QUAD DAMAGE: A Quad for gaming... how practical?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Demon Hunter, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    #1
    I have an interesting dilemma. I hope you enjoy the read as it's a bit long.

    As far as PowerBook fans go, I'm about as fanboy as you can get without hospitalization. But these new PowerMacs are so drool-worthy, I can't help but ponder.

    I use my 17" 1.67 for college, gaming, Photoshop work, short films and web design. So nothing too processor intensive, which is why the PowerBook was ideal for me. Except for gaming.

    The gamer in me cries out: "you need to play Quake 4! There is going to be a World of Warcraft expansion! Doom 3 could be fun!" The PowerBooks handle WoW pretty well, but again... every system has its limits (and honestly I don't know how it performs in raids).

    Except maybe this Quad G5. It isn't 3GHz, but it may as well be. I think we all collectively fainted. It obviously will have a huge impact on many sectors... but my question is this: how do you think it will perform for gaming?

    I considered building a gaming PC, even a Linux build, but I would never do it. I'd either stick with my PowerBook or go all out with a G5. Or staying with my PowerBook could be an exercise in restraint. After all, I would probably game my brains out. Not good in college.

    A G5 would be good because the only games I play are almost always ported to Mac anyway; and I'd use it for a lot more than gaming.

    The price is seductive. As a student developer I can purchase a stock Quad G5 with a 20" Cinema for $3358. :eek: If I sold my PowerBook for $2500, that's an easy $800 I could make this summer. That's a whole lot of computer for $800!

    I have no interest in waiting for Intels. Dual-core, PCIe and DDR2 sound good to me. :)
    Whatcha think? Am I diagnosed with "web browsing on a Quad-itis" or would this be sweet?
     
  2. dubbz macrumors 68020

    dubbz

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    #2
    How good is the SMP support in most games anyway? Just having it at all seems rare enough.

    Personally I think a Quad would be way overkill for that.

    Not that I wouldn't be tempted to do it myself (If I was filthy rich ;))
     
  3. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

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  4. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    #4
    Keep the PowerBook and get a 1.8GHz PowerMac and get an awesome graphics card for it and get some good RAM for it.

    Just an idea...
     
  5. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #5
    That's what I got(Single 1.8Ghz, 1.25GB ram, X800Xt) but BF 1942 plays like crap on it. Yet in doom 3 I get 30-60fps in most areas at 1280 at 1024.
     
  6. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

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    #6
    Aren't most games single-threaded anyway? Which is to say they benefit much more from a single, super-fast processor than multiple somewhat fast cores.

    I'm also under the impression that the PCIe GPU selection for Mac is pretty paltry as of yet. The current options are a substandard gaming card in two different forms or an incredibly pricey workstation card.
     
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #7
    A very good point- while the Quad G5 possess tremendous firepower, most games are not properly optimized for it. But hey, if mobility is not a priority and you have the $$$, go for it. :)
     
  8. Bear macrumors G3

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    #8
    Anything that runs under Mac OS X will be able to at least take some advantage of 2 processors (or cores). One for the game and one for everything else that is currently running. Also, when doing I/O the system will spawn threads for some of that, so the game will get some advantage there as well.

    And what of future games now that there are dual core x86 chips? Plan for the future, not for the past.
     
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #9
    Hmm, not a bad idea.
     
  10. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Yeah, exactly... anything with AGP is limiting your upgrade options.

    Although a stock Dual 2.7 with a 6800 GT DDL is $3238...
     
  11. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

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    #11
    Very interesting! Thanks for the response, Bear.
     
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #12
    Or a dual core 2.3GHz. You only lose 0.2GHz and you can get an equally powerful PCIe graphics card. Games take advantage of the second core, but I think it will be years before they'll consider taking advantage of 4 cores.
     
  13. forumBuddy macrumors member

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    #13
    AGP is not a limiting factor by any means. Current generation of video cards are not even approaching the limits of 8x AGP, much less PCIe.
     
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #14
    Mostly true, but it seems like the most powerful cards are PCIe only these days.
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    #15
    I think it'll be sooner than years. Game designers (as well as other programmers) seem to code things to take up as much resources as they possibly can.

    Good software design seems to be somewhat of a lost art.
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #16
    True, AGP 8x though inferior to PCI-Express, remains yet to be fully exploited by today's games and graphic intensive programs/processes.
     
  17. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #17
    The real question here is availability. With such a niche market, our options are virtually nil. The move to PCIe makes me wonder if new AGP cards will even be considered for Mac. I think nVidia and ATI will make AGP cards for a while still... but you'd have to flash them.
     
  18. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #18
    I sure hope that they keep making AGP base video cards for Mac for a while yet.

    I would love to be able to put a NVIDIA 7800 GT in my Power Mac G5! :)
     
  19. p0intblank macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I'm planning on getting a Quad soon. Will I utilize its full potential? Heh, most likely not. :p But it'll still be nice to have the best Mac out there. And who knows... maybe I will utilize that much power one day, since I plan on video editing more extensively in the future. But this thread is about you, so... *ahem* I say go for it if you can afford it, even if it is through credit. Having a Quad will definitely have you equipped for a few years to come, not to mention the expandability for newer PCI-e cards.
     
  20. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    #20
    LOL, not on the Power Mac. The current AGP cards are much better than the options for the PCIe Power Mac. Hopefully the 7800 turns up soon, but until then there are well 0 real gaming cards for the PCIe Macs.
     
  21. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #21
    You're right, of course, but the PCIe PowerMacs are so young. I expect it to change soon. On the PC side, some models are now PCIe only, I think.
     
  22. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #22
    Its a shame really; for Apple to release a super-fast Mac without offering a super-fast (and some what affordable) graphics card for doing productive feats (such as gaming :D ).
     
  23. Skareb macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2005
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    Adelaide
    #23
    SMP for games, currently non existant. however in the OX equivilant of Taskmanager, you can set all tasks to 1 of the 4 CPU's, and the game to any of the other.

    SMP supporting games will emerge afther the release of the Xbox 2, Nintendo Revo and PS3

    If you're looking to the future, maybe, but the best gaming is still had on a PC, due to native DirectX

    Cheers
    Jordan
     
  24. Skareb macrumors member

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    #24

    A: No

    B: Yes
     

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