Why does a 20 year old game taxes my macbook?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by MacBH928, May 7, 2019.

  1. MacBH928 macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #1
    So I understand that Macs are not gaming machines, I got '15 MacBook Pro.
    I download old games some from 2005 others from 1998 which runs via Wine or Steam, but somehow the games have no problem shooting my CPU temperature up to 90C/194F.

    I know there is probably some sort of emulation going on in the background but shouldn't my i5 be running circles around this thing? Its not like I am running Witch 3 in 4k.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #3
    So, if we assume that the emulation is reasonably efficient and not the central issue; There is still one simple explanation:

    It's the way a game-loop works. A conventionally programmed game, will always eat up as many resources as you give it. Even if you theoretically give it a 20GHz CPU and 100TFLOPS GPU, it'll still peck tham at 100%.
    The game doesn't care about how fast it's running. If it runs at speed A, and you give it more resources, it just runs at speed A+x no matter how fast A was to begin with. Even if it adds 0 benefit to the user.
     
  3. Janichsan macrumors 68000

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #4
    That's why.

    Wine translates Windows API calls on the fly to the corresponding macOS ones. That's a taxing task. If you check the Activity Monitor, you will probably find a task called wineserver taking up a considerable amount of of CPU time.
     
  4. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2006
    #5
    Many old games have no frame limit. So your game might be running at 4000 fps on your Mac. Who knows.
     
  5. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #6
    So far I have tried StarCraft, Civ V, Shadow Warrior(original), Sin Gold... they all have no issue reach 70+C at least.
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #7
    Civ V isn't that new a title and it does have a native Mac version, although the Windows version runs way better. - I used to like their work, but Aspyr ports tend to not run super well if you ask me - though way better than nothing.

    In any case, 70C isn't actually very high if it's die temperature. If I push a CPU load on my iMac it hovers around 95-100C; GPU going 105C+ (now granted, above 105 on the GPU is an issue...).

    But as mentioned, it's very likely that the program just runs its game loop as fast as it can irrespectable of how fast that actually is, so no matter how fast a chip you give it, it'll always press it hard. - At least on as many threads as the game engine was coded for.

    PS. Just noticed you have a "special thank" for me in your signature... I am flattered. Thank you right back
     
  7. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    #8
    high heat on desktops is not an issue on the opposite of compact closed space laptops. The internals can easily be damaged
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #9

    The TJunction of the components is what determines that, and for the Intel CPU, mobile or desktop, that is 100 degrees.
    Most MacBooks will hit near 100C if you push the CPU
     
  9. Ferazel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    #10
    Apple's thermal choice is that they will not perform active cooling on the CPU/GPU on laptops until there is a need for it. So when Apple's firmware determines that it wants to start cooling is when it will trigger the fans. Until the temps hit max, the cooling will not be at max.

    More information:
     
  10. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #11
    Yes but that is for modern games, not games releases in the Quake era. Those games were supposed to run on 200Mhz machines. I expect my machine to run relaxed on games made 10 years prior, those are games form 2005 which are on par of ps3 quality.
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #12
    How much do you know about programming? (genuine question not having a go)
    If you know how to read a bit of code, look at the following snippet:
    var x = 0
    While(!quit){
    x += 1
    }

    Literally all it does is add 1 to x. Surely that's not too hard on any CPU, right?
    Well, that tiny little program will also heat up your CPU. In fact, it'll run a single core as hard as possible including turbo, and just increase x by as much as posible as quickly as possible forever.

    The games work similarly. They'll have a loop like

    while (!quit){
    gameLogic.run()
    }

    and it doesn't matter how beefy a processor you give it, it'll just run through the loop faster and start it over again faster. It won't give the CPU more time to breathe, it'll just run the loop again, faster.
     
  12. Ferazel macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2010
    #13
    Correct, but some games you can sometimes limit frame rates in the settings or by enabling vsync. If your frame rate is far beyond the refresh rate of your monitor, enable vsync to prevent doing extra work that you can’t see.

    Regardless, every frame a game produces is work on the CPU/GPU. If the work is higher than the passive cooling levels of the laptops innards it will accumulate until the laptop’s fan control decides it is time to actively cool. Which as I mentioned on Macs are at very high temps.

    I hope this helps!
     
  13. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #14
    I know nothing of programing but I know one thing for the past 20 years or using computers... old software runs fast on newer hardware. In fact, current software runs fast on new hardware. But I understand what you are saying, but isn't this just stupid to program a game to tax any CPU to the max?
     
  14. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #15

    To a certain degree it's stupid, yes. Not all games are programmed this way, but a lot are. The idea is though that there's no "good enough" for a game. With something like Word, it's ok to let the CPU sleep when you're just looking at the page not writing.
    With a game the idea is that if you can increase input response by just a milisecond, or produce extra frames you should
    This comes down to eSports games typically running at many hundreds of frames per second, because the people who play it aren't satisfied with the tiniest imperceptible delays.
    Plus it's an easier way to program the games. Some games allow you to set a framerate limit, meaning that when the game reaches 60FPS or whatever the limiter is set to, it allows GPU and CPU to relax a bit. On Windows you can typically set this through the driver control panel for the GPU too (though it doesn't always work for all games).
    On a 60hz screen, you can't see the difference between 60 and 120FPS, but some argue they can feel it in input delay. I can't, hell I barely can between 30 and 60, but that's a different matter entirely.

    Those framerate limiters aren't super common in older games, but I used them whenever they're there, because I see 0 benefit above 60FPS, and would rather the system just relax when it produces the frame fast enough. And it does make a huge difference.
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2019 ---

    Depending on implementation, vsync doesn't necessarily prevent extra work. In most implementations of vsync, the CPU/GPU will continue creating frames as fast as they can, but just not send them to the display, discarding the work, but doing it anyway. This is to keep game physics and input delay running smoothly. Especially important for those games in which the physics are tied to the frames - Which is again a less than ideal way to program it, but easier.
     
  15. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    The Misty Mountains
    #16
    Integrated graphics?

    My suggestion is to keep your Mac for anything serious you are doing, and buy a $1000 PC with a decent graphic card and you'll be much happier gaming.
     
  16. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    #17
    Are you running Windows games under emulation in MacOS ?

    The emulator will tax your MBP no matter how old the games are.

    Try running the MacOS version of Civ 5 in Steam on your MBP and you should see your MBP running much cooler.
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2019 ---
    Either that or make a bootcamp partition with Windows on his MBP and run Windows native games.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #19
    Yes, that could be an option if disk space was not to tight. And it depends on if he has integrated graphic or a dedicated card, even for some older games.

    When I retired and stopped traveling so much, I called BS on Apple, when they increased the price of the dedicated graphic card MBPs closer to $3k. Last I checked an equivalent PC laptop was half the price.
     
  18. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #20
    Its integrated graphics, but even a 2015 integrated graphics should be eating a gaming graphics of 2002 for lunch. Thats 12 years of advanced technology! To keep things in perspective, in 2002 computers shipped with 256MB RAM, today its 8GB standard!

    I run native games, not emulation, but I assume the "native" games are bundled with an emulator to be playable(or Wine).
     
  19. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #21
    You may be having issues then with your MBP.
     
  20. SpeedyTheSnail macrumors member

    SpeedyTheSnail

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    Sep 22, 2018
    Location:
    Caprica
    #22
    Was the game made by the IRS? That's the only reason it would tax your Mac.

    Just kidding.
     
  21. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #23
    Some of them are indeed, but not all. Though what constitutes "emulation"/translation can be a bit iffy there. Aspyr and Feral both use libraries and frameworks they've crafted to do API-call translation. It is not emulation, and it's not WINE. It's actual macOS code, but there are more layers in between typically than the Windows copy. But it has been especially reworked with the Mac in mind to some level. And in very rare cases can even run faster under macOS, like some have observed with some F1 setups, but 99% of the time it'll run better under Windows, because even if it's a good port, it's a port and it wasn't the priority platform. Tomb Raider is going 64-bit on the Mac soon though. I expect this to, at least to some degree, be a 64-bit wrapper for 32-bit code though, but we'll see. Feral does say it will bring performance uplifts, so perhaps Tomb Raider will also start running better under macOS than its Windows counterpart.

    In any case, if you're not having performance issues in the games as such, but only fan/heat concerns, the answer is the one I've given before in this thread, and it's just the way games were, and often still is programmed.
     
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #24
    Why not just run a Windows VM and limit the CPU to your liking?
     
  23. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #25
    that could be a solution if we assume that the MBP hardware is powerful enough to run those old games at a lesser CPU speeds.
     

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24 May 7, 2019