Anyone else gaming on Mac Mini with OS X or Windows?

Discussion in 'Games' started by AnthonyKinyon, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. AnthonyKinyon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    #1
    I game on my Intel Mac Mini (Core Duo 1.66 GHz). I did upgrade from 512 MB to 1 GB (on my own using the putty knife method) and that went very smoothly. Entire process took about 10-15 minutes I'd say.

    As far as the point here... I game on this machine (both under OS X 10.4.7 and Windows XP SP2 with Boot Camp).

    While I have sometimes seen some performance issues (in Star Wars Galaxies, for instance, under Windows) - the RAM upgrade seems to have fixed pretty much all the performance problems I had when I ran the game with the stock 512 MB of RAM in the past.

    I see all these posts about people running on iMacs with 256 MB of RAM, etc. and so on and so forth. Those posts lead one to believe that you need some real high-end Mac to game with. Maybe that's true for certain titles that are rather demanding (and there's nothing really wrong with that I suppose). But, I would like to say in my own experience, 99% of the games (Windows and Mac) I've thrown at it have run great.

    Some games I've played on it:

    Windows:
    Star Trek Armada 1
    Star Trek Armada 2
    The Movies
    Star Wars Galaxies
    Star Wars Empire at War
    Star Trek Elite Force

    These games run great in my experience. I have tried some others not listed here, too.

    Mac:
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (with the new patch)
    Pac the Man X
    Solitaire XL
    Age of Mythology (a PPC-based game for now)

    All of these run great, AOM is a little slow at times but very much playable.

    I also tried Elite Force 2 (PowerPC only for now). The performance was very bad in this game (due to it being a non-universal binary I believe). It was playable but just barely.

    Anyone else with an Intel Mac Mini please post your experience/comments/config?

    For the record, I also have a 1.42 GHz 1 GB PowerPC Mac Mini G4 and it runs well too. It runs Civ 3 (not the Complete edition), Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast, and other games fine (including Elite Force 2).
     
  2. AnthonyKinyon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #2
    I tried to edit the former post but it wouldn't let me, kept saying it was "too short" and I tried to "lengthen it" as I was prompted to, but it didn't work. :)

    Needless to say, no one responded to this so I guess I am the only one playing video games on my Intel Mac Mini. :)
     
  3. AnthonyKinyon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    #3
    Come on, you can't expect me to believe no one else in these forums uses a Mac Mini for at least some gaming. Come on pipe up, people. :)
     
  4. dexter007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #4
    Considering gaming on Mac Mini's next upgrade

    Not quite sure what the upgrade may be, but my next Mac will likely be a Mac Mini due to cost. I'm glad to see this post, and would welcome anyone else's thoughts on the games being played on a Mac Mini.

    I'm most interested in simulation and strategy games such as Civilization 3/4, SimCity, Sims, etc. Any thoughts on these types of games?
     
  5. JMies419 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #5
    I'm interested to know how well Halo runs on the mac mini? Anyone..? :cool:
     
  6. AnthonyKinyon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #6
    Runs great on my Mac Mini under Windows XP. Don't have the Mac version to try under OS X. I do have 1 GB RAM, though.
     
  7. AnthonyKinyon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    #7
    In complete honesty, I do a lot of gaming on my Mac Mini (Intel Core Duo with 1 GB RAM) and I have have a lot of success with most games. Good or at least pretty decent performance, certainly playable. I haven't tried Quake 4 and Doom 3 on it, but I have played some shooters and they work fine. The Sims runs great on Windows, I haven't tried it on OS X. I am pretty sure you could run Civ 3 and maybe 4 just fine if you have enough RAM. SimCity 2000/3000 run fine on Windows but I don't have Mac versions of those to report to you on. Age of Empires 1 and 2 run great on Windows, Age of Mythology runs pretty fast under OS X (and its a PowerPC binary only at this point) using Rosetta (all done automatically). Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy run fast on OS X and they are rather 3D I think.

    I found performance under Star Wars Galaxies (Windows) GREATLY improved after upgrading my RAM to 1 GB from 512 MB.
     
  8. kered22 macrumors 6502

    kered22

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #8
    Guess I should chime in.

    So far the most demanding game I've played is Call of Duty 2 on my 1.6 Ghz Core Duo Mini. I just let the game set the settings on it's own, it doesn't look great (water looks like plastic stuck in the game) but it plays very decently.

    I've also played Jedi Knight II and Jedi Academy which play great as well. Jedi Knight I can set all the settings to max at 1280x1024 and it plays fine. Jedi Academy I have to run the texture detail at high but not very high or it skips a bit.

    Tried Command and Conquer Generals which played... well it was a bit slow. LOL The UB update will be very much appreciated.

    I've been tempted to try Quake 4 on here... but am not sure if that's wise. LOL
     
  9. lewion macrumors regular

    lewion

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Kalmthout
    #9
    You should! and let us know :) i'm gonna get basic macbook for my birthday so any help on that game would be welcome..

    I know it can run:

    HL2
    Cod2
    Halo
    Civ 3 and 4
    Simcity 4
    Sims and Sims 2
    Jedi Knight II
    Jedi Academy
    Warcraft 3
    World of Warcraft
    (RuneScape lol)
    Doom3
    Need For Speed Most Wanted

    At decent speeds, only game i don't know about is Quake 4 so plz do :)
     
  10. dexter007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #10
    So with the MacMini upgrade (minor as it is), what's the most important upgrade?

    Looking at the $599 version. What upgrades should I get if I'm interested in "light" gaming (i.e. no Quake/Doom)? RAM seems to be important.. 1GB enough? Larger Hard Drive? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks!
    -Eric


    1.66 GHz Mac Mini
    60 GB 5400-rpm SATA Hard Drive
    Combo Drive
    $599 USD

    Both models feature:
    -2MB Shared L2 Cache
    -512 MB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM standard (up to 2 GB supported)
    -GMA 950 Integrated graphics
    -1 Firewire 400, 4 USB 2.0
    -Optical Digital/Analog Audio In/Out
    -Gigabit ethernet
    -Airport Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR standard
     
  11. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #11
    Light gaming, as in, say, nothing much more advanced than Jedi Academy? The $599 one with 1 GB of RAM sounds good. But wait for someone who actually owns a Mac Mini to respond before taking my advice.
     
  12. kered22 macrumors 6502

    kered22

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #12
    Okay... if you just install and leave it at the default settings (medium quality), you're in for a skippy ride. I set it for widescreen (800x600 even though I'm running this on a Dell 20") and low quality. You will get the occasional skip if tehre is a lot going on. For example at the very beginning when you walk out of the crashed ship and look at it, it'll skip. I assume due to the flames. But the rest of the play was pretty good, nothing great, but it wasn't like getting 1 frame every minute or something. LOL It was a bit like when I had my Beige G3 500 with a Radeon PCI card and ran Medal of Honor. It ran, but wasn't anything to really write home about.

    If you're into it for casual gaming, just something to pass the time, it'll be just fine. :) Pretty amazing little piece of machinery this MacMini. Oh and also, be sure to flip on the SMP support (Click on Settings, then Advanced) for better performance. The MacBooks have 1.8 and 2Ghz chips, so your performance will be that much better. :)
     
  13. lewion macrumors regular

    lewion

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    May 31, 2006
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    Kalmthout
    #13
    Thanks... :)
     
  14. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #14
    Civ 3 probably, definitely not Civ 4.. that requires some serious muscle that even the iMacs don't have.
     
  15. lewion macrumors regular

    lewion

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
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    #15
    lol... we were already saying that it works great on a MacBook (non pro) so wtf :s are you not reading the whole topic???? :s :s
     
  16. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #16
    I have actually read some reviews about how the MacOS port runs poorly on Intel iMacs, so I have some doubts about the ability of integrated graphics to handle the load.
     
  17. lewion macrumors regular

    lewion

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Kalmthout
    #17
    I can agree with that, but look a few posts up will you? :)

    and if it doesn't run good on osx.. it will run good on windows.. and even better on linux + cedega!
     
  18. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I'm thinking of upgrading my Core Solo Mini to a Core Duo 2 and upping the RAM from the stock configuration. At that point, I may try buying some Windows games.

    Does anybody have any suggestions as to where in the UK it'd be best to buy a processor for this little feller - which Core Duo 2 models are pin-compatible with an Intel Mini?
     
  19. kered22 macrumors 6502

    kered22

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #19
    My Mini does run it pretty decently. Granted the effects aren't even on by default (kind of funnny watching tanks fire, they just sorta bounce LOL), but I've spent hours playing it on here and found it very fun.
     
  20. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #20
    I run Civ IV quite decently on my MacBook, thank you. ;)

    It runs more smoothly than my dad's iMac G5 that has a much better dedicated graphics card, too.
     
  21. BaronHarkonnen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #21
    Whats sad is you can max out all the specs on the Mini, but you're still stuck with the Intel GMA 950, it's like being told you can have a Corvette, but you have to use a 2 cylinder engine.

    To put things in perspective, a $500 Emachines computer I bought at Wal-Mart in March with a Sempron 3100, a gig of RAM, and a Geforce 6100 integrated video chipset runs circles around the Mac Mini.

    DOOM 3 is painful to watch on the Mini, at the very lowest settings you might get 12-13 frames a second, the Emachines system I have can hold about 20-25 frames a second on medium and around 30 on Low.

    Also I believe that the Mini gets like 7 frames a second on Unreal Tournament 2K4.

    And even older games like Halo will look terrible because the GMA 950 does not support Hardware T&L, which even integrated chipsets from ATI and Nvidia do.

    A whole system, ruined by ONE THING, if Apple absolutely must use integrated video, why can't they at least go after a decent chipset?
     
  22. BaronHarkonnen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #22
    The $1199 iMac seems to be the best deal on Apple's website right now, the Mini is a pushover for gaming and the high end stuff is an arm and a leg.
     
  23. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #23
    On the duo with a gig of ram, I would think fine since it's built out of similar parts from the macbook. Halo runs good on that... :D
     

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