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2ms
Oct 21, 2006, 12:03 AM
I just got a new 20" iMac tonight so I am brand new to the Mac world...

What first person shooter games are available for OSX? And, if there are several, do some of them run faster due to better optimization for Mac than others?

Mackilroy
Oct 21, 2006, 12:20 AM
I just got a new 20" iMac tonight so I am brand new to the Mac world...

What first person shooter games are available for OSX? And, if there are several, do some of them run faster due to better optimization for Mac than others?

Off the top of my head: Tremulous, Call of Duty 2, Doom 3, Quake 4, Close Combat: First to Fight, Halo: Combat Evolved, Alien Vs. Predator 2 and this is by no means a complete list. For more Mac games, please click this (http://www.apple.com/games/articles/) link.

As for games, unfortunately, they typically run better under Windows because the vast majority of games are written for DirectX and then ported to OpenGL, which means there is a corresponding slowdown. That's not to say the games won't run well or even spectacular, but if you're looking to play games a PC will always be better.

Counterfit
Oct 21, 2006, 12:30 AM
www.macgamefiles.com < free demos and updates
www.insidemacgames.com

2ms
Oct 21, 2006, 12:34 AM
Ok so if I get any Mac game it is completely compatible with Intel Mac? This is strange to me because when code getts compiled it is compiled for specific hardware and the powerpc has drastically different instruction set from intel. How is it that Mac games that were produced before the switch to intel could possibly run well on Intel machines? Does OSX do some translation in real time? If so, that has got to be real slow

Spaceman Spiff
Oct 21, 2006, 12:43 AM
Does OSX do some translation in real time? If so, that has got to be real slow

Yes, it's called Rosetta. And it's not that bad, usually the performance hit is (off the top of my head from benchmarks I've read, feel free to correct) around 20%. Halo runs fine under Rosetta on a Mac Pro.

You might check this list (http://guides.macrumors.com/Universal_Binary_Games) to find UB games and non-UB game's performance under Rosetta.

Eric5h5
Oct 21, 2006, 12:49 AM
Yes, it's called Rosetta. And it's not that bad, usually the performance hit is (off the top of my head from benchmarks I've read, feel free to correct) around 20%.

Unfortunately it's a quite a bit worse than that (at least 50%, although that's still good for on-the-fly translation), but many games are still playable. A few don't run, some do run but get terrible framerates, some work fine. Somewhat hit and miss, in other words. The reason it's generally usable is that the only thing that has to be emulated is the CPU--everything else is just passed on to the OS as usual. Compare that to something like VirtualPC where the whole system has to be emulated.

--Eric

2ms
Oct 21, 2006, 09:14 AM
have there been any signs yet of publishers switching to making games specific to Intel Mac?

TDM21
Oct 21, 2006, 09:46 AM
have there been any signs yet of publishers switching to making games specific to Intel Mac?

Not yet because there are still so many PPC users (myself included). However, devolpers are creating games that are Universal Binary. That means that it has been compiled for both PPC and Intel bundled into one application file. Games such as Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2 ship that way and other games like Doom 3 and Unreal Tournament 2004 have updates that make them Univeral Binaries. For now publishers will release games as UB and if they see the need, will release updates for older games. Some say that starting in 2007 we may start to see Intel only games, but that is still uncertain. If the game is UB then you don't have to worry about the Rosetta translation.

2ms
Oct 21, 2006, 10:37 AM
So is the only difference between UB games and Intel-specific that the former can't have optimizations for things like SSE and SSE2 or is it something worse like that it's only compiled for the lowest common denominator in every cpu area such as registers available etc?

Mackilroy
Oct 21, 2006, 12:17 PM
So is the only difference between UB games and Intel-specific that the former can't have optimizations for things like SSE and SSE2 or is it something worse like that it's only compiled for the lowest common denominator in every cpu area such as registers available etc?

Nope, that's not it. Intel-specific means it runs only on Intel. Universal Binary means it runs on both Intel and PowerPC. It doesn't mean that the game/application/whatever can't use any of SSE's various iterations.

Spaceman Spiff
Oct 21, 2006, 01:14 PM
have there been any signs yet of publishers switching to making games specific to Intel Mac?

I doubt that publishers will stop making games compatible with PowerPC Macs for a long time. It's hard to make a profit off of Mac games as it is without excluding a moderately large part of your intended audience.

TDM21
Oct 21, 2006, 02:39 PM
I doubt that publishers will stop making games compatible with PowerPC Macs for a long time. It's hard to make a profit off of Mac games as it is without excluding a moderately large part of your intended audience.

According to Glenda Adams (over Aspyr Media), they want to start shipping the first Intel only games in early 2007. Sad news for PPC users: http://insidemacgames.com/features/view.php?ID=477

Spaceman Spiff
Oct 21, 2006, 03:49 PM
According to Glenda Adams (over Aspyr Media), they want to start shipping the first Intel only games in early 2007. Sad news for PPC users: http://insidemacgames.com/features/view.php?ID=477

I'd understand this if the required specs become so high that the old non-updated PowerPC computers were too slow to run them, so the Intel's were the only option. But for games requiring specs that a PowerPC can fulfill, I don't see it making sense that they wouldn't make to PowerPC compatible.