OS X Mac Gaming?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by avinatbezeq, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. avinatbezeq macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2012
    Hello all,

    I know this question can raise a lot of emotions, but my intentions are pure: I just need an answer. This is my first question here, and my English is not so good - so please be gentle ;)

    My son needs a new computer for playing computer games.

    Me and my son, we're PC guys but really everyone else uses apples: From my mother's iPad, Mac and the apple desktop, to my wife's iPad, my daughter's Mackbook Air and my older son developing software on the mac.

    So, given apple being so popular, is it still true that apples are bad for gaming?


  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Not bad, and getting better all the time. You also have the option of using Bootcamp ( Installing Windows) alongside OSX for gaming purposes. A mid to high end Imac should be more than enough for your needs.

    Many titles are now released for both Mac and Windows...Have a browse in the Mac App store and you'll find plenty.

    Not knowing what genre of game you are likely to play..It's hard to offer any firm advice on spec.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    There are gazillion of games out there for Mac.. As long as you get an iMac with the best graphic card, or a Mac Pro, then you are fine for several years.

    True that its only a subset of AAA titles that reach the platform, but if you are a mortal like me, you still have a back log of 30 games to go through.. And that's only the games I *really* want to play. ;)

    Your kids should be fine.
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Get a PC!!!

    The Mac Pro has a 5870 as its default card (what a joke) and even the base model price is insane. Don't see any point in getting a used one when the money could be spent on a better PC. Top of the line iMac has a nice GPU I suppose but you will want to install Windows to get the most of it.

    IMO OSX (not so much the Mac itself) sucks for gaming but if your going to get a dedicated gaming machine it ought to be a Windows 7 PC.
  5. Json81 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2012
    There's a lot of great games for OS X and many new games gets ported quickly, but thats the problem, they are ports.
    I tested Guild Wars 2 OS X client and it runs really bad compared to using boot camp and windows 7.
    So for new games, specially AAA titles Macs are really lacking.

    Also, you can get a high end gaming machine for less than a Mac.
  6. labars macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2011
    Guild Wars 2 is a bad example though because it's a cider port. Companies like Valve, Blizzard, Aspyr, Feral, Virtual Programming etc. all make native ports that run great on OSX.
  7. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Please tell us what kinds of games your son plays so we can give you better advice - in any case, you may disregard the idiotic opinions of some rabid Windows kids infesting this forum.

    On my iMac 2011 I've already played Team Fortress 2, CS:Global Offensive, The Witcher, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Hearts of Iron 3, Walking Dead etc; all modern games at pretty much maximum settings. And the bigger the Mac market gets, the better gaming support will be.

    Again: disregard the opinion of those telling you Mac sucks because it plays at 2fps below Windows levels...this is just childish spec bragging worthy of 10-year olds. Not to mention the obvious OS X advantages of much better multitasking, much quicker sleep/wake, much cleaner UI, ZERO viruses so far etc...

    And if you still want to suffer under Windows, you can always install that POS system at anytime.
  8. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    BRLawyer: an editorial, for when simple advice just won't do.

    And no, Macs aren't nearly as bad for games as they used to be. You won't get every single one of the much ballyhooed AAA titles out as soon as they arrive on Windows, but just about every indie game arrives at around the same time on both platforms.

    And if you want one of those much ballyhooed AAA titles, bootcamp is only an install away.
  9. Scrapula macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Witcher 2 looks pretty good. I did not play Witcher 1. Is it necessary for the storyline, or can I just start on Witcher 2 when my iMac gets here?
  10. avinatbezeq thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2012

    Thank you all for your responses!

    Most of the games my son plays are run a lot - shoot a lot games (said with the condescending tone of a 50 years old, Civ II Deity Level veteran, parent :). He loved WOW, Oblivion and Guild Wars, and is now playing Planet Side 2 (and growling about the frame rate) , and he has convinced me to buy and try playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

    As said, my English is a little poor. What's AAA games (assuming it's not related to the American Automobile Association ;-)?

  11. throAU, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    If the machine is going to have gaming as a primary requirement (as opposed to just an occasional, casual thing), build a PC.

    It will be cheaper and perform better.

    Mac gaming doesn't suck as much as it used to, but the vast majority of games are still Windows only, or released for Windows well in advance of the mac version (and often run better under windows).

    note: i'm not a rabid windows fanboy, i game on my mac under OS X.

    however, i'm not a kid who wants to play the latest and greatest and am willing to forego playing a specific game if it is not available.

    a kid who wants to play online against his friends won't be happy if the game they are playing is not supported on the mac. what he plays today may or may not be what he wants to play next week.

    boot camp is a possible option, but is is cheaper and easier to just run a PC instead of a mac, if you haven't already bought the machine.

    A mac that spends most of its time running in bootcamp for gaming is just an expensive PC really.

    a AAA game is the game equivalent of a hollywood blockbuster movie. the big budget, high selling games are AAA games. e.g., Diablo 3, as opposed to say, Minecraft...
  12. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I think there is a OSX patch for Civ II. I don't think there is an OSX version of Oblivion and there is not an OSX version of its sequal, Skyrim. Planetside 2 is not out for OSX yet either to my knowledge. Neither is XCOM.

    There are some things called skins which can enable play of Windows games in OSX but I don't know much about these.
  13. saotomefirst macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    I agree with throAU. If the sole/main purpose of the machine is to play computer games, your son will be happier with a PC - and for the price of a mid-end Mac you can assemble a pretty decent one.

    However, if you intent to give your son a good computer for other activities (say studies, web browsing, etc.) and gaming is just another thing you'd like it to do, I believe a Mac would be the best choice.

    I'm a college student myself and my low-end 13'' 2012 MBP has proved to be far better than what I actually needed. Plus, I can even do some gaming on it - ok, minimum video settings but it works. I'm not 100% happy with the gaming performance, but from what I saw the 15'' models - or the iMacs/Mac Pro - should solve that if I ever become too eager to play on a Mac.

    Again, check what you really want this computer to do for your son. And if it only has to be a stunning gaming computer, why not asking your son about waiting a few more months for the PlayStation 4 that's just around the corner? Just a tip ;)
  14. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    It's not totally necessary, no. You will run into the occasional reference to events that happened in the first, and meet a few characters the game assumes you already know, but otherwise the story between the two is completely separate.
  15. MacGamerHQ macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France

    I think this is the best summary of how I feel.
    I you want a great computer, awesome for most of your daily activities + some gaming, get a Mac.
    If you want it mainly for gaming, get a PC (or even a console :eek:).

    I did a research and found (based on FACTS, you can find it here) that Mac gaming is getting better and better every year. The number of good games coming to the Mac is HUGE compared to a few years ago.
    The choice is huge nowadays.

    HOWEVER, Mac gaming still has considerable weaknesses:
    • Games perform slightly worse on Mac (better drivers and optimisation on PC)
    • Games are released later (even years later in some cases)
    • Games are sometimes more expensive (but because when new games are released on the Mac, they are already "old" games on the PC, therefore have discounted prices... Think Black Ops for example).

    If you want the latest and greatest ASAP, get a PC. If you can live with great, but "slightly" older games in exchange of an awesome all around platform, give the Mac a chance.
    You can always install Windows using bootcamp for THE exceptional new game you can't live without...

    Hope this helps!
  16. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    And Win 7 pcs are clearanced and discontinued, IF you can find them at all!

    Not sure how that's better.
  17. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006

    There are two main reasons Macs have historically been accused of being poor for gaming:

    1. Little or no GPU upgrade options
    2. Comparatively few titles, compared to Windows gaming.

    Addressing point 1 - That is still largely true if you buy an Apple Mac. iMacs, Mac Minis, and Apple's laptops all have GPUs that cannot be pgraded, certainly not without voiding your warranty. The Mac Pro is upgradable, and a lot of the new nVidia 600-series Kepler cards can run very well on the Pros. But, to get a Pro, your CPU is generations old and slow (Xeon prods and old ATI Radeon HD 5770 GPU on the base model for $2500).

    You really can only build the Mac you want with the configuration you want if you make a Hackintosh. However, you lose Apple's support obviously, and have to take care of ongoing support and software updates yourself.

    Addressing point 2 - The number of titles is only a problem if the game you want to play isn't available for OSX. :) That sounds like a cheeky response, but I don't mean for it to be. As others have said, you can install and run Windows natively in Bootcamp so that you can play Windows games, at fullspeed.

    So, if you want a fast Mac NOW with Apple support and don't want to have to do your own tech support, buy one of the new late-2012 iMacs (I got the 2.9GHz 21.5" model for Christmas, and I adore it!). You can pick from mobile versions of 4 of those Kepler cards I told you about, based on how on the bleeding edge you want to be.

    If you want top be able to upgrade your Mac with new GPUs later, either pick one of the aging Mac Pros for Apple support, OR if you're handy and have maybe built a PC before, build yourself a Hackintosh and play what you want!
  18. PatrickCocoa macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2008
    Gaming? Get a PC

    Here are my Mac bona fides:
    - bought my first Mac in 1985 (Mac 512 Ke)
    - Macs bought and loved: Mac 512 Ke, Mac SE, Centris 610, iMac 17", iMac 21.5", iBook, MacBook 13", MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" (another one).
    - Apple products bought and loved: iPod Touch, iPod Touch 3, iPod Touch 5, iPhone 4S, iPad (first generation), Apple ][+ (in 1981), Apple ][e.

    I am not a rabid Windows or Microsoft fan (I use Excel and Word every day at work and detest the ribbon interface, among other things).

    To answer your question:
    Do what I did and get both. I spend 95% of my time on my iMac or MacBook Pro on surfing the internet and developing iOS apps. When it's time to game, I rotate my chair 90% and fire up a gaming PC.

    If you want only one computer, then (as others have indicated):
    1. If you're using it mainly for gaming, get a PC;
    2. If you're using it mainly for web surfing or other non-gaming activities, get a Mac;
    3. If your using it to develope iOS or OS X apps, get a Mac (you cannot develop native iOS or OS X apps on Windows).
  19. Wardenski, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013

    Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Windows 7 can still be bought and most gamers build their own PCs. Windows 8 is said to perform better with some games either way, miles ahead of OSX which is what I was arguing.
  20. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    "Most gamers build their own pcs"? Have any data to reinforce that assertion? I'm not being argumentative, but it just made me do a double-take, reading that.
  21. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    No I don't but I suspect the DIY crowd are in the minority of PC users but as for gamers specifically, I don't know but I would expect a higher proportion to own a DIY PC given the prince/performance advantages of DIY PCs.
  22. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Ah, since you've explained it that way, I think we've arrived at a kernel we can agree on.
  23. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Santa Fe, TX
    Does he want a Laptop or Desktop?

    If he wants a Laptop I'd go with a Macbook Pro with a copy of Windows handy in case you want newer games from studios that do not support OS X. There aren't any compelling PC OEM laptop options outside of the super high end ones from the gaming companies. But those make Apple pricing options look like childs play. :eek: Of course they are so specced out with high end gaming hardware they only last 1-2 hours off the charger.

    If he wants a Desktop and you know how to build PCs I would personally go for a custom built rig consisting of Intel and Nvidia. Cheaper and much faster and you can always go after making a hackintosh partition if you really want. :p AMD is also a decent option on the GPU front as they tend to be cheaper than nvidia for similar performance but I perswonally do not know how well they play with Hackintosh and if you want to keep that card in your pocket maybe Nvidia is the best option. Can anyone shed any light on AMD GPU hardware and a Hackintosh?
  24. Redjericho macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    Mac's are all-around good computers, so they are definetly capable of running games on an acceptable quality setting at 45+ fps framerate on modern games.

    As long as you aren't a hardcore gamer who needs to run on max graphics at all times, and then install mods to make it even more grahically heavy, a (semi-higher-end) Mac is fine.

    A windows PC would run them better, yes, but there's no real reason to buy one for dedicated gaming, unless the lack of selection really kills you and you're allergic to bootcamp.
  25. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    If gaming is your only concern, PCs are better for gaming, providing top performance, and tend to cost less for equivalent hardware. However I am a gamer. When I travel I only want to carry only one computer and I prefer the Mac OS, so my MacBookPro is the best choice for my needs. Plays all the important games well on Bootcamp. I'm currently playing Planetside 2 and Guild Wars 2.

    Sounds like you are used to PCs so you are familiar. I believe the Mac OS provides a better consumer experience and it seems more polished, more straight forward, blends well with iOS devices, less susceptible to malware, and it does not have a god awful registry. ;)

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