PC Gaming on Mac.. Bootcamp or Parallels?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by jsf8x, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. jsf8x macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2010
    Hi, I have the new 21.5' iMac with 3.06 Ghz i3 Processor and 4gb of RAM. Should I use Bootcamp or Parallels for gaming on Windows?

  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    For any serious gaming, definitely Boot Camp. Virtualization is horrible for gaming
  4. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    should either run Windows games under something Wine based for gaming in OSX... or run Windows natively.

    Pretty much any older game that can run in Parallels or VMWare can run in Wine much better.... heck Parallels and VMWare both use Wine code for handling their 3D... but going straight Wine you don't have the overhead of a whole OS.
  5. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2010
    Sorry, but what is this wine that you are talking about
  6. doh123, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

    doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    Wine is an open source implementation of Windows APIs for non-Windows platforms... allowing Windows programs to run without Windows. It started for Linux but has support for many OSes now, including Mac OS X. Normal Wine for OSX is build it yourself and all command line, so its best to use another tool for OSX that uses Wine, so you don't have to do it all yourself.

    a fork off Wine is what ended up being called Cider that Transgaming uses for official Mac games sold that say they use "Cider"

    Crossover is probably the most well known product for Linux and Mac OS X that uses Wine as well.

    Wineskin is my own project... made as a tool to make a port of Windows software over to OSX and have it run like a normal native .app, much like Transgaming does with Cider, but all open source so anyone can use it, not just game companies that have tons of money.

    Wine = http://www.winehq.org/
    Crossover = http://www.codeweavers.com/
    Wineskin = http://wineskin.doh123.com/

    Being that this is all done by people with no help from MS in any way... its not 100% done, or working 100% right... its a work in progress. So while many things work, and work well, there are some software packages that won't work right, and many that won't work at all... so it takes some research to get it all down right for the title your wanting to run... and being that DirectX games have to be translated to use OpenGL, most highly graphical games will run much slower than natively on Windows, but still faster than a Virtual Machine.

    Wineskin I made for people to make their own ports and wrappers... people who make the wrappers can share them with others, or companies can use Wineskin to do their own ports. A few companies have made mac versions of their product with Wineskin... no really big names... and the Fallen Earth MMORPG is using Wineskin for its Mac beta. Its never as good as a native port can be, but is sometimes better than native ports turn out.... and is much cheaper... which is why game companies use Cider so much.

    You can often have someone else do the work for you to get a game working, and then you just play it... check out www.portingteam.com .. its a Mac gaming community where a lot of porters make wrappers and such, so you can just download the one made for the game you want to play and install your game and play, without having to know how it works or all the tedious things to try in troubleshooting to get it to work.
  7. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    Due respect to above posters I think this thread is a little misleading or at least confusing.

    Basically, for best performance and anything that pushes hardware, bootcamp is your only choice.

    That said, for older games or games which are not bleeding edge and for which you do not require tip-top performance, virtualization options are acceptible. Parallels (and Fusion and similar) will enable you to run Windows and so Windows games from within OSX ie. no reboots and you can run your OSX apps side by side with your PC apps. Wine and Crossover do this also although they are more "roll your own" choices ie. apps aren't guaranteed to work out-of-the-box, some user messing about may/will be required.

    Bootcamp - 100% performace, 100% compatability
    Parallels - 30-90% performance (depending on if its Dragon Age or Zork), 90%+ compatability
    Wine/Crossover - can't say from experience

    If you expect to do a lot of gaming on your Mac, I'd suggest just installing bootcamp from the start, and you can spend your time gaming instead of configuring.

    Good luck!
  8. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    About 10% compatibility in my experience. Some games are officially supported, and those "work" (note the quote, means that they run but not always perfectly). Then there are wine wrappers people make; never really got one working because I couldn't be bothered to get it all working.
  9. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    way more than 10%... for gaming, the newer the game is the less likely its going to work though.

    as to Wine based wrappers people share... yes many people who make these do not set them up very well or have easy to follow directions... and being its someone doing it as a hobby, they do not have multiple Macs to test it on, so there may be certain machines that have an issue that needs adjusting before it works.
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Bootcamp is the best and surest way to go. If you simply can't have bootcamp, I'd probably just stick with native supported OS X games.

    Parallels/Fusion may or may not work. Their marketing implies a lot, but reality is different.

    I really like the idea of WINE, but having been down that road, I'd recommend against it. WINE is fine if you want to spend several hours or even days installing, tweaking, researching forums on the Internet that contain old and irrelevant information, all with the grand result of failing most of the time. Even the rare success might also have strange or intermittent problems. I'd rather spend the few hours I have free playing the game instead of trying to get the game to play.
  11. jace88 macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Easier just to Boot Camp if you need a gaming fix. Or hope that the games you want will be available on Steam for Mac :)

    I was pleasantly surprised to find my CSS from my Windows Steam account transferred over to Mac and I was able to play without paying anything extra after finishing the download. Only problem is Steam is a bit unreliable/unstable but I can live with that.
  12. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Definitely bootcamp. Parallels or VMWare lags to hell if you try to do any serious gaming.
  13. iMacN00b macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    As most people say: Bootcamp all the way!

    That way you basically have an intel PC and can run games with direct access to the hardware.

    Don't be too miffed if performance is bad though! The iMac is not really a gaming machine, but later models do a reasonable job, as per my signature.
  14. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009

    This utilises Wine (mentioned above) and is basically emulates the windows environment in Mac (without real virtualisation) meaning it runs more efficiently than parallels etc. It's used by EA for their games like Sims3 but it is easy to manipulate to get any game running with it.

    It isnt just software you can install and then run the games in Mac, but you have to port your chosen pc game into it. There is lots of info & support around regarding this, just google. (NFS Underground 2 is a common choice for porters)
  15. doh123, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    Cider is made from a fork off Wine from many years ago...

    Cider is only available to game makers with a lot of money to port the games they want to sell.

    Using Cider from another game is possible (though not legal), but not terribly easy. It also is not always possible to get it to work, because the Cider source was often modified in ways specific for the game it came with. So IF you can get it running with Cider correctly, it will run good, but thats a big IF... you cannot get every game to run in Cider, or run correctly enough to be playable. You can get many more titles to actually work in Wine than in Cider, but in the off chance you can actually get it working in Cider, it will usually be a bit faster than Wine, because it has a quartz driver to use the native windowing system better on OSX, where Wine (and Crossover) has to use X11.

    If Transgaming would open source Cider, it would be a lot easier to use it to get things working when things can be modified to fix problems for certain games.... but they don;t want to do that, they want game companies to pay them a lot of money to do that for them.

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