New single 1.8 G5 a good gaming machine?

ijimk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 17, 2004
802
6
Here
Just wanted to get some thoughts of the new single 1.8 ghz G5 as a gaming machine rig. Do you think it is good for the price? My friend may be buying one. He wont use it for mainly for games but he will play occassionally. Just give me some feed back on the pros and cons of power of the cpu and the price apple has for $1499. Thanks Guys & Gals. :)
 

applekid

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2003
2,098
0
1.8 GHz is still an excellent clockspeed. I notice the FSB is slightly crippled. I'd like to hear what people think of it though. Anywys, here's what to do:

- Downgrade to a Combo Drive.
- Take out that modem.
- Get either the 6800 Ultra or GT.
- Choose a larger HD. I think 80 GB is bare minimum now.

You should be under $2000 still. Feel free to add RAM, Airport Extreme, and Bluetooth, but I wouldn't say they're necessities. Add a cheap CRT monitor, and you're good to go. Sounds like a plan to me.

It's probably the best economical gaming rig that Mac users have ever seen.
 

invaLPsion

macrumors 65816
Jan 2, 2004
1,385
0
The Northlands
applekid said:
1.8 GHz is still an excellent clockspeed. I notice the FSB is slightly crippled. I'd like to hear what people think of it though. Anywys, here's what to do:

- Downgrade to a Combo Drive.
- Take out that modem.
- Get either the 6800 Ultra or GT.
- Choose a larger HD. I think 80 GB is bare minimum now.

You should be under $2000 still. Feel free to add RAM, Airport Extreme, and Bluetooth, but I wouldn't say they're necessities. Add a cheap CRT monitor, and you're good to go. Sounds like a plan to me.

It's probably the best economical gaming rig that Mac users have ever seen.
Excellent idea. But, I'd recommend going for the GT, it would be much more suitable for a single processor system as the CPU may limit a 6800 Ultra.
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
I've got some things to say here.

First: I've noticed that my dual G5 runs games just fine... even when it's folding in the background. Some people say that duals aren't any faster for games, but they ever paid attention to all the system processes that their computer is running? With a dual, all your system tasks have their own CPU to bother, while your game is molesting the other CPU. With my 800hmz G4 powerbook (which wasn't incredibly pathetic for gaming) I noticed that just idle, the computer was using (on average) between 10-15% of the CPU. That has an affect on gaming. However, I believe that a single 1.8 would have no problem running any of the current games (and all the system processes). Dual is better though. It just makes things slick.

Second: It really pisses me off that they purposefully crippled the FSB on this computer. You know they had gamers in mind when making it... IMHO, the only reason they did it was to motivate ppl to buy the more expensive Powermacs....it doesn't save them any development cost to cripple a fully capable FSB. Oh well, we'll see how this has an effect on game benchmarks.

Third: Bottom line gaming performance lies solely on the GPU. Here you've got choice... and that's what's most important. Bottom line is: this computer will scream playing games if you stick the right vcard in there. I wouldn't go with the 9800XT. Only the X800/6800GT/Ultra. Anything else will leave you wanting within the next 6 months.

Fourth: While it can be noticed that the single cpu powermac is the same price as the imac, it has things the imac doesn't. FW800/Gigabit Ethernet/PCI slots/+4GB Ram/ etc... Plus you're not getting shafted by that crappy 5200 Ultra (unless you choose the masichistic path)

If i was building a VERY capable machine on a limited budget, I would buy this powermac. However, like i said, the duals give your games the option of completely dominating one of your CPUs, and so I'm really happy i've got a dual. but they cost more too. I choose a dual for more than one reason though... my computer never sleeps, is almost always running some program i've written. I work my dual 1.8 24x7. and when i'm not working it, folding@home is endulging itself.

The important thing anyway [sorry i got off topic] is that this is the cheapest mac that you can put a 6800 into (or an X800 when it comes out), and that's saying something.
 

vraxtus

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2004
1,043
0
San Francisco, CA
Never have I seen so many incorrect responses...

First of all,

MHZ DOES MATTER

For all intents and purposes, modern games are nearly ALL CPU BOUND!

Only with a few games does the GPU truly matter that much!

The new G5 is a *decent* gaming machine. I have the older 1.8 with a higher FSB and larger RAM capacity and it games to my minimal standards... UT2K4 performance is decent to sub par at times, but keep in mind this IS a Mac we're talking about.

Personally if you can get a 1.8 with the higher FSB and greater RAM capacity for about 1500-1600, I'd buy that instead.
 

vraxtus

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2004
1,043
0
San Francisco, CA
Converted2Truth said:
I've got some things to say here.

First: I've noticed that my dual G5 runs games just fine... even when it's folding in the background. Some people say that duals aren't any faster for games, but they ever paid attention to all the system processes that their computer is running? With a dual, all your system tasks have their own CPU to bother, while your game is molesting the other CPU. With my 800hmz G4 powerbook (which wasn't incredibly pathetic for gaming) I noticed that just idle, the computer was using (on average) between 10-15% of the CPU. That has an affect on gaming. However, I believe that a single 1.8 would have no problem running any of the current games (and all the system processes). Dual is better though. It just makes things slick.

That's because most games aren't multi CPU aware... only a few are including UT2K4, Q3 and I believe Halo.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Since the new machine is basically an iMac in a PowerMac case with a removable video card, comments that apply to the fastest iMac should apply to any argument about the single 1.8 GHz PowerMac.

I think it's a capable machine, but a dual processor machine goes a long way toward satisfying performance concerns...for a price.
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
vraxtus said:
First of all,

MHZ DOES MATTER

For all intents and purposes, modern games are nearly ALL CPU BOUND!

Only with a few games does the GPU truly matter that much!

The new G5 is a *decent* gaming machine. I have the older 1.8 with a higher FSB and larger RAM capacity and it games to my minimal standards... UT2K4 performance is decent to sub par at times, but keep in mind this IS a Mac we're talking about.

Personally if you can get a 1.8 with the higher FSB and greater RAM capacity for about 1500-1600, I'd buy that instead.
No ***** all games are CPU bound and that MHZ matters. They've got to have SOME level of process power. Fact is, you can run sims2 on an 800mhz P3 if you've got a kickass vcard in it. Why? because the game is MORE bounded by the GPU, as is the case with all modern games (excluding some seriously inefficient crappy ports). UT2004 is NOT limited by CPU as much as it is GPU. check the benchmarks. it's not worth my time to point them out. If you're 1.8 drops below 20 in UT2004, it's probably a combination of slow vcard and innefficient code. I have many friends who play Ut2004 on PC's running <1ghz with NO FPS issues what so ever... but they've got nice vcards. Maybe you're 9800se is defective... i've never heard you say a good thing about it.

And dual G5's are better for gaming ALTOGATHER. Not just because some games have a different thread for audio. This topic has been beaten into the ground. I explained why in my statement. System processes take a good chunk of CPU, and in a dual config those processes do not have an effect on the game (whereas they DO in a single proc config). Don't believe me? just use a dual G5. I can gaurantee you'll see at least a 10% speed increase when a single thread requires 100% of a CPU to operate. Like a software render or something...

Nothing of what i said is 'incorrect'.
 

Mav451

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2003
1,657
0
Maryland
vraxtus said:
First of all,

MHZ DOES MATTER

For all intents and purposes, modern games are nearly ALL CPU BOUND!

Only with a few games does the GPU truly matter that much!

The new G5 is a *decent* gaming machine. I have the older 1.8 with a higher FSB and larger RAM capacity and it games to my minimal standards... UT2K4 performance is decent to sub par at times, but keep in mind this IS a Mac we're talking about.

Personally if you can get a 1.8 with the higher FSB and greater RAM capacity for about 1500-1600, I'd buy that instead.

CPU bound games are more of a "it depends" kind of area. UT games have almost always been CPU bound (can be run on a 9600XT, which is value segment in the PC world now). On the other hand, a game like Doom3 or Far Cry are severely GPU bound. My computer struggles mightly with these games b/c I have only an 8500; even with my overclocked Mobile Barton. Oddly enough, it seems CS:Source is CPU bound (capable of running a decent 80+ fps @ 1024x768). Doom 3, at the same resolution, is around 25-28fps.

This page alone should illustrates a CPU bound game very well:
http://firingsquad.com/hardware/counter-strike_source/page6.asp

Likewise, this gives a good example of a GPU bound game:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/doom3_13.html
 

vraxtus

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2004
1,043
0
San Francisco, CA
Converted2Truth said:
No ***** all games are CPU bound and that MHZ matters. They've got to have SOME level of process power. Fact is, you can run sims2 on an 800mhz P3 if you've got a kickass vcard in it. Why? because the game is MORE bounded by the GPU, as is the case with all modern games (excluding some seriously inefficient crappy ports). UT2004 is NOT limited by CPU as much as it is GPU. check the benchmarks. it's not worth my time to point them out. If you're 1.8 drops below 20 in UT2004, it's probably a combination of slow vcard and innefficient code. I have many friends who play Ut2004 on PC's running <1ghz with NO FPS issues what so ever... but they've got nice vcards. Maybe you're 9800se is defective... i've never heard you say a good thing about it.
I think YOU need to check the benches again.

Nothing of what i said is 'incorrect'.
Since what you said is blatantly INCORRECT, I think you need to reassess your beliefs. UT2K4 is by FAR the MOST CPU bound available Mac game. Anyone will tell you that.

Incorrect you are.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Converted2Truth said:
...
UT2004 is NOT limited by CPU as much as it is GPU
...
Nothing of what i said is 'incorrect'.
I hate to tell you this but you're wrong about that. UT2004 is just as CPU bound as UT2003 was, even Ryan Gordon will tell you that. (Did I just agree with vraxtus? :D)
 

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
862
331
bousozoku said:
I hate to tell you this but you're wrong about that. UT2004 is just as CPU bound as UT2003 was, even Ryan Gordon will tell you that. (Did I just agree with vraxtus? :D)
UT2004 for Mac is a lot more cpu bound than it is for the PC edition. The coding for Mac is done with complete software driven audio. The standard configuration of audio under the Mac for UT2004 (from reading the ini files) have half the avaliable channels as the PC version. Mac's don't have a Hardware Accelerated DSP embedded to process sound streams, be it doppler, spatial, reverb, panning, mixing, muting, loudening, etc. all those functions are executed in the CPU. If you have a Dual G5, then the game recongnizes that, and offloads the sound strictly to one of the two CPU's. Even then, it is still CPU bound. The game is not threaded to take advantage of two cpus' but only to offload sound to second CPU if present. If you look at the frame rate benchs under the PC version (the better coded version of the two), you'll see that frame rate remains constant if you have a video card with a massive fillrate and somewhat good shaders on a given cpu as you scale up in resolution until you start turning on the aniso or antialiasing then frame rate tanks because you are taxing the fillrate of the GPU. For most of us playing games without Aniso or Antialiasing, UT2004 is CPU bound especially so on the Mac version since audio is hardware. If you refer to Barefeats article on this, you'll see that the frame rate for the lone 1.8 (non-FSB crippled version) more than doubles when you disable sound in the .ini files. Halo on the other hand is pixel shader bound, which relies on the GPU. In my opinion, this 1.8 is perfect for older games, but for UT2004 and games after that, the CPU aspect and the fact that games are not optimized as much for Mac's requires you to have a dualie since a faster single is not avaliable. This lone 1.8 isn't cut out for what's here today in terms of games, but otherwise just another expensive piece of equipment.
 

BrianKonarsMac

macrumors 65816
Apr 28, 2004
1,102
83
bousozoku said:
I hate to tell you this but you're wrong about that. UT2004 is just as CPU bound as UT2003 was, even Ryan Gordon will tell you that. (Did I just agree with vraxtus? :D)
i recently found myself wondering the same thing. normally i don't agree with him(to put it nicely :D), but he's definitely right this time.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,830
1,120
The Netherlands
There are quite a few games which are CPU limited, like Nascar 2003.
Also sound is here an issue. Increasing the number of sounds heard really brings down the framerates on the Mac. Running the same game on a PC with a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 soundcard, it hardly makes a difference.
Games using the Quake 3 engine kinda lean more on the GPU (if the CPU is fast enough....).

IMHO a Single G5 1.8 GHz with Radeon 9600XT or better with 1 GB RAM will make a pretty decent gaming Mac.
Doom 3 will be a tester for it. I really want to know how well this game will perform on a Single G5 vs. a Dual G5, and whether or not using a GeForce 6800 Ultra will be a huge benefit comparing it to a Radeon9800 (Pro, SE, XT ).

IMHO Doom 3 on a PC also is rather a huge RAM consumer. I have a P4 3.6 GHz, Radeon X800 XT and 1 GB RAM.
After quitting Doom 3 I hear loads and loads of disk activity. I am planning in putting another 512 MB RAM in it, and see if it makes any difference.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,830
1,120
The Netherlands
Nice one. :D

But this is a test on the ultimate Dual G5, meaaning that this Mac really does push the grfx card.
But I would love to see the same speed tests on a Single 1.8 GHz G5. Thus, UT 2004 sound's threads on the same CPU.....
 

DuhMacDude

macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2003
6
0
cluthz said:


This graph doesn't prove that UT is gpu bound...!! Look at the resolution: 1920*1200!!! Resolution scaling is done mostly on the GPU! If you run the game at 640*480, you will notice a BIG performance gap between g5's of different clockspeed.
 

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
862
331
cluthz said:


It you tell me that mhz matters more than gfx in ut 2004.....
That's a pretty bad graph for what your arguement is. You need to turn all options off and eye candies off then run the on 640 x 480 to see how the game scales with cpu speed, what you shown is that at a given fixed cpu speed, a better graphics card would do better.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,521
2,557
Sod off
Gaming G5

As far as Macs go, I'd say this is a fairly good gaming machine. Not spectacular, but not craptacular, either. In my opinion, it's the cheapest "gaming" Mac you can buy, since the all-in-ones (eMac/iMac/portables) can't have their GPU upgraded. this box should be able to get acceptable framerates with a good GPU.

But why, oh why did they screw the FSB? At first I thought it was a cost-cutting measure, but I'm coming to think it's more along the lines of naughty marketing. Shame!

Still, we now have more options, the possibility of a sub $2000 G5 tower rig isn't ALL bad. :D

Besides, maybe someone with more time and courage (or foolhardiness) than I will figure out how to goose the FSB to 900 MHz, if it's hobbled the way some of the eMac CPU's were.
 

ijimk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 17, 2004
802
6
Here
Thank you guys for giving me some feed back i will direct my friend to read this thread. you all have helped me out a lot. :)
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
I don't know about you guys, but I've never played a game of UT in "flyby" mode!

hahaha. That benchmark is there to try and overcome the inherent CPU-bound nature of the Unreal engine.

I notice, cluthz, that you didn't post the botmatch benchmark...for shame.

I think this entire conversation is stupid. (not the original question...just the way it's devolved)

Buy a low-end G5 to do your work, and buy (or better yet, build) a cheap PC to play games. Let me put it this way...3,000 dollars worth of Mac hardware is roughly equivalent to 700 dollars worth of PC hardware from the standpoint of most available dual-platform games...and so many of the best games aren't and never will be on the Mac anyway.
 

keysersoze

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,596
8
NH
benpatient said:
I don't know about you guys, but I've never played a game of UT in "flyby" mode!
So what's better--

A 1.6 G5 with a 900Mhz FSB

or

A 1.8 G5 with a 600Mhz FSB

(with ALL ELSE equal?)

:confused: