I want to buy a MacBook Pro Retina 15" and install Windows 7 or 8 (boot camp) to play games.

Obviously games aren't ready for this 2880x1800 resolution, so I hope I can set the games to run at 1440x900 and, since this is 1/4 of the native resolution, have a perfect view (perfect scaling) of the game. This is what I dream about... from this, come some questions:

  1. Is it possible, or am I buying a headache? Should I consider the non-retina display to avoid these resolution problems?
  2. Are there any other types of problems that I should consider? Something like "NVidia drivers for Windows in a MacBook generally has this xxx problem...".
  • 2
    I have Windows 8 installed on my Early 2011 MacBook Pro and had Windows XP and 7 previously and all 3 worked great for playing games. I even use an Xbox 360 controller with no issues at all. Not sure about Retina, but my native external monitor is 1920x1200 and I regularly use lower resolutions for gaming with no issues. Nov 9, 2012 at 22:49
  • @DaveNelson Thank you Dave. Do you always play on your external monitor, or you never experienced issues with lower resolutions on the retina display?
    – Roberto
    Nov 11, 2012 at 1:47
  • Roberto, my machine is an older model and does not have a retina display. But I think the higher resolution of a retina monitor, internal or external, would make the lower resolution game look better rather than worse. Nov 13, 2012 at 14:01

3 Answers 3


There are a great many games that support 2880x1800 and most of them support 2560x1600 (Cinema, Dell, and HP 30" resolutions)

Windows 7 & 8 don't support the quad-pixel and dual-pixel modes of OSX, they do things a bit differently. You always have the 2880x1800 resolution, and simply select larger font size (150% in my case).

Most games will work out fine, but some will need some tweaking (mostly selecting the option Disable display scaling on high DPI output on the compatibility tab.

If you regularily use an external monitor i would reconsider the retina display. Having upgraded to it from a 17" i5 I found out the hard way that neither OSX nor Windows can display different DPI to 2 monitors, hence my 30" Dell is pretty much useless.

  • Thank you, Rostol. I don't use an external display. I didn't get one thing: both OS can't display different resolutions using the extended desktop mode, is that right? Another thing: since I don't use external display, I'll stick with lower resolutions (1440x900, I think); I don't think a Mac could handle Battlefield 3 on 2880x1800 anyways, but did you have issues on playing games at lower resolutions?
    – Roberto
    Nov 12, 2012 at 12:09
  • 1
    Hey Roberto. Not quite, its ok to display different resolutions, just not different DPI settings. Yeah, it definitely does not have enough power for 2880x1800 on max and AA at a decent FPS. No issues at lower rez. I dont have BF3 on the mac, but Guild Wars 2 @ 2880x1800 defaults to almost minimum settings to sustain fps above 25 on places with lots of other ppl.
    – Rostol
    Nov 12, 2012 at 23:09

I have a 15" MacBook Pro with retina display and use windows 7 in boot camp for a couple games. I have windows set to use larger font and use the 1920 x 1200 resolution for games. I think the graphics look great with this setup. Now they aren't as awesome as civilization 5 on the Mac side running at 2880 x 1800 but they are still quite good.


I have windows 8 pro 64 bit on my 15" rMBP (8gb,256gb). I would say windows 8 is beautiful on the computer. I play crysis 3, D3, cod bo2, all on high Set at 1920 x 1080 plays perfect

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