PC gamer... soon to be powerbook owner

Discussion in 'Games' started by linky, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. linky macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    first, I apoligize for even makeing this thread - it's very out of charicter for me to post a question as most answers can be found by reading what's already been asked, but when you are about to drop close to 3,000$ on a new toy you REALLY want the answer to be for YOU :x - i apoligize for the long post but i DO apreciate you reading it :)

    first some backdrop:
    I am a long time PC power user, im the guy that loves to game, and has invested quite a bit of money in a tower that can play ANYTHING with the BEST settings and not so much as hickup once (if it does hicup then it's upgrade time >:)

    I have always had a toshiba notebook at my side to carry around. my current laptop was bought 2 years ago and is a P4 1.7ghz with 512 megs of ram and a 32meg geforce4 go card - when i bought this laptop it was able to run any game (maybe not at the MAX settings) - but this was not very important to me as i use my laptop for all of my IM clients, email, websites, dvd's, burning... pretty much everything you would do with a normal PC - but i always liked knowing that if i wanted to play some Bualders gate, SimCity4, or Unreal2k3 the system was up for the challange...

    well, my laptop is starting to slow down, and i'm at a point where i want to become a well rounded geek, my friend(s) that have recently picked up powerbooks have let me play around a bit and im really starting to like what i see - however both of my friends are college students and study graphics design and such and never play any games whatsoever

    I understand that my powerbook 1.25ghz will NOT be a gameing laptop, that's what my tower is for...

    however it would be EXTREMELY nice if I could load up unreal2004 and crank the settings up a bit and have it run at least as well as my current laptop (hopefully a bit better so i have room to grow)

    so in a nutshell:

    - current laptop is a p4 1.7 w/ 32 megs of video ram

    - new laptop will be a powerbook 1.25 with superdrive (I will upgrade the memory if it'll make a big difference in games)

    - I DO plan on playing around with some multimedia apps (ie photoshop, bryce, idvd) though i never really have before

    -the few game that I do run MUST run smooth for me at a decent resolution

    - Im a *nix guy, i love the opensource world and have freebsd experance.. OSX makes me very very happy

    - I LOVE how small and sleek the powerbooks are, the 5 hour bat life is going to blow my mind (max i get now is 40 mins-1hr)

    - I REALLY want to learn macOS - as a sysadmin and a geek i think it's important to know as much about everything as possible. and i LOVE to play and learn

    knowing what you now know about me, would you invest in the powerbook wich will total around 3,000$ once im done, or would you go back to a new toshiba or HP laptop? will someone that's never really been involved with the creative side of computing and has always been a bit more technical really *use* a mac? it's just a bit discuraging to see "everyone" talk about how they use their macs for verious business/school apps - it makes me wonder if maybe i'm not sophisticated enough to aprecaite them....

    Im worried that the speed of the mac will not keep me happy for the next 2 years, i see lots of people post that they can run things fine on MUCH slower machines, but these same people then state that they run a windowsXP machine @ 700mgz and they think that it's running "fine" but in reality they just have a much much lower set of standards for what "fine" is :x

    SO anyone out there a preformance freak like myself with a powerbook? :)

    Thanks for reading, i'll take any and all comments seriously, if i should include any more information please let me know :)
  2. LafinJack macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    right behind you!
  3. Quantum macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    Follow the light

    I registered just now to answer to you. (Excuse my grammar and spelling english is not my native language)

    So I was up to October a WinPC user my machine was a P4@3.06, GeForce4, 1GB RAM etc I came to a point that I was seek and tired of windows (XP @ the time) and its problems even though I had the hardware handpicked and everything installed just perfect. So after using for a little time a friend's Mac I decided to switch entirely. So I sold my WinPC and decided to get a Mac. I used my WinPC mostly for Gaming but also for transcoding/burning DVD_R and CD_R and all the other regular uses plus a liitle for work. Because I was woried about performance as you are when switching I decided to buy something relatively cheap and if it didn't come as I expected I could always give it to my little sister!

    So I bought a G3@900 iBook I added 512MB of RAM and finally I can answer your question. I can do everything I did on my WinPC (general use) with about a 10-15% decrease in speed (depending on the task and measured in time in my percpective). On gaming (1st Person 800x600 32bit) though its slower like 30% but keep in mind that my WinPC was top of the line where this is a almost bottom in its series.

    Keep in mind though the following points

    First the release time for Mac games is not the same with this of the PC version and most times is almost 6 months later.

    Second that most games now (1st Person particular) are GPU power dependent and not CPU so at this point and I would say for another 4-6 months dont expect a new GPU on PowerBook where in a brand new model of a WinBook you could find the latest nvidia or ATI GPU right now.

    Third UT2004 will run fine (and better than your current portable) since it has the same engine with UT2003 but later Doom3 engines could be very demanding on hardware so not even a WinPortable @$3000 would be sufficient for your standards in speed then.

    I believe that if you get a PBG4@1.25 with a ATI 9600 64MB and alot of RAM you will be very happy overall with your investment (as I am and that is why I am getting ready to buy G5 2x2GHz) and particularly for games it would be sufficient for at least a year.

    PS. You got a glimpse of light follow it don't go back in to the darkness... :)
  4. Zeke macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    Greenville, SC
    For the games that you're talking about I think the PB will be fine for you. But keep in mind that the stated battery times are lies and the best you'll be able to expect (with Panther and the latest battery update) is around 3 hrs. Still better than 1 but definitely not 5. So, what games there are for mac will run pretty well on the PB.
  5. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    Thanks for the imput Quantum and Zeke - Quantum seems to be exactly where i am in terms of what he used/expected from his pc =)

    as for lafinjack

    i love ya man ;x


    ps: this is slightly discurageing but as i've learned i can never really trust "benchmarks"

  6. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Can I ask a question?
    Why does your 15" cost 3000?
    They start at 1999 or something right?
  7. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    the 15" with superdrive starts at 2,600$ - I will be buying applecare (i HAVE been reading these forums for about a week now... i know better) as well as putting at least another stick of 512ddr if not 2x512

    Throw sales tax on top of that and you do the math :)
  8. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Yea, Applecare. Forgot about that. And tax... Wow, it gets expensive. It is a beautiful laptop though.
  9. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I would wait until June to get a G5 laptop, while the current G4 PowerBook can run all games and will be able to run Doom3, you will have to put the details down on some games you play, like UT2003.
  10. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    This brings me to another question, i'm to understand that ram upgrades are done under the keyboard? is this the case with the backlight keyboard as well? will i even be able to upgrade the ram myself? :(

  11. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    have we even decided that the G5 laptops will be out in june? are there any other specs? price? :\
  12. ComputerWizard macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    The upgrades on the new aluminum powerbooks are not done by lifting up the keyboard. There is a small panel on the bottom of the powerbook which when unscrewed will allow you to upgrade the ram. This applies to all of the aluminum powerbooks in the current line. However on the previous (titanium) models of the powerbooks the upgrades were done by lifting up the keyboard. You should be just fine with upgrading the ram yourself.
  13. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    My thanks for your response :)

    I wandered into the apple store and tried to ask the people there and all they would tell me is "YOU CANT UPGRADE IT! YOU HAVE TO HAVE US DO IT!"

    and again, being a PC guy who enjoys soldering voltage regulators to his motherboard i went "o_O"

    glad to see i can upgrade it myself :)

  14. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Nice reaction :D

    But sorry to say, you will NOT get 5 hours from a 15" PB. 2-3 is normal/average, but I hear of people getting 3:30 or so. I would recommend upping the RAM immediately for the games, 512MB doesn't cut it outside on Halo or UT2k3.
  15. linky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2004
    Yeah, everyone tells me not to expect 5 hours - in all honesty batery life is not all that important to me, i'm plugged in most of the time anyway

    as for the memory, i'll be pushing that up to a gig right away :)

    Still saving up, waiting for the end of jan, and crossing my fingers

  16. insidedanshead macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I just thought I'd play devils advocate on this one.. I am a gaming freak as well - Warcraft, Call of Duty, Need for Speed, are my fav right now.. But I would never try playing them on my mac..(well the ones that are for both platforms) My gaming PC is a Athlon 1400 (yeah its getting outta date), Radeon 9600 XT (AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME for the money) and it really cranks out the fps.. however, the same is not true with a Mac with comprable settings. My friend has a 1.6 Ghz G5, Geforce 5200, and Warcraft on that to my PC, lags.. in game, on PCs just feel zippier... Games are written for PC, then "ported" to mac, for the most part.. and you can really "feel" the port part of it in some poorly done games.

    You would be hard pressed to find anyone who says macs are gaming machines.. now don't get me wrong, they run games fine, but not at the performance level of comparable PCs. Maybe when developers start developing directly for Macs and cheaper cards are available, we'll be able to start talking..

    With that all said, that's about all PCs are good for, games, oh and bombarding you with ads and viruses, they excel at that.

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