Macbook not so bad for gaming!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sikkinixx, May 26, 2006.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Location:
    Rocketing through the sky!
    #1
    Using XP (ugh) the Macbook isnt that bad for a gamer. Not as good my PC but not so bad. So far I have put Max Payne 2, Sims 2, Sim City 3000, Fallout1/2, C&C Generals and HoMMII/III.

    The old school games (Fallouts, HoMM) run perfect, but they would on my old powerbook. Sims 2 runs at all specs at min, 1280x800, and all and all it runs pretty smoothly. I think I had some apps runing in the background which hurt but it only studders when there are more than 4 sims in the screen at once. I know for a fact that Sims 2 is a very Processor hungry game so the lack of a good graphic card doesnt hurt it as much. Doesnt look great since all the textures are low but still very playable.

    Max Payne 2 (best.action.game.ever) runs pretty well. Settings are mixed, some low, some high, other s medium and I haven't tried more than 1024x768 yet. It ran smoothly on the default settings and loaded also as fast as my gaming rig :cool: I'm so stoked to have it because well...Max Payne rules/

    I'd love to try Half-Life 2, as the macbook meets the minimum specs but I dont have any more HDD space to install it on!

    The macbook seems to make a decent budget gaming system, just dont expect max settings on the heavy 3D games!
     
  2. mattcube64 macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #2
    A couple Qs...

    How much ram do you have? Also, do you run dual 2Ghz or dual 1.83Ghz?

    Also, if I put medium specs on, how would you expect Halo to run? I would absolutely ADORE you if you could PLEASE find space to install Halo and tell me how it runs. If it can keep the FPS above 20 at all times with med settings, the MB will be much more attractive in my eyes.
     
  3. Kermy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    #3
    Here are some benchmarks: http://www.barefeats.com/mbcd3.html

    "Sorry Apple, but the MacBook 13" is a "slouch" when it comes to 3D gaming and Tiger Core Image graphics. Even the iBook G4/1.42 with 32MB of VRAM beat it running Doom 3 and UT2004 Inferno Flyby."

    "I'm not saying the MacBook 13" isn't a great "bang for buck" machine what with dual Intel 2GHz cores. But if you are a 3D gamer who wants a laptop, you'll want to opt for the MacBook Pro with its Radeon X1600 -- or even a used PowerBook G4/1.67 with its Radeon 9700."
     
  4. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
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    Rocketing through the sky!
    #4
    i only have the stock 512, 1.83ghz model. I don't have Halo for PC, only for mac but I dont think it is universal is it? If it is then I will install it and giver a go! It ran well on my 12"pb so it should run fine on the macbook.

    and runing doom 3? forget it. Obviously it would eat the macbook alive. I'm just saying that for older 3d games, things work pretty good.
     
  5. RumoredTone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #5
    Hey there,

    Thank you for the observations. In regard to The Sims 2, it sounds like you were running the PC version in XP? I've very curious about it's performance on MacBooks, since my friend has The Sims 2 for her Mac and its perfomance has been extrememly disappointing, considering she has an 1.8GHz iMac G5. Even with everything set on minimum, it's quite slow unless you're using a simple house with very few characters. I always assumed it was the weak graphics the original iMac G5 shipped with (5200FX). On the other hand, you were thinking it might be more processor-driven.

    Anyway, she may be needing a new lappy, and the MacBooks are affordable, but I was bummed about their choice of Intel Graphics, since I know she's a Sims fiend, and really can't afford a MacBook Pro.

    Do you have any more details on The Sims 2 running on the MacBook? You mentioned it runs "pretty smoothly overall" with things on minimum. This sounds like it would be an upgrade, since it never really runs smoothly on her iMac, and becomes somewhat unplayable once the scene gets more complicated. Again, low settings are fine... she's more interested in the gameplay than in high-quality imagery.

    I know the Intel graphics are probably no better than the NVIDIA 5200FX, but I also know PC versions of games tend to run better since they were written natively for ActiveX and all that. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    -Tone (who wishes Apple had an affordable MacBook with at least a Radeon 9600-class chipset)



     
  6. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
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    #6
    Could it POSSIBLY be because it's emulating both those programs from the PPC binary?
     
  7. RumoredTone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #7
    It doesn't specifically say, though I believe universal binary versions are available for all of the games tested. I would assume they tested on these most recent versions, but again - it's not clear.

    But there are two other things not represented in these benchmarks:

    1. performance on low settings (to shift more emphasis to the processor)
    2. performance of the PC versions under Windows

    ...neither of these variables are likely to make the MacBook look any better compared to a MacBook Pro... but they they might be interesting compared to the iBook/PowerBook. Not everyone needs high graphics settings, so for people on a tight budget, a more useful set of benchmarks would also cover the low end.

    -Tone
     
  8. WabeWalker macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #8
    Well, it's a free world, I suppose - but I'm completely baffled as to why anybody would even consider playing games on a Macbook?

    The 360 from Microsoft is an amazingly powerful gaming rig, especially when you consider the cost, so why not buy one of those?

    If you want to play games while you're on a business trip on the other hand... well, pffft, I can't even be bothered.
     
  9. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #9
    Well, although the 360 is an excellent games console (imo), as the Wii and PS3 probably will be, there are some games that consoles refuse to touch - and when they do touch them, they usually mess them up.

    Basically, I want to play Civ IV, but this could never play well on a console. Therefore it'd be nice if it was playable on a brand spanking new Macbook. But sadly that doesn't look so.
     
  10. RumoredTone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #10

    That's always a good question to consider these days, with how powerful gaming consoles have become. I agree that if you're a big gamer, the MacBook probably isn't even worth considering.

    But my reasoning has always been: gaming consoles (despite what Sony and MS want people to think) are good for one thing: gaming. So to make the equipment useful, you need to play often and buy a good number of games, which adds to the price considerably and still only provides you with gameplay... nothing else. (well, okay... gameplay and a Blueray drive that I'll never use before Blueray drives cost $80 on their own! ;) )

    I don't play enough games to make this worth it for me. Don't get me wrong - I love games, but I'd rather spend my limited money on a computer that can do a wealth of other tasks in addition to playing games.

    Apple, over the past several years, has been all about the Consumer vs. Professional dichotomy, ignoring a vast space in between. So instead of buying a new Mac, I myself have wound up building my own middleground (AKA: upgrading the components of my old Power Mac G4). Given how fast technology advances, the fact that my 5-year old Power Mac can play games much better than a brand-new MacBook is kinda silly. If anything, games are a part of the "Consumer" experience. You shouldn't need to get a Pro lappy just to play even low to mid-end games.

    And the MacBooks are so cool in every other way (Core Duo, fa'goodness sake! :eek: ). The skimping on graphics to save cost would be more understandible if the rest of the machine were equally lowend. I have to believe that these MacBooks are going to let some people down... it's not too much to assume that a brand new laptop can play The Sims 2. The average consumer may not do the research before buying.

    -Tone
     
  11. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #11
    I would double check that.
     
  12. WabeWalker macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #12
    Right.

    PC gamers do tend to be older and more mature - and hence the titles they prefer tend to be strategic in nature, rather than action oriented. Most of the strategic games obviously do require a mouse and keyboard - which is why Microsoft ought to make that possible for the 360!

    Still, my feeling is that gamers should stick with machines that were built for gaming.

    I actually prefer the Macbook because it DOESN'T play games well. For about six months now I've been looking to buy an inexpensive, but extremely cool looking laptop - well, that's the Macbook, isn't it?

    I mean seriously, if anybody can point me in the direction of a less costly, but better looking laptop, then please do so.
     
  13. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #13

    You raise a very good point. I imagine for a lot of people, the fact that the Macbook is cheaper because it isn't really supposed to be a games machine is one of its most attractive options.

    On the flip side, Apple could be losing out on tapping into a potential market by not putting a capable GPU into its laptops. A happy balance would've been a Macbook with the option to add a GPU - or a 13" Macbook Pro. But Apple thought better I guess.
     
  14. RumoredTone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #14

    Elsewhere, I've read comments where people point out that integrated graphics are common in the PC notebook industry at this price point... but to me, it seems very un-Apple to just do what everyone else is doing and use a decidely low-end and unelegant component like integrated graphics (one that underserves some of the advanced features of Mac OS X). But I imagine Intel made them a budget motherboard offer they couldn't refuse...

    Still, though you may pay a slight premium for dedicated graphics in say... a Dell Latitude... the fact remains, you at least have that option. For Macs, the option is to jump up to a $2000+ MacBook Pro.

    In the end, I think keeping the MacBook price down was probably a secondary concern for Apple vs. the primary concern of not stealing MacBook Pro sales. The question is: how many people will do neither, and hold off until a better option arrives (or for potential switchers: pass on a Mac entirely).

    -Tone
     
  15. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #15
    They are pretty cramed for space in that 13'' case.
     

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