Need a few tips on how I should approach Mac gaming.

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by ShadowXOR, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. ShadowXOR macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've been a PC die hard since I was old enough to use one. However I repair them for my job so I'm sick of coming home and working on my own for free. I want something simple and more reliable - a Mac. The caveat? I'm a HUGE gamer. I guess I haven't been doing much PC gaming lately but I don't want to abandon it altogether. I'm looking at getting the most expensive iMac currently available and have a few questions:

    1. The best performance for gaming is to run games via Boot Camp, right?

    2. I have a legal copy of Windows XP Professional AND Windows Vista Home Premium, I've heard opinions going both ways on which is better...anymore opinions? And any hard facts/benchmarks?

    3. Will I be missing out on anything or have a lot of problems?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #2
    1. Yes. (Native Mac games often perform just great--though maybe not AS great as the Windows originals. However, virtualized Windows, via VMWare or Parallels, is not much good for 3D right now.)

    2. No opinion. People seem to prefer XP, and some games NEED XP (while others need Vista?) but... XP is so ooooold!

    3. You'll have the same problems you ever had with Windows--when you are running Windows. Anti-malware apps bogging you down, registry fun, whatever it is that bothered you before will eventually come up again. BUT when you boot back to the Mac side you'll be fine :) You won't miss out on anything (except the HD space for the Windows partition that Boot Camp will create).

    And you won't be able to use your Mac apps, files, bookmarks, etc. AND do gaming in the same session--you'll need to wait for a reboot. That's the disadvantage of Boot Camp. But for anything beyond casual low-end gaming, it's still the way to go. (Unless you game only in OS X like me, but that option won't meet everyone's needs.)

    VMWare and Parallels have very limited, preliminary 3D support for now. And running 2 OS's at once on the same screen is very cool, but it does use more system resources. Shutting down OS X and booting Windows by itself (Boot Camp) solves all that.

    EDIT: There are also hybrid configs, IIRC, where you can run Windows apps side-by-side with OS X apps (in VMWare or Parallels) AND also boot the SAME Windows installation alone via Boot Camp when you want to game. Best of both worlds. You'd have to investigate that more though.
     
  3. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.50 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/4.1.11313/514; U; en))

    So would I be better off buying a game for Mac and running it natively or buying the Windows version and running it in Boot Camp? I hear the Mac versions do not always get as many patches as quickly.

    And I know I'll have to deal with Windows just the same in Boot Camp but I mean will I run into lots of errors, incompatibilities or issues like low frame rate that I wouldn't run into while playing these games natively in Windows? Or does it work just as well as a PC would without any additional drawbacks?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. Zephirus macrumors member

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    #4
    There wont be slowdowns in boot camp. Your computer will act exactly as if it was a PC. I personnally play Crysis and get between 30-40 FPS with all settings at HIGH so Bootcamp is definately good for gaming.

    I also get my games for PC because there is more chance of me buying a PC in the near future than a mac because I'm on limited budget, I like gaming and I study in mechanical engineering and my knowledge, there arent that many engineering programs for MAC (yet)
     
  5. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #5
    Yes, running Windows via Boot Camp is just the same as running it on a PC, except all your cool volume keys work.

    Personally, I'd get XP x64 or Vista Ultimate x64.
     
  6. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Great info, thanks a lot. I can't wait to get this thing. Should I go ahead and grab the top end iMac? I don't want a full redesign coming out in six months or something... I just want this thing to last me a while for gaming. :)

    And how is the resale value? I've never had a Mac before so I'm rather new to all of this.

    I have Vista Home Premium x64, if you look at the feature list that Ultimate adds to that, it isn't much. At least nothing that matches my needs. If it does something that I'm unaware of though, please point out what feature it has over Home Premium that makes it so much better so I could get it if necessary. Thanks.
     
  7. Olvenskol macrumors member

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    #7
    It really depends on the game whether the Mac version is a good (or good-enough) to replace the Windows version. WoW, for example, I play using the OSX version and it's fine. Others I don't.

    I don't have tons of experience running Mac games (I still keep a PC for work, so tend to use that), but the ones I have run under Bootcamp run very much like they do on a PC. I'd strongly suggest going for the 8800 graphics card upgrade as the iMac weakness vis-a-vis games is usually the video card.

    Half-Life 2 runs very decently at medium settings on a year-old base model iMac with no upgrades. I get 25-ish frames/second on it, which isn't bad given the 'eh' hardware I'm using.

    City of Heroes I had to turn down the resolution some from the native format to get reasonable frame rates. Having done that, it plays great. Interestingly, it looks way better on the iMac than it does on my PC even though the PC is running at a higher resolution and has a fancy, new, very bright HP monitor. Ditto for Half-Life 2. The iMac screen is really hard to beat!

    I haven't tried anything really challenging yet like Age of Conan or Bioshock on my Mac yet. Given my older ATI card, I wouldn't expect much from them. On a 8800, I'd think they would be reasonable. It might be worth reading some of the Age of Conan threads here to see how people have faired... that's a very demanding game on any machine.
     
  8. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #8
    Resale value is nothing short of amazing, to put it bluntly.

    I'd just go ahead and grab one now because it was recently updated, like a month ago!
     
  9. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Thanks for all the additional info...and did you see my question about Vista Ultimate? ;) I want to be ready with all of the software when I order this thing.
     
  10. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #10
    Whoops, I didn't see it :p

    I just assumed you had 32-bit Premium.
     
  11. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    So as long as I have x64 is really what matters? Not Home Premium vs. Ultimate?
     
  12. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #12
    Oh... I thought 64 bit hardware would perform better under a 64bit OS, is all.

    Then again, I'm an idiot.
     
  13. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    No, I think you're problably right.

    My question was that you were pushing Ultimate x64 and I wanted to know if it really had any advantages over Home Premium x64, but I've done a bit of research on my own and nothing in Vista Ultimate x64 is anything I would use that isn't in Home Premium so I answered my own question, thanks!
     
  14. citisin macrumors newbie

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    #14
    1. yes, because you can overclock the GPU and update drivers.

    2. i use xp just because it's more "stable" and it's easy to strip it down to the bare essentials.

    3. you'll miss osx, but nothing much. i use mine for gaming purely. just don't be doing anything crazy on your windows partition that will effect your osx.

    cheers!
     
  15. mongrol macrumors regular

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    #15
    <gets on horse>
    What's with the obsession with saying "running games under bootcamp"? Bootcamp is a bootloader, you don't run anything under bootcamp. We use Bootcamp to boot windows. We run Windows on our mac hardware just like a PC and run the games under Windows."

    This misuse of terminology is permanantly misleading new users and making them think we're constantly emulating Windows in some way. We're not. The Mac now is just another vendors version of PC hardware, no different in any way. Let's put it simply.

    Bootcamp = Run WinXP on your Mac. Great for games. Eats disk space.

    Parallels/VmWare = Not for games, don't even consider it.
    </gets off horse>

    Apologies for being a bit obnoxious. This just needs pointed out every so often. :)
     
  16. ert3 macrumors 6502a

    ert3

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    #16
    1. yes for windows only games

    2. unless you really want DX10 the stick with XP because games are a bit less stable and slower in vista some times

    3. viruses that can affect the whole hard drive.
    relying on an unstable OS if the stuff hits the fan.
    the ability to buy an upgrade that will break everything else in the computer
     
  17. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

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  18. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    What do you mean by: "...buy an upgrade that will break everything else in the computer"?

    And I've been using XP for years with no firewalls, ports open, no antivirus and no spyware without a single problem. You just have to know how to use a PC properly, none of that will be an issue with me. I'm a seasoned Windows/PC veteran.
     
  19. ert3 macrumors 6502a

    ert3

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    #19
    there are a few laptops out there that can be upgraded but typically changing laptop hardware is anything but a clean process
     
  20. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    I've run a PC for several years, start it, play a game, shutdown and infrequently go out on the net looking for updates. This is basically how I also run Vista on my MBP and both are doing very well, although I periodically do run a utility called System Suite.
     
  21. godslabrat macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I do understand your point, but there are a few apps that don't run under Boot camp, but will run under a standard Wintel box. I would say that makes at least a slight distinction between a Mac and any other PC vendor...
     
  22. Mackan macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Yeah, these bashings on Windows are getting tiresome. I never had a big problem with Windows either. If you get trouble or not, is highly dependent on if you know what you are doing.

    As for gaming on a Mac, it will be fine if you use bootcamp to boot into Windows and play the games there.
     
  23. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Think most of the points have been addressed here, but of the choices for gaming performance I think it's pretty hard to argue against XP. More mature and takes less system resources. I mean, having more ram and CPU power available can't hurt..
     
  24. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Do you know how to obtain a copy of XP 64 bit? I only have my 32 bit copy. I know with Vista I paid like $10 for them to ship me the 64 bit...will Windows even send me a 64 bit version anymore? This is frustrating.
     

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