Is Halo badly optimised for the Mac?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Qoxiivi, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Qoxiivi macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

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    Nov 28, 2005
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    #1
    I've been playing Halo for a while on my iMac (in sig) and, although I'm loving the game, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with how my iMac runs it - given that it's hardly a spanking new game. I thought it was just that my iMac wasn't as powerful as I'd hoped for - not that I was expecting a super-computer, but, you know.

    However, I've just loaded up UT2004 and the game just FLYS compared to Halo. Even at 1200 X 1650. Is it just that more time was spent on the UT port than on Halo? I'm pretty sure it's got nothing to do with Halo being more graphically intensive, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Qoxiivi
     
  2. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

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    #2
    Halo is fun, especially in multiplayer mode. I used to play it a lot on my G4 PB. As expected, quality wasn't that great with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics card with 128MB VRAM.

    Last month, I purchased the G5 for work, but upgraded the video card to the NVidia 7800 GT 256MB VRAM for gaming. Halo was very impressive with this video card upgrade. Believe the high end ATI X800 card performs well on Halo and other games, too.

    Your iMac G5 comes with the ATI Radeon X600 Pro or X600 XT graphics processor with 128MB VRAM. But you can't upgrade the card.
     
  3. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    IMO bad port

    Not an expert but, I would say Halo is opitimized for Xbox and PCs, not Macs. If memory serves me right wasn't this game supposed to be a Mac game, then MS bought the company and ported it to their new Xbox console? Having played UT04 on a PC and a Mac, I would say even that game is better on a PC. Although I don't care for UT04, too much eye-candy for my taste, I still enjoy UTGOTY best. The game play is fun on-line and the extensive maps, skins, voice packs make it all the more enjoyable. One thing you might look into for UT04 is two mods; UnWheel and Red Orchestra. Both are fun, graphics are good and are free. Games on a Mac will hopefully be on par with our PC counterparts with the Intel chips but until then we have to suffer though poor porting of quality games
     
  4. Qoxiivi thread starter macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

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    #4
    It's got the X600 XT with 128MB VRAM. I'm guessing that's a roughly slap-bang-middle-of-the-range graphics card. As far as I'm concerned, I'll play a few games on my iMac and if I want to play the latest ones I'll just but a PS3 or Xbox 360.
     
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #5
    This is true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo:_Combat_Evolved

    In fact, I'm going to use that little piece of info to piss off a bunch of M$/XBox fanboys.

    "Hey, If it wasn't for the mac platform, you wouldn't have your precious little Halo." :D
     
  6. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

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    #6
  7. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

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    #7
    This is very true. I was completely PO'd about Halo's performance on my 2.0GHz iMac and later my Dual 2.0GHz Power Mac with X800XT. Once I installed patch 1.52, I was slightly less disgusted by the quality of the port.

    Bring on the Intel Macs and with it quality ports.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    The Mac port of Halo is awful performance-wise. It's better than nothing, but (as mentioned above) the original Halo was written for Mac, and it ran on a G3 tower!

    It runs pretty good on the machine in my sig, but an equivilent PC would run it much faster.
     
  9. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #9
    IMO it is a very sloppy port. If they spent just a little longer optimizing the code, it would be a lot better. Here's to hoping Leopard gives us just a few frames more.
     
  10. Randall macrumors 6502a

    Randall

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    #10
    Here's to hoping that the switch to x86 opens up the floodgates and a lot more games are ported over to Mac. I know the actual hardware has much less to do with the programming then you think it would, and that DirectX is the real hurdle to overcome, but here's to wishful thinking.
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #11
    DirectX is the single biggest problem by far.

    But a game that uses OpenGL is a lot easier to port between OS X, Linux and Windows. Especially now that all three OSs will be using the same hardware architecture.
     
  12. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #12
    funny, halo is playable on my ibook (600MHz G3) as in like 10fps but i can kill things and get through the game, but UT2k4 is a slideshow about a frame every couple of seconds....

    the reason probably is halo's implementation of pixel shaders, they kill performence but look so pretty, this is not the case for UT2k4.
     
  13. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #13
    Halo on my G5 DP was beyond incredible. I DO have the 256 v-card though... hard to say.
     
  14. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #14
    I can only dream about what it looks like with all settings maxed out. I will have a heart-attack the day I see maxed out settings on an Apple 30" screen.
     
  15. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

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    #15
    I max out the setting once on my G5 and the game became choppy. So, it's not optimized. :mad:
     
  16. sucafrutpi macrumors newbie

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    #16
    i have a DP 2.0 PM G5 with the nVidia 6800 a gig of RAM and the 30" Apple HD display. 1900X1200 res and max settings across the board in UT 2004 is in fact breathtaking. it runs exceptionally well too.
     
  17. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I'm not sure what you guys are talking about...Halo performs similarly on PCs with similar specs compared to a given Mac, whereas UT2004 is significantly faster with a similar-specced PC. Plus you can use FSAA with the Mac version of Halo, but you can't on the PC. Naturally FSAA slows things down. So if you're comparing speeds, you have to turn FSAA off...and then you find that the Mac version isn't really slower.... (BTW, it runs great on my dual 2.5 with X800, with everything maxed including FSAA. The only exception is the couple of levels that have fire in them, then it noticeably slows down for some reason.)

    Oh, and Halo was never going to be a Mac game, it was going to be a PC + Mac game, like Bungie's previous several games. (Myth I, Myth II, and Oni, which was also had a console version.)

    --Eric
     
  18. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Wait... was that a contradiction. In the same sentence? :eek: The point is that it was origionally written for Mac, but was then ported to XBox, then that was ported to PC by another company, to be ported back to mac by a 4th company.
     
  19. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #19
    That's the mythology, but aside from some scripted tech demos, Halo was never written for the Mac originally. It wasn't even going to be a standard FPS at first.

    In any case, that's beside the point. This shows a 2GHz G5 outpacing a 3.4GHz P4 by a fair amount (both with a Radeon 9800). And that was with the old original version. "Not optimized," yeah right. ;)

    --Eric
     
  20. corywoolf macrumors 65816

    corywoolf

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    #20
    only a gig of RAM? I would go for the 23" ACD w/ 4 GB of RAM
     
  21. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #21
    1) The P4 was overclocked so its performance wouldn't be as good as an actual P4.

    2) G5 has 2 processors (that would make a difference in-game right?)

    3) There are other factors too. How much RAM did they have? What was the FSB on the processors? How fast was the HD? Why did they only compare to one type of processor, an Intel P4. Why not an AMD chip?

    4) The settings they used were ridiculous and then they admitted that for the low test, the Mac version used No Shaders while the PC version still had Vertex Shaders on.

    5) NOTE: On 1/23/04, I tried version 1.03 of Halo. In the Medium setting, it was 10% slower. In the High setting, it was 2% slower. - What was slower?

    6) I'm assuming they ran the timedemo and did it more than 1 time to make sure the result was accurate.

    7) Halo runs beautifully on an Xbox and that has a 733Mhz Pentium 3 :p

    8) Just noticed a bit about DirectX on Bungie's website....With DirectX 9.0 - In this code path, you are making absolutely no compromises on the visual quality of the game... Is that Pixel + Vertex shaders or Advanced Pixel Shaders? http://nikon.bungie.org/misc/halopcperformancefaq.html
     
  22. Soulstorm macrumors 68000

    Soulstorm

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    Feb 1, 2005
    #22
    The Dual processors will NOT make any difference in-game. No game except Quake 3 has been written with dual processor support yet. Version 1.5.2 of Halo is greatly optimized for the mac, it adds support for advanced pixel shaders, and corrects bugs and low-performance resource hogs for ATI and nVidia cards, that boost the game's visual quality to 40% up and performance 70% up. I have Halo and I can verify that.

    Halo is NOT a bad port! How do you define a bad port? Believe me, there are many factors that must be taken into account before you say something like that. The original release version of halo... boy THAT was a bad port. The latest version works like a charm. Also, do not forget that the latest version has NO BUGS AT ALL? If that's not a good port then what is?

    Halo on the Mac is 2 times more difficult to be developed than on a PC. Not only you must convert the game to use a tower with PPC inside (which makes a lot of difference) but also you must convert it to use OpenGL rather than DirectX. Even under these circumstances, the game runs perfectly (latest version) for me.

    Also, Halo runs perfectly on xBox because it was originally written for it, and if you see closely, other games ported from consoles to PC's (GTA) also need 3 times faster processor to run the game. Why is that? Because each xBox's (or PS2, GameCube etc) speed is FIXED, so we skip many subroutines which handle functions that determine each second what must and can be drawn on-screen and what not. Have you any idea what speed decreases happen because of that?

    UT2004 runs faster than Halo. But it is established in a different codebase. And in the PC it already had support for OpenGL.
     
  23. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #23
    I do take back what I said about it being a sloppy port, but I didn't say anything about that in my last post, I was just saying we can't be sure it was a fair test because of how Bare Feats did it and it's the old version
     
  24. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 9, 2004
    #24
    Don't forget Giants: Citizen Kabuto. That got a pretty decent speed boost because of dual processor support. Ironically, with later versions of the OS (or possibly because of the G5?), it has a tendency to freeze unless you disable one of the CPUs! Of course, it's old enough that it runs plenty fast with just one CPU on any semi-recent Mac.

    As for the Xbox running Halo "beautifully", aside from the advantages of programming for a fixed spec, it's running at a low resolution and getting low fps (30 max and dropping below that sometimes). Not what I call beautiful, but I guess consoles have a different standard....

    --Eric
     
  25. crachoar macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #25
    'Halo' ran like ogre tits on PCs as well as Apple computers. The computer ports were simply ass-awful. Not even worth it for free.

    Stick to the Xbox for 'Halo' games.
     

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