Do you guys recommend bootcamping on the new 2017 iMacs for games?

linkmon99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
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Just got a new 2017 iMac and I was wondering if you guys think its necessary to bootcamp windows for games or the system and the os are well optimized that its unnecessary for most popular games?
Also I only have a 512gb ssd in the imac, if I had to bootcamp, should it be through an external SSD?
Just curious the route everyone is going.
[doublepost=1498162762][/doublepost]Update: Found this, looks good to use as a bootcamp device? (holding windows, games, and possibly photos and vids)
https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HKQR2ZM/A/g-technology-500gb-g-drive-slim-ssd-usb-c-portable-drive?fnode=4f602be839c8bdc7c7761d8c4ce71e527b85740b0ce55490a8df9ef300064d86c6688ebc9a1e65d59cec7a7c0312a7e119839c54e0416acee453ee356fe836756da5db46df37667ac1993ef2a79e8e309040c8e45a06289fb97fa00f7581968a
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
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2,545
It depends on the games you want to play and your Mac's specs. Generally you'll see a 10-15% performance hit on the Mac side. That drive looks fine, but it's a bit trickier to install Bootcamp on an external drive, and you'll get worse boot times. (see here.)

If you have the space, I'd install Windows on your iMac and use the drive for the games themselves. Steam will let you choose the disk to install to.
 
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Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
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If the games are on Windows, then your only choices are to dual-boot, or see if you can rig something up in WINE.
 

linkmon99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
32
0
It depends on the games you want to play and your Mac's specs. Generally you'll see a 10-15% performance hit on the Mac side. That drive looks fine, but it's a bit trickier to install Bootcamp on an external drive, and you'll get worse boot times. (see here.)

If you have the space, I'd install Windows on your iMac and use the drive for the games themselves. Steam will let you choose the disk to install to.
Oh actually that's a good idea. So I can have an external drive with steam games, boot up in windows using the internal SSD, and then play the games off the external SSD? or is it not that simple
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
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Oh actually that's a good idea. So I can have an external drive with steam games, boot up in windows using the internal SSD, and then play the games off the external SSD? or is it not that simple
Yes, exactly. You'd have Steam installed on the Windows partition, and in the preferences you can select the external that you want the games installed to.
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
870
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If the games are on Windows, then your only choices are to dual-boot, or see if you can rig something up in WINE.
You can game in a virtual machine too, using either VMware Fusion, Parallels or VirtualBox
 
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paulryp

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2016
138
132
I would partition off a 70gb on the internal SSD for a windows 10 bootcamp. then install games on an external. With bootcamp you effectively have a native PC and booting from SSD makes the swapping between pretty seamless.
 

vkd

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Sep 10, 2012
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Seriously. Of course you first need to evaluate the actual game and its requirements. Many older games work no problem.
 
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imacken

macrumors 65816
Feb 28, 2010
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Seriously. Of course you first need to evaluate the actual game and its requirements. Many older games work no problem.
Yes, you might get Pacman to work!
Sorry, but talking about any modern game working in a VM is just crazy.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
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Yes, you might get Pacman to work!
Sorry, but talking about any modern game working in a VM is just crazy.
Saying it's only good for PacMan is a little extreme. Sure, you won't be playing the latest Fallout, but usually DX9-era games work fine.
 

imacken

macrumors 65816
Feb 28, 2010
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Saying it's only good for PacMan is a little extreme. Sure, you won't be playing the latest Fallout, but usually DX9-era games work fine.
Of course, I wasn't being serious. Yes, you can play old games from years ago, but just let's not suggest that playing any modern game in a VM is in the slightest bit viable.
 

nyoungman

macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2016
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Many games are perfectly fine under macOS natively, which I tend to opt for rather than rebooting, even if the Windows version may run a tad faster. This is only bound to get better with new games and Metal 2. Mac Gamer HQ and MacGameStore are two resources for finding Mac games, as well as looking at porting companies Feral Interactive and Aspyr.

If you have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller, you may also want to install 360Controller on macOS to support it.

I do have a small BootCamp partition as paulryp suggested, with some SSDs in external USB enclosures. That works quite well for Windows-only games. If you don't want to use some of that 512gb for bootcamp, Lon has a thorough YouTube video to setup Windows on an SSD.

I haven't tried the virtual machine approach, but if you have enough RAM, I could imagine playing Age of Empires II and the like. That could mean three different places for games though, not sure if it's worth it. VMWare Fusion (and perhaps others) can launch Windows from your BootCamp partition inside a VM -- so that may be an option for some games when you don't want to reboot.
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
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Of course, I wasn't being serious. Yes, you can play old games from years ago, but just let's not suggest that playing any modern game in a VM is in the slightest bit viable.
Practical example: mid-2011 iMac i5 CPU, have played the following in a VM:

Tomb Raider Underworld
Tomb Raider Anniversary
Tomb Raider Legend (yes I like tomb raider)
Dead Space 2
Assassin's Creed 2 and all subsequent up through 4 (had to stop there as the shader support in llels & Fusion has not been upgraded sufficiently for whatever reason)

Yes these games are not new, but they are quite graphically advanced, it all depends on your personal necessities. If you insist on only playing the latest most demanding 4K games then of course you are out of luck.
 
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imacken

macrumors 65816
Feb 28, 2010
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Practical example: mid-2011 iMac i5 CPU, have played the following in a VM:

Tomb Raider Underworld
Tomb Raider Anniversary
Tomb Raider Legend (yes I like tomb raider)
Dead Space 2
Assassin's Creed 2 and all subsequent up through 4 (had to stop there as the shader support in llels & Fusion has not been upgraded sufficiently for whatever reason)

Yes these games are not new, but they are quite graphically advanced, it all depends on your personal necessities. If you insist on only playing the latest most demanding 4K games then of course you are out of luck.
I'm still not sure if you are serious or not! These Tomb Raider games are 10-12 years old! Try Tomb Raider 2013, or Rise of the Tomb Raider in any res you like in a VM. No, ooops, sorry, of course you can't!
We're not talking about high end 4k games here necessarily, anything post DX11 - and that was 8 years ago! - will simply not load in a VM, far less run at any acceptable res or fps.
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
870
275
I'm still not sure if you are serious or not! These Tomb Raider games are 10-12 years old! Try Tomb Raider 2013, or Rise of the Tomb Raider in any res you like in a VM. No, ooops, sorry, of course you can't!
We're not talking about high end 4k games here necessarily, anything post DX11 - and that was 8 years ago! - will simply not load in a VM, far less run at any acceptable res or fps.
Yes, thanks for mentioning it. I momentarily forgot that I played Tomb Raider 2013 in a VM too. Can't get Rise of... to work though, combination of no shader support in the VM software and my limited hardware (mid-2011 iMac). But I can run Rise of... in Boot Camp, even though my GPU is Radeon HD 6770M whilst minimum software requirements for the game are Radeon HD 7700, so that's something.