IMG Archives
Archives  Reviews  DOOM 3  



Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.6    CPU: G4 @ 1500 MHz    RAM: 512 MB    Hard Disk: 2200 MB    Graphics: 64 MB VRAM

March 28, 2005 | Jonathan Lowrie

Click to enlarge
DOOM 3, created by id Software and brought to the Macintosh platform by Aspyr has quite the lineage behind it. DOOM was one of the original First Person Shooter (FPS) games, and certainly the one that put the genre on the map. DOOM 3 can chart back its beginnings to the likes of Quake I, II, and III, all titles known for their cutting-edge graphics and for upping the ante of gameplay and design in the genre. The folks at id know how to push the envelope of technology as well, as Doom 3 has some pretty steep hardware requirements in order to run with top rate frame rates and all the eye-candy turned on. I will cut to the chase and talk about performance and playability first.

DOOM 3 requires a CPU speed of 1.5 GHz or faster with a G4 or G5 chip and a 64 MB video card. Out of the box, the new G5 series of iMacs meets this, as do the G5 towers and most of the Aluminum series Powerbooks. Unfortunately, it eliminates from contention the iBook line, all eMacs, and even the new Mac mini from playing this game. With a game of this nature, it's best to maximize the frame rate (or in laymen's terms the number of pictures per second displayed on your screen at a time). It is typically accepted that humans view motion at 30 frames per second. With any amount of eye-candy or at the higher monitor resolutions, you will most definitely need the DOOM 3 minimum system requirements. For the hardcore gamer, you will want to maximize performance with a fast CPU, loads of system RAM, and the best GPU (graphics card) you can cram into your box. Even loaded, the current DOOM 3 Macintosh performance lags behind the PC world (for now). For the rest of the world who are not hardcore gamers and who want to play DOOM 3, I have good news. Even with high quality settings at the lower screen resolutions, DOOM 3 is playable with high frame rates for the upper-end systems. As for those who do not meet the minimums, DOOM 3 will install and play. Performance will vary by machine and circumstance, but the good news is that you can achieve 18 to 24 FPS on many older systems that do not meet the system requirements. DOOM 3 was meant to be played on a top-notch system because it's a beautiful title. If you needed another excuse to run out and max the credit card to pick up a new G5 system, DOOM 3 may just serve as that excuse.

To put it all in perspective, I can run DOOM 3 at 640x480 screen resolution and low quality settings on the following systems with a frame-rate of at least 22 frames per second: Powerbook Al 1.24 G4, 64 MB of video RAM; 1.25 single G4, Radeon 8600 with 64 MB video RAM. On a dual 2.0 GHz G5, with 1.5 GB of RAM, and a Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card, I got the following results using the timedemo feature: 640x480 low quality = 40.4 FPS; high quality = 28.25 FPS. 800x600 low = 32.0 FPS; high = 20.6 FPS. 1024x768 low = 20.4 FPS, high = 14.5 FPS. At all but the highest resolution, the game is very playable. At the highest of resolutions, the frame rate in the demo is slow, yet in many cases the gameplay was acceptable, while obviously slow at times.


Archives  Reviews  DOOM 3