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MacBook's - any good for gaming?

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I am looking to get rid of my old desktop PC and replace it with a new macbook. Will be spending around 1k and hoping for something that will last me a while! Few questions for those that are "in the …
Unbelievable_Jeff Avatar
2y, 9m agoPosted 2 years, 9 months ago
I am looking to get rid of my old desktop PC and replace it with a new macbook. Will be spending around 1k and hoping for something that will last me a while! Few questions for those that are "in the know"...

- can I play PC games made for PC on a macbook?
- if I can, can I use games currently on my steam account or do I need to buy new versions of them all?
- The games I want to play are not graphically intensive really (e.g. age of wonders, football manager, dragon age). Should a regular macbook with inbuilt GFX play these OK?

I have googled around for all of this but there are shedloads of conflicting answers.

Any advice appreciated!
Unbelievable_Jeff Avatar
2y, 9m agoPosted 2 years, 9 months ago
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Responses/page:
#2
No you cannot play PC games made for PC on a Macbook. If they don't have the Mac equivalent available then you won't be able to play them. I use a Mac and it's harder to find games for the Mac than it is for PC.
#3
roof30
No you cannot play PC games made for PC on a Macbook. If they don't have the Mac equivalent available then you won't be able to play them. I use a Mac and it's harder to find games for the Mac than it is for PC.

Unless you install Windows and bootcamp into it, but if that's all you're using it for then you might as well just get a Windows laptop.
#4
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.
#5
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

While OS X doesn't use as much space as Windows, I would imagine that if the OP installed a BootCamp copy of Windows 7/8 there would not much space left with from the 128GB SSD. Unlike the memory (which is soldered and not upgradeable) the SSD is upgradeable but the Macbooks are the total opposite of a business class laptop. That is: they are hell to service.
#6
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac

would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?
#7
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac

would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Yes, BootCamp is just the same as dual booting. You have a partition for OSX and a partition for Windows. You decide in setup how big you want the Windows partition to be.

Edited By: BigDave on Jun 22, 2014 20:25
#8
That Mac uses integrated gpu meaning even if you do run window you will only be able to play less demanding games or have to set resolution settings to low. E.g. Skyrim is very playable at 720p and low settings but that's about it (dragon age will probably be the same - low settings 720p) For about £600 you could get a 15" dell Inspiron from their outlet with a powerful gpu and be able to play most games at medium/high settings at 1080p

Don't get me wrong a mac is a lovely thing and if gaming isn't so important then there are definitely worse things you can send your money on.

Edit. Also whatever you do get, look up "transferring steam games to new machine" it's as simple as backing up a folder on your computer, will save you downloading your games again.

Edited By: badasschris on Jun 22, 2014 21:17
#9
You have four options basically:
1 buy new games for mac ( prob not the best option)
2 use a dedicated PC with windows as normal.
3 buy a mac, dual boot it with OSX and Windows 7/8 etc on it, remembering the loss of space accordingly- you can use external HDDs but format these for Mac and Windows under FAT or exFAT. You will have to restart your macbook each time to switch between the two though.
4: look into virtual software like Parrallels that runs inside of OSX. You basically have a computer within a computer. You would open Parrallels and then have to install Windows and install everything again. It 'sees' all your hardware of your mac but it is windows drivers etc. You can quickly switch between the two by just closing the application and I believe you can pull documents between the two. The only downside is I am not sure about the graphics compatibility and being able to run full games as demanding as you would natively. Whilst I haven't looked into Parrallels in a few years, I can expect it still to have made advances.
#10
Apple's Advertising campaigns aside, their Mac range has used PC hardware almost a decade now so there's no problem with compatibility. Hardware-wise they're identical to any other PC, so if you want to install windows it'll behave the same as your current machine or any other manufacturer's laptop. If you'd rather stick with Mac OS then some games will offer the Mac OS version as part of the purchase, some will be need to bought separately (generally when a second company has handled the port) and a fair number won't be available at all (No DirectX on Mac OS).

You don't say which model in Apple's laptop range you're looking at, but the fastest two graphics options (Iris Pro 5200 and GT 750M) are decent entry level cards that'll manage games for a year or two. For the same price you can get much faster graphics cards in other manufacturers ranges if that's a priority but they should do the job if you don't expect the world from them.
#11
EndlessWaves
Apple's Advertising campaigns aside, their Mac range has used PC hardware almost a decade now so there's no problem with compatibility. Hardware-wise they're identical to any other PC, so if you want to install windows it'll behave the same as your current machine or any other manufacturer's laptop. If you'd rather stick with Mac OS then some games will offer the Mac OS version as part of the purchase, some will be need to bought separately (generally when a second company has handled the port) and a fair number won't be available at all (No DirectX on Mac OS).

You don't say which model in Apple's laptop range you're looking at, but the fastest two graphics options (Iris Pro 5200 and GT 750M) are decent entry level cards that'll manage games for a year or two. For the same price you can get much faster graphics cards in other manufacturers ranges if that's a priority but they should do the job if you don't expect the world from them.
He says he wants to spend ~ £1000 the macbooks you are talking about are roughly ~£2000. The integrated gpu in the £1000 model is capable of playing indie games and older games at low settings and ~ 720p resolution, Some demanding games (witcher 2, crysis etc) probably won't play no matter how low you set the settings.

If you are dead set on a mac and need to play more demanding games then it may be worth waiting for their next iteration (don't know how long that will be) as hopefully they will add some nvidia maxwell gpus which have amazing performance and efficiency.
#12
thanks everyone, really helpful and some good food for thought here

I don't want to play hugely demanding games so I think bootcamp might be a good option for me (I dont mind rebooting every time I want to use windows to play a few games!)

cheers again!
#13
dcx_badass
They use the same parts, they don't magically perform better.

You know that is bull, unless you can get hold of a MacBook motherboard for me?
#14
Unbelievable_Jeff
thanks everyone, really helpful and some good food for thought here

I don't want to play hugely demanding games so I think bootcamp might be a good option for me (I dont mind rebooting every time I want to use windows to play a few games!)

cheers again!

Personally, although Bootcamp is a handy option, I find it steers you away from the experience of OSX, because the OS is so good on a mac, going to Windows gives a negative experience.

Try to see if the games you play have Mac versions, if they do, then you are sorted, any MacBook will play most games made for them. You will never look back.
#15
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac


would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Get a external gpu and connect it through thunderbolt
#16
revster
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac


would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Get a external gpu and connect it through thunderbolt

If you're made of money.
#17
BigDave
revster
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac


would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Get a external gpu and connect it through thunderbolt

If you're made of money.

Well its definitley cheaper than getting a seperate desktop,
#18
revster
BigDave
revster
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac


would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Get a external gpu and connect it through thunderbolt

If you're made of money.

Well its definitley cheaper than getting a seperate desktop,

I don't think so, plus there is no point buying an expensive machine to upgrade it, the integrated graphics in the Retina MBP are sufficient for what you need, the latest Iris Graphics chip is no slouch.
#19
BigDave
Unbelievable_Jeff
BigDave
It's stupidly easy to install Windows using BootCamp. But as said if you're so worried about games then just go for a Windows laptop.

If you value a crisp, clean OS, incredible battery life and you value productivity then definitely go for Mac.

thanks guys - lets say I use my machine to play games 20% of the time, I would probably still see the performance pay off getting a mac

would using bootcamp allow me to use steam as well and just redownload my windows games? am I correct in saying I could just have the OS's on the SSD and all the games any my music/videos/docs on the larger hard drive?

Yes, BootCamp is just the same as dual booting. You have a partition for OSX and a partition for Windows. You decide in setup how big you want the Windows partition to be.

I've decided this is the route I want to take.

Do you know if this version of windows (for students) is OK to install with bootcamp?

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/windows-8-1-pro-49-99-for-students-microsoft-store-1904776#comments

Thanks

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