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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

Why is everyone so against gaming on the Mac?


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the8thark

 
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Why is everyone so against gaming on the Mac?

I ask this question after reading quite a few posts from long time members on this forum pretty much saying in their own words: Only game on a Mac if you have to. But it is far from the best option. It makes me think these comments are trying to tell people do not game on the Mac.

I game on my Mac. Always have. And with Steam for Mac, the new App store coming in January, bootcamp and the many developers (indie and mainstream) creating games for Mac there is a lot of choice. Sure I agree if you want squeeze every last fps from your games then a home build windows rig is best. But for just having fun playing games, the Mac does very well. Get one with a decent dedicated GPU and you're laughing.

I think gaming on the Mac is just fine. And I recommend it before TV console gaming for the Mac owners. Cause no extra Hardware to purchase.

But really I want to know why is everyone (on this forum and elsewhere) so against gaming on the Mac?
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Buzzard2010

 
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Ha I was just reading something you posted on about gaming on the mac, it really is a bug-bear of yours isn't it.
I for one am not against it, not really tried it that much. I have an xbox 360 and use that most of the time. I have played assassins creed on my MBP though and that was fine

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the8thark

 
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Yes it is. I'm not saying it's better or worse then console gaming. I'm just want to get people to consider the Mac as another option out there.
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wavinwayne

 
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Maybe it's a cost issue. If I'm not mistaken, one can build a very fast Windows gaming machine for less coin than a comparably spec'd Mac.

Don't believe anything I tell you, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as "doing your homework."
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the8thark

 
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I agree. But when you already own a Mac, why go and build another machine when you don't have to. For gaming only and you don't already own a Mac - The windows rig would be cheaper. But if you already own a Mac - well you know.
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Audio.Trench

 
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I still rock Diablo II and Warcraft/Starcraft on my Quicksilver. I've always been trying to "get the most" out of my Mac in terms of gaming, and even went as far as purchasing a Radeon 9800 Pro for it to get better frame rates. Now it's just the CPU that's bottlenecking it.

I now have a gaming PC which handles all of my "high-demand" games.

I used to be big into PC gaming, but got sick of upgrading constantly and switched to consoles.. Now I'm back to a PC.

I've just never had the cash to afford a Mac that was capable of gaming, to be honest. The newer models are certainly capable of it, even if you have to Bootcamp into windows to do so (as the library is much larger vs. Mac-native games).

Gaming is getting better on Mac, especially with the launch of Steam, which i might add is sweet! I bought L4D2 for $4.99 USD and Just Cause 2 for $7.49 USD. So it's cost effective as well.

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Maybe it's a cost issue. If I'm not mistaken, one can build a very fast Windows gaming machine for less coin than a comparably spec'd Mac.
This is true.. I just recently bought a dual-core AMD system, running 4gb of OCZ Ram, an 8800GTS 640MB video card, a nice Asus SLI-ready mobo, 19" HP monitor (ironically the exact same model I have setup to my QS)., gaming keyboard/mouse for $500 CDN off a local F/S/T site. Everythign in this system is aftermarket and in brand-new condition. Forgot to mention a set of Logitech G51 surround speakers were included (gotta love low-end frequency response @ 36hz).

This thing plays everything I through at it @ 1440x900 resolution, with every detail setting max'd, very smoothly, without ANY framerate issues. Just Cause 2 only shows a SLIGHT frame-chop when there's a lot going on, but that's about it.

So cost is a HUGE factor for most, I'm sure, considering a base MacPro is $2600. Granted, I landed a sweet deal, however, youcan build a nice system, for under $1000 (including a monitor/keyboard/mouse).
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I'm not sure I get your point entirely. I think that most people tend to flock to consoles or Win PC's for gaming because most games are coded to run better ( DX Vs. Open GL) on those platforms, AND because you don't have the same amount of options (titles) on OS X as you do with consoles or Windows.

So when you say "gaming", you have to consider what that encompasses for a "gamer". Maybe if you said "casual gaming" you'd have a better argument, IMO. Steam is an O.K. start I guess, but far from scratching the surface in terms of options and titles.

Doug
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I wouldn't deter someone from gaming on a Mac, it's certainly possible and getting better. But if you're choosing between a Mac and a PC desktop, and gaming is a priority, you can really get a lot more value from a PC. The primary reason for that is on most PCs, you can easily and economically change your video card out. So, as games get more complex and require ever more power video cards, you can keep up without having to buy an entirely new machine.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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pigoo3

 
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I'm not saying this is the only rational for gaming on a Mac not being as good as on a Windows computer but...

I think that one big drawback to Macintosh computers is the lack of expandability/upgradability. Most really good Windows gaming computers are desktop towers. Most computing folks know that there is nothing more expandable or upgradeable than a Windows tower computer.

Think about the Macintosh computer line-up (Mac-Mini, iMac, notebooks, Mac Pro)...the only model that is truly upgradeable is the Mac Pro. And to be honest...the Mac Pros are not nearly as upgradeable as a Windows Tower computer.

So the problem is (when it comes to Macintosh computers) is upgradeability. A brand new Macintosh computer can be ok at playing the latest & greatest games (assuming a Macintosh computer with a fast cpu & good video hardware).

But what happens is in 1-2 years when even newer & more demanding games are released...that "brand new Mac" that once was fine...now may not be able to play the latest & greatest games. And if you have a notebook, Mac-mini, or iMac (that cannot be upgraded)...they may not be able to play the latest games (or may not play them well due to low frame rates or low detail levels).

If you have a Windows tower computer...you can upgrade:

- the cpu
- upgrade the video card
- and upgrade the ram.

On a Macintosh you:

- can't upgrade the cpu (even the Mac Pro's in most cases)
- you cannot upgrade the video hardware/card (even the Mac Pro's have limited options)
- all you really can do is upgrade the ram

All in all. A brand new Macintosh can play most new games, and can certainly play older games (assuming a good cpu & video hardware)...but where Mac's start to have problems is when games get more & more complex...and more demanding...they don't have the upgradeability options of Windows computers. So a nice new powerful Mac today may be ok for gaming...but in just 1-2 years they may not be so good.

Just my humble opinion,

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I think you are reading the posts wrong. I do game on the Mac with Steam as you do, I also use bootcamp to play the most demanding PC games. So as you say - the Mac does fine for gaming. That being said - if gaming is the priority - then the Mac might not be the best option. Most questions are - should I buy a Mac? I like to game. If gaming is the priority you are better off building a dedicated gaming box. If you game casually or don't need the smoothest gaming experience then the Macs are fine. If gaming isn't a priority the Macs are also fine.

Example - my old AMD Athlon runs Portal with everything turned up better than my Macbook Pro - because it has a higher end video card. On the other hand I can play Portal anywhere on my Macbook Pro.

As stated before - there are a lot more options for faster cheaper hardware specific for gaming for the PC.
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You can game on a mac, but I think what most of the people, who I've seen write that stuff too, are talking to general PC people who buy windows pc's just for gaming, which is normal. With that said, you can't really say to someone to get a mac to game on. If you want to game, don't get a mac, because there are clearly better alternatives.

However, if the vast majority of your pc doesn't come from gaming, then you should be fine with one. I think that's what they mean when they say "don't buy a mac to game on," even though you can.

I have also read posts on here with people saying that macs don't do games...you all know the truth to that.

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EndlessMac

 
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There have already been some good points mentioned so far. It's not whether you can play games on a Mac but rather it comes down to if you are a hardcore gamer or a casual gamer. As mentioned a Windows tower is cheaper and more upgradable than a Mac and hardcore gamers who want to play the latest games at the highest settings will be happier with a dedicated Windows machine for gaming.

For casual gamers like myself who don't want the extra expense of owning another computer just to play games will be happy with the gaming experience on a Mac. The way I see it is that playing games on a Mac is a nice bonus and not a priority for me so yes gaming is possible on a Mac but then again I'm not a demanding hardcore gamer. I think that sums up the gaming experience on a Mac.

A person can definitely play a decent amount of games on Macs and if their Mac is fast enough they can even play it at the highest game settings but for hardcore gamers who wants to literary play every new game out there and be ready for future games they will start to see the limitations of gaming on a Mac. Others have already mentioned those limitations so I won't repeat them.

If gaming is a secondary objective for someone then I say they'll probably be happy with gaming on a Mac. I know I am. It saves a person the time and expense of buying and maintaining 2 computers. On the other hand, if a person is a hardcore gamer and gaming is their priority but they also want a Mac then they will probably be happier having both a Mac and a dedicated Windows gaming machine. Of course they can try gaming solely on their Mac first but if they truly are hardcore gamers they will most likely be disappointed. If not now then definitely in the future when they realize that they can't really upgrade their Macs without buying a whole new one. Computers get quickly outdated if you are a hardcore gamer.
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And of course Endless Mac there is a far greater availability of top end games for the PC market than there ever will be for the Mac and the cost factor of the game themselves.

Comes down to the old, old issue of supply and demand.

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EndlessMac

 
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Yes Harry you are right about availability. It also does come down to supply and demand which is why I'm not against gaming on a Mac because we need to support it in order for it to grow but I also think it's only fair to let others know the reality of it all so they don't get a false impression.

I'm definitely happy there are more Mac game titles now than in the past. I try to always buy the Mac version when I can but as I've mentioned I'm not a demanding gamer so it works for me. I think there are more casual Mac gamers than we think there are. That's where I see the growth for Mac gaming. Hardcore gamers are in a completely different category.
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the8thark

 
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Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
However, if the vast majority of your pc doesn't come from gaming, then you should be fine with one. I think that's what they mean when they say "don't buy a mac to game on," even though you can.
I can understand your point. But people should say "don't buy a Mac as a dedicated gaming only rig". That is too expensive. But as a work machine with games as well it can save you money compared to having to buy a Mac and a gaming PC.

And I can list a lot of Non-Casual games that are on the Mac as a lot of casual ones. I think people now refer to hardcore gamers as the ones who want the mad fps from a home built rig. But back in the old days hardcore gamers were called that cause they played the longer more intense games as apposed to the casual gamers who played mostly short casual games. I think the definition of what a hardcore gamer is has changed over the years.
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