    It was my understanding that laptops with integrated graphics chips couldn't play games and that you'd have to have a graphics card with its own independent memory to meet game performance requirements... but I haven't bought a new computer in ages so I'll concede my knowledge is limited and possibly out-of-date.

    Can the Macbook handle games? Or do I need to bump up to the Macbook Pro?

    Thanks ahead of time folks!
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    the mb is able to now pretty well

    mbp is better but more expensive

    if you really want games, dont get a laptop
  3. shoulin333 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    for any games deff go for the pro.

    the pro graphics card isnt even all that hot, but it will do

    if you get the MB with only the nvidia 9400 you will be fine running games in DX 8 mode and some DX9 stuff like CS source... You can make the games run and look good with the 9400, but you will really be much more happy with the frames per second of the base model MBP
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    If you want to legitimately game and have the cash (not like chess but any decent fps/rts/anything that comes in a box) you will always want the discreet graphics and yes, your comment about the memory is true, representing a huge bottleneck and constraint for the IGP.

    If you'll look at Nvidias website, they classify the 9400 as a multimedia processor, there only to do the minimal required for high definition content (cough itunes) and other low octane stuff. Call of Duty 4 may be able to play but I wouldn't expect you to turn up anything past "low".
  5. Skeva31776 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2008
    I would suggest the MBP also, otherwise u will regret if you get MB

    Getting MBP and Iphone this weekend, money well spent i say :)
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i will say that i can play halo fine on my mb and that has the measly gma950

    is it as good as my 8800gt machine? no but it is very playable

    the 9400 is loads better than the gma950
  7. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    Well PCMag has their benchmarks out and I was quite surprised by them. MacBook pro 49 fps playing Crysis on Medium and the MacBook got 13.

    Link: to review and benchmarks on bottom,2817,2332519,00.asp


    Also, I was in the same predicament as you and I think I will go for the MBP because I play COD4 and TF2 and I want to get some good framerates.
  8. WildElf macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    You'll definitely want the Pro for gaming. Although it's highly unlikely that the MBP will be too outdated for a game only 1 or 2 years away, but it's pretty likely that a better, faster MBP will be out before SCII releases. Will it be fast enough that it's worth the wait? Probably not, but it's impossible to say, so its worth thinking about.

    But if you buy a MB today, there's a very real chance that it won't be up to running SCII at all.
  9. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Hm I'm about to buy a macbook to replace my older macbook for the main reason to play SC2. I think it should run it pretty well as Blizzard games are pretty forgiving in the hardware department, you have put some paranoia in my mind now.
  10. WildElf macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    Well, it will probably be okay, but it's hard to say. You're right, Blizzard tends to shoot low. But I was thinking of some recent games, like Spore which is aimed pretty casual, and was out of reach to MacBooks that were only a year old. Since the new MacBooks and low-end MBP's both have GeForce chips (integrated, but still, GeForce) the chances are much lower you'll hit incompatibility. I'm a little wary about integrated in general, but I don't see GF 9000 series going out of style before SCII is released.

    If the absolutely only reason you're considering an upgrade is SC2, it can't hurt to wait until closer to the release - it's going to be at least a year and knowing Blizzard it could even be two or three. If you have other compelling reasons to upgrade, I wouldn't worry too much about it. But an MBP will be better all around if you want a laptop geared towards gaming.
  11. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    MBPro for games will make games easier to see with a 15" screen.
  12. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    North Korea
  13. skypirate7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice folks.

    The only game that is a "must-play" for me is Starcraft 2. Otherwise I play all my games on my Xbox 360.

    I guess I should go MBP to be safe... or then again, maybe wait until SC2 is closer to release.

    I wish Blizzard would just hurry up and come out with the system requirements already. :confused:
  14. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Starcraft 2 is going to play JUST FINE on the 9400. Blizzard isn't stupid, they make games for people who can run them.
  15. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    The 9400M is slightly faster than the 9300M GS, so yes, it will be able to run all the latest new games (Crysis:WH, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3) but at a low resolution (1024x768) and low settings.

    On the other hand, it'd be able to run all older games well (2006 and earlier), as well as all Source games, and definitely Starcraft 2 & Diablo 3.
  16. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    It sounds like the MacBook is the best choice for you - you've already got the 360 for graphical goodies and the MacBook will be able to play most games (at moderate settings) for awhile yet; keep in mind that games still have to be designed with lots of GMA owners in mind.
  17. Nikki365 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    This is sort of a silly question, but what qualifies as "gaming"? I occasionally play the sims and civ III. I just ordered the upper level mb. I figured if the screen was too small, I could just buy a monitor. I need to be able to carry it long distances so that was somewhat of a factor too (although after lugging around my ginormous dell, anything would seem lighter). Would I be ok performance wise though?
  18. skypirate7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008
    Blizzard hasn't made anything official, but they did say this:

    Now I can't interpret any of that... but what are your thoughts?

    And thanks everyone for your advice thus far, I greatly appreciate it!!
  19. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Translation :

    Just like any other game, those with beefy machines and specs can max out the reso and pimp all the effects. Those with budget GPUs will be there strictly for the gameplay. Minimal eye candy. (gross oversimplification)
  20. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    when you play starcraft or warcraft
    you don't really care about graphics anyways...I could care less if they have shadows, or lighting effects...

    For games like these, I play to win! haha
  21. lukin macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Think this new mbp will be able to play wow on high?
  22. strikeinsilence macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2006
    MBP. You'll appreciate the extra screen space, and of course the graphics. Even if the graphics aren't dramatically better, they're still better. Plus the price gap isn't large.
  23. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

    Jul 7, 2008
    I almost guarantee it. I could play WoW on my PC desktop at high specs at around 22fps and it's GFX card is about 2 years old now.

    The new MBP better run it full spec at a high frame rate!
  24. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    You never mention at what resolution (wihch is important). 22 fps is barely acceptable for gaming framerate (imo).

    To the OP, it's my guess that the integrated 9400 will be able to play SC2 when it comes out but with all graphics turned off. I would expect lots of slowdown once there are many units on screen.

    If you do decide to get the macbook pro, then I think you will be a little bit better. But even then I don't think you will do too well.

    So if you really want a MB that can "play" SC2 at this very moment, the Macbook Pro is your best bet. Otherwise I would suggest to wait until SC2 gets closer to see if there is a refresh AND to see what the 9400/9600 benchmarks are. The fact that Apple says "3x as fast as <brand> card" has little substance.
  25. lukin macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I hope there are some WoW benchmarks soon. I want it to be extremely smooth and playable on medium at least.

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