Apple underestimates Mac Gaming

Discussion in 'Games' started by MacsRgr8, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Reading this forum "Mac Gaming" regularly gets me depressed:
    Everyother post someone claims that Apple and their customers give sh*t about gaming, and therefore the fitting hardware.
    MacRumors has a complete section devoted to Mac Gaming! There are many sites out there on the web dedicated to Mac Gaming. Even has a gaming trailer section!

    Aspyr, Feral, MacPlay etc. are all following these forums just to test the waters, I bet ya.

    IMHO gaming plays a significant role in the average home computer. That is part of what makes any Personal Computer so versatile: Get your work done, exploit your tremendous creativity, and have some plain ol' fun . AKA gaming. And today's games are all about stunning grafx and visual realism. The "ooohs and aaahs" when you enter a room and really get involved in the game " 'cause it looks so real"...

    Apple now has the Processor, the FSB, the DDR RAM, the S-ATA, the OS to do so. And yeah, the PowerMac Dual G5 with Radeon 9800 XT (or Geforce 6800 Ultra) will get the Mac-minded gamers going, but the average consumers who would expect to get a gr8 machine, gaming included , iMac G5 will get so frustated.
    If the rumors are correct that all new iMac G5s will only get this outdated cheap grfx card: GeForce 5200, Apple might as well quit posting the game-trailers site, as hardly any new Mac wil be able to play any new games.

    Any gamer who gets involved in specs will never buy an iMac because of the same reason. Too much $€$ for too little cool hardware: Grfx card being the problem.

    Let Apple try to invest in this part of the PC industry: Family pleasure. At least give them options.
    Suggestion: iMac G5 with Radeon 9800 XT. Please?
  2. mattmack macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2002
    San Francisco Area
    I agree a mid level consumer machine that handles games well. I don't think an imac is the appropriate machine for it (LCD and the inability to upgrade) but they could do something better than the offerings now.
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    LOL yeah right! If they did that, then you would complain about the noise from the 3 fans needed to cool the iMac! The 5200FX is chosen because it is NOT an outdated card and runs cool and is inexpensive. Even Doom3 supports cards as low as the GeForce3, which is technically 2 generations behind the 5200FX. I will be the first to agree that its not a gamers "ideal" card, but it is capable of driving any of today's games (although maybe not at 1440x900, or whatever the resolution is on the iMac 20"). The best Apple could possibly put into the iMac G5 without needing 3+ fans to cool the case would be a 9600/9700 non-XT.
  4. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Precisely: "(LCD and the inability to upgrade)".

    So give the consumer no reason to upgrade.

    Try giving them the "sweet spot" of a grfx card fit for that machine. Not too much of an expensive über-clocked 6800 Ultra in an iMac G5 1.8 Ghz, but also not the rock-bottom-low-end of the market: the game-strangling 5200.

    Because it cannot be upgraded, let the iMac sell itself. (a salesman): "Yes, all the features you would expect of a new iMac, sir! Ofcourse it can handle all of the newest games too!"
  5. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Yeah. It runs. That's it.
    Low-res, low-med settings. Not Doom 3, as you would have heard / seen of it. Not what you would expect from a yet to be introduced pretty expensive home computer.
    Mind you, I'm not expecting all iMac G5s to get a better-than-5200 grfx card, but at least one model having a radeon 9600 or better would be part ot my wishlist.
    If I were Id software, just annoucing Doom 3 for Mac (AND ALL GAMES IN THE FUTURE WHICH WILL MAKE USE OF THIS ENGINE), and find out that the new iMac G5 will not be capable of showing off its nicest grfx features, I'll be pretty frustrated.
    The iMac G5 MUST be a springboard for many game developers to get interested in developing games for Macintosh in the future, obviously using the Doom 3 engine.

    BTW the 1440 x 900 resolution is the default iMac G4 17" resolution: The expected low-end iMac G5 rez....
  6. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002
    Amen brother. imacs are supposed to be home machines but are sadly underpowered for games, which are played at home. They should have a 128MB video card, even a 9200 is better than what they have. Unfortunately, when you have an unique design, you get stuck. Hopefully, the new imac will have upgradeable video(and maybe a headless design so I'm not forced to pay for a monitor I don't want or need). Basically, if you want to game on the mac, you have to spend 2k. Compared to 1k on PC. And that 1k gets you a real video card, not the entry level 5200.

    Sadly, a good gaming imac probably will never happen. Jobs has made it quite clear that he doesn't care for computer games. Apple and Jobs have largely ignored the gaming market. Apple should have some sort of in-house game division.
  7. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I do remember a couple of MacWorlds where Jobs was "...wearing his gaming hat...", and proudly presenting the first Doom 3 demo on a Mac with a Geforce 3, or showing off the Rage 128 on a G3 Blue and White (a couple of years before that)...

    I assume that Mr. S. Jobs personally gives a cr@p about gaming, but I assume his wallet does. I just cannot imagine him ignoring this major feature of home computing. He wants it all: iLife, ITMS, .Mac; the core of any home computer... the odd one out?
  8. tom.96 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2003
    UK (southern)
    This affects me too. I have been playing Doom 1 and 2 for the last ten years, and I think it is one of the best games ever made.

    I am obviously looking forward to Doom 3 but the hardware is an issue. What confuses me is that if you look at prices for gfx cards, the price difference between 32, 64 and 128mb is minimal. We're talking pennies. I would personally like to see 64mb in ibooks/emacs and 128 in imacs/PBs. No reason not to have 128/256 cards in the PMs as these are pretty mainstream.

    Even the 5200 with 128mb RAM would be more enticing - a lot of consumers just look at the RAM without understanding what the difference is between 5200, 9200, 9600, 9800, 6800..... catch my drift?
  9. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I see what you're saying, but VRAM still isn't that important enough for me to change my mind about the rumored iMac G5s. Make it 32 MB VRAM for all I care or even 128 MB VRAM and still wouldn't buy it. Why? Because it's still a FX 5200.
  10. Sneeper macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2004
    San Francisco
    When I first saw this thread title, I didn't think it was going to be about hardware. I think Apple has the hardware bases covered. Administrators will get iMacs. Gamers will get G5s to play the plethora of games. But what games?

    I thought this thread was going to be about how Apple needs to push the game porting industry much harder.

    The sad fact is that very few games get ported to the Mac, and often it's many years after the original game was released. This is because game makers don't take the Mac community very seriously. They know most Mac owners either also have a PC they play games on, or a console, or are not real gamers. And economically, they have a point -- why spend an extra $100,000+ making a Mac version when it'll only get you $10,000 in sales? (numbers are hypothetical).

    It's a chicken-and-the-egg type problem. The Game Industry won't take the Mac users seriously until there are a lot more mac users, and there won't be a lot more mac users until the game industry takes the Mac seriously.

    This is where Apple should step in. It would be good if Apple convinced game companies to make Mac versions of popular titles. Apple will probably lose money in this endeavor at first, but ultimately I think it'll pay off as more people buy macs. It's like the X-Box. Microsoft spent millions making deals with game companies to make games for the X-Box. They are still losing money on it, but ultimately they will be making a HUGE amount once market share crosses over a certain line.

    Doom and UT 2004 have Linux and mac versions only because there are people on board who like the platforms. They know they are not going to make very much (if anything) off of them.

    For every good game that *finally* makes it to the Mac, I can name 10 that won't. Games like Half-Life 2, Final Fantasy XI, Prince of Persia, and many other great titles will never have a Mac version. That makes Sneeper sad. :(
  11. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    That too.

    Like you said: chicken-and-egg.
    Apple doesn't deliver a home personal computer, i.e. the iMac, with the necessary hardware for playing the latest games.
    That bothers me.
    Game developers surely must get frustrated every time the newest $ 2000,- iMac without any grfx card upgrade options, gets launched. If Aspyr was ever planning a port of Half Life 2, I'm pretty sure they will put the idea in the fridge because they will hardly be able to sell it, due to the fact that their game will perform so badly on the newest, most expensive iMac. :mad:

    If Apple were to put good grfx crards in the high-end iMac (at least), then this could be seen as some kind of "push". At least letting the developers know that the hardware is there for them.
    It would be gr8 if Apple could help them financially, but I doubt that will ever happen. :rolleyes:
  12. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Part of it is hardware... but I think a lot of it has to do with poor coding.

    Example: Jedi Academy pushes up to 100 FPS at some points on my G5... and there are other places where are not NEARLY as detailed as other games, such as UT2K4, that bring my comp to a crawl at 7 FPS. What the HELL is that? IMO this is a major programming issue... UT2K4 typically runs MUCH better than Jedi Academy, to my surprise. The FPS rates are really all over the board much of the time... to this I can only attribute it to bad coding... which really needs to be reconciled soon.
  13. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    You do have to realise that the vast majority of currently shipped home PCs are pretty poor games machines. Obviously some manufacturers are different and ship high powered video cards - but these are specialist cards. Most home PCs ship with everything integrated on the motherboard. Why is that? because most people want a cheap PC with the biggest numbers (memory, hdd etc). Most folks don't actually care (or know enough) to tell a good video card from a bad one and to be honest most don't need one.

    Perhaps an imac should have the option of a high end video card if the thermal and power constraints allow it but installing one as standard will make an already expensive computer even more expensive meaning even fewer people buy one.
  14. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I agree that the software is sometimes pretty poorly coded too....
    Even more reason for Apple to help them a little with faster hadware.

    Sure many PC's are out of the box pretty bad gaming machines, but they can be upgraded very easliy. The iMac cannot. That's the problem.

    Buying an iMac means dealing with the hardware which is pre-installed.

    If Apple were to make the new iMac grfx card upgradable, then this would be a non-issue.
  15. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    The reason Jobs is ignoring Mac Gaming is because the PC Gaming industry isn't the largest market. I'd say PC Gaming is more niche than Mac Computing in general. The reason is, consoles and PCs will be generally in the same price range eventually (PCs only needing to drop a few hundred dollars to match the console's $300 price). And even though most, if not all, Mac games are hassle free installations - PC Gaming has all those driver conflicts and the like. And to get away from that, people will console game. A PC gamer would rather play an FPS on a console than a 2.5Ghz G5. Jobs knows this and knows he can't attract anymore customers by focusing more resources on gaming. As much as I hate admitting this it's true. I wish it weren't because I'd love to have DOOM3 right now and to be able to play it on my 1.5 year old powerbook.
  16. Lincoln macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2003
    I have to agree with MacsRgr8 here.

    When I read what the specs of the new G5 iMac will probably be I was disappointed with the graphics card. I though yet again Apple have crippled the machine so that it does encroach on the PowerMac G5! :mad:

    Why oh why are they doing this? :confused:

    At the very least the top model ot two need a better graphics card even if it's just a CTO option. I'm thinking 9600 or 9600XT with 128MB VRAM.

    It's particularly important with the 20" iMac, that big screen needs all the graphics power it can get. Would it be slower than the 17" imac if they both have the same processor and graphics card (FX5200) because the 20" has more pixels?

    However, we will have to see what Apple actually release.
  17. MacsRgr8 thread starter macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    PC gaming still has alot of advantages over consoles.
    Better hardware, convenient setup etc.
    ATi and nVidia are competing against eachother so heavily because of: "Gaming".

    I think PC gaming is huge. Most people I know who own a PC have done some kind of upgrade just for gaming purposes.

    Problem is simple IMHO:
    iMac does not have upgrade options.
    If the hardware is good enough, then no prob. But the 5200 isn't...
  18. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    7on had the most accurate post so far.

    Let me make a quick list of things to say (I had about five paragraphs worth of stuff to prove and disprove things, but my Bondi Blue iMac froze up part of the way :( ):

    - The console market still is much more attractive to the casual gamer you are describing, despite your preferences.
    - You may know of many PC users that are gamers, but I bet you also know a lot more people that use PCs at their offices and school. Schools and offices still buy a lot more PCs than gamers.
    - An average PC game will sell in the hundreds of thousands to the millions over a long period of time if it's a good game. A console game can sell at a much faster rate and has a bigger user-base to work with.
    - The amount of PC gamers is really small. Much smaller than our market share. Switching all of them over would give us about a 1% boost. Not all that important. Apple is better off with their digital hub strategy because it gives consumers better tools for what they want to accomplish. Something PC companies have yet to accomplish.
    - The PC game market is on a slow decline in the last couple of years. We'll have to look at this year closely, but the prospects aren't all that great. What good will it do Apple to join a dying market?
    - Let's take Dell for this example. One strategy Apple could utilize is give many more options at the very low-end. Dell has many sub-$100 options. Apple only has the eMac. Even then, the eMac can sorta be considered a gaming machine because it gives you a real graphics card, unlike the Dells that use the Intel Integrated Graphics.
    - Let's look at Dell once more for my next example. Before my iMac crashed, I was taking a look at Dell's BTO options are trying to build a rumored iMac G5-like computer at a similar price. Let's forget upgradability for a moment. In a nutshell, add a flat-panel and a FX 5200 (but with 128 MB VRAM), and you'll get close to the rumored iMac G5 price. Add the proper software suite and you've reached it. Even then, the iMac is still a better buy quality-wise and because you still have slight advantages in the hardware. Most of Dell's sub-$1000 models still do not have a real graphics card nor are upgradable. Doesn't sound like they're worried about gaming much either.
    - One last time, let's look at Dell. Take what I said in the above, and think about upgrading the graphics card. Dell wins there. You can upgrade it. It has a 8x AGP slot. Get a 9800 Pro for a BTO option. Now, here's where I think the rumors can be wrong. We know ThinkSecret is top-notch for its accuracy, but it misses small details at times. And with the G5s, nobody saw a 9800 Pro to be BTO. At best, people were expecting the 9700 Pro, being the last high-end G4 card. I think Apple can pull a rabbit out of its hat by adding a 9600 Pro (at worst) as a BTO option for $150 or less. It's not quite upgradable, but it can go a long way for gaming. It's a compromise I'd make.
    - Graphics card companies like ATI and nVidia do not have business concentrated on gaming. Read their ads and boxes, they mention something about being great for multimedia. Look at this: Alienware and Apple have pro machines with great graphics cards that we usually look at as just for gaming. Pro users will still want these "gaming cards" for multimedia purposes. In that case, even a FX 5200 is still a good card. The only people I hear complaining about the FX 5200 is us Mac gamers and just in this forum.
    - If anybody is expecting HL2, don't hold your breath. I made a thread a while ago why HL2 won't make it. Valve is being greedy by hiking up the price to get the rights to do a port! It's untouchable for now. But, Valve may fall under the pressure. BF1942 took a long struggle, but we go it.
    - Porting-wise, we're doing fine. The bugs I've seen have all been stuff in the PC versions. Some good graphics card drivers would help though.
    - It sounds like most of the users on this Mac Gaming section bought an iMac or other low-end thinking it's a gaming machine (I know there's a few G5 owners in the crowd and even PowerBook owners, but anyways...). Well, let me be blunt: you made a bad buy. I bought an iMac to game, but not in a serious amount. I had bought my iMac 2 years ago to play MoH:AA with my friends. No intentions to upgrade, nor did I plan on buying many more games. I bought a few on the way, but never did I say I regret buying my iMac for my gaming needs. Go to the IMG forums. Those are serious gamers. And almost all of them have overclocked/upgraded G4s or G5s. Get serious, and buy a G5. Apple has no reason to bend backwards to reach out to iMac gamers. The price issue hasn't stopped many gamers at all. I won't be surprised to see the G5 iMacs become a huge hit without gamers.
    - And my final thought: Game companies are quite happy allowing their games to be ported. It's still profitable for them. It squeezes out a reasonable amount of cash from their games. They spend millions to develop it for the PC and porting houses get it for hundreds of thousands or less, usually. People said if Sierra did release that Mac Half Life port, it wouldn't have any benefit for them with its long shelf life and millions of copies sold. Well, they're wrong. It had the the potential to reach hundreds of thousands even on the Mac. Unheard of numbers in the Mac gaming market. Still a big enough number, even for Sierra. And that long shelf life would also work out for the Mac. Look at Blizzard. They keep selling StarCraft even now. People are still buying Diablo II and WC3. Just look at the posts we get here. Mac users with those old games! HL would've had a similar situation. Long shelf-life and constant revenue.
  19. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    actually the FX 5200 is a beefed up geforce 4 MX chip with support for directx 9.0 features..just like the geforce 4 MX was nothing more than a beefed up geforce 2 mx chip (!) ...sorry but the FX5200 is far from being 'State-of-the-art"
    for typing letters or playing games (who are a few years old) vfrom time to time it's enough...but nothing more
    actually in a lot games (which made prior to the FX5200) the MX 440 is actually faster than new card....
    you know it's like VW selling the 20 year old golf I and Passats in china....sure they just left the factory but they are far from being 'new'
  20. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2004
    This is just my opinion.

    I think majority of the computer users are not really hardcore gamers. I do play a couple of games from time to time but the frequency has dropped drastically as I get older. I have a pretty inexpensive PC and it plays UT2k4 pretty well and it has a radeon 9200se. My powerbook doesn't do that well but I don't really care, I just don't play it, that's all. As long as I can work fairly well from my machines, it doesn't really bug me if I do not have the latest or fastest video card or machine. I do care for a overall user experience from using the computer. Many of the people I met are not really into gaming as well.

    Perhaps, the members of this board are mostly IT savvy people, hence the rate of gamers are significantly higher.
  21. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    Gaming is a small market. Hard core gamers are few and far bettween. Mostly it people who play games from time to time but they want there computers to be able to play them at a desent leval. Something Macs do not do. They put them at the crap lv for games due to the graphic card

    Really Apple needs to make the first move for game makers to be wiling to take the seriusly and be willing to start making games for them. Not the other way around since there no point ot invest making a game that not going to sell much but will also hurt there rep due to subpar graphic cards and game profmaces that macs have.

    Apple starts putting real graphic cards in there computers and then slowing game makers will start making more games since there rep will not be hurt

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