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Gaming Benchmarks For the New MacBook Pros

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the better-and-better dept.

Portables (Apple) 46

PC World takes a look at the performance of the new MacBook Pros compared to models from the middle of 2007. In addition to benchmarking software, they run comparisons on the Crysis demo and the World in Conflict demo. The results show improvement by a significant margin. Additional benchmarks are available at MacWorld. "Crysis shows a similar performance bump, though viewed practically, those numbers might look a little depressing. Crysis arrived in November 2007, but I'm fairly certain I won't be comfortably running it on a MacBook Pro until somewhere north of 2010. Drop the settings to 'medium,' however, and I can vouch that the average frame rate on the November MacBook Pro rested comfortably in the very playable middle 20s."

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So? (3, Insightful)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812467)

I don't think anyone questioned that the new Macbook Pros would probably perform better. The more relevant question is, are they priced competitively for their performance?

Re:So? (-1, Redundant)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812663)

The more relevant question is, are they priced competitively for their performance?

Well, you can get a Dell XPS M1730 that'll give you double the 3dmark score [extremetech.com] for about $2000 less [dell.com] than the new macbook pro [buymac.com.au] .

But I'm sure the Apple faithful will be along to correct me shortly - there's no Apple tax right guys?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25812901)

$2000 less? Interesting since the Macbook Pros are $1999. So Dell will send me a new laptop PLUS $1? Sweet deal!

Oh... I see... comparing Australian dollars with US dollars again? Didn't they teach you anything about units in science class?

Re:So? (2, Informative)

babyrat (314371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812985)

I suppose you might be a troll - I am by no means an Apple faithful, but I do know the difference between american prices and australian prices.

So without going into all the specs in American dollars in America, the 2.5GHz 1730 with 4gb RAM and a nVidia 8700 with 256MB RAM is $2349 after the $458 "instant" savings.

The mac pro with 2,5 GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB drive and nVidia 8600 with 512MB RAM is 2799.

More expensive yes...$2000 more, no.

Re:So? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25813275)

The mac pro with 2,5 GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB drive and nVidia 8600 with 512MB RAM is 2799.

Well, you've got to add $50 to up the HDD to the 7200rpm/sata equivalent in the Dell for $2099.

Making the difference, a not inconsiderable $750 - the Mac is a third more expensive than a Dell that gives twice the 3dmark performance. (this is what we're discussing remember).

More expensive yes...$2000 more, no.

That will teach me not to use the first two links I find! (well - probably not).

Re:So? (3, Informative)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25818419)

Making the difference, a not inconsiderable $750 - the Mac is a third more expensive than a Dell that gives twice the 3dmark performance. (this is what we're discussing remember).

If you're so insistent on discussing that Dell with the Macbook, then the Apple blows it out of the water on a price comparison, since the Dell was 4480 USD (MSRP) [extremetech.com] and is now about 3349 USD. I guess you didn't bother to read the article and see that it's the special SLI configuration with a pair of Mobile 8800M GTXs. If you're doing a price comparison with the cheaper M1730s then you'll need to find benchmarks for them since they use a different graphics set up e.g. these CNet [cnet.com] benchmarks. I have'nt seen link yet for performance of the 17" MacBook Pros; only the new 15.4" ones.

Of course if you're going to make this comparison, then you have to acknowledge that the weight of the Dell (10.6 lbs, twice that of the Mac, along with twice the thickness) renders it unsuitable for mobile use and if you're factoring in sale prices, you need to take a look at Apple's refurb store a well. Compared to the 2099 USD Dell, the Mac has twice the level 2 cache, twice the VRAM and a faster processor. The Dell wireless is also inferior, supporting only g, compared to a/g/n for the Mac and Bluetooth (along with Firewire 800) is missing. Add these in as far as possible, bump the graphics from the single 8700 w/256 MB to the dual SLI version, ignore the sale discount since we could get that in the Apple refurb section and you find that the Dell is 2749 USD - 100 USD cheaper than the Mac, which is a negligible difference (less than 4%). The Dell will have higher framerates in games, but be far less portable (and lacking in Firewire 800) and chew your batteries up twice as fast (based on how long they last playing a DVD). It should also be remembered that the current 17" is quite old and wasn't updated when the other MacBook Pros were.

So, what exactly do you want to discuss?
* The very expensive custom Dell with the high benchmarks vs. an old 17" MacBook Pro?
* The cheaper dual SLI Dell vs. an old 17" MacBook Pro?
* The non-SLI Dell vs. an old 17" MacBook Pro?
* A Dell vs. an old 17" MacBook Pro, each with custom configuration to match each other's specs as closely as possible?
* A Dell on sale vs. a 17" MacBook Pro from the refurb store (i.e. on sale)?

So far you've picked a cheap Dell, on sale, given the benchmark for the most expensive one and compared it to a full price MacBook with extra stuff added to match the Dell's configuration without getting the Dell to also match the MacBook's. Now, is it just me, or does that seem a little like tilting the playing field ridiculously in favour of one side? We'll forget about you giving the Mac price in Australian dollars and assume that wasn't trolling.

If you compare full price products, specced to match each other, the Dell is slightly cheaper, better for gaming, but worse for high speed I/O and more of a movable desktop than a laptop i.e. gamers are better off with the Dell, but everyone else is probably better off with the Mac.

Re:So? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824879)

the Dell is slightly cheaper, better for gaming,

Jeeze - I can't believe it took you that long a post to agree with me!

Re:So? (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25826543)

Jeeze - I can't believe it took you that long a post to agree with me!

I can't believe you needed to quote that much of my post to making a trolling comment. But you live and you learn I guess.

For gaming? Absolutely not. (3, Insightful)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812805)

But how many people are going to buy a Mac for games anyways?

Yes, I use a Mac every day. I also maintain an office of iMac and MacPro workstations as well as MacBook Pros. Yes, I even play Call of Duty 4 on a Mac sometimes.

No, I don't think they're gaming machines, no matter what anyone tells me. I also think running Windows on a Mac is just ignorant, and throwing away even more money.

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (1)

richien6 (1406455) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812945)

Exactly. You buy a Mac for more of a life-style choice; its not great for working although it manages, but people buy them because they're simply easy.
Mac had stressed this quite a lot from the campaigning but everything you buy comes from Apple and so it all works seamlessly.
HAHAHAhahha. People buy Macs simply because they are stylish--so buying one and putting Windows on it or putting OS X on a PC is utterly defeats the purpose of the OS-es.

Although, I'm a "PC/Windows" person because of the plethora of applications, games (and not to mention viruses and trojans!) that are avaliable for them.
Its like Firefox and Safari--you buy the former because YOU can customize it the way you want it to, and you use Safari because it already suits a certain style that you'd prefer. (Meh, bad analogy there >.)

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25813097)

Wow you're a fucking retard. Troll...

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25814487)

Not good for working? Hmph.

My new MacBook running XP and Vista in VirtualBox on OS X handles my consulting job brilliantly. Hell the network management in OS X is leaps and bounds ahead of the pure shit Vista has for networking management. Auto routing when the connection medium or IP changed was sluggish, pulling up the network dialog was sluggish, and this was all post SP1. While on the subject of my m1330, let's not get started on Dell's poor fit and finish, with two screen failures added in for good measure. Plus they're continuing to sell a notebook with a known flawed graphics chip. And the damn thing only had a 10/100 wired card. The hell?

I can't game on this thing, but I don't care. It's built well and runs everything I need to work perfectly, even VMs. I'd say that qualifies for a bit more than a lifestyle choice. (Though incidentally I do drive a VW as well. ouch)

Apple's desktops are still pretty loopy though...

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25818769)

Maybe you didn't read the part where I manage an office of Macs. They most certainly get used for work in a professional environment, and in every aspect of a small business from design, development, accounting, and systems administration.

In the past, I have also managed corporate offices that used Windows 2000/XP and Active Directory. I'd much rather deal with the Macs than Windows systes.

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (1)

richien6 (1406455) | more than 5 years ago | (#25830457)

Sorry, I didn't mean that they don't work -- I meant to point out the fact that the MS Office was simply ported to Mac. Unless of course you managed to find an alternative to them?

Re:For gaming? Absolutely not. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837055)

OpenOffice 3.0 works very well under MacOS X, and I do use it where MS Office isn't required for whatever reason.

Two birds, one stone. (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 5 years ago | (#25816731)

I also think running Windows on a Mac is just ignorant, and throwing away even more money.

The point of running Windows on a Mac is so that you can have one machine that does everything, including playing games (or running $WINDOWS_ONLY_APP). It means that the same machine that you get all your work done on can be used for leisure time. This is enormously convenient. How is it "ignorant" or "throwing away money?"

I've been very satisfied with the experience of using my Macbook Pro to play games. Just because it's not as good as a Sager SLI machine doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.

Re:So? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25814291)

I suppose one could argue that question either way until they're blue in the face.

IMO, the inclusion of integrated graphics from nVidia for their entire laptop update means that the Macbook and the Air can now be considered for games that were considered "graphics-heavy" 2 years ago. When I was selecting a Mac this January, my primary considerations were portability and graphics power in Boot Camp. At the time, the Air came out, and even though I was intrigued for a few moments, I knew that there was no way they'd fit a discrete chip in that tiny case. If I were looking for a Mac now with the same objectives, I'd buy the low-end Air and cram in more memory.

Of course, if you're one of those guys who must play the latest game at highest detail and resolution, there's no way you'll spring for a laptop, let alone a Mac (unless you're grinning [youtube.com] when you sing the first few words to "If I Had a Million Dollars"). You'd buy a badass desktop or build your own. That's why this "would you as a gamer pay for a Mac?" question is effectively a straw man, because most Mac gamers don't get the latest stuff (mainly out of necessity, as I think a majority still don't dual-boot), nor do most hardcore gamers think of getting OS X in addition to their screaming hardware, or a laptop.

Sure, there's Sager, but let's be reasonable. SLI laptops are a great way to cook your lap or whatever your computer rests on.

Price for performance falls way short (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25815361)

However your not buying just performance in a Mac book pro. Your buying the whole package. It is so very light, so thin, compared to similar machines. Of course it can run both OS X and Windows makes it worthwhile to me.

Yet I can't help but wonder why Apple keeps putting mediocre screens on the pro models. 1440x900? Say what? I have a five year old Dell with 1600x1200 on that same screen size. Glossy only is a killer for some as well. The screen is what stopped me from buying one. It simply is not up to the price point of the machine.

Throw in the fact that OS X cannot run 8gb on the machine and it makes you wonder.

As for the benchmarks, show me how it does at 1920x1200 driving an external monitor. I should be able to use this as a DTR at home with great functionality on the road. I don't care what it can do at its native resolution because the native resolution sucks.

When comparing what it can do, don't go just to Dell. Flip open any Sunday circular and see what sells for 1000-1200. There are machines out there for the price of a regular mac book (again priced higher than previous generations) that can whoop a pro in all benchmarks.

I like the machine. I just won't pay the exorbitant price for that lackluster screen. It should be a minimum of 1600x1200. I guess I will wait for the 17

Mac? Gaming? Mindf#@k? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25812533)

It should be interesting to see what kind of performance gains one can eek out of those new macbooks in that puzzle game with the apple logo!

Need I remind you... (2, Funny)

kevind23 (1296253) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812603)

Photoshop, as fun as CS4 may be, is not a game.

Re:Need I remind you... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812675)

They're mac benchmarks. Not OS X benchmarks.

RTFA & you'll see the guy (like everyone with a mac it seems) is running XP or Vista.

Re:Need I remind you... (1)

richien6 (1406455) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812905)

Yes..
BUT
It DOES use the GPU to accelerate many of the features within the CS4. But yeah, technically its not a game.

This just in (4, Funny)

poity (465672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812715)

Current iteration of product better than last. Stay tuned for in depth coverage...

Re:This just in (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25813287)

... Microsoft confused.

Bill Gates quoted "Huh!?"

Balmer seen throwing chair....

fps in the mid 20s = playable? (2, Informative)

clragon (923326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812835)

Drop the settings to 'medium,' however, and I can vouch that the average frame rate on the November MacBook Pro rested comfortably in the very playable middle 20s

common now, does anyone seriously believe that a shooting game can be playable with fps in the mid 20s? If it's already stuttering a little when you are running around, add in a few NPCs/bullet sparks/explosions then the game wont be playable anymore

for most of the shooting games I play, I try to lower the settings until the fps is well above 30 so that I wont get stuttering frames when an intense firefight happens

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25812929)

Remember, you have to think like a person who has dropped several $k on an Apple laptop, so anything that comes out of the screen WILL look acceptible. It simply HAS to. Obviously you wouldn't have spent that much money on a not-especially-fast computer just because it looks cool...

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (1)

AIkill (1021773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25819175)

Unfortunately, this statement is more true than u think. I have many people who are computer ignorant come into my office with $2000 laptops that they bought because they thought that the more expensive a laptop was, the better its supposed to be.

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (1)

speeDDemon (nw) (643987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25813141)

anything below 60fps is unacceptable. It may be ok for the average joe, but if your playing online multiplayer, anything below 60fps is putting yourself at a disadvantage. Considering that I dont have the time to invest in being the best, even a minor disadvantage is frustrating.

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25814835)

It depends on the stability. so long as it never dips below mid 20s and doesn't go below 30 for more than a couple sequential frames, you'll be fine (also assuming that there's no control stutter as it varies). 60fps most of the time just means it's never going to get to that danger zone. I can do very nearly as well with stable 30-ish (on an older laptop) as I can with 60fps at a variety of FPS games on competitive servers, and by well I mean winning individually-ranked rounds an appreciable percentage of the time (usually ~5-30%, depending on how out of practice I am).

It does depend on the game though. I've found most Source engine stuff to degrade gracefully and maintain both framerate stability and control smoothness down into the teens, while some other games can start getting jerky by 30.

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25816135)

if your playing online multiplayer, anything below 60fps is putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Does this mean Xbox Live users in Europe, where TVs natively run at 50fps, are at a noticeable disadvantage?

Re:fps in the mid 20s = playable? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25819339)

It's not like the 60Hz of NTSC is any better. Considering the TV signal is interlaced you'll have a frame rate of either 25 or 30.
But that's just refresh rate of old CRT screens. While refresh rate is important, the rendering speed is more important for the responsiveness. An fps of 100 won't show all 100 frames on a 60Hz monitor. But it does mean that the game processes your input 100 times per second. Of course this mostly matters for PC gaming where you use high responsive input like the mouse and keyboard.

Bullcrap, I get awesome FPS on my MacBook Pro (5, Funny)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25812911)

Spectre VR has never played this silky smoothly.

Re:Bullcrap, I get awesome FPS on my MacBook Pro (3, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25813379)

You should see the frame rate I get from nethack!

Re:Bullcrap, I get awesome FPS on my MacBook Pro (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25813453)

You should see the frame rate I get from nethack!

I wish my computer could nethack :( It's the new crysis.

Re:Bullcrap, I get awesome FPS on my MacBook Pro (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25813451)

Yea, you should see how good Marathon 2 looks!

Re:Bullcrap, I get awesome FPS on my MacBook Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25817511)

Yea, you should see how good Marathon 2 looks!

Especially running the open-sourced engine (Mac OS X/Windows/Linux) with hi-res textures and landscapes [bungie.org] ...

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25812967)

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say "WTF?"

Warcraft (1)

hlopez (220083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25814403)

Truth is, we all just want to know how well will it handle WotLK.
Now back to grinding to 80.

As they say in the Ivory Coast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25814509)

The one who swallows a coconut must have great trust in his anus.

Re:As they say in the Ivory Coast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25814575)

That's funny 'cause it's true! We have a saying in Nebraska: the one who collects semen from a pig is probably just doing his job.

Still getting mileage out of my late 2007 (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25814825)

I am using a late 2007 MBP (15", 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM). The nVidia 8600 has been doing great. I haven't played Crysis (didn't like Farcry), but it plays Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3 just fine. So if the new MBP's are even better, I think they'd be just fine for most gaming.

Re:Still getting mileage out of my late 2007 (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822047)

Same here. I'm playing Fallout 3 just fine on a 2007 MBP, and I played Crysis on it just fine as well. Apparently this guy doesn't understand what graphics quality settings are for. You don't have to play games at some insane resolution with every single bell and whistle turned on to enjoy them.

How does it compare with a PC? (1)

sugarman (33437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25818101)

15 fps in Crysis? What could you get for a comparably priced (ie $2000+) laptop or desktop PC?

I know the Very High Quality setting in the http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870-x2,2073-18.html [tomshardware.com] recent Video Card rundown at Toms Hardware was seeing in excess of 30. So how does the Mac really stack up for gaming?

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822981)

Truth is, we all just want to know how well will it handle WotLK.Now back to grinding to 80.

Apples or Oranges? (1)

MF4218 (1320441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823673)

So are we talking Improved benchmarks on applications designed to run using the OS X frameworks, or are we talking a Windows Game in a Cider DirectX Wrapper?

I mean seriously, all Cider does is allow you to play Windows-programmed games on a Mac like in a VM. It doesn't actually let you play the game natively.

Man I’m such a snob— (1)

kuleiana (629890) | more than 5 years ago | (#25845913)

but I love opening up Vista on my Mac Pro and seeing Microsoft give my machine such an incredible performance index—especially when compared against their biggest and baddest PC OEM’s.
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