Gaming on a 1.5ghz 12" Powerbook

Discussion in 'Games' started by TheGimp, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. TheGimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa
    Just picked up one of these for wireless use at the university, and I was wondering what modern (<2 years old) 3D games are playable at 640x480 or 800x600. I already have a dual 1.8 for home, but I don't feel like wasting time installing games like Wolfenstein:ET, Halo, and Spearhead before I get some feedback from those with FIRSTHAND experience playing them on the same system (or 15" PB w/64mb vram).

    I'm actually about to try D3 on the PB although I would be very surpised to get over 15FPS at 640x480.
  2. anotherjeff macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2004
    Well I have a slightly slower PB and Halo runs great on it so you should be okay.

    the following run well too:
    Civ 3
    Neverwinter Nights
    Unreal 2003
    Gianst citizen kabuto
    Warcraft 3
    Diablo II
    (I have most of these for sale too over in the classified section)

    I heard people getting about 20 fps for Doom 3 on the 1.33 12"pb.
  3. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I have the same machine and i run all those games you mentioned and they run really well. I can even play Doom 3 on my machine. I just need more ram for to stop being so choppy.
  4. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    I have the Rev C 12" PB (see sig) and I play several different games on it: Call of Duty, UT2k4, Quake 3, and have played Doom 3 on it.

    Doom 3 is playable in my perspective. Of course everybodies idea of playable is different, but I can play a game running FPS in the 10s and think its fine. You will have to make your own mind up about Doom 3
  5. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Wow... As soon as my FPS drop below 30, i start to notice mouse lag and what not, which is unacceptable. I give you props for playing games at 10 FPS, man...
  6. Patmian212 macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2004
    I can play at 15FPS fien but nothing below that :D

    PS: Sorry for the semi-irrelevant post ;)
  7. TheGimp thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa
    Thanks for the feedback. I forgot about UT 2003.

    Anyway, my timedemo1 result for D3 was 24.3 fps (2nd run) at 640x480 low, only bump-mapping and specular enabled. This is with 10.3.9 installed on the machine in my initial thread post. This means that D3 is somewhat playable by my standards and I know from experience that increasing the ram beyond 512MB won't increase D3's framerate. This D3 performance is pretty good news, since by extrapolation Halo and ET should run even better (perhaps the latter at 1024x768).
  8. jeffbax macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Props for low standards ?

    Anyway, I have the 1.5 GHZ 12" and I really wish I went for the 15" with the 9700, cause I'd likely be able to ditch my PC for gaming.

    I can run Starcraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, Quake 3... thats the most of my gaming collection considering they are the games that are Mac/PC hybrids..

    World of Warcraft runs ... iffy, in low detail places it can get to like 30 or so FPS but in places like Iron Forge it flat out drops out from overload.

    I have 768 MB Ram.

    I really wish that I could ditch my PC, I'm sure I could get by without Half-Life 2 and slower release dates. I guess I underestimated how much I'd like my Mac and my 12" PB became my primary machine spanned to my 17" LCD and its a hassle to keep plugging / unplugging the sound, ethernet, mouse from the two just to play a game.
  9. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    It's subjective of course, but my PowerBook (15") is from 2003 and only 1.25 GHz (64 VRAM) but plays UT 2004 very well.

    Really big maps, or Instant Action with lots of bots (due to AI) don't do as well, but still fun. The rest of the time (8 bots or less, or small-to-medium maps) things are smooth--and this is with detail levels close to max, running at full native 1280x854 widescreen.

    I highly recommend UT2004--it's not just a widely-varied game in itself, it's a PLATFORM, with tons of REALLY good free add-ons of every kind, single-player and multi, from Red Orchestra to Alien Swarm to Jailbreak to Chaos to Dam*ation to Unwheel, etc..... Some are so complete you are getting basically a totally different commercial-quality game. And I've installed a whole lot of add-ons without ever finding one that wasn't Mac friendly.

    And don't forget to run your PB to TV sometimes for games... it's fun :) Try 800x600 with Overscan turned off and Best for Video turned on. (Preferences.)

    Besides, how can you beat portable gaming at 12"? :) 30 fps or 130, it's more fun than NOT having games in your backpack...
  10. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    I have a 15 " 1.5 Ghz PB and in my opinion I think that Call of Duty works swimmingly
  11. TheGimp thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa
    I just deleted Doom 3 from my 1.5ghz Powerbook HD - it looks and plays horribly! Even though it got 24.3 fps timedemo, the game should not even be a contemplated purchase for PB owners with the nvidia 64mb vram option. Of course, I'm somewhat spoiled, having played D3 on a dual 1.8 w/256mg vram, but still... on the pb everything is washed out, no shadows, chug-a-lug. All atmosphere and fluidity is gone. Just as well I suppose...

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