Rabid PC Gamer Makes The Switch.

Discussion in 'Games' started by Macamus Prime, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Macamus Prime macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005

    I was searching for info on WoW performance on a PB and got this site (Google,... IT WORKS!).

    Anway, here is my story;

    1) 1st PC (1995) a Compaq, the display drivers get corrupted, making it useless. Reinstalled Windows twice on this machine. Tons of hiccups and slow down issues.

    2) Its a Dell, it holds up pretty well. Had it for 1 year, no serious problems. Sold it to a cousin. She says its still OK.

    3) An ABS "gaming" PC. Re-installed Windows 3 times over an 8 month period. Had to replace the hard drive. Sold it to a friend. He says tons of stuff is just falling apart on him.

    4) An Alienware gaming laptop. Over a 14 month period, I had to re-install Windows 7 times (5 of which where done over a 3 day period). The DVD/CD combo drive was replaced once (it kept locking up the laptop after booting to Windows). Now, the graphics card is bad and Alienware won't mail me a replacement (like they did with the DVD/CD drive). So, the laptop has been mailed back to them. They said I should get it back in about 1 month.

    Well, PC gaming is awesome - when it works. And as you can see in my case it does not. I would like to think I am cursed, but so many PC people can relate to this. The Alienware held it's ground with games like Doom 3, UT 2004, City Of Heros, Final Fantasy 11 and even Matrix Online Beta. However, whats the point if have to go through all of this? Yes, Mac has it's share of nightmares (especially 1st gen hardware/software releases). But, nothing like what I went though!

    Since I have an XBox, GameCube, PS2, N64, Nintendo DS and TONS of games for each system, I don't think I will miss PC gaming THAT much. Some people say that the console market is killing PCs. That is the half truth. All the console market did was make it easier for me to drop PC gaming and run to Mac. Oh, and the fact that I don't have to re-boot/re-install/repair my OS so many times also contributed to the switch.

    So far, I have had the PB for about a week. It is very quiet and I catch myself wondering if it is on or not - given that it doesn't sound like a small space heater (WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSHHHH).
  2. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    Cool! Guess I'll be getting WoW for my PB (almost same as yours, except I got the 128VRAM, though probably won't make a big difference for games).

    And thanks for the sharing! Great to hear you enjoy your PB! Had mine almost 8 months and love it! Next I will be getting a 22 inch Apple Display.

    By the way, get Halo and updated it, and play online (I'm Maximus online)! But it's probably best to play it on an X-Box.
  3. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK
    I beg to differ,

    VRAM is used to store textures onboard.

    I don't know any applications other than games (WoW) that make intense use of a truckload of textures.

    In WoW's case, that'd be a GigaTruckLoad of textures, but I diggress :)
  4. Macamus Prime thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    I haven't played WoW on my PB. I don't know how well it will do. I am reading mixed posts (meaning some report great fps (40 over) some bad fps (20 below)). With your 128VRAM, I am guessing you will be OK. If I had the money (and space) I would have gone for a G5 (w00t!).
  5. paulypants macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    Awesome to hear! My only Windows hold out friend, who was an avid PC gamer, has finally come around because of the hopeless battle he is having with spyware and viruses. He is now saving for a G5.

    Hope you enjoy your PowerBook!!
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i just wish there were better done ports of games to the mac, but glad to hear you made the switch and of course if you have any questions you know where to go!
  7. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    i must have been given some kind of special powers. I've had more trouble with Macs than PCs my entire life, and I've had both in close proximity my entire life. I like them both.

    Last time I re-installed windows was 6 months ago when I got DSL. Silly me, i put the Bell South CD into my optical drive and 5 minutes later nothing worked. I didn't get online first to read about how that disc does a horrible pile of things to your network and registry settings. And I hadn't re-installed windows since I built the machine in june of `03 (not once!), so I wanted to do a clean install and go ahead with SP 2.

    My G5 has been pretty good, except for the random hard crashes when playing anything in 3d full screen. (apple can't fix or "recreate" the problem)

    Good luck with the powerbook. Don't set it on your lap! I've heard things about laptops reducing your number of little men.

    I wonder why so many people have such bad windows problems? Do they install lots of "questionable" things? Visit "questionable" websites???

    I use my PC to play games and music and videos, and to look at the news when I'm not working on my G5. I use the G5 to check my mail and do Adobe CS stuff. (and post on this forum, most of the time). I've not had any viruses since I lived in a dorm room (ok, ok, napster and I got along VERY well for a while), and my spyware/pop-up blocker has kept me free and clear of anything else I might "catch" online.

    The difference in my machines now basically boils down to this:

    The dual 1.8 G5 renders things faster (filters, etc) than my 1.8ghz Athlon processor. It has all of the Adobe programs on it, and the PC doesn't. It has better keyboard shortcuts than windows. It has 2.5gb of RAM, so I can have something like 15-20 programs open in the dock without too much trouble.

    The PC has a butt-kicking graphics card and 5.1 surround. It has a 7 in one card reader instead of a floppy drive, and the DVD burner on the PC is dual layer 16x instead of the 4x single layer one on the G5. Games are 10x more enjoyable, sound better, and look better on the PC. Well, those games that are available on both, anyway. The 5200 "ultra" in my dual processor G5 isn't worth 5 dollars.

    I love both of my computers.
  8. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Why didn't you get the 9600XT for $60 more?
  9. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    congratulations on the swtich

    wow u sure have a lot fo time on your hands with all the gaming you do
  10. patseguin macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2003
    There is no 22 inch display. If you're referring to the 23 inch, be very careful. There are lot of problems with pink cast and uneven backlighting, among other things. These problems have not effected the 20 or 30 inchers.

    Oh, and the 128MB WILL make a big difference.
  11. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    My desktop PC has a 128 MB Geforce FX 5200. non-ultra. That's the best graphics card in my house. Where's the embarrassed smily?

    It seems fine to me, I can play Battlefront at high settings, Jedi Academy at near max...
  12. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Get this. I was in CompUSA the other day. I brought my copies of Max Payne and No One Lives Forever to try out on the iMac G5s they had there. On the 1.6 iMac G5 Max Payne was playable with everything at Max (And 4X AA) it slowed down a little in crowded areas, but not enough to be non-playble...but for the most part it ran perfectly.

    No One Lives Forever, on the other hand, ran WORSE than it does on my 1Ghz eMac with the 32MB Radeon 7500.

    W. T. F.
  13. socamx macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2004
    Gotta love Apple's Nvidia drivers...

    The 5200 Ultra wouldn't be AS (but still) painful if the drivers weren't pieces of ****.

    Then again the game porting is also to blame, and maybe the OpenGL drivers..
  14. Macamus Prime thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    None of the software I ran on ANY of my PC machines was cracked or downloaded for free. It was all bought and paid for (each and every game as well as program). I never used any file sharing programs (tried Napster, with the Dell, once when it had like a month's notice before they 1st shut it down and it was only like 10 songs). I NEVER got a cease and desist notice from my ISP, a software publisher or a developer. I am not the smartest man when it comes to PCs, but I can hold my own. In the case of the Alienware, it was hardware issues, mostly. And, again I understand NOTHING in the world of computing is 100% stable, but with Mac I am under the impression that things are just so much better.

    Windows has file corruption issues. God only know how many times I saw the message; "Windows can not access <name>.dll because it is missing or corrupt." I don't mean to bash Windows, but come on. I have had enough. I don't care if it means missing Half Life 2. It is just not worth it.

    Now, I am still up in the air with the Alienware. I don't know if I will keep it or just sell it off if and when it gets shipped back to me - provided it still works and there are no more meltdowns.
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think this is because there's no governing body watching .DLLs and making sure that they remain nice and pristine. Pretty much anything can append to or overwrite a .DLL, and whatever havoc that causes with the other apps that need it, well, who cares?
  16. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Sounds like what happens to Mom-Pop XP "OEM" installs. I've installed XP Pro SP2 on 4 computers now, over the past 2 years, and I've never heard this message.

    On the other hand, if you choose to install all kinds of crapware aka "C|Net Utility JoeBob", then its not my fault that the uninstaller for one of those utilities took something with it.

    There is no need for those "performance" utilities that C|Net is always offering, but people download them anyway.

    Macamus Prime: File corruption happens from only two sources:
    1) Hardware problems. (Overclocked CPU)
    2) Hardware problems. (bad RAM)

    Even to this day, I have yet to hear of file corruption coming out of the thin air. Yeah, I hear that JoeBob thought he could run 215FSB on his generic PC2700, and he corrupted his registry. That's not surprising >> but just plain stupid.
  17. Macamus Prime thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    Must be my bad luck.

    Alienware has given me nothing but problems. The Alienware laptop did come with Powerstrip, but I uninstalled it with in 2 weeks. Every game would crash. Regardless of patching and/or keeping Powerstrip off. After that, I never overclocked (never did before the Alienware either).

    Yes, I did mention corrupt .dll files, but I also said the MAIN issue with the Alienware was hardware problems. Again, it was 1st the DVD/CDR Drive and then the video card. This latest experience, plus the previous problems have left me wanting to drop the PC. And given what I own in consoles, the decision was much more easier.

    And one more thing; I am not blaiming anyone. I am not bitching or moaning. Just stating what has happened. I paid for every peice of hardware and even though I understand computing isn't 100% perfect, for $3,000 I expect SOME stability. Both on a software and hardware level. The PC side of computing has not followed through with this. Mac seems to be the way to go.
  18. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Must be.

    If every game is crashing, that eliminates the game software itself. That leaves either:
    1) The OS
    2) Your hardware/drivers.

    >> 1) It cannot be the OS if the other 99% of PC gamers aren't experiencing this problem, and are gaming just fine.
    >> 2) It is obviously your hardware. When games crash, it is almost guaranteed to be bad RAM. I'm betting if you ran memtest86 (or 3.1a), you would have seen hundreds if not THOUSANDS of errors.

    Games are hardware intensive, specifically in the CPU and the RAM. If you aren't even overclocking the CPU (i.e. its at stock), then that leaves the RAM. If it was the GPU (if you are thinking of that), VPU Recover should have kicked in. However, if you are on an nVidia card - you don't have that luxury.

    *Building PCs, by hand, introduce a lot more wildcards and anomalies than you would get by purchasing an "off-the-shelf", prebuilt Alienware. All 4 of my PCs haven't had any file corruption/crashing issues. Now, I did purchase Ballistix last year in attempt to hit 2-2-2, and lo-and-behold, my XP stability went down the toilet.

    In my situation, it was very obvious that the introduction of the new RAM >> instability. Why do I am telling you this?

    B/c WAY too many people blame Windows for their problems. That is wrong. That finger (or thumbs down) should be pointed at the bad RAM. Now if Alienware chooses not to test their RAM before shipping (how is this even possible?), then I guess that yours may have slipped through the cracks. And before you think Mac OSX is immune to bad hardware, think again.

    iBook logic board problems from just a few years ago led to a special replacement policy built just to prevent a total PR disaster (lol and yes, I have a G3 iBook myself). Bad RAM remains a possibility even with Macs. I believe if you search around here, you will find a few cases of people who are freezing/KPing >> ultimately it came down to bad RAM.
  19. Macamus Prime thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    Granted, I did say Windows has file corruption issues. But for the 3rd time, I am stating that hardware issues are what broke the camel's back (see previous posts, I did mention it).

    And for the 3rd time as well, I understand Mac is not perfect (see pervious posts as well). But, from all the reseach I have done (and my friend's experience with his Mac for about 2 years) Mac is a much more stable choice.
  20. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    you'll also find people who spent 6 months going back and forth with apple over failing power supplies and weird (loud) noises coming out of their G5s. for 2 months Apple said there was no problem, then suddenly (after 1,000s of complaints) they decided that there was a controller issue and some replacement parts were made available. This was happening on their top-of-the-line dual 2.0 G5s for the first 6 months they were out. Also, LOTS of people have had G5s that would unexpectedly stop displaying to the screen. There are plenty of people who have had pretty serious issues with their new iMacs. Old iMac screens would go "hazy" a couple of months after warranty was up (they make you think you need glasses and give you a headache).

    I've built 5 PCs in the last 1.5 years, and the only pieces of hardware that have failed on ANY of them were a pair of PATA cables, a Mac Pro keyboard (that i was using on a PC because I had an extra one laying around...it just stopped working one day), and a 12 dollar 400 watt power supply that I bought for my friend because he wanted the cheapest computer possible. I also lost one of the 6 USB 2.0 ports on my home PC for an unknown reason. It just quit getting power one day and hasn't come back on. I don't even have 6 USB devices, though, so I don't really care. I have never built a machine that cost more than 800 dollars (excluding monitor) and that's all the hardware problems I have had. I had HUGE software nightmares with a friend's computer that had Windows ME on it. Wow was that OS bad.

    But XP has been great to me. Like i said, I must just have incredibly good luck because OS X crashes more for me than WinXP does. That is to say I've had to put OS X on my G5 3 different times (not in the last half a year, though, which is great) because the font problems got so incredibly bad, and Photoshop started whacking out and telling me that my hard drive was full (I have a 300 GB RAID 0 Array for my primary drive, and it currently has 240 GB of free space) whenever I tried to save a file. Nobody could figure out the problem, so I had to reformat and reinstall. That fixed it.

    I like how OS X feels, and I like the lack of attention that virus engineers have given to OS X, but Apple products have never really seemed any "better" to me than non Apple products. You talk of having hardware issues with Alienware.

    I wouldn't even consider them because they are so expensive, but I can tell you that apple uses most of the same suppliers. Apple uses standard hard drives and essentially standard graphics cards, optical drives, and RAM. In fact, Apple uses some pretty cheapo RAM sometimes. I took that junk out of the G5 and replaced it will some top-dollar Corsair, thinking it was the reason my games kept crashing. It wasn't.

    I didn't do a BTO from apple because I was able to get my dual 1.8 G5 for 700 dollars less than it was selling for at the apple store. and tax free, too.

    That "60 dollar" upgrade to the 64MB 9600 Pro (the XT wasn't an option at that time) would have actually cost more like 760 dollars. Not much of a deal, huh?

    Besides, I had just bought a 9600 Pro 128mb board for my PC when I got the G5, and I only paid 130 dollars for that card, retail, with 3 full games in the box.

    It was what you might call a no-brainer.

    I knew the 5200 was ultra-weak (no offense to the dude who has a 5200 as his best graphics card), but getting a faster card just for games (when i sorta knew from this site that the G5 wasn't going to be as fast as my PC was at gaming, anyway) didn't make sense.

    now I'm quite happy with my 6600 GT 128. It's oh so tasty.

    9600 Pro 128=double the speed of the 5200 64 Ultra
    6600 Gt 128= double the speed of the 9600 Pro 128 (or more, in some games)
    6800 Ultra DDR SHOULD= double the speed of my 6600 GT, but for some reason the Mac 6800 Ultra seems to push about as hard as the PC's regular 6800...which I presume is a driver issue. It's been out for over 6 months, and it is still barely faster than the 9800 Pro? It should be literally twice as fast across the board, and more-so on newer games.

    Say what you want about apple, but no company should be putting a crippled (64mb) version of a last-generation bottom-end graphics card into any machine on their Pro desktop lineup. It is a disgrace. The 128 MB 5200 was considered "pretty darn slow" by the standards of more than 2 years ago.

    And yet a dual processor 64-bit PPC-based "super computer" with space for 8GB of DDR and a 500 watt power supply comes with one today. For double the amount I've ever spent building a PC.
  21. Macamus Prime thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005

    Impressive post! Very nice.

    As it stands, I'm with the Mac now and see no reason to go back to PC. For me, gaming on PC is not needed (as explained in my 1st post) and all I want is stability.

    Thank you all.
  22. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I have a G5 tower pretty decked out and a PC desktop 2.8 Sony. Playing Battlefield is light-years better on the Mac. I've re-installed XP three times, and had to do TWO system restores because of unimagineable horrors. Meanwhile, the Mac just keeps going.
    Use the Mac and beat the PC to death with a hammer.
  23. Kenrik macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    I was a PC guy for years, well spyware\viruses suck, I now have a 1.5ghz 15' PB it plays WoW pretty well (except in IF, god that city is packed!) anyway I know it will run better when I get more ram (still at the stock 512) But Dam this sucker gets HOT when i'm playing, FIREBOOK! I might try cooking an egg on it one of these days lol but I love my 15' PB :D
  24. anotherjeff macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2004
    One of the reasons that I got an xbox was to make living with a mac a little easier. I just picked up Halo and was pretty happy with it for mac but I'm a little too trained for Halo II.
  25. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    Apparently, you are new to the Mac scene.

    They DO have a Apple 22" it is really old. But search ebay. it is there.

    Then the white plastic 23" did not have that pink cast "problem"

    and the new ones got those fixed.



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