Gaming on X Needs Work


OK, so like a good soldier I actually wait and pay for games as support for OS X and its developers. Too bad the performance still sucks donkey.

Case in point--I just bought Giants:Citizen Kabuto, which the Omni Group ported to X exclusively (won't play under 9). I'm running a G4 450 with a Rage II Pro. Not the greatest box on the planet by today's standards, but no slouch either. You'd think it could play a game that doesn't exactly stretch the boundaries of gaming technology. But you'd be wrong.

I had to turn off every single cool option to get smooth performance. The polygon count is down to absurdity, no shadows, no sun rays, no good stuff. It doesn't look completely terrible, but it's a mile off how it looks with the options on. It's just not playable otherwise.

So, here's my point to Apple and its developers: quit bragging about how OpenGL is so freaking fast and how now it's 20% faster in 10.1. 20% faster than what? "Intrpducing Apple's new molasses, it's 20% faster than our old molasses." How come Unreal runs smooth as glass on the same machine and adequately on my lowly iMac, but Apple's own Finder is still sloth speed (resize) and a game that is no more demanding than Tomb Raider (also smooth as glass) doesn't run well on a very solid machine? (Man, that sentence sucked).

I know, I know, Apple sells hardware, they want us to buy more boxes, Omni Group claims faster than PC performance on a DP G4 500, blah blah freaking blah. Here's a clue, I'm not dropping $2,500 to play a game that should play just fine on my current box. I would instead buy an $800 PC that will play it flawlessly.

As ironic as it sounds, Apple has to take this games thing more seriously.
OpenGL works great on OS X. But it needs a decent card to do the work.

The problem is your Rage128 Pro (which is what I think you meant to say because no G4 ever shipped with a Rage II) was a weak card when it was introduced almost 3 years ago on the Mac. Most PC games are written with the PC market in mind, where the minimum graphics card for a gamer is at least a 32MB GeForce2 MX. When they get ported to the Mac where the graphics cards are about a year behind what was being used on the PC, Mac users feel short changed.

My advice - if you want to do gaming on your Mac, either buy a PC GeForce2MX card and Flash it to work with your Mac (instructions on, or buy a Radeon. Both will give you very good OpenGL performance.

I agree that Apple needs to take gaming more seriously. The one area that would improve this is better graphics cards. It not only affects gaming, but 3D design. OS X is proving to be a great platform for 3D creation (Lightwave, Maya, Cinema4D, EI Universe), but the absolute best graphics card you can get for a Mac right now is the GeForce3, which is very good, but nothing like a 3DLabs Oxygen card.
I absolutely agree. It's not your CPU... it's your graphics chipset. For crying out loud, what on earth are you thinking playing Giants with a rage 128!!?? You need at the very minimum a Radeon.