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Old May 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #1
Luba
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How much better is Steam on Windows vs. Mac?

I am thinking of Boot Camping Windows 8 on a partition I created on one my HDD. I know Valve's Steam is available on the Mac, but I hear the offerings for Steam on Windows is better. How much better?
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:32 PM   #2
PatrickCocoa
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Much, much, better

Many people can game natively on the Macintosh and live full and complete lives. I was one such until earlier this year (2013). Gaming on the Macintosh (via Steam or the Mac App Store or purchasing games independent of those two methods) is a subset of gaming on Windows. If you're comfortable with that subset of games, then go ahead with the Mac version of Steam.

However, there are many games not available on the Macintosh. If you want to play those games, either bootcamp or build your own Windows gaming rig. The games I'm currently playing on Windows Steam that are not available on the Mac are Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Grand Ages: Rome, Grand Theft Auto, Imperium Romanum: Gold, and Medieval II.

The types of games not available on the Mac are some of the triple A first person shooters and most of the niche market games. I enjoy playing ancient era wargames, very few of these get ported to the Mac.
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Old May 12, 2013, 08:26 PM   #3
Lil Chillbil
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There are tons of reasons, but it all comes down to how hardcore you are. There are tons of older shooters for the mac that still have a heavy online base like quake and doom series for example. Then theres a few good racing sims a flight sim or two and a few games from each genre. compared to windows mac is no contest in the amount of games you can play.


if the mac is your main game console then you might wanna re-consider but if you have like an xbox or playstation then you should be good unless the horrid graphics turn you down or you absolutely must play the AAA titles for pc


then a mac and game console should suit you just fine
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:56 PM   #4
Luba
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I am going to go the Boot Camp route, as all I would need is a copy of Windows. I've already set aside 200GB partition on one of my HDDs for Windows.

I read that I can buy Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builder for Personal Use, but it comes with no Microsoft Support. If I buy Win 8 Pro System Builder at a Microsoft Store does it come with support?

Buying OEM System Builder at Amazon is only $135, but buying at the Microsoft Store is $199. What's the difference between the 2 products? Does the cheaper OEM version have bloatware on there? I'd pay extra not to have all the gross bloatware!
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Old May 13, 2013, 09:04 AM   #5
Irishman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luba View Post
I am going to go the Boot Camp route, as all I would need is a copy of Windows. I've already set aside 200GB partition on one of my HDDs for Windows.

I read that I can buy Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builder for Personal Use, but it comes with no Microsoft Support. If I buy Win 8 Pro System Builder at a Microsoft Store does it come with support?

Buying OEM System Builder at Amazon is only $135, but buying at the Microsoft Store is $199. What's the difference between the 2 products? Does the cheaper OEM version have bloatware on there? I'd pay extra not to have all the gross bloatware!
If you look closely at the OEM System Builder, there are 2 versions you can buy - a 32 bit version, and a 64 bit version - that's why it's cheaper. The one you're seeing at the MS store (also if you buy it at a Best Buy) it comes with both versions for compatibility with the most number of machines.
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Old May 13, 2013, 10:37 AM   #6
Luba
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Oh I see! At the Microsoft Store for $199 you're getting both the 32-bit and 64-bit OEM System Builder versions, while buying it through Amazon it's either or for $135.

I read on microsoft.com that OEM System Builder version can be used for personal use, except it comes with no support. The Microsoft Store says the version they sell comes with support, BUT when I called Microsoft Pre-Sales & Licensing, the rep said there's only one version of System Builder and that's the OEM version, thus the System Builders sold by the Microsoft Store comes with no support.

Entering the world of Windows makes your head spin! Their OS costs more than OS X and there's no many different versions even their own people are confused!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
If you look closely at the OEM System Builder, there are 2 versions you can buy - a 32 bit version, and a 64 bit version - that's why it's cheaper. The one you're seeing at the MS store (also if you buy it at a Best Buy) it comes with both versions for compatibility with the most number of machines.
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Old May 13, 2013, 12:04 PM   #7
Irishman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luba View Post
Oh I see! At the Microsoft Store for $199 you're getting both the 32-bit and 64-bit OEM System Builder versions, while buying it through Amazon it's either or for $135.

I read on microsoft.com that OEM System Builder version can be used for personal use, except it comes with no support. The Microsoft Store says the version they sell comes with support, BUT when I called Microsoft Pre-Sales & Licensing, the rep said there's only one version of System Builder and that's the OEM version, thus the System Builders sold by the Microsoft Store comes with no support.

Entering the world of Windows makes your head spin! Their OS costs more than OS X and there's no many different versions even their own people are confused!
If you feel the need to game in Windows, I'd probably find a copy of Windows 7 on the web (you'll have to buy it from a private owner) because game support is better.
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Old May 13, 2013, 01:03 PM   #8
Cougarcat
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Just get the OEM version at newegg for $100. That's all you need. You'll find better support on this site and others than at MS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickCocoa View Post
. The games I'm currently playing on Windows Steam that are not available on the Mac are Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Grand Ages: Rome, Grand Theft Auto, Imperium Romanum: Gold, and Medieval II.
Deus Ex is on the Mac; it just isn't on steam because Feral ported it.

Last edited by Cougarcat; May 13, 2013 at 01:10 PM.
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Old May 13, 2013, 01:26 PM   #9
PatrickCocoa
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Originally Posted by Cougarcat View Post
Deus Ex is on the Mac; it just isn't on steam because Feral ported it.
Good catch. I played the original Deus Ex on the Mac, and Deus Ex Human Revolution on the Mac as well. I switched to both on Windows via Steam recently.
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Old May 13, 2013, 04:18 PM   #10
Dirtyharry50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luba View Post
I am going to go the Boot Camp route, as all I would need is a copy of Windows. I've already set aside 200GB partition on one of my HDDs for Windows.

I read that I can buy Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builder for Personal Use, but it comes with no Microsoft Support. If I buy Win 8 Pro System Builder at a Microsoft Store does it come with support?

Buying OEM System Builder at Amazon is only $135, but buying at the Microsoft Store is $199. What's the difference between the 2 products? Does the cheaper OEM version have bloatware on there? I'd pay extra not to have all the gross bloatware!
An important consideration in choosing the OEM version is that unlike the retail version which costs more, it is tied to the one system it is originally installed on. If you get a new Mac and want to use it again, you are likely to have problems because Windows will as usual phone home on install to validate and notice the hardware is not the same anymore.

The OEM version is intended for system builders, including enthusiasts at home building their own PCs to install on those systems for their useful life and that is it. A retail version, you are free to install and remove and reinstall elsewhere as you see fit. There is a difference and people often seem to not be aware of this.

It was more money but I purchased Windows 7 retail myself so that when I get my next iMac, it won't be a problem to continue using it. I expect Windows 7 is going to have a long life, like XP has, as user adoption of Windows 8 has been abysmal - worse than Windows Vista so far. A lot of games don't even require DirectX 10 yet, never mind DirectX 11, so again, Windows 7 has a long life ahead of it for a gamer at least. I'll go through at least one Mac upgrade during its useful life, if not more.

By the way, you can sometimes get away with telling an OEM copy on install that you have "upgraded" hardware even though it is actually a completely different computer but I would not count on this always working.

So, my advice is just spring for the retail version and spare yourself any hassles and headaches down the road.
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Old May 13, 2013, 06:31 PM   #11
imacken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickCocoa View Post
Good catch. I played the original Deus Ex on the Mac, and Deus Ex Human Revolution on the Mac as well. I switched to both on Windows via Steam recently.
Eh, why?
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Old May 13, 2013, 08:46 PM   #12
Cougarcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtyharry50 View Post
An important consideration in choosing the OEM version is that unlike the retail version which costs more, it is tied to the one system it is originally installed on. If you get a new Mac and want to use it again, you are likely to have problems because Windows will as usual phone home on install to validate and notice the hardware is not the same anymore.
.
This is true for Windows 7, but they changed it for 8.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/38...system-builder
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Old May 14, 2013, 01:38 PM   #13
Dirtyharry50
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Originally Posted by Cougarcat View Post
This is true for Windows 7, but they changed it for 8.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/38...system-builder
Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't aware they'd changed the terms as I am sticking with Windows 7 myself.
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