Why are Laptops not good for games?

Discussion in 'Games' started by ShaggyLR, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. ShaggyLR macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal
    #1
    I'm using a 1ghz 12inch iBook currently and I recently started playing the original Unreal Tournement again. Last time I played this game was on my 400mhz iMac, and frame rates were low 20s/high teens. With my iBook, with 24 more megs of VRAM and a G4 1ghz, the frame rates are only up to high 20s-high 30s. Not much of a jump considering the jump in hard ware I'm working with. Why is it not better? I played agains someone running on a 866mhz G4 with the same amount of VRAM and it just looked much better. Is it the laptop screen that just doens't look as good? Or is it something to do with the specific parts of a laptop that don't work as well?

    Back in the day (okay, 4 years ago) I remember a friend running UT on his PC with 500mhz pentium and 16megs of VRAM was getting much better frame rates.
     
  2. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    #2
    If i'm not mistaken, you're running UT through classic, which is why you get poor performance. On LAN, I get better performance on UT2K4 than original UT, with the same iBook, because it's not through classic.
     
  3. ShaggyLR thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Sorry, yeah I'm running it in classic. Do you know what kind of frame rates your getting UT04? I found it to chunk up at times, however I only have 256megs of RAM, so I figure that could be it. Cause it would run smooth for a bit before chunking up.
     
  4. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    #4
    classic + games != goodness.
    unless you're playing stuff like myst, anyway.

    i dont know what i was getting in ut2k4, it wasn't bad though. it may have slowed down a tiny bit in high action, but it was hardly noticable. i'm sure it was usually around 30 fps. (its worth noting that i was playing the demo and that anytime i play online as opposed to LAN its megaslow)
     
  5. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    #5
    In your case it because of classic. Games, even simpler ones like Diablo II run poorly under classic. Too much interpretation between the OS and game.

    As for the technical laptop issue, often the chip-set of a laptop is a mobility set. This differs slightly from the full on AGP desktop version. Often, to conserve space and power they have less core clock speed, less RAM, etc. This can mean that the mobility version is slower. Also, laptops lag desktops in bus speed, ram speed and hard drive speed. None of these alone make a huge imapct, but all together can cost 10% in ramerates.

    That said, a good OS X game will play well on current model Powerbooks. Will it beat a desktop? Nope. But it will be playable.

     
  6. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #6
    ok...you are running a game thru classic with 256mb of ram...you tell me why your performance sucks...
     
  7. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #7
    laptops usually aren't the greatest for games. they usually have a slower hard drive, mobile GPU which isn't as good as a desktop GPU, faster processor. just a lot of things that make a laptop portable, light, not very hot, and good battery life.

    iJon
     
  8. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    Location:
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    #8
    The original UT sucks on your laptop for one of two reasons.

    1) Playing through classic is like playing on an emulator. (Or playing on Virtual PC) It's not gonna work well. At all.

    2) The OS X patch of the original UT sucks ass, and was never finished.

    So it's not your laptop. Your laptop is more than enough to play UT in usual circumstances.
     
  9. kilpajr macrumors regular

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    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    #9
    I would beg to differ. I have a new PB as listed in my sig. I have played the UT2004 demo and while I realize this is not the full version with the bigger maps and a lot of players, I had no slowdowns or jerkiness at any time. Also, Warcraft III plays perfectly.

    I would love to see a comparison in fps between the PB and the new iMac. I realize the PB is a "pro" machine and the iMac is a "consumer" machine but it just really bothers me how much they have crippled the iMac. It's like Chevrolet building a Corvette with a 4 cylinder, it's just wrong.
     
  10. aussie_geek macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

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    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #10
    ut 2004 demo

    I was just playing the demo of this game as well. I have it installed on my PB 15, 1.5GHz, 128MB graphics and 5400 drive as well as a MDD G4 32MB graphics. The game is playable on the PowerBook but the MDD ripps it in terms of framerates online.

    The graphics get a bit choppy on the PowerBook when you are in an online game with heaps of players. The MDD has no probs. Anyone know why this is? The PowerBook has a faster system bus and more VRAM. Or is it just the Demo is not really a good indicator of the final product.

    If the real version of the game is better than the demo I might consider buying the game....

    Any comments would be great!

    aussie_geek
     
  11. kilpajr macrumors regular

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    Aug 24, 2004
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    Auburn, AL
    #11
    I know this is a stupid question, but what do you mean by MDD, is this your dual-processor machine? If so, you said it had 32MB of graphics RAM but what card is it? This really doesn't make sense. Could the system RAM be causing the slowdown? How much RAM do you have on your other machine?

    EDIT: Also, how much system RAM is in your Powerbook?
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    Go into Energy Saver and make sure your CPU setting is at "Highest Performance".
     
  13. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

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    #13
    im running the Call of Duty demo on my 1.5ghz 15in PowerBook, and its running surprisingly nicely with normal settings on, and I only have a 64VRAM (stock machine from apple retail store). I showed it to a fellow PC computer game geek of mine and said that looked nice for a mac :p

    oh and BTW, i believe when he says "MDD" he is referring to the "PowerMac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors (or Disc Drives)", basically the case that has the mirrors on the front.
     
  14. aussie_geek macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

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    #14
    Yeah the MDD stands for a dual 867Mhz G4 mirrored drive door model it has a nvidia geoforce 4mx. Both machines have 1 gig ram. The PowerBook has a ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 128 meg vram. Processor performance is set to highest on the PowerBook as well..

    aussie_geek
     
  15. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #15
    Just because you get satisfactory performance from you pbook, doesn't mean that his statement is incorrect. He's right. Mobile chipsets are always slower. I know the new iMac sucks (and i agree that they have created a crappy gaming machine), but it will whomp all over you powerbook.
     
  16. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    Laptops have never been meant for games.

    Why?

    1) Laptops typically have much slower CPUs with slower bus speeds and slower AGP slots to accomodate for head issues.
    2) The GPUs for mobility chips just aren't as strong as those on desktops.

    I learned my lesson... don't try gaming on a laptop.
     
  17. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #17
    There's a lot of laptops out there designed specifically for games.
    In the PC world, they have Athlon 64s in desktops. AGP bus is the same in laptops.
    I love macs... but basically, your lesson is don't dry gaming on a mac laptop. It always sucks, I agree. There are some AMAZING gaming laptops from alienware, VoodooPC, Dell, and others. And with the advent of ATI's new graphics card + the high end Pentium Ms, many of them are slimmer than powerbooks. Unfortunately for us Mac users, we need to wait for IBM to get its act together or Motorla to perform an act of magic.
     
  18. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #18
    I should have specified, "Mac laptops" :D

    The Alienware and Dell ones are not bad, but I'd still prefer to have the upgradable power of a desktop as opposed to the *usually* non upgradeable laptop.
     
  19. kilpajr macrumors regular

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    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    #19
    I'm sure you were talking about your P4, but I would really like to see what the real world difference between my computer and your dual 1.8 G5 w/ ATI 9600 would be in games. Is the 9600 a pro or XT version? I remember seeing a test on Anandtech between the 9700M and desktop video cards. The 9700M performed just below the 9600XT desktop chip! Although, I am not sure what settings the 9700M had (the chip and memory speeds can be set by the computer manufacturer) or what desktop system they used.

    I know there are probably better tests of graphics but I scored a 115.47 in the OpenGL Graphics Test of Xbench. This corresponded to 80.81 fps for the spinning squares. Try this out and let me know what you score. Also, let me know what other free benchmarks I can try out.

    EDIT: After reading your post again, I realized you meant the new iMac. The iMac is not going to "whomp" over anything. Let me know when some benchmarks on the new iMac are posted. I would be willing to bet the PB performs better.
     
  20. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #20
    Halo is playable on my Powerbook.

    And oddly, Ut2003 is less playable than UT2004
     
  21. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #21
    UT2K4 added more advanced features over 2K3... one of them being Onslaught... so I'd expect UT2K3 to run better.
     
  22. TheGimp macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    anywhere, usa
    #22
    Don't run it in classic. Just reboot with the startup disk set as OS 9 and you'll be very pleased with the results. I do that on my ibook g3 900 on the go and it runs in the upper 20's in 800x600 and all details medium (32mb vram).
     
  23. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #23
    The Older the game...

    Many of the current games have been optimized to play nice with OS X. I remember back with 10.1 when games often were carbonized and always performed poorly in X. Back then, the majority of the user base was still using 9 and X was an unknown commodity, Now, its all about X, and game companies have learned how to best maximize performance. Often, they ONLY run in X.

    For those old games that stink under classic, boot into 9 if your machine allows it and play.
     
  24. wide macrumors 6502a

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    NYC
    #24
    i know people that play warcraft three, mohaa, halo, soldier of fortune II, and ghost recon on an 800 mhz ibook G3 (yeah, with the ATi 7500 32MB graphics card) and only 256 MB of RAM. it's all about standards. he claims that the performance is great, whereas I see it's **** because i am used to my dell 600m, which handles the aoove games superbly on the highest settings without any lag at all.
     

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