WoW, SC2, keyboard and mouse

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by mjohansen, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. mjohansen macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010

    First off, I am new to all this mac-stuff. Actually I am so new that I have not even bought my first mac computer yet.
    Also, english isnt my native language, so you might see some errors :)

    I am trying to do some research before i buy one.

    I have thought about buying a macbook pro 13,3'' low end or a 15'' mid-end:


    13-inch: 2.26GHz
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB Memory
    160GB hard drive1
    SD card slot
    Built-in 7-hour battery2
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    15-inch: 2.66GHz
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB Memory
    320GB hard drive
    SD card slot
    Built-in 7-hour battery
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB

    The reason why I have been looking at these very different machines is, that if the 15-macbook pro isnt powerful enough for gaming, I will just buy a low end 13-macbook pro for my studies.

    All gaming will be done in boot camp on windows.

    World of Warcraft
    Do any of you have any experience with playing World of Warcraft on the 15-macbook pro?

    What is you average FPS?
    Can you play it fluently?
    And what graphic settings?
    Is it even bearable to play it?

    Starcraft 2
    With the system requirements announced for Starcraft 2 - do you think I will be able to play SC2 fluently on the 15-macbook pro?
    Have any of you tried the beta?

    The requirements for those who havnt seen them:

    PC Minimum Requirements:
    • Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
    • 2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
    • 1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
    • 128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
    • 1024x768 minimum display resolution
    • 4 GB free hard space (Beta)

    I have been reading alot about the heat in the macbook pros. And it seems like its quite an issue, when gaming on one. Is the heat-issues an issue on all the macbook pros, or are there just some "black sheep" in the flock?

    How is the macbook pro keyboard for gaming? Have you noticed any issues?

    What mouse would you recommend as a gaming mouse for a macbook pro?

    Also, I am aware that the rumors say that a new line of macbook pros are coming, but for now I am looking on the C2D machines. Arrandale will just improve the experience i reckon.

    I am looking forward to get some help. I am not interested in buying a pretty expensive 15-macbook pro if it cannot run the games I play :)
  2. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2007
    I'll just say, if your going to be playing Blizzard games, don't play them in Boot camp, play them in OS X. You'll get basically the same performance, and the ease of playing whenever you want without restarting.
  3. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Ok - thank you. I'll keep that in mind.
  4. StopSign24 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    I have a 13" Macbook Pro with the 9400m, and I have no problems running WoW. I haven't gotten in the SC2 beta, so I can't say much about that. I'm sure it will run fine though.

    I play WoW on medium settings, and the only bog down I get is in Dalaran where it drops to around 20fps, otherwise it's 30+. I also play games like LFD2 on low settings with some tweaks and get a constant 30-50 fps, even with hundreds of zombies on the screen. Team Fortress 2 I can almost max out and get 60+ FPS (damn Crossover crashes when I max it out). The Bioshock port that came out not too long ago runs great as well, with at least 30+ fps on with everything on low except for textures on high. So far the only game I'm having problems with is Dragon Age, where I only get 30fps in doors, otherwise it's probably around 15-20. Still playable though, since it doesn't really require any fast action.

    On the Bootcamp side, I just recently installed the Bad Company 2 beta, and get 20-30 fps on low, depending on how much action is going on. With some tweaks, you can even get GTA4 working great with 25+ fps.

    Just a side note; I play all of my games in windowed mode, either 800x500 or 1024x640 since I am always doing something else while playing games. WoW is the only exception where I run it in native resolution, and in windowed mode but maxed out so it looks like fullscreen.

    One of my friends has the 9600gt and can max out Dragon Age just fine, and plays WoW full maxed out (except for specular lighting) and at native 17" resolution and still gets 30+ fps.

    Either one that you get, I recommend Crossover Games. You lose a little bit of performance (maybe 5fps) but if your already getting 40+ like you would with games using Source (Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2) then it doesn't really matter. There are probably some games that you want to play that aren't supported though, so check out their website at and check it out.

  5. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Cool - thanks. So Crossover lets me install windows applications on the OS X, without having windows installed on the mac?

    Also - Do you have any heat issues with your macbook? Do you know if you friend has with his 9600gt?

    Do you use the macbook pro keyboard? or do you have an external one?
    What mouse do you use?
  6. StopSign24 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    Yeah, Crossover is basically Darwine but in a way that is easy to use (at least that's how I understand it).

    Heat issues aren't really a problem, I read somewhere that the CPU melts at 110c, and the hottest mine has gotten was 84c when playing Dragon Age, if I'm playing just about every other game it caps at 80c, depending on what surface I'm playing on. When I'm on my glass desk it runs at about 74c, while when it's on my lap it's 80c, nothing to worry about. My friend doesn't have any heat issues. I can't report any temperatures as he doesn't run anything that would tell him, but I can tell you that heat is not an issue.

    I use the keyboard that comes on the Macbook Pro, and a Razer Orochi mouse, I used to use an MX Revolution which was great, but I needed something a little more portable.
  7. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks man. You have been quite helpful.

    Does anyone have anything else to add?
  8. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    wow and sc2 have relatively low spec requirements, any current mac would run it great

    blizzard has very good mac ports. for other games i would use bootcamp for better performance.

    heat for macbooks are higher than usual, mostly because of the aluminum and it's hot hardware squeezed into a small space. haven't had any performance-affecting issues

    keyboard - what is really bad is the placement of the "control" key, it isn't in the corner and instead there's a "function" key where it should be. really frustrating for a lot of games, but you can use 3rd party programs to remap. i use an external keyboard/monitor so don't deal with this issue

    mouse - i really like logitech's mx series, has a good size and extra side and top buttons
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    +1 for the logitech MX series.

    I have a old macbook pro (mid 2007) with Geforce 8600GT, which is a bit slower than the 9600GT, but faster than the 9400M.
    WoW runs decent on 1680x1050 with the 1440x900 screen for iTunes/Safari/MSN.
    WoW really takes a performance hit if Multisampling or Full Screen Glow is on, but that might be because mine has 128MB video memory and I run two screens.
    My macbook pro lies within the SC2 requirements, but the low end 15 and the 13" Macbooks are slightly lower, due to the 8600GT is a bit faster than the 9400M.

    Wow runs fine on 9400M too, my brother has the Aluminim MacBook 13 with 2.0Ghz and 9400M. Mine with 8600GT and 2.2GHz is roughly 30% faster in Wow.
  10. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Do you turn up the fan speed while playing? Or do you just leave it on automatic?
  11. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Ok - and you dont notice any problems with the macbook pro keyboard while playing?

    It seems I should have no problem with the mid-end macbook pro with the 9600GT. Do you know how big a difference there is on the 8600GT and 9600GT?
  12. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The 9600GT is roughly 10-15% faster.
    I play with an external keyboard since I use an external screen as well.
    The built in keyboard is nice, but the fn button is where the ctrl button is supposed to be!!

    Edit: found this link
    Results for both 9400M, 8600GT and 9600GT
  13. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    If you can afford it 256 VRAM is better than 128 (obviously). WoW runs fine in OSX. For other games (PC) look at Boot Camp not emulation for the best performance. Install 4GB RAM for Vista/Win7. I would look at getting a portable external drive if you plan on playing a lot of PC games and use it for that. This will make it less restrictive when you partition your internal drive for Mac/Wind.

    My MBP is about 2 years old and it plays every game I've tried with acceptable performance. This includes Witcher, Crysis, Dragon Age Origins.

    Have fun! :)
  14. thomanjones macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    I played WoW on a 2.16GHz C2D 24" iMac w/ GT7300 128MB for about 150 days /played, mostly PvP, with a few nights a week of 10-25 man raids. On the road, I used my Early 2008 MBP w/ GeForce 8600M GT, which was even faster. Anything faster is gravy.

    Keyboard - Belkin N52
    Mouse - Various Razer Mice, Mainly the Diamondback and Copperhead

    For specific settings, check out the sticky on the top of the official WoW mac support forum - it has recommended settings for just about every Mac released in the past 5 years.
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Do not even think about looking on the Performance guide on the forums,
    its just stupid!
    The author of the performance guide is pretty much happy running with FPS around the mid 20ies, with occationally drops to 10, and then claiming he has 50-100 fps.. or something
    Everyone I know have a mac and play WoW doesn't even get close to the performance he claims in that faq.

    from the guide:
    These settings are giving me less than 5 FPS in Dalaran and less than 10 FPS in raids.
    The 50-60 FPS is in Elwynn Forest on a Low-pop server :D

    To keep 20-30 FPS in raids I have to:

  16. Snoball macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2009
    While admittedly I'm not into raiding, I can play Wow just fine on my 13" unibody MBP. 4 gig RAM, 256Gig SSD. All of the settings are about midway, with exception to view distance which is cranked. Oversampling at 1X.

    If I were an avid gamer I'd go with the discreet graphics chipset in the 15" MBP for sure, but for what I do (occasional heroics, leveling alts, some BG's) the 13" MBP rocks.
  17. mjohansen thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    The guide does look a bit outdated also..

    The FPS you mentioned, is that in OS X or in Windows in bootcamp?

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