Gaming on the MacBook Pro Core i5 gets a big boost from the GT 330m: FPS Benchmarks

Apr 22, 2010 - 12 Comments

macbook pro gt 330m gaming performance

If you’re interested in gaming on a MacBook Pro, pay attention. The new MacBook Pro with the Core i5 processor and GeForce GT 330M graphics unit performs significantly better than it’s predecessor with the GeForce 9400m. Check out the above performance comparison, Left 4 Dead on the new MacBook Pro with the 330m chip runs at 44.9 FPS, nearly three times better than the 2009 MacBook Pro with it’s 9400m GPU. World of Warcraft shows practically the same performance boost: 52.3 FPS on the new MacBook Pro versus 19.1 FPS on the old model. Whoa. Now it’s worth mentioning that Anandtech (the source of the benchmarks) ran these tests in Windows 7 under Boot Camp, so that may skew the results a bit when compared to running something like World of Warcraft or the soon to be released Starcraft 2 in Mac OS X. I’d be really curious to see how the new MacBook Pro units perform with native Mac OS X games, if the performance boost is the same that’d be pretty incredible.

You can see the full review of the 2010 i5 MacBook Pro 15″ at Anandtech: Apple’s 15″ Core i5: the one to get?, or you can see more general benchmarks of the new MacBook Pro’s.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Games, News


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  1. Raj says:

    I am planning to buy MACPRO I5.Any one can suggest whether i can go for mac or not?

  2. Martin says:

    i have a mackbook pro with i5 and starcraft 2 runs very good such as world of warcraft the only trouble i could find with other games is the compatibilities issues for example i cant run counter strike 1.6, tibia, lineage, ragnarok , and other games that have some years on the market all new games should be able to run on mac. cheers
    pd i know my english sux but i gave it a try :D hope its useful

  3. M.S.R. says:

    Well, I don’t think anyone here is complaining about the macbook pros per say. We all end up going apple for the design and MAC OSX. However the comments on the hardware is completely true. It is just a simple matter of comparison that really can’t be argued with. E.G. The Vaio Z series from sony has every single internal component better than any of the MAC computers.

    13″ screen
    icore 5 with the optional upgrade to icore 7
    128GB SSD drive
    4GB memory
    optical drive (DVD RW) (I think possible blue ray option)
    NVIDIA 330M (1GB VRAM) (1600×900 display)
    3 x USB, audio out, HDMI out, etc

    and this at a starting price of $1699.

    This is 100 less than the macbook pro. The $2199 MBP model has the NVIDIA 300M (512MB VRAM). Taking that into consideration. If you look up the performance of this GPU you will find that yes you can play games “fine” but it is definitely no excellent. Which obviously means that it isn’t a gaming machine and will have to use low settings for the next generation of games.

    Note that even the imacs generally come with the icore 3 rather than 5.

    So why do I buy macs? Because I prefer the over all experience compared to windows systems. I can still hope for apple to strive to keep up more closely to the recent hardware advances right?

  4. Hamza says:

    I love Gaming like Star Craft 2 and Warcraft 3, SO what do you think it is better to buy a MBP i5 or another one with Windows 7 with high video memory.
    No I use the old black MacBook but I feel bored because I can’t play heavy game anymore even Microsoft office is to slow when you have a little bit big data for excel for example. Should I buy a Windows 7 laptop>

  5. GDR says:

    Hi guys
    I am going to buy MacBook Pro 2010 I7 version. Is it possible to play private servers of WOW on this masterpiece?

    • Obvioustroll says:

      No, private servers do an architecture check to verify compliance with Windows standards. MBP’s can’t be used on them.

  6. John Appleseed says:

    I reiterate: why are you comparing a motherboard GPU to a discrete GPU?

    • Nick says:

      John makes a very good point. This whole test is very fishy, and the facts just dont add up. First off, the test is done under Windows 7. It is impossible to use the 9400M processor under Windows. The only option is the 9600GT. Not to mention the fact that it’s comparing a new generation’s dedicated chip to the old generation’s integrated chip. In other words, they never used the old Macbook Pro’s dedicated card. So these results are 100% unreliable as a performance metric.

  7. John Appleseed says:

    Why are you comparing the previous motherboard GPU to the latest discrete GPU?

    Surely you should be comparing benchmarks between the previous discrete GPU against the latest one.

    In other words: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT vs GeForce GT 330m

  8. annomyns343 says:

    I still use a single core (centrino 1.7 ghz) whith a Ati x300 (64mb) so these things to me are blazing fast not antiques.Dell inspiron 6000. and this is my primary computer.

    and it still plays the latest games (very low).

  9. The Sheriff says:

    3x better is fantastic, and 52FPS is good for WoW on a laptop, but note it;s only 800×600.

    I’m glad the performance is so much better than it’s predecessor, but Apple is still giving the shaft to MBP buyers and shipping ancient video cards lacking adequate VRAM.

    If you buy the MBP 13″ you’re getting a double shaft: antiquated C2D processor + ancient crappy video card. And they charge $1500+ for these???

    MBP’s should not be confused with gaming systems, and the MBP 13″ shouldn’t be labeled ‘Pro’ considering it performs only 10% better than the cheap plastic MacBook that also has an antiquated processor.

    I just got a Core i5 MBP 15″, but I am not under the illusion that it’s a gaming laptop, for games I play my XBox 360, my MBP is for work. The Core i5 is SMOKING for daily tasks especially compared to the C2D chip from 2007 it replaced and it’s a very worthy upgrade, but don’t expect it to compete with your roommates $900 PC Core i7 laptop with 1GB of VRAM and 8GB of RAM.

    Apples and oranges people, Apple’s and oranges. Apple doesn’t prioritize gaming as much as usability because Steve Jobs and Co are CREATIVES, not gamers.

    • brian says:

      I am confused, are you complaining or complimenting? You just bought a product you’re putting down? What?

      FWIW, I run games fine on my old MacBook Pro…

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