Virtual machines/ bootcamp and games.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by apolloa, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #1
    Hello,
    I want to start a discussion about games on the Mac. I have the machine in my signature and thought I would have a go with playing games on virtual machines again.
    I installed my current copy of Windows XP Pro 32 bit I own into bootcamp and then trialled the latest Parallels demo and Fusion demo. My test game is Crysis as I love it and, frankly, if that works then anything will!
    To my surprise Parallels gave an almost playable experience, far better the my previous Mac could do, but it did lag and at one point crashed. I could also not assign my Razer Orochi mouse buttons any command in the game.

    I then used Fusion 3.1, I discovered this as well, useless. I got very severe multi bright colour graphics corruption. I then found out after googling it uses a maximum of 128mb VRAM in Windows XP which cannot be increased. Crysis needs 256mb.

    So onto my questions:
    Windows 7, is it REALLY worth upgrading to this? Will it give any real term games performance in bootcamp or any virtual machine over my XP? As I read Fusion will use 256mb VRAM in Windows 7 and Vista but that games still lag?

    Virtual machines. Has anyone played a graphically intense game in Windows 7 on Fusion 3.1 yet? Did it work?
    And does anyone know what we can expect from Parallels or Fusion in the future in terms of games performance?

    Crysis is the one I want to play in my Mac OS if possible, all my other games will most likely work in a VM or will work under Crossover. I am asking for advice as their is not a lot of information out there in relation to Fusion 3.1 or any clues as to what Parallels 6 will do.

    I should also mention I use Steam so will have those games to play, once the driver issues are resolved, so it's another reason to play games in my Mac OS environment and not bootcamp.
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    Some answers to one of your questions:

    As far as Windows 7 goes, I'd upgrade if you meet any of the following conditions:
    • You play game(s) that can take advantage of DirectX 10/11 to improve performance
    • Game(s) you want to play require Vista or 7
    • The game(s) you play take advantage of OTHER Vista/7-specific technology to improve performance, besides DirectX
    The others I have no experience with.
     
  3. apolloa thread starter macrumors G3

    apolloa

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
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    #3
    Thanks, yes Crysis will use DX10 but I wasn't sure if that gives better performance or just prettier graphics. So what your saying is DX10 give better performance?

    None of my games need Vista or 7 to run.
    What other features are there in Vista and 7 that Crysis can use? Can you explain this as I didn't know about that?
     
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #4
    DX10 and 11 get rid of some of the uglier bits of DirectX's history - including the so-called "cap bits". With these gone, all GPUs that support it have a higher common base line. This in turn allows DX10/11 to use optimizations that aren't available in DX9.

    Crysis and other games can also take advantage of Windows Core Audio (for better sound quality), for example.
     
  5. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #5
    Have you tried without running Windows through a VM?

    Just partition your HDD and set up Boot Camp...it'll walk you through the process. The only down side, which isn't a big deal...you'll have to reboot when you want a Windows machine or vice versa if you want to go back to OSX.

    There's no need to transfer files, I'm assuming, between OS'es while playing your games? If this is the case, my suggestion is to run Windows from BC for optimum performance.

    The only two uses I still have for Windows on my machine are Adobe Audition (Hopefully this fall a release for Mac:))...not a taxing program at all, but I also play FlightSimX...which is a significant program, and very taxing to this day on hardware. Running it on my MacPro though, it freakin screams! No issues with anything using Windows on BC...I use several FW and USB connections for the Audition production suite, so again...all the BC drivers seem to work just fine with Windows Vista Ultimate (I've no experience yet with W7, so ymmv).

    J
     
  6. apolloa thread starter macrumors G3

    apolloa

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #6
    Ah, thanks VERY much mate. I had no idea about that. Interesting, I forgot about the audio too. Think Windows 7 Home Premium is the way to go.
    I have a release candidate of Windows 7 but think the license may have run out. I should see if I can install it to test with.

    Yes I have bootcamp, I am just asking if Windows 7 gives a performance boost and about virtual machines, what Parallels 6 will do if anyone knows?
     
  7. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #7
    "Yes I have bootcamp, I am just asking if Windows 7 gives a performance boost and about virtual machines, what Parallels 6 will do if anyone knows?"

    Gotcha...from what I've read, Windows 7 is an excellent OS...as mentioned, future gaming considerations like DX11 are capable, as well as future support and programming.

    However, considering the requirements to run W7 at optimum performance, and the "Newness" of the OS...running it on a V/M to game with OSX is not going to be the best choice if you want performance. Like all VM software, it improves with time, patches, and updates. However, when you need Raw performance for gaming...it's best, IMO, to run your software on a single OS...with as little going on in the background as possible.

    Hence, the reason I mention trying your luck with BootCamp.

    When I initially switched to Mac from PCs about 3 years ago...BC was still Beta on OSX 10.4. I started with Parallels on my MBP and it was Dog slow for gaming. The switch to Leopard definitely helped, especially with peripherals (Joysticks, USB/FW, etc)...however, still lacking in the FrameRate department.

    I switched to BC after a lot of frustrations trying the VM route...no contest. They've come a long way...but, IMO...if you want top notch performance, try a 20gig partition and load up Windows...you can always get rid of it.

    To me, running a VM is more for switching files between OS'es...the ability to work with others on a different OS, etc. NOT gaming! As always, YMMV!

    J
     

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