Gaming on an iBook?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Jim_N_Tonik, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Jim_N_Tonik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    #1
    To be honest I'm not a Mac owner yet, but I plan on purchasing an iBook before heading back to school in September -- I'm hoping to buy the 12" model after one more revision sometime between now and then.

    While I'll mostly be using this for work I'd also like to get a little bit of fun out of it too -- so I'd like to get an idea of what to expect as far as gaming goes.

    Looking at a lot of the new games coming out ( WoW, Halo, UT2004 ) it looks like the system will meet the minimum requirements at least, so is it realistic to think that I'll be able to play games coming out this year?

    I also enjoy MoHAA, Warcraft 3, and some older games -- so I guess my question to you is what kind of performance can i expect for these games? Am I getting my hopes up only to be let down? Thanks!
     
  2. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #2
    Gaming on a G4 iBook

    A G4 iBook is pretty solid, and the 12" screen doesn't take much for a video card to redraw. The combo DVD/CD drive Apple puts in them is pretty solid too. Max out the RAM after you buy the book (whatever extra RAM they give you FREE is pretty much throw-away, really worth "free". The price of upgraded RAM from Apple is not very competitive. Check crucial.com and Google all over the net.

    The only other thing you can do to speed up either an iBook or PowerBook (regardless of screen size) is replace the "stock" HD with a primo 7200 rpm 60GB Hitachi/IBM hard drive that is super quiet, yet it screams for only $212.
    http://www.newegg.com
    http://www.ZipZoomFly.com
    You get a 40% gain in speed over a 4200 rpm, a little less with a 5400, but still a noticiably significant ZOOM!

    Got a Mac game on CD or DVD? take it into your favorite Apple Store (make sure they know you are bringing it into the store, and want to check out the iBook's ability to handle some hard gaming...). If not, let them make you happy as a potential "switcher" by producing a game for you to test drive. Be forewarned, PCs rock with gaming. Mac is ok, but the selection is more limited (and "pure") and anytime you put a game on a laptop (PC or Mac) you know it is a hardship. Want to game on a Mac, get a G5 dual 2.4GHz tomorrow.

    Another essential, when gaming on any laptop, don't have something else running or it can bring the frame rate to a crawl, dude; even simple Solitaire!

    On your computer desk in "the room", consider a 19" CRT for comfortable game viewing, prices are sweet - use to be $500 to $1000, now more like $250. And, surround speakers are a must.
     
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    Can't speak to the others, but Warcraft 3 runs great on my Ti400. I can't imagine it won't run even better on an iBook with twice the CPU and a much newer video card.
     
  4. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #4
    I just got rid of Halo. My 14" G4 933MHz iBook couldn't take it... it was slow with all the features turned off.

    Of course that's MacSoft's horrid porting job, not the iBook's fault. :mad:
     
  5. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #5
    I play a lot of War Craft 3 on my 12" iBook and it runs great. I run it on full level of graphics and have experienced no problems. A couple of recommendations:

    Get the internal bluetooth and a bluetooth mouse. I wish I did. I was at my friends house playing WC3 over the lan, and was very jealous of his logitech bluetooth mouse. No wires is a good thing.

    Like other people have recommended, get as much RAM as you can. I went with a 512MB card from Crucial.

    The 12" is a great computer, enjoy.

    lasuther
     
  6. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    I'm on a 12-inch G3 900 mhz. No problem with Warcrft 3, tropico, Stronghold, etc. The new Simcity and civilization drag it down when things get developed. I'd never even try Halo on it - it chokes my 1.33 PB. The G4 would certainly help, I suspect.
     
  7. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    The iBook is not Apple's most powerful computer, and some people on this forum are quick to label it slow or underpowered. However, based on my experience with the iBook G3s and my friend's iBook G4, it is definitely adaquate for running OS X, and it can run most games with acceptable speed. Granted, you won't be able to run the games at their highest settings, usually you can get away with running them at medium settings (i.e. medium resolution, texture quality, etc.). The one thing that will make a big difference is the RAM that you have, and I wouldn't try to do any gaming (or anything else for that matter) without at least 640 MB.

    You should be able to run Warcraft III or Age of Mythology with no problem. Contrary to what others are saying, you should also be able to run Halo without a problem, although again, this will probably be with medium texture quality at 800x600 or 1024x768. As for future gaming, the iBook will be able to handle this year's games, and will possibly do so for some time. Just be realistic about those settings.
     
  8. Jim_N_Tonik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    #8
    Thanks for the reviews -- I'd certainly get 640MB of RAM, and I also plan on upgrading to Airport Extreme & 60GB HDD (although since i plan on getting the next revision it really depends on what they're offering at the time).

    It sounds like the iBook will pretty much handle things, I'm really not one to care about having everything on full settings -- as long as it work's and it playable I'm happy. Thanks!
     
  9. bnemesis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    #9
    I have been playing a lot of the UT 2004 demo on my 1ghz ibook. Unfortunatly, due to the big audio bug, ive had to shut off audio to get it to the playable stage. Hopefully the final version will be faster.

    <crosses fingers>

    But for now, it is playable (at least on line. Havent played too many bot matches)
     
  10. Meemoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #10
    hopefully apple will put a mobility 9600 in the iBook and a 9700 mobility in the powerbook. If Apple does this, you're good to go.
     
  11. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #11

    halo, ut2004 on 12" ibook???? hahaha ha.... Ohh man... killing me here.
    Even loaded 15" pbooks barely handle UT2004..
    I guarantee neither UT2004 nor Halo will be playable on an ibook.
    Lets just say people with G5s and nVidia 5200 Ultra 64Mbs play Ut2004 at 800x600 and still lag at times... ;)
     
  12. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #12
    I guess that depends on what the definition of "IS" is.
    I'm in a Ut clan www.teamG5.com
    and have huge doubts an ibook would be able to handle a 32 ppls game.
    It also depends on how good u want it to perform... I've seen some people play at with like 20fps and they say its enough for the. (ofcourse those people usually suck). But in UT u need atleast 30fps for it not to be a slideshow. Ofcourse if u put all details on a minnimum, it might just do it ok... but is it gonna be fun?
     
  13. nargot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    My 400mhz imac plays CIV 3, and WC3 no worrys. My 12" ibook blows them away, however more graphically involved FPS games do lag, but i don't really play them.
     
  14. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    UT2003 - iBook G4 14", 1ghz, Graphics maxed, 800x600, acceptable to good frames

    Halo - 10.3.3 Update, Acceptable to good frames, crashes if I try to turn the graphics up though (bug).

    UT2004 - Unplayable at this stage...
     
  15. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    Let me take a moment to ask what the specs are on that thing? My 400 iMac was at 576 MB RAM, playing off of an external 7200 RPM hard drive, and WC3 was basically unplayable! It was terrible!
     
  16. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #16

    Look at my signature. See the specs of my comp?
    With res 1280x1024 and pretty much all details as high as they get in demo I can play pretty much any mode except for Onslaught and assault with frames never dropping below 30-35. In TDM with 16ppls/bots my fps is about 60 average. and with no bots/player (or 1-2), it often goes to 150 fps.
    But once you get to Assault mode at the same settings even with best mac video card out there, it never seems to take off much and fps varies from 20 - 40 (but mostly 28-30). That is with like 16 bots/ppls.

    ONS mode varies. Sometimes i get like like 80fps and the next moment it drops to low 20s... (I have 4x AA FA enbled btw but it seems to have lil effect on fps)...

    I understad it's just a demo and not optimized, but I'd bet that ibook is not capable of playing UT2004 @ reasonable fps.
     
  17. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    I got a PowerBook G4 for university (my University bought it for me because I am dyslexic), but I knew I would not be able to play the latest games perfectly. So I also built myself a cheap desktop PC. I use my Mac for day to day stuff like Internet, movie editing, iTunes etc. But I use my PC for gaming. I still use my PowerBook for light gaming like the odd game of WC3, but I mainly do that when I am away from my PC.
     
  18. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #18
    I have the iBook G4 12-inch, 640 MB RAM and can tell you that there's NO WAY you can play Halo or WoW. The Ut2004 demo wouldn't run well even with lowest details.

    It is absolutely not a gamer's computer. Period.
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    It's more fair to say it isn't an FPS gamer's computer. Other games will run fine on it.
     

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