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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Want to game on a MBP: Can they handle it?

Want to game on a MBP: Can they handle it?
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NJ
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Dec 25, 2011, 05:36 PM
I want to run Boot Camp and play Star Wars:The Old Republic. I'm either going to get a MBP or a PC laptop. I would prefer a MBP, but I want to make sure the current models can handle graphics intensive games. Anyone have any first hand experience? I would appreciate the input and what the comput cost you. I do have a friend who has a 13" MBP who claims he can run Batman Arkham City with no problems, but I'm not sure that's a fair comparison to SW:TOR. Thanks!
MBP 15" 2.33 ghz 256Video Card
40 Gig iPod, Airport Extreme
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
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Dec 26, 2011, 07:25 AM
It all depends on the resolution. As a general statement, if you stick with 720p (1280*720) or 1366*768, you can make anything work at low quality even on integrated graphics these days - Sandy Bridge integrated graphics are just barely good enough for that, hitting something like 35 fps average and graphics turbo bringing the minimum up high enough to be playable.

If you want medium quality or a higher res, you obviously need to step up to a 15" and the Radeon 6700M series. Those are "middling" quality graphics - medium quality usually works at the 1440*900 native res. The 6770M with 1GB VRAM might get you to high in some cases, but not on anything newer. The 17" doesn't get your more graphics power, but it does get you a bigger screen that takes more power to drive, so beware of that one.

If you're looking at PC laptops, you will have to go to the dedicated gaming laptops to make a real difference - something like Alienware - and even then you have to go all the way to the top to something like the Radeon 6900M or GTX 580M series. Those are big, hot, expensive and with lousy battery life, but they do sport some massively powerful graphics cards. This article might be useful reading.
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.
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Live-Perth Aus/ Work-Worldwide
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Jan 2, 2012, 03:51 PM
I have a 15" Mac Book Pro, 266, i7, 8GB ram, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 512 MB.
I am playing Skyrim on bootcamp Windows 7, Graphics on skyrim are set to medium, if I up the graphics to high it starts to jutter.
I am enjoying playing the game, the game still looks ok on the medium graphics setting.
iMac 21.5"-2.4GHz i5, 15"-2.66 i7 MacBook Pro, iMac Bondi G3/233 (still working), HTC Desire, Golf V GTI DSG
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