Top-end PowerMac: UT 2004 good @ 1920x1200 (23") ?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by nagromme, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I'm moving slowly towards a PowerMac with top-end GPU and 23" Cinema HD Display. I'll use it mainly for LightWave, Photoshop and games--and I'll probably wait nearly a year since my G4 meets my needs for now.

    But I'm curious about the kind of gaming performance you can get with a really TOP-end dual-2.5 G5 Mac today. UT 2004 is my game of choice to judge by--it's not this month's latest, but it's what I know to compare.

    (EDIT: found some test results, see below!)

    With the latest NVidia or ATI Mac GPUs, can you run UT 2004 at FULL detail on a 23" Cinema Display (native 1920x1200) and still get good framerates (seldom below 30) in an intense battle? What about if you enable FSAA?

    I've been told that no GPU currently made can drive a 30" screen at full native res and get decent framerates gaming. Is the 23" also just too many pixels?

    Thanks for any reports! (You lucky bums.)

    ( PS, I'll try to reduce the number of "get a console" or "get a PC" responses by saying that I am very into gaming, but NOT enough to spend the time or effort needed to maintain and secure Windows. Gaming should be fun, and that kind of tinkering isn't, for me. My gaming friends are always fighting their PCs, and I know less about Windows so I'd fare even worse. Not to mention I don't want to pay for--and crowd my desk with--an extra computer. I also can't tolerate console FPS gaming with no mouse, nor the blurriness of gaming on TV--that can be fun, but it's just a novelty for me. Lastly, I like my free downloadable user mods and game demos, and the other perks of gaming with a computer. As for selection... Mac has more games than I could ever buy. Heck, UT 2004 has more commercial-quality free mods than I could ever have time to master!

    So, those who chose a PC or console to game on are making a perfectly good choice, it's just not the choice for me. )
  2. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Seems I may have been led to believe GPUs were less powerful than they are!

    I found some charts here for the ATI X800 and nVidia 6800 Ultra:

    Either one delivers nearly 70 fps at max detail at full native 23" res. Not bad! By the time I buy there will probably be something faster available too.

    And on the ATI, enabling FSAA Super 4X performed the same as without AA.

    They also tested the 6800 Ultra with DUAL 30" screens, and got only slightly less speed than with a 23". (I assume one screen wasn't really rendering game imagery though.)

    So... how's the ghosting? :)
  3. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2003
    I would say the 23" is a bit to many pixels to run most newer Games at it's native 1920X1200 resolution. Perhaps in a year or two we will have GPUs that can handle the most advanced games with ease at 1920x1200. GPUs actually have to do some catching up with increasing resolutions available on high end displays.

    Note that while UTK2004 plays well games like Halo which are more advanced start choking at 1920x1200 with everything maxed. While 25-40 FPS may not seem bad remeber they are Averages which means you can easily drop below 20FPS which is choppy. Also note Halo with 4xFSAA turned on the Nvidia Choke bad at 22-24 FPS which is an average which means as low as maybe 10FPS in some situations and 39 for ATI means at times you might drop below 20FPS.

    The NVidia Cards should perform much better than shown as it is mostly a driver and Game software issue.
    It is also important to mention that UTK2004 and even Halo are not the most advanced games. DoomIII will be available soon and if we are lucky we might get Half Life 2 which I doubt though. Games like that really can't be played at good speed at 1920x1200 with everything maxed.
    This link shows that the highest end PCs huff and puff sometimes with even the highest end GPU's running games not even available for the mac yet and only running at 1600x1200.

    I personally Have a Dual 2.5Ghz with 6800GT driving 1680x1050 native resolution on my 20inch ACD. I did think about getting the 23 incher but that would mean I would have to get a new video card in less than 2 years for sure, even if I did buy a 6800Ultra or X800XT. 20inch at 1680x1050 or a standard 1600x1200 would be the best compromise of real estate and native resolution gaming performance. If I need more desktop real estate I can always get a second LCD (Cheap one ala DELL etc) and use two for less than one 23 incher and then switch to only one monitor for gaming. Two 20inchers give more real estate than one 23" as well.

    As far as native Widesreen Resolution support all my games support 1680x1050 natively witht the exception of a few odd ones. UTK2004, Halo, ALL Games that use the Quake III engine and WOW, to mention just a few. All support my native resolution fine.
  4. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Thanks--all good points. I do want some "elbow room" in my performance. And DOOM III may be a good way for me to judge whatever cards are out when I buy.

    From what I've heard, UT2004 is actually doing more graphically than Halo--higher polycounts, texture resolutions, etc. but Halo has some performance issues.

    I do like those shiny metal walls though :) UT 2004 has some nifty glossy walls (like that ice map), but not that Halo metallic effect.

    And I know some games do better with nVidia and some with ATI.

    I'm with you on the widescreen thing (I have a PowerBook 15.2"). I'm amazed how many games--nearly all of them--support wide formats. Even older games like Giants and UT99! Very cool.

Share This Page