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MacBytes
Mar 15, 2008, 10:40 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Make the MacBook better for gaming (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080315234019)
Description:: If Apple isn't going to give the Macbook a dedicated graphics card, they should at least bring the graphic performance of the integrated card up to the same levels that are in Windows.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Eidorian
Mar 15, 2008, 10:41 PM
Multi-threaded OpenGL gives us MacBook owners some hope of a few more frames but Apple really needs to improve their drivers.

viperguy
Mar 15, 2008, 11:42 PM
Interesting facts.
If I`m not wrong, some iBooks used to have off board video cards.
Why not bring that back :D

walnuts
Mar 16, 2008, 12:00 AM
Multi-threaded OpenGL gives us MacBook owners some hope of a few more frames but Apple really needs to improve their drivers.

Some of the comments on the Macworld site blame the software and not Mac's drivers for the issues. I'm no expert, but they said that as most games are ports of DirectX games (based on and optimized for Direct X) to Mac and their OpenGL format, the problem lies with the optimization in the third party software, and not with Apple:

erm, yes that is putting it simply isn't it. The old apples and pears routine. So how are you comparing the performance? The only way you could definitely say that DX/Win is higher performing than OpenGL/Mac (on that graphics architecture) is to take something that is doing the exact same, in both environments.

But because most mac ports have to make an OpenGL app out of a DirectX app, they're off to a bad start (similarly if you were going from GL->DX the DX app would be worse off, if the GL app was heavily optimized).

The nearest you could get for performance measurements is to take a product that purports to be built natively for each (eg. WoW?). How does that fare?

This made sense to me. Peter Cohen, the author, never seemed to answer this. If its true, its upsetting as there's no likely magical software update that will better the Macbook's gaming...

Sussman
Mar 16, 2008, 12:51 AM
Apple needs this distinction between the MB and the MBP. Sales in MBP's would drop significantly if MB's had dedicated graphics. I hear all the time from people that bought MBP's because they wanted dedicated graphics that they wish they saved some $$ and got a MB because all day-to-day tasks work great w/o dedicated graphics. Also, I just started using Aperture 2 on my MB and it works fine for an amateur photographer.

Eric5h5
Mar 16, 2008, 01:33 AM
Apple needs this distinction between the MB and the MBP. Sales in MBP's would drop significantly if MB's had dedicated graphics.

Nonsense. Both the PowerBook and the iBook had dedicated graphics. If they want to keep the distinction, all they have to do is have a low-end graphics card in the MacBook vs. a high-end (for a notebook) in the MacBook Pro. You know, like they used to. Which they never had a problem with before. Even a low-end dedicated card would be an improvement over the X3100.

--Eric

BenRoethig
Mar 16, 2008, 08:24 AM
Apple needs this distinction between the MB and the MBP. Sales in MBP's would drop significantly if MB's had dedicated graphics. I hear all the time from people that bought MBP's because they wanted dedicated graphics that they wish they saved some $$ and got a MB because all day-to-day tasks work great w/o dedicated graphics. Also, I just started using Aperture 2 on my MB and it works fine for an amateur photographer.


There's a there isn't just a two tier system here between integrated graphics and dedicated graphics. There are different levels of dedicated graphics. Apple could use the 8400GS. As it stands right now with integrated graphics, both the Macbook and the Mini are marginally faster than their G4 based predecessor while the newest MBPs are offering 3-4 times the performance. When it comes right down to it, my G3 iBook was a much more versatile system than what they ship now. Besides, there are a lot a users who want something full featured, but find even the 15" MBP too large.

takao
Mar 16, 2008, 10:20 AM
yeah the 8400 GS simply would make too much sense... especially for the price apple charges ... or at least make it optional on the macbook for extra 50 bucks .. many would be happy with that
spice up the MBP to a 8700 etc. and then the distinction is there again

apsterling
Mar 16, 2008, 01:13 PM
Hell, I'd be happy with an old Radeon Mobility 9700- that card fares quite well in any notebook I've seen it in.

tsice19
Mar 16, 2008, 01:34 PM
I don't see why everyone is complaining so much.

I have a souped-up MacBook, and for me, it has everything I need in it (granted I don't play games). I may be boot camping soon for some games, but for a leisurely gamer like me, I could care or less if I'm not getting crazy FPS.

In my eyes, and probably in Apple's too, the MacBook is for consumers who don't play games often, and who do the average consumer stuff with occasional work in Adobe CSx Software. If you want to play games or get even more powerful performance, then you should get a MacBook Pro.

Everyone is so quick to freak out about stuff when Apple has a solution already.

If you want high end performance then a MBP or MP are you options.
If you want average consumer level performance, get an iMac or MB.
And, if you are just switching from PC, get a Mac Mini.

End Rant.

Eidorian
Mar 16, 2008, 01:37 PM
I don't see why everyone is complaining so much.

I have a souped-up MacBook, and for me, it has everything I need in it (granted I don't play games). I may be boot camping soon for some games, but for a leisurely gamer like me, I could care or less if I'm not getting crazy FPS.

In my eyes, and probably in Apple's too, the MacBook is for consumers who don't play games often, and who do the average consumer stuff with occasional work in Adobe CSx Software. If you want to play games or get even more powerful performance, then you should get a MacBook Pro.

Everyone is so quick to freak out about stuff when Apple has a solution already.

If you want high end performance then a MBP or MP are you options.
If you want average consumer level performance, get an iMac or MB.
And, if you are just switching from PC, get a Mac Mini.

End Rant.I guess you don't remember the days when all Macs had dedicated video cards? I've seen "It's a consumer Mac. They don't hardcore game." used before and it's not the first time. I'm sure you'd like to be the person to tell all the GMA950 users that they can't do any 3D gaming beyond 2003 games.

I hated telling mothers and grandparents they needed to get a video card to play Lego Star Wars on their new computers.

Full of Win
Mar 16, 2008, 01:51 PM
I made a post about this a few weeks ago. The GMA X3100 can do OpenGL 1.5, as per Intel, but Apple only supports OpenGL 1.2 on it with the current drivers. Given that many graphics programs use this (e.g After Effects), it would be a welcome change for them to support what the hardware can do. I've come to think they do it to keep a seperation between the MBP and the plain jane MacBook.

Techguy172
Mar 16, 2008, 02:45 PM
Apple is just not the same they have became lazy and cheap, make them cheap sell them expensive. They are just not like they used to be they always used to have the very best of every thing and they even offered value. Now look the iPods don't have FireWire Consumer macs don't have dedicated graphics they use cheap screens. It's only down hill from here.

BenRoethig
Mar 16, 2008, 03:58 PM
I guess you don't remember the days when all Macs had dedicated video cards? I've seen "It's a consumer Mac. They don't hardcore game." used before and it's not the first time. I'm sure you'd like to be the person to tell all the GMA950 users that they can't do any 3D gaming beyond 2003 games.

I hated telling mothers and grandparents they needed to get a video card to play Lego Star Wars on their new computers.

I'll also say this, having a dedicated graphics card will also help your performance on non graphics related issues. My mother bought a HP with integrated graphics. I was able to get a used 32mb TNT2 which was completely obsolete at that time. That computer was a completely different animal with the video card in. With an IG setup, you're not only taking away from your RAM, you're using CPU power to help drive that display.

tbear1
Mar 16, 2008, 04:05 PM
If Apple continues to use the Intel graphics solution, the Macbooks should get noticeably better. The x3100 was better than 965 and the new x4500 coming from the Montevina chipset appears to be quite a bit better than the x3100. Intel seems to be focusing on improving their integrated graphics solution offerings. I thought there was a roadmap to that effect.

Glenn

Eidorian
Mar 16, 2008, 04:09 PM
I'll also say this, having a dedicated graphics card will also help your performance on non graphics related issues. My mother bought a HP with integrated graphics. I was able to get a used 32mb TNT2 which was completely obsolete at that time. That computer was a completely different animal with the video card in. With an IG setup, you're not only taking away from your RAM, you're using CPU power to help drive that display.Even if you're not gaming there is a slight memory performance loss when using a integrated video card. A coworker of mine said it was somewhere around 1 in 4 memory cycles is lost to do video work.

If Apple continues to use the Intel graphics solution, the Macbooks should get noticeably better. The GMA X3100 was better than GMA 950 and the new GMA X4500 coming on the Montevina platform appears to be quite a bit better than the GMA X3100. Intel seems to be focusing on improving their integrated graphics solution offerings. I thought there was a roadmap to that effect.

GlennI fixed it for you.

Montevina IGP Information (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=441416)

UCLA-Bruin
Mar 16, 2008, 04:19 PM
I think my old PowerBook G4 handled graphics better than my MacBook.

tbear1
Mar 16, 2008, 05:35 PM
I fixed it for you.

Montevina IGP Information (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=441416)

Thanks, yes you are correct. When I was researching the integrated graphics solutions last summer, I found an Intel roadmap presentation. It appeared in that presentation that the real performance boost will come after the Montevina platform. It will be very interesting to see how far they can close the gap to a discrete graphics solution.

Glenn

Eidorian
Mar 16, 2008, 05:54 PM
Thanks, yes you are correct. When I was researching the integrated graphics solutions last summer, I found an Intel roadmap presentation. It appeared in that presentation that the real performance boost will come after the Montevina platform. It will be very interesting to see how far they can close the gap to a discrete graphics solution.

GlennI've found that the GMA X3100 provides performance like a Geforce Go 5650 or 6200.

EB66
Mar 16, 2008, 06:19 PM
I would definetly like to have a macbook that is upgraded a little bit with a dedicated graphics card because that and small things like the non-backlit keyboard and plastic casing are what keep me from getting one....there is no in between its either $1000ish for macbook or double the price $2000ish for Macbook Pro....and all of this is why I still have my Powerbook G4 :rolleyes:

tsice19
Mar 16, 2008, 06:33 PM
I guess you don't remember the days when all Macs had dedicated video cards? I've seen "It's a consumer Mac. They don't hardcore game." used before and it's not the first time. I'm sure you'd like to be the person to tell all the GMA950 users that they can't do any 3D gaming beyond 2003 games.

I hated telling mothers and grandparents they needed to get a video card to play Lego Star Wars on their new computers.

True. But my old Dell had an integrated graphics card in it, and it ran most new games (Flight Sim. X, America's Army) in or around 30 fps. This was at low settings and it only had 512 MB of ram. My point is, aren't the games still playable? Even without dedicated graphics?

Also, I remember hearing somewhere that Apple said that the reason the Mini didn't have a dedicated graphics card was because the C2D and 2 gigs of RAM made up for it.

Just my 2 cents, however I've only had my Mac for a month, so I guess you are right in the end. :apple:

Dustman
Mar 16, 2008, 08:02 PM
Also, I remember hearing somewhere that Apple said that the reason the Mini didn't have a dedicated graphics card was because the C2D and 2 gigs of RAM made up for it.

Just my 2 cents, however I've only had my Mac for a month, so I guess you are right in the end. :apple:

First of all, the Mini only comes with 1 GB standard; and second, it absolutely does NOT make up for having a graphics card. Some things will simply refuse to run without a graphics card, and if its true that apple said something like that, TISK!

zap2
Mar 16, 2008, 08:39 PM
Honestly if you want to game look away from the MacBook...its just not going to be good....i wish apple would go back to decated GPUs,but clearly the low end intel solution is good enough...and pads their bottom line nicely

trip1ex
Mar 16, 2008, 09:22 PM
IF they stayed a generation behind and gave us the x1600 that would still be a lot better than integrated graphics.

Westsider 4 Mac
Mar 16, 2008, 10:08 PM
for real...

Nermal
Mar 16, 2008, 11:13 PM
I guess you don't remember the days when all Macs had dedicated video cards? I've seen "It's a consumer Mac. They don't hardcore game."

I find that "consumer" argument rather baffling (I know that you personally are not using that argument here). Surely home users (or "consumers") are more likely to play games than "pro" users, so why does the "pro" or "business" laptop have the better video card? :confused: