SubPar Performance from Mobility 9700!!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Rathen, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    #1
    I got myself a shiny sexy new 15" Powerbook and it is absolutely perfect except for one tiny problem.

    Now my only difficulty seems to be with game performance. I recently installed the UT2004 demo, it was almost playable but only when I turned most graphic features off. I assume since the game is so recent it may require more than a portable could handle.
    Now I understand my system ram is a bit low and most people would prefer 128mb video, However my previous system used a Geforce 4 MX with 64mb and that was able to handle UT2004 fine.

    Ive seen in these forums that mobility Radeon 9700 is comparable to a Desktop 9600, and I know a 9600 is superior to a Geforce 4 MX.

    My only clue is that in UT, it only offers me the options of RAVE or Software.
    Now I understand RAVE is the rage 128 driver right?
    I ran the mac updates so I have no idea why this driver would be in my system. and I can not find the proper drivers available for download anywhere on the net.

    Any ideas? Thanks a lot!!!

    New Mac user /Greg
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #2
    This is a known issue with the demo version. The retail version is faster. Having 1GB or more of RAM can also help a lot. The Ati9700 isn't the problem - it is plenty powerful enough for a laptop. The 128MB version would provide slightly better frame rates. A 5400RPM drive will help a little. Also, disabling sound in UT2k4 will give dramatically better perfomance in any single processor Mac if the game still isn't playable.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #3
    yamabushi:

    Yeah some maps/mods really pig down the RAM. I was really surprised how badly it ran on "only" 512MB. :rolleyes:
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    #4
    Radeon 9700 thread

    Thanks Ill try a memory upgrade and see what it can do!
    Maybe bite the bullet and buy the full version game too.
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    Remember that nVidia logo at the start of UT2004? It means that you don't get the best performance from ATI video hardware. If you search, you'll find that someone was disappointed with the results from a Radeon 9800 card after having used a GeForce 4MX. It wasn't as spectacular as he thought it would be, although it was more amazing on other games.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #6
    Yeah Nvidia cards are supposed to be a little better. I bet the 6800 (and a dual 2.5 G5) makes this game scream even at max quality and full resolution.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #7
    A friend of a friend of a friend of a previous friend of mine told me this game is downloadable at www.suprnova.org using bit torrent, this along with a few other games. They apparently sprout up sporadically, so check once in a while.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #8
    The full version of the game runs much faster. A barefeats article showed frame rate increases of 30 - 40 percent. Extra ram also helps a lot!
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #9
    I got a PC with a ATI Radeon 8500, it runs this game with everything set to the absolute max at 11xx by 8xx resolution, and it runs very smooth. Of course, in the same room here, I got a G5 1.6 Ghz, that has a superior ATI Radeon 9600 Pro that runs this game at only 1024 x 768 with a lot of hiccups, frame rates never jump above 20. If you disabled the sound on the G5, the frame rate shoots into the low 50s on the same map. No Macs have hardware accelerated sound support up to date, all sound calculations and mixing is done in software via the CPU for a lot of fps games, this means either suck it up(and get standard stereo sound) or get a PC to play games.

    And regarding to the Nvidia optimized game thing you said. Read around the web for a while at the review sites tells us at ATI products consistently outperform Nvidia products in the same market segment in UT2004, image quality and/or speed wise. See http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ut2004_9.html
    The Nvidia optimized game thing as far as i'm concerned is just having washed out textures and non-functional trilinear filtering.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #10
    The sound issue is well-known with the UT engine. I read they were working on some fixes, but I'm not sure if they were released in the latest update or not. Dual processor Macs don't see the hit because the inefficient sound code is handled by the second processor.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #11
    Yeah, but i don't know if the sound code is "inefficient". On my PC, the sound allows for 5.1 or 6.1 Eax mode hardware 3d sound. At the least, it allows for 3d hardware sound or software sound. Switching to software sound mode, it's still plenty fast, with negligible loss of speed, due to the fact its using directsound anyway which is a hardware accelerated API in windows. As far as i'm concerned, the Macs have only audio codecs but no actual DSP to process any sound streams, even mixing and volume control (hardware). It would be nice if they allowed for some kind of 3d positional sound on the Mac, if it was possible. Dualies are nice, but shouldn't be required to play a game to enjoy graphics AND sound at the same time. Logic indicates that if i spend several thousand dollars on a semi-professional grade computer, I can expect mostly the best, but alas, one of the major communication routes of the computer to the humans - "Sound" is not quite up to par.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #12
    I know that ATI products are better, I'm not disputing that. However, for UT2003/UT2004, nVidia seems to work better.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #13
    Maxx Power:

    Huh? Must be on small maps or something, my friend's ~2ghz 512k Athlon and GF4-4200 is sort marginal at those settings (on large maps), and I've put the hurt on my own ~2ghz 256k Athlon and Rad-9600 playing at 1024x768 or less.
     
  14. 7on
    macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #14
    I kinda wish that Apple would go with someone like Creative to make their sound cards.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    zakee00

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    #15
    i have a 1.25GHz powerbook with the mobility radeon 9600 pro. that has 64mb of vram, and i have 512mb of system ram. ut2004 works ALRIGHT, on like medium settings. do you think that if i uped the ram to 768mb or even 1gb that i would see better proformance? how much better do you think?
    both my ram slots are filled, so i would have to sell a 256mb stick on ebay or something and replace it with a 512 mb stick.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #16
    I got a 2.2 Ghz 512K athlon, ATI Radeon All In Wonder 8500 with 128 MB low latency BGA ram. ! gig system ram ECC running at 400MHZ dual channel. Nforce 2 based mobo.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #17
    Marginal performance increase. UT2004 on my computer uses about 400 megs of ram and harddisk swap in total (i have disabled hard disk swap since i have too much ram). If you got some low latency ram that would help since G4 if bottle necked by the memory bus. It can't take advantage of the DDR, so it's effectively SDR. Reducing the number of channels of sound processed in UT2004 by editing the .ini files in system directory helps, as well as turning off dopler sound, and other forms of pseudo surround sound.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #18
    Sound Cards

    I believe hardware sound is available. The Creative Audigy2 was released a long time ago but never got drivers that worked properly as far as I know so don't buy it. However the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 Surround sound card is supposed to be in the same class and has received many excellent reviews. It even works fine in OSX and in all G4 and G5 PowerMacs. You can also buy it from the Apple online store but you need to do a search for "revolution" in order to find it.

    There are also some external USB versions you can use with your Powerbook but I'm not sure if they would help or not since there would probably be be some cpu overhead. The Sonica Theater 7.1 is one such option and appears to be a portable version of the Revolution chipset.

    If you buy one of these let us know if it improves your frame rates. :cool:
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    #19
    Don't condone warez retard.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #20
    Both discussion of warez and personal attacks such as name-calling are banned on these boards.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    #21
    Before releasing the final version, they did some serious optimization. However, they never updated the demo. Also, there was a bug with sound and single processors; I don't think they fixed it in the demo.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #22
    Another hardware sound option is the Echo Indigo series of PC Cards. Here is a review of the basic model at xlr8yourmac. These cards appear to be great for those who use headphones or external speakers.

    Musicians might prefer a more professional solution with lots of connections in an external box such as the RME Hammerfall DSP.

    For playing games, watching movies, and listening to music the Echo card is probably better since it doesn't require an external power supply and is much less expensive. However, the RME card claims to have zero cpu load which would be nice.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #23
    Don't do name calling, retard.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #24
    And HOW i ask, are you going to be able to take advantage of this so called HARDWARE sound card ? Does Unreal 2004 uses a sound API that supports hardware acceleration ? NO. Does mac have a API that uses hardware sound acceleration ? NO. NO hardware sound solution exists for the MAC because of the fact there is no standardized API that supports hardware sound for the MAC.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #25
    What is your exact defintion of sound acceleration? Most of these cards I mentioned are designed for both platforms and include the same hardware capabilities as similar cards that you may have used with Windows. In fact, in some ways they may exceed them. Yes, the sound is routed a bit differently than under Windows and you are stuck with stereo unless you use some kind of additional sound processing hardware such as those I mentioned. Using Core Audio and by changing output devices it is possible to produce superior sound on a Mac. There are many different ways this could be accomplished, actually. Just ask professional musicians who use Macs. Whether or not a game supports this under Mac versions is a matter to take up with the game developers. Some do, while others have problems with such setups. I don't know which category U2k4 falls in as I haven't tried it with this particular game.
     

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