PC gamer considering macs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SpecialKen99, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. SpecialKen99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #1
    I never thought I'd consider buying a mac but here i am. I'm in my last year of highschool and i'm considering buying a laptop for use in college etc. etc. My goal profession is game design, i've been studying programing and such and now its time to buy a machine capable of developing yet playing games on. I want a laptop that I can develop in and playtest games in as well. I also want one that can handle the extensive library of games I have now unfortunatly all for pc :( . I really really like the look and power of the powerbook G4, it looks like a sweeeeet machine, but for a person in my situation, is it worth getting? Althought the machine looks powerful, and macs (I hear) are good for developing, how can i play my games on mac. Is there any way, official or unoffical to play PC games on mac? If there is, i'm all for getting a mac, if there isn't then idk what to do...I'm just curious on my options if any forum user can help it'll be most apperciated. Thank you.
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Yes, you can play some games using VirtualPC, which is an Intel hardware emulator that you can then install a Windows OS on. But it's slow as death. And there's no 3d accel, so most modern games won't play. M$ is planning on outting VPC7 later this year and rumors abound on it emulating a faster processor and using the Mac's video card. But these are mostly rumors.
     
  3. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #3
    Mac's aren't for you

    0In all honesty, if you are looking to be playing new games in a year, none of the Powerbooks (no matter what people here may tell you) will perform well. Simply put, even the fastest powerbook right now is inadequate for high res, high settings gaming. It certainly won't be gaming two years from now. Get an alienware...
     
  4. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #4
    Oh, pity....I really wanted a mac but I still need to get what I need. Thanks guys for the info.
     
  5. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #5
    Anytime. It's the sad truth about Apple's notebooks. They suck at gaming...
    Don't get me wrong, they are great notebooks (I even own one). For what you need, they are nowhere near adequate.
     
  6. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #6
    yea, thats a shame. Mac would own if they had software compatibility.
     
  7. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    #7
    If macs had software compatibility with PC's, they wouldn't be macs.
     
  8. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #8
    HA, true...but still at least being able to run the games...that would be so nice....ahh i can dream but I do have to settle for a dell in the end..
     
  9. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Nobody said you had to settle for bottom of the line. Take a look at alienware.
     
  10. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #10
    Ahh no way too expensive. And they don't have the 256 Radeon 9800 card like dell has..no way no way!
     
  11. rareflares macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #11
    yeah, Macs are excellent for pretty much everything EXCEPT gaming because PC developers simply don't bother developing for another OS. Now, a lot of the major games still make their way to the Mac from various porting companies (Aspyr, Macsoft, etc.) but you would have to buy the Mac version of the game (can't use the PC version at all).

    For your use, you're gonna have to get a PC.
     
  12. clr900 macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2004
    #12
    You could still get a Powerbook because it's awesome and then get a cheap desktop windows pc for playing your games. :)
     
  13. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #13
    Instead of addressing his needs most of you jumped to the same conclusion: Macs suck for gaming.

    Allow me to shoot down some of these naysayers. I am sick and tired of hearing that kind of !@#$ coming out of Mac users' mouths. The simple fact is this: yes, it is true that Powerbooks and Apple's offerings in general are not the "top of the line" gaming choice. This has to do with a number of factors that I will not delve into here. So people typically offer Virtual PC, mention how slow and unreliable it is for gaming, and tell you to get a Dell. WTF? :mad:

    Now that I've vented a bit, let me help you with your situation. I am also looking at game development for a career, and going to college next Fall. Let me assure you, Apple has an excellent developer program for us students:

    http://developer.apple.com/students/#description

    Apple's Xcode development software is free and includes a variety of compilers for different languages. I would also recommend RealBasic, though I haven't used that much. Unix offers a lot of flexibility for developers -- I've written C++ games in the Terminal, which is just a dream to use with OS X's GUI.

    As far as gaming goes: I'm a big gamer, and the Powerbook is far from what these others guys have told you. :mad:

    The 12" model, which has the 5200 FX and 64MB, isn't the hottest chipset around, as I'm sure you know. But it runs Warcraft III: FT, Unreal 2004 (full version), Call of Duty and other OpenGL games amazingly well. If a 12" can run games this well, a 15" or 17" model will have no problems at all running the latest games, especially if you opt for 128MB of video memory.

    The Mobility 9700 is an incredible chipset -- I too am drooling of the Mobility 9800, but Dell has exclusive rights on this chipset for 30 days from its release. In my opinion you would have to be a fool to pay for this "exclusive right" instead of waiting a month for competition to open up. The Mobility 9700 is still excellent "bang for your buck" and still blows away every other chipset.

    Get out of the box you guys. Mac gaming has never looked better than it does now. So let's summarize:

    Powerbook PROS:
    • Free development software from Apple.
    • Terminal, Unix, the ADC for Students program.
    • Design, ease-of-use, form and function.
    • Development and gaming is no problem.
    • Tiger's (Mac OS 10.4) CoreVideo and CoreImage... imaging incorporating these into your first projects, and blowing the PC users away.
    Powerbook CONS:
    • You have to wait for Doom3 and you can't run it at 58390x FSAA. Heh. "It's not worth playing if my Athlon isn't smoking from the overclock and my 6800 isn't showing artifacts..." (that's another rant)
    • Most popular PC games port to Mac within 4-6 months.

    I will be purchasing my PB next week hopefully, a 15" with all the BTO options. I'm also a member of ADC and can't wait to start coding.

    At the very least you'll be able to focus more on your studies, while still being able to jump around to different LAN parties and kick some ass while you're there.
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    No one suggested that he buy a Dell. He suggested that himself.

    One of his questions was, 'can I play my PC games on my Mac'. That was answered. The only way he can attempt to do this is with VPC. It IS slow. It IS unreliable for most modern PC games. This cannot be disputed.

    You have to be careful with the games you mentioned. 1) WC3 was developed simultaneously for Mac and PC. It's a couple years old now. 2) CoD is also a fairly old game in PC 'years'. 3) UT2k4 was a decent port. It's kinda slow on a Mac. Heck, UT2K3 was kinda slow on a Mac.
    But with the scads of PC games, only a handful makes it to the Mac market. A laptop, no matter how beefy, Mac or PC has a much more limited game playing life then a desktop. Now with developing, if you can write C/C++ etc, you can develop on any platform pretty much. If you're developing a game using DirectX, you sure aren't doing it on a Mac.


    Please read the previous posts fully before you flame.
     
  15. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #15
    Yea, they're teachign me Visual C++ not the MAC OS complier. Plus all the books i brought are for Direct X programming. Another thing is, if I get a MAC all those games I have that I play with my friends become useless. Its the only disadvantage. For a gaming comp, I like dell cause I buy from them alot and its prices are good. I know there's better but my budget ai'nt that great. I wish there was a secret way to do this, honestly I would love to rock a Powerbook and play all the hottests games on it while I develop, its a dream. Its so stylish yet powerful..but I do have to be real. So far dell seems best bet, I have looked at others but can't find much. Thanks for the opinions guys, and more importantly, the honesty, I really apperciate it.
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Well, this part isn't such a big deal. Apple uses a GNU C compiler. Freely available to any who want it. With the exception of some hardware specific stuff and library differences, isn't C++ pretty much the same on all platforms?
     
  17. SpecialKen99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 14, 2004
  18. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    Aug 9, 2002
    #18
    Macs own anyway.
     
  19. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

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    Apr 18, 2004
    #19
    if you are a major gamer

    you will regret it... don't do it.. stick with your pc's.... dell makes "OKAY" laptops.. consider alienware? :confused:
     
  20. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis
    #20
    C++ is popular because of its portability. This mean that a C++ program can be written on one type of computer and then run on many other types of systems. This usually requires that the program is re-compiled on each type of system, but the program itself may need little or no change. Note: Programs written for specific graphical environments often require significant changes when moved to a different type of system.

    Paraphrased from page 8 of Tony Gladdis' Starting Out with C++ Third Edition I had the book sitting on my desk next to me leftover from a class I took 6 months ago and I remembered reading it in there.
     
  21. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #21
    SpecialKen99: If you bought a Mac and designed good games for it, that ran like they do on a PC...well sir you truly would be "thinking different"]

    Not to mention that you would be my hero, as the last things that PC users clinge to with their PC (the fact that it games better) would be gone.

    I guess I would say, get a good PC (I like Dells. I am using one right now, I beefed it up a bit but it is a good running machine) so that you can be compatible with your class for now.

    Then when you think you have a handle on the situation, and can see what the teacher is going to teach you before they do, then make the switch. Sell your PC and buy a Mac. That way, you will be able to look different from your peers, still learn what the teacher is teling you, and be able to translate what you are learning into Mac. Then you will be able to work cross platform. Later on you can develop your games for the Mac and make them good.

    I hoep that isn't too confusing...I just woke up.

    Mike
     
  22. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    #22
    If you're gonna go alienware, might as well build your own.
     
  23. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #23
    True, Macs have an awesome set of tools for developers [like me], however this guy is also a gamer, and is writing games. Perhaps he should play test them on what most of his customers will be using.

    Ugh, the 5200 is the saddest sack of poop out there right now.

    You run UT04 on a 64mb 5200? Yeah, at 640x480 with almost no effects. My sister owns an iMac (5200 64mb), I tried to run UT04 at 1024, I got probably 15 FPS.

    It's not just that the PB has a bad video card either, PCs have much faster processors even in laptops.

    Well that's something we can all agree on


    However, here's a comparison of a bunch of video cards. Mind you these are AGP cards, not for mobility. As you can see, the 5200 is really not even close. I think it would definitely be worth waiting for a 9800.
     

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