OS X Running Windows 7 on new Macbook Pro. Steam hates my video card!

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by cowbellallen, May 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    #1
    I installed VMWare on my new Macbook Pro. It's running 64-bit Windows 7, and I have Steam downloaded within Windows. I can't play games like Portal or Black Ops 2.

    With Portal, it says my video card is unsupported and I should update my video drivers.

    With Black Ops 2, it says DirectX has encountered an unrecoverable error and just doesn't go further.

    My Macbook Pro has an AMD Radeon HD 6750 Graphics card inside of it. I will admit I know nothing about PCs and have no idea how to download a graphics driver. Furthermore, I downloaded AMDs program that can automatically detect your card and update the driver, and it said it couldn't detect my card.

    I could use some help. Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    VM is no good for games, use Bootcamp instead.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    antonis

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #3
    From within the VMware don't expect the virtual machine to see your real video card. Instead, it uses a virtual video card called VMware graphics adapter or something like that. All you can do is:

    1. Make sure you have installed the VMware tools inside your windows virtual machine (it's an option from VMware menu when your virtual machine is running - just follow the install wizard that will run inside windows). Then reboot the virtual machine.

    2. Make sure you have enabled the 3d acceleration for the virtual video card ( it's an option in virtual machine settings - the virtual machine must be stopped in order to modify this)

    This will work for some games but probably not for some others. Even when works, there's a good chance it will run slowly, it depends on the game. As mentioned above, virtual machines should be the last solution for gaming as a rule.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #4
    Parallels actually has better game support than VMWare... but Windows has serious limitations in a virtual machine.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #5
    Agreed and in particular I would not expect a newer shooter like Black OPS II to run with playable frame rates, especially for multiplayer within any VM on currently available hardware.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for the tips, all. I went ahead and installed Boot Camp, and now everything works great!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    I really don't get why people keep saying this.
    I have run F1 2012, The Witcher 2, Skyrim, Deus Ex, etc. at perfectly OK frame rates under Parallels 8 @ 2560x1440 on my iMac.
    Even though frame rates are a bit less, PD8 is so much better than losing all functionality of my Mac and booting into Bootcamp.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    antonis

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #8
    It doesn't hurt to try PD8 anyway, so if it works it's great indeed. For me, bootcamp is not an option either. But usually, the best option for me is Wine/Wineskin. Witcher 2 is a VERY demanding game, though, that actually struggles even on a well-equipped PC on high settings. Luckily it exists as native to Mac (I guess you bought the windows version before it was released for Mac). I'm actually amazed that you can really run it well on PD8. You must own the high-end iMac 2012 with the 680MX card then ?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #9
    Yes, I was playing the Windows version before the Mac one came out. I bought the Mac version later as all my saved games easily transferred across to the Mac version.
    I have a HD 6970 1gb in my 3.4GHz i7 2011 iMac.
    Yes, Witcher 2 is very demanding, but it works OK under PD8 with some of the more exotic settings turned down.
    I much prefer a compromise on eye candy to booting out of OS X.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    I kinda wouldn't play Witcher 2 at that res at all even in windows (with bootcamp), but I guess that is up to what FPS one can live with. Also do not confuse the 6970M with a 6970, the 6970M is pretty much same chip as 6850 (same chip, same amount of cores, a bit lower clock), and is more or less 30% slower than a 6970.

    Paralells is an ok solution, but if I'm gonna do something that takes like one hour or more, then I'm gonna choose bootcamp (unless I can run it in wine or something). It takes less than a minute and gives quite a bit better performance. Parallels has it's uses for apps that you don't wanna use for a long period of time or apps you want to run along side of apps in Mac OSX.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #11
    It was OK at that res in PD8 for me as I have said.
    I'm not confusing them, I just missed out the M by mistake - sorry!
    Not for me, sorry. Bootcamp is a non-starter. It (obviously) does give better performance, but not having access to mail, other Mac apps, etc. makes Bootcamp a no-go for me. (BTW, 1 minute to shutdown OS X and reboot Windows? Hmmm.....)
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #12
    You are losing more than a "bit less" in terms of frame rates but if that is okay with you, I wouldn't be critical of your choice. It's your gaming experience and if you are happy with it, fine.

    However, benchmarks bear out my comment where Parallels performance is substantially less that native Windows performance in demanding titles because running in a virtual machine adds significant overhead. Also, there is no DirectX 11 support available in Parallels for newer titles and there is very limited DirectX 10 support now with terrible performance in its first release. For many (but not all) DirectX 9 games it is fine, again if they are not too demanding.

    Try comparing the benchmark for a game like Hard Reset in a Parallels VM versus running in Native Windows on the same hardware for an idea of what I am talking about or just Google for some benchmarks comparing Parallels 8 vs bootcamp. You'll be surprised at the FPS differences I think.

    I recently purchased 3DMark Pro on Steam and ran gaming benchmarks on my iMac in Parallels 8 with Windows 7 and the same benchmarks after rebooting into Windows 7. The performance running Windows native on the same hardware was almost doubled.

    That is why I made the comment I did.

    Don't get me wrong. I really like Parallels. For older and less demanding titles it let's me play without rebooting which is great. But for something newer and/or demanding, I want the best performance my iMac can give me and the only way to get that is to reboot into Windows.

    I do need to add that in some cases, you can achieve performance that is just as good as Windows by using Wine with Wineskin to port a Windows app to OS X but this varies a lot and does not always work. Still, it can be an excellent option for many games.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #13
    It's called SSD. OSX boots in about 20 secs, and win7 takes around 40 sec. Shutting down OSX and rebooting to win7 does indeed take less than 1 minute.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #14
    Fair enough, but it's not the reboot time that makes Bootcamp a non-starter for me, it's the lack of access to all my Mac apps and general productivity routines.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #15
    DX10 support in recent versions of PD8 is good.
    It's all relative. If Bootcamp was giving a 100% improvement when comparing 30fps to 15fps that is one thing, but if it is 120fps compared to 60fps, it's largely irrelevant.
    You keep on mentioning 'not too demanding', but I have already stated that I have had good experiences with Skyrim, F1 2012, Deus Ex HR and The Witcher 2 on PD8.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #16
    What you are calling "good experiences" is subjective. Your idea of a good experience and mine could easily be very different.

    The benchmarks for Parallels 8 with DX10, including the ones I ran myself with 3DMark Pro, were awful. The performance in this first iteration of it has a long way to go. I don't think they should have even released it yet it was so bad. And again, there is no DX11 support at all.

    I think I understand what you are saying despite all that. You are okay with less eye candy at native resolution and plenty of games run well enough, with sufficient frame rates to be okay with you. As I said earlier, that is fine too but to dismiss a 50% reduction in performance as if it should be irrelevant for the rest of the world is something I am questioning.

    See, my point of view is that I paid damned good money for this hardware and I'm not content to play something like Skyrim with anything less than the maximum settings this hardware can deliver. I can crank those settings up higher in native Windows 7 than you can running it in a virtual machine. There is just no getting around that.

    Anyway, it is perfectly fine for you to make the tradeoff that you do when you are happy with it. I am not critical of that. By the same token I think you should be able to appreciate why someone would want the maximal performance their hardware is capable of.

    Another issue with running in a virtual machine that can occur is video display issues since the emulated video adapter relies on some Wine technology I believe. I forget where I read that now. I am thinking it must though since it needs to translate DirectX calls to OpenGL calls in OS X. So, you can encounter cases where a game does not display correctly in a virtual machine whereas it works fine with native Windows.

    Here are a couple examples of what I am talking about and these are older games to boot:

    Halo: Combat Evolved: I ran this in an XP SP3 virtual machine and the display of regenerating shields was corrupted. I then ported it with Wineskin and observed the same corruption. In native Windows, it displayed fine.

    Halo 2 (the first DirectX 10 game I believe): I ran this in a Windows 7 virtual machine and the display stuttered as the performance was so bad. This game is a 2007 re-release of a 1st gen XBox game! The problem? DirectX 10 support in Parallels 8 leaves a lot to be desired. I'm am hopeful it will improve in time but it is not currently useful if it cannot even manage Halo 2. I run the same game in Windows 7 natively on this hardware at max settings and the game runs smooth as silk start to finish. Huge difference.

    So it is not all a bed of roses trying to run even older games in virtual machines, never mind new ones.

    For a newer and demanding game example how about Hard Reset? It is not playable in a virtual machine running Windows 7. It stutters constantly. This is a beautiful game loaded with eye candy but you cannot enjoy it in Parallels. However, run in native Windows 7 at high settings on the same hardware, it runs smooth as silk.

    Those are some recent experiences I have experienced first hand. It's like Wine. Some stuff will work well, some stuff won't work well at all. However, i am not blaming Wine for these performance issues. It is the VM overhead that is causing them.

    For a game like Black OPS II where you want a stable 60 FPS for competitive multiplayer and the best visuals your hardware is capable of (well, I do at least), this is not achievable running in a virtual machine.

    I do think for some games, having the VM option is great as it spares you reboots and there is compromise you can live with or even not notice as you pointed out for some cases. I am certainly not knocking Parallels. I own Parallels 8 too and it is very handy sometimes for a variety of purposes. But it cannot run every Windows title I still own acceptably or at all in some cases.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    Witcher 2 apparantly ran at 22 FPS on a 6870 @2560x1600 res on win7, in a test by techspot.
    http://www.techspot.com/review/405-the-witcher-2-performance/page6.html
    That is in my book not even remotely playable.
    Skyrim ran at 44 FPS tho, which is ok (but not optimal), and Deus Ex at 38 fps.

    Considering the 6970m is slightly slower and the PD8 overhead, I'm not really convinced that it's usable at all in the res. Maybe 1920x1080 works, but 2560x1440 is even in win7 too much for anything except top end desktop GPUs like 680/7970/Titan..
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #18
    Witcher 2 undoubtedly is very demanding - fact.
    It has a large number of graphic setting options that make a huge difference to fps.
    When I was playing the Windows version, I preferred to use these as a compromise so I didn't have to boot out of OS X, but you guys don't. That's fine. End of story. Each to his own.
    For me, any game that requires me to use Bootcamp is just not worth it, and I will just not bother with it. Purely a personal choice.
     

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