How does the OS X port of Civ 4 run?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Riptide87, May 22, 2009.

  1. Riptide87 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2009

    I love Civ 4 but it's a pain to boot into Windows. I was considering buying the Macintosh port of Civ 4 but I was wondering how it ran it comparison to the Windows version, if anyone knows.
  2. atmenterprises macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2006
    Runs good on both an Intel iMac (early 2006 model with 2 GB RAM) and Macbook Pro with 2 GB RAM. Once you get up in higher years, the game slows down a little but is still very playable.
  3. Riptide87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2009
    Thanks for responding. I have a MacBook Pro with 2 GB RAM, so it looks like I'm in luck. The game runs fine under Windows, so I just wanted to make sure the port wasn't terrible.
  4. ckd macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    It would get bogged down at times on my old G5, but that seemed to mostly be the graphics card. (Runs fine on my Mac Pro, heh.)

    There's been some rumbling that the Beyond The Sword expansion may be finally coming out for the Mac port; I hope so.
  5. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Not just rumbling; it's been confirmed by Brad Oliver of Aspyr (though it hasn't actually been officially announced yet).
  6. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Runs just fine.

    I don't know if I will get a warning for this tip, but anyway; once you've obtained your legal copy, you would also like to google a "nocd hack" because your MBP will run a lot cooler running the game from hard drive. It is illegal in practice but legal in theory, assuming you have the legal copy.
  7. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    The game will run from the hard drive either way -- the CD check just spins up the drive for a moment to check the disk and then will go idle again. That said, it's definitely far more convenient to not have to bother digging out a CD every time you want to play.
  8. Riptide87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2009
    Hrmm, maybe I should hold off on ordering until Beyond the Sword comes out. I wonder what are the odds they'll sell a "Civ 4 + Warlords + BTS" for $50 at launch.
  9. ajbrehm macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2002
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I bought Civ 4 years ago but never played it since it needed the DVD to be in the drive. Has that been fixed?

    Also, does it run in a window or does it have to be played in fullscreen?
  10. superman666 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    i have no idea what these guys are talking about... Civ IV is a terrible port. Play it in bootcamp or don't play it all.
  11. Tsubame macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2009
    CivIV runs fine on my iMac in OSX, it's not exactly a system intensive game. I think the Boot Camp crowd is a bit too trigger happy to say 'play it on boot camp or don't bother'.

    It'll run better in boot camp, yes. Can you run it smoothly with maxed settings in OSX? Yes, especially on a Macbook Pro. It'll run just fine.
  12. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bootcamp isn't needed. Civ 4 plus both expansions runs great using the Steam version + Crossover Games. In fact, this seems to be the best way to run the game that I've found. One Windows player friend complained that the game pauses when you alt-tab away from it, and that doesn't happen with Crossover Games. Another friend with the Mac Civ 4 with no expansions had difficulty getting the 1.74 patch to apply.
  13. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
  14. txa1265 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2002
    Corning, NY
    The last core expansion to Civ IV - there is also Colonization, but that is a whole different thing ...
  15. palebluedot macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    Is the current Aspyr patch of CIV IV up to date with the PC version? Like can you play with PC clients? How quick are they to patch since this is an old game? I am debating b/w buying it via Aspyr (and supporting Mac gaming) or buying it on Steam and runnign it in Crossover Games.
  16. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    I don't know how the Windows version runs, but the Mac version gets very slow when you reach the industrial age AND it begins to show a lot of graphical issues at the same time (villages, farms, work boats and almost everything else is drawn black instead of the original colors). Also, the sound system malfunctions A LOT: No narrator anymore after the first couple of turns, "clicking" sounds and sometimes only noise. Well, with the latest patches at least it doesn't crash anymore as often as it used to.

    I currently run it on a Quad Core Mac Pro with 8 GB RAM and an nVidia GT8800 with two screens connected. The game showed the same problems on a first generation 20" iMac Core Duo, by the way. The poor performance is hardly tolerable on either system. Especially when you see monsters like Crysis run very well on that same computer.

    I've seen worse Mac ports than Civ IV (e.g. X2), but Civ IV certainly is NOT a good port. The only half-way decent ports that I've seen were Warcraft III and Unreal Tournament 2004 (although the latter also has some sound issues on Intel Macs).

    In short: Stay with the Windows version. The moment Aspyr and others REALLY begin to support Mac gaming (and not just throw half-assed, buggy and cheap ports at their customers), it might be worth it to support them (again) in return.
  17. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    I'm pretty sure your scathing review of the Mac Civ 4 port is unwarranted. I'm not sure why you claim to have such poor performance, but my 3 Ghz iMac plays right through to the endgame without ever feeling excessively sluggish to me.

    Regarding the black terrain issue -- really trivial fix whenever it happens: zoom out into globe view, then zoom back in. Black terrain gone. For what it's worth, I think I've also seen this issue on the Windows side, so I don't think it's a Mac port issue.

    I've never seen any sound problems like the ones you describe (and I've played Civ 4 on a G5 iMac, a Macbook, and my current iMac), so I can't speak for that. Regarding crashing, I've had almost no crashes since the last patch (which was awhile ago).

    Also, to all the people singing the praises of Crossover -- I like Crossover as much as the next person, but the Mac Civ 4 port runs much better than the PC version through Crossover. On my machine, I can max out all the settings on the Mac version, but doing the same through Crossover causes it to lag badly from turn 1.
  18. Brad Oliver macrumors regular

    May 14, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    This would be true if the game kept the drive spun up, but you only need the disc present on launch and the game never references it after that so power usage and heat are the same.
  19. Brad Oliver macrumors regular

    May 14, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    We are current with the latest PC patch, and although I don't have dates in front of me, my recollection is that we've patched the Mac relatively quickly after PC patches come out. You can also play with PC gamers both via PBEM and via the network.
  20. Brad Oliver macrumors regular

    May 14, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    OK, a few questions:

    1. How are you measuring performance? Do you have a saved game you'd like to send me that exhibits the worst of what you're seeing? If so, e-mail it to brad AT aspyr DOT com. I have a Quad-core Mac Pro with an NV 8800 running 10.5.7, which is fairly close to your setup, if I understand you.

    2. We use OpenAL for sound, and we've gone back and forth in various patches between using the OS X version and a version we provide in the framework. If you have installed any third-party software that installs OpenAL to other places, it's possible the game is trying to use that instead of the OS X version or the version in the app bundle, which could be why you're seeing so many sound glitches, although I won't swear to it. I do know that you seem to be in the minority on sound issues though.

    3. The "black-out" bug is not Mac-specific - it happens on Windows too, although we seem to be more prone to it. The fix mentioned by the prior poster - zooming out and back in - will quickly and painlessly resolve it on both platforms. It's been a hard one for everyone to track down for a fix because as you mention, it only happens after extended periods of play. This sucks, no two ways about it and I apologize for it.
  21. smacky! macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2008
    Thanks Brad!

    wow - i don't think i've ever seen an apology like that before!

    I bought CIV as the first game to play on my new MBP2.16 CD back in 2006, BTO'd to the max at the time. It played well, but not super - the black ice in part. was very frustrating. Not being able to play most mods was disappointing, but not enough to make me disregard Aspyr forever. And to hear BTS is coming out - well, guess I'm buying that, too!

    It does slow down dep. on how many AI opps you have in later years, but that's what i get for playing on huge worlds! haha!

    Thanks for the many hours of gameplay CIV has given me (even w/the probs.) - i look forward to BTS!
  22. fblack macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    Thanks for your responses Brad, its very reassuring to me as a customer. :cool:
  23. Stijlloos macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Some say that the Civ4 part runs poorly on MAC, well I disagree.
    Considering that I used to play Civ4 on my white MacBook with no dedicated GFX card and it still looked good and played smoothly even in later years.

    On my new MBP unibody it just works like a space rocket.

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