Do games run better on Bootcamp than MacOS?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Kevsta26, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Kevsta26 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2011
    This has always been a long running assumption on my part. I feel like graphics are throttled on the Mac side but installing good drivers on the Bootcamp side can achieve better performance/FPS in games than MacOS allows.

    Is this true or am I just crazy? :rolleyes:

    I'm running an Early 2011 MacBook Pro with AMD dGPU if that helps.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Well, optimisation. Games are mainly programmed for Windows. Some 'OS X versions' tend to be poor ports rather than native OS X applications. Luckily, thanks to great developers like Feral Interactive, that's not so much the case anymore.

    And yes for drivers. Not sure how often Apple update their dGPU drivers on OS X, but on BootCamp there's an NVIDIA driver update almost every week.

    So overall, Windows for gaming -- though that's nothing new. Macs aren't really designed for that. But if you don't have a great graphics card (iGPU), you won't be looking at that much performance difference between the two OSs anyway, as the graphics bottleneck will be hit almost immediately.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    You also have the DirectX vs. OpenGL aspect. So in most cases, yes.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    DirectX is much better then OpenGL, and then there's the fact that there are just more games available for windows.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Is water wet?
  6. d5aqoëp macrumors 65816


    Feb 9, 2016
    Games don't run on Bootcamp. Games run on Windows. Bootcamp is a tiny little piece of software for Windows which is created by Apple to help with switching between macOS and Windows. Bootcamp on macOS is a app also created by Apple. It helps to partition your drive so that it can accommodate Windows.
  7. Kevsta26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2011
    Well if I ask "Do games run better on Windows than Mac?" people won't understand that I mean windows running on the same mac, unless you'd prefer me to have a really long title :rolleyes:
  8. d5aqoëp macrumors 65816


    Feb 9, 2016
    Do games run better on Windows than MacOS?

    Fixed for you. :p


    BTW DX11/12 based games run far far better on Windows compared to macOS. But that is slowly going to change with Metal, Vulkan APIs. Soon we can see performance parity between macOS and Windows.
  9. mhd2100 macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2016
    The true answer to this of course depends on whether manufacturers actually bother to make driver updates compatible with bootcamp. Nvidia driver updates will work without kicking up a fuss, but official AMD drivers simply refuse to install on most modern mac graphics cards in bootcamp by default. So the only way to actually update the AMD bootcamp-certified drivers is to modify them so that they once again become compatible. Stock AMD drivers are so dated now that newly released games such as Battlefield 1 simply refuse to run, and mac users also lose out on awesome new technologies like DX12 and Vulkan as well as important optimizations for improved stability. In fact the situation is so bad with AMD that even official bootcamp drivers (approved by Apple btw!) don't even work on M290X and M390 cards in Windows 10. It is absolutely shambolic.

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8 October 27, 2016