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FPS games on OSX

Discussion in 'Games' started by 2ms, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. 2ms
    macrumors 6502

    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?
  2. macrumors 68040


    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 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.
  3. macrumors G3


  4. 2ms
    macrumors 6502

    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
  5. macrumors regular

    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 to find UB games and non-UB game's performance under Rosetta.
  6. macrumors 68020

    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.

  7. 2ms
    macrumors 6502

    have there been any signs yet of publishers switching to making games specific to Intel Mac?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    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.
  9. 2ms
    macrumors 6502

    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?
  10. macrumors 68040


    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.
  11. macrumors regular

    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.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    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
  13. macrumors regular

    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.

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