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Matt Diamond

Member Since 30 Jul 2001
Offline Last Active Today, 10:36 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 64-Bit compatibility topic

Today, 07:42 AM

Yeah, a little more warning from Aspyr would have been nice. I would have expected a more gradual cut-off. But I can't imagine they did this lightly-- it's their revenue on the line, after all. Maybe someone decided that fielding support calls from Catalina breaking these games would cost more than any revenue they'd get from those games over the next few months.

In any case I can't imagine Steam or the App Store would allow the games to be sold once Catalina is out. In the old days you could continue to sell "obsolete" games if you were careful about publishing the system requirements. <insert grumpy old man rant here>

Apple's aggressive sunsetting policies has some benefits for consumers but it's hard to appreciate them at times like these. Guess I'd better put Homeworld Remastered and Bioshock Infinite on my "replay it while you can" list.

In Topic: Benchmarks: eGPU, Mac v Windows, 2018 v 2012 Mac

Yesterday, 08:19 PM

Thought I'd add some benchmarks for my Mac Mini 2018 (i7, 16 G RAM, eGPU w Radeon Vega 56).

Spreadsheet shows results from running the built-in benchmarks for Deus Ex Mankind Divided; and Rise of the Tomb Raider
(each TR run includes 3 separate scenes, hence three rows per run.)
  • DX runs acceptably IMO with "Very High" preset at 1920x1080. I didn't like the occasional lag I saw without VSync, which is why triple buffer is used for all these runs. I didn't notice any obvious visual difference between Very High and Ultra, frankly.
    • Worth pointing out that when I played the previous DX my FPS were probably significantly worse than this, at much lower resolution. I won't let these numbers bother me, I'll probably just turn the res down a little more.
  • TR was disappointing at the highest resolution & highest preset. Stepping the resolution and AA down (but not the preset) helped. Even those numbers don't look great but the averages are well above DX averages-- I think the performance seemed smoother to me than the numbers might suggest. (Maybe framerates dipped once or twice at the start, and were otherwise good?)
Subjective notes for the following:
  • Total War: Warhammer II: I played a quest map battle at the highest settings, moved the camera all around and zoomed in and out. Felt very smooth.
  • Overload: played a challenge map against bots at the highest settings, 2560x1440. Seemed very smooth.
  • Borderlands 2: very smooth at the highest settings & res. Levels load in only a few seconds now, much faster than my old machine.

In Topic: Mac Upgrade path for a gamer?

Yesterday, 07:42 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 17 June 2019 - 03:29 PM, said:

That can't be right? That would be a complete deal breaker for me!
I know, right? Like an itch is slowly driving me mad. When I'm not playing a game the fan is louder than the Radeon fans. Worse, it isn't _quite_ steady - the sound gets a little louder, then softer again, like ocean waves.

I will probably cave soon and return it. There are two Akito's that have fan power switches (which they discourage people from using for more than 30 minutes at a time, unless maybe you have all SSDs?) Plus at least one of them sleeps the fan properly, according to a customer comment. People complain about fan noise for all of them, unfortunately. (Maybe designers shouldn't pack the drives in so tightly?)


I am curious if DX:MD not running at full speed is to be expected with that card, or if it is a CPU limitation?
No idea. But I'm going to post some benchmarks and comments to this thread tonight.

In Topic: Mac Upgrade path for a gamer?

Yesterday, 10:16 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 17 June 2019 - 09:01 AM, said:

All Macs will have a minimum build required.
As suspected. Thanks for confirming!

View Postmacdude22, on 17 June 2019 - 09:01 AM, said:

I still run into desktop support doofuses that will try to clone, copy, or otherwise boot an unsupported build on a new machine and will spend hours trying to make it work

Since I'm not in Support I'm just a honorary member of that list of doofuses.

In Topic: Mac Upgrade path for a gamer?

Yesterday, 08:04 AM

I have migrated to the Mini and started running benchmarks. I'll post specifics in a couple days. General impressions: as fast as I'd hoped.
  • Borderlands 2: I maxed all the settings and everything seemed fine. Much more testing needed. :-)
  • DX: Mankind Divided: runs pretty well at the max settings, but not buttery smooth. I plan to turn it down a little to even out the frame rate.
One question: I tried to boot the Mini to my old Mac Pro's boot disk (has El Capitan) and it never progressed past the initial blank screen. Are new Macs prevented from booting to old versions of Mac OS X? (I got the same behavior when I tried to boot my son's new iMac to Snow Leopard.)

Misc notes about the migration
1) Thunderbolt cable that shipped with Sonnet Breakaway was a useless 2'. I'll need a much longer one before I can finalize my setup.

2) Mercury Elite Pro Quad drive enclosure: I panicked for 2 minutes because I couldn't find the thunderbolt port. (There was a sticker over it. :glare:  )
Weirdly, its fan spins at half-speed even while the computer is asleep! This offends me, but may be common - I didn't seen it mentioned in any reviews. (Some pricier enclosures have a separate off-switch for the fan. But do I want to pay an extra $150 just to get a fan switch??)

At full throttle the enclosure is a little noisier in a quiet room than I'd hoped. But the Radeon Vega 56 fans are louder, and the noise from all my components (Mini, Vega 56, drive enclosure) together is still quieter than my XBox 360.

3) Apple's otherwise excellent migration assistant had trouble with Apple Mail and Apple Music.
  • I spent hours(!) trying to get Apple Mail to accept my passwords. Turning off iCloud Keychain, rebooting, and then turning it on again seemed to help.
  • iTunes it kept saying I wasn't logged into Apple Music when I tried to play a song. Solved by deleting Apple Music's cache, then playing a song I'd never played before to make it re-check my credentials. (I suspect either one of these would have fixed it, but I did both.)