DirectX vs OpenGL? Windows vs OSX?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by luffx, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. luffx macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    I've heard plenty of arguments regarding DirectX vs OpenGL, and they always seem to go nowhere. It really depends on how the developer utilizes it.

    I've seen PC & Mac versions of certain games, and the PC versions always seem to look better.

    My question to the masses is...

    "If you had a choice between a game on Windows, and a Game on Mac, which would you choose?" (only based on graphics and gameplay)

    I'm asking this question b/c UT3 will be out for the Mac. I've seen WoW on similar systems, and it looks much better on the PC. I want to get the version that looks the best, especially if it's not a hybrid cd. I want to get UT3, but idk which version to get. Any1 experience something like this?
  2. mufflon macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2006
    well on equivalent hardware windows will in most cases outperform it's mac counterpart - not so much because direct X is better than openGL, but rather that most games developed for the mac is in some form or function ported to the mac - which will inadversibly result in some kind of performance hit (less now when apple has switched to intel).
  3. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Games are written for windows and directX; thus, they will perform much better (and more efficiently) on a Windows platform. This will become even more pronounced with the advent of directX10. The answer is really more complicated than this, but if you want to get down to brass tacks, thats it.

    Because of this, as opposed to getting a bootcamped iMac, I'm just going to get a mac mini and used the money I saved to build up a crazy gaming PC. They will be linked to the same monitor/keyboard/mouse via a KVM switch.

    I love Macs, and would never go back to a Windows machine as my primary rig. I really tried to get into Mac gaming. In fact, I bought the powerbook in my sig primarily because I though I'd be able to play some games on it. To an extent, this is true. However, they weren't as refined, or as smooth, as the windows counterpart. Plus, with a Mac, you're going to be playing games that are a year plus old. You never get the latest stuff. When push comes to shove (and this is the most important part), you can spend five times as much on a Mac Pro and STILL not come anywhere near what a 1000-1500 home built PC can do. For what you'd pay for a top of the range iMac, which is mediocre for games right out of the box, you can have a Mac Mini AND a smokin' PC. Best of both worlds.

    Gaming for the mac has improved over the past few years, I won't doubt that. But even if the best games were released for mac in their full glory, only a Mac Pro would be able to play them. On top of that, the Mac Pro isn't even all that great from a gaming standpoint. Again, if you're at all interested in graphics intensive games (which I'm assuming you are, given the question you asked), just build yourself a PC for gaming and get an inexpensive Mac for everything else.
  4. mahashel macrumors 6502


    May 5, 2005
    "the lab"
    I love my Macs, but when it comes to gaming, Windows is a necessary evil for the time being.
    For what it would cost to build a great gaming Mac Pro, you could get a lower-end Mac (Mini or MacBook) as well as build a mid-range PC that could rival the gaming capacity of the Pro.
    Casual gamers may not care enough about gaming performance to justify a dedicated gaming PC (lucky them!), but framerate nerds like myself will continue to grapple with this conundrum.
    Yes, you could get a console and save even more money, which is how a lot of folks sate their gaming urges whilst avoiding giving money to Microsoft. Consoles aren't for everyone though. ;)
  5. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I've played WoW on my Mac Pro in both OSs and it looks exactly the same (except the Windows version had weird color fringing around the edges of my action bars, definitely a bug in something). Given the choice I'll always play the Mac version because I hate having to reboot into Windows, unless there was a HUGE performance difference.
  6. luffx thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    I would do that, but I need a fairly decent Mac for Unity (game development), 3D animation, graphic art, music comp, etc. The Mac Pro isn't an option b/c I need slight mobility (travel to visit family twice a year for 10 days each trip). It would be nice to get an IMac for both purposes. (yes, I know the IMac isn't that great for gaming).

    I'm not too concerned with having the top graphics technology (I will prolly never play games like Bioshock or Crysis). I will probably only play CS:S, TF2, UT3, & Age of Conan for the next 2 years. If I ever do play anything more demanding, I'll certainly build myself a gaming rig. :D

    I just want to know if directX development is better than OpenGL. I have a friend who has WoW & UT2004 on both partitions of his IMac. With the same settings, his windows version handles lighting & shading much much better than the mac version. Is it just sloppyness? Are they all like that?

    Thanks for all of you're input. ^_^
  7. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    Drivers uber alles

    It is the video card drivers that make the difference, first and foremost. Windows Nvidia drivers are updated almost monthly. They are up to triple digit versions now! ATI drivers while, not at frequent, are intensively optimized and updated. Mac Nvidia drivers have had one update that I know up since June.

    Second, OpenGL, depending on the version, handles effects differently from DirectX. Additionally, drivers are optimized and written for DirectX first. The GPU's are designed to match the DirectX API in hardware. OpenGL is an addon now.
  8. luffx thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    Cool. That's what I was looking for. I wish Mac vid-card drivers were more 'mature'. It sux that If I want the best looking version of a game, I'll buy it for the windows platform, when I could've had the ease of buying it for OSX.
  9. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Just to point this out, DirectX cannot be directly compared to OpenGL.

    DirectX is a suite of APIs, whereas OpenGL is a graphics subsytem only.

    Direct3D vs OpenGL is a valid comparison, and it seems they are fairly comparable right now. D3D may have a few extra features built-in at the moment with v10, however.

    Many games support OpenGL still today, and it can perform faster in the right circumstances. Now that Leopard adds in multithreaded OpenGL, we might see serious gains in performance very soon.

    All in all, I would personally PREFER my games in MacOS - provided they were network-compatible with their Windows counterpart and properly developed for near-equal performance (which I believe, is possible).

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