Can you tell me about my graphics?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by JonathanCid, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. JonathanCid macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008
    I played a trial Age of Empires III on my new Macbook and it didn't look at all like I thought it would. It looked like Age of Mythology. The graphics were just acceptable. Is this because it was a trial, or is it my graphics card, or what?

    Here's the info from my Mac:

    Intel GMA X3100:

    Chipset Model: GMA X3100
    Type: Display
    Bus: Built-In
    VRAM (Total): 144 MB
    Vendor: Intel (0x8086)
    Device ID: 0x2a02
    Revision ID: 0x0003
    Color LCD:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 1280 x 800
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Built-In: Yes
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Display Connector:
    Status: No display connected

    I won't bother buying Age of Empires III if my graphics card won't let me see it the way it's meant to be seen. And, if this is the case, how would Sim City 4 do?
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Its integrated graphics on a 13.3" laptop. Yes it will look bad.

    Sim City 4 will be better since its older.
  3. JonathanCid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008
  4. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Its a age of empires 3 only issue were for some reason it was decided anything with a GMA(any) will not go past the lowest settings for no technical reason as the run on higher settings on the same hardware just fine at higher settings such as medium.
  5. JonathanCid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008
    That sucks

    Is it possible that they could release a patch for that? I would love to run Age of Empires the way it's supposed to run.
  6. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    The X3100's drivers on Mac have been somewhat notorious, with game developers having to disable some features that the GPU COULD handle if the drivers won't so buggy/inadequate. I'm curious whether this has changed with the recent 10.5.3. patch but haven't heard anything from game developers on the matter.

    If the detail level you seek is theoretically possible on an X3100 (which I can't judge, but Windows X3100 players could), then there is indeed hope in the future for a) better drivers (of 10.5.3 didn't already provide them) and b) game patches (for recent games anyway) that remove the artificial limits that SOME games have imposed (like the Unity engine) for X3100 users.

    The only example I can think of is Hordes of Orcs. It can do nifty animated reflective water on my X3100--I saw it on an early version. But a patch removed that effect, due I believe to bad X3100 drivers. A future patch might restore that effect if the drivers improve.

    I wouldn't get your hopes up, but there IS a chance for some future improvement for X3100 users.

    But no matter what, the X3100 is still a very low-end GPU. Not the rock bottom found in the lowest-end PCs, but a far cry from "real" GPUs by ATI and nVidia, such as in the MacBook Pro.
  7. ert3 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2007
    Ok not to be a jerk but you did go in and try to turn up the settings right?
  8. JonathanCid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008

    Yup, but it's like everyone's said, they just won't let you turn them up. The only setting available for some things is "low".
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Buy a MacBook Pro or iMac.
  10. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Buy the Windows version and boot into Windows to play it.
  11. Beric macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    I've got a Macbook C2D with 950 GMA and I play AoE3 on it. Trust me, you don't notice the weaker graphics after a while. It's an RTS, after all. Are graphics really the mot important thing?

    My computer really heats up during play. But it's really just fine.
  12. JonathanCid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008
    Thank you!

    Nick, that sounds like a great idea.

    Beric, I've been playing the trial version with the low graphics and even the TRIAL has been enjoyable. Graphics aren't the most important thing, but they would make the gaming experience even better.

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