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Performance on new MacBook?

Seedier
Seedier
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My ancient 17' MBP's drive went to drive heaven unexpectedly, so considering a new laptop now and eyeing the dinky new MacBook, although would appear to be a bit underpowered.
Anyone have any idea what performance is like on the new MacBook?
  • KhajitFurTrader
    KhajitFurTrader
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    "A bit underpowered" might be an understatement.

    There are two main issues: the first one is the Retina display, which can hardly be used for gaming in its native resolution even with a dedicated, current generation graphics chip. The integrated processor graphics (IPG), though they've made leaps and bounds in the past years regarding their power, won't quite be able to cut the mustard. This may be mitigated by downscaling the game's resolution, but it might not look very pretty.

    The second issue is the processor itself. The biggest BTO option is a dual-core Intel Core M with a baseline frequency of 1.3 GHz. The turbo boost goes up to 2.9 GHz, but the extremely thin form factor, though beautiful to behold, won't allow for a big thermal budget. Taking into account that the same chip also needs to drive the graphics, and the whole machine is build without a single fan for cooling, I very much doubt that it'll be able to boost much over any period of time, but throttle even more instead. ESO is CPU bound, FPS more or less goes in line with raw frequency, so I don't expect wonders from that CPU/IGP combo.

    A third issue might become the future that's in store for the OS X client, with adding OpenGL 4.1 support. ZOS has recently updated their minimum system requirements for the Mac, and the mention of any supported IPG is suspiciously absent. Chris has put this statement into perspective in this thread.

    All in all, the new MacBook is a beautiful machine, build with cutting edge engineering feats, but sustained higher end 3D gaming might just not be what it's designed for. If you're interested, ars technica has an extensive review, featuring benchmarks. Money quote:
    The MacBook has the approximate CPU speed of a 2011 MacBook Air, the GPU speed of a 2012 MacBook Air, and the storage speed of a 2013 MacBook Air. It won't set any records, but it will do just about everything an Air will.
  • chris.dillman
    chris.dillman
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    Hi Seedier

    The new MacBook is a beatiful machine... but it is basically an iPad with a keyboard :D

    In theory that GPU would be fast enough but the machines is not running at high clock speeds.

    The new MacBook lacks fans and theres no way that it can handle the thermal load.

    A new Mac book air or Macbook pro 13" would be a better all around choice if you want to game.



    -- ESO -- Lead Mac Programmer...
    Staff Post
  • Seedier
    Seedier
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    Thanks guys, pretty much what I suspected! MBP it will be (obviously for more reasons than just gaming!).

    However I am curious about the speculation on performance... Would this really perform worse than my (now extinct) ancient MBP with Core2Duo 2.8 GHz with a 512 Mb nVidia card?
    Edited by Seedier on May 15, 2015 9:29PM
  • bigbaddaboom0
    I've played on a 2013 vintage 13" retina MBP as well as a 2014 iMac with the nVidia 780M.

    Playing on the MBP was not pleasant. Having the iMac to compare, I can say without a doubt, I would not waste my time playing on the MBP. The graphics suck when you have to turn everything down to medium or low, and reduce the resolution to get it to perform okay, and the performance is never that great.

    I can't speak to the newer 13" MPB's or to the 15" with the separate graphics card, but based on my experience, I would say don't get a Mac laptop if you plan on playing ESO. ESO on the iMac, on the other hand, plays and looks awesome, with everything set to high or ultra. It handles it without issue.
  • Seedier
    Seedier
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    Yeah i've now got an i7 mid-2014 MBP retina 15' and have also tried this on a 27' i7 iMac... the latter handles it with ease on high (slightly low frame rates on ultra). The retina MBP however runs best on medium settings which was a bit disappointing but still looks good...
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