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View Full Version : Windows XP gaming on Macbook Pro! Half life 2 runs buttery smooth!


lfh284
Jun 8, 2006, 10:21 AM
I haven't ever posted on macrumors, but I thought i should share this with people. I ran bootcamp and installed Windows XP home edition on my macbook pro 2 Ghz yesterday, and to test it out, installed my friends copy of Half Life 2. It runs absolutely buttery smooth, with all the settings turned up to high, and even when the laptop is unplugged. In fact, it runs better than it does on his Thinkbook, which also runs at 2 ghz! Basically, i can now run every game i ever wanted to play on my macbook. And I dont have to pay a premium mac price. Who the hell is still going to buy mac games, and why arent people posting more about this, this is a huge developement.

MacRumorUser
Jun 8, 2006, 10:37 AM
I haven't ever posted on macrumors, but I thought i should share this with people. I ran bootcamp and installed Windows XP home edition on my macbook pro 2 Ghz yesterday, and to test it out, installed my friends copy of Half Life 2. It runs absolutely buttery smooth, with all the settings turned up to high, and even when the laptop is unplugged. In fact, it runs better than it does on his Thinkbook, which also runs at 2 ghz! Basically, i can now run every game i ever wanted to play on my macbook. And I dont have to pay a premium mac price. Who the hell is still going to buy mac games, and why arent people posting more about this, this is a huge developement.

Remember to designate macbook PRO in your post (other than just the thread) as the fundemental difference in gpu, but YAY! I'm happy for you :)

Dont Hurt Me
Jun 8, 2006, 10:41 AM
Is that a buttery smooth 20 FPS? or a buttery smooth 70FPS. I would play the game through then tell us. Some later levels in the game will stress that system a lot more believe me. I cant remember the name of the level but its when you have to open up a big wall/barracade and your under constant attack. 3/4 of the way through the game. I doubt it will be buttery smooth but posting frame rates is the best way for others to tell what you are getting because whats smooth to you may not be to others.

lfh284
Jun 8, 2006, 10:52 AM
By buttery smooth i mean that with the highest resolution possible, there is absolutely no choppiness. It looks like a movie, so i assume the frame rate would have to be at LEAST 30. I don't know how to find the exact frame rate. I only got an hour or two into the game, but have already been in situations where there is plenty of action, and there is no slow down. If there was a slowdown later in the game, which i doubt looking at the way its playing now, one could still reduce the resolution to the standard 1024 by 768. Im going to try to run the FEAR demo later to see if the MBP can handle that too, I hear its even more demanding than HL2. There is absolutely no reason why everyone shouldnt install windows on their intel macs, besides the fact that PC games play exceedingly well, everything within Windows works too once the drivers that come with Bootcamp are installed. Its like having two computers in one. And its foolproof, if anything with windows were to go wrong, one can reboot using OSX, and use Bootcamp to erase the windows partition, leaving the computer exactly as it was before the windows install.

lfh284
Jun 8, 2006, 10:57 AM
What surprises me is that, when running the Doom 3 demo in OSX, which, correct me if i'm wrong, is less demanding than HL2, my MPB performs abysmally. Even on low settings, frame rates are around 10 fps. Why is there such a HUGE difference between running games on OSX as opposed to Windows? I really think that mac gaming can be burried now that Bootcamp is out

7on
Jun 8, 2006, 11:55 AM
It's mostly OpenGL's fault. Apple needs to get in there and improve OpenGL or develop their own new APIs that throw DX to shame.

benpatient
Jun 8, 2006, 03:10 PM
Doom 3 is more demanding (on a computer) than HL2.

Although in my opinion HL2 looks better.

Doom 3 has real-time shadows. FEAR does as well...FEAR has soft-shadows too if you can swing it.

poppe
Jun 8, 2006, 04:00 PM
Doom 3 is more demanding (on a computer) than HL2.

Although in my opinion HL2 looks better.

Doom 3 has real-time shadows. FEAR does as well...FEAR has soft-shadows too if you can swing it.

Please some one hurry and get F.E.A.R. results I'm dying to see them!!

FEAR on a Pentium 4 2Ghz 1 Gig of Ram and 256 MB V Card (dont know which one) ran horribly... There are four settings for resolution if I can recall and I had to put it on the second to last along with something else so the game would not be choppy... It looked like original doom shadding...(no doom was clearer...)

jaxstate
Jun 8, 2006, 09:59 PM
I just finished playing some of the demo of F.E.A.R on a MBP and it runs great. I don't know how get FPS info. If someone tells me, I'll do it. But just from playing the game, it runs smooth as butter!:D
Please some one hurry and get F.E.A.R. results I'm dying to see them!!

FEAR on a Pentium 4 2Ghz 1 Gig of Ram and 256 MB V Card (dont know which one) ran horribly... There are four settings for resolution if I can recall and I had to put it on the second to last along with something else so the game would not be choppy... It looked like original doom shadding...(no doom was clearer...)
I have 1G of RAM

mode
Jun 8, 2006, 10:24 PM
I don't know about F.E.A.R., but to display the running framerate in Half-Life 2, make sure you enabled the developer console in the "Advanced..." settings under the keyboard options tab in the Options menu. From there, press the tilde (~) key and type in "net_graph 1" (minus the quotes). You'll be shown the current number of frames per second in the corner. When you're finished, set it back to "net_graph 0" to turn it off again.

I'm really excited to hear your results; I'm going to be getting a MacBook Pro soon, and I've wanted as detailed an analysis on Half-Life 2's performance on the system that I could get from someone who's actually seen it in action.

With screen resolution and video settings all set to max, what's the average FPS you get in fairly busy parts of the game (a good example would be the trainstation courtyard with the giant monitor in the first chapter, right when you open those large front doors and walk down the steps -- that scene is notorious for being a real framerate killer on some systems)? Can you compare that with the difference in performance when you tune down Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering to only 2x each? Thanks!

Oh, and can you please share the full specs of your machine (VRAM, RAM, screen size)?

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 12:00 AM
Sorry for being such a noob on getting fps info, but I couldn't get it to work on FEAR. I was running the screen resoultion set to 1024x768, and the rest of the setting to whatever the defaults are. No slowdown what so ever. I've only been playing for 40 minutes (keep getting killed), and I haven't encounted a scene that was very busy, but i'm sure it won't be a problem.
I don't know about F.E.A.R., but to display the running framerate in Half-Life 2, make sure you enabled the developer console in the "Advanced..." settings under the keyboard options tab in the Options menu. From there, press the tilde (~) key and type in "net_graph 1" (minus the quotes). You'll be shown the current number of frames per second in the corner. When you're finished, set it back to "net_graph 0" to turn it off again.

I'm really excited to hear your results; I'm going to be getting a MacBook Pro soon, and I've wanted as detailed an analysis on Half-Life 2's performance on the system that I could get from someone who's actually seen it in action.

With screen resolution and video settings all set to max, what's the average FPS you get in fairly busy parts of the game (a good example would be the trainstation courtyard with the giant monitor in the first chapter, right when you open those large front doors and walk down the steps -- that scene is notorious for being a real framerate killer on some systems)? Can you compare that with the difference in performance when you tune down Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering to only 2x each? Thanks!

Oh, and can you please share the full specs of your machine (VRAM, RAM, screen size)?
128 vram, 1g ram, 15" screen. This game is great. I'm glad I sprung for the MBP over the MB.

Stridder44
Jun 9, 2006, 12:02 AM
It's mostly OpenGL's fault. Apple needs to get in there and improve OpenGL or develop their own new APIs that throw DX to shame.


Come on 10.5. 4 revisions so far and they havn't gotten it right yet?

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 03:52 AM
FEAR has it's own benchmarking :rolleyes:

Go into performance options and in that area you will get 'test settings' if you run that it runs a benchmarking demo.

I got 47 fps with my iMac 2ghz, 256mb ram

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 04:35 AM
What surprises me is that, when running the Doom 3 demo in OSX, which, correct me if i'm wrong, is less demanding than HL2, my MPB performs abysmally. Even on low settings, frame rates are around 10 fps. Why is there such a HUGE difference between running games on OSX as opposed to Windows? I really think that mac gaming can be burried now that Bootcamp is out

Unless I've missed a recent release - the Doom3 demo is a PowerPC app, and thus is running effectively in emulation. It's actually impressive it's getting the framerates that it is!

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 04:37 AM
By buttery smooth i mean that with the highest resolution possible, there is absolutely no choppiness. It looks like a movie, so i assume the frame rate would have to be at LEAST 30. I don't know how to find the exact frame rate. I only got an hour or two into the game, but have already been in situations where there is plenty of action, and there is no slow down. If there was a slowdown later in the game, which i doubt looking at the way its playing now, one could still reduce the resolution to the standard 1024 by 768. Im going to try to run the FEAR demo later to see if the MBP can handle that too, I hear its even more demanding than HL2. There is absolutely no reason why everyone shouldnt install windows on their intel macs, besides the fact that PC games play exceedingly well, everything within Windows works too once the drivers that come with Bootcamp are installed. Its like having two computers in one. And its foolproof, if anything with windows were to go wrong, one can reboot using OSX, and use Bootcamp to erase the windows partition, leaving the computer exactly as it was before the windows install.

If you really want to stress test your MBP, try running the Lost Coast technology demo, you probably purchased it when you bought HL2?

Now that went a lot further towards bringing my MBP to it's knees, although it did look gorgeous.

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 05:13 AM
If you really want to stress test your MBP, try running the Lost Coast technology demo, you probably purchased it when you bought HL2?

Now that went a lot further towards bringing my MBP to it's knees, although it did look gorgeous.

Yeah there are some anomolies on my imac with it though.
If I enable say AA, some of the coastline goes pink?

Also there doesnt seem a HUGE difference between HDR and bloom?

I was getting just under 60 FPS average at 1344x840 on my imac core duo 256mb gpu.

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 06:22 AM
I looked and didn't see any "test settings" menu.
FEAR has it's own benchmarking :rolleyes:

Go into performance options and in that area you will get 'test settings' if you run that it runs a benchmarking demo.

I got 47 fps with my iMac 2ghz, 256mb ram

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 06:30 AM
Yeah there are some anomolies on my imac with it though.
If I enable say AA, some of the coastline goes pink?

Also there doesnt seem a HUGE difference between HDR and bloom?

I was getting just under 60 FPS average at 1344x840 on my imac core duo 256mb gpu.

Can't saw I noticed the pink coastline (but then I am a little colour blind, so who knows?) ;)

The only difference I'm aware of between HDR and bloom is the way reflections are drawn on wet or shiny surfaces - you can see it on the wet rocks in the Lost Coast, and I noticed it in HL2-Episode 1 as well.

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 06:46 AM
Incidentally, recently Steam/HL2 has been prompting me to update the graphics drivers on my MBP - should I use those or keep the drivers Apple provided?

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 06:52 AM
Incidentally, recently Steam/HL2 has been prompting me to update the graphics drivers on my MBP - should I use those or keep the drivers Apple provided?

I'd say keep the mac ones. Simply because when the hackers had xp up and running they were unabble to get video card drivers to run properly. The standard ATI catalyst ones - wouldnt install.

Hence until apple update bootcamp with more recent drivers, stick with what you have.

I looked and didn't see any "test settings" menu.


Mmm? Should be there under performance test / check settings / check performance. Cant remember how its phrased exactly, dont make me go install fear again :)

Just fire up the game, choose "Options" in the main menu, then choose "Performance." There's a "Test settings" menu item that will run through a short scripted sequence using the current graphics and CPU settings and spit out a set of numbers: minimum, maximum, and average frames per second. We're primarily interested in the average FPS, but if you're tweaking the settings on your own personal system for a good play experience, you might want to make note of the minimum value as well.

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 06:54 AM
Hence until apple update bootcamp with more recent drivers, stick with what you have.


Makes sense, thanks. The gaming performance of the MBP is fine, it's just in WMV playback the colour palettes are all wrong.

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 07:15 AM
I opened the game. Went under "Options" then "Performance". Under Performance the only options were "Auto-detect" "Computer" "Graphics Card" "Advanced Computer Options" and "Advanced Videocard Options"

Mmm? Should be there under performance test / check settings / check performance. Cant remember how its phrased exactly, dont make me go install fear again :)

Just fire up the game, choose "Options" in the main menu, then choose "Performance." There's a "Test settings" menu item that will run through a short scripted sequence using the current graphics and CPU settings and spit out a set of numbers: minimum, maximum, and average frames per second. We're primarily interested in the average FPS, but if you're tweaking the settings on your own personal system for a good play experience, you might want to make note of the minimum value as well.

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 07:18 AM
I opened the game. Went under "Options" then "Performance". Under Performance the only options were "Auto-detect" "Computer" "Graphics Card" "Advanced Computer Options" and "Advanced Videocard Options"

And at the bottom of that screen, should be test settings?? strange your not getting it :confused: 100% definetly it should be there. Change a setting and choose ok, and see if it appears...

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 07:25 AM
Made the changes, that option doesn't appear.
And at the bottom of that screen, should be test settings?? strange your not getting it :confused: 100% definetly it should be there. Change a setting and choose ok, and see if it appears...
FYI I chaged some of the setting to maximum, it gives a warning, "Your video card may not support this setting"

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 07:35 AM
Made the changes, that option doesn't appear.

FYI I chaged some of the setting to maximum, it gives a warning, "Your video card may support this setting"

you mean 'May Not'. Wouldnt be much of a warning telling you that you can :)


But strange that that isnt appearing for you. Anyone else do yu have it installed ? I dont want to be going to the bother of borrowing it again and installing it... :)

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 07:52 AM
So you had the full install. I'm running the demo, maybe that's it.:confused:
you mean 'May Not'. Wouldnt be much of a warning telling you that you can :)


But strange that that isnt appearing for you. Anyone else do yu have it installed ? I dont want to be going to the bother of borrowing it again and installing it... :)

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 10:16 AM
After doing some google searches...indeed, the test performace option is not in the demo version.

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 10:25 AM
After doing some google searches...indeed, the test performace option is not in the demo version.

:rolleyes: You didnt mention it was the demo :p

Also demo isn't the latest version so it may be a bit slower than proper patched full version. :)

At least I know I'm not going CRAZY :D :D :D

jaxstate
Jun 9, 2006, 10:32 AM
:rolleyes: I'm getting a retail copy soon.
:rolleyes: You didnt mention it was the demo :p

Also demo isn't the latest version so it may be a bit slower than proper patched full version. :)

At least I know I'm not going CRAZY :D :D :D

I just finished playing some of the demo of F.E.A.R on a MBP and it runs great. I don't know how get FPS info. If someone tells me, I'll do it. But just from playing the game, it runs smooth as butter!:D

I have 1G of RAM

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 10:34 AM
:rolleyes: I'm getting a retail copy soon.

RAOTFLMAO !!! didnt see that :D I am crazy :)

poppe
Jun 9, 2006, 10:34 AM
Yeah there are some anomolies on my imac with it though.
If I enable say AA, some of the coastline goes pink?

Also there doesnt seem a HUGE difference between HDR and bloom?

I was getting just under 60 FPS average at 1344x840 on my imac core duo 256mb gpu.

What game is that for you are talking about?

So does that mean my MBP 2.16 ghz (though i'm waiting for merom and 2.33) with 2 gigs and 256 vcard perform just as good? or no?

MacRumorUser
Jun 9, 2006, 10:35 AM
What game is that for you are talking about?

So does that mean my MBP 2.16 ghz (though i'm waiting for merom and 2.33) with 2 gigs and 256 vcard perform just as good? or no?

Sorry refering to the Lost Coast add on to HalfLife 2

It should do, but you may need to overclock the gpu to match the imac.

mode
Jun 9, 2006, 12:36 PM
To whoever was saying that they're getting some pink artifacts and whatnot in Lost Coast with certain video settins enabled..

http://support.steampowered.com/cgi-bin/steampowered.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=282&p_created=1101182584&p_sid=ciovOD9i&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MTQmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9JnB fY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfbmwmcF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD12YWxpZGF0ZQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1

@MacRumorUser: Those steady 60fps you were getting on Lost Coast, was that with HDR enabled? What do you get in the benchmark test with 1440 x 900, full video settings, HDR and AA+AF at 2x each?

whooleytoo
Jun 9, 2006, 01:14 PM
It should do, but you may need to overclock the gpu to match the imac.

I'd guess so, my MBP (albeit a 1.8GHz model) gets nowhere near 60fps with those settings, the 128MB VRAM is probably a significant bottleneck.

poppe
Jun 9, 2006, 07:52 PM
Sorry refering to the Lost Coast add on to HalfLife 2

It should do, but you may need to overclock the gpu to match the imac.


Why is the graphics card on the iMac better than the MBP? is it a different vCard? I thought they were both the 256 mobile one.

mode
Jun 9, 2006, 08:47 PM
Apple significantly and purposely underlclocks the MacBook's GPU to lower heat output on the machine.

Though you can use ATItools to clock it back up to ATI's default recommended factory settings.

MacRumorUser
Jun 10, 2006, 02:26 AM
To whoever was saying that they're getting some pink artifacts and whatnot in Lost Coast with certain video settins enabled..

http://support.steampowered.com/cgi-bin/steampowered.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=282&p_created=1101182584&p_sid=ciovOD9i&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MTQmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9JnB fY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfbmwmcF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD12YWxpZGF0ZQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1

@MacRumorUser: Those steady 60fps you were getting on Lost Coast, was that with HDR enabled? What do you get in the benchmark test with 1440 x 900, full video settings, HDR and AA+AF at 2x each?

Thanks for the linky. It was with HDR enabled but no AA and AF at 8

To be honest I couldnt see a huge difference between Bloom & HDR.

Cant re-test as I unistalled windows.

poppe
Jun 10, 2006, 12:28 PM
Apple significantly and purposely underlclocks the MacBook's GPU to lower heat output on the machine.

Though you can use ATItools to clock it back up to ATI's default recommended factory settings.

Oh I c... that stinks...