OSX vs. Windows for gaming

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by pexxoum, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. pexxoum macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    I just did Boot Camp and got windows on my new MacBook Air. At the moment I'm only playing counter strike source. Would it be best to play on OSX or Windows? I've been told that'll it'll run smoother and using less power on windows but I've also been told that OSX nowadays is on par with windows for games as old as counter strike. What's the truth?
  2. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I think it's too much of a generalisation to say OSX is on par with Windows for games how ever old they are. It all depends on optimisation and at the end of the day I think most games will run better in Windows under Bootcamp whether it's marginal or significant.
  3. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    most games were made with Windows and DirectX in mind, and optimized for that. Ports to Mac often result in a quick job without too much emphasis on performance as long as its "good enough"

    because of this, you'll often notice better performance in Windows. This isn't a Windows vs OSX type thing, its just dependent on the software developers who made the games.
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Windows vs OSX for gaming...

    Can't believe you even asked that question. You will always get better performance in Windows, doesn't matter who made the games, its always better.
  5. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Windows would be the best option for that game. Even more so for laptop gaming; you might be able to get perfect performance on both OS', but look at the one which uses less resources to do so. On a laptop that'd help keep things cool and (if you're not plugged in) help with battery life.

    Just little things to consider. On my MBP I used to always reboot into Windows to run games even though it would run L4D at 60fps, max settings at nat native res on both Windows 7 and OSX.
  6. The "Dude" macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2011
    In general, gaming is better on the Windows OS. As others have said, most games are coded towards Windows and ported to OSX. The gap is narrower than it used to be though, and from my experience Diablo 3 is pretty much the same on either platform.
  7. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    IMO "better performance" is usually not noticeable and depending on the type of game does not matter. If you are referring to Online FPS games, then this may be important to you. However, when I played games like Dragon Age (1 and 2), Diablo 3, WoW, Starcraft 2, and Torchlight the "difference" was not noticeable and in the end I had a better experience playing in OSX. To me, gaming in OSX is nicer... It seems like, or at least in my experience OSX handles "windowed" or windowing in/out of games a lot better than Windows and it's just a bonus knowing that I would not have to boot back to OSX when I was done.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Windows is usually always better for games. If you are a hardcore PC gamer you'll want to bootcamp it if you don't have a dedicated gaming rig.

    I myself spend more time making games than playing them and my entire workflow is built around Mac OS so I prefer gaming on Mac but if you want to play the latest greatest titles, bootcamp or a dedicated windows rig will be the way you want to go.

    It mostly in a *general* sense has to do with drivers. Apple has strict control over drivers and does this to ensure stability of their systems. Windows is much more tinker friendly and you can install/update drivers at your whim (which most of the time works just fine, but sometimes does not).
  9. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    What they said.

    However... on an MBA with limited storage, the space may not be worth it.

    Hell, on my MBP, i don't run boot camp any more because I don't want to give up 100+ gb for a copy of Windows + updates + swapfile + game.

    I'd try your games under OS X and if they run "well enough", i'd not bother with bootcamp. Yes, performance under Windows will be better, but the cost (in terms of SSD), on an MBA is way too much in my opinion.

  10. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    The truth is Games will run better on Windows, one of the reason's is because most developers choose to develop for Windows, and I don't blame them, as Apple has not really done much in terms of making their computers capable in the graphics department..

    Also sad thing is Mac OS doesn't even have support for the latest OpenGL 4.1, we haven't even seen it on Mountain Lion..

    There are very few REAL Mac games out there, most of them are cider ports, so generally you find the performance to be quite poor on the Mac side, not only does this mean you need a more powerful GPU to run Mac ports, but they still perform significantly better on Windows..

    Even with native mac games I find the performance to be lacking slightly when compared to Windows version, maybe its because there is no DirectX in the picture..
  11. Mc1gers macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Belfast, UK
    How noticeable is the difference? I mean, could I just happily plod away on mac OSX game with no problem, or are we talking screen stuttering, etc?

    Thanks in advance
  12. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Anything realtime 3D generally run better in Windows, but really, once you get to 60 FPS and beyond, it doesn't matter. If Game A with max settings enabled runs at 72 FPS in OSX, and 84 in Windows, they're going to appear to run exactly the same on both platforms. Just pick whatever you're most comfortable with.

    For me, I'm happy with whatever as long as my framerate never dips below 30 FPS. Anything above that is going to be playable.
  13. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    I've only been a Mac user for a year now, and before that built custom rigs for gaming. I don't game like I used to, but when I do I prefer to game while in OSX if possible. I have a 2011 27" iMac with the 2GB 6970M card. I play all my games at max/native resolution and usually on high settings. I have played games that support both OS's and have not noticed a difference in gameplay. However, I do not play a lot of FPS games, which I assume would probably show the biggest difference.

    I think we all need to keep in mind that most (not counting the Mac Pro) of the Macs are not specced for "hardcore" gaming. If you are trying to run graphic intensive games then more than likely your settings will be in the medium to possible low range. Playing in windows is not going to make up a huge difference in the lack of hardware to begin with.

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