? about Mac mini gaming

Discussion in 'Games' started by LuWoo75, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. LuWoo75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    #1
    I currently have the 1st generation Mini's (1.25 G4 1GB RAM) and playing WoW and Neverwinter Nights. I was considering getting the new intel mini before the end of the year and was wondering with the new intel intergrated graphics card would there be a degration of graphics or dose the 64MB of shared memory actually increases graphical power over the 32MB of dedicated RAM?
     
  2. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a

    thegreatluke

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    #2
    I know the Intel GMA 950's in the MacBook are more powerful than the dedicated cards the last iBooks had, so I imagine it was the same way for the Mac mini.
     
  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #3
    The new Mini will be an improvement over your current PPC Mini...the Mini's Radeon 9200 was basically a repackaged Radeon 8500 - a great gaming card in its day but that day has long since passed. I'm not a fan of the integrated graphics in the new Minis but they are decent performers for casual gaming.

    The Intel chips absolutely spank the G4 and its wimpy FSB though, so that alone is a reason to get the new Mini.
     
  4. LuWoo75 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2005
    #4

    Thanks for the response on a budget and really didnt wanna shell out $1200 for an imac when i already have a flat screen. I agree I would rather had a dedicated VC, but I only play a couple of games anyway thanks again for the response.
     
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #5
    The GMA950 is only better than the 9200 in 2D and media acceleration tasks. For 3D gaming the 9200 was a better chip... the Core Duo is so much faster, and the memory is so much faster, and the HDD is also faster, so it makes up for it some, but all else equal, the 9200, even with just 32mb VRAM, is a better 3D chip.

    That said, the GMA950 does alright for games. WoW can be playable up to a point, I hear, and same for Guild Wars (Windows game)... some older FPS run well, and some newer ones at lower res/detail settings.

    For just casual and occasional games, the mini should be an OK choice. My only beef with it is that for the price isn't a very good value after the last update. The iMac is considerably faster (more default RAM, bigger faster HDD, faster CPU, MUCH faster GPU) and is only $400 more (for the 17"). You get a "free" keyb/mouse, which is pretty decent value wise (adds $50 or so to the mini), and even if you have a nice LCD, you can use the built in display as a second monitor, which is pretty handy, and builds in another $150 of value into the iMac.

    That means you getting a lot of computer for the extra $200, in my book. If they had dropped the mini $100 at each price point it would make it a great machine, but as it is, I'm not too impressed.
     
  6. Carrot007 macrumors regular

    Carrot007

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    #6
    The GMA950 is only better than the 9200 in 2D and media acceleration tasks. For 3D gaming the 9200 was a better chip... the Core Duo is so much faster, and the memory is so much faster, and the HDD is also faster, so it makes up for it some, but all else equal, the 9200, even with just 32mb VRAM, is a better 3D chip.​

    Er no, I've no idea why poeple keep repeating this garbage but the truth is the GMA950 is slightly better than the 9200 was.

    Understand that, SLIGHTLY, not a lot, just slightly.

    This means basically that any real performance the new minis have over the old minis is due to the processor speed update (so you need universal binary games).

    I use my intel min for playing a few games (wow, puzzle pirates, lux) and it runs them fine, so does my macbook (which uses the same gma950 but runs it slower)
     
  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #7
    Show me one graphic intense game benchmark where the GMA950 out performs the 9200... not just keeps pace, but actually is better. And not in a CPU limited game (like the Sims something like that).
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #8
    The gma950 actually has a higher fill rate of 1.6 megapixels per second vs ati 9200 of 1.o per second. though im not a fan of the gma950 ,with it being pushed with the dual intel cpu's it clearly can outperform the older G4/9200 combination. I think a big key is to find and play with those universal apps that know how to use those Intel chips in Mini. I have been doing some research and those universal apps are starting to show themselves so thats the key in my view. 1 Example is jedi knight II. Macworld ran this under rosetta avg about 30fps, then ran a universal build of the same game and got 90 fps! Then he ran it at 1280 x 1024 resolution and got 67 fps. Clearly playing those native games will make a huge difference. Ill be able to do some comparison testing soon since we have a 1.42 G4 and 1.66 Dual core on the way this week.
     
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #9
    As I said before, the under-performance of the G4 CPU relative to the Core is what really matters...the GMA 950 is nothing to write home about but it gets the job done at the Mini's pricepoint.

    The Radeon 9200 and GMA 950 are close enough in performance that the CPU difference is far more important. I think there may be a case that the last gen iBook's Radeon 9550 was superior to the MacBook's GMA, but for the Mini it's less clear. The Core Duo is so much more powerful than the G4 that it makes up the difference if there is one.
     

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