Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New MBP-- is video card in 13" powerful enough for gaming??

New MBP-- is video card in 13" powerful enough for gaming??
Thread Tools
NateEssex
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NJ
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 12:00 PM
 
Here is what we have & I want to play MMORPGs I Bootcamp. So is the 320 M powerful enough, or go for the 15"?
13" MacBook Pro
- $1199: 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, NVIDIA GeForce 320M, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive
- $1499: 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo, NVIDIA GeForce 320M, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive

15" MacBook Pro
- $1799: 2.4 GHz Core i5, Intel HD Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive
- $1999: 2.53 GHz Core i5, Intel HD Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive
- $2199: 2.66 GHz Core i7, Intel HD Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512MB, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive
MBP 15" 2.33 ghz 256Video Card
40 Gig iPod, Airport Extreme
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 12:07 PM
 
From Notebookcheck: NVIDIA GeForce 320M

The gaming performance of the GeForce 320M should be compareable to a GeForce 310M and even better. Therefore, older and less demanding games should run in high details fluently. Modern and demanding games like Crysis or NFS Shift should only run in low detail settings.
     
macaddict0001
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Edmonton, AB
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 12:11 PM
 
Which games in particular?
     
NateEssex  (op)
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NJ
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 12:24 PM
 
Dungeons & Dragons online, Aion, anything good coming out.
MBP 15" 2.33 ghz 256Video Card
40 Gig iPod, Airport Extreme
     
macaddict0001
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Edmonton, AB
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 01:49 PM
 
DDO should be ok. Not sure about Aion. This might get more response if posted in the gaming section. The chip included in the 15/17 models is a much better one, despite the similar model name. the 320m is likely one of the fastest integrated graphics chipsets out there, but I'm not sure I would recommend it if you are serious about gaming. It shouldn't be long before someone actually gets one of these machines in their hands and plays some games.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 03:23 PM
 
Aion system requirements look pretty modest. As long as you're only gaming on the internal screen, it's probably OK.

The 320M is based on the same core as GT 330M (GT216) and has the same number of pipelines enabled (48). Difference is only clockspeed, which I haven't seen a word about, and the dedicated memory bandwidth. I'm not so sure that the performance difference is that large.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
lpkmckenna
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Toronto
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 13, 2010, 04:12 PM
 
The 320m is probably the perfect fit for the 13". It should be able to play just about anything.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2010, 02:27 AM
 
     
NateEssex  (op)
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NJ
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2010, 08:51 AM
 
Yeah, my fear is that 1.8 times faster than super slow may still be too slow. Anyone see have any first hand results with demanding MMORPGs or RPGs?
MBP 15" 2.33 ghz 256Video Card
40 Gig iPod, Airport Extreme
     
Bearsfan34
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Plainfield, IL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 18, 2010, 10:03 PM
 
I'm considering the new MBP 13" if the new vid grafx can handle the likes of Battlefield Bad Company 2. I already play BF2142, BF2 & pretty much all the BF2 mods without any issues. I think BFBC2 requires at a minimum 256MB of VRAM, which on the 13" would fit the bill; if I had the money for a 15" Core i5, I'd be all set.

The 9400m works just fine for those "older" games, but am interested to see if these new models can handle the newer games. I don't do a ton of gaming, but would like the flexibility.

Obviously I play the aforementioned in Boot Camp, Win7 64-bit.
-Core i5 MacBook Pro, 500GB HDD, 4GB RAM; iBook G4 1.2GHz, 1.25GB RAM
-5G white iPod 30GB; original U2 iPod 20GB mono; now on 32GB Black iPhone 4
-...oh, and a PC too.
     
[email protected]
Forum Regular
Join Date: Apr 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2010, 01:22 PM
 
The new 13" MBP will only play modern games like Bad Company 2 at low settings. My new i7 MBP is getting about 30FPS in BC2 at medium settings. I suspect the 13" would get frame rates in the teens at medium settings. If you want to play games at medium to high settings, do not get a 13" MBP.

If you want a portable gaming laptop, I recommend the Alienware M11X. My M11X is faster than my i7 MBP in all games and it was under a $1000.
MacBook Pro 15" 2.4Ghz
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 05:34 AM
 
Do you have any real, first hand knowledge of the performance of the integrated graphics in the 13" MBP? It has the same number of shaders as the 15", and we know nothing about the clockspeed at this point. Given that the 13" has a much lower res screen, it most likely has graphics performance comparable to the 15" when adjusted for the screen size. The big unknown is how the lack of a dedicated memory bus for the GPU is hurting things.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 05:44 AM
 
Even the best integrated graphics won't be nearly as good as dedicated graphics of the same hardware generation.

As for the Alienware comparison, those specs are impressive. If Alienware can fit a dedicated gaming GPU in an 11" laptop for $999, why can't Apple fit a dedicated gaming GPU in a 13" laptop?
( Last edited by Big Mac; Apr 21, 2010 at 05:54 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Helmling
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 07:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Even the best integrated graphics won't be nearly as good as dedicated graphics of the same hardware generation.

As for the Alienware comparison, those specs are impressive. If Alienware can fit a dedicated gaming GPU in an 11" laptop for $999, why can't Apple fit a dedicated gaming GPU in a 13" laptop?
The Apple Tax.
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 08:39 AM
 
Even with the Apple tax, Apple wants to have its cake and eat it too: They call the 13" a MBP but not offer a single model of it with dedicated graphics. People claim there isn't enough room for a dedicated GPU in the 13", but clearly that's not necessarily the case. Other companies do it, why not Apple?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 11:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
People claim there isn't enough room for a dedicated GPU in the 13", but clearly that's not necessarily the case. Other companies do it, why not Apple?
13":

15"/17":
red = Penryn
green = Nvidia integrated graphics
blue = Nvidia dedicated graphics

Ars says it's not possible with the current MLB design. And in order make space for the dedicated graphics they'd have to increase the size of the MLB which means they'd have to reduce the battery size. Obviously not something Apple is willing to do. I kind of understand that though since users would be paying twice in terms of battery life: reduced battery capacity plus higher overall TDP from dedicated graphics.
( Last edited by Simon; Apr 21, 2010 at 11:40 AM. )
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 11:42 AM
 
But they could make it a high end option, no? A true 13" MB PRO would be a nice option.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 11:54 AM
 
I agree. I'd like to know how much battery life we'd be talking about first though. If it's 8 instead of 10 hours I'd be perfectly fine with that. Tear out the stupid memory card slot, replace it with an EC/34, and add a hybrid eSATA/USB port. Voila, the perfect 13" MBP.

Assuming you'd make it a high-end BTO option you're looking at quite an expensive option though. You'd essentially be paying for a different MLB design, a different battery design, and the extra graphics. Quite possible you'd end up paying roughly the same as for a 15" MBP. Now how many people are willing to pay more for smaller? Judging by the MBA not so many. Maybe that's what Apple's worried about here. (Apart from their usual lack of enthusiasm when it comes to options, that is.)
     
The Godfather
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tampa, Florida
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 12:17 PM
 
Sony can fit i5 in a 13" laptop, for $1900 dollars though.
All you can, and must, do is wait for the next 13" revision.
It shall be your Christmas present.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 02:26 PM
 
Fujitsu has a 13" i5 for $1250 with a 62.5 Whr battery under 4 pounds.

GMA HD is at parity with 9400M was per Notebookcheck, so you lose 20-40% GPU performance compared to the new 320M set up.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 02:59 PM
 
IOW it's even less suitable as a gaming notebook.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2010, 04:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Even the best integrated graphics won't be nearly as good as dedicated graphics of the same hardware generation.
nVidia makes discrete mobile graphics such as the 9200M GS that are slower than the integrated 9400M (just don't ask me WHY they do that). In this case, the integrated chip has enough hardware to make it interesting at the low resolution the 13" works at. I have no doubt that the discrete model will be faster, but I don't think that it will be a slaughter, so I'd really like to see how well it does on modern games.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
As for the Alienware comparison, those specs are impressive. If Alienware can fit a dedicated gaming GPU in an 11" laptop for $999, why can't Apple fit a dedicated gaming GPU in a 13" laptop?
Battery life. Some googling shows that that particular Alienware model dies after 2 hours or even less when really stressed.
( Last edited by P; Apr 21, 2010 at 04:40 PM. )
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2010, 07:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Even with the Apple tax, Apple wants to have its cake and eat it too: They call the 13" a MBP but not offer a single model of it with dedicated graphics. People claim there isn't enough room for a dedicated GPU in the 13", but clearly that's not necessarily the case. Other companies do it, why not Apple?
I'm guessing battery life might also play a part.
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:18 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,