G5 1.8 for games and graphic card issue

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi!

i´m planning to buy a G5 1.8 ghz and I´m not sure about the graphic card. i will use the computer primary for playing games like ut2003, Halo and Doom3, RTCW and know that the graphic card is a important thing in my case, but which one?



I´m not a millionaire and I think that I don´t will be playing games in a resolution above 1024#700 ( or wathever it is) but I wan´t as much eye candy as possible and at a descent frame rate.



Do you think a would be fine with the radeon 9600 pro or should I go with the more expensive radeon 9800?



Will the 9800 make any difference in games when not playing in any very high resolutions compared to the 9600??



How well should a machine like this run games like those listed above?



What other addons should be bought to this computer for the ultimate mac gaming experience?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    At that resolution, it won't make a big difference which video card you get.

    If you go any higher though, the 9800 makes a big difference.

    There's an article on the differences that you can check out here:

    9600 vs. 9800
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pickensthlm

    Hi!

    i´m planning to buy a G5 1.8 ghz and I´m not sure about the graphic card. i will use the computer primary for playing games like ut2003, Halo and Doom3, RTCW and know that the graphic card is a important thing in my case, but which one?



    I´m not a millionaire and I think that I don´t will be playing games in a resolution above 1024#700 ( or wathever it is) but I wan´t as much eye candy as possible and at a descent frame rate.



    Do you think a would be fine with the radeon 9600 pro or should I go with the more expensive radeon 9800?



    Will the 9800 make any difference in games when not playing in any very high resolutions compared to the 9600??



    How well should a machine like this run games like those listed above?



    What other addons should be bought to this computer for the ultimate mac gaming experience?




    As stated above, the 9600 is probably a decent choice.



    If I were in your shoes, I would compare the benchmarks against the price of the cards. Buying the top of the line always hurts the wallet...
  • Reply 3 of 23
    The guys are right abbout the video card. At the resolution your playing the Radeon 9600 would probably do. If your playing at higher resolutions the 9800 would be the way to go. There is also a review of the Radeon 9800 on Inside Mac Games.



    The other add-on should be extra RAM. You'd want to have at least 2 x 512MB (all RAM has to be paired), and even better would be 2 x 1GB (you could also do 4 x 512MB, or 2 x 256 + 2 x 512MB).
  • Reply 4 of 23
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    My opinion is buy the 9600 now, but be prepared to get a newer card in a year. If you get the 9800 you'll probably still want a newer card in a year, so save the cash now. When Doom III comes out (six months?) it's going to need a top flight card.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    My opinion is buy the 9600 now, but be prepared to get a newer card in a year. If you get the 9800 you'll probably still want a newer card in a year, so save the cash now. When Doom III comes out (six months?) it's going to need a top flight card.



    Doom III and Half-Life 2 are a little crazy when it comes to graphics horsepower needed.



    There has been a lot of talk recently that ATI will be the only choice to play Half Life 2 at playable speeds with all graphic features turned on. The Nvidia cards are alleged to require using only DirectX 8 features in order to play smoothly.



    With the exception of the Radeon 9600 Powerbooks, the current iBook and 12" PB models are probably going to choke on Doom 3/Half Life 2. That said, I believe Half Life 2 is DirectX only architecture, so a rewrite of it for Mac sales would probably mean that the Devs would take into account that only OpenGL runs on Macs at this time.



    The more I read about the Radeon 9600, the more I hope that Apple chooses to include it in the 12" model. 12" Powerbook G5 with 512MB RAM + 64MB Radeon 9600 = lovin'.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I got the 9800 for my 2 GHz G5. Granted, I've also written OpenGL code and can appreciate the difference.



    The main reason I got the card was the increased VRam. I think Apple is going to push more and more through the GPU, and more VRam for compositing and rich media on big screens is a no brainer. Besides a more powerful card is a better companion to the monster CPU.



    The ADC discount also was nice.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    resres Posts: 711member
    I'd go with the 9800 pro, it should be powerful enough for any game that comes out in the near future. The 9600 might be able to handle the current games, but I would not count on it holding up much longer.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    My point was just that even the 9800 isn't going to be enough for the games coming out soon. So, rather than pay for a 9800 now, and then upgrade it when Doom III comes out, use the 9600 now to save the money and buy an after market card when the next big thing hits. I use Doom as an example because I don't know when HL2 is coming out, or if it'll ever be Mac compatible.



    Right now I think the 9600 and 9800 are equivalent. No current games really need them. But I also think that the next generation of games will be too much for either.



    It's just a guess, but I hope I'm making sense....
  • Reply 9 of 23
    What is the "ATI displays 3D/GL Overrides feature" that is not enabled in the 8X BTO 9800, but is in the retail 4X 9800 that the xlr8yourmac's article mentioned?



    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G5/Dual_g...800_tests.html



    Bunge, you seem to be putting the 9800 into an unenviable light. Overkill for anything you would need today but inadequate for the games of tomorrow. The 9800 is about the most ass kickingest card that has come out for the mac in a while and we get it the same time as our pc using friends do.



    The DoomIII beta was demoed with GF4 Ti's (if I recall correctly) and it did pretty well. I may be wrong, but I think some people are getting the built up idea that the current high end cards will be brought to their knees by DIII and HL2. If you want to save some money, get the 9600. It's a pretty good card. If you want the best game performance with room to grow, get the 9800.





  • Reply 10 of 23
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Just a question...does the Geforce FX 5200 unequivocally suck, or is that just an exaggeration?
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Isn't the 5200 just a glorified GF4mx?
  • Reply 12 of 23
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mattyj

    Isn't the 5200 just a glorified GF4mx?



    Yes, but was the Geforce 4 MX all that bad? (I know, it's in the iMacs, but...)
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Well then, in short, the 5200 is bad, actually terrible. Considering you can get the 9600 for little more, its a surprise there's a nVidia card in the Powermac lineup. In fact, I think it is only there because it is from nVidia, and Nvidia want/need one there, just to remind mac owners that they still exist.



    The radeon 9000 is nearly a match for a GeForc4 Ti in G4 powermacs, I should know, I have a Dual 1Ghz with a Ti and a single 1.25Ghz with a radeon 9000. Point is, the nVidia card is terrible compared to what's on offer and especially bad considering the computer it is put into... A G5 powermac, honestly, why didn't apple just put the 9600 in for the bottom two and the 9800 in the Dual 2ghz?
  • Reply 14 of 23
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    Yes, but was the Geforce 4 MX all that bad? (I know, it's in the iMacs, but...)



    The geforce 5200 is less powerfull than a radeon 9600 pro, but it's not crippled card like the geforce 4mx. Unlike the geforce 4 mx, the geforce 5200 belong to the fifth generation of geforce GPU, and support direct X9. The geforce 4 mx was not even able to support direct X 8.



    I will simply say that the geforce 5200 pro is a low end modern GPU from nvidia, at the contrary of the geforce 4 mx who was an hybrid of the geforce 2 and the geforce 4.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    I can see Bunge's point. Even the mighty 9800 Ati card may just get away with 60 fps -ish at 1000x700 on Doom 3/Half Life2.



    Check out the preview of Half Life 2 performance on the Ati 9800 Pro.



    www.firingsquad.com



    It does okay. Probably alot better than cards used to with next gen' games.



    The 9800 is already getting on...it won't be long until a 9900 or 10000 Ati card shows up. And it's probably these cards that will restore the comfort zone of 100 fps plus on games like Half Life 2/Doom 3 at the resolutions we've become accustomed to in recent years.



    Probably good idea to keep the 9600, not a bad card by any stretch of the imagination, play the current games fairly comfortably and then by the time Doom 3/Half Life 2 hit the Mac (by 2nd half 2004 ) then an awesome card and a dual G5 3 gigger will be there to greet them.



    Having said all that, if I was buying the dual 2 gigger tomorrow (which I'm not)...I'd want the 9800...



    ...but I can see Bunge's point.



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 16 of 23
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by opuscroakus

    What is the "ATI displays 3D/GL Overrides feature" that is not enabled in the 8X BTO 9800, but is in the retail 4X 9800 that the xlr8yourmac's article mentioned?



    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G5/Dual_g...800_tests.html



    Bunge, you seem to be putting the 9800 into an unenviable light. Overkill for anything you would need today but inadequate for the games of tomorrow. The 9800 is about the most ass kickingest card that has come out for the mac in a while and we get it the same time as our pc using friends do.



    The DoomIII beta was demoed with GF4 Ti's (if I recall correctly) and it did pretty well. I may be wrong, but I think some people are getting the built up idea that the current high end cards will be brought to their knees by DIII and HL2. If you want to save some money, get the 9600. It's a pretty good card. If you want the best game performance with room to grow, get the 9800.









    Okay, let's look at these games separately. I'm looking at the PC side of things, because that's where my experience lies.



    I had the opportunity to play Doom III in a very alpha form on my PC at home. The graphics were stunning, but the framerate was pretty choppy. We won't know more about Doom III performance until much closer to shipping, but to run it smoothly, you will need a pretty high end PC by today's standards. The ATI Radeon 9800 Pro might be a card that runs it well. I run a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 w/ 128 MB DDR.



    Half Life 2 is due for release in a couple of weeks, and it's one of the first games (if not THE first) to be a fully DirectX 9 game, complete with tons of eye candy. Only problem is that while it runs acceptably on the ATI cards, it absolutely chokes the Nvidia cards.



    Here's a link to Tom's Hardware, complete with preliminary benchmarks:



    http://www.tomshardware.com/business...911/index.html



    I have to state again that the ATI Radeon 9600 would be a good compromise card, it offers good performance for half the price. If cost isn't an issue, go buy the Radeon 9800 Pro.



    http://www.insidemacgames.com/reviews/view.php?ID=403
  • Reply 17 of 23
    The 9800 is an awesome card and significantly improves graphics performance... if you let it. The problem is that much of the time your bottleneck isn't the card, it is the CPU(s) or their memory bandwidth. Since vertex and fragment shaders aren't universally available yet, a lot of software doesn't take advantage of them which ignores a huge potential advantage of the 9800.



    I just upgraded from an 8500 to a 9800 in my MDD dual 1 GHz and ran some of Apple's small performance-oriented sample programs. These illustrate the situation nicely. They provide a polygon processing rate and 4-5 different modes of operation. In the modes where the CPUs are touching data, the difference from the 8500 to the 9800 was minor (5-20%). In the mode where the main memory was still being accessed but most work is done by the card the difference was closer to 50%... and in the mode where all the work is done by the card in one test it went from ~9 million tris/sec to ~45 million tris/sec. I probably don't have to tell you how I'm going to make my programs work.



    The fill rate test was interesting as well. It isn't really intended as a card benchmark, but it turns out that you can get some info out of it. In most "modes" the CPU is doing the image scaling and the result is ~500 MB/sec on both cards. In unscaled mode, however, QuickDraw uses the card's blitter. With the 8500 I was seeing ~2-3 GB/sec of memory bandwidth. On the 9800 I'm seeing >14 GB/sec.



    The upshot is that this card is spectacularly better than the lower end cards (> 2x performance), but that will only show up if you were limited by the performance of the slower card. Going forward with games like HL2 and DoomIII, the game developers are loading down the cards with more responsibility for the graphics, and the differences between the 8500, 9000, 9600, and 9800 will become much more evident. The 9800 will hold up just fine and you'll finally see its power relative to the others. Sure next year it'll likely be equivalent to the mid- or low- range card, but that's always the way of things in the computer biz. The 9800 is the card being targetting by these upcoming games.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    I think I read somewhere, on the pc side, Half life 2 might come bundled with the newest (soon to be released) Ati card.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ti Fighter

    I think I read somewhere, on the pc side, Half life 2 might come bundled with the newest (soon to be released) Ati card.



    http://www.gamespy.com/hardware/october03/radeon/



    There you go.



    I still say buy the cheaper card now and use the cash you save to upgrade later. The good news is you might find that the cheaper card is 'good enough' for longer than you expected and by the time you finally do upgrade the next best thing will be even one more generation further along.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Buying a 9800 with the machine now will be cheaper than buying a new video card later, plus you get the benefit of the top-of-the-line card right now. The next generation games will run very well on the 9800 -- that is in fact what they are targeted at.
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