January 17, 2019
Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)  

Manufacturer: Apple

PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)
June 8, 2004 | Johan Hansťn

Halo is largly GPU bound, so this is basically a comparison between two graphics cards, the Radeon 9700 Mobility in the PowerBook, and the Radeon 9000 Pro in my MDD Dual 867MHz G4 tower. Both cards have 64MB VRAM, so the test is on the pure power of the cards, and not the amount of memory. Unlike the 9000 Pro, the 9700 Mobility has the option to enable Pixel shaders. When doing so in the benchmark (the standard timedemo accessed from the startup dialogue window in Halo), Iíve let all extra options available thanks to the pixel shaders remain disabled (detail objects, specular and shadows). All other settings are set at their highest value, besides the lens flares that are set to medium since they affect the performance in Halo drastically.


The MDD doesnít really stand a chance. The Radeon 9000 Pro canít handle vertex shaders at higher resolutions without getting a drastic performance drop. The 9700 Mobility, on the other hand, handles vertex shaders better than no shaders at all. Unfortunately the mobility card shows the same syndrome with pixel shaders as the 9000 does with vertex shaders. The performance drop is huge, and unless you want to play the game at 640x480, which looks rather bad scaled up to fit the PowerBook screen, pixel shaders are best turned off. Itís a shame since the game looks amazing with the pixel shaders turned on.


When launching Halo, you have the option to turn on anti-aliasing to smooth the jaggedness out of the game. This is usually pretty demanding on the graphics card, but as you can see here, the 9700 handles this excellent. The 5 sample and 9 sample anti-aliasing are both faster than the 4 sample method in most resolutions. This would probably come from use of different AA rendering techniques.


Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)