How good is the X1600/128mbon the iMac?

Shadowspirit6

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 25, 2006
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I've been hearing that the X1600 graphics card is "weak". One of the "lower-end graphics", but Apple is claiming that the X1600 is "screaming fast". Can anyone be nice enough to post some tests for the X1600 graphics card.thanks:)

oh and if anyone is wondering, the Specs for the system its running on is
the iMac 17"
 

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
I use it for World of Warcraft and it is breath-taking how nice it looks. I turn up everything and I still get great FPS. I'm not really a big gamer though so I might not be the best person to ask.
 

Josh396

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Oct 16, 2004
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Peoria/Chicago, IL
excalibur313 said:
I use it for World of Warcraft and it is breath-taking how nice it looks. I turn up everything and I still get great FPS. I'm not really a big gamer though so I might not be the best person to ask.
I agree. I'm not a huge gamer but this Machine the best I've ever used gaming wise and it destorys my friends P4 machine when playing CS:S in Windows. It's definitely not a high end card but I think it's good enough for just about everyone that uses it.
 

DannySmurf

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Jul 7, 2005
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Josh396 said:
I agree. I'm not a huge gamer but this Machine the best I've ever used gaming wise and it destorys my friends P4 machine when playing CS:S in Windows. It's definitely not a high end card but I think it's good enough for just about everyone that uses it.
Definitely. In Windows, out of my MBP's X1600 I get performance that is similar to my desktop's X850XT, which is more than adequate for all but the most recently-released games.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
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England
Shadowspirit6 said:
wow, im starting to think to X1600 is in the "Low-end"..i seriously thought it was like the 9800x or something like that, thanks for the link btw
It's not the low-end and it has enough power to run all of today's games reasonably.

The X1600 replaced the X600 which replaced the 9600.
 

Veritas&Equitas

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2005
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Twin Cities, MN
Right now, I'd say it's low to mid range...within a month it will be towards the lower end...Apple has never been one for bundling *great* video cards that scream with their systems...you usually have to build if you want upper range cards...I did last summer, and mine baby is still a screamer :)
 

Shadowspirit6

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 25, 2006
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Veritas&Equitas said:
Right now, I'd say it's low to mid range...within a month it will be towards the lower end...Apple has never been one for bundling *great* video cards that scream with their systems...you usually have to build if you want upper range cards...I did last summer, and mine baby is still a screamer :)
i thought the x1600 was low beucase im used to the really useful/great one (the ones i see are in that Computer Shopper thingy)
 

Caitlyn

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2005
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Well, I only used it briefly at the Apple store, but it looked amazing watching a DVD the store had.
 

topgunn

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Nov 5, 2004
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My 20" Intel iMac w/ the X1600 and 128MB of VRAM runs Half-Life 2 very well (native resolution, highest settings except for toned down AA/AF). FPS run between 30-60.
 

absurdio

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Aug 25, 2003
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topgunn said:
My 20" Intel iMac w/ the X1600 and 128MB of VRAM runs Half-Life 2 very well (native resolution, highest settings except for toned down AA/AF). FPS run between 30-60.
30-60 doesn't sound that good, actually. I mean i'm not serious enough a gamer to have any authority on the matter, but it looks like on that tomshardware site, the good graphics cards get up around the 100 mark. I'd hope the MBPs would be doing a little bit better than 30-60.

this prompts me to ask two questions:

1) Tomshardware lists three configs for the x1600:
Pro AGP (RV530, 500 MHz, 810MHz, 256MB)
XT CF (RV530, 587/581 MHz, 1386/1368 MHz, 256MB)
And XT (RV530, 587MHz, 1386MHz, 256MB)
I'm not sure what any of those mean, really. And Apple's site doesn't seem interested in telling me which of those three is most like the MBP's x1600. Anyone know what the exact specs on the MBPs x1600 are?

2) What's the likelyhood of a graphics card upgrade in the MBPs by the time Merom rolls around (August)?
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
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Shadowspirit6 said:
i thought the x1600 was low beucase im used to the really useful/great one (the ones i see are in that Computer Shopper thingy)
Yes, exactly. There are different worlds of graphics cards. If you look away from the enthusiast sites and go to Dell, HP and all the regular brands, they will mostly offer integrated graphics (Intel GMA950) and ATI X1300 or X1400. That is the low end.
 

absurdio

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Aug 25, 2003
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I realize this post is talking specifically about the x1600 with 128mb... but both the imac and the mbp can be custom built to have 256mb instead. How much difference would that make? Will that extra 128mb be enough to max out the graphics and/or AA/AF with decent results?
 

topgunn

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Nov 5, 2004
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absurdio said:
30-60 doesn't sound that good, actually. I mean i'm not serious enough a gamer to have any authority on the matter, but it looks like on that tomshardware site, the good graphics cards get up around the 100 mark. I'd hope the MBPs would be doing a little bit better than 30-60.

this prompts me to ask two questions:

1) Tomshardware lists three configs for the x1600:
Pro AGP (RV530, 500 MHz, 810MHz, 256MB)
XT CF (RV530, 587/581 MHz, 1386/1368 MHz, 256MB)
And XT (RV530, 587MHz, 1386MHz, 256MB)
I'm not sure what any of those mean, really. And Apple's site doesn't seem interested in telling me which of those three is most like the MBP's x1600. Anyone know what the exact specs on the MBPs x1600 are?

2) What's the likelyhood of a graphics card upgrade in the MBPs by the time Merom rolls around (August)?
Here is a link to a Half-Life 2 benchmark on Tom's Hardware.

You made the comment that the good graphics cards score in the 100's. There are two things to consider here. One, at what resolution and quality settings were these benchmarks reached? My testing was done at 1680x1050 with AA/AF enabled. In the benchmarks linked above, the only card to get over 100 at 1600x1200 with AA/AF is the 7900GTX which leads me to my second point. You will not get a 7900GTX or anything similar into a MBP or even an iMac. You could buy an Alienware with a high powered graphics card but I hope you are always near a power outlet or you have a diesel generator because your battery life will be around 30 minutes playing any demanding game.

I have my iMac and until recently I had a gaming rig with a 7900GT and overclocked Opteron. When I discovered that my gaming experience, particularly in Half-Life, was not degraded when playing on my iMac, I quickly parted out and sold my gaming rig. Now I have one computer to meet all my needs. If I felt the need, I could reduce my settings and play at a non-native resolution and get 100fps. However, at a bare minimum of 30 fps I never notice a stutter. Maybe your eyes are more senstive than mine and can notice the difference.
 

absurdio

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
380
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RI, Chi, and/or NY.
topgunn said:
Here is a link to a Half-Life 2 benchmark on Tom's Hardware.

You made the comment that the good graphics cards score in the 100's. There are two things to consider here. One, at what resolution and quality settings were these benchmarks reached? My testing was done at 1680x1050 with AA/AF enabled. In the benchmarks linked above, the only card to get over 100 at 1600x1200 with AA/AF is the 7900GTX which leads me to my second point. You will not get a 7900GTX or anything similar into a MBP or even an iMac. You could buy an Alienware with a high powered graphics card but I hope you are always near a power outlet or you have a diesel generator because your battery life will be around 30 minutes playing any demanding game.
That sounds excellent. I've never been one for dedicated gaming machines, but I guess I'm always afraid the alternative is sortof mediocre performance. What you described, though, sounds much better than "mediocre"

I have my iMac and until recently I had a gaming rig with a 7900GT and overclocked Opteron. When I discovered that my gaming experience, particularly in Half-Life, was not degraded when playing on my iMac, I quickly parted out and sold my gaming rig. Now I have one computer to meet all my needs. If I felt the need, I could reduce my settings and play at a non-native resolution and get 100fps. However, at a bare minimum of 30 fps I never notice a stutter.
Very glad to hear it. I eagerly look forward to having a MBP i can play HL2 on. It's about time!

Maybe your eyes are more senstive than mine and can notice the difference.
No, no. Not at all. I'm afraid my last post might have come across as more snobby or critical than I meant it to. Like I said, I'm no authority, by any means (and i'm sure my amateur-ish comments will verify that). My concern comes from the fact that I have played Half-Life 2 in less than ideal circumstances: my mother had just gotten a new PC before HL2 came out, so of course I took advantage of it...but even on that brand-new-and-not-bottom-of-the-line machine, the game had some trouble periodically. So I know the game can be pretty taxing. I've tried playing it while it stutters along, and it's sortof heart-breaking. I guess I'm just afraid of dropping some $3k on a new MBP and having it still not work all that well.
From the sound of things, though, that doesn't seem like something I'll have to worry about. Thanks.