GPU defective?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by elnoly03, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. elnoly03 macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008
    Ok so I searched around and apparently this is the best place to put this in. I got this macbook pro back in June, its the Late 2008 2.66Ghz 4 gigs of ram, and 320gig 5400rpm. So far the machine has been nice. I have a windows bootcamp with installed and it has shown to be pretty quick with the exception of CAD 2010 which seems to run a little sluggish which I figured could be normal being a very demanding application.

    On to the game performance and what has me concerned.

    I recently installed sims 3 and its expansion, and began playing. Everyone on youtube seems to say the game runs flawlessly on the 9600m gt with everything on high, people even seem to be playing it on the 9400m. For some reason I have to turn the graphics down to medium to be able to get anything above 12 frames per second, and even then, it gets pretty laggy. I have the power preferences set to performance, and it is basically the same, I run a little bit slower with the 9400m not much of a difference. I thought to myself, maybe its the Sims game, not coded right, too demanding, whatever. I moved on the famous world of warcraft where people seem to get over 80 frames per second religiously in hopes of benchmarking the system, well, with the 9600m I cant seem to get over 30 frames per second, which leads me to believe something is wrong with my system. I there anything beyond the power setting in the system preferences that I have to do to turn the 9600m gt that Im missing out on. Is there anyway to test the card to see if it is running/running well. I dont want to jump to conclusions but something is up.
  2. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    I don't have experience with The Sims 3, but I doubt you'll ever get 80 fps on WoW with the 9600. If you're running Warcraft with everything maxed out, then 30 fps seems pretty good. One of the recent patches changed WoW's Open GL implementation and it has really hurt frame rates, especially on Snow Leopard.
  3. elnoly03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008
    Im running leopard not snow leopard I forgot to add.

    Everyone seems to be benchmarking higher than me and it has me concerned.
  4. gavriels macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    The MacBook Pro is very sensitive to heat. If it gets too hot, the GPU will automatically be throttled down, resulting in often dramatic frame-rate reductions.

    Make sure that you're using your MBP on a surface that conducts heat well. Never put it on a soft surface or on cloth. Never run an intensive game on an external monitor while the lid is closed. There are various things things you can do to ensure that your fans run faster, and there are more sophisticated cooling arrangements available as well.

    Other things to be aware of with Sims 3 in particular is that it's a very CPU intensive game in addition to the demands it places on the GPU. That means that if you have something sucking up a lot of CPU resources (ie: a Safari window with a Flash animation running), that will adversely affect your performance. It will also tend to make the system run hotter (see above).

    Framerates in Sims 3 are heavily influenced by the angle that you view your Sims at. At angles more parallel with the ground (where there are more distant things on the horizon) it will run more slowly than if your camera is tilted so that it's facing the ground more. The game also has to load a huge amount of data as you move the camera around when zoomed out far, so you may want to do frame rate measurements after that loading has happened.

    On my MBP (Oct '08, 2.5 Ghz, 9600m GPU), the latest patch of Sims 3 gets between 12 and 15 FPS as objects are loading when the view angle is closer to parallel with the horizon, and up to 45 FPS when playing with about a 60 degree camera angle at a normal Sim-level view. This is with all settings on Medium except Edge Smoothing, which was off, and Sim Detail which was set to high.
  5. elnoly03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008
    I agree and understand everything. I was playing the games in a desk, and although I have my settings set to the same as yours and understand the concept behind draw distance, i struggle to get past 40 (when i move, it quickly drops, and overall it fluctuates between 12-30) when idling looking down at a home with only one sim. Draw distance and everything at medium, AA (edge smoothing) off, and sim detail on high. Some WOW players are claiming to get 80 frames per second on 256mb version of the 9600m on a macbook.
  6. StopSign24 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    You have to activate the 9600gt

    Just registered to MacRumors so I could let you know, you have to "turn on" the 9600gt, since it doesn't come as the default video card. I believe the setting is under the "Energy Management" tab in your system preferences. You should find something that says "Graphics: Better Battery Life / Higher Performance". Check "Higher Performance" then try it out.

    Edit: Just re-read your post and saw that you already tried this. Ignore this reply then. ;D
  7. elnoly03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008
    I appreciate you joining just to add that, every little bit counts :apple:
  8. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    Just a suggestion, the fps quoted figures are you quoting the PC version or the Mac version of the games? Sometimes the figures quoted (even in Mac forums) are from people dual booting into windows. I am sure you most likely are quoting Mac figures but often YouTube WoW videos and and fps speed quotes are from the Windows version and not the Mac.

    I know Sims 3 was a fair bit slower on the Mac on certain cards, I have a similar machine to yours and I don't think you have anything defective. Usually with things like gfx cards they work or they don't, having one draw perfectly just be a little slow would be unusual in my experience.


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