I've been playing Crysis 2 and Skyrim on my Retina MacBookPro (10,1) for months now. The two games used to run super smoothly even on nearly maxed out settings. This laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics card inside, it runs great.
But I recently replaced my Windows 8 consumer preview with the retail copy, and since then, 3D games lag in this odd way, no matter what the graphics settings. Every second Skyrim and Crysis alternates between running smoothly and lagging. It's a cyclical lag that comes and goes like clockwork. I can turn the graphics down to 800x600 with no antialiasing and low texture quality, and it runs much smoother on the "up" motion of the cycle, but every second it moves back into this lag spike.
I've tried installing beta graphics drivers, re installing the operating system, re installing the bootcamp support software, and freeing up space (I have about 20 GB free). I can't figure out what suddenly caused this other than some obscure difference between the consumer preview and the retail version.
What can I try? Is my video card failing? Are there some other drivers I can install? This isn't normal lag from maxing out the card, it
New info on the lag. Everything starts fine, but gets progressiveness worse after about 10 minutes of play, and I left it go for an hour once, and it was REALLY bad. This is bizarre.
So I've reformatted and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. Only thing on this machine is the OS, Steam, Chrome, Bootcamp Support and beta drivers. I don't get it, literally everything runs like shit. Every 3D thing has the same cyclical lag. Even CSS 3D transformations in browsers do it, I'm beginning to think it's a hardware failure. Does anyone have any other suggestions I could try? I've been at this for almost a week, it's deteriorating my state of mind.
So I did some further snooping around, and it would appear others have my same problem:
It came from a fairly recent EFI update for the rMBP that dramatically lowered the threshold for CPU down-throttling as the internals heat up during gameplay. Basically when I games are played, the laptop heats up and the EFI upgrade forces the CPU to slow down to save the MacBOok from hardware failure, despite the fact that no users complained for overheating prior to the EFI update.
Some have said resetting the SMC and PRAM solve the problem on the OS X side of things but not the Windows side. I experienced this when I tried that fix. Downgrading to 10.8.1 worked for one person, but it could've been a flook.
The verdict is people aren't sure if Apple is working on it or not. Generally is seems intentional to save Apple form replacing lots of expensive laptops if parts fail, but Apple store employees have said Apple is aware of the issue and working on it.
Until that time, the solution needed is an EFI downgrade, which is possible but extremely risky. Does anyone have any suggestions as how to proceed? This basically disabled my computer for all Windows gaming.