Should Apple Make Gaming Specific Systems?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Macamus Prime, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Macamus Prime macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    - What are your feelings on such a system?
    - Do you think anyone would buy it?
    - What should the system specs be?
    - What would it look like? (maybe a revamped version of the Power Mac G4 Cube?)
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002

    I don't see the point. The vast majority of games don't run on Mac OS anyway, so why further fragment the market by making it clear that the mainstream machines won't adequately play the ones that do exist for it. Apple would be better served by making the consumer machines (that is, ostensibly the one's that would be bought by casual gameres) capable of better game play.
  3. Veldek macrumors 68000


    Mar 29, 2003
    They already do and call them PowerMacs.

    I honestly don't think Apple could build a Mac just for gaming, because who would buy such a computer knowing that only a minority of games is available and these won't run as god as on a PC.
  4. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I agree with everything said above.

    There will be no need for the Apple gaming machine.

    Specs? Ok.

    G5 or Dual G5
    512+ RAM
    80+ Hard drive
    Best Graghics card (Radeon X800 XT/GeForce 6800)

    Summing all these specs we get Power Mac G5. Simple
  5. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001
    Seems like a PMac with the highest possible clocked single G5 would be the best bet. Load it with a good video card and 1G RAM standard, maybe a 10k RPM disk.
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    If apple made a mchine just for gaming, that would be the most pointless move they could ever make. There are only a small handfull of games for the mac compaired to pc. Most of the newer games require a lot of processing power, so you would wind up with a powermac just to play games.
  7. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    Mini Games

    If you are talking casual games, then Apple allready sells this Mac: the Mac Mini. It is powerful enough to run 3D games (except Doom 3) and cheap enough for anyone to afford.
  8. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    I think not - I think that games is a secondary thing for what you can do with a Mac. Although one thinks that the things that make Mac strong - Video, music and Photo would automatically spec a machine to play games well - perhaps it is just the availability of games and the way they are ported to the Mac - I think the gaming experience would be far better for a game created on the Mac versus ported to the Mac - time will tell as it should theoretically be easier and more efficient when all the consoles are on the IBM platform - perhaps Mac's will game better then.
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I think that it would be a good idea to make one desktop and one laptop computer precisely for gaming. If Apple showed and kept a committment, perhaps there would be more drive for games on Mac OS X.

    It would require that they actually set aside their usual "we can't do that because it steps on the other computer lines" attitude. Obviously, GameSprockets have survived somewhat but Apple is not in any hurry to avail themselves of game play.
  10. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    I keep hearing this argument about Macs and gaming:

    "Mac users don't buy games near as much as PC users b/c mac users are interested in getting real work done more that the average PC user."

    That is a fan boy smokescreen

    Gaming on a Mac works like this.

    It's a numbers game based on market share and availability.

    Macs traditionally haven't run games well therefore there are very few game titles. Market share is small which leads to not many game makers writing or porting to the Mac. Which leads to not many people running games on the Mac. Which leads to not many game titles. Which leads to Mac users not playing games on the Mac......... ad nauseam

    See the vicious circle?

    Will this change in the near future? Probably not.

    One could also contend from the average PC user argument that since PCs are sold at about a 10 to 1 ratio(maybe even higher if you consider "home built systems") vs the Mac that the typical/average PC user in itself would be totally different than the typical/average Mac user.

    Since the Average PC user has the option to run about 100 games to 1 on the Mac this naturally leads to the Average PC user running games more often. Whereas since the Average Mac user does not have this choice this naturally leads to him not running games.

    So the original argument doesn't really work even though it may be technically seem "true".

    It is easy to contend by the numbers game that just as many people use the PC to quote " Get real work done" as there are Mac users in the first place.

    It is also easy to contend that their are as many PCs sold/built to do almost nothing but gaming as there are Macs being sold.

    This little rant was not to say the PC is better than the Mac or vice versa, it was just to say that fan boy arguments don't hold water in the real world.

    This also works for the Question asked originally in this thread. Would it make sense for Apple to build a "Gaming Mac"? I would say no. The titles don't exist so its appeal would be small.
    Should Apple stop using such low powered GPUs like the 5200fx absolutely
  11. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Really, 100 to 1? So the PC has, what, something like 500 games released per month? Nah, I don't think so. Is it even 10 to 1? Really, gaming on the Mac is not that bad for the most part, and those who whine the loudest are way too hung up on numbers.

    I don't buy the above argument--there are more games released for the Mac then any person could hope to play, even if you have no life and spent all your time gaming, unless you have really narrow interests in the types of games you play. Certainly, with my game collection, at least 2/3 have gone mostly unplayed, and I'm having a hard time decreasing that number.

    More choice is always better, but let's not pretend the situation is worse than it is. The moaning smells too much like "self-fulfilling prophecy" to me....

  12. iriejedi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2000
    Nor Cal
    I'd buy one!

    I'd so buy one - even if just for the novelty value!

    Gotta Support the Mother Ship!

  13. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Well, there was the Pippin...

    I doubt very much that we'll see Apple release a machine built from the ground up with gaming in mind. Mind you, a few years ago who would have thought they would release the iPod and corner the MP3 player market?
  14. Drgnhntr macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2004
    San Diego
    Instead of apple making a mac specifically for gaming, I think their money would be better spent making mac only games. I think that if someone where to take the time to make a game that took advantage of mac hardware it would look spectacular. Have a few great games that are mac only and create a demand for gaming on the mac.

    What if apple introduced a new mac gaming tower to coincide with the release of Doom 4 or half-life 3 on the mac first. How many macs would they sell? Secondly, port the game to the PC and have the benchmarks show it runs better on a mac. How much is it worth to apple to have a headline saying macs don't actually suck at games?
  15. parrothead macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2003
    Edmonds, WA
    While I dont think this would ever happen, I love the idea!
  16. pgc6000 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2004
    Macs really aren't aimed at the gaming community. Besides nobody would buy it. PC users would laugh and if you really wanted to do big gaming on your mac then you'd get a PowerMac G5. If you wanted to build a gaming machine you may as well get a PC. It's cheaper and it gets more games. That's the only time it seems that Mac users get PCs, for hardcore gaming.
  17. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    Ok 100 to 1 was an exaggeration. I was going to put 10 to 1 but accidently typed the second zero. I saw it but just decided to leave it in since it is basically about as true as the the statement that "Mac users don't buy games because they want to get real work done"

    I disagree with your assessment on the situation of Mac gaming though. I can think of hundreds of titles that don't run on the Mac.
    Take a look at the local Best Buy, CompUSA, etc.
    Then go take a look in an Apple Store or reseller. There really are very few Mac games.
    I also disagree with the assessment that there are more Mac games than anyone can play. My kids are monsters at playing games.
    They play to the end all the games they get. And they have an Xbox, Nes, Snes, N64, PS2, GameCube, GBs, GBA, NDS, 2 PCs and a Mac.
    I have probably bought them close to a 1000 games in all over the last 10 plus years.
    They never want a game on the Mac because it either runs slower or was out on some other platform first. All of their online play is on the PC.
    In case you were wondering I buy a game a week for my 4 kids.
  18. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001

    Why do some many people think Macs have untapped reserves of power? About the only edge they have over PC's is AltiVec, and that can't do a whole lot for games. Games have too much "if/else" and not enough "add x to each of 100 y's".
  19. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey

    That's an easy one. They are Macs. They have to be better than PCs in everything. They just have too. They are Macs :)
  20. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001

    Well who could argue with that? ;) Seriously though, what other reserves of power might a Mac have besides AltiVec?

    Course even with such a dour outlook as I have, I think Apple should release a "gaming" PMac, which is to say a normal top-end PMac where they trade the 2nd CPU for better graphics and more RAM.
  21. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    No doubt. If I was inclined to game on a Mac (which I'm not)I would rather have a single processor at the highest clock speed, best video card and a large chunk of ram. But hey thats just me.

    Better sound support than what is currently in Macs wouldn't be bad either.
  22. Kelvin macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2004
    SFBA, CA
    As a developer I can tell you that modern processors are not nearly as simplistic as your logic.

    Even for a very very very basic task Altivec does wonders for games.
    Take for example a FPS: when you shoot someone in the head for your monster kill.
    The game has to calculate at least two dot products and a cross product to shoot the ray through the scene to find out what you hit. With Altivec, you can do this with 1/4 of the instructions and 1/8th the time of doing it serially. This is way before you even get to "if ray intersected/else" This isn't even accounting for rendering, this is just geometry.

    Now get to scene rendering. How many instructions do you think you save when you have to unproject the models for shadow volumes? With models now days reaching into the tens of thousands of polygons, this is a substantial performance gain. Sure a lot of this is moving to the GPU, but that just means the game devs are going to use the CPU power for things like physics and realism, which again both benefit from Altivec.

    Anything 3D benefits a whole hell of a lot from Altivec. Anything.

    Further I think you grossly underestimate the G5 in terms of performance. If anything, the reason some games perform better on x86 is simply because they were optimized for x86 (and directx) and then ported to PPC (opengl).

    mac v pc
    Notice that Q3A the mac runs comparable performance. That's what concurrent development in a common API can get you. As for the other games, the porting process takes a heavy toll on the mac. You can probably bet that there's not much Altivec optimization going on in any of those games. Further, Carmack admitted that Doom 3 is really poor for multithreading. That second G5 cpu is sitting there doing nothing, when it could be handling all manner of things like physics, sound, etc. Fire up iTunes while playing games on your G5 dualie and you're likely to notice no frame rate hit whatsoever.
  23. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    What's the excuse with Doom 3, then? It's OpenGL all the way.

    But only if it is written from the ground up to use it. You're talking theoretical, because there isn't a game out there that really, truly uses altivec to full advantage...why? Because it's so different from MMX/SSE, etc on the PC side of things, and dev. studios can't be asked to write two entirely different engines just because altivec would make the Mac port faster if it were thoroughly involved in the code. Glenda at Aspyr alluded to's linked in another thread...she goes into some detail about why it isn't reasonable, practical, or possible to do all that work, because the costs far outweigh the benefits.

    games aren't multi-threaded for complexity issues. You are oversimplifying what would have to be done to make a game multi-threaded. You don't just "throw the physics, sound, etc" to the second's an excellent article discussing exactly this topic that was posted on AnandTech yesterday.

    Tim Sweeney is scared of multithreaded games. The complexity involved is beyond the engineering capabilities of most game studios. The Unreal 3 engine will be MP-aware, but the cost for making it that way is turning out to be huge, and the 2nd processor is going to be primarily responsible for things like physics. There will still be a heavy load on a single processor and a light load on the other(s). The primary benefit of multi-proc machines for gaming is that you can get the system overhead off of the active processor's back, freeing it up to deal with the game/program in question.

    You can't reliably split the main "gameplay" thread...just like you can't reliably optimize the inherently serial function calls of your typical 3d game. Most of what altivec could help with would be physics and audio calculations.

    and by the way...using quake 3 as a guide for what's good and bad about modern gaming is...not recommended. The difference between 350 fps and 370 fps isn't really indicative of anything except that the value of the benchmark has been eclipsed.

    Try the same thing on something with pixel shaders or vertex shaders.
  24. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Apple could solve the "ethernal Mac games problem" overnight by becoming producers for mac versions of games.

    Apple stump up the £££ to pay for the Mac version and in return get a % of the retail sales.

    Of course raising the platform of Mac gaming would be far more inportant than the wodge Apple would get from such a sceme.

    Games are profitable, Apple just don't seem to care.
  25. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Exactly. That's what I did, and probably many others here too.

    I used to have a Mac only (couple of Macs, actually). Always had one of the latest Macs, updated the grfx card, and RAM to let it be best suited for gaming as possible.
    Then came along Doom 3 and Half Life 2. Doom 3 would come to the Mac someday, somehow, eventually.... but Half Life 2 wouldn't.... :(
    I got frustrated and got myself a gaming PC. Once I got this I found out how many PC games there were.
    I ab-sol-lu-te-ly hate Windows, but love playing Rally Racing games, Half LIfe 2, Far Cry, etc.
    And I like having the feeling that if a cracking game comes along (Brothers in Arms for instance) I don't have to worry if it will ever come to the Mac. Now I just go get it once it's for sale...

    I like the idea that someone had here: Mac OS X-only games. SMP supported, AltiVec enhanced etc. Have a couple of these games be ported to the PC, and show worse results on the PC. There are some Mac-only games like Nanosaur, Bugdom etc. bet these are not really the eyecatchers of today's hardcore gamer :rolleyes:

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