SC2 on OSX vs BootCamp?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jinx5000, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. jinx5000 macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2010
    I just installed Boot Camp thinking i was going to play a lot of games on Windows 7...

    I Play SC2, Steam (rarely), BFBC2, and DaO. However, BFBC2 and DaO i don't think im going to play anymore,

    after installing Boot Camp i noticed that windows causes my imac to run pretty hot....

    i am thinking about deleting my partition and just running SC2 on OSX and the newly released steam client for OSX (i also want to play D3 in the future... which will most likely be supported on OSX being a Blizz product)

    how are the benchmark comparisons between SC2/Steam games when running them on OSX or Bootcamp Win7?

    should i be alright playing everything on the OSX side, or should i keep the partition?

    and finally, what do u recommend to monitor your temp's while gaming on your boot camp partition? and what are the average load temps acceptable when gaming on a windows 7 partition on a mac?
  2. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Depending on your machine and its GPU, performance is anywhere from 20%-70+% better on Windows.
  3. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    I'd say post Graphics Update the gap is more like 10-20% - though of course it all depends on the hardware and the title.

    I play SC2 in both OSX and Win7. Performance is better in Win7, but I use v-sync to cap framerates and play with medium-ish settings so the performance difference is not relevant.

    I keep my Win7 partition around for gaming. If you have already gone to the trouble of setting it up, and don't need the HD space, you may as well leave it there for now.

    As to the differences.

    0) Performance gap, as noted. Doesn't affect play at all unless your hardware is really ancient/limited.

    1) Sometimes there are sc2 helper apps which are Win only. To date though all the ones I have used are either x-platform or have OSX workarounds eg. sc2gears and mapcraft.

    2) Mouse acceleration. "Serious" gamers have this off. You can turn it off in Windows, you can't in OSX. (Ok, in fact you can, by using USB Overdrive or SteerMouse (I use USB Overdrive). But it's more straightforward in WIndows.)

    3) Maps. In Windows you can load a map by dragging the map icon onto the SC2 application icon. In OSX you have to load up the map via the Editor or from within the SC2 game itself. (Last I checked anyway.) Tedious if you do this a lot.

    That's everything I can think of right now.

    Edit: Oh yeah, temperatures.

    Ok so, temperature management under Bootcamp Windows is not very good. If you just use Windows for Word or something, no issue. If you use it for heavy gaming, could be. The consideration here is how long you want your hardware to last and/or how valuable your data is. The most heat-vulnerable component in my iMac is the HD. Opinions vary but speaking generally, sustained high temps reduce the lifespan of your HD. Over 50C isn't great, over 55C is bad, particularly if it happens regularly for long periods (eg. "serious" gaming).

    There isn't any fantastic works-on-all-Mac-configurations heat solution for Windows on Macs yet. But there are a number of "good enough" options.

    In my case (iMac i7), I run Temperature Monitor and iStat under OSX to keep an eye on temperature. I also have smcfancontrol installed. Before gaming, I set fans with smcfancontrol to a moderately fast speed. I then reboot into Windows. As long as you reboot and do not shut down and start up, the fan settings stay at the custom speed, through my Windows gaming session.

    After I finish gaming I reboot back into OSX and just check the temps. If my HD in particular is in the mid 50s, I up my preset "Windows speed" setting in smcfancontrol a bit.

    The reason I monitor and adjust presets from time to time is because different games can produce different amounts of heat, and because ambient temperature is a factor and where I am summer is very hot and winter is pretty cold.

    Note, if you don't do a lot of gaming, you can probably completely ignore the whole heat issue and just use Windows normally.

    Final note, there are some Windows apps which monitor temps, and some which allow you to set fan speeds as well. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any app yet which does this reliably on an iMac. There is or was an app which set speeds correctly from Windows on Macbooks/MBPs but not other macs. There are Windows apps but they seem to either not see or not see all of the temperature monitors or fans, or report incorrectly. For me, smcfancontrol from the OSX side has been the simplest option.

    One final note about SC2, as you may be aware, the frame rate can skyrocket on powerful hardware. Some people say this doesn't = more heat but it seems to with my machine. I don't need more than 60fps anyway so I set v-sync on under the video options to cap it, under both OSX and Windows.

  4. jinx5000 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2010
    thanks for the input.

    i am worried about the heat issues in windows while gaming.

    what do u recommend to monitor temperatures and CPU usage?
  5. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    I can only tell you what I use on the iMac, as above - iStat or Temperature Monitor. (iStat is fantastic but the menubar version costs money. Probably worth it.)

    (I did install a Windows app which is supposed to give you internal temperatures. But, to be honest, I'm too dumb to be able to decode the information it reports (it's a typical Windows app sigh); and as I said, I've read that these apps aren't necessarily accurate when running on Mac hardware.)

    Edit: Oh! One thing I just remembered. If you are trying smc/fan settings apps (as distinct from temp monitoring apps), make sure you only have ONE INSTALLED AT A TIME! They do mess with each other otherwise, not so good.
  6. jinx5000 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2010

    i do use istat pro in my dashboard and love it...

    however i would also like to be able to see my temps and cpu usage on the windows side as im gaming to see if its getting too hot...

    i guess i might have to dig a little deeper to find something that works and is easy as i am not as tech savvy to decode anything as well.

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