Gaming on iBook G4 vs PB

Discussion in 'Games' started by tek, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. tek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    #1
    Hey there, i'm trying to decide between these notebooks:

    iBook
    • 256MB DDR266 SDRAM - 2 SO-DIMMs
    • 40GB Ultra ATA drive
    • CD-ROM
    • Bluetooth Module
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Keyboard & Mac OS
    • 933MHz PowerPC G4
    • 14-inch TFT display
    • Two USB ports
    • One FireWire port
    • Power Adapter
    • Battery


    Subtotal £970.79

    iBook
    • 256MB DDR266 SDRAM - 2 SO-DIMMs
    • 60GB Ultra ATA drive
    • CD-ROM
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Keyboard & Mac OS
    • 1GHz PowerPC G4
    • 14-inch TFT display
    • Two USB ports
    • One FireWire port
    • Power Adapter
    • Battery


    Subtotal £1,125.89



    Powerbook
    • 1GHz PowerPC G4
    • 256MB DDR266 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
    • 40GB Ultra ATA drive (4200rpm)
    • DVD/CD-RW
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Keyboard & Mac OS
    • 12.1-inch TFT display
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX GO 5200 - 32MB DDR
    • 56K internal modem
    • Power Adapter
    • Battery


    Subtotal £1,267.61

    I would like to play a few games on this computer - probably World of Warcraft when it comes out, Warcraft III, Diablo II etc. No "requires 50ghz processor" fps games.

    Would all these be able to play the games i said fairly well?

    I would buy an extra 512mb stick of ram for any machine i bought.

    I would also be doing some photoshop/flash work, although i wouldn't be working on 500mb images etc. - most images i work with are between 5 and 30mb.

    Please let me know!
     
  2. ScottDodson macrumors 6502

    ScottDodson

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    Go with the ibook IMOH

    Bigger Screen, More HD, better graphics (I'm an ATI guy), and cheaper.

    This is the reason why apple needs to put the G5's in the powerbooks!!!! It's not as easy picking out a laptop anymore :( As far as playing WCIII and Diablo 2...any of those machines will do it fine, heck i used to play em on my G3 ibook!!! But from my experience...a 12 inch screen can be a real pain in the butt with gaming...and especially graphics work :mad:
     
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #3
    when it comes to mac gaming 1st get as much cpu speed as you can and 2nd get as much videocard/chipset as you can everything else is less important except as allways memory.
     
  4. alxths macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    My opinion as the owner of a revB 12" pb.

    The ATi 9200(i think) is probably a slightly better card then the pbook's fx5200, but I think having twice as much L2 cache gives the pbook a big advantage over the ibook. Couple that with the extra expandibility of the pbook and I think there's more then enough to justify spending the extra 100-200 pounds.
     
  5. tek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    #5
    I'm definately going to go powerbook now. I should have the money by christmas :)
     
  6. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #6
    Look at barefeats and xlr8yourmac websites for reviews of the new iBook soon.

    12" iBook should be a bit faster than the PB in games that demand a lot from the GPU (UT2k3 or THPS4).

    The 15" PB and greater have a significantly better GPU than either 12." Iyou can get enough for the 15." 1GHz model, that would be a wiser choice.
     
  7. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #7
    The 15" or 17" PB will deliver much better performance for gaming than any of the choices you mentioned due to the ATI 9600. I would think that one of the iBooks or the 12" PB will only deliver adequate performance for many games at modest graphics settings. The increased RAM capacity and clock speed of the 12" PB will somewhat compensate for its arguably slightly less powerful graphics (the ATI 9200 and NV 5200fx are very close in power). That makes the 12" iBook the best value for the low end and the 15" PB w/combo drive the best value at the high end for gaming. If you want a little extra power you can remove the superdrive from the 1.25GHz model. The 17" model with 1GB or more of RAM is of course the dream machine for portable gaming on a Mac.
     
  8. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #8
    I am on a campaign against the GF FX 5200. The one used in the PB is actually 5200GO - way different from the desktop version.

    Difference?

    1. Half the memory bandwidth (64bit vs 128bit). This alone would cripple it for games, but it also has....

    2. No hidden surface removal! HSR eliminates overdraw, i.e. intellegently not rendering stuff that you can not see (like the side of a building you can not see).

    Please factor this in when looking at the 12" PB.

    http://www.gamersdepot.com/hardware/video_cards/ati_vs_nvidia/9200_geforcefx/001.htm
     
  9. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #9
    The desktop version of the NVidia GF FX 5200 isn't that great anyways. I have noticed quite a few draw errors when playing some games with this particular card for some reason.
     
  10. dennis88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    #10
    The ati 9200 mobility in the ibook is 64bit also...
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #11
    the whole fx5200 thing is a cheap videocard/chipset to make. period. so apple buys millions and forces them on us even in the new G5. yet go to toms harware or barefaets or for that matter anywhere and this card simply sucks. its at the bottom of the benches everytime.
     
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    but bottom of benchmarks as compared to what? It's still a whole lot better than what used to be in either the Rev. A 12" powerbook or the G3 ibook.

    I agree that it's not a good choice by apple, but let's not overstate the case here. The only game I play personally is War3, so that's all I can speak to, but the new 12" plays that beautifully. (I know it's not a graphics intensive game, but why would i buy a mac laptop if I wanted to play Doom3 and the like?)
     
  13. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #13
    Why not?

    Why should you adjust how you use a computer in order to make up for Apple's weak (in some cases) hardware. PC users are not faced with the same choices, they get to have it all. So should we.

    The G4 iBook should be able to play Doom III. Carmack went on record that it could be played on a Mobility 9000 equiped laptop.

    The 8500, 9000, Mobility 9000 and Mobility 9200 are all based on the same core (they have the same features as the 8500 more or less, but are refined in how they are manufacturered to make them cheaper to produce).

    So the iBook, with the exception of 1mb or level 2 cache, is as fast as last years fastest singe CPU G4 tower. On paper at least.
     
  14. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #14
    Where did you see this? I could not find any mention of it in the dev notes for this model.
     
  15. blepo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    #15
  16. ChronoIMG macrumors regular

    ChronoIMG

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    Sorry to disappoint you but the GeForce FX Go5200 is 128bit (http://www.nvidia.com/page/fx_mobile.html).

    On top of that, it supports both Vertex Shaders 2.0 and Pixel Shaders 2.0.

    Hmm... the ATI 9200 does not. Bummer.

    BTW - Halo runs great on the 12" PB with the 5200. Once MacSoft figures out how to turn on the Pixel Shaders (they disabled them), gold visor here I come.
     
  17. ChronoIMG macrumors regular

    ChronoIMG

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    Oh really? Looks like Barefeats shows that the 12"PB with the "poor" Go5200 stomps the 12" iBook in UT2k3 Botmatch and Q3.

    http://www.barefeats.com/ibG4b.html
     
  18. blepo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    #18
    PS2.0 performance is not very good on FX chips in general and really sucks on the 5200. That's why they always should be disabled on that chipset. Actually PS2.0 in PC Halo are disabled on every card lower than the 5700 as far as I know!!! The 5200 is not even regarded a valid DX9 card by most review sites.
     
  19. blepo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    #19
    Remember that UTk3 Botmatch and Q3 are rather CPU intensive. Doesn't tell much about the graphics chipsets' performance (but of course of the general speed of the PB 12"). Cinebench is also relying on CPU: Look at the Alu 15 and 17 - same graphics chipset but different CPU speed.

    That the FX5200 supports 128 doesn't necessarily mean that it is running 128 bit in the PB 12"
     
  20. ChronoIMG macrumors regular

    ChronoIMG

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    Not true. PC Halo has pixel shaders for any card that supports at least DX8 shaders which are 1.1 and 1.4. Hell, even the Radeon 9000 supports those on the PC side.

    The FX 5200 is actually a very good card but the drivers suck on the Mac. However, 10.3.2 will see new drivers so I'm hopeful that we'll see some increased performance.

    Also, keep in mind that pixel shaders on the Mac aren't truly pixel shaders because those are only for DX9. The Mac supports ARB_Fragments which are part of the OpenGL spec which Halo supports. Only the Radeon 9600/9800 and the GeForce 5200 support ARB_Fragments.

    EDIT: Here's some good info about the state of video cards on the Mac and the 5200 debate. (http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=124510#124510)

    Again, the iBook may have what appears to be a better card, but in reality, the FX Go5200 is the better card and that's probably why it's in the 12" PB.

    Peace.
     
  21. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #21
    hahahahaha
     
  22. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #22
    The codepath for the 5200 in PC Halo is PS 1.1 and it only works decent in fixed function mode. The game chooses this for you on the PC. You can force Halo to use the PS version you want by adding a string to the application shortcut. Maybe your copy is magic or something.

    The 5200 is the running joke in the PC world. Sorry. The advanced features are unusable in the real world.

    PS 2 and VS 2 mean nothing to you as a Mac user. And if you were a PC user with a 5200 they would still mean nothing to you. NV does not even have its DX9 demos available for the 5200.

    And even with a crappy videochip as this, your CPU will run out of steam way before your GPU hits its limit.

    Have fun with Halo.
     
  23. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #23
    BTW: This links actually contradicts what you are saying. :p

    The fly-by measures GPU performance and the iBook is clearly faster despite being 20% slower.
     
  24. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #24
    the powerbook beats the 12" ibook in 3 out of 4 3D tests and loses the unreal flyby by 1 frame per second.

    and the powerbook beats the ibook in every 2D test on page one. Not sure what you're talking about.
     
  25. Squozen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    #25
    I wouldn't say it 'stomps' - sure, it goes a little faster, but the 15" PB with the Radeon 9600 is doubling their scores for most of the tests. I'd go for one of those if the budget will stretch that far.
     

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