mac gaming for a may-be-switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by greatm31, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. greatm31 macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2001
    Hey there. I'm a PC user interested in making the *switch* to mac for when I go to college this fall, but there are a couple of things holding me back. Mainly, gaming - does the fact that big games take a while before they're ported to mac from windows ever get really annoying? Or that some are never ported? Do you guys feel satisfied with the number and availablity of cutting edge games?

    If get a mac it will probably be a laptop - is an iBook powerful enough for the UT2004 class of graphics intensive games, or is a powerbook pretty much necessary? And finally, can you faily easily upgrade the graphics card on a powerbook or ibook when new and better cards come out?

    If you have anything else that'll help convince me, I'm all ears. Thanks so much!
  2. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    The iBook, most definitely, is not a gaming machine. It probably will not be powerful enough for UT2K4. The 12" powerbook may have enough power, but the 15" 1.5 Ghz should run it fairly well. Keep in mind, G4 processors (which the iBooks AND Powerbooks run on) are hardly cutting edge. If you really want to game, you have to get a G5, or an iBook and an xbox....
  3. invaLPsion macrumors 65816


    Jan 2, 2004
    The Northlands
    As a mac gamer I find that most of the games that are worthwhile are simultaneously release, Blizzard games for instance. I am satisifed as a mac gamer for the most part.

    An iBook is not powerful enough. I would recommend the 15 inch 1.5GHz powerbook with the 5400RPM HD and the 128mb of vram.

    You cannot upgrade the video card on a powerbook or iBook, period. The only laptops that allow you to upgrade the video card are made by Aliendware and cost $2500 plus.
  4. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    My best advice is save up some money and buy your laptop from Apples education store you can save a lot of money that way. If you want a mac that is going to handle UT2K4 and games that come later go with the 15in PB, and if you can afford that pay the extra $100-200 to get the ATI Radeon card update in the PB, it boosts your VRAM from 64mb to 128mb. This upgrade can only be done when you buy the computer since the video chip is soldered onto the motherboard, and Apple uses 2 different Mobos, one with the 64 chip and the other with the 128 chip. Try to go for the PB.
  5. Oirectine macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    does the fact that big games take a while before they're ported to mac from windows ever get really annoying?

    Frankly, yes, it does. I'm still waiting for Knights of the Old Republic to be released. Or either of the two expansions to Neverwinter Nights (yeah I know there are hacks to make them work, but I'd rather have an officially supported version).

    Do you guys feel satisfied with the number and availablity of cutting edge games?

    Hmm, I guess it's not bad. I just wish I had a faster computer to run them on!
  6. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2003
    i'd suggest you get the ibook and use that for most stuff, but when you need to game either buy a ps2 or make your own gaming PC's

  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    The selection of games is getting better constantly. It wasn't even a trickle right before Mac OS X came to be. It still seems crazy to wait, but being a developer, I understand some of the reasons. As more games become available for Linux, we'll probably see them ported to Mac OS X, too.

    UT2004 takes a lot of processing power and while the Radeon Mobility 9200 chipset is enough (I use a GeForce 4MX on a dual G4/800), the iBook's 1 GHz G4 is probably not enough to play it smoothly.
  8. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Theres no way your going to game on an iBook. That was one of my thoughts when buying a mac. I decided to go with the 15" 1.5 PB with the 5400 rpm HD, 128 vram and 512 ram. It works very well, You could run Halo on it, not 100% perfect but it runs well enough to enjoy. If your seriously into gaming you really need a G5 because the mac laptops are not made specifically for gaming, G5 are much more suited but they will kill your wallet. The setup for the PB above is $2209.00, thats with an educational discount. To me it was well worth it. I love this thing, i wouldn't trade it for the world. I just picked up the Warcraft 3 battle chest, it runs great. I tried the Call of Duty demo. Awsome game, but it's choppy because they have to get the bugs out and i would need to adjust the settings. A 1.5 PB is definatly sufficient for casual-semi in depth gaming. But if your a hardcore gamer i would reccomend a G5 tower. If the price is a little steep for you, i would say stick with a pc untill you can afford a G5.
  9. gdl96 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2004
    new jersey
    Would the 15" 1.33 ghz be enough for some casual gaming, like enough to play UT2004 but with the graphics not on the highest settings?

    Also, I was curious about online gaming on a mac. Let's say with UT2004, can I play over the net against people running the games on windows?
  10. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    The iBook should play UT2K4 well at the lowest settings. My 7300/G4 can & its benchmarks at ~50% of the performance of the iBook. It has an 800MHz G4, 480MB RAM, & a Radeon 9100 PCI. Works great in Quake 3. I will need to replace it for sure when Quake 4 comes out. I play Halo on a PC so I don't know how well it works on the Mac.
  11. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    yea you can play with windows people i have a G5 and i do it constantly!
  12. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Well I have a 900 MHz G3 iBook, and have tried the UT2k4 demo. At the lowest graphic settings, I'm pleased to say, it's playable. I'm surprised, but pleased :) But it's not something I'd play seriously, especially when I have a self-built 2.66 GHz P4 w/ 9700 Pro next to me to play it...

    Basically I use my Mac for everything but gaming, and my PC's purpose was only gameing, nothing else (it started out as my intended main computer, but OS X changed that :D )

    But I'll tell you something... I noticed that PC gaming has been on a slow decline lately. More and more game developers are making games for console nowadays, and it's possible that in the future I will ditch the PC completely and stick to my Mac and consoles for my entertainment needs.

    But that day is not today :)

    For you, it depends on what you game like. If you only play the "main" games (Epic, id, Blizzard, etc) games, a Mac will do. But if you want to play the less "mass-budget" games like RPGs, etc, then I suggest you to either stick to a PC or have a dual-computer setup (Mac+PC) like I do.
  13. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Phoenix, AZ
    I run UT2K4 with no problems whatsoever on my 12" PB,the only setting I changed was 32-Bit color to 16-Bit(not even a noticeable difference) I was very surprised how well it ran compared to my old Rev B with 32MB of VRAM....So the 15" 1.33GHz PowerBook with the Radeon 9700(much better graphics card than the GeForce FX Go5200 in the 12" PB) should be perfect for you.
  14. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    I have a 1.25ghz powerbook, and it runs UT2k4 perfectly well, with the settings medium-high, so even a 1.33ghz 12" should be ok, although a bigger screen always makes gaming more fun :D . the ibook is more questionable, but it can definitely play some games...
    Yeah, just about all of the big games have online for mac and pc mixed together. The only two I ever actually play online are UT2k4 and WarcraftIII, but I'm fairly sure that just about all games are like them.
    Also, yeah, it's really aggravating when games aren't ported to mac, and annoying that it takes longer for them to be released, but it's fairly easy to deal with. After all, most games are ported eventually, and I can wait a couple of months, plus macs (particularly the laptops), are so much easier and nicer, in my opinion, than pc's that it is all worth it...

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