is the pocessor speed that important when plaing games

Discussion in 'Games' started by minkis, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. minkis macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2004
    Nashville, TN
    i have a 1.8 powermac g5 and i am considering getting a nvidia 6800 ultra, would there be much of a difference with the higher end powermacs and do you think if i got the top video card would i still be able to play the higher end games without trouble for the next few years.

    if this is in the wrong section i'm sorry but i figured this most involved games. thanks
  2. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Processor isn't AS important as the graphics card.
  3. stutz macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Mhz speed or processor speed isn't as important as many people make it out to be (especially coming from those PC gamers who thumb their nose at Macs because we don't have a 3+ Ghz machine). Your 1.8 will be very viable for a couple years for the high end games coming out provided you pay attention to the other factors that improve game performance. Keep your 1.8 G5 and worry about the other factors like:

    RAM-put as much in your machine as you can. This really helps a lot to keep consistent framerates.

    OS-upgrade to Tiger if you can. Apple has been making a lot of improvements to Open GL and is working with Nvidia and ATI to improve performance on a regular basis. Each version of the OS (while more RAM hungry) helps game performance.

    Video Card: I would suggest getting a high end card, although maybe not the most expensive. Get a 128 mb card if you can. The more mb, generally the better.

    Always check for the latest updates and patches to games. is the only place you need to go.

  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    It honestly depends on the game.
    Very few computers right now will be able to run the latest and greatest games a few years in the future. As the games get more advanced, the requirements go up.
    That is a pretty bad ass card though...
  5. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    It's important, but not the sole determining factor. You could have a processor under the speed requirements for a game. But if you have a kick ass video card and a ton of ram, you will be able to run that game fairly well.
  6. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    Actually, I would seriously consider in buying X800XT instead of 6800 Ultra. Although nVidia seems to have better performance in Doom 3, in the rest of the games ATI seems to be not far from nVidia (just 1-2 fps). But in addition the X800XT is cheaper by 100 dollars, and much smaller. Smaller enough not to cover a PCI slot in your Mac.

    And, as far as the topic in discussion is concerned, in games, the graphics card plays the most important role. But you should always have a fast processor to match it with.

    The difference between the processor and the graphics card is that when playing a game with high system requirements, you may not always need the most advanced processor. But you will always need a kick-ass graphics card.
  7. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Traditionally, I believe it was always the case the a faster CPU mean more complex scenes (higher poly counts), while faster cards mean higher resolutions (better fill rates). Hence, if you add a swanky new graphics card, but the framerates remain low (and consistent) at all resolutions, chances are the CPU is holding you back. Or, if you find a game plays well at low resolutions with max settings, but starts to drag at higher resolutions it's the graphics card that's the problem.

    With the switch over the last few years to GPU based cards, I don't know how true this still is, but I'd imagine it still applies to some degree.
  8. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    I think we all know that G5 and Pentium based CPU speeds are NON-COMPARIBLE!
    Needless to say, CPU speed does play a role in gaming (or any other task!). A Dual 2.5 will run everything significantly faster than a single 1.8.
    From experience, there is only so much you can do by continually upgrading your graphics card.
    However, having a G5 at all is good, as your general Architecture is very good in terms of bandwidth within the machine.
    Get as much RAM as you can, and a Fast HD, and you should be fine with a High-end GPU.

    P.S. - Question - Does the G5 have dedicated hardware to deal with sound? I know in my iMac the CPU seems to deal with all the sound in games, as the default setting in some games @ 5.1 surround, significanly reduces the FPS. Anyone know how this works in the G5? Would putting in a dedicated sound card benefit the machine at all?
  9. kuyu macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    For the most part, not really. the gfx card is far more important. However, newer games will tax your processor heavily. My gaming PC has an AMD 64-bit 3000+, an X800 Pro, and a gig of RAM. Most games scream on the thing.

    Half-life 2, on the other hand, takes FOREVER to load (even off the HDD). I think that the havoc physics engine requires a brute of a machine to do all those calculations.

    My PC will heat up between 10-15 Celcius while playing HL2. I'd say that's a sign of things to come. But your dual 1.8 is no slow poke, so I wouldn't worry.

    FYI, the X800 line does NOT support pixel shader 3.0 AFAIK. The Nvidia line does. Google "far cry pixel shader 3" to see the difference. :)
  10. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    James, to answer your P.S.

    No. There is no dedicated sound chip in the G5 case. Any game that has sound (all games, i would guess) uses the main processor to figure out the sound. Most low-, and nearly all mid- and high-end PC today have some kind of integrated or stand-alone solution for processing sound...usually they have 5.1 or 7.1 surround support and varying levels of 3D sound field processing.
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    What a lot of folks dont seem to get is that you have to feed the GPU. To use a Gpu in all its glory it must be fed. A 1.8 G5 mated to a 6800 means you have a GPU thats going to be starved. A fast GPU needs a fast CPU. Apple hasnt really had a fast Cpu in years. i would really like to see a side by side comparison of the G5 vs AMD or Intel. Notice Apple doesnt post or spin the benches anymore so that leads me to think they are behind CPU vs CPU. After all they still use 2 when the otherguys use 1. Having a great video card isnt going to mean much if you have a so so CPU.
  12. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    In that case..

    Handling 5.1 surround sound would be pretty processor hungry then - like playing 4 songs simultaneously in GarageBand or something.
    I imagine adding a dedicated soundcard (is possible right - must be for people who master 5.1 on G5's) would take a significant ammount of load from the CPU, freeing it up to perform graphical tasks?!
    Why do not more people know this?
  13. minkis thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2004
    Nashville, TN
    wow okay then that anwsers my question, all of you helped out alot thanks. but to the mods don't delete this if you can b/c i might need to come back to this. i'm getting a car this september for my birthday so i think i'll have to wait till his coming christmas to upgrade my video card and screen(i didn't mention it but it does not have a good resolution, its 1240by768 so if i want to get into any good games i'll have to upgrade) but maybe there will be another option besides the nvidia 6800 ultra and ati x800 that has the price of ati but better performance. thanks guys
  14. minkis thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2004
    Nashville, TN
    oh yea, the sound isn't really that important anyway to me so i don't think i will waste the 100-200 dollars to buy a surround sound system for my computer.
  15. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    In short:

    Get the best GPU (Gefoce 6800 Ultra or Radeon X800 XT is debatable), and notice your CPU will be the bottleneck.

    Get the best CPU (Dual 2.5 GHz G5 and >2 GB RAM) and notice your GPU can be the bottleneck.

    It really all depends.
    Doom 3 is both CPU and GPU dependant: as long as you don't own BOTH top xPU's you will experience some lagging... :rolleyes:

    Until Apple gets a Single Core, Single CPU 3.0 GHz G5, the CPU will always be somekind of bottleneck regarding games. The GeForce 6800 Ultra and the Radeon X800 XT are 3D cards fast enough (assuming good drivers...) to limit a 2.7 GHz G5.

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