OS Neutral Where do you play PC/Mac Multi release ports?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by ventuss, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. ventuss macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    Do you play games like Half Life 2 series and Portal series on Mac or Bootcamp? I read those games have a better performance on PC, but what is your preference?

    What about games like Batman Arkham series, Tomb Raider, Metro, XCOM and all others? What is your preference?
  2. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    If I have a choice, always Mac. Rebooting is a pain.
  3. ventuss thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    My problem isn't so much with rebooting, but partitioning my 512GB SSD. 250GB on Mac OS is a lot, on Windows is enough for a few new games. =/
  4. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    OS X when possible, but some titles such as Portal 2 I have installed in both environments. Steam cloud keeps my savegames and other files in sync. But you are right, at least with Valve's games, performance is much better in Windows.
  5. ventuss thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    Based on your personal experience, what games would you recommend playing on OS X, that plays as good as on Bootcamp?

    I noticed that games like Borderlands and Batman looks great on Mac, but lacks the hardware rendered PhysX effects easily seem on Bootcamp.
  6. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Windows, unless there's a rare reason to stay logged into OS X, then I'll play it there if I can.
  7. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    I'll run in mac os if available.

    I don't hunt for the almighty fps and max graphics like I used to.

    So far xcom, batman, valve offerings run decent in it.

    And I tend to multitask so its quite common for me to run a game in window mode and bounce active windows to get a few things done at once with other mac apps hit as needed. Ties into my first statement I guess...I don't mind sharing cpu cycles that may hinder the game.

    Now I will make exceptions if the game has a decent modding community as understandably the numbers aren't there to rewrite an entire mod if extensive to be mac friendly. Why if a steam workshop option exists it usually makes me happier.
  8. Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    The same for me. Since most recent game I throw at my 2012 Retina MBP run very well (e.g. Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider 2013, Spec Ops – The Line), I don't see much reason to play them under Windows.
  9. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    90% of my gaming is done on my gaming rig running Windows 8. Remaining 10% is spread out on one of my Macs, my craptop or somebody's console.
  10. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Windows 98 % of the time. Best performance and surround sound.

    Only game I play in OSX is SCII but it doesn't run very well on my 5770 so I will probably reinstall it in Windows when LotV comes out.
  11. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    FYI most Feral games support surround sound if you have an external sound amplifier, there are a few threads on the topic on the forums.

  12. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I've played a few classic ports on both my iMac, and even on my rMBP...Doom, Quake both run well at max settings on both machines.

    Bioshock is another offering, but I'm more of a simulation fan than a gamer. I have a complete custom installation of X-Plane ( 300GB ) on my iMac which is notorious for being greedy on hardware...It runs very well on my current Mac, ut I wish I had the new 4GB GPU.:)
  13. saturnotaku, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

    saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Anything that's older, indie, and/or otherwise not graphically intensive. Going back to Portal 2, in Windows I can play the game at 1680x1050, max details, and 4x anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. In OS X, I have to lower the resolution to 1280x800, anti-aliasing down to 2x, and one of the detail settings from very high to high in order to get similar performance. I don't mind having to lower settings and resolution, but that doesn't mean it isn't annoying.

    By the way, hardware PhysX only comes into play if you have an NVIDIA GPU. If you're on AMD like myself, any PhysX calculations run on the CPU, slowing performance.
  14. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    In the last year I have played:
    F1 2013
    F1 2012
    Deus Ex: HR
    XCOM Enemy Unknown
    Bioshock Infinity
    Tomb Raider
    Batman: Arkham City
    Witcher 2
    Mafia 2
    Metro Last Light
    Silent Assassin
    Amnesia - Machine for Pigs
    Walking Dead - Seasons 1 and 2
    Portal 2
    and others that I can't remember.
    All of them have been OS X on my Mac @2560x1440 with AMD 6970M 1Gb 16Gb RAM, and all have worked smoothly with no problems at all.
    Others, like Skyrim and Dishonoured have worked perfectly in Parallels 9.
    For me, why do I need Bootcamp? It's a last resort in my opinion.


    Not as simple as getting an external sound amplifier as our previous thread shows.
    I have an external amplifier, and it doesn't provide the surround sound in OS X. So, I went through a process of trying to identify what I needed, went on IMG forums as you (correctly) recommended, got some advice, bought another receiver, it didn't work, had to return the item to the seller at a loss, and still am no further forward in terms of understanding what to look for in specs to see which receivers work in OS X to give surround sound.
    Have a look here for the thread in question.
  15. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    It is my understanding that game audio is not encoded and essentially outputs up to 8 (7.1) discrete channels. Most PCs have those multi-coloured plugs at the back for analogue connections but Macs don't so optical or HDMI is the only option.

    I use a soundcard in windows to encode to Dolby (or DTS) so I can pass surround sound through a single cable (optical) to my Denon AVR1910. Not sure if the same logic applies to HDMI but I would have thought so though...

    I am aware that there are a few software versions of these encoders. Jack OSX could do this, but I never got it to work. Eats up more CPU power as well.
  16. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Did you look at the thread I linked to? There you will see the difficulties I had with trying to get HDMI to work.
  17. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Yeah, I had a look. So you get surround sound be enabling Dolby Pro Logic?

    It is a bit confusing...some games don't even have a 5.1 output option, yet I get surround sound. Far Cry 3, I think is one of them and I do feel the surround sound is not as convinving as Crysis which I thinkd does have a dedicated option.

    Either way, as long as it works :cool:
  18. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yes, but it's not 'true' surround from DPL.
    I still can't see what I am supposed to be looking for in receiver specs to ensure that it will produce real surround sound in OS X. The guy at IMG was incredibly helpful, but I still came away not being sure what to look for.
  19. Wardenski, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

    Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Unfortunately, I don't know much about OSX and unencoded audio in games.

    This is my conclusion so far in Windows:

    (a) Analogue outputs: found on most PCs, most cheap PC surround sound speakers have these eight (or 6) RCA type connectors. Some AV recievers (including my Denon AVR1910) actually have these connections as well.

    (b) Digital outputs: Single cable solutions require an encoder, otherwise the reciver will just output them as stereo. Only way for that is to get a soundcard with an encoder such as Dolby Digital Live. As you say, you can fudge stereo into surround sound using Pro Logic etc so perhaps some games export stereo which is adjusted so DPL works better. This may make sense in some games that have no sound output options but again, this in in Windows which has underlying audio engine (forgot its name Direct Sound?)

    Here's the back of a Denon AVR1910

    The "EXT in" connections I would use if I used the analogue connections. No encoder nessecary. I read on here that some Mac Users found that certain USB soundcards work in OSX. The AV reciever should output surround sound but it won't display DD or DTS since they are encoded wheras the 7 individual analogue inputs are not.

    I use the optical on the back and it works very well in conjuction with a X-Fi titanium soundcard (PCI-E) with Dolby Digital Live. There may be newer cards with Master Audio encoders that can output via HDMI.

    My PC 5870 has HDMI and in theory, my soundcard can encode the sound but export via HDMI via GPU. I have not tried this though.

    Basically, my conclusion with regard to surround sound, is that one can't get genuine surround sound through a single cable (optical or HDMI) without an encoder. To my knowledge, there are none for OSX unless software like JackOSX works.

    So you need:
    (a) An AV reciver with optic/HDMI input and a soundcard that can encode via optic or HDMI
    (b) An AV reciever with seven analgoue inputs like the one above and an analogue sound card
  20. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply.
    My understanding is different. AFAIK, one needs a suitable receiver with HDMI input and a MDP to HDMI cable.
    My problem is understanding what a suitable receiver is, as I have already bought one with HDMI that wasn't!

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