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Monkey Island on Mac is terribly slow

posted by moebius on - last edited - Viewed by 619 users

hi,
I was pretty excited by the news you just released MI for Mac and, even if I've already played all the episodes on Boot Camp, I re-downloaded everything just to be able to play whenever I want without the need to reboot.
Although I was disappointed by how slow the game runs under Mac Os X, I'm aware I own a white MacBook 2.15ghz, 4gb ram, with a really slow graphic card (Intel GMA 950) but I had to lower the detail level to 1 and resolution to 640x480 to be barely able to play the game, and when I say barely it means it probably runs at 10-15 fps.
On the other side I was able to play MI with detail set to 3 and resolution set to 1280x800 under Boot Camp, in a pretty good way, probably around 20/25 fps.
I'm not complaining at all, I just wanted to give you my feedback and experience, maybe it's just a matter of optimization but a so big difference left me doubtful.

that's all, and as always keep up with the great work you're doing, I'll keep supporting you! :-)

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    Seg

    From what I understand, the problem is in the driver implementation on MacOS X with the GMA (Integrated Graphics) cards. A problem that can not be fixed by the game's software and thus likely won't be fixed by Apple who make the graphics drivers.

    Windows GMA drivers (and all Intel Integrated Graphics) allow for the acquisition of system RAM to use as VRAM (Video RAM). The card itself contains 64mb of dedicated VRAM, but the Windows drivers eat up system RAM to expand memory. You're not going to get the best performance ever by adding more RAM, but it helps out.

    The MacOS X GMA drivers do not expand the VRAM with system RAM. This makes the card fixed at 64mb with no adjustments. Thus on MacOS X, you get worse performance as the graphic drivers behave significantly different than the Windows graphic drivers. The card in MacOS will top out quicker than the same card on Windows, purely on drivers.

    Lame? Yes. Epically since there's nothing anyone can do about it. :/

  • Yeah, I'm having this same problem. Hopefully the other TT games will run better since they have MUCH lower system requirements than ToMI. But at least I still have Boot Camp to play these on which is honestly better than nothing.

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    Seg

    @Sonic9jct said: Yeah, I'm having this same problem. Hopefully the other TT games will run better since they have MUCH lower system requirements than ToMI. But at least I still have Boot Camp to play these on which is honestly better than nothing.


    As I said, the drivers for GMA cards are stunted beyond anything we can fix. They simply can't handle 3D graphics with much proficiency.

    We should have demos for each franchise when it's released, so you will be able to try out the game before you buy. I don't want people's hopes to be raised for GMA cards.

  • thanks for the detailed reply Seg, I know GMA 950 can't be considered a video card anymore, I just found weird the huge performance difference between Windows and Mac. When I tried the demo of the first MI chapter I thought my MacBook wouldn't have any chance of playing MI at all, luckily it's pretty playable on Boot Camp, so I bought the whole season (and I'll buy the following season of course ;) )

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    Kevin Telltale Staff

    Oddly enough, the GMA 950 is limited to 64MB of video memory when running MacOS, but the Windows drivers give it up to 225MB of video memory. So the game will actually run better under Windows in this case.

  • Is it confirmed that this is what causes the slowness? Or are we just (educated) guessing?

  • No, it's quite clear that the GMA is the cause of the slowness. It just doesn't have the graphical chops.

  • I'm talking about the reduced memory size difference in OS X versus Windows. I'm just wondering if that's confirmed (and therefore there's not much Telltale could do about it, at least not directly). If not, then I suppose it's still possible that there's something in the game that could change that might help the problem?

    Obviously the GMA has the graphical chops to run it as it game works on Windows. The problem given so far was the graphics RAM size difference in OS X (64MB) versus Windows (some amount more). I'm just wondering if we know that for sure.

    It seems weird that RAM size would cause performance difference like that - I thought the RAM mostly allowed higher-res (and more) textures to be stored?

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    Seg

    @Ripcord said: I'm talking about the reduced memory size difference in OS X versus Windows.


    Confirmed. Do not pass go; Nor collect $200. The graphic card simply doesn't allow for more than 64mb of VRAM, even to fake it.

    Yes it's lame, but it's a driver limitation. Nothing we can do over here. :(

  • @Seg said: Confirmed. Do not pass go; Nor collect $200. The graphic card simply doesn't allow for more than 64mb of VRAM, even to fake it.

    Yes it's lame, but it's a driver limitation. Nothing we can do over here. :(

    Guys. YOU'RE NOT READING WHAT I'M SAYING.

    The question is - is the reduced memory size *the reason why the game runs slow on OS X*. Nobody has debated that the memory size is lower in OS X.

    I just want to make sure someone at Telltale has found a direct relationship between the two, and we're not just jumping to conclusions because it SOUNDS like a likely cause. It does sound like a likely cause. Are we sure it's THE cause?

    One reason I'm just a little skeptical, like I said before, is that I don't see the direct relationship between 64MB VRAM and such awful performance. And even if there was a connection, it seems like lowering texture detail or something would avoid the problem (which I assume would be some sort of VRAM "swapping" or something)?

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