OSX vs Bootcamp for games

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by taylorswift, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. taylorswift macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    Hello there, I am meticulous about achieving the best possible performance with the pc games I play. That being said, gaming has fallen second to school and work, and I recently purchased a Macbook pro for development (iOS/linux) and I was wondering weather it would be worth it to add a bootcamp partition or to just play games on OSX. I am assuming it is game dependent, but I really don't want to have to reboot every time I want to take a 20 minute sc break. Here are my specs -

    2011 MBP
    2.2ghz quad core i7
    1680x1050 res
    4gb ram
    ati 6750m 1gb graphics

    The games I want to play are Starcraft 2 and league of legends. Should I bother with a windows partition or will the performance in OSX for these games suffice?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    OS X should be good enough, especially with that powerful of a computer.
  3. xizar macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2009
    I have the late 2009 27" i7 imac and am fairly happy with SC2 in native mode. I can't max out the settings, but they're not that far down.
    I have not played it under Bootcamp.

    I'm not aware of there being a LoL client for OS X. (Well, there *is* one, but it's not supported, and quite beta.)

    If that's *all* you're going to play, I'd say stick with just OS X.
    I tend only to boot into Windows to update (1x month) and for marathon sessions of whatever game I still haven't finished.

    I currently have Fallout 3, Fallout NV (I'm about 60 hours in, not even half way done with the main story, and haven't touched the DLC), Mass Effect 1&2, Dragon Age:Origins...


    So I generally get depressed and just play TF2 or Killing Floor (both of which have native OS X clients).

    Yeah... don't bother with Windows. Too depressing.
  4. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    If it's just those games & a maybe a few others, then I'd stick with OS X. Your Mac will suffice.

    However, though the Mac port of Starcraft 2 is in OS X-native code (not Cider) & top notch, frankly, you'd get better performance in Windows, ie. more FPS & slightly better rendering of graphics. Still, IMO, rebooting into Boot Camp doesn't seem worthwhile for just those few games.

    But if you were a dedicated gamer of non-console type games, then I'd go for Boot Camp. Windows 7, though IMO not as good as OS X in some respects, is still more than good enough for many general tasks, not least gaming.
  5. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    SC2 should give you no problems on medium-high settings. Boot Camp, while it's great and all, is just a hassle. I find with Lion my SC2 performance improved leaps and bounds over when I had Snow Leopard anyway.
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    You'll have better performance across the board using Bootcamp. I don't know why there's all the negativity around it; just set it up, give it some gigs of storage, and leave it alone. Only use it for games and you have zero problems (you'll also have zero problems if you know what you're doing).

    I use it for gaming on my 13 inch MBP and love it; the OS is great and, although I do pretty much everything else in OS X, Win 7 isn't bad at all.
  7. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    most people bought a Mac because they want a Mac... they don't want to install and use Windows and turn their Mac into a PC... you should be able to understand why there is negativity about it.
  8. Meicyn macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2007
    And they bought a Mac knowing full well that there is a tremendous gaming deficit for OSX. Being negative over an option is flat out silly. It's certainly not the most convenient option as any of us would rather play everything in OSX, but given the option between playing a game, or playing a game with sub-par performance... or being able to play it at all for that matter, I'll take my Bootcamp option.

    BTW, thanks for your hard work on Wineskin.
  9. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I have to disagree with the majority of that statement. Yes people do buy Macs because that's want they want to use for various reasons and do not want to use a Windows PC. However there is a reason why when Apple introduced the Intel based Macs they provided a method in the form of Bootcamp to install Windows and officially support it. Obviously they did their research and realised that for many there were certain applications that could only run under Windows or ran better under it.

    Games are not the only type of application that fall under this but also business and creative applications too. Unfortunately when it comes to gaming because of the much smaller Market share most game developers/publishers choose not to support it and even those that do more often then not do not optimise their games for the Mac platform. The exceptions are Blizzard, Valve and possibly Lucas Arts. For that reason installing Windows under Bootcamp is the best option short of buying a separate Windows PC for gaming.
  10. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    There isn't a negativity about it. There are a few users who say their time is too valuable to waste 60 seconds rebooting into another OS to waste time in games, but that's pretty much it. We're all smart individuals who realise that different operating systems are better for different things. That's why I bought a iMac - it runs everything I can throw at it perfectly either in Windows or Mac.

    OP; for that one game you're best sticking with OSX. But even if you do decide to install Windows later then it isn't a difficult task once your system is fully set up. You can safely partition drives without losing data.
  11. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Exactly. Which is why, when I had the decision of going with an Alienware laptop that had amazing build quality, 7.5 hour battery life, a good screen, and a 2 gig graphics card with the same 2011 MBA internals, I decided to go with the MBP.

    Gaming is great, I love it; used to be a hardcore gamer. Semi-pro at that. However, I'm much more efficient when doing anything in OS X and I love the feel a lot more. Keyboard commands, multitouch trackpad with gestures, the whole setup. It's more about the OS than the difference in internals for me. AND I can simply run Bootcamp and (on the baseline MBP) run Portal 2, Oblivion, and others in Med-high settings AND play them with an Xbox 360 controller.

    It's a compromise but a darn good one IMO.

    ^This. There are a plethora of reasons people use Bootcamp; games, company products, school products, that one program that just doesn't work on OS X, and many more. For me, I only use it for games. I'm a college student with a major in the sciences so the computer isn't my main tool of work right now. I pretty much only go to Bootcamp for the games.

    However, I know there are a lot of people out there who need it. My friend included who is majoring in computer science didn't know about Parallels until I gave it to him. First thing he said? "Wow that would have helped me last semester".

    He had to bring his old tower from middle school to college because there were some programs he just couldn't run on OS X. If he had Bootcamp or Parallels at the time, he would have been able to do all of that faster, easier, more efficient, and anywhere.

    Well then this doesn't apply to them does it? Stating that there isn't a negative vibe about something and then basing that on people who have no need for it doesn't make sense.
  12. VitaminD macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    New York
    Much of the negativity is influenced by marketing canards and fanboyism.

    OS X is awesome. Windows 7 is awesome. Linux is awesome.

    A Mac can run all three which makes a Mac thrice-awesome. :D

    I bought my 27" iMacs to happily run all three OSs. There's nothing to be gained by being an OS X purist. Though, there is something to save... the cost of the Windows 7 license and HDD space. So there's that. :p
  13. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I Am A Stuck In The Mac

    Way of things person. I know that most high end games require windows, but this is changing with the mac app store, new stuff is appearing daily.

    I wouldn't touch bootcamp windows with a ten foot pole:)
  14. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Yea if you want to play a casual, cheap game that's good for a few minutes.

    If you want to play a "real" game, people use Bootcamp. Yea they have a few like CoD 4 but at the end of the day, Portal, CoD BO, Oblivion, Skyrim, BFBC, etc. aren't there.

    It ultimately depends on what your idea of gaming is though; yours is obviously different than mine (and others who actually get legitimate computers for playing games).
  15. VitaminD macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    New York
    Really? Why, what happens? :eek:
  16. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    You're reminded of how much work it is to maintain Windows (depending on what you want to do of course).

    I don't mean to seem to jump into every convo (lol), but for me, being a power user, when switching back and forth, I try to only go to Bootcamp when I want to play a game I have installed on there.

    It just seems to take more effort (clicks, scrolling (which I now hate due to it not being smooth), and keypresses) to do the same thing than if I were on OS X.
  17. VitaminD macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    New York
    That's weird. Haven't noticed those issues in particular. And I don't have to do more than the following to maintain Win 7 on any of my windows notebook computers or on my iMacs;

    1. Run CCleaner periodically to clean up temp files and browsing caches.
    2. Run Microsoft Security Essentials periodically. Usually when the MSE icon turns orange as a reminder to run it.
    3. Acronis (image) the SSD/HDD every week.
    4. Run Windows Update (mostly on those Tuesday nights when MS issues them.)

    Win 7's been trouble free since the day I installed it. No Virus/malware. No BSoD. Just a few tweaks here and there to customize it to look and feel a little more like OS X. (RocketDock, Dexpot, etc.)

    But yes, that's a wee bit more work than on OS X or Linux. No argument there. But I don't know, it's nothing I would consider cumbersome or arduous.
  18. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    Bootcamp with Windows 7 works well enough, but you'll be annoyed if you only use Win 7 once in a while then login to play a game and Windows decides it wants to do Windows Updates. :rolleyes: They take ages. :( (but you can disable them).

    Most of my gaming is rFactor and MS Flight Sim with the very nice PMDG 737 NGX addon, neither of which are available for Mac OS, so there is no choice in the matter.
  19. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    1) Thanks for the subliminal recommendations; downloading Dexpot now :)

    2) And those simple things are what I meant by maintenance ;). It isn't hard and I only run CCleaner, The essentials, updates, and that's about it. That is, although simple, more than I have to do in OX X :)

    But yea, if you don't do anything stupid you won't have any problems; I'm using Win 7 right now. Personally I installed Rainmeter and customized the "theme" a bit to make it more visually appealing. It's great for doing pretty much anything I throw at it, however I ultimately meant...

    When I'm in class and I have to do 10 things at once, I can do them all within 15 seconds on OS X and it would definitely take longer doing that on Windows

    Ex: Opening Chrome and going to 3 sites / Opening a new Word / Opening yesterday's notes in Word / Opening Things (To do App) / Opening Calendar / Sending,checking an email / etc.

    Of course, you can do that on any os in respectable time but through BetterTouchTool, spaces, and keyboard commands, (along with OS X's amazing Finder and Spotlight (Alfred), I can do that a lot faster there.
  20. Gleamingjewel macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
    I just recently purchased a MBA and am thinking of playing bio shock infinite on it. Before I purchase it I'd like to know which is I should buy it for, I would assume win7.

    In that case it's going to be a pricey purchase. If anyone runs it on OS X with a MBA please tell me how well it runs.
  21. Tjosansa macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2013
    Just ordered an iMac 27" gtx 780m to my wife and shes gonna use it Windows7 only.
    Best Windows computer there is to get. Simly as that!
  22. Washac, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

    Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
    I put off and put off and put off going down the Bootcamp route for ages, then I realised that not all PC only games run that well under Wrappers etc.

    I use Bootcamp for playing games ONLY, I treat it like having a games machine/console but on my Mac, if I was to play said game on a console I would have to turn the console on etc, no different to booting into Bootcamp really. I do try to get games running under wrappers and if they work and work well then I do not bother with Bootcamp, also after playing said game in a wrapper and feel I want a better gaming experience I will use Bootcamp.
  23. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012

    see i sit firmly on the fence in between both of you.

    i game, both in os x, and in bootcamp.

    os x is getting a lot better, both in games coming out,and in the performance being almost as good. steam has really helped with this, a lot of games come out firstly as pc on steam, then later when its ported to mac, its listed as steamplay meaning you get both mac and pc versions for same cost.

    probably i do an equal amount of gaming on either side, over the year. bootcamp for games that are pc only, or ive bought the pc version cheap and the mac version isnt steamplay.´

    its certainly easier to play in os x, and i find in the evening when my wife is in, and ill dip in and out for 30 mins, ill always choose an os x title, but at any one time i have a bootcamp game that ive really got into and if you are going to play 2 hours of a game its not a problem to restart it.....

    stuff i've played recently, have bought in steam sales but havent played yet, or am just waiting for mac version to come out:

    os x
    bioshock infinite
    metro 2033
    max payne 3
    tomb raider
    civ 5
    batman arkham city
    COD BO (tis out for mac as is portal)
    starcraft 2 (owned it for years and havent opened it)
    tropico 4
    borderlands 2

    anno 2070
    far cry 3
    la noire
    just cause 2

    dont make a choice of one or other, sit on the fence, both have their benefits
  24. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Which model did you buy? My understanding is that only the top of the line model includes dedicated (vs integrated) graphics. This will have some impact on performance, however I'll suggest that regardless of which one you purchased, game performance will always be better on Win7 than within the MacOS. If you look at my signature, my 2011 MBP with dedicated graphics plays every game out there, although I've noticed some lag playing Farcry 3. It does well with all of the recent MMORPGs I've played on it, including Starwars TOR, Guildwars 2, Planetside 2, and World of Tanks.


    Except that gaming is an insular past time separate from other tasks and it changes your Mac from a mediocre to mid level gaming platform, improving the experience drastically. Granted you have to mess with Windows to achieve this, but if gaming is important, it has a significant impact without substantial extra expense. Rebooting is not that much of a drag. Make no mistake, I prefer the MacOS, at least when I'm not getting spinning beach balls which happens quite often these days. :-/
  25. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Exactly. I really can't understand the mentality of people who believe 30-60 seconds to reboot between operating systems is such a hassle. If you believe you're that limited for time, then something isn't right.

    In any case, a dual boot with Windows really is the best of both worlds. The thing I appreciate the most, and I'm probably in the minority on this, is the fact that there is no GPU switching from within Windows. My experience with this "feature" in Windows laptops has always been negative. It's nice to simply install standard reference drivers, fire up a game, and not have to worry. The battery life hit is not a concern as it's extremely rare that I use my MBP unplugged when it's running Windows. I'm not after maximum performance either. As long as I can get a consistent framerate with 1280x800 resolution and medium details, I'm happy.

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