Mac Mini & Games

Discussion in 'Games' started by Ninja_Turtle, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Ninja_Turtle macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2004
    Fullerton, California
    as all of you know, the Mac Mini is out and its very everyone says its a Mac for the current PC user and that its only for n00b mac users, but you guys are forgetting the long time Mac users who dont have enough money to buy an iMac or a G5 (high school students like myself), anyways, alot of people are talking about its graphic card, now im not complaining, but is there anyway there would be a way to open up the Mini and upgrade the graphic card to play games/edit video/run Tiger? the 9200 is good, for its day, but now...i guess there needs a little more kick, would there be any way to upgrade the video card?

  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    The video hardware is soldered on to the very small mobo - so unless you have a DEEP understanding of video firmware and are EXTREMELY handy with a soldering iron, that's a negative.

    The Mac mini can play most Powermac G4-era games pretty well with a RAM bump, but forget most newer games - WoW, Doom 3 (snicker), and others.

    The newest stuff that will play decent (not great) will be UT2k4, CoD, maybe BF1942, IMO.
  3. ricebag macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Not bad...

    That's not so bad...
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    And yet on its' site, Apple is making note of how the mini will be able to play Halo, whereas budget PCs wouldn't. I'd love to see Apple's benchmarks (and's reactions to those!).
  5. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    I just love the screen shot of Halo..... Yeah that pretty much clearly BS and there is no way that the mini mac can do that heck imac is not playble at those high res much less an mini mac.

    Got to love how apple says how good it computers are for games when clearly they dont care about games coming to there computer because there no willing to allow them to get real graphic cards.

    speaking of apple basicly blantly lieing about there comptuer ablitly look at the imac they ajusted it after barefeet clearly showed how much they where lieing (still over blown but better than before) Time to just wait until some does the same for the mini
  6. Benj macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2004
    I have a G3 900 iBook. No idea what graphics card is in it. Probably horrible. It runs Age of Mythology, Tropico etc etc absolutely fine. Mac Mini will have no problems with these sorts of games.
  7. Plutonius macrumors 603


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    I know people playing WoW with a 9200 graphics card. Up the Mac Mini's RAM to 512k and WoW should be playable.

    I'm sure a website will run benchmarks on all the popular games / applications when they can get their hands on a Mac Mini.
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    ...with 32mb of VRAM?

    not over 800x600 with details turned up reasonably.

    I wish they would feel so compelled to lie about their products. The Mac mini has a really great potential if you look at it for what it is, but as soon as they say "budget PCs usually come with integrated graphics and the mac mini can play Halo at high resolutions" i get annoyed. Why lie about it? a 500 dollar PC with no keyboard/mouse or monitor is going to play games better than this thing is. But that isn't what it is for. That's not the point of the mini. It is a really cool, really small, all-in-one that people who have iMacs have been begging for for years. headless. simple. acceptably fast for things that you do in an office. NOT for games. It can play games from 2-4 years ago just fine, but so can stupid intel integrated graphics. Anything short of the 9600/5700 range of cards in a NEW machine means that you don't mention anything about games at all if you are smart. Because none of the modern games will do very well, and NO future games will, unless they decide not to use the graphics card for some reason.

    I find myself really wanting a Mac mini, but I don't think I'll even install a game demo on it, except maybe to see how terribly it runs.

    It will be a good iLife computer, and great for browsing the net, etc...But games?!? naw. not from this century.
  9. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    Um those of use playing those games on rev C. 12" powerbooks may disagree with you. I personly play WoW on my rev C. and the Imac in my sig. It plays just fine. Not 100 million frames a min, but good enought to play the game (25-30 on the pb, 20-25 on the imac).

    So yes, get you self the 1.4 Ghz mini, and I think you will be able to play most of todays games just fine. Its tommrows games that you may worry about.

    Edit: sorry Lord Blackadder, i missed the part where you said decent.
  10. Veldek macrumors 68000


    Mar 29, 2003
    The mini is not too bad. It would be great to take on a LAN for WC3 or something like that.
  11. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    My reccomendations for stuff to play on the Mac Mini:

    Max Payne
    Unreal Tournament ('99)
    Diablo Series
    Red Faction
    No One Lives Forever
    Starcraft Series
    The Sims Series (Not 2, however...well, maybe, I dunno.)
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    Aliens vs. Predator
    Quake Series
    Doom Series
    Tony Hawk Series
    Simcity 4
    Star Wars: Jedi Knight & Jedi Academy
    Medal of Honor Series
    RAYMAN 3

    Anyone care to debunk the theory that these would run well or suggest more, go ahead.
  12. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    jedi academy won't really be worth it.

    sims 2 is probably a "no" even though it meets the general specs (if the game ever comes out, anyway)...

    it is EXTREMELY reliant on graphics card power. Upgrading my 9600 P to a 6600 GT made Sims 2 an entirely different game. I went from 1024 with no fsaa and most details on and getting "ok" framerates to 1600x1200x4xFSAA and remarkably smooth framerates...on the same exact system (2500+, 1GB PC3200, SATA HDD).

    The G4 will be fine for sims 2, but the 32mb of RAM for textures will but a major hit on performance, no matter what settings you run it at.

    most of those other games will work just fine, though (provided you can get them to run in X, some of those are VERY old)
  13. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    With the exception of Unreal Tournament (Which actually will be available for OS X soon) all of those are Native to OS X, as I actually own most of them. :p
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    It's funny, but the 9200 is more of a games bottleneck than the G4 is, which is maybe a tribute to that much-maligned class of processor.

    If I had to sum up I'd say that the Mac mini is NOT a "gaming" computer in design, but can play a lot of pretty new games at acceptable, though not great, levels of performance. However, it will not age well. Doom 3 is pretty much beyond it's capabilities, and WoW will be stretching the limits of "acceptable" framerates.

    I could be wrong, but if you look at Apple's hardware line the Mac mini is the least capable, so don't expect it to better the performance of other current Macs. That doesn't mean you can't game, just don't expect mad framerates on any game that requires a 32MB video card minimum.
  15. jer2eydevil88 macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2004
    This machine uses laptop parts so don't expect anywhere near the performance you would get for games using desktop parts. These parts are slower and smaller not exactly ideal for gaming.

    If you want to play games on your mac buy a G5 tower lol if you want to buy a mac you can afford and don't mind playing few if any games then buy the mini.

  16. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    The mini is an eMac sans monitor.

    It's the same hardware spec as a current generation eMac.

    I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I've played plenty of WC3, C&C Generals, and Q3A on my 1.25GHz, 32MB Radeon 9200-equipped eMac. It's fine at lowish (1024x768 or 800x600) resolutions.

    Bottom line, it's not a gamer's machine, but it's fine for playing semi-recent games.
  17. pgc6000 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2004
    It seems to be the same thing with us laptop users. It probaly won't be good for playing the latest and greatest, but you could probaly play some good games with the mini mac. Call of Duty, Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology, and Medal of Honor. There are also some others, but those are just my favorites. But of course the video card it's equiped with isn't great from what people are saying. But the games I mentioned should run well.
  18. Rootman macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    I'm going to buy this to play Halo and America's Army, which runs semi-crappy-OK on a 700-MHz eMac with 32-MB video. I know the 9200 is the bottleneck in the mini, but should I go for the faster chip for the extra $100?

    This little computer is cool, but the more I think about it, the more I wish it had turned out to be a $499 pizza box Mac with slots inside.
  19. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    If it's a choice between upgrading the RAM and buying the faster model, upgrade the RAM.
  20. rozwell macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2004
    i gamed pretty well on a 12" powerbook 1.33ghz with 1.25 gb of ram. any game i wanted to play, i could at medium detail 800x600, so i really dont see why the mini couldnt pull it off. get the 1.4 drop a gig of ram in it, and you should be fine.

    what i played:

    the Sims
    Nanosaur 2
    Splinter Cell
  21. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    A Rev C 12" PowerBook has a 64MB nVidia FX 5200 Go. The Mac mini has a 32MB ATI Radeon 9200. You're comparing apples and oranges a bit there methinks.
  22. rozwell macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2004
    isnt that the same or similar card to an iBook? cant iBooks do most of the games listed? i could be wrong but as i recall you can game ok on an iBook. also keep in mind its only $500 as compared to a $1000 iBook, $1600 12" powerbook, and less than any g5. so if you can game on it at any rate, its not such a bad deal. you get what you pay for.

    didnt even notice my first post was almost identical to csubear's, sorry bout that, but i can contest that laptop tech suits my gaming needs. anothing i didnt realize until i finished watching the keynote, is how small the mini really is. i am at a loss for words concerning that.
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    there are many reports of WoW running acceptably well on 1.2 Ghz ibooks so I would expect that it would run ok on the mac mini as well. Far from great, but playable.
  24. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    The iBook has a 32MB ATI Radeon 9200 Mobility, so it has half the VRAM and a different GPU to a 12" PowerBook. The Radeon 9200 family will also not support OS X 10.4's Core Image hardware acceleration, while the nVidia FX 5200 Go in the 12" PowerBook will.

    Anyway, I'm being a bit nitpicky. Yeah, the current iBook and eMac models do a passable job of playing recent games at modest resolution and detail settings, and the Mac mini (having an almost identical graphics and CPU configuration to the current iBook and eMac) will almost certainly perform similarly. It'll do an 'adequate' job, nothing more. But as you say, you get what you pay for. I think the Mac mini is a great machine for the price, especially considering the insanely small size. People won't be buying this machine for gaming. I still can't get over how small it is...especially the retail box it comes in! :)

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