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Gaming on a Mac

by alexia.del.france-2138404 / May 26, 2008 4:28 AM PDT

In CNET's Desktop Buying Guide, they mention that Macs are a no-no for gamers. If Macs run BootCamp, and therefore can run Windows software, why is this so?

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Which Mac?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2008 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Gaming on a Mac

If that MacBook then you have the Intel x3100 GMA which isn't on most games compatibility list for 3D. If you go with the MacBook Pro you have some real 3D chipset and gaming is possible.

You'll see this lesson repeated for Windows laptops.

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This is what I meant...
by alexia.del.france-2138404 / May 26, 2008 4:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Which Mac?

I meant any Mac in general. If I were to buy a Mac for gaming, I'd buy an iMac or Mac Pro, not a laptop.

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In general check that video chipset.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2008 4:36 AM PDT

It's the same rules as the PC for gaming.

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by alexia.del.france-2138404 / May 26, 2008 4:37 AM PDT

Why does CNET recommend not to use a Mac for gaming? Compatibility issues?

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Ask them.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2008 6:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Then...

If I was unclear ask me.

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One point of a Mac is to not use Windows
by tleMega / May 26, 2008 9:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Then...

in a sense. Compatibility could be an issue for some companies however. But that doesn't matter too much nowadays. Granted, with Boot Camp, or your choice of an emulator, Macs can now run Windows side-by-side, and like Bob says, it just depends on the actual hardware once you get past that. But for OS X, there are few games and not too many companies write their products for both Macs and PCs; companies like Aspyr do it for them, causing the Mac versions to come out awhile after the originals. That could explain their reasoning. For the most part, I would agree on that part, but the newer iMacs, MacBook Pros, and Mac Pros have some decent graphics cards. I've played a few games on my own Mac and with graphics on high, the quality is pretty good.

If both Apple and the developer community would focus on Mac gaming, then Macs would attract a few from the Windows gaming community, I'm sure. Apple has a lot to win in the gaming market. They've already dominated the digital music industry and will/are dominate/dominating the cell phone industry. Gaming and computers could be next. Time will tell.


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Do you mean...
by alexia.del.france-2138404 / May 26, 2008 3:49 PM PDT

that there are few games for OS X, or that Boot Camp runs differently in OS X?

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No, games are almost nonexistent on the Mac
by tleMega / May 27, 2008 8:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Do you mean...

From what I've heard, many developers do not write their games for Macs because of the lack of DirectX support that Windows has... There are some games, but yes, there are only a few. And of those few, some have to be worked on by other companies if the original producers/developers do not write Mac-compatible versions of the said games.

Boot Camp is a part of OS X now. Before, it was only a beta app for Tiger. Games will run under Boot Camp so long as your Mac meets the requirements for everything. Boot Camp just allows you to install Windows on a partition of your hard drive. You get a real copy of Windows on the Mac and therefore, you can play games.
But for the Mac OS, I was saying that there are few games and only with cooperation from Apple and developers could the Mac platform evolve for gaming. It has the potential, I think, but Apple has not really focused on that segment of the market yet.


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World of Warcraft on a Mac
by lightbored / May 26, 2008 9:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Gaming on a Mac

This post interests me, because I am a heavy World of Warcraft gamer and currently play it on a nice Dell XPS system. I had tried it on an old macMini, which had horrible graphics, so I gave it to my mom. I would really like to have a Mac laptop at this point, and would like to know if anyone has had good experiences with the graphics on the lower end MacBook Pro.

Kind regards,

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The Macbook Pro has a real 3D chipset.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2008 11:40 PM PDT

So the issues with Intel GMA "solutions" vanish.

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Maybe not enough game titles for macs
by Subcitizen / June 29, 2008 8:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Gaming on a Mac

I know it's not a technical answer, but this could be part of it. Real gamers are better off sticking to PC's, although I do play a little Unreal Tournament on my Mac, which is a blast.


Fourth World Clothing at

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Gaming according to my son's
by Dan Filice / June 30, 2008 4:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Gaming on a Mac

Both of my son's use a PC for gaming. When it comes to doing school work, downloading files, printing, etc., they always seem to end up on my Mac. For gaming, I see them constantly installing new video cards, processors, etc., which would generally not be possible in a Mac. Being able to change-out their entire PC processing capability is their reason for using a PC instead of a Mac for gaming. Every wave of new games seem to require a whole new computer setup, and being able to gut and replace the PC components to match the software requirements makes the PC a good game machine.

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by alexia.del.france-2138404 / June 30, 2008 5:18 AM PDT

This helps to explain a lot.

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More thoughts
by tleMega / June 30, 2008 8:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Gaming on a Mac

Hmm... I thought I would add something to this thread as it has popped back up again. Wink
As a MacBook Pro user, I have a decent graphics card inside: the 256MB Nvidia 8600M GT. Now, games are lacking on the Mac front, but I did pick up some Intel-only game a year ago. I never play the game mainly because it was a strategy game; it grew too boring and repetitive after awhile. Plus, the game really got the fans going. But, the graphics were superb on high settings. Not the greatest graphics mind you, but certain aspects and objects of the game turned out very well with higher settings enabled. Sometimes, the game looked like a movie, which is interesting indeed.

I don't particularly like that game I have because the gameplay for it isn't great overall, but my point is, Macs are built with quality hardware inside. The Macs with real graphics cards can play games very well. The only problem is that there are few games scripted specifically for OS X, hence some Mac "gamers" turn to Boot Camp. The lack of games is due to Apple's lack of a focus on that market and the developers lack of interest in writing for OS X. From what I heard, certain portions of OS X are harder to work with over DirectX, hence developers turn to Windows. If both groups banded together to bring games to the Mac, I'm sure it would be a great success as Apple's other branches have been.

Personally, I think that Apple has something to gain by entering into the gaming industry with a gaming-oriented device. Apple has conquered the digital music industry, and they are most certainly dominating (or are going to be) the mobile phone industry with the iPhone. The Mac is gaining more users on a massive scale. Gaming is the only thing left in a sense. iPhone 2.0 software is going to support several games, at least from what we saw at WWDC, so that ay be a start for Apple. The iPhone is the platform to be working with now, after all. What Apple could do is revamp the Apple TV yet again to support gaming and further iTunes support with it, but that would not work in the long run. I bet that it would make the Apple TV seem like an overcooked product, so to speak. Not good. Or, Apple could release a customizable Mac desktop akin to the Mac Pro, but cheaper and aimed for gaming. But that could steal sales from the iMac line, and releasing a similar notebook would steal from the MacBook Pro. Apple would have to be very careful about this. Introducing a completely new product like a gaming console would probably be a safer bet for them, but who knows what would happen. Nevertheless, Apple has proven that they can take and concept and "perfect" it. They have done it three times already.


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Apples to Oranges MacPro laptop vs PC gaming
by bessemer / July 7, 2008 1:41 AM PDT
In reply to: More thoughts

I have been a Dell PC user for years with several XPS high end laptops. My current XPS Laptop is a PentM processor, 2gig ram, 7200rpm HardDrive and 256 Nvidia. I use this to game online Call of Duty 2 and play COD4 also. I does a great job.

My question is: Spec two "laptops" not desktops, one a Mac Pro one is a Dell. Put 2.6 dual processor, 7200 rpm hard drive, 4 gig ram, and a 512 Nvidia 8600 card in both with a high resolution 17" screen. No variation please! I know there is a Nvidia 8800 card.

Can the MacPro Laptop out perform the PC running in Bootcamp mode with XP loaded on Bootcamp? Are there Port issues when try to game online with a MacPro in Bootcamp mode say going through Gamespy?

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MacBook Pro and Boot Camp
by tleMega / July 7, 2008 9:32 AM PDT

First, it would be much easier to read your post if you used better grammar, allowing you to provide a clearer message. Just saying.

From your jumbled message, I think you are asking if a MacBook Pro with similar specifications can outperform or match a similar Dell notebook. All Intel Macs can utilize Boot Camp, which allows the Mac to run a full install of a supported Windows operating system. If you installed Windows XP on the MacBook Pro, it would run like a normal PC. The only difference is you would have to choose at the startup which system to use. That's normal. Boot Camp is not a port of any kind. There are actual game ports for the Mac OS, but if you are running Windows on a Mac, you have the real deal. You can play Crysis, Call of Duty, you name it (note that Aspyr, a Mac game developer, is actually releasing a Mac version of COD4 soon, so you may want to check that out). If you have a Windows game, and you are running Windows on a Mac, you can play it so long as the Mac meets the hardware requirements. Simple. As for Gamespy, you'd have to figure that out, but like I just said, when you run Windows on a Mac, you have the whole thing. That also means that you will need to install security programs and the like to protect the Windows partition on the Mac. When you are using Windows on a Mac, you no longer gain the security enhancements that you do by using OS X. If you want to be able to dual-boot a Mac and be able to play all of your games, then a high-end MacBook Pro will serve you well should you choose to buy one. The 17-inch models have a beautiful screen.

I will leave the rest to you. I did compared\ the prices, and overall, the MacBook is a good deal, but I am not sure if I can say the same for the Dell XPS M1730 that I was looking at. There will be many variations to choose from. I would hope that you would know that. You can "spec" them yourself and determine which one is right for you. My last piece of advice is to ignore the 2.6Ghz upgrade. Paying $250 or so is ridiculous for a 100Mhz boost. You won't miss the difference unless you plan on doing some intense video work.


FYI: the Mac Pro is a professional-grade workstation. The notebook equivalent is the MacBook Pro. They are not the same.

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Mac"book" Pro and Boot Camp
by bessemer / July 7, 2008 12:18 PM PDT

Thank you for your good information concerning my post asking to compare Mac"book" Pro to a hardware like PC (Dell). I suppose my grammer was a little off and I said "I" when I should have said "it" but you got the jest of it.

I have a Dell business account, so my cost are different when dealing with volume. I am more concerned with breaking into the Mac world for myself and I want a performance laptop that I can game with. Mac just seems to be able to do this with all the understanding of the dual boot method. Virus protection for the windows side and the rest is naturally understood and not the focus of the topic.

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Glad to be of assistance
by tleMega / July 7, 2008 2:45 PM PDT

Life is usually better for many when they come over to the light side. Wink If you get a MacBook, all you have to do is buy a new copy of Windows and use Boot Camp to install it. Once you have your Windows partition setup, you just need to install your standard apps before you're off. Easy. Glad to provide some assistance.


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