OS X Some games runs perfectly fine, but others not

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by f0ku5, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. f0ku5 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2014

    Sorry if this topic was discussed like 100 times in the past, but I'm in need of quick reply. Plus english isn't my native language so please forgive me if there will be any grammar errors ;)

    Short story - I bought the newest 21'5 iMac that comes with GeForce 750M.
    I come from PC, so I'm fairly new to Mac computers, but I own iPhone.
    I didn't bought Mac for gaming, so don't worry. But I have some problems with it.

    My Steam library is huge, so I have good amount of games to test. On my PC I mainly played Dota 2 which seems to be nearly unplayable on Mac (around 40 FPS on max settings, this is way too low for being good). The funny thing is that I also installed Batman Arkham City from Steam, and it runs perfectly fine @ 1080p with maxed settings. Even better than on my PC with GeForce 660Ti.

    Why is that? Is it just Batman being greatly optimized for Mac and Dota 2 not or I'm doing something wrong?
  2. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2011
    Sadly many games on the Mac, especially I've found with Steam are essentially running under an emulator (wine or similar) and typically loose their edge in terms of performance.

    I run such a game (Eve Online) on my mac and simply have to accept that it's not as spritely and often has additional bugs being manifested through a combination of the emulation layer and less robust testing due to a smaller income stream.

    You good/bad experiences could come down to the difference between a game thats been compiled to run natively or ones that go via an emulator... but there may be other factors.

    Ultimately if you want to be a hard core games player, using a Mac isnt the way to do it... albeit you mention it's a secondary consideration.
  3. Th3taJ macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2014
    Milford, NH
    AtomicGrog is right that at times Mac games are virtualized instead of a native application to OS X. However, how is 40 FPS on max settings too low? Generally, 25-30 FPS is acceptable and 40 FPS is above average, especially at max settings on a video game.

    Just saying! ;)
  4. soulsyphon, Jul 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

    soulsyphon macrumors regular

    May 3, 2014
    native games: blizzard, valve, independent studios

    the rest is mostly wrappers, not emulation... theres a difference between wrappers and emulation.

    the reason why devs use wrappers is because they are lazy and don't care about mac gaming, they all mention how the percentage of mac gamers is really low so they don't bother.

    what they fail to understand is if they worked like blizzard and valve, a lot more people would switch to mac... but i guess they don't want that either since they'd have to make a mac team in their office... oh noes...

    eve online recently updated their wrapper in the latest patch so it should work better than previously.

    as far as dota 2 goes... 750m is a low budget card, its not high end. its not mac's fault... dota is native on mac... just lower graphics, blame it on your purchase... you should of bought the imac with 780m. (don't feel guilty though... most people buy laptops when it comes to apple computers... and the only laptop with a graphic card uses 750m)

    league of legends runs 60fps, dota 2, counterstrike, world of warcraft, starcraft, diablo, hearthstone, left 4 dead 2, half life 2 should all run very well unless your video card is low budget.

    750m in this case is low budget. (yes mac laptops are expensive.. its because of the brand) you can get a MSI gaming laptop for 1850$ with a 870m that is as thin as macbook pro.

    the reason you buy a mac is for the OS, gaming is 2nd... but again don't blame dota 2 40fps on apple, blame it on the 750m. also try lowering your resolution. i also think the mac client is not fully optimized yet, its still in beta on the mac side i'm guessing.

    valve uses OpenGL not directx... so like i mentioned several times, it has to be the 750m or they aren't finished optimizing the client. (im leaning more towards 750m)
  5. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Aspyr and Feral also only do native ports, and so are most indie games, thanks in part to Humble Bundle.

    Really, wrappers are the minority when it comes to ports, and they are not the main factor when it comes to performance. I have had poor performance with native ports (usually with non aspyr/feral ones like Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Conviction) and wrappers that have run great (Max Payne 3). Things like poorly optimized graphics drivers and graphics engines are more likely to cause performance hits.

    I am surprised that Dota 2 is performing poorly, though, because in my experience Valve games run well, and they have written on how they have gotten more performance out of OpenGL than directx.
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Valve is hit and miss with its OS X ports. Half-Life 2 and its ilk are fine. Portal and Portal 2 run poorly compared to their Windows counterparts.

    This talk has gotten me all nostalgic about the Source engine and how it's been more than 10 years since it was first shown.
  7. f0ku5 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Guys, I'm completely fine with the thing that 750m is not high-end card. You suggested that I should've buy 780m, but that's not the case. I didn't have money nor space on desk for 27" option.

    The thing that I don't understand (I compared just two games) is why Arkham City may run on highest settings like butter, while Dota 2 - game which should run perfectly fine on 5 years computer behave like this on Mac. I'm getting around 40-50-60 fps while not in heavy action, but the overall feel of smoothness isn't there. The gameplay is choppy and laggy, I can't actually describe it.

    While Arkham City may run at around 40-50 fps too (I can't see FPS meter) the gameplay is smooth as hell. That's what I don't understand.
  8. Th3taJ, Jul 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

    Th3taJ macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2014
    Milford, NH
    Soulsyphon made a good point about the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M being the probable cause of DOTA2's lack of performance on his iMac so I did a bit of research myself. According to NoteBook Check, that video card only averages out to 34 FPS on max settings at 1920 x 1080 whereas Batman: Arkham City actually runs at a much higher frame-rate.

    F0ku5, as it turns out, your MacBook was actually playing DOTA2 at above average performance at max settings for DOTA2. So why did Arkham City perform so much better? Not entirely sure, but that's how the card will perform whether it's the GPU embedded in a Mac or on a PC.

    In the future I would look up the GPU performance through gaming benchmarks before actually making your purchase...As gamers, that's kind of the first we do...But hey, Live and learn! ;)
  9. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    Did you expect the 750m to be faster than a 660Ti ? Mobile GPUs are always much slower, but less power consuming, and less heat, than desktop GPUs, even ones that may be years older. It takes many years to end up getting a mobile GPU thats faster than many older desktop GPUs. I haven't looked at the exact benchmarks, but I'd expect that 660Ti to be a better in raw graphics performance... its probably a lot faster.

    from that, its just a lot of game developers do not, or do not know how to, optimize really well for OS X performance like they have for Windows for many many years.
  10. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    Not really, if you have a look the biggest Mac Publishers are ourselves and Aspyr and neither Feral nor Aspyr use wrappers. Wrappers do exist but more and more the port is a native title.

    Every game is different we spend time and effort to optimise our games however very game and graphics card is different and might need it's own optimisation. In this case I suspect something is not quite right with DOTA 2 and your hardware and hopefully it will be improved in a patch.

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