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View Full Version : A Few Questions Regardin Mac Gaming (With a Focus on the Al iMac and UT3)




$MacUser$
Oct 30, 2007, 01:09 AM
I'm in no rush to pick up a new mac, but will be grabbing an Al iMac once the second rev comes out. I had a few questions for the Mac gamers here.

First and foremost, I plan on getting Vista (bootcamped). Although I was reluctant, realistically a lot of my fav games (cs, etc) are windows only. Plus, there's directx10, which I don't believe OSX supports (it's still OpenGL, right?)

That aside, my main question lies in what machine to get. My first thought was the 24." However, would the larger screen size impact performance to the point where the 20" would actually give higher framerates?

Also, how would the hardware in the iMac (either 20 or 24") stand up to demanding, new games like UT3? I'm thinking along the lines of the type of hardware one might reasonable expect to find in the second rev.

Thanks for your time.



hankolerd
Nov 2, 2007, 12:45 PM
my compy plays UT3 at medium settings at 25-30fps. anything more than that hurts it though. The 24" will run slower because it has to push more pixels, but it will also look amazing on the games it can run, so it is kinda a trade-off.:apple:

IBitePrettyHard
Nov 4, 2007, 10:34 PM
You can run UT3 in windowed mode on the 24" to boost performance...it works just as well.

eXan
Nov 5, 2007, 03:00 AM
24" will NOT be slower than 20" on the same graphics settings.

It will, however, if you set native resolution of the LCD (1680x1050 on 20" vs 1920x1200 on 24")

But such games like UT3 with crawl on iMacs @ such high resolutions, so it doesnt matter.

Get 24" if you can afford it. Its always nice to have a bigger screen.

Plus, I think in rev. B Apple could add a GPU-upgrade option for 24"ers only, or include a faster GPU than in 20". They've done so in the past with rev. C iMac G5's)

hankolerd
Nov 5, 2007, 10:11 AM
24" will NOT be slower than 20" on the same graphics settings.

It will, however, if you set native resolution of the LCD (1680x1050 on 20" vs 1920x1200 on 24")

That was my point when I said "push more pixels".

The aluminum iMacs have a much better vc than my iMac has though, so you should be able to get even higher settings out of those games. OS X is still OpenGL, but the new cards are DirectX10 compatible, so you will be able to play DX10 games in Vista. There are people working on porting DX10 to XP as well...So if you are not a Vista fan you might look into that before you decide what to install. I personally am running Vista for gaming, and haven't had any problems yet...But all I use it for is gaming. nothing else at all.:apple:

eXan
Nov 5, 2007, 09:02 PM
The aluminum iMacs have a much better vc than my iMac has though

Probably they have, but the 3D gaming benchmarks show that they perform the same as previous models, or sometimes slightly slower. Sadly, Apple's drivers are crap.

These cards do however show better performance in 2D stuff like Aperture and Motion.

hankolerd
Nov 5, 2007, 09:42 PM
interesting. My buddy has a new 20" with the 256mb 2600 hd, and we were playing on WOW last night, and with identical settings except for AA(I had it off and he had it half up) I was running at 25fps and he was running 40fps...:apple:

EDIT: was running Leopard and he was running Tiger, he updated to Leopard today, so we will see if that helps or hurts him.:apple:

eXan
Nov 5, 2007, 10:34 PM
interesting. My buddy has a new 20" with the 256mb 2600 hd, and we were playing on WOW last night, and with identical settings except for AA(I had it off and he had it half up) I was running at 25fps and he was running 40fps...:apple:

EDIT: was running Leopard and he was running Tiger, he updated to Leopard today, so we will see if that helps or hurts him.:apple:

Really interesting. These tests seem to suggest the Al iMacs' graphics firepower isn't great, compared to previous models.

http://barefeats.com/imacal.html

hankolerd
Nov 6, 2007, 08:11 AM
Really interesting. These tests seem to suggest the Al iMacs' graphics firepower isn't great, compared to previous models.

http://barefeats.com/imacal.html

The only one they don't show much of in increase in is Quake 4, almost identical. Everything else is 50-75% higher framerates for the 2600 HD over the X1600.
I wonder if the latest firmware updates for the iMac affected how well it runs either.

I was comparing the new iMacs with the old ones, in which it really increases. Compared to the macbookpro and macpro, I will agree, it makes the cards seem just average.:apple:

eXan
Nov 6, 2007, 08:24 AM
The only one they don't show much of in increase in is Quake 4, almost identical. Everything else is 50-75% higher framerates for the 2600 HD over the X1600.
I wonder if the latest firmware updates for the iMac affected how well it runs either.

I was comparing the new iMacs with the old ones, in which it really increases. Compared to the macbookpro and macpro, I will agree, it makes the cards seem just average.:apple:

Nonono, if you were attentive, you would notice that the only Mac with X1600 they tested on that page was a Core 1 Duo 2 Ghz iMac.

So comparing a Core Duo 2 ghz machine with 667 MHz FSB to new Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz with 800 MHZ FSB will give you quite different results, so that 50-75% increase is not etirely GPU-bound.

Also, those tests show how weak X1400 XT is in the low-end iMac, as it was performing about the same with the above mentioned 2 GHZ Core Duo iMac with X1600.

I'd really like the new Radeons to outperform old X1600s, but most benchmarks seem to suggest the same speed (with the help of faster CPU&FSB of course) :(

If you have UT2004, could you run the Antalus Botmatch benchmark with SantaDuck toolpak for me? I'd really appreciate it :)

hankolerd
Nov 6, 2007, 08:34 AM
If you have UT2004, could you run the Antalus Botmatch benchmark with SantaDuck toolpak for me? I'd really appreciate it :)

I have the windows version. I can do it today when i get back from my classes, but where can i find the SantaDuck toolpak and botmatch benchmark at? let me know and I will do it today.

That's a good point about the different processors, i didnt think about that when I read the results.

Regardless, the new iMacs should be good enough to handle games like UT3 and GOW. Even if it's not the vc that makes them better than my iMac.:apple:

eXan
Nov 6, 2007, 11:15 PM
I have the windows version. I can do it today when i get back from my classes, but where can i find the SantaDuck toolpak and botmatch benchmark at? let me know and I will do it today.

That's a good point about the different processors, i didnt think about that when I read the results.

Regardless, the new iMacs should be good enough to handle games like UT3 and GOW. Even if it's not the vc that makes them better than my iMac.:apple:

Not sure that comparing performance uder different OSes is fair, but you could try running it in Windows.

Here is the link to the santaduck toolpak: http://santaduck.com/download/

Launch the windows version of this app, and following onscreen instructions set Antalus botmatch with both graphics and sound enabled, maximum settings and 1024x768 resolution. You can also run additional test @ native resolution if you want :)

hankolerd
Nov 7, 2007, 12:31 PM
I am having trouble running this SantaDuck benchmark tool. I downloaded the zip and read the instructions for windows. It says to unzip it in the system folder of my ut2004 install. I did that, then it says just to launch one of the .bat files to run the benchmark, but when I do that, the command prompt flashes very briefly, and then exits out. And nothing ever happens, and no benchmark.log file is ever created...any suggestions??:apple:

eXan
Nov 7, 2007, 09:12 PM
I am having trouble running this SantaDuck benchmark tool. I downloaded the zip and read the instructions for windows. It says to unzip it in the system folder of my ut2004 install. I did that, then it says just to launch one of the .bat files to run the benchmark, but when I do that, the command prompt flashes very briefly, and then exits out. And nothing ever happens, and no benchmark.log file is ever created...any suggestions??:apple:

Sorry, I have absolutely no experience in running santaduck under windows... Cant' help :(

hankolerd
Nov 7, 2007, 10:16 PM
darn.
It says in their documentation that the Mac and Windows uses the same .ini files(whatever that means) and that when the benchmarks are complete they are cross system comparable, so that is good news...now i just need to figure out how to get them to run in windows...:apple:

$MacUser$
Nov 7, 2007, 11:16 PM
Interesting discussion. I'll probably be holding out until Apple introduces the new Montivina processor. By that time (March at the earliest), I can only imagine they will be sporting new graphics cards.

My favorite game is counter strike anyway, and that will probably run just fine on the current crop of iMacs. It'd be nice to play games like UT3, but that's really not a requirement. I'm looking into a new machine to replace an aging Powerbook more than I'm looking for a gaming rig. However, I would like to engage in the occasional bloodfest.

hankolerd
Nov 8, 2007, 08:26 AM
However, I would like to engage in the occasional bloodfest.

I hear Gears of War is the game for that.:apple: