Windows MRs Guide: Windows Gaming On A Mac

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Huntn, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Huntn, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    MRs Guide: Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ
    *2Jan15- Added Reduce Windows Overhead Section.
    *1Sept- Added new Steam Troubleshooting section. This may apply both to Mac and PCs. Still plagued by sections with all bolded text.
    *25Aug- Added MacRumors Thread section. Added link in Part 6 for PC Game Save Locations.
    *24Aug2014- Added Parts 2-5.
    *20Aug2014- Guide in rework status and posted in Mac Rumors Forum.

    Table of Contents
    • Introduction
    • My Hardware
    • Part 1: Mac Rumors threads
    • Part 2: Mac Centric Gamer's Hardware Choices Aug 2014
    • Part 3: Bootcamp or Virtualized?
    • Part 4: Bootcamp
    • Part 5: Reduce Windows Overhead
    • Part 6: Steam Troubleshooting
    • Part 7: Mac Hardware and Game Performance
    • Part 8: Game Specific Help
    • Part 9: Windows Tidbits

    Welcome to the Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ. This Guide is Currently Under Construction being converted from a Mac Rumors Classic Guide. Still being plagued by large chunks of all bolded sections of this guide.

    Mac's are great computers and taking them into Windows for the purpose of gaming only makes them better! If you are happy with native Mac gaming, that is outstanding. However if you want to expand your horizons and don't mind dealing with the "dark side", if you have the proper Mac, an intel Mac capable of running Windows, with the expense of purchasing the Windows OS, you'll have many more options for scratching that never ending gaming itch. :)

    This FAQ will not answer every windows question. Originally I created this FAQ as I ran into problems when gaming on my PC. But now that I have a Mac Book Pro, I am playing a wide variety of Windows only games, top notch AAA titles such as World of Tanks, Planetside 2, Crysis, and The Witcher on my Mac. I have elected to publish this in the forum as a regular post so I can retain editorial control. At such a time when I am no longer able to keep this guide up to date, I’ll request that it be turned into a wiki post.

    If there are issues with this guide or if you have suggestions, tips, or solutions, please Private Message me, or reply to this thread and I'll correct errors and/or suggestions will be added to this guide. Thanks!

    Disclaimer: Portions of this guide may be out of date, or become out of date. I'm better at adding, than pruning. Major rework of guide accomplished Aug 2014. -Huntn

    My hardware: 2011 MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), 64b Windows7; 1.8 dual G5, a 3.0 Pentium4 PC with 4GB RAM. My wife has a 2013 MacBook Air 1.3 Ghz with and Intel Graphics 5000 graphic, but these days she spends all of her time gaming on her iPad2, so I have no gaming info for it currently. Before the iPad, there was a MacBook 2.2 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 2GB Ram with the Chipset: GMAx3100. This circa 2008 MacBook was a step above previous model MacBooks as it had better graphics support for shaders. Some gaming for it is located in the archived section.
    -Dave Peck (Hunt'n)

    Part 1: MacRumor Threads
    *Parallels For Gaming? (Aug 2014)

    Part 2: Mac Centric Gamer's Hardware Choices Aug 2014
    After looking at the new Mac lineup and what includes dedicated graphics versus integrated graphics, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about looking to Mac for portable gaming as it takes $2600 in a MacBookPro to achieve dedicated graphics. Keep in mind these choices are for people who want MacOS and like to game, specifically in Windows World. If the only interest is gaming, Mac hardware is not the most economical choice, although regarding portables, there are $2000+ PC gaming laptops to be found. Obviously console can be added to any of these categories that don't all ready have it figured in. See this 2013 article: MacWorld UK: Best Mac For Gaming

    *Money Is No Object: MacPro ($2900-3900 + whatever laptop if you want one too.) There is no good reason to spend this kind of money for dedicated gaming. If you need it for professional tasks, all righty then. Depending on the model, the 2-3GB graphics should do a find job. Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp. I’ve heard rumors a better gaming experience can be had on the top end iMac.

    *Travelers Extravagance: MacBookPro ($2500) Price reflects MacBookPro model 15", 2.5GHz armed with dedicated graphics . Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp. If you travel a lot a MacBookPro is a must. Windows can be installed on it and it functions as a mid range gaming platform handling AAA games adequately. Best of both worlds. The $2000 MacBookPro includes integrated graphics only.

    *Gaming Macs: 27"iMacs Price reflects iMac ($1800-$2000). Depending on model offers 1-2GB dedicated graphics. Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp. Price includes monitor!

    *Portable plus Gaming PC: ($1900-2500) Do your serious gaming on Windows, casual gaming on Mac. For the MacOS go with bottom tier MacBookPro or MacbookAir $900-1500 + a $1000 PC dedicated to gaming. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc.

    *Casual Desktop Gaming+ Console- ($1500-1900) Love those find the hidden object games? 21" iMac $1100-1500 + Console $400. Add 100-200 more for latest generation Xbox or PlayStation. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc.

    *Casual Portable Gaming + Console- ($1300-1600) Knock off the console and save $400. Love those find the hidden object games? Bottom tier MacBookAir or MacBookPro $900-1200 + Console $400. Add another 100-200 for latest generation Xbox or PlayStation. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc.

    *iPod/iPhone/iPad- There are very casual games to be played, but not to be confused with gaming on a Mac/PC via Bootcamp. From this group iPad best choice $300-900 depending on model. Play Minecraft or World of Tanks (mobile), tons of casual games.

    Other Considerations:
    *Console- Most economical, strictly for gaming, no OS period, none of the standard OS/online abilities (approx $350 invest).
    *Mac Native- (Playing only Mac native games) If you really like casual gaming (I Spy, Cosmic Encounter, etc) or don't mind a limited number of delayed compromised AAA ports. You'll only miss out on most of the biggest titles- The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Half Life2, Crysis, Witcher, Oblivion, etc, etc. ''You've all ready spent the money on a Mac, $70 more (Win7) and you just quadrupled your options, if not more.''
    *PC- No MacOS= individual preference. Over the years Windows has gotten better, but the MacOS is still a superior operating system. Depending on features, a gaming PC can be built for somewhere between $700-$1200, but No MacOS unless you go visit Tony Mac.

    Part 3: Bootcamp or Virtualized?

    Windows Native (Boot Camp) or Virtualized?
    *The Best Way To Run Windows On Your Mac @MacWorld. (April 2012) This article only mentions Bootcamp in passing, but it does say the best performance, especially gaming, is through running Windows natively on your Mac with Bootcamp install of Windows. Of the Virtualized Software, it mentions Parallels 7 as the best choice,however it won't be as good as running Windows natively on your Intel Mac. Note: Parallels is now up to version 10. If you consider your Mac a mid level gaming machine and want the best performance you can buy a copy of Windows7 for as low as $25-75. For about the same price as Parallels, you’ll have maximized your performance, which for AAA games is important.

    *Virtualized/Other Choices are:
    Note: Links verified Aug 2014
    CodeWeaver's CrossOver (software runs under Mac $50 free trial), Parallels Desktop (Virtualized $80 free trial), VMware Fusion, and Virtual-Box (free but geeky).

    Part 4: Bootcamp: Your Path to Windows on a Mac
    *Boot Camp is an Apple utility that facilitates the installation of Windows on your Mac. It creates a Windows partition, a size of your choosing, has you install Windows from a Windows install disk (purchase may be required if you don't own one all ready), and then installs Apple drivers so Windows can properly interact with your Mac hardware.

    Bootcamp Links
    *Windows 8 is supported by Bootcamp v5. -posted 8/25/13.
    *Bootcamp Support @
    *Mac Basics: Using Windows on Your Mac via Boot Camp.
    *Link: Print out this article before starting your Windows install. This document is also available within the Bootcamp Assistant Utility that is located in your Application>Utility folder.
    *For Bootcamp Installs, Which Version of Windows Matches your MacOS?(Mar 2012)- MacOS 6&7 support Windows 7. MacOS 5&6 support Vista and XP. See this Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows operating systems.
    *See the Reinstalling Windows in an Existing Bootcamp Partition Section that follows.

    Bootcamp Compatibility
    *Certain Model Macs support certain versions of Windows. Check this link: Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows operating systems which includes a chart indicating which Mac models support which versions of Windows.
    *Bootcamp V3 Supports: Win XP and Vista.
    *Bootcamp V4 Supports: Windows7.
    *Bootcamp V5 Supports: Windows7 & 8.

    Boot Camp Issues
    • Owners of Late 2013 Retina Mac Book Pros Reporting Keyboard and Trackpad Freezes, Bootcamp Install issues (28Oct13)
    • Unable to boot back into MacOS after booting into Windows
      *Apple Discussions.
      *Possible Solution: Boot to the OS X System Disk and repair disk permissions using Disk Utility.
    • After Boot Camp Install can't see Windows Partition
      On a 2007 Santa Rosa MacBook (X3100 chipset) after I installed BootCamp everything appeared to go well (selecting FAT as Windows file format) until I did a reboot holding down the Option button so I could choose my Windows partition. The Windows partition did not appear as a choice. Apple Care was not familiar with the problem and suggested I reinstall Windows. I did but this time selected NTFS. The second time it worked. I'm not absolutely sure if it was the reinstall or selecting NTFS that worked, but I can now select my Windows partition and boot into it.
    • Reinstalling Windows in an Existing Bootcamp Partition
      This is long so placed at end of this section. Aug 2013 I ran into a situation where Windows 7 was no longer installing updates, they were just piling up. Despite using Windows for gaming because it is faster and more games are available, I hold it in low regard because every version of Windows I've ever owned starting with Windows95 gives me this kind of trouble requiring clean installs. On my Mac since upgrading to MacOSX, I've never had any kind of clean install issue. The MacOS is the best except Windows is better for gaming, but it's like dealing with the Devil, you'll pay. Ok, well, I am not a Windows expert, but this is what I did. To reinstall Windows up to the part where I installed Apple drivers took 90 minutes. Installing ALL of the Windows updates took another 3 hours or so.

      *First of all, I tried to restore my Windows to an earlier state, but I had no Windows restore points. :( I don't know how that happened. But you should make sure you have Windows setup to do this- Microsoft Restore Point Article. Then I tried to restore Windows to an earlier date using my WinClone Backkups. They did not work and WinClone is now on my s*** list. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows and hopefully eliminate this problem.
      *Made sure I had a Windows 7 install disk. Of note, I could not find my original disk, however I still have my Windows 7 serial number. Because Windows was all ready installed in this partition, during the reinstall, the installer did not ask me for a serial number. I downloaded Windows 7 from the MyGigitalLife Windows 7 Repositorywhich in Aug 2013 offered both a 32 and 64 bit version. My choice was the 64 bit version, downloaded it, then burned it to a DVD. If you have a 2011 or newer Mac, 64 bit works and it should be a little faster.
      *Opened the Bootcamp Assistant Utility (On your Mac: Applications>Utilities>Boot Camp Assistant) and printed out the Bootcamp Installation and Setup Guide. Then I checked the right box to download Apple's Windows Support Software. These are the drivers required for Windows to interact with your Mac hardware properly. After download, I placed the folder on a thumb drive.
      *Booted into Windows 7, opened the Control Panels pane and selected Advanced Recovery Methods where I chose to reinstall Windows. Follow the prompts. It will ask you if you have a copy of Windows. Say Yes. Of note, if the installer does not like your copy of Windows, if it does not recognize it as an install disk, it will allow you to back out of the install process.
      *Remain Available During the Install- One of the aspects of this install is that when it triggers a restart (several times), you will have to be there to hold down the Option key so you can select to boot back into your Windows partition. If you are gone when this happens, your Mac will boot into the MacOS. No problem. Just restart holding the option key and select the Windows partition.
      *Install Apple’s Window Drivers- After Windows has finished reinstalling before you start updating the hundreds of updates that will be required, navigate to your thumb drive where you stored the Apple Windows Support Software, open the folder and click on "setup.exe". This will install all of your Apple/Windows drivers.
      *Navigated to the Windows Network and Sharing Center to join my home network and get online. If you can't find it, in the search window, type in Network and Sharing. Join your home network either wired or wirelessly. See this Sharing an Internet Connection in Windows 7.
      *Navigate to Windows Update (Control Panel pane), bend over and plan on spending hours installing hundreds of updates. And they don't all register at once. For me it was an initial 140 updates in one shot, then it was 26, then 2, then 1, then 41, etc, etc. I'm confident you don't get them all in one shot because some updates are built on others. This is why you want to keep a good backup copy/image of your Windows C drive!
      *After the reinstall was complete, I hooked up a 1TB portable drive, (formatted to NTSF- see this link, hopefully it's not perishable) to my Mac while booted into Windows and created a Windows Backup of my C drive. See this Microsoft document: Back Up Your Programs, System, Settings, and Files.

    Part 5: Remove Windows Overhead
    You’re using a Mac. This is a midlevel gaming machine. Best to remove as much Windows overhead as you can.

    Windows Utilities- There are Windows built in utilities that can help, but I recommend Tune Up Utilities 2014. Most of us are not Windows experts. This program does all Windows Utilities, manages things like background programs, startup programs, and has a Turbo-Mode that allows background processes to be turned off during gaming sessions. Besides that, it solves many nasty Windows based problems that naturally occur and accumulate while using Windows.

    Turn Off Windows Features-
    You don’t need no stink’n Internet Explorer...
    *Turn Windows features on or off.

    *What are those windows features you can add or remove- 7Tutorials

    Part 6: Steam Troubleshooting

    Error Joining Multiplayer Game
    *Plan A- Launch the Task Manager by right clicking on the Task Bar (same as Apple’s Dock) and select “Start Task Manager.” Do a search on Windows Task Manager. Once it’s open, turn Steam off (if it is on), and relaunch it. For Windows 8, see this Windows 8 link. This has worked for me- Huntn.
    *Plan B is to clear the game’s cache. For this example CivilizationV is used. Navigate to this folder: C:\User (your name)\Documents\my games\sid meiers civilization 5\cache\ and move the folder to the Recycle Bin. Don’t delete until you verify that that game is still functional. In Steam’s Game Library List, navigate to Civ5, right click it, select “Properties”, then “”Local Files” and select “Verify integrity of game cache”.

    Part 7: Mac Hardware and Game Performance
    * My apologies for not having more info here. I own a 2011 15” MBP and the info for it is still accurate, so this section remains. Game performance for MacBook (discontinued) and iMac follow. Good reference for older Macc.

    15" MacBook Pro Game Performance
    *This section is based on my 2011 MBP. Newer MBPs with dedicated graphics (the 15-inch: 2.5GHzwith Retina display model $2500) should perform better. Some of these references go back to 2007.
    • Vampire:The Masquerade-Bloodlines (from 2004)- after installing the latest "unofficial patch" runs the game well on this 2011 MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. See the Game Specific Help page for this game. (added by Huntn Nov2011)
    • Star Wars The Old Republic MMO- runs well approx 20-50 fps on 2011 MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Nov11)
    • Elder Scrolls V- Skyrim runs well on 2011 MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Nov11)
    • Dragon Age: Origins runs well, 20-30 fps range, with medium to low settings (2011 MBP: 2.2 Ghz 15", Mac OS 10.5, 2GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista. Submitted by Huntn 11/09) Even on low settings the game looks decent. For Vista, technically my MBP is below offical system specs. Windows XP: Windows XP with SP3, CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.6Ghz or greater, AMD 64 (or equivalent) running at 2.2Ghz or greater, RAM: 1 GB or more, Video: ATI Radeon X850 128MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater. Windows Vista with SP1: CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8Ghz or greater, AMD 64 (or equivalent) running at 2.6Ghz or greater, RAM: 1.5 GB or more, Video: ATI Radeon X1550 256MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB or greater.
      [*]Assassin's Creed (4/2008) Assassins creed runs good on my MBP, albeit on lower res (1300*768) and low-medium detail. (I have a first generation MBP, with a X1600) Although you need to install new drivers, if you are still running Tiger, with the Bootcamp Beta 1.3. (Don't know about the newer leopard bootcamp drivers). The latest Omega Drivers should do the trick, if you are getting crashes on "Memory Block 3", in the game. It crashed every time I tried to get to Acre or Jerusalem, and sometimes at random in Kingdom.
      -Additional Notes: Runs on XP, game runs almost 2x as good on the X1600 using Omega Supplied Radeon Drivers.
      [*] Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare : Works great with default settings, no lag whatsoever, able to up the graphics setting a bit without sacrificing gameplay performance (Tested on MBP SantaRosa 2.4GHZ, 2GB Ram, 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, OS used : Windows XP)
      [*] Command & Conquer 3 : works fine under native settings, turned up high.
      [*] Crysis runs well, 20-50 fps range, with medium to low settings (2011 MBP: 2.2 Ghz 15", Mac OS 10.5, 2GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista)

      [*]Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind runs well under Vista (should run ok under XP. Reported as running on MacBooks too.) (submitted by Huntn 9/08)
      [*]Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion runs about about 30 fps with mid range settings on 32bit Vista. More testing needed. (submitted by Huntn 12/07)
      [*]Enemy Territory : Quake Wars : crashes when joining or making new game (off- and online), but only randomly (might be punkbuster related) - works fine as soon as connection is successful, turned up high. (hardware: MBP w/ 17", X1600 Radeon, 2,33GHz, 2Gb RAM, latest Firmware and updates for OSX 10.4)
      [*] Fallout 2 : works fine under native settings.
      [*]Guild Wars2 runs well on this MBP in the range of 15-45fps: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Sept 2012).
      [*]Half Life 2- runs well!
      [*]Hellgate London: runs great. Note: the walls are invisible with model quality set to high. Correct situation by setting model quality to medium.
      [*]Heroes of Might and Magic V: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
      [*]KOTOR II: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
      [*]KOTOR 1 & 2: both have rare crashes, so save often, but they work fantastically on a MBP w/ x1600. 2x FSAA + 8x Trilinear Filtering + Soft Shadows (also, it automatically stretches to widescreen, so choose 1280*960 instead of 1280*1024, to prevent extreme stretchiness.) KOTOR 2 has a slightly lower framerate, but still fantastic.
      [*]Lord Of The Rings - Battle For Middle Earth 2 : works fine under native settings, turned up high.
      (MBP w/ x1600) Update: I believe wall issue was resolved by running game at lower resolution- Hunt'n.

      [*]Minecraft: Runs well on 2011 MBP.
      [*]Penumbra: Overture runs without any problems (reported 2011).
      [*]Planetside 2 runs well on this MBP in the range of 15-35fps: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Sept12).
      [*]Rome Total War: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
      [*]Sword of The Stars: 1.4.1 (+Born of Blood Expansion) Works fine under native settings (1600*1050), turned up high.
      [*]Sacred Gold : works fine under native settings, turned up high. (11/04/07)
      [*]Silent Hunter III: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
      [*]SimCity Societies: very rare crashes. 1400*852 (MBP w/ x1600) (although framerate is rather low, so MBP w/ x1600 is minimum)
      [*]Space Engineers- Runs adequately, can get choppy when networked for coop play. -Huntn Aug 2014.
      [*] Star Wars Empire at War: Runs fine on native (1440x900) settings, and everything turned up high.
      [*]Tabula Rasa runs great on 2.2 Ghz MBP. (submitted by Huntn 11/06)
      [*]Team Fortress 2 runs ok.
      [*]The Witcher runs well. (2.2 Ghz 15" MBP, Mac OS 10.5, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista)
      [*]Unreal Tournament 3 runs well on the 2.2Ghz MBP depending on settings 30-60 fps on 32bit Vista. (submitted by Huntn 12/07)
      [*]Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines runs well on a MBP. I started with 32bit Vista. I assume it will run on XP, no problem (originally submitted 09/08) The game runs well on 64bit Windows 7 (Aug 2014). For more info, see the Game Specific Help section.

      Jeanette Voerman- Vampire Extraordinaire

      Smiling Jack​

      [*]World of Tanks- Runs in the 25-70 FPS range, adequate for playing the game. (reported Aug 2014).

    13"MacBookPro/MacBook Performance
    *Good reference for older Macs. Keep in mind that some of these references go back to 2007.
    MacBook- Is it for gaming?
    *Good reference for older Macs
    *Macbooks were discontinued in July 2011. Replacement hardware would be the 13" MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.
    • Dracula Origin- runs well on MacBook with x3100 chipset/WinXP. (submitted by Huntn)
    • Half Life 2 Demo worked but had autosave crashes-Huntn.
    • Medieval Total War 2 does not run-Huntn.
    • Morrowind runs great-Huntn.
    • Penumbra: Overture- runs on MacBooks with x3100 chipset or newer. Older MacBooks won't run this game. (available as Mac Native game)-Huntn.
    • The Lost Crown- a ghost hunting adventure runs on a x3100 chipset Macbook under WindowsXP. Title may run on older Macbooks but unverified. -Huntn.
    • Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War runs great.

    iMac- 2-2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM, RadeonX1600 256 MB VRAM
    *Good reference for older iMac. Keep in mind that some of these references go back to 2007- Huntn. Specific configurations may be listed for specific games.

    • Blazing Angels - Runs very well with most settings maxed. Only terrain texture quality had to be lowered, otherwise one would get black slabs of nothingness. 1280x796.
    • Bloodrayne 2 - Flawless performance with max settings. Strangely enough, there's no gamepad support. Odd. (Something high)
    • Brothers in Arms - Smooth at 1680x1050, everything maxed.
    • Call of Duty 2 - Runs OK at default settings (800x600, everything else at high, textures at extra supadupa).
    • Far Cry - Runs extremely well with max settings at 1280x796 with only one area near the end of the game making it slow down a bit. 32-bit version only.
    • FarCry - Runs like butter at 1024x768 everything maxed. Even runs OK with the 64 bit to 32 bit conversion patch - but some of the textures look a bit screwy. The extra view distance and content is nice though.
    • FIFA 2007 - Runs very well in lower resolution. Slows down significantly on higher ones. One could lower the graphical details, but that makes the players look butt-ugly, and it doesn't seem to help performance gain much.
    • Galactic Civilizations II - Runs perfectly fine at max settings. Not that it is a very demanding game from the start. 1680x1050 (I think)
    • Ghost Recon 1, 2 and 3 - super smooth maxed out at 1680x1050.
    • Half-Life 2 - Runs smooth everything maxed out (except no FSAA)
    • Half-Life 2: Episode one - Runs fine. There's a few minor visual glitches (bump-mapping shininess)
    • Day of Defeat: Source - Runs quite well with good fps and high settings. Some glitches such as tree models appear as blocks. (fps slowdown on smoke, but that happens on many PCs)
    • Lego Star Wars II - Perfoms flawlessly with everything maxed out. (some high resolution 4:3 format, no widescreen support)
    • Max Payne 2 - Perfoms flawlessly with everything maxed out. 1680x1050
    • Pirates! - Runs without a hitch at max settings. (4:3 only, no widescreen support)
    • Prey - Runs very well on high settings with only very rare minor slowdowns in certain spots. 1024x768
    • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - Runs perfectly with max settings. Just be sure to deactivate one of your processors for this one. 1280x796
    • Stronghold 2 - Smooth as butter with maximum detail. 1280x796.
    • Stronghold Legacy (Demo) - Same engine as Stronghold 2. Seems to run about the same.
    • Team Fortress 2 (original Intel Core Duo iMac, 1600 card at 256MB of video RAM and 2GB of main RAM 12/07.
    • Titan Quest - Runs pretty well for the most part with some details (i.e. shadows) lowered. 1280x796.
    • Unreal Tournament 3 reported to run at about 20-40 fps running at 1440 x 900 High Settings with VSync off and Post Processing at Intense. (2.4 Ghz 2gig ram w/ HD 2600 Pro Imac running XP Pro SP2). 12/07
    • Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines - Runs perfectly with everything maxed out. 1900x (no widescreen support).

    Part 8: Game Specific Help and Save Locations

    *PC Game Save Locations Wiki

    Civilization V
    *Saved Games: C>Users>User Name>My Documents>My Games>Sid Meier’s Civilization 5. (For Mac: On Mac OS X: ~/Documents/Aspyr/Sid Meier's Civilization 5/Saves)
    *Error Joining Civ Multiplayer Game- See Steam troubleshooting section.

    Runs well on 2011 MBP. I discovered that Minecraft Windows saves are kept in the hidden-by-default folder, AppData. C:User>AppData>Roaming>minecraft. (added Oct13) Display Hidden Files and Folder

    Space Engineers
    *See the Mac Rumors Space Engineers Guide
    *From the Mac Rumors guide: Auto Saving- Space Engineers employs auto saves every 5 min or so. What this means is that if you alter a ship, the original version will soon be saved over. If experimenting with a new design and in Creative Mode, consider Copy and Paste.
    *Save Strategy Multiple copies of a World can be saved by using the “Save As” feature on the World Load Page. However after spending hundreds of hours building a space ship, the Save File should be backed up. Find it at C Drive>User>AppData>Roaming>Space Engineers> Saves.

    Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines Help
    (Updated as of March 2014)
    *Play Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines on Your Mac? It will not run under Mac Steam, however A Mac Cider port (added Aug2014) is reported for this game, however I can’t vouch for it. See this video and link:

    *Kickass: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - 8.4.2 (Mac!).

    *To play Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines today (Aug 2014) via Bootcamp/PC follow these steps:

    -Purchase and Download the game from Steam- $20 as of Aug 2014. -Steam Product
    - Kind of surprising in the description, there is no mention of the need for a patch.
    -Download and Install the Patch- Planet Vampire link. -Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines Patch- Direct link for v9.0 the current patch as of May2014. Read about game at -PCGamer article

    Vampire Masquerade Misc Info and Errors

    *Background Info: The game came out in 2004 for Windows XP or 98 (can't remember). The good news is that this excellent atmospheric game can be played under Windows 7 including 64 bit installed through Steam and available for purchase on Steam. Normal price is $20, but it can be found on sale for 75% off. If you check the game requirements prior to purchase you will see there is no mention of Windows 7 for the Operating System. This info came from the official Steam Forums originally posted by Darkbyke (2011), but this post is now archived, so I have repeated the info here. I (Huntn) recently installed the game through Steam, got the first error listed below, installed the unofficial patch and made the settings changes as noted below (15mb memory error).

    *Error: Unable to run, less that 15mb memory available- This is the error you will most likely see if you install the game through Steam and then try to run it under Windows 7. Fixing V:TM-B (15mb memory and Failed to find Steam errors.

    *Choose to install Unofficial Patch to your steam directory
    Typically "C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\vampire the masquerade bloodlines". Note: The v8.9 patch will point to this path whether the game is located there or not. If you have installed Steam on a different hard drive, go find it.

    *To Correct Black Intro Screen with sound, but no logos:
    This is annoying during game startup. Once in the game, there should be no issues. To correct, in the Steam\SteamApps\common\vampire the masquerade-bloodlines directory right-click on the Vampire.exe application, select Properties>Compatibility and click the Disable Visual Themes and Disable Desktop Composition boxes. Huntn Note:This is not within the Steam Application while the game is running. This is within the Steam directory on your hard drive. This worked for me.

    *To Prevent Auto Updating:
    Under the Steam Game Library Menu:(while running Steam, before launching the game) right-click Vampire The Masquerade game, select Properties>General Tab and un-check the box labeled Enable Steam Community In-Game box. Under the Update Tab>Automatic Updates select Do Not Automatically Update This Game.
    Huntn Note: I could not get the "disable auto update" selection to stick when I tried it.

    *Error: Failed to find Steam
    Launch the Game within Steam. Unverified Second Option: Run Steam as an administrator AND set the Vampire.exe to run as an admin as well. You should also be launching the game from Steam. Always restart Steam after setting to Admin... some users aren't doing this.
    *Error: I'm missing textures!
    Bump Mapping: is checked ON under game settings (while game is running. Also, doesn't hurt to restart the game, I know I had missing textures (they appeared as a pink/black chessboard) and I restarted the game with bump mapping on and they restored properly. The following is Old Info, may or may not be applicable for the 2014, 9.0 patch...Unverified (Option 2): Install the Official 1.2 Patch and then one of the available unofficial patches online. I have installed and used the True5.04AT patch located at]. Warning: This site also includes some semi-nude model enhancements along with a NPC graphic enhancement patch.

    Part 9: Windows Tidbits

    Handy Windows Utilities
    *Winclone 4- Used to make a backup copy of your Windows Partition. This is Mac software run using the MacOS. One of the questions becomes do I have a good cloned image? See this support article: Restore a Winclone Image to a Disk Image to verify Image. (added March14)- What a pain...
    *TuneUp Utilities- excellent and reasonably priced. (Added Sept12).
    *Startup Manager- Utility that controls what background programs automatically start when WinXP launched.
    *Ad-aware- free version of anti-adware program.
    *AVG free virus software
    *Mac Disk for Windows-a utility that allows Windows to see stuff on and write to your Mac partition. Be careful what you wish for.
    *Spybot- Search and Destroy- free adware/malware program.
    *True Image- Backup Software creates image of drive. Warning: At one point this did not work on Macs running windows. Maybe they fixed it?
  2. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    Honestly, with the state of Apple's current hardware line up it's getting kind of hard to use a Mac if you're mostly interested in gaming, especially portable. Weird because things were really starting to look up just a few years ago before they went big on integrated graphics, insane resolutions, and odd Mac Pro design choices.

    Anyway, considering current limitations it's a nice guide you've got here. Maybe you could add something about the Mac Mini, which provides a great way to have an affordable OS X/Windows HTPC set up for older games/emulators.
  3. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Agreed. I have the rMBP with dedicated GPU, but I can't really play most games over 1920 resolution and barely any at high settings without getting a drastic FPS slow down. Not to mention the fans run full time from about 5 seconds after a game starts until about 30 after it's closed and the MBP has time to cool.
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I'll be sure to add this. Any specific info regarding a Mac mini and gaming would be appreciated.

    I just discovered an issue with the size of MRs posts. My total guide is too big for one post where the limit comes in about 72k characters. Ill be adding more to this guide, but curious to see if the powers that be will increase it.


    All of my gaming on my 2011 MBP (dedicated graphics) is at the mid to low graphic settings, but I swear I do not suffer and get good performance. In World of Tanks, I'm getting about 50fps and the game looks great at modest graphic settings.
  5. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
  6. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    I've been playing The Secret World lately which is not the newest MMO and is by Funcom, so the graphics are maybe on par with RIFT if not something less graphically impressive. There's a boss that drops a bunch of AOE spots on the ground which causes the game to just chug compared to my 4-5 year old desktop with just the GPU upgaded to a 680GT.

    That's just one instance. I find that if I drop the graphics too low, the games just start looking terrible. Unfortunately, even dropping the graphical performance does not cure the heat issues. The upper portion of the keyboard gets hot enough to actually burn you if you happen to accidentally touch the metal between the keys by not holding your hand correctly.

    The MBPs are just bad at gaming. It's great for everything else I use it for.
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    +1. If it wasn't for Bootcamp, gaming on a Mac would be very lackluster.

    Sweet guide none the less though OP. Hopefully it'll help many new Mac users.
  8. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    What kind of MBP are you using, the top model? I have to disagree with your characterization. I've played a large number of PC games on it and would describe it has a solid mid-level gaming machine. See my signature. It's possible though that our expectations differ. For example, I play World Of Tanks on it and get a solid 50fps at low settings. Of note the low settings in that game look great. What it removes is the tall grass, the tank tracks (in the dirt) and the really annoying swaying trees. :)

    Thanks! :)
  9. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    It's the latest gen rMBP with everything maxxed but the CPU, IIRC?

    How long has WOT been out and how graphically intensive is it? I'm pretty sure it's not up there with most modern games. And any computer that sounds like it's taking off the entire time a program that uses more than basic 2D graphics is running and heats up to the point where it can physically harm your from the heat is not good. In fact, it's the complete opposite of good. This is not the only Macbook Pro I've owned. It's probably the 4th or 5th and the first would barely play WOW as it was one of the first gen Core Duos. Since then they've all rang extremely hot and loud. In fact, I had a 17" Dell with a 2.0 C2D and dedicated GPU that played games much better than any but the most recent MBPs I've owned and even then it did not get loud or hot enough to burn you.
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I'm thinking of the $2500 one, the 15-inch: 2.5GHz with Retina display, including the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M link. This makes a big difference for gaming, but of course you pay another $500 for the privilege of dedicated vs integrated graphics.

    What irritates me for new MBPs is that in 2011 you did not have to buy the top of the line to get dedicated graphics. (Stated in the guide)
  11. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    That's mine. I upgraded the RAM since it's not user replacable to a grand total of almost $2,800 before the student discount.

    It's a good computer. It can run games decently, but not at full resolution without a serious performance hit or at a very low detail, and it gets brutally hot and noisy. It's not a gaming machine. It also does this pretty much anything involving 3D graphics is used.
  12. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Yes there are times when the fan kick in and runs continuously and it gets very warm. :)

    My impression is that due to their online nature and wanting to have as large a subscriber base as possible, most MMOs do not have the highest demand graphics or at least they are scalable. I do play WoT in low graphic settings for the best performance but fortunately it still looks great (IMO). If you look at the lis of games under the 15" MBP in the guide, I have played most of them.
  13. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    I'kk have to try Don't Starve, which is 2D. I haven't played it much, so I'm foggy on the details, but I think that may even have the fans blasting.
  14. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Is there a good FPS/temp/performance monitor for Windows that I can run over top of games in Windows?. I'll give you some benchmark from my games for this thread.
  15. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    I am tempted to switch to windoze for my gaming on my 27" iMac, i heard there are over heating issues when gaming on windows via bootcamp, i got a late 2012 iMac slim one, should i get worried about over heating issues when gaming on windows?

  16. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    *2Jan15- Added Reduce Windows Overhead Section to post 1.
  17. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Old thread...
    It’s been about 9 months since I cranked up Windows via Bootcamp on my Nov 2016 MBP, so today I pulled the plug on my Bootcamp partition to restore some badly needed space to my Mac’s pitiful 500 GB hard drive. My guess is there maybe some valid info in the guide although it was last update a couple years ago.

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