New 15 inch Macbook Pro Retina - Low FPS?

Mac Technical Support
I'm thinking of buying one of these very soon - probably next week. I'm going to go with the base computer, no upgrades - so 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache , 512 GB Flash storage, 16GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5, right off their shelf.

But I've been doing my research, and seeing lots of complaints about low fps on the MBP Retina, and no word on any luck changing that.

Can that be true? Is everybody experiencing low levels of performance on their brand new MBP Retinas? Should I hold off and wait for the problems to be resolved? Or downgrade to a non-retina machine?

I'll be doing a clean install, and I don't do raiding or anything like that - but if I can't use this laptop to play occasionally, or if I'm going to be looking at 10 or less FPS, that would be very sad.

I'm hoping that the problems are rare, few, and far between - and that there are some players out there playing WOW MoP and being happy with their Retina MBP.

Am I wrong? Should I wait?
02/23/2013 02:00 PMPosted by Arimando
But I've been doing my research, and seeing lots of complaints about low fps on the MBP Retina, and no word on any luck changing that.

90% of those are encountering a sleep bug in OS X that causes performance to tank until you reset SMC. The cause of that bug is using sleep mode (ie closing lid, or manually triggering standby, or letting it trigger standby while isle. basically, any form of deep sleep mode bugs out the graphics performance until at very least a restart is done and at most sometimes even an SMC reset every time. there are some others who are strangely getting fps issues after doing SMC resets but those cases are a small minority and wouldn't be surprised if those are just some bad egg machines or some other factor just not yet discovered.

I've seen many satisfied fps feedback too from them getting 40fps at their obnoxious resolution on high/ultra and a solid 60- fps when played at a respectable resolution. One important thing to note about retina macbooks, they are powered by mid range current generation MOBILE gpus. playing a game at a HUGe resolution is VERY costly. But playing it a sensible one runs like a dream. don't expect 120 fps (2012 means nothing, DESIGN of that hardware does) if you are playing at native 2800 some odd pixel resolution on a gpu that only has 1 gig vram and ins't insanely powerful, expect an fps hit. Drop resolution down to something that is actually respectable on a 13-15 inch screen and you'll be happy. Although perhaps to you maybe playing at retina resolution at 30-40fps will be more than playable to your liking who knows. I do believe apple dropped the ball going retina before they chose a more powerful GPU to really push the pixels IN GAMES, but fortunate for those models, you can just as easily change resolution to increase performance.
Omegal - thank you for your comments - that makes me feel a bit better!

I'll look up the SMC reset - but - if that's the same as simply restarting the machine, that sounds like it won't be that bad, anyway. So long as we know about it.

I play on our iMacs and Mac Minis at 30-40 fps most of the time, and we are pretty happy. So if I can get similar performance on this new machine (and we want it for other things besides WOW, of course), that will be cool.
Let us know the results. This is something that we're checking out.
I recently purchased a 15 inch MBP retina. FPS is not the problem! The problem is insane overheating if you are running the game with settings on high or ultra. I have to set everything to low and limit FPS to 30 so I won't fry my MBP retina. This is bad, I have seen similar post but no real fix, most advice you will find is decrease the video settings.

So you buy a very expensive laptop, with latest technologies and crazy screen but you are forced to run the game on low settings. I don't even see the spell animations on the floor for some encounters. This is total crap!
Playing wow on a Retina is the best experience I've ever had, simply beautiful and fast, I'll never play on anything else (and that $200 ram upgrade to 16gig is well worth the money)
02/24/2013 09:45 AMPosted by Machkhan
Let us know the results. This is something that we're checking out.


I just experienced the "sleep bug" on my Mid 2012 Macbook Pro - Non-Retina. It seems for me at least that the reset SMC solution solved my low FPS problem. I play on medium to high settings and usually run between 50 and 80 FPS.
Let us know the results. This is something that we're checking out.

I have run a whole series of tests on this brand new 15 inch Macbook Pro Retina. I'm running 10.8.3 Mountain Lion.

It seems like no matter what I'm doing in WOW - with out regards to settings or anything else I try, the fans consistently ramp up to over 4000 RPM. It's loud. Really loud. Like raining outside loud.

And worse, of course, with fans running this high, I get less than an hour of gameplay in before it needs a recharge, which is sad and unfortunate. I'd hoped to get a bit better performance.

I did all of my tests in Halfhill market, since that's where I usually find the biggest population and the most noticeable lag. The first numbers are from Thursday evening, the next set is from Friday morning.

I'd set Foreground Max FPS to the max slider value (200?), but as you''ll see, I barely crack 30 FPS... that certainly seems wrong to me, though.

All of the data comes from iStat Nano - and when I switched to check it, the machine immediately starts to cool off, and numbers drop pretty quickly.

When I check iStat Nano, I go from WoW full screen to windowed, go to my Dashboard, and write the numbers down as quickly as I can.

I recorded:
Time in minutes, checking every 3 minutes
GPU Temp (Celsius)
Diode Temp
Fan Speed Right
Fan Speed Left
And once I started the game, I recorded frame rates.

My graphics settings were set to Ultra, 2880x1800, everything cranked up.

Time GPU Diode Right Left FPS Notes
0 30 29 2003 2159 Cold Start to Establish a baseline
3 29 30 1997 2163
6 29 30 2002 2160
9 31 32 1998 2163
12 76 86 2876 3145 17 Started up game at 10 minutes
15 75 81 3776 4082 23
18 71 80 4095 4465 23
21 70 78 4323 4587 25
24 70 78 4316 4595 24
27 71 77 4338 4600 25
30 69 78 4132 4452 20 Exited after this reading, cooldown
33 55 50 2857 2970
36 39 40 1994 2158 Almost back to start temp and fan speeds

Apple pushed a Mountain Lion patch, that claimed to help with the SMC reset and fps issues, to I loaded that patch and did this same test again. Here are my numbers.

Time GPU Diode Right Left FPS Notes
0 26 27 1998 2163 Cold Start to Establish a baseline
3 32 35 1994 2161
6 32 32 2001 2165
9 32 33 1996 2156
12 76 85 2831 2937 18 Started up game at 10 minutes
15 75 85 3374 3526 18
18 74 80 3860 4162 33 My only 30+ FPS!
21 71 77 4296 4637 29
24 73 75 4202 4497 25
27 73 79 4241 4522 20
30 60 79 4025 4343 22 Exited after this reading, cooldown
33 61 58 4340 4680
36 41 43 2000 2159 Almost back to start temp and fan speeds
39 36 37 1994 2161

Essentially, no difference.

What am I doing wrong?

Why can't I get better framerates?

Why does the machine heat up so fast, and how can I help with that?

Is there anything else you'd like me to try?
02/23/2013 08:02 PMPosted by Omegal
I've seen many satisfied fps feedback too from them getting 40fps at their obnoxious resolution on high/ultra and a solid 60- fps when played at a respectable resolution


What am I doing wrong, that I can't see anything like 40-60 FPS? I'm seeing under 30FPS all of the time.

I looked at running at lower resolutions, and cranking down the graphics - and while I didn't write down the numbers, glancing at my previous runs, it seems to me that I was seeing the same temperature peaks and fan speeds - and still getting low (sub 30) fps.

The game is very pretty at 2880x1800, Ultra - so long as I don't try anything crazy like moving... and don't want more than 25 FPS or so.

Any suggestions?
Am I wrong? Should I wait?


I think this answer is - probably... can someone convince me I'm wrong?
Bump...

I noticed last night that I was getting something like 90+ fps in the Dwarven District in SWC...

Not sure what is different, but I did try turning down my settings.

Can someone please suggest a reasonable graphics setup for this machine, with pretty good graphic detail, decent fps, and without my fans running at 4-5k?

Thanks!
are you on 10.8.3, do you have latest firmware updates? one of biggest issues with the 650Ms still is the OS X drivers are still just lacking like 4 major optimize updates that windows has right now, as i mention in a different thread here
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8402250164?page=2#26

10.8.4 may seen 2 of them brought over when it updates nvidia drivers again. I'm hoping to see some better numbers overall from most macbook pros and 2012 imacs when 10.8.4 ships. but we shall see. 10.8.4 is in early testing now and has only had one seed so far so drivers aren't there yet, but fact they are based off 310 code base is encouraging. Once they go threw a slew of 10.8.4 seeds, they should improve.

as for current performance, you just have to toy with settings until it feels right for you. some people think anything over 20 fps is good ot go, others would prefer nothing under 40 (I raid so anything under 40 is annoying for example). as long as you make sure OS X is always up to date, you are at least doing one thing right (keeping your drivers as up to date as possible, especially on newest apple hardware).

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum