Windows Gaming on Macbook Pro 13" 2011

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oaksdude, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. oaksdude macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #1
    So recently I bought Windows 7 Ultimate to run on my 2011 Macbook Pro 13" i5 with bootcamp, the main reason being to play windows games. Windows installed without any problems, I installed the correct drivers, and the OS is running fine, until I try to play a game. I've tried playing Fallout: New Vegas, Civilization V (I installed it on Windows hoping for better performance), and Magicka. Magicka doesn't work at all (But that doesn't surprise me since I haven't got it working on my Windows desktop either), and Civ 5 and New Vegas run so slow that they're both unplayable even at minimum settings. I know that the Macbook Pro, or Macs in general aren't exactly made to run high end games, but I would think that games like New Vegas and Civ 5 should run just fine on low to medium settings with the Macbook Pro Hardware.


    I'm doing this on a 2011 13" Macbook Pro, so I have a 2.3 Ghz processor and Intel HD Graphics 3000.
     
  2. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #2
    You have an intel hd 3000, no dedicated ram for the gpu. Those games you listed are pretty gpu intensive. Did you put your macbook install disc in your computer and run the bootcamp setup?

    The only way you will get better performance out of your hd 3000 is A.)Increasing your ram amount to 8gb, which can be done for under $50. B.) Increase your ram speed, I have seen plenty of benchmarks to know that 1600mhz ddr3 ram will help improve your graphics as the intel hd uses integrated memory and the faster the better.

    I just purchased 8gb 1866mhz hyperx for $130 and will be installing it within a few days, this ram would for sure increase performance in your laptop.

    You should try lowering your graphics on your games to the lowest, as that will help as well. Also note that the hd 3000 does suffer significant performance loss vs dedicated GPU's as well as it doesn't fully support all games.
     
  3. oaksdude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 23, 2011
    #3
    I downloaded the bootcamp setup from the Mac program, burned it on a disk, and then loaded it onto windows, so I should have all the drivers. How exactly would upgrading ram to 8gb increase performance? Can more ram be put towards graphics?

    I'm not entirely sure it's just an issue with the hardware, since civilization 5 runs better in Mac OS (still not playable past the early game, but it runs better than on Windows 7.). Also, the guy in this video gets much better performance in Fallout: New Vegas than I've been getting, and he's using the exact same model as me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9D-nDS5O20

    As for turning graphical settings down to the lowest, I've turned both Civ 5 and New Vegas down to minimum settings, and they're still both unplayable. As an added note, Civiilization 5 takes near five minutes to load to the menu.
     
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #4
    Make sure your power settings are set to the highest they can be, but honestly your mac isn't any more powerful than this computer, you shouldn't really expect it to run all that much.
     
  5. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #5
    Upgrading to 8gb increases shared ram for your integrated gpu. Im assuming you have tried reinstalling civ 5? Also maybe a new copy of windows can help.
     
  6. dsio macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Few things to consider, firstly the performance under OSX tends to be better than Windows for most games with the HD3000, its a newish generation of chip and the OSX drivers are just better optimised than the Windows drivers are.

    Secondly, upgrading your RAM from DDR3 1333 to DDR3 1866/1600 is going to do precisely diddley-squat, the memory controller in the 13" Macbook Pro dual-core CPUs is limited to DDR3 1333, so no matter what speed you put in, it still only going to run at DDR3 1333. However, if the OP ran 1866, which has looser timings and higher CAS rates to compensate for its higher clock, its highly likely that your RAM "upgrade" will actually make his laptop slower.

    Thirdly, more graphics RAM is a bit questionable in terms of benefits, it doesn't make the GPU run faster, it merely allows it to perform at a similar rate with a higher texture quality setting, further, while in "About This Mac" the graphics RAM does go from 384MB to 512MB when you upgrade the RAM to 8GB, it doesn't actually mean anything, as the graphics card is able to exceed its segregated graphics memory and use system memory as it needs, as the segregated graphics memory is shared memory anyway, it makes no difference whether the GPU was assigned that RAM or not, so that figure is essentially meaningless.
     
  7. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #7
    I agree, Apple has written superior drivers for the intel 3000. I have researched plenty of gaming benchmarks on higher speed memory for the intel 3000, all resulting in performance increase in games. What I observed was that games tend to rely on higher bandwidth (at least for the intel 3000) as opposed for latency.

    I will run test with 1333 8gb vs 1866 8gb and will see if it actually makes it slower.
     
  8. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #8
    turn graphics and resolution to minimum. But, yeah that intel integrated graphics isn't designed for gaming
     
  9. dsio macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2011
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    Australia
    #9
    Are you on a 13" or a 15/17" though? The 15/17 support DDR3 1600, the 13 does not.
     
  10. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #10
    I am on a 17" and just received my 1867mhz 8gb today, of course working.

    Maybe the laptop I saw with this ram had the upgraded i7.
     
  11. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #11
    Also worth noting is this website posted below. It provides benchmarks (yes I know it isn't a realistic situation) that shows variation in ram speed and CL time, and also shows how the same speed ram with higher CL can be faster.

    I wasn't trying to provide false information, but more less user based experience. It's better to see test done than assuming that lower latency is more important than frequency.

    I should probably conduct my own test with 1333mhz vs 1866.

    But for the most part you are right, lower CL usually is better, as for gaming no.
     
  12. dsio macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2011
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    Australia
    #12
    I think you're a bit confused here, higher speed RAM as a consequence is forced to run looser timings, but if you then run that RAM at the same speed as slower RAM, ie. if you put it in a 13" laptop, it doesn't run at 1600 or 1866, it runs at 1333. Only it runs at 1333 with slower timings, and as a result is slightly slower than the stock RAM that was designed to run at 1333 with tighter timings.

    ie. In the 13" the benefit of increased clockspeed is not there, only the downside of looser timings is there.
     
  13. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2011
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    Tallahassee, Florida
    #13
    It's one thing to say that, but when I install Braid on my baseline 2011 MBP it's choppy but when my friend installs the same copy on his 2010, it runs perfectly.

    I have to run the game in Bootcamp to get the same results.

    People should really test before sharing information; now unless something is wrong with my MBP, which I highly doubt as I can play Oblivion and Portal 2 with ease in Bootcamp, I think something else is wrong here.

    But, as some of the above posters stated, getting more RAM will do nothing.
     
  14. Kiriga macrumors newbie

    Kiriga

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    #14
    I was under the same impression, but now I have my doubts according to this post from another thread.

     
  15. oaksdude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 23, 2011
    #15
    That's strange, because Braid runs just fine on my Macbook. The most graphics intensive game I can play is Half Life 2, which runs somewhat choppy (but still playable) on medium settings.

    When you said you played Oblivion and Portal 2 on Bootcamp, were you playing on your baseline 2011 Macbook Pro? What graphics settings were you able to play them on? As I said before, Fallout New Vegas was unplayable even on lowest settings. If you're able to play those games with good performance, there's gotta be something wrong with mine. I installed the drivers from a CD made with Bootcamp, and then reinstalled them from the Mac recovery disk just to make sure. I may have to try reinstalling Windows 7 or taking my computer to a third party Mac or Apple store. Although it may not even be a Windows software problem, as I've seen people play Civ 5 on the same model Macbook Pro on medium settings running fine.
     
  16. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I could play them with medium settings with no problem; the temp of the CPU shoots up to the 90s C, but the games ran fine.

    With oblivion I run it in the lowest resolution with low graphics settings as the game looks fine to me with that, but with Portal 2 I run medium settings on a... I think 1024 by... 7something? With medium esque settings and that runs great.

    But yea it's weird; I played Braid and it was slower than normal, I would estimate the FPS to be around 20 or so. In bootcamp, Limbo, Braid, Oblivion, Portal 1/2 all run perfectly fine.
     
  17. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
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    Canada, Eh?
    #17
    1866Mhz ram known to cause a lot of problems on MBP. May not happen to you but after reading a lot of post on this forum, its just not worth it.

    And i think that the 13" 2011 can only take 1333mhz max. Only the 15" and up can take 1600mhz. Not sure about that though.
     
  18. mark28 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 29, 2010
    #18
    You try to game with integrated graphics and wonder why it's not so good? :D
     
  19. EKCI macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2011
    #19
    I only wonder why games are running better on Lion than on Bootcamp. Even if this is cider version...
     
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #20
    Lamens answer: poor optimization.
     

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