Gaming on macOS or bootcamp Windows?

If your title is available on macOS, you should...

  • Game on macOS

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • Game on Bootcamp Windows

    Votes: 6 60.0%

  • Total voters
    10

theredensign

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2016
46
19
Hi all,

Thanks to all of your help previously, I decided to purchase a MBP 15" just after Christmas. I'm very pleased with it, although my wallet less so!

Anyway, as per the title, I'm curious as to what the general consensus is regarding gaming on these two platforms. I'm not an avid player, but I do have the odd resource intensive game here or there. However, the vast majority of titles that interest me are also available on macOS, and so I don't see a need for Windows.

However, my question is this. Given that macOS is optimised for Apple's hardware, would I be right to assume that a game running on macOS VS bootcamp Windows would provide a better frame rate and overall experience? Or, are games simply better optimised for Windows, regardless of the machine it runs on?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as I don't want to purchase a license for Windows and waste resources on bootcamping unless it is necessary.

Many thanks,

Kind regards,
Jack.
 

ChrisKra

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2017
15
2
You are right, the OS is optimized for Apple Hardware, but most of the games out there are not optimized for OS X. Since the MacBooks run on X86 platform, windows and therefore all the games run natively on windows. Usually they are released on windows and then ported to OS X.
I recommend playing on Win, it will also support Direct X and stuff.
Years ago I tried running skyrim on OS X. The experience wasn't very pleasing, very choppy although I turned all settings to minimum. I then installed steam on win and bought skyrim for win. I could play on 1024x786 and some settings on medium, without being too choppy.
 

killawat

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2014
1,454
2,290
Or, are games simply better optimised for Windows, regardless of the machine it runs on?
This.

The MBP 2016 aint no gaming machine (I know, I have a gaming machine) and thats a good thing. Gaming rigs are big n' hot. But it does pretty well for being so damn skinny. Games are simply optimized better on Windows because Microsoft actually provides the platform to do so via DirectX. Devs can closer and closer access to the GPU metal than what you see in MacOS.

Try this, since DOTA 2 is a free game, install it on MacOS and in Bootcamp/Windows and prepare to be shocked. The same machine will produce vastly different results due primarily to application differences (how well the game is ported) and differences in the OS.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,939
5,429
It really depends on the the game. Yes, most (virtually all) games will run faster under Windows. But for many games this does not matter. Most of indie games don't need a lot of resources. If you want to play stuff like FTL or Holy Potatoes! or similar, sure, just do it on OS X. I also play games like Cities Skylines and Civ 6 on OS X - they do run better on Windows, but I am happily taking the 15% fps hit for not having to boot and manage my windows partition. Same goes for WoW and other Blizzard games. On the other hand, for demanding games it makes more sense to get the extra performance of the Windows platform, especially given that the Mac GPUs are on the lower-midrange level of the gaming standards.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,777
33,722
Boston
Windows has DirectX and game developers definitely take advantage. Macs were never a platform that games ran well - at least no compared to the PC and that phenomenon continues to this day.
 
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