Mac games run worse than PC games?

Discussion in 'Games' started by vraxtus, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    Aug 4, 2004
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    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    Anyone tend to notice that Mac games tend to run slower than PC games?

    The Barefeats benchmarks for the Radeon 9800 SE are pretty much on the dot... with my 1.8 SP G5 and the 9800SE, I get about 23 avg FPS on the timedemoes.

    To me this is pretty crappy. From what I heard generally PC gamers tend to get much higher FPS rates on Halo with similar configs...
     
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #2
    Some games do, some games don't. Halo actually tends to perform as good or better on macs as PCs, but most games do not. This has been discussed about a million times but I will say it again. This is largely because Macs lack DirectX which powers most games. Therefore games not native and intended for OpenGL run slower on macs.
     
  3. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #3
    um yes, i think most everyone knows that. it is the one downside of mac. they are super powerful fast in everyday application settings, and super good in graphic design, video or audio design. but they dont run games very well. its all because most game developers do not develope for mac. new games especially are designed for the cutting edge windows system. if apples make up 3 % of the market for computers think of the even smaller percent that are big gamers. not a huge market for a giant game developer that wants to get to the most people with least expense.
     
  4. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #4
    Yeah, I know about the OpenGL thing... but I had thought ATI drivers were pretty much OGL optimized at this point... guess I was wrong.
     
  5. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    #5
    vraxtus,

    The problem is not in the driver optimizations, rather it is that the games themselves are not programmed to best take advantage of the mac hardware. Because they were originally programmed in DirectX, the port to openGL is often not very good. Think of it like making a DivX rip of a movie. You can do it really fast and the quality will be poor, or you can spend more time on it by tweaking the settings and the quality will be better. Its really unfortunate, but some mac ports just don't get the time they deserve.
     
  6. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    Aug 4, 2004
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    San Francisco, CA
    #6
    OK here's another question then, when running Halo, I get skips in between loading areas. I'm wondering if there's any way to allow the app to load more lvls and/or textures into my RAM so I can get rid of hiccups like that. I've got a gig but it doesn't seem like it's being put to good work...
     
  7. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #7
    Question: would appreciate reply

    k, we all know games that are ported run like crap (generally, and compared to they're windows equivilant). But what about games that are optimized for both platforms? Example...

    Does Warcraft III run better on a PC of similar specs?
    ------Diablo I & II & LOD ---------------------------?
    Does Quake run better on a PC of similar specs?
    -----Quake II--------------------------------?
    etc...

    I am curious because apple hardware is usually twice as expensive. Is the answer to this related to RISC vs CISC architecture? (not that either are pure-bred anymore anyway, but rather high-bred)
     
  8. applekid macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2003
    #8
    I haven't found timedemos to be a good measurement. I think people get the wrong impression about it. You say you get about a 23, but the frame rate in the game are probably pretty acceptable.

    You really can't do much about the jumps during loads. It's not really a big issue anyway. It usually loads in between fire fights from what I remember. Not to mention, the PCs I've played on still see those same hiccups.

    Quake 3 runs better on the PC. What's there to blame? Not the same exact code as the PC version. Probably not as polished or optimized. But, most importantly, I'd blame the OpenGL drivers. Apple is quite behind with OpenGL, more than you would think. They need to pick up the pace. It's like every x.1 update, we get a nice speed bump. and every x.x.1 update, you get small enhancements that help future games (for example, 10.3.4 will be required to play Star Wars KOTOR because it requires the most up to date OpenGL drivers to take advantage of all of the visuals).
     
  9. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #9
    Probably one of the most accurate things I've read in the gaming forums in awhile. We'll see the same thing again when Doom 3 hits. :(

    Edit - applekid... you have 505 posts... where's your avatar?
     
  10. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    At that resolution it actually runs worse in game. I watched the timedemo... I probably get 15 or less FPS when there's a bunch of sh*t on the screen.
     
  11. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #11
    You first have to define similar systems...
    In the case of D2 and LOD, in OS 9, my Pismo 500 spanked any PC around me in terms of response time, etc. I played next to a few Pc at over 1.2 gig with 8 to 16 meg cards and I was better off. Then 10.1 came along and D2 and LOD got tanked. Finally they are stating to come around.

    WC3, started better in OS 9 but lagged in X compared to a PC. I think both Diablo and WC as well as OS X have matured and they are more equalized.

    Blizzard worked hard on the Mac, but in the case of the Diablo series, it was first made on OS 9. So in a sense, they have 3 platforms to support, one on an OS that was ever changing. I would suspect future Blizzard titles, being OS X only will run just as well on Macs.

    Which brings us to the DirectX port issue vs. good coding. DX9 is a useful tool for game designers. Sadly, no one has even come close to making a public, much less good private port to allow DX9 to seamlessly transfer to macs/Open GL. So the port house is forced to convert to OpenGl. Sadly, the publisher often does not provide the code, resources, or permission for major tweaking of these ports. In a large game port, the publisher takes no risks, holds all the cards, and the Mac Port company takes all the risk. But often they are not allowed to tweak the game play. Maybe its because of network sync issues (like many multiplayer games) or legal issues, or technical issues. But I think the Mac platform has enough proven app success to show that when its done well, it works.

     
  12. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    No it won't, whoever told you that misinterpreted Brad's blog. It's not required, and it's about VAR/VBO paths not about visuals.

    AppleMatt
     
  13. applekid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #13
    I didn't get that from Brad's blog. I got it from Aspyr directly.

    I'll get around to doing it one of these days. :rolleyes: *whines like a kid* Do I have to?!

    Good points as well. But, there's plenty of PC games that use OpenGL and sometimes ports are based partially on that as well. Yet, there seems to be a migration towards OpenGL on the PC side. There's been a little buzz how people were amazed by Doom 3 and its OpenGL engine and disappointed in HL2 and its DirectX engine (even though there is an OpenGL renderer as well). It may be possible OpenGL will start becoming more standard than DirectX on the PC. Hopefully, that can promote some growth on our side as well. But that is being pretty optimistic.

    But at the end of the day, our version of OpenGL still needs to be fixed up. This is where Apple starts to kill us. Remember when UT2K3 was out? You had to absolutely get (what I believe was) 10.2.6. Apple slowly adds OpenGL effects at the request of developers and game porting houses. Disappointing when a true, complete version of OpenGL would have already included those. :(
     
  14. Ninja_Turtle macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Fullerton, California
    #14
    party

    so wats the deal with Direct X? why cant mac run it? i mean, they said the same thing about .avi files and macs can run .avi files, not as good as a pc, but it runs them...
     
  15. kristo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #15
    3d games are dependant as much on the CPU as the GPU, as the CPU needs to set the scences, so to speak, for the GPU to render. If a game is not optimized to fly through the CPU, its gonna lag.

    However, apple uses OGL, something which ATI is known to be pretty immature with in their drivers (check out the whole Doom3 thing).

    If ATI can't get a decent OGL driver on the PC, they aint gonna have one on the mac.

    So, I reckon with the nvidia 6800 coming, you will see a marked improvement in games (so long as you use a nvidia card, as they have much better OGL drivers)

    However, realise that the nvidia 5200 is a piece of crap :)
     
  16. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

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    Jun 2, 2003
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    round the corner
    #16
    One word, Microsoft ;)

    I remember years ago reading in a Mac Magazine about a Directx type technology, at the time the idea was really to make porting of games quicker since us Mac users would (and is still the case sometimes today to) have to wait for months (and sometimes years) for the cool PC game to come to us

    It never went through and I believe it had to do with Microsoft and the fact that they didn't want to give the code or something like that, can't remember but it never happened, it was an idea at the time but it never successed and probably because Microsoft didn't like the idea is the reason why nobody else has tried or ever will

    This may not be the true but if you have people using Windows wanting to switch to a Mac but don't because of games then it makes sense to ensure that those users have to stick with Windows for the up to date gaming
     
  17. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    #17
    No, there's not. And I think the skips are normal? I mean, loading takes time on any machine.
    Also, although 1 gig of ram is good, the G5 really likes more than that.... If you had 2 gigs I would imagine your problems would melt away. The G5 is just sort of a memory whore. 1 gig is more than enough for AWESOME x86 machines, but the G5 wants/needs more.
     
  18. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    Aug 4, 2004
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    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    Surprisingly though, initial loads are about 5 seconds. The in game loads are more like hiccups. Compared to my G4 PB though, which takes minutes to load, this is a LOT better.
     
  19. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    #19
    I can't remember exactly how long my PC took to load, but I can try to look at it when I get home from work. Just out of question, what are the specs on your PB, and how does it run?
     
  20. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    Aug 4, 2004
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    #20
    Right now it's at Apple for repair... I just bought it as a refurb 2 weeks ago and it was kernel panicking like none other... even after a reformat and clean OS install :mad:

    It's the rev B PB G4 1ghz... pretty much stock everything.

    Strangely, my G5 blows it out of the water in things like loading times, but yet when I play War3, the PB seems to load the thumbnail map images MUCH faster than my G5.
     

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