Everquest + Macbook + Vista

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by OMAC1A, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. OMAC1A macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2006
    I recently broke down and bought a Macbook with a broken LCD from one of the closing CompUSA's. It worked fine except where someone had tried to close it while the security bar was over the keyboard and cracked the LCD. It is a Core 2 Duo running at 1.83Ghz. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB of Kingston Value Select and replaced the LCD. Micro Center has a rebate on that RAM of $20 which made the purchase a no-brainer, $37.99 after rebate. I got the screen off eBay for $170.

    I am going to try and not turn this into a lovestory about my Macbook, but it continues to impress. As a 'PC Gamer' I build most of my computers and the Macbook fixerupper let me experience OS X and Apples hardware philosophy without plunking down a significant amount of money.

    I 2-box a Shadowknight and a Druid right now and that combination works very well for me. The Shadoknight is my main character and the Druid is there for buffs, heals and porting. I use them both in groups and raids. I was thinking about starting up a third box, and after my experiences with the Macbook, I will probably sell some of my extra unused PC gear and get another Macbook as my third box. Since most of the action is happening on my main PC I don't have a need to have fast FPS on the Druid's box. Basically I just hit a button or two when I want to heal or DoT.

    Running around Plane of Knowledge, Walls of Slaughter and Muramite Proving Grounds I got anywhere from 15-39 FPS. It seemed to like the 17-20 range though. I only ever got 39FPS when no one else was on screen. Staring at walls didn't seem to help in that regard which I found odd. All this is based on the default installation of EQ at the Macbooks' resolution of 1280 X 800. I have to say that I have played EQ since 1999 so I have a feel for the game. I have played it on low-end PC's and high-end PC's. My current rig is an AMD Athlon X2 4200 + 2GB PC3200 Ballistix Tracer + 2 ATI X1900XT (Crossfire) + X-Fi Fatal1ty + Win XP + Dell 24" LCD and most games run and look great.

    The reason I am mentioning this is because on some machines there seems to be 2 different kinds of video lag. There is the 'frame stutter' where the movement is all choppy and it looks like you are looking at a very fast slideshow. This is caused by a bottleneck in the graphics card where it can't draw the frames fast enough to make the images on the screen flow smoothly. The other kind of video lag comes from a memory bottleneck. It happens when you enter a new area or suddenly turn around to face a bunch of on-screen toons and your system freezes while all the new textures load. Even though the Macbook produces relatively low framerates, the video was smooth and I didn't see any of the memory lag. Yes, I know, low framerates and smooth don't exactly go together, but I have been playing EQ forever and there is an odd quality I can't put my finger on yet, but I'll get to the bottom of it.

    Spell particle effects were turned on and looked great on the Macbook and while I only played around for a little while, there was no framerate hit when I cast spells. I haven't raided yet on the Macbook so I'll have to see what happens when 30 people are all casting spells.

    In short, the Macbook with Vista and 2GB of RAM is a great little machine for portable EQ or if you want to multi-box. I haven't given it a thorough testing yet, but the few hours I played around with it left me very impressed. I will post a more thorough review after I have had a chance to raid and run around in Norrath for a while. If there is anything specific you want me to check out let me know and I'll try and work it in.
  2. Macmadant macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2005
    Your a gamer, and brought a computer with an intel GMA 950 in it ?,
  3. barr08 macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, you have a great little computer, but it isn't too great for gaming. Check out this thread, which is a great resource for macbook gaming, what people have tried, what works, what doesn't, etc. I know this isn't exactly what you wanted, but when I was thinking about getting a macbook, this thread was good to take a look at.
  4. OMAC1A thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2006
    It would be more accurate to describe me as a computer enthusiast. I bought my Macbook for $250 with a broken LCD. I figured it was worth the risk in case I didn't like it since I could probably sell it for at least what I paid for. I tested it before I left the store so I knew that it worked. Believe me, there was no way I would have sunk $1,100 into a Macbook without the chance for a long-term test, let alone $2000+ for a Macbook Pro that had better capabilities.

    The only reason I bought it was because of the value it represented ($250 for the Mac experience). I had an unused LCD monitor at home so I figured I would try it out. It turns out that so far that most of my experiences have been positive. The more I got into the Macbook the more I wanted to try it out. I know that the Intel chipset sucks for graphics as a general rule, but considering that the current EQ engine is several years old I figured it would handle it okay. Since the Macbook is going t be used for boxing, blazing performance isn't required, barely adequate is acceptable :)

    I do plan on trying out a range of games on it to see how it holds up. I think it will handle most older games. I have quite the library and will post results as I do them.

    Most of the game posts that I found are about the Macbook Pro, which is better for gaming for obvious reasons. I found very little about the regular Macbook. Since there is such a massive price difference between the two I figured that it would be a good idea to stress the Macbook and see what it can and can't handle, backed up by numbers and such. While the statement "Macbook Pro runs WoW great!" might be enough for some people, it means absolutely nothing to me, and there are hundreds of older games that will run just fine on the Macbook, it's these that I am most interested in. Games I plan on trying out in the future are the Tribes series, Quake 2, Tron 2.0, Elite Force 1 and 2, the Thief series and more. I have a huge collection of games going back to Quake 2. Quake 2 was the game that started it all for me.
  5. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    I'm confused. You have more than one account open @ at a time?! :eek:
    Does EQ allow this or are you crazy enough to pay for 2 accounts?
  6. OMAC1A thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2006
    Yeap, I have two accounts going at the same time and considering a third. Multi-boxing has its advantages and there are no rules against it. I know a few people that have six or more accounts going at the same time. On my old server there was a guy that had his own raids going and ran 12 boxes at once.

    Check this website out for some pics of other setups. http://www.dual-boxing.com/

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