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Monday, June 5, 2006
MacBooks And Gaming
7:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Much has been said about the recently released Boot Camp and its ability to allow Intel Mac users to boot into Windows XP, but is every new Mac up to the challenge of Windows gaming? A recent Macworld article examines the MacBook's gaming muscle, and finds that while the computer isn't suited for games laden with the latest in 3D graphics it can run some of yesterday's games without difficulty.

The article discusses a variety of titles including those based on the Quake 3 engine, and offers a frame rate comparison breakdown to show how well the MacBook stacks up against other Apple computers. A MacBook with 2 GB of RAM nearly doubled the framerate performance of an identical computer with only 512 MB.

Games based on the Quake 3 engine will work quite well, with or without Universal versions. I tested Jedi Knight II and Jedi Academy, and both were playable in Rosetta. Using betas of the Universal versions, both games were quite fast, easily outpacing my PowerBook. The Universal version of X-Plane works well, too, returning around 25fps at 1,024-by-768 resolution, with lots of nice visuals. Railroad Tycoon 3 (in Rosetta) seemed to play fine, though I didnít have the 200 hours necessary for a full test!

Going back before Quake3, thereís a new Universal version of Quake II that plays really wellónote that youíll need the full retail version of Quake II to use the Universal version.

As mentioned, anything demanding accelerated 3-D graphics is going to be out, even if the application is Universal. Beyond that, I found that Rosetta wasnít kind to many older games. Leading off in the unplayable category, Kelly Slaterís Pro Surfer under Rosetta was basically glacialóit might have been getting around two frames a second, even at 640-by-480 (thereís no frame rate display available). I had similar results with MTX Mototrax (Rosetta), though it was a bit faster, but still not playable.

The rest of the article can be read at the Macworld page listed below.

Macworld: MacBook Gaming, A Graphics Concern?
MacBook (13-inch)

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