'early 2016' MacBook versus other laptops
Posted May 2nd, 2016 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
So... is gaming on the 'early 2016' MacBook Retina 12-inch a worthy exercise or pure frustration? And how does that compare to other laptops?
GPU GRAPH LEGEND
MacBook Pro 2.8 = 'mid 2015' MacBook Pro Retina 15.4 inch (2880x1800) IPS screen, 2.8GHz Core i7-4980HQ processor, AMD Radeon R9 M370X GPU, 1TB PCIe based flash storage, 16G of 1600MHz DDR3L memory, OS X 10.11
Blade Stealth 2.5 = 'early 2016' Razer Blade Stealth UHD, 12.5 inch (3940x2160) IGZO screen, 2.5GHz Core i7-6500U processor, Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU, 512GB PCIe based flash storage, 8G of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory; Windows 10
MacBook 2016 1.3 = 'early 2016' MacBook Retina 12 inch (2304x1440) IPS screen, 1.3GHz Core M7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU, 512GB PCIe based flash storage, 8G of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory, OS X 10.11
MacBook 2015 1.2 = 'early 2015' MacBook Retina 12 inch (2304x1440) IPS screen, 1.2GHz Core M processor, Intel HD Graphics 5300 GPU, 512GB PCIe based flash storage, 8G of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory, OS X 10.11
We ran the built-in benchmark using NORMAL preset at 1280x800 resolution (V-Sync OFF). (HIGHEST Frames per Second = FASTEST)
Batman Arkham City
We ran the built-in benchmark using MEDIUM detail and 4x Full Screen Anti-Aliasing at 1280x800 resolution (V-Sync OFF). (HIGHEST Frames per Second = FASTEST)
We ran the built-in benchmark with the MEDIUM preset at 1280x800 (V-Sync OFF). (HIGHEST average Frames per Second = FASTEST)
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
Though the 2016 Retina Macbook with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU beat the 2015 Retina MacBook in two out of three of the featured games, it is no match for the 'mid 2015' Macbook Pro 15" with the discrete AMD Radeon R9 M370X GPU or even the 'low end' Windows laptop like the Razer Blade Stealth UHD with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU.
(NOTE: Not only did the MacBook Pro dominate, but we were running the HIGH preset for Tomb Raider and HIGH Detail settings for Batman Arkham City.)
I'm not trying to 'embarrass' or 'bash' the 2016 MacBook, but consider this your reality check. The MacBook Retina 12 inch is NOT an adequate gaming platform. If you are a serious Mac gamer, there are faster laptops -- especially late model MacBook Pros with discrete GPUs.
And even better Mac gaming platform is a desktop like a late model iMac with discrete GPUs or a Mac Pro tower (2008-2012) with a strong GPU or any model of 2013 Mac Pro cylinder.
Lastly, check out MacGamerHQ for reviews on Mac games. They plan to publish a database of test results comparing various models of Mac running the same three games we featured above. I'll post that link here and on Twitter once the database goes live.
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