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#315728 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 18 June 2007 - 08:46 AM in Mac Hardware

View PostRIP1981, on June 17th 2007, 12:40 PM, said:

At the moment games like WoW need 64 MB VRAM and don't use really much more. 128 are fully sufficant and therefore no great performance difference at all. But Wow is old. Games that will be released in the next few month will have 128 MB VRAM as requirment. And in 1-2 years games will have 256 MB VRAM requirement to run at all.

WoW probably isn't the best example.  It's pretty easy to get the game to use more than 128 MB of VRAM if you crank up the visuals (high resolution, Full Screen Glow Effect, FSAA, and AF).  But your point still stands.

#315415 "More VRAM Better?" The Answer

Posted by a2daj on 15 June 2007 - 09:41 AM in Mac Hardware

Add in FSAA and AF to your benchmarks.  Those are VRAM hungry.  Use OpenGL Driver Monitor to see the VRAM usage while benchmarking.

#315414 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 15 June 2007 - 09:37 AM in Mac Hardware

View Postrob_ART, on June 14th 2007, 04:30 AM, said:

But then, how many of you play these games at Ultra Quality with FSAA on at 1920x1200? In other words, those extreme settings may increase the gap between the 128M and 256M but if you don't play a those settings, what's the point?

I don't mean this as a personal attack or anything along those lines but I find this statement humorous coming from 'the Mac benchmark' guy. ;)  You coin yourself as a 'mad scientist' and you ask "what's the point?"  The point is to see what happens!  Back in the day when I use to do benchmarks all the time I would do full suites of tests.  If I wanted to get a good understanding of what's going on I wanted to get multiple data points.  This required running various resolutions, upping the visual options, etc for all the different tests.  

You know all this.  You've been doing this for years.  But you also know how much time the thorough tests take.  So you've come up with some 'extreme' benchmarks and some 'regular' benchmarks.  There are always going to be people who want that in between.  What about some tests using 4x or 8x Anisotropic filtering and 2x or 4x FSAA at both your lower resolutions and higher resolutions?  I know there are people out there who want to know what type of impact those settings have.

One thing you may want to consider when doing the VRAM tests is to run the OpenGL Driver Monitor which comes with the Developer tools.  Trim down all the options until the only thing being monitored is available VRAM.  Run your same standard tests but instead of looking at the framerate look at the VRAM usage throughout the benchmark.   You don't need to see the live numbers since a history of VRAM usage is graphed.  Then you'd have some VRAM numbers to see if certain tests would be worth running on your friend's machine with 128 MB of VRAM.

#315412 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 15 June 2007 - 09:09 AM in Mac Hardware

View Postrandfee, on June 15th 2007, 06:56 AM, said:

well..that is my point, even at this low resolution, the available VRAM might have a higher impact that many would think. This stands in direct contrast to some of Lemon Lime's assumptions here.

Of course in this case we will have to wait for results of the 128MB version, since the 97% performance gain in Windows is very likely due to bad OSX drivers.
The funny thing is, that Apple is writing the windows drivers for Bootcamp itself, as far as I know. If that is really the case we could conclude that OSX is far inferior to Windows when it comes to graphics card performance, or why would Apple develop better drivers for windows than for their own OS?

thanks Rob :)

Nope.  Just like with most of the Bootcamp drivers, Apple gets the Windows drivers from the vendor.  NVIDIA has staffed up on their OS X developers over the years although it's unclear if the OS X NVIDIA driver development process has been completely revamped.

#314984 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 12 June 2007 - 09:58 AM in Mac Hardware

If you want to test the VRAM, add in some FSAA, and AF.  For WoW, enabling the FSG feature eats up VRAM too.

#314296 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 07 June 2007 - 06:07 PM in Mac Hardware

That's really odd.  I have every option cranked up except FSAA (disabled) and I get a solid 70 fps at 1280x800.

#314283 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 07 June 2007 - 03:41 PM in Mac Hardware

rob, are you going to redo the Halo tests with the latest release?  They show a substantial increase in performance, including the Lens Flares setting.  I sent them an email way back in August about it and the fix was included in the 2.0.1 patch along with the other performance enhancements.  Basically, when they re-ported Halo they either broke or didn't add the code to take advantage of an OpenGL feature which allowed for hardware accelerated lens flare effects (introduced in OS X 10.3.5).  I highly recommend using the latest version of Halo (2.0.2) for your tests.  I've also found the sound setting in Halo to be negligible.  The game is significantly more GPU bound than CPU bound and my tests in the past with and without sound didn't really warrant disabling sound.  But since your old tests had sound disabled you might as well keep that standardized.

#314170 New MacBook Pros

Posted by a2daj on 07 June 2007 - 01:08 AM in Mac Hardware

I picked up the top end MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz 256 MB VRAM) and my Halo benches are different than yours.  I ran a test at 1440x900 and got over 60 fps.  I bumped it down to 1280x800 and got 70 fps.  I was using Halo 2.0.1.  I'm rerunning with 2.0.2 right now.

#312223 Halo 2.0.2 Update Released

Posted by a2daj on 17 May 2007 - 12:13 PM in Mac Action & Shooters

View PostQuicksilver, on May 17th 2007, 10:34 AM, said:

Hey guys, Macsoft recently released another Halo update, which you can find here.  If you have any problems, let's hear about it!

It was mentioned in this thread a couple of weeks ago.

#311491 A New Soundsystem

Posted by a2daj on 07 May 2007 - 11:48 PM in Mac Hardware

View PostEric5h5, on May 6th 2007, 01:33 PM, said:

Yes and no.  :)  You can get 5.1 sound from the built-in optical out port, as long as you have something that sends out a DTS or Dolby Digital stream.  The Apple DVD player does, and I think VLC does.  Games, however, need a sound card like the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 (which I have) that outputs 6-channel analog sound.  The only problem is that there are hardly any Mac games that have surround, and those that do don't actually work properly in surround mode for any length of time.  So I wouldn't bother with a sound card at this time.


WoW works fine with 5.1, but one of the few.  However, it uses CoreAudio directly rather than the buggy OS X OpenAL implementation.

FYI, Griffin Tech's FireWave 5.1 FireWire output device is onsale for $40 from their site.  It's nice because it does Dolby Digital decoding as well as discrete audio output.  It's pretty much the only officially supported consumer level 5.1 audio device available for Intel Macs.  What you do is plug in your front, rear, and center channels, plug the device into a FireWire port.  Whether you play a game with 5.1 support or play Apple's DVD player, you'll get 5.1 support.  The only thing to be wary about is the included FireWire cable.  The one I had wouldn't allow any playback of encoded audio on any of my PPC systems.  However it worked fine on my MBP.  There's a light that glows when the device is decoding an encoded audio stream and when it would flash, there was no audio.  I replaced the cable with one I used for my FW hard drives and it worked fine on my PPC systems. *shrug*

#305612 A Universal Update for American McGee's Alice

Posted by a2daj on 03 March 2007 - 10:45 AM in IMG News Discussion

STEF2 uses Ritual's Quake 3 engine modifications.  JK Outcast and Academy as well as STEF1 use Raven's fork.

#304539 Freespace open on Macbook

Posted by a2daj on 23 February 2007 - 09:35 AM in Mac Simulators

Could you be any more condescending and less helpful?  Could you at least provide a link to the FS2_Open sys reqs?

#302284 WoW: The Burning Crusade Reviewed

Posted by a2daj on 05 February 2007 - 01:44 PM in IMG News Discussion

It's dead easy to get money in Outlands.  A number of the Outland mobs drop crazy amounts of silver (compared to pre expansion pack).

#301769 Halo Performance with Universal Binary

Posted by a2daj on 02 February 2007 - 03:04 AM in Mac Action & Shooters

I just reran the Halo benchmark on my 1st gen MBP 2 GHz with 256 MB VRAM.

800x500 with everything within the in-game prefs maxed out including audio.  No vsync.
Advanced Pixel Shaders w/ Detail Objects and Model Reflections checked.
FSAA off
Model Detail High

Low Lens Flares
58.38 (typically low first run frame rate)

Extreme Lens Flares

That's about a 20% drop in performance.  When I did my tests back in Sept they were at 1024x768.  The frame rate numbers weren't exact but as mentioned the performance drop was around 20%, same as these results.

#301545 Halo Performance with Universal Binary

Posted by a2daj on 31 January 2007 - 09:30 PM in Mac Action & Shooters

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on January 31st 2007, 07:28 PM, said:

According to what I've read about the specs of my ATI card it supports 1.1 and 1.4. If it is true that neither paths are available in Mac Halo it's unfortunate when they are available on Windows whether it is because of Direct3D or not. But thanks for the more constructive reply.

PS 1.1-3 support on ATI cards is emulated.  It supports 1.4 in hardware.

#301543 Halo Performance with Universal Binary

Posted by a2daj on 31 January 2007 - 09:27 PM in Mac Action & Shooters

The pixel shaders versions are aimed at Direct3D.  OpenGL's official pixel shaders are the fragment programs, which first appeared as an ARB feature in OpenGL 1.5.  They're roughly equivalent to pixel shader 2.0.  Video cards which support pixel shader 2.0 in hardware support ARB fragment programs.  The various other versions of pixel shaders (1.1 and 1.4) were based on vendor specific extensions.  I think 1.1 was equivalent to NVIDIA's register combiners (used in Mac Halo's old NV Shader option) and 1.4 equivalent to the ATI fragment program in the OpenGL extensions.  There's no equivalent to a 1.4 rendering path in Mac Halo.

View PostQuicksilver, on January 31st 2007, 07:19 PM, said:

The obvious bottom line is that you shouldn't turn down lens flares unless you're having serious performance issues.  a2daj was replying to my recommended MacBook Pro settings, but the 2.16 GHz MBP can handle extreme lens flares at those settings just without any apparent performance penalty (hence my objection).

Based on my tests back in September this is wrong.  I saw a 21% performance drop with extreme lens flares.

edit.  Is there some auto consolidation feature in the forum software?  My response to QS was intended to be a separate post.

#301538 Halo Performance with Universal Binary

Posted by a2daj on 31 January 2007 - 09:02 PM in Mac Action & Shooters

I wouldn't really call it a bug.  A bug would imply that there was something wrong with the code.  Before 10.3.5 there simply wasn't a method in OpenGL to do the hardware accelerated lens flares that worked with the Halo engine.  I like to think of it as a Performance Enhancing Development, or as the mundane may put it, stero... er an optimization.  ;)  The UB code doesn't seem to have the PED, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

#301508 Halo Performance with Universal Binary

Posted by a2daj on 31 January 2007 - 04:46 PM in Mac Action & Shooters

In addition, you want to turn the Lens Flare setting down.  Nothing above Medium.  This applies only to the Universal Binary version.  To change that setting, hold down the command key when starting up Halo.  This will bring up a dialog box (if you disabled it previously) so you can change some settings.  This is the same dialog box in which you would change the shaders used.

#301239 Diablo on Intel Macs

Posted by a2daj on 29 January 2007 - 04:49 PM in Mac Adventure, RPG & MMOs

View PostMetropolis Man, on January 29th 2007, 02:25 PM, said:


Forgive my technical ignorance, but what's the difference between the two modes? So, have you heard if a definite fix is on the way from Blizzard?

Software mode doesn't use 3D hardware.  All of the rendering is done is software.  OpenGL mode uses 3D hardware.  It allows for one to enable the Perspective feature which gives a pseudo 3D feel to the game.  It also improves how the lighting is rendered.  OpenGL mode only works in full screen mode.  When Diablo II switches to windowed mode it always runs in Software mode regardless of what renderer was chosen.  When you enable the /fps command you can see which renderer is being used.

#299207 Universal version of Wolfenstein ET

Posted by a2daj on 16 January 2007 - 02:39 AM in Mac Action & Shooters


Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory universal binary for MacOS X

I've uploaded a universal binary of Wolfenstein ET to our ftp server [1] and bittorrent server [2].

md5: 39cb5f3dcc07b9a56afddad3868652c2  Wolfenstein ET.2.60c.dmg

I've been putting that build together as a side project for a while now, and it was time to
get it out. I'll watch for feedback and fix showstoppers (if any). The client will work against
the official ET 2.60 servers running etmain/, and PunkBuster is included.

I hope ETPro and other major ET mods out there can update and support the new Mac client soonish.
Meanwhile you may have a bit of trouble finding servers that will accept this new client
(the best approach may be to use qstat [3] and filter for servers running etmain/,
I haven't found a good third party server browser for OSX at this point)

I updated the SDK [4] (there are very little changes to the source), in which you'll find XCode
projects to compile the universal binaries of ui, game and cgame.

There. I hope that kicks off a GREAT year for the Enemy Territory franchise :-)

[1]: ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/et/osx/Wolfenstein ET.2.60c.dmg
[2]: http://zerowing.idso...f99a5bb.torrent
[3]: http://sourceforge.net/projects/qstat/
[4]: ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/et/sdk/et-2.60c-sdk.dmg

#298849 PREY demo for Mac

Posted by a2daj on 14 January 2007 - 12:52 AM in Mac Action & Shooters

Prey doesn't support multichannel audio with the Revolution 7.1 (par for course with Doom 3 engine games so far :(  ).  I have to switch down to 2 channel.  It also doesn't work with my BNC connectors for my 21" CRT :(  I just get a black screen with no signal, not even any bad refresh rate or screen res warning.  I've tried the various startup resolutions and refreshrates with the startup dialog box (from holding down command).  I had to switch to my VGA cable :(

#297833 Close Combat Universal Binary Released

Posted by a2daj on 08 January 2007 - 03:48 PM in IMG News Discussion

View Postteflon, on January 8th 2007, 01:38 PM, said:

you sure?
it only turned up on macupdate yesterday, so it could be that MU was a bit slow...

I'm pretty sure:


#294865 Rosetta & Games

Posted by a2daj on 17 December 2006 - 01:01 AM in General

In regards to Close Combat First to Fight Univeral App.

#294864 Close Combat First to Fight Universal App

Posted by a2daj on 17 December 2006 - 12:57 AM in Mac Action & Shooters

I didn't see this announced anywhere and I just happened to find it 15 minutes ago.


"Close Combat: First to Fight Update Version 1.0.3

This application will convert both the 1.0 and 1.0.2 versions of First to Fight to a version that will run natively on new Intel-based Macs.

IMPORTANT! This update is ONLY necessary for Intel-based Macs.

As with the 1.0.2 update, you must be logged in as the user who originally installed the game software to apply this update. Additionally, you may need to supply an Administrator's password.

To perform the update, close this window and open the "First to Fight v1.0.3 Updater" program. The updater program will automatically find and update your copy of First to Fight."
I'm about to try it out.

#292168 Toontown for Mac

Posted by a2daj on 29 November 2006 - 01:53 AM in Mac Adventure, RPG & MMOs

Yeah.  I think they used a WebKit plugin rather than a NSAPI plugin.