Steam for Mac Vs. Bootcamp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Littlefields, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Littlefields macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    So recently I'm forced to use my 13" mbp as my main computer for at least a couple of months. I had a desktop that I would normally game with but now that my sister is using it for schoolwork, that's not possible. I never even thought about using my mbp for gaming, let alone a 13" model, but now I'm getting desperate. I don't plan on running anything that intense. I usually play some Team Fortress 2 and Counter-strike: Source.

    My main question is: for those of you that have had experience, which would be a better solution for me? Using Bootcamp and installing Windows XP or getting Steam for Mac? I'm not sure how the process goes for Bootcamp. I'm imagining you would have to dedicate some hard drive space. On the other hand, I've heard that Steam on Mac runs pretty slow compared to it's Windows counterpart. Anyone know if this is true? Appreciate the help.

    Also, I'm running on the 13" 2010 base model. (2.4 Ghz, 4GB ram, 250 GB Hard drive etc.)
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
  3. smelly cat macrumors regular

    smelly cat

    Apr 17, 2010
    my suggestion to you would be to simply install steam for mac. the nvidia 320m has enough performance headroom to deliver the fps you need for those games at high settings. if you were still rocking it old school with the 9400m then i definitely would have suggested installing windows.

    even if you don't like the way the 320m performs in OS X you can just install boot camp later.
  4. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Use both and use Win 7 x64. Games will always be better on Windows (or at least until Apple gets half-decent drivers out the door).
  5. ManofMac-au macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010
    Either way is no big deal. Fire up OSX steam and play a few rounds... if it's not up to scratch then try a bootcamp install. BC is childs play to install but you will need a copy of WindowsXX.

    The issue of framerates may come into effect as the GPU on the 13'MP is not really a gaming GPU but should handle all settings on low.

    Have a play and report back your findings.
  6. 1finite macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    If you have 10.6.3 then Steam for Mac would be okay. I could play all those games on the bare minimum settings with dips to 20 fps. On 10.6.4 they crash all the time..

    In Bootcamp I can run on all high settings, no aa, native res with solid fps.
  7. TrojanX macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    Why polute your system with nasty old windows!:p

    Lol I run steam on mine and I play Torchlight just fine! (I just got it today so I haven't really had much time to get different games)
  8. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Most GPU intensive Steam games run like crap under OSX. The OP wants to play source engine games and they run way better under windows.
  9. Auszero macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Its pretty horrible on the mac. I have bootcamp and steam for the mac and I choose to go through the hassle of rebooting in order to get a good gaming experience
  10. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    That's a huge exaggeration. I play TF2 on my iMac for hours and I'm 10.6.4 and not one crash nor do I get slow or unstable performance. I don't care if runs "better" under Windows as long as I get good performance under OS X and I do.
  11. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    On my MacBook Pro, Steam games run fine. They run perfectly, actually.
  12. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    No it's not. Source games run about twice as fast on Windows as they do on OSX. I get 30 fps max on low settings running portal on OSX but I can get 45+ running med-high on windows. I never said they crash on OSX, just that they run like crap. If you don't care whether or not it runs better, then what are you trying to argue? I don't consider low detail settings on a decent computer "good performance".
  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    I could give a rats behind on what frames per second I get as long as the game runs great, I have no problems running Portal. If the games are unplayable (which they are not) then yeah, whatever, knock yourself out and waste hard drive space and money installing a whole different OS just to do that. I play TF2, Portal and Torchlight and they all run beautifully under OS X. You said that source games run like crap on OS X and that's simply not true. What is your issue where you need to be so hostile? Calm down and don't put out over exaggerated false info. :rolleyes:
  14. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Do you understand what you're saying?

    Compared to Windows/BootCamp, yeah they do run crappy.
  15. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    No, I guess I don't understand, why don't you explain it to me? :rolleyes:
  16. itripped macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2010
    I have steam installed on OS X and have win7 with steam there. Yeah, it's faster in win but honestly if TF2 is your game, you won't have problems with either setup. I run it at max resolution with no stuttering or slowdowns in OS X.

    What WILL make a bigger difference is the actual availability of games. Many titles are not out on mac, including many notable VALVE games, like Left 4 Dead 1 or 2. This will be why you break down and install windows on your macbook.

    But in the end it won't matter. You can game on it and not feel deprived. You just have options.
  17. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Nah, I'll let you figure it out for yourself.
  18. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    Runs better on Windows but it honestly doesn't run half bad on OSX.
  19. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Steam for Mac!!!! Bought a Mac, take the most advantage of it~ Run the awesome OS in the world!!

    If there some problem of steam for Mac, too bad Steam~ install Windows then
    However, I'm sure Steam is working on it~ :rolleyes:
  20. Narse77 macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010
    Portal, TF2, HL2, HL2 Ep1 and Ep2 and WoW all run great on my MBP 13 2010. They might not be as fast as Windows but 35-40 FPS vs 55-60 really is not that big a deal at the end of the day. Both are playable. However not all steam games are avalible on Mac, I still have to boot into Windows for L4D
  21. 1finite macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    wow, you guys are lucky. I can't play TF2 for more than 10 mins without it locking up and making me force quit. It worked fine before I update to 10.6.4, so I'm guessing that's what caused it
  22. erasr macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm confused.

    I have a brand new 13" and have been playing CSS, Portal, HL2 on OSX with no problems whatsoever.

    I've played games for 20 years and this all runs fine on OSX.
  23. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I play everything through Bootcamp for the following reasons:

    -performance seems to be better (smoother visuals, etc);
    -no crashing; and
    -more titles available for Windows (currently anyway).

    Are games playable on the Mac side? Definitely...but if you have a copy of Windows kicking around, partitioning the drive and playing on Windows has a few advantages.
  24. iPagan macrumors regular

    May 31, 2010
    I have a couple of questions for you guys playing Steam games on an MBP:

    1. You have to hook an external mouse to your MBP in order to play the games, right? If so, what kind of mouse do you guys have? (EDIT: I mean mouse in Mac OSX)

    2. Gaming is very hard on the keys. Aren't you guys concerned about that?!

    I have a mid year 2010 13" MBP, and hate to admit that am kind of addicted to TF2.:) But I love my MBP--it's still brand new--and hate to ruin the keys.
  25. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    Windows can almost double the FPS of OpenGL, throw AA in, and it's almost a sick joke. Windows kills mac for gaming not only in titles, but in performance. By a lot.

    Though the one + OpenGL has that i've noticed is the ridiculously fast call times, tabbing in and out of game is instant, like, you minimized a browser. On Windows it's slow and painful.

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