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Dark Void
Jul 13, 2011, 01:17 PM
Hi,

I may be dual-booting my Mac soon, and have been wondering about performance in OSX vs. Win 7 anyway, even if I decide not to.

My main reason for dual-booting would be to play games that OS X does not support, but if I am doing so, which partition should I install games on that can run on either operating system? I may play WoW again casually or fire up Left 4 Dead, games that support both Mac OS X and Windows 7. I ran WoW on OS X before and the performance was very good, but I have heard that you can get even better performance in OS X games on your Mac that can also be ran in Windows 7 under a bootcamp partition.

Would it be better to run these games on OS X natively or in a bootcamp Windows 7 partition? Would I see better performance or frames in one or the other?



Dagless
Jul 13, 2011, 01:49 PM
The L4D series runs a lot better on Windows than OSX, Portal 2 is around equal. Most games generally do run loads better on Windows, there's also a larger selection of titles.

Dark Void
Jul 13, 2011, 02:53 PM
Sounds good, so basically if I dual boot then all of my game installs will go on the Windows partition.

Is the performance difference pretty considerable? I am sure it depends on the game, but is there some sort of average frame rate difference between games ran on OSX vs. games ran on Windows 7?

Dagless
Jul 13, 2011, 04:47 PM
Sounds good, so basically if I dual boot then all of my game installs will go on the Windows partition.

Is the performance difference pretty considerable? I am sure it depends on the game, but is there some sort of average frame rate difference between games ran on OSX vs. games ran on Windows 7?

Portal 2 is the only title to have a parity between OSX and Windows. Everything else is on a scale from downright unplayable (mostly Cider ports) to "well I could turn down some settings to get 60fps".

It's probably also worth noting that if a GPU under Windows gets max performance and doesn't break a sweat, whereas it does under OSX, then the Windows side will run cooler and theoretically last longer. Not a big deal but if you buy a machine to last (like me) then it does make the option to dual boot for games a little more worthwhile.

Dark Void
Jul 13, 2011, 06:22 PM
Portal 2 is the only title to have a parity between OSX and Windows. Everything else is on a scale from downright unplayable (mostly Cider ports) to "well I could turn down some settings to get 60fps".

It's probably also worth noting that if a GPU under Windows gets max performance and doesn't break a sweat, whereas it does under OSX, then the Windows side will run cooler and theoretically last longer. Not a big deal but if you buy a machine to last (like me) then it does make the option to dual boot for games a little more worthwhile.

I plan on playing maybe a few MMOs and maybe some single players when I am bored. Most of them are Windows only titles, but a few of them could be ran in OS X, but I'm just going to dedicate my entire OS X partition to stuff other than games. The games I will be playing aren't going to be too intensive at all. WoW would probably be the most intensive given the combat situations and I used to have that installed on OS X and I had my FPS capped at 67 for consistency, but if I took the cap off I could hit 80-110, and I mean, for my little 13'' MBP with an integrated chip and shared vram, I thought that was pretty wild.

Thanks a lot for your help. I will certainly be installing all games on Win 7.

theQman
Jul 13, 2011, 08:03 PM
If you have the option to dual boot, dual boot.

With a few exceptions, windows gaming performance definitely beats OS X gaming performance.

WoW plays well on OS X, but pretty much everything else I played (TF2, Starcraft 2, and so on) I would switch to Win7.

hrafnaass
Jul 13, 2011, 08:14 PM
I plan on playing maybe a few MMOs and maybe some single players when I am bored. Most of them are Windows only titles, but a few of them could be ran in OS X, but I'm just going to dedicate my entire OS X partition to stuff other than games. The games I will be playing aren't going to be too intensive at all. WoW would probably be the most intensive given the combat situations and I used to have that installed on OS X and I had my FPS capped at 67 for consistency, but if I took the cap off I could hit 80-110, and I mean, for my little 13'' MBP with an integrated chip and shared vram, I thought that was pretty wild.

Thanks a lot for your help. I will certainly be installing all games on Win 7.

What settings and resolution are you running WoW on to get 67 FPS? I have a 15" MBP (setup in signature), and I generally get 15-30 FPS. 60 FPS only if I'm standing still in a deserted zone, but in Raids it's more like 0-15 FPS :S

Admittedly I'm using the 24" external screen, but I have to reduce most settings to "low" (a few I can keep at "fair", or have to so I know I'm not standing in something), and I also need to reduce the resolution for the game to be playable.

Also admittedly I've not tried WoW on my Win7 partition, as I hate Windows and WoW is mostly the only game I play. Still, I remember having FPS issues in WoW on a HP Pavillion I had with similar hardware (except not an M GFX chip... was a Sapphire Radeon 4850 iirc).

Dark Void
Jul 13, 2011, 08:42 PM
I played on the native 1280x800 resolution (still widescreen so plenty of room for UI) and most of my settings were on low/fair with view distance on good if I recall correctly. I also played in Windowed mode because it was easier for me to multitask that way (look something up on Wiki, etc).

I'm quite sure I had everything on about fair with the major settings on low (water, shadows) and no AA. The view distance was the most important to me, I had that on good I believe. With these settings in a windowed 1280x800 resolution I was getting 67 consistently, capped at that number. It never dipped below 67 during quests or duels, and it only dipped down to 35-45 in battlegrounds or raids. If I took it off of the cap (in advanced settings) I would get jumps between 70 all the way up to 110-ish, and I found that 67 was the highest number I could get it to during most of the gameplay without it dipping at all. It was really smooth and I'm not even sure if I expected it to run so well.

Major locations (SW, etc), battlegrounds, or raids were the only things that caused it to go below the 67 range, putting it at around 35-45 as stated.

hrafnaass
Jul 13, 2011, 09:12 PM
I played on the native 1280x800 resolution (still widescreen so plenty of room for UI) and most of my settings were on low/fair with view distance on good if I recall correctly. I also played in Windowed mode because it was easier for me to multitask that way (look something up on Wiki, etc).

I'm quite sure I had everything on about fair with the major settings on low (water, shadows) and no AA. The view distance was the most important to me, I had that on good I believe. With these settings in a windowed 1280x800 resolution I was getting 67 consistently, capped at that number. It never dipped below 67 during quests or duels, and it only dipped down to 35-45 in battlegrounds or raids. If I took it off of the cap (in advanced settings) I would get jumps between 70 all the way up to 110-ish, and I found that 67 was the highest number I could get it to during most of the gameplay without it dipping at all. It was really smooth and I'm not even sure if I expected it to run so well.

Major locations (SW, etc), battlegrounds, or raids were the only things that caused it to go below the 67 range, putting it at around 35-45 as stated.

Cheers! Now for much experimentation :D *rubs hands*

Back to the original subject, I've also had issues with SC2. iirc there were 2 reasons for SC2 not running at full potential in OSX. First was a needed firmware update from Apple, which Apple provided within a week of SC2 release, and the second was some changes needed in the game client to be done by Blizzard. Afaik, they haven't gotten around to it yet (and the game's been out a year now). Soon™

I've personally had pretty similar performance with Valve games in OSX compared with Windows. The general rule of thumb would be "Was the game specifically designed to run on OSX, or was it ported?" Blizzard, Valve and Bioware would be the main development companies who like to develop for both platforms simultaneously (and Bioware only occasionally).

Dark Void
Jul 13, 2011, 09:35 PM
Support for OS X platform games is basically why I quit WoW. I believe it was Patch 4.1 (first major content patch after Cataclysm) that basically made the game unplayable for me. I was getting constant crashes and was forced to shut down via the power button multiple times, and I just decided to quit the game altogether after trying to get it to run properly after a few days of utilizing all of the suggestions from the support team, forums, and other users. It seemed that a lot of players running an OS X client went through the same thing - and the only thing that was offered were general fixes like "reset your SMC" or "move your Interface folder to the desktop." It was just foolish.

Anyway, rant over. Good luck with tweaking yours settings, I am sure you'll see pretty good frame rates.

Young Spade
Jul 15, 2011, 01:19 AM
It's funny, I posted the exact same thread about a week ago and got the same answers.

*Points at search button*

Anyway, you'll get better performance when running in Bootcamp on Windows 7. I'm planning on getting the machine, starting a partition, and giving it... 50 gigs of storage. That's enough to put an ample number of games on there and play them as I like; you can always uninstall and backup when you're done playing them... that is if you don't have the CD or install to the HD anyway.

BornAgainMac
Jul 15, 2011, 06:40 AM
I experimented with running Crysis on a Parallels virtual and it ran good enough on my iMac that I decided not stop using Bootcamp. I try to stick with native Mac games over Windows when possible though because I feel at home with my Mac environment. Bootcamp for gaming is best with Windows 7.

Dark Void
Jul 15, 2011, 08:04 AM
It's funny, I posted the exact same thread about a week ago and got the same answers.

*Points at search button*

k :/

Anyway, you'll get better performance when running in Bootcamp on Windows 7. I'm planning on getting the machine, starting a partition, and giving it... 50 gigs of storage. That's enough to put an ample number of games on there and play them as I like; you can always uninstall and backup when you're done playing them... that is if you don't have the CD or install to the HD anyway.

I think I'm going for a 180 GB Partition or something around there.

Sol
Jul 19, 2011, 12:47 AM
I experimented with running Crysis on a Parallels virtual and it ran good enough on my iMac that I decided not stop using Bootcamp. I try to stick with native Mac games over Windows when possible though because I feel at home with my Mac environment. Bootcamp for gaming is best with Windows 7.

Have you ever compared a game running natively on OS X and the same game for windows running on Parralels? It would be interesting to know if the Windows version is still faster than the native OS X version.

Not that it really matters. I'll gladly trade negligible graphics performance to stay in the OS X environment.

Heilage
Jul 19, 2011, 01:31 AM
I don't ever play my games in OS X, even Portal 2, that reportedly runs equally under OS X and Windows, was crap on OS X and playable without issue on Windows 7. I don't game on my laptop too often, so I don't mind dual-booting when I do.

edddeduck
Jul 19, 2011, 04:38 AM
Have you ever compared a game running natively on OS X and the same game for windows running on Parralels? It would be interesting to know if the Windows version is still faster than the native OS X version.

Not that it really matters. I'll gladly trade negligible graphics performance to stay in the OS X environment.

Parallels is always slower than the PC version in Windows or a Mac port due to how it works.

Edwin

Huntn
Jul 19, 2011, 10:18 AM
There was a time before the days of intel Macs that the Windows game would play at twice the frames over the Mac version. I proved it on my 1.8GB Dual G5 and a 3.0 PIII where Unreal Tournament played at about 40 fps on the Mac (Mac version) and the Windows played at 80+ fps. With intel Macs, I believe this disparity has lessened greatly and when you boot into Windows you have a fully compatible Windows machine.

If the game is ported to Mac and has decent performance (approx 30 fps), I'm going to be playing it natively. I avoid Windows like the plague when I can. A good example of when Windows should be considered is if you are playing an online game like WoW and in the raid environment find that your performance is lagging/barely playable under the Mac version. While I would not say in every case the Windows version would play better, I would install the Windows version and compare. My impression is that new MacBookPros are very competitive from a hardware standpoint.

Dark Void
Jul 19, 2011, 10:34 AM
I have decided to dual-boot, while it may be a toss up in some cases (specific titles), there are still titles that are for Windows only that I would like to load up.

CANEHDN
Jul 19, 2011, 01:42 PM
I noticed almost double the frames and much smoother game play, in Starcraft 2, when booting into Windows.

hrafnaass
Jul 19, 2011, 04:57 PM
Blizzard are working on the various porformance issues for the Mac version of SC2. One thing I've noticed about Mac versions of games is that shadows aren't that well supported, and contribute heavily towards FPS issues. I generally put shadow settings to "low" when playing SC2 or WoW in OSX.

mark28
Jul 19, 2011, 06:12 PM
On my 2010 MBP in OS X, SC2 runs on high settings in 4v4 games at 35 fps at a resolution of 1680 x 1050 which is good enough for me.

Maybe you can run it on Ultra in Windows in 4v4 games, but high looks good enough for me, so I won't be bothered installing bootcamp to run it on Ultra in multiplayer games.

Likewise, WoW runs good enough in OS X.

My advice is, run the games in OS X :D

Dark Void
Jul 19, 2011, 06:20 PM
I really enjoyed my WoW experience on OS X, the results were wild even on the integrated chip.

wordoflife
Jul 19, 2011, 10:47 PM
I have a general question about this ...

Does bootcamping windows affect OS X?
Reason I ask is because I know the way OS X handles files, it doesn't need to be defragmented. But Windows needs to be defragmented every so often.

Anyone have an idea on performance under OS X w/ BC?

Young Spade
Jul 19, 2011, 11:42 PM
I have a general question about this ...

Does bootcamping windows affect OS X?
Reason I ask is because I know the way OS X handles files, it doesn't need to be defragmented. But Windows needs to be defragmented every so often.

Anyone have an idea on performance under OS X w/ BC?

No. You wont see any negative performance on your OS X partition.

Huntn
Jul 19, 2011, 11:56 PM
I have a general question about this ...

Does bootcamping windows affect OS X?
Reason I ask is because I know the way OS X handles files, it doesn't need to be defragmented. But Windows needs to be defragmented every so often.

Anyone have an idea on performance under OS X w/ BC?

Your dealing with two complete and separate partitions so I think Windows keeps to itself, although I do see the Mac partition when running Windows and have wondered if I could tell Windows to say defragment the MacOS partition (not going to try it) or some kind of rogue strain could jump to the Mac partition. My impression though is that a Windows virus would not function on the MacOS unless it was written to be a dual system virus. Is it possible? Has it ever happened? I don't know.

Young Spade
Jul 20, 2011, 12:46 AM
Your dealing with two complete and separate partitions so I think Windows keeps to itself, although I do see the Mac partition when running Windows and have wondered if I could tell Windows to say defragment the MacOS partition (not going to try it) or some kind of rogue strain could jump to the Mac partition. My impression though is that a Windows virus would not function on the MacOS unless it was written to be a dual system virus. Is it possible? Has it ever happened? I don't know.

Don't know about the possible (It's a computer, it's definitely possible) but it has never happened. I mean, that would require the "program" to know that it's on a partitioned disk... and the whole point of partitioning is to completely (well not completely) separate the drive into multiple, separate parts.