Going back to Snow Leopard?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tucom, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #1
    I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm a gamer, I have 2006 Mac Pro with a Radeon HD 4870, and when running Valve games like Team Fortress 2 it sometimes drops to 30-45 FPS where in most areas it gets 60FPS, but I mean this is a card that can easily handle Crysis, it should be getting 100-150+ FPS everywhere, or are Valve games just not as optimized as Windows counterparts?

    I read Lion has bad performance with games (and feels a little sluggish here and there), and am wondering if Snow Leopard will result in better overall performance?
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Windows results in overall better performance.
     
  3. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #3
    I really don't get why people love SnowLeopard so much. Lion and Mountain Lion have newer graphics drivers than SnowLeopard. In some/many cases, this results in significantly better performance, especially with newer games (i.e. games that were released after Lion came out).

    Put it this way -- there is absolutely zero chance that SnowLeopard will ever get any better than it is today. There is a very good chance that Mountain Lion will continue to improve, especially for newer games.
     
  4. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #4
    Good point, but I've read that Snow Leopard has better performance on games than Lion does, and many people like SL for it's seemingly better performance than what Lion offers.

    My games perform as follows on Lion -

    Urban Terror 4.2 - 126+ FPS Max settings constantly

    Warsow - Medium to High settings 60FPS

    Team Fortress 2 - All high 60FPS but sometimes inexcusably drops to 30, with my card this is absolutely inexcusable.

    AssaultCube - 200FPS

    Saurbraten - 120-200FPS

    Nexuiz - Usually around 80-120 FPS, sometimes even 210FPS

    All of these aren't very demanding games, so the high FPS counts are to be expected, but it's Team Fortress 2 that's bugging the crap outta me, it should perform better than what seems like a half done port to OS X.



    Anyone else have my same config and have different results under Snow Leopard??
     
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
    There could be other reasons you are dropping so low in TF2. 1 could be your connection/ servers you are playing on. The other could be your cards measly 512MB VRAM. That card can't easily handle Crysis unless by handle you mean high settings not "very high" and no AA and no bigger than 1680x1050 res and average of 40FPS. Thanks, again, to it's memory limitations. Even then OS X takes way more HW power to get the same numbers as a Windows box. Sad I know.
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    I can't speak for ML, but I tried Lion and the graphics speed was worse than Snow Leopard in every single thing I tested, except immediately after a fresh reboot. The difference was dramatic and instantly noticeable.

    In Snow Leopard everything seemed to work full speed regardless of how long my computer was up.

    So in my case anyway, been there, done that. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  7. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #7
    What version of Lion did you use? If you're comparing 10.7(.0) to 10.6.8, then yeah, there might be some deficits. However, the driver continues to evolve and any regressions that were part of the initial release usually get resolved.

    I know I saw a pretty substantial jump in performance around 10.7.2 or 10.7.3 with my NVIDIA cards. In my testing it's significantly better than SnowLeopard ever was. Here's a good test: log into a busy area in WoW, and rotate your camera around. In SnowLeopard, this is a stuttering mess. In Lion and Mountain Lion, it is silky smooth with no stuttering at all.

    I usually wait until the .1 or .2 release to update, but IMO it's worth updating for no other reason than it's the only way to keep getting driver updates. Yes, given the scope of the changes that come with each new major OS release, it sometimes takes a point release or two for things to catch back up, but in my experience they usually do and often continue to improve past that.
     
  8. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #8
    I'm on 10.7.4.


    I just bought and played CoD 4 from the Mac App Store and it can never get a solid 60FPS. This is really starting to make me feel like crap about purchasing this awesome 2006 Mac Pro, that screams through YouTube or anything else, but sucks for gaming.


    Thinking about going back to my gaming PC :/
     
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    ^^^ Just install Windows and boot into that OS for your gaming needs. Done and done. If your PC has better specs then by all means use it. You have a dual Xeon/ ATI 4870 PC y'know? It is the OS that is holding it back NOT the hardware.
     
  10. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #10
    I only have Windows 7 64bit install DVD, which is incompatible with my Mac Pro :mad:


    So, I think it's my video card that's just not working out. Anyone know if Lion favors Nvidia cards more performance wise?


    Thinking about selling my ATI card and getting an nVidia one.


    What's just so aggravating is that I have a video card that should blow away everything I'm throwing at it but it doesn't. It's saddening. This just can't be right :mad:
     
  11. derbothaus, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012

    derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
  12. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    Jul 29, 2006
    #12
    No, there's gotta be better performance to be had under OS X.


    Good news is, I just got done playing two maps Broadcast and Downpour on CoD 4 and both had a solid 60FPS with all settings (except Anti-Aliasing) set to max, and all without a hitch.



    Maybe it's just that OS X and OpenGL aren't the best GAMING pieces of software out there?
     
  13. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #13
    Your computer is ~6 years old. Your GPU is ~4 years old. Even when the 4870 first came out, they weren't getting much more than 60-70 FPS in COD4:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-7.html

    There have been a lot of really bad ports to Mac OS X, particularly older games. The last couple of years has gotten a lot better, mostly since the release of Steam. From what I've seen using OpenGL Driver Monitor and OpenGL Profiler, COD4 is just not a great port (very CPU limited, not a huge amount of time inside OpenGL). I was also frustrated many years ago at how poorly it was running, but from what I could tell, it mostly seemed to be an app issue.

    I'm not really sure what you are expecting to get out of what is a positively ancient system in this day and age.
     
  14. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #14
    Wow...I had no idea the 4870 was that ancient, and that graph really opens my eyes, thanks so much for that info, lets me know it's not OS X or that there's something wrong, but that it was more or less not the BEST port of a game, and that the 4870 wasn't really putting up all that much FPS to begin with in that game.


    Funny thing is, 3/4 maps I've played on CoD 4 on Mac so far have been all 60FPS solid, with graphics to Max for the most part, so not too bad of a port, eh?


    Good thing is I can upgrade the GPU, right?
     
  15. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #15
    Well, the real issue with the COD4 port is that you could get a card like the GTX 680, crank all the settings up to max, run at 2560x1600 4xAA or 8xAA, and it'll still be stuck at 60 FPS because the app can't feed the GPU enough work to do. Granted, you can't run a card like that because the 2006 Mac Pro doesn't run Mountain Lion, but the underlying point still stands. TBH you'd probably be better off getting a GTX 570 or some other Fermi generation card from NVIDIA, it will be significantly faster than the 4870 without breaking the bank.

    You'd see more of a difference in modern games like Portal 2, DE:HR, Diablo 3 or WoW for example.
     

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