report by macworld on intel mac mini gpu

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thies, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. thies macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    "In our Unreal Tournament 2004 test, the Mac mini Core Solo actually had a lower frame rate than the previous-generation Mac mini"


    quite disheartening. if that holds up it'll mean I can forget about playing World of Warcraft on it. :( (which, *hint* isn't available for xbox)
    anyone else who got one been able to try some games on the new mini to confirm/deny the above?
  2. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    Forgive me for being ignorant about games ... does Unreal Tournament 2004 run under Rosetta?

    On a lighter note, Macworld did confirm smooth 1080i movie trailers on the Duo.
  3. thies thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    No idea, macworld made no mention of that as far as I can see.
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Smooth playback of 1080i HD trailers. Good enough for me.
  5. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    ut2004 is universal
  6. isgoed macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2003
    Hi thies,

    I guess the performance is indeed lower. The original mini (Barefeats) produces about 25FPS.


    The GMA950 running in a PC (Intel D945GTP / 3.6GHz Pentium 4 / 1GB 533MHz DDR2 3:3: 3:12) does just 26FPS (anandtech)


    Considering that the 3.6 Ghz pentium is faster than the Core Solo and (Core Duo when it comes to UT2004) and also UT2004 for Mac runs generally slower than the PC version I believe this is correct. I am very annoyed that they did not put an actual FPS indication in the article. My best guess is about 14FPS for the sole and 18 FPS for the duo (800x600, high quality). So only if you want to go to very low quality you will get something playable like 25FPS that the original mini got. Maybe if the drivers for the GMA 950 gets scrutinized they will be able to put all cores to the max and get on the level of that 3.6Ghz pentium.

    I am more annoyed that the available graphics memory is locked to 64 MB. I am planning on buying an 1 Gb model and would like to have the 224 MB video memory.

    Do note that the apple exec himself said a 10%-40% increase on "games they tested" (Probably core duo); if you want to believe apple results ;) . Well it won't take long before some real numbers are posted I guess. (WoW results are already posted in the macrumors forums here and there. They stated just playable on low settings (25FPS).)

    For completeness, also the scores of extremetech (Intel Pentium 4 model 660 at 3.6GHz / Intel G945GTP MicroATX motherboard / 1GB DDR2/667 memory ), which got similar results.


  7. thies thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    Cinebench would indicate the same with the Radeon 9200 being faster than the GMA950 for 3d acceleration.

    Mac mini G4 1.5 GHz:
    OpenGL Hardware Lighting: 506

    Mac mini Core Solo 1.5 GHz:
    OpenGL Hardware Lighting: 441

    Saw the first results for WoW myself stating 25fps. Was hoping that the main bottleneck there is the very low ram of 432mb of currently available Minis and that things would look better with 1gb, but that too seems to be rather doubtful now.
  8. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Bumping it up to 224 will do pretty much nothing for it. That would just be a waste of memory.
  9. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    - Forced to x86
    - Forced to Intel
    - Forced to integrated graphics or PowerMac
    - Form over function
    - Fanboys

    I am switching to Linux/AMD.
  10. MacSA macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2003
    Sigh......... so if you want a Mini you should really go for the much more expensive Duo version? :( :( I really would like to see ore tests of the Solo version.
  11. thies thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    That's pretty much my dilemma as well. iMac or Powermac would have the 3D power to let me play the occasional game of WoW. Only that putting either next to my flatscreen in the livingroom is a rather stupid idea. Or rather, I could keep the tower I currently have there but wanted to replace.
  12. isgoed macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2003
    No it does. Quartz dubble buffers all windows in osx (so if you have a lot of windows/apps open you want a lot of videoram). If your videoram is limited (even if your sytem ram is your videoram) it can occur that a window is not in videomemory, because the memory was released to do some other operation. In that case OpenGL must be provided with a refresh of the data in the memory before it can display the data. So there is unnecessary swapping between your system ram and the part of the ram that is reserved for OpenGL/videoram.

    The same holds for games that require more than 64mb. It just all results in unnecessary swapping.
  13. NeuronBasher macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
  14. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Who cares?

    News flash...the Mac Mini is not for gamers!

    Christ, what a bunch of frickin whiners!
  15. thies thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    News Flash!

    a) Apple claims it is for games!

    b) No one called for heavy duty games like Quake4 to run at high quality like a real Gamer would, it's about low end casual games!

    c) The new minis hardware 3d acceleration is worse than the old, that is not whining, it's stating the horrible truth!
  16. xyian macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2004
    Enough already!

    I agree with the last poster. All I have seen is people bitching about the Mac Mini being horrible for games. Since when is the Mac Mini for gaming? The Mac Mini is either for people who are leery about getting into the Mac world in the first place or are first time computer users.
    If you think about the PC world and it's large gaming community, who would use an eMachines with built in graphics to play games? A: nobody!

  17. peharri macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2003
    Oh grow up. Apple heavily touted the effect the 9200 had on games on the previous model. It's a sub-$1,000 home-oriented machine, which means most consumers are going to expect it to run a wide range of apps, including games and office software, and do so reasonably. Nobody's saying it has to be the ultimate gaming rig, but running two year old games shouldn't be a problem. As it is, right now, the Core Solo will not run either games nor Office X particularly well, and the Core Duo probably will crawl with games.

    But getting away from responding to the whole "We want the Mac mini to be awful!" group

    Do we yet have any performance figures for the Core Duo version? On a real-world test, like UT2004, does it beat the old, higher-end, Mac minis or not? I'm prepared to believe it has the potential to, though at this point I'm still baffled Apple would cripple the machine like this.
  18. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    I agree with xyian. The Mac mini is NOT a gaming machine. It never was! Sure the G4 model was more capable of handling 3D graphics, but it was never advertised as a gaming machine as one of its main features. I'm just relieved that the new Intel models can handle more than I had expected.

    So if you want to game on a Mac, then buy an iMac. Those are just fine for mid-level games. Or heck, drop a couple grand on a Power Mac G5. That'll surely last you a few years with its upgradability.
  19. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    To all those people who think we are just "moaning" about the GPU:

    IDIOTS!!!!!! :rolleyes:

    Ok, I'm kidding - but seriously, ANY computer should be able to run some basic 3d gaming for the cost of £600 - it's absolute daylight robbery that the Core Duo for the cost cannot run a basic gaming application.

    Surely there is no argument? I'm sure the fanboys will think of one...
  20. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    not for nothing but those benchmark graphs (all except the top two from barefeats - which don't even invlove the Intel mini) are all derived from WindowsXP tests. not entirely conclusive when talking OS X performance. i still don't hold much hope for 3D on the mini, just would like to see it actually run before i sign it off.
  21. peharri macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2003
    That's completely false. The gaming ability of the Mac mini G4 was actually touted right up until the Intel Mac mini pages replaced the G4 pages.

    From other threads:

  22. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
  23. asencif macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
  24. Arcus macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    of my hand will get me slapped.
    How much ram can you dedicate to the video? Is it configurable? Whats the max?
  25. asencif macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Reports are that it has been locked by Apple to only us about 80MB. Technically it is capable of using 224MB, but it's not the case on the mini. Maybe someone will have a patch or crack to unlock and make it use more.

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