Enlighten me

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by MacBH928, May 2, 2009.

  1. MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #1
    Hello
    I am a desktop guy, I had imac g4 '17 since 2002. My new macbook I got few days ago.

    I know this is not a gaming machine, I got 360 AND Wii for that. I didn't get it to play games really(Although I expect it to play the older ones). But it kind of is worst than my worst of expectations.

    I just want to know if I am on the right track here.
    I had vm fusion, I ran windows xp and tried to run left4dead from within that. OK It crashed, it didn't even ran past the menu screen as far as I remember.

    I did a boot camp installation. I installed it, so it ran ok. Here is what.

    So my computer is brand spanking new. I did put it on high resolution and everything else, and connected it to a '22 samsung 2220 wm.

    Not only is response time is slow and delayed, but i get a lot of skipped frames, and the game freezes for sometime with sound just replaying(TON-TON-TON-TON) then it continues to play in its sad performance. After a bit, the whole thing crashes and it says something like
    "dv graphics card unable to perform well, need restart system"
    Or something like that. My monitor supports up to 1600x 1050 I think.

    so I switch on to lowest resolution 1024x(i forgot) .Now it doesnt crash, it plays but freezes a bit, skips frames, jitters, and you know the rest.

    800x600: Now it plays well, but this resolution for new computer? This is not even HD.

    640x480: Now it plays perfect, fast and all with nothing lost. But can you remind me, isn't this resolution of '98 games?

    I have found more decent results if I use the 1024 resolution on my macbook monitor, not an external one. Does the computer have a problem displaying on an eternal monitor? If so, why are they bought then ?(specially of those who thought to use it for gaming)

    I just need clearing on, am I getting the right thing or is there something wrong with my computer? Are games that run native on OS X probably performing better than this?

    enlighten me please
    I paid $1500 for this!
     
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    phased to this universe
    #2
    I have always found that my Macbook actually runs faster under XP than it runs 10.5. What game are you playing?
     
  3. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
  4. Rodus macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #4
    Have you downloaded the latest Nvidia drivers for Windows? If not then do so.
    VMWare Fusion is not meant for gaming as it is vitualizing a Windows machine, even the GPU which is (although faster then emulation) slow. Lastly, the new Macbooks have an integrated Geforce 9400M GPU, although much better then the old Intel pos it's still way below the performance of a dedicated discreet GPU, if you haven't already then make sure you have at least 2GB of RAM as this will allow the 9400 to use 256MB of that as VRAM instead of the 128MB it'll use with 1GB. The Macbook isn't a gaming machine I'm afraid so don't expect miracles.
     
  5. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #5
    I am not expecting miracles, i am only trying to run a recent game in a decent resolution.

    I installed the nVidia hardware from the mac os x CD, I just bought my macbook few days ago. 2 GB RAM are standard . I got the 2.0.
     
  6. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #6
    Left4Dead works fine in VMWare fusion on my 2.66 Quad Mac Pro (1st Gen).

    Fine for me is: in a small window, and the cutscenes are jerky. Each level is a little jerky at start, but settles down. I have the same issue with TF2, another Source engine game. Red Orchestra, which uses the Unreal engine, works better.

    My XP Home SP3 VM is set to use two processors (though I don't think it is, Windows thinks there is only one CPU) and 2 of my 6GB of RAM.
     
  7. JackAxe macrumors 68000

    JackAxe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    In a cup of orange juice.
    #7
    The 9400 m is a huge step up from the prior integrated GPUs, but it's no where near the performance level of it bigger brothers, mainly desktop counterparts. It's a notebook GPU with low power consumption being a priority.

    NVidia's site recommends it for no higher than 1280x720, but with most modern games relying heavily on post-processing effects, that rez is only achievable by bring down the settings.

    L4D is a newer game. It does perform good on older configs with adjustments, but if you want to run it at max settings at your screen's native rez, you're going to need more juice.

    Look at is this way. If you really want to game on PCs, you should consider piecing together a desktop. For a 3rd of the price you paid for the MacBook, you can assemble a PC that's way more powerful than any console and runs L4D maxed out without a hiccup at your screen's native rez.

    Anyways, I use my Macs for production work and everything else, but I still can't manage to break away fro PCs for gaming. I've tried the portable route, but custom built desktops are still the best bang for the buck.
     
  8. JackAxe macrumors 68000

    JackAxe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    In a cup of orange juice.
    #8
    NoNameBrand,

    While running L4D, press Control-Alt-Delete to bring up the "Windows Task Manager." Click on performance and you'll be able to see if it's using the 2 procs you allocated to VM. If it's not using both, or even if it's not evenly distributing the load across both procs, find L4D in the Processes tab list and turn off the proc not being used, or partially being used by right-clicking and choosing "Set Affinity...," then turn it back on. This forces the game to distribute the load across available procs. I had to do this for The Witcher Enhanced and Dead Space.
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #9
    If I want to use my 20" 1680x1050 monitor with my MacBook (same model as yours) then I have to set the graphics quality to med, everything else can stay on high. Vsync and AA off completely, turn off Multicore rendering for more responsive mouse/keyboard. Set the memory limit thing to High.

    I used to get that stuttering bug but I increased the paged pool memory in XP (My computer properties>Advanced> performance> advanced> virtual memory change> custom size= double this figure).
    Now I have no problems at all in L4D. I've played 200 hours (thanks new stats service:)) since I bought it and never had a single crash to desktop or blue screen, except after I forgot to raise the memory limit after a format :eek:.

    Don't even bother this in anything other than Bootcamp. Not if you value performance.

    But on a side note it runs L4D beautifully. Okay you won't be playing with the vid settings at max but everything else is okay. That said even on my desktop PC I still play on the lowest settings so it never drops below 60fps.
     
  10. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #10
    not sure what system your playing on, the 2002 or the new macbook?

    in XP I get great frame rates of at least ~30FPS with nearly everything at high and 1280x800. specs in sig
     
  11. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #11
    NoNameBrand:
    You are running like the highest mac spec out there. My computer is at the other end of the spectrum, just a notch over mac mini!
    **************************************************************

    no my macbook is the newest macbook with LED screen and all.

    I got 2 GB RAM, you think if I upgrade I would get better performance?

    Is it possible the XP(in boot camp) can not recognize the dual core?

    I am also very amazed that you could actually run the game in VM fusion!?
    I couldn't get doom 3 to run in that, it gave me a OpenGL Error or something like that.

    You think I might be setting it up wrong?
    I got a wide-screen and I used the 16:9 instead of the 4:3 in the options.

    I will do the virtual memory thing and see what happens.

    Can any one tell me how can I test or see what settings I should be able to run my games at? I mean is there like a website where you input your game's title and your hardware spec and tell you what your settings should be?
    I am a console guy, my last computer was a '17 800mhz G4 iMac, so you now understand why I was so far away from gaming. They stopped making games for that spec like 4 years ago or even more.

    Btw, Can any one explain to me why this company , Apple, have like most expensive computers, its luxurious , top quality hardware, its fast and and all, it renders 3D and does Photoshop at best, but fails to run games just as good as windows, EVEN when running windows?
    The funny thing is that you can assemble a higher performing PC a lot cheaper than the Mac's price, how?

    Is it a company decision? How can it hurt to add the "right" specs when its cheaper than the mac?
    I know this that macs are not for gaming, I am wondering why they insist on it. Just wondering
     
  12. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #12
    I installed Call of Duty 4 and it ran fine on max settings in Mac OS with high settings at the maximum resolution. I was really surprised it ran so well. From my experience, COD4 runs even better on Windows XP. This has to do with the fact that it didn't have to be ported and that you can overclock the GPU in Windows. I'd try changing the clock speed of your GPU in Windows using the Nvidia control panel if the game is not running at a decent speed. Also, make sure you have new Nvidia Forceware drives, the bootcamp drivers that Apple supplies are horribly outdated for everything. I'm running Forceware 181.22.
    http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=22858
     
  13. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #13
    you should be getting better performance if you have the newest MB. I say update your video driver. Get at least the one on the nvidia website. Also do you have a lot of crap going on in the background of XP in bootcamp? It should run really well in XP, I know mine does. And I don't think the extra RAM that I have would make that big of a difference compared to what you're seeing.
     
  14. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #14
    Well obviously it's harder to display higher resolutions than the laptop is meant to do for it's internal screen. That is like putting monster truck tires on a Honda Civic..everything will have to work that much harder; it was not designed with that intent. Certainly you can use higher res external monitors, but it's not always the right choice for running games at higher settings.

    Also, integrated GPU's for the lose. Moving up to a MBP would have made a big diff for gaming.
     
  15. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #15
    Ok here is what happened with me..

    First I changed virtual memory from 2042 to 4092 I think it was for minimum and maximum.
    What I do not get is Why when I chose 16:9 I can only have one resolution, but for 4:3(squared screen?) I can have multiple resolutions?

    Any how I kept multicore on(I guess better) and turned the other stuff to medium. I chose 4:30 highest resolution i think it was 1024 X1050 or something close to that.
    The game ran fine, and I as I was going around some zombie jumped on me and thing just crashed. It just quit like nothing has happened. I am back to the desktop. So it makes you angry when you are far away in the level.

    I launched it again and here is what, now on every resolution I tried and the whole settings on LOW, still the thing would crash and quite whenever there is like huge swarm or explosion or when that big zombie throws the green gooey stuff on your face with zombies all around it just crashes.

    I appreciate everyone's help through this and I am learning stuff. If you got clear idea what is going on then t would be fantastic.

    Now I am going to install the forceware 181.22 drivers and see how it goes this time around
     
  16. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #16
    I have 185.20 Dox optimized drivers, works great.

    but I recommend only bootcamp for gaming.
     
  17. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #17
    I tried those but couldn't get anything to overclock my GPU with them, probably depends on the hardware.
     
  18. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #18
    You have to manually add the resolutions you want. IIRC (I'm on my iMac now) they're in the nVidia graphics settings app under "Manage resolutions".
     
  19. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #19
    I did run the game AGAIN on I believe 1280 resolution, and gave a medium graphics for everything.
    It run really good as to before, I just avoided looking at big swarm or explosions or anything that will have lots of graphics processing so I just duck down or look away and let the friends do that rest and it went well.

    Maybe it is a Windows thing though, but I do not know why I ran this game in a lot worse resolution yet it still crashed like crazy.

    trying to install forceware or nvidia drivers appeared to be a major failure with my screen giving me 4-bit color and 400 resolution or something of that sort. I just installed the drivers back fom the mac os x cd. Probably cause I do not know how to do the installing properly.

    Thanx everyone for the help and I am sure learned something or two about PC gaming. I never thought there was this many choices and complex decisions about how powerful you want to run you game. Its a huge option gap really.
     

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