Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:33 pm
|The PowerPC client at this point is most likely dying on 3/29/2012. It is no longer recommended to get a PowerPC Mac for EverQuest: Mac.
I am constantly seeing new threads about "Is this Mac good enough?" or "What cheap Mac can I buy that will run EQMac decently?", so here is the end all thread for those types of threads.
The official system requirements for EverQuest: Macintosh Edition are:
* G4 700 MHz
* OSX 10.2.4 or later
* 256 MB RAM
* 32 MB Geforce 2MX Open GL compatible card
* 2.5+ Gigs of free space
And the "Recommended Requirements" are:
* G4 800 MHz
* OSX 10.2.6
* 512 MB RAM
* 64 MB ATI or Geforce Open GL compatible card
* 3.0+ Gigs of free space
These requirements aren't totally correct. For example, there have been cases of people running EQMac on dual-core G4's running at 450 MHZ, well below the requirements just fine for none of the too intense gameplay. There have been cases of people running on G3 processors, but without the right video card they have no textures, which is fine if you want that particular Mac to be a trademule 24/7. Truthfully, though, I wouldn't recommend anything below the requirements.
Any Mac with lower than 1 GB of RAM isn't going to run the game that great, when it comes to Planes of Power and some Shards of Luclin content. You are going to have to set the settings way down if you are under 1 GB of RAM. The point where RAM isn't going to really matter anymore is anything above 2 GBs. If you have 2 GBs of RAM and trying to increase the frames per second of the game, upping the RAM isn't going to do anything unless you are running other programs alongside EQMac.
The recommended OS for EQMac isn't the latest one, Mac OS X 10.5, also known as Leopard. The reasons are simple. Leopard takes up a lot more RAM and CPU power than the previous OS X versions do. The best all around OS for PowerPC Macs that you have bought to just run EQMac would be Mac OS X 10.4, also known as Tiger, or Mac OS X 10.3, also known as Panther. These are very stable OSes, and don't take up a lot of system resources. However, you will only notice a difference in eqmac performance between Leopard and Tiger/Panther if you are running on hardware with limited RAM (768-1 GB) or a slower clocked G4 (700MHZ-1GHZ) Depending on which Mac you have, Tiger has been known to boost the performance of some graphics cards through better drivers, so that is something to look out for. Mac OS X 10.2, also known as Jaguar, can run EQMac, but please remember that Mac OS X had only been out for 2 years when Jaguar came out so Mac OS X wasn't fully fixed yet so had a couple bugs and problems.
If you have dial-up, please note that no matter how fast your new Mac is, your bottleneck will almost always certainly be your slow internet connection. Same with computers, you can have the fastest internet around, but if your computer is slow, your gameplay is going to be bottlenecked by your slow computer.
I wouldn't recommend any computer before the year 2002 for EQMac, and even then some of the computers that came out after the year 2001 couldn't run EQMac well enough for some people's standards.
Here is the list of all the computers that Apple has released after 2001 that will run EQMac just fine:
PowerMac G4, Apple's high-end desktop computer at one point. These will run EQMac just fine as they are highly expandable, and come with highly clocked G4 chips. The first PowerMac G4 computers aren't recommended as they have a high fatality rate, and their standard graphics card and processors aren't fast enough to enjoy the game's full content. If you go for a PowerMac G4, make sure it has atleast a 867-MHZ Processor, 1 GB of RAM (1.5-2 GB if you are running Leopard), and a NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 64MB of SDRAM, the 32 MB graphics card models aren't going to be sufficient enough when or if you hit high end raiding, or anything of that nature. So, in other words, the earliest PowerMac G4 you should go for is the PowerMac G4 "Quicksilver". Please note that you can also overclock the graphics card and processor of some G4 models, but I wouldn't do it unless I wanted to risk losing my Mac. You can usually find old PowerMac G4s on Craigslist, eBay, or in your local newspaper for fairly cheap, usually around 100-200 dollars, more for the faster models. Sometimes you can get lucky and find them cheaper. But then you must add in monitors, speakers, a keyboard, mouse, etc. so keep that in mind.
iMac G4 (Flat Panel), these resemble a lamp and have a built in screen. These were at one point Apple's consumer desktop computer, just like every other iMac model. The first iMac G4 models aren't recommended as the slow G4 bottleneck and early laptop-modeled graphics cards aren't going to do good for when you do high end raiding. If you go the iMac G4 route, it is going to be a little bit more expensive since the iMac G4 design raises the price a little bit more. I would recommend if you do go the iMac G4 route to get one with atleast a 1-GHZ processor, 1 GB of RAM (1.5-2GB if you are running Leopard), and a NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM for the graphics card. You may have to turn down the settings down a little bit when you hit the higher end Planes of Power content with the iMac G4s, but overall in any other content you shouldn't have to. You can find the recommended iMac G4 models on Craigslist, eBay, and your local newspaper as cheap as 200-250 dollars, occasionally cheaper.
Mac Mini, Apple's budget desktop computer, that utilizes laptop parts. The Mac Mini is one of Apple's newer PowerPC computers that was made before turning to Intel. In fact, there were only two models of Mac Minis that were made for PowerPC. Most PowerPC Mac Minis will run EQMac, but aren't recommended for their price because they have a RAM bottleneck of 1 GB, which is fine until you hit raiding, and their graphics card is only a Radeon 9200. There were only three PowerPC Mac Minis, a 1.25 GHZ model, a 1.42 GHZ model, and a very very brief existence of a 1.5 GHZ model. The PowerPC Mac Minis all come with a Radeon 9200 card, which is nothing impressive for EQMac, the problem comes with the amount of VRAM the card has. The 1.25 and 1.42 models only have 32 MBs of VRAM, and the 1.5 GHZ has 64 MBs. If you have your heart set out for a Mac Mini, even though there are better choices, and can't find a 1.5 GHZ model, it doesn't matter if you get the 1.25 GHZ model or 1.42 GHZ model, instead, spend the money on upgrading the RAM to the full 1 GB, and buying a faster hard drive for making the zone load times faster. If you can find a 1.5 GHZ model, do the same.
iMac G5, truthfully, any iMac G5 with atleast 1 GB of RAM (more if you run Leopard) should run EQMac just fine. You can find these on eBay, Craigslist, and your local Newspaper for anywhere around 300-500 dollars, which is more expensive, but the G5s are the fastest PowerPC Macs ever made, so you should be able to enjoy the game to it's full extent without lowering the graphics or settings down.
eMac, Apple's desktop computer with a built in monitor that was made for the education market but later came to the consumer market. These are very popular computers for EQMac as they are cheap, and built to last. If I was to buy an eMac for EQMac, I wouldn't go below a 1.25-GHZ model, those were the ones that had the ATI Radeon 9600 with 64 MBs of VRAM, a very respected card at the time. The previous models with the ATI Radeon 9200 with only 32 MBs of RAM are in the same boat as the previous Mac Minis, they will run EQMac, but with the settings lowered and don't expect miracles when it comes to raiding. I would up the RAM of the eMac to 1 GB (ram for the eMac is extremely cheap), and load up Mac OS X Tiger, as Tiger helped the drivers of the eMac's video cards. You can find fully loaded eMacs for as low as 150-200 on eBay, craigslist, or your local newspaper. The problem is, shipping is about 60 dollars, and not all eMacs came with DVD drives, which isn't needed if you are going to just run EQMac.
PowerMac G5, Apple's high end desktop at one point. Any PowerMac G5 with atleast 2 GBs of RAM should run EQMac just fine. You can usually find PowerMac G5s on craigslist, ebay, or your local newspaper ad for around 400-500 dollars. Just make sure you have a screen, keyboard, mouse, etc.
PowerBook G4, Apple's high end portable computer at one point. PowerBook G4's came in two ways, the earlier Titanium models, and later the Aluminum models. Not all PowerBook G4s are recommended. I would go for atleast an aluminum model, seeing as the Titanium PowerBooks are known to have many problems with their cases and overheating, and their specs aren't the greatest for the price. I would recommend a PowerBook with atleast a 1 GHZ Processor, with an ATI Radeon 9600 with 64 MBs of VRAM, and 1 GB of RAM (some models can only go up to 1 GB of RAM, others can go up to as much as 2). Decent PowerBooks can be found on ebay, craigslist, or your local newspaper for around 350-650 bucks. You pay a price for portability.
iBook G4, Apple's budget portable computer at one point. The only iBooks that will run the game to it's full extent decently are the last models, which have the 9550 with 32 MBs of VRAM. It only has 32 MBs of VRAM so you aren't going to be able to run the game at high resolutions, but the 9550 was a pretty decent laptop card for it's time so you can play with the settings raised. If you do go the iBook route, and the iBook doesn't already have the maxed amount of RAM (1.5 GBs), make sure you are good with taking apart and fixing up computers because upgrading the iBook G4 was one of the harder tasks. You can find iBook G4s of this type anywhere from 300-500 dollars.
Now, onto Intel Macs.
Any Intel Mac with atleast an Intel Core Duo (Not Core Solo) will run EQMac just fine with atleast 2 GBs of RAM. You may ask yourself, why does EQMac for Intel machines require more RAM than PowerPC machines? That is because EQMac was made for PowerPC machines, so in order for the program to run on Intel machine, it goes through an emulator known as Rosetta which sucks up system RAM. Even the Intel Macs that have the Graphics Accelerators, the GMA 950 or X3100, will run EQMac just fine as long as you have atleast 2 GBs of RAM. I am speaking from experience.
All of this is great, but, I still don't know what Mac is right for me!
The only way to truly find out what Mac is completely right for you is to make a list of your wants and needs, and pick the Mac accordingly.
If you are planning on buying a Mac just for EQMac, a PowerPC Mac is just fine. If you are planning on buying a Mac for more than EQMac, I would recommend an Intel Mac of some sort, as PowerPC Macs are being outdated quickly.
The best bang-for-buck Mac just for EQMac I would have to give to two models. The eMac, with the ATI Radeon 9600 64MB chip, sometimes I find these in the newspaper for as low as 50 bucks from schools that are dumping old computers. With 2 GBs of ram these things will blow EQMac out of the water, plus there is no need to buy a screen as the eMac's screen is very high quality. The other computer I am going to give best bang-for-buck for just EQMac is the PowerMac G4, these are a better deal than the eMacs IF you have a screen. These are extremely cheap and are pretty well built.
Okay, I just bought a Mac, but I want to upgrade the RAM, hard drive, or graphics card, where should I go?
My favorite place to buy Mac hardware upgrades is macsales.com. They have good customer support, they have well-named brands, and they ship very fast. They are also built strictly for Macs so you can find out what RAM your Mac accepts without research, which is great for Mac newbies. Other websites that people use are tigerdirect.com and newegg.com, but they aren't cheaper by much, and they don't have as good support as Macsales. If you are going to upgrade your graphics card, make sure you buy the Mac version of the card, there are ways to flash PC versions of cards and make them work in Mac OS X, but you need to be tech savvy to do this.
I hope this helps a lot of people, if you wish to sticky this, mods, go right ahead.
Any additional feedback is recommended.Since the PPC Client is most likely dying, ANY intel Mac with atleast a Core Duo Processor and 2 GBs of RAM will run the game well. A Mac with a Core Solo processor will run the game well until you hit raiding or other high-end content.
Dopwin Windpasser, 46 Druid.
Casmir Edinblood, 33 Shadowknight.
Last edited by TSE on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:49 am, edited 9 times in total.