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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

"BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"
Rob-ART, Main Mad Scientist (aka Dr. Frankenstein)
Bet-TAY, Special Features Edtior (aka Frau Blucher)

SHOOTOUT
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Mac Pro versus MacBook Pro

Originally posted April 4th, 2008, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Updated on April 29th, 2008, with improved netdemo file.

Aspyr has released a Mac version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (ETQW), built using id Software's revolutionary MegaTexture rendering technology.

In this latest iteration, we compare the two leading Mac graphics cards with each other running ETQW at High Quality in three different resolutions. (Note we tossed in the MacBook Pro on one graph.)

GRAPH LEGEND
MP 3.2 = Mac Pro "Harpertown" 8-core 3.2GHz
MBP 2.5 = Macbook Pro "Penryn" Core 2 Duo 2.6GHz
G8800 = GeForce 8800 GT (512M)
R2600 = Radeon HD 2600 XT (256M)

CONCLUSION
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (ETQW) is a demanding game in terms of both CPU and GPU. Like with other contemporary games, you'll want a fast graphics card for sure.

We are still investigating this but when we compared the 3.2GHz Octo-Core Mac Pro to the 2.8GHz Octo-Core Mac Pro -- both with a GeForce 8800 GT, the 3.2 ran 45% faster. We won't publish those numbers in a graph, though, until we are sure they are right.

The netdemo file we used is called "barefeats" -- our own 4897 frame creation with a mix of run/shoot and fly/shoot. We used High Quality settings for each run including Shadows enabled but no FSAA. Also, we turned off the FPS limits using these console commands:
com_unlockFPS 0
com_unlock_maxFPS 0

We verified that "r_useThreadedRenderer" was set to "2" which is the default for the Mac version since it only runs on multi-core Intel based systems. On the Mac Pro, we saw as much as 174% CPU usage during a netdemo run. It ran the benchmark 32% faster when Threaded Rendering was enabled versus disabled. So make sure your Intel Mac has this parameter set to "2."

NOTE: ENEMY TERRITORY IS AN INTEL-ONLY PRODUCT AND WILL NOT RUN PROPERLY ON IMAC G5 OR POWERMAC G5

IF I RUN ETQW under WINDOWS, will it run FASTER?
After updating the Windows version to 1.4, the same netdemo file works on both Windows Vista 64 and Max OS X. Here's a graph showing how the Windows version compares in performance to the Mac OS X version of ETQW. We used the GeForce 8800 GT in both cases:

The answer: The Windows version is faster, but the gap closes as the resolution goes up. We updated these graphs on April 30th when we learned that the Windows version launches with Threaded Renderer disabled. (The Mac version defaults to Threaded Renderer enabled.) In the results above, "r_useThreadedRenderer" was set to "2" or "enabled" for both Mac OS X and Windows versions. For more Windows 3D Game results, see our special page with four different games and six different graphics cards.)

RELATED LINKS

Bare Feats' 3D Game "Shoot 'em Up" on the 3.2GHz Harpertown Mac Pro.

Bare Feats runs PC games under Vista 64 on the 3.2GHz Mac Pro using Apple OEM GPUs and some "heavy duty" PC Only GPUs.

Bare Feats has a 3D Game shootout between various MacBook Pros.

Bare Feats hammers home the weakness of the GeForce 8800 GT when running Pro Apps like Motion 3.

WHERE TO BUY A MAC PRO or MACBOOK PRO
When ordering products from Apple Store USA, please click THIS TEXT LINK or any Apple display ad as your "portal" to the online store. In so doing, you help to support Bare Feats.

(DON'T LIVE in the USA? See links for Apple online stores in other countries.)

Also check with Small Dog Electronics and Power Max. (Power Max takes trade-ins.)

WHERE TO BUY GRAPHICS CARD UPGRADE KITS

You can order the GeForce 8800 GT kit from the Apple Store USA -- search on "MB137Z/A" to find it. The price is $349. BUT THIS ONLY WORKS ON THE "EARLY 2008" MAC PRO.

The Radeon HD 2600 XT kit will work on the older Mac Pros as well as the new one (thanks to having both a 32-bit and 64-bit EFI driver in the ROM). Search on "MB198Z/A" when you visit Apple Store USA ($149).

The Radeon X1900 XT kit is still available for the 2006/2007 Mac Pro. It goes for $399 (eek!). Search on "MA631Z/B" at the Apple Store USA. Don't confuse it with the RAdeon X1900 GT "G5 Edition" (model TL142LL/A) being sold for $349 -- unless you have a G5 tower with PCIe slots.

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2008 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster