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Macbook for gaming?


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#21 bobbob

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:05 PM

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You are facing some hard realities when you buy a computer with integrated graphics

ATI's 780g chipset's integrated graphics are looking OK. It can use dedicated memory (it has its own memory controller and its own RAM can be soldered onto the motherboard), and even with system memory it performs only a little worse than a separate Radeon 3450. It's something like 5-10x faster and uses less power than Intel's newfangled G35, which is the desktop version of the latest in a long line of Intel's best integrated graphics chipsets. Apple sure knows how to pick 'em.

http://techreport.co...icles.x/14261/8

#22 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:41 PM

View PostQuicksilver, on March 9th 2008, 10:05 PM, said:

but if that's true, I can guarantee that it looks worse than Lindsay Lohan without makeup.
She's wearing make up in that photo :huh:

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#23 rhiamom

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 05:28 AM

If you want to play 3D games on a Macbook, you're going to have to up the ram to 4 meg AND play the Windows version using Boot Camp. There is simply no way to get acceptable graphics performance from a Macbook running OS X unless you like all settings on low, with freezing and lagging. Interestingly, Tiberium Wars specifies that the GMA 950 is not supported in the Mac specs, but lists the GMA 900 as the minimum on the Windows specs. This is the result of being able to use Direct X. The GMA 3100 may give adequate performance under Windows. I wouldn't risk it myself.

Get the best computer you can find for gaming, even if it costs more than you can comfortably afford. A PC gives you the ability to upgrade components, but with a Mac (unless it's a Mac Pro) you are stuck.

#24 QuantaCat

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:25 AM

Even with a mac pro, you're stuck in some ways.
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#25 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:39 AM

View Postbobbob, on March 10th 2008, 12:05 AM, said:

ATI's 780g chipset's integrated graphics are looking OK. It can use dedicated memory (it has its own memory controller and its own RAM can be soldered onto the motherboard), and even with system memory it performs only a little worse than a separate Radeon 3450. It's something like 5-10x faster and uses less power than Intel's newfangled G35, which is the desktop version of the latest in a long line of Intel's best integrated graphics chipsets. Apple sure knows how to pick 'em.

http://techreport.co...icles.x/14261/8

Hmm. Too bad for Mac users that Apple is most likely picking Intel chips because of getting a better deal and hence larger profit margins. Hence, not likely to switch any time soon.

View Postrhiamom, on March 10th 2008, 07:28 AM, said:

If you want to play 3D games on a Macbook, you're going to have to up the ram to 4 meg AND play the Windows version using Boot Camp. There is simply no way to get acceptable graphics performance from a Macbook running OS X unless you like all settings on low, with freezing and lagging. Interestingly, Tiberium Wars specifies that the GMA 950 is not supported in the Mac specs, but lists the GMA 900 as the minimum on the Windows specs. This is the result of being able to use Direct X. The GMA 3100 may give adequate performance under Windows. I wouldn't risk it myself.

Get the best computer you can find for gaming, even if it costs more than you can comfortably afford. A PC gives you the ability to upgrade components, but with a Mac (unless it's a Mac Pro) you are stuck.

Direct X isn't so much the issue. 4GB of RAM is also not going to make any difference whatsoever with the weak GPU. It will help run the game in other ways, but only if the game needs more than the 2GB that most games are comfortable with right now.
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#26 rhiamom

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 10:06 AM

View Postnobody, on March 10th 2008, 09:39 AM, said:

Hmm. Too bad for Mac users that Apple is most likely picking Intel chips because of getting a better deal and hence larger profit margins. Hence, not likely to switch any time soon.
Direct X isn't so much the issue. 4GB of RAM is also not going to make any difference whatsoever with the weak GPU. It will help run the game in other ways, but only if the game needs more than the 2GB that most games are comfortable with right now.

True, but part of that 2 gig will be used by the integrated graphics, leaving less for the game.

If you have a really old video card that isn't T&L capable it will offload that part of the graphics processing onto the CPU, and a bit more ram will help there with reducing memory paging as the CPU switches from one task to another. A faster processor would be better, obviously, but if you can't get a better videocard the odds of getting a better CPU are similarly slim. Maxing the ram is all you can do to help. One less bottleneck in a minefield of bottlenecks. What are the odds of a Mac having lame graphics without also being saddled with a slow processor?  :nods:

#27 Quicksilver

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 11:15 AM

View Postnobody, on March 10th 2008, 09:39 AM, said:

Hmm. Too bad for Mac users that Apple is most likely picking Intel chips because of getting a better deal and hence larger profit margins. Hence, not likely to switch any time soon.

No, they pick Intel parts because they're better.  By choosing Intel CPUs, they can't use AMD's integrated graphics.  In any event, integrated graphics isn't the solution, no matter which manufacturer they choose.  The only right decision is to include a dedicated GPU.
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#28 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 04:45 PM

View Postgamer48, on March 8th 2008, 05:36 PM, said:

Is it worth paying the extra $400 for the black MacBook

The black macbook doesn't give you any performance benefits at all over the white macbook, as long as you configure the white one with the same stuff and when you do its about $100 cheaper. The only benefit to the black macbook is the colour


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#29 Quicksilver

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 04:50 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on March 10th 2008, 05:45 PM, said:

The only benefit to the black macbook is the colour

Yep.  When I worked at an Apple Store in the Chicago area, everyone used to call it the "reverse discrimination tax."
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#30 bobbob

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:40 PM

Quote

integrated graphics isn't the solution, no matter which manufacturer they choose
In the low-end there's obviously a market for people who don't want anything more. It's also here that AMD's processors and chipsets are cheaper, and might just be better overall. If Apple were to use AMD for their Mini's and MacBooks, they could make a product that's much better for gaming even if it's still low-end and without raising costs.

#31 Quicksilver

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 11:34 PM

You missed my point.  Whether Apple chooses Intel or AMD, it's a mistake--integrated graphics aren't capable of rendering anything that looks compelling (the results that you get are 1999-ish).  The price of a low-end part like the 8400M GT is probably about $25, and it kicks the snot out of everything integrated.
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#32 bobbob

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:17 AM

View PostQuicksilver, on March 10th 2008, 10:34 PM, said:

the results that you get are 1999-ish
CoD 4 at 24fps is 1999-ish? Please. It's at least playable, which Intel has a bit of a problem with.

#33 Quicksilver

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:45 AM

View Postbobbob, on March 11th 2008, 12:17 AM, said:

CoD 4 at 24fps is 1999-ish? Please. It's at least playable, which Intel has a bit of a problem with.

CoD 4 on lowest quality is 1999-ish. If you recall 1999 was the year that Quake 3 Arena came out, and after actually trying those settings, I can say that CoD4 looks like Q3A on medium.  I was getting peak framerates between 175-350 fps, although the game limited me to 91.
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#34 Huntn

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:27 AM

View Postrhiamom, on March 10th 2008, 11:06 AM, said:

True, but part of that 2 gig will be used by the integrated graphics, leaving less for the game.

If you have a really old video card that isn't T&L capable it will offload that part of the graphics processing onto the CPU, and a bit more ram will help there with reducing memory paging as the CPU switches from one task to another. A faster processor would be better, obviously, but if you can't get a better videocard the odds of getting a better CPU are similarly slim. Maxing the ram is all you can do to help. One less bottleneck in a minefield of bottlenecks. What are the odds of a Mac having lame graphics without also being saddled with a slow processor?  :nods:

I may be all wet but my impression is the real problem with integrated graphics is more the lack of 3D support, like shaders, than it is the shared RAM.

#35 Silver Samurai

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:13 AM

You can game, but don't expect much.
I use my console  games usually, but I don't play anything past SimCity4 and NWN.
For sure though play in BootCamp.
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#36 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:13 PM

I tried call of duty 4 on low settings... the people look like boxes until they move close to you  :blush:

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#37 bobbob

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:51 PM

View PostHuntn, on March 11th 2008, 07:27 AM, said:

I may be all wet but my impression is the real problem with integrated graphics is more the lack of 3D support, like shaders, than it is the shared RAM.
?
Most are actually the same chip architecture as the dedicated cards, just lower-clocked and with less units. Intel's latest have added more and more hardware features to match the competition, too. The only problem the competition has is that they're a bit slower than the cheapo dedicated cards, while Apple's only problem is that Intel sucks.

#38 QuantaCat

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:36 AM

Is it just me, or are you on a crusade against current gen macbooks, quicksilver?


Most people I know that own macbooks, don't have it for gaming. So why do you care? There is a laptop with a better graphic card, so it's not that they're completely dumbing down. Or do you think the price range is too stupid? (ie. that they should make all components interchangeable, like 11" macbook, with a 8600m?) because if you don't, then I can't find a *logical* reason for you to hate them so much.
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#39 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:19 AM

What makes you think he hates the macbook?

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#40 teflon

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:24 AM

View PostAussieMacGamer, on March 12th 2008, 05:13 AM, said:

I tried call of duty 4 on low settings... the people look like boxes until they move close to you  :blush:

its the ultimate in camouflage, every thing else is a box too! aaaah!!! warehouse warfare!!!
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