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Why do iMacs have (too) low gaming performance?


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#1 PRIME00943

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:42 PM

This topic is only about iMacs regarding gaming, since the other Macs are in addition not designed for gaming; they're more workstations than anything.

I like Apple's technology. Quite frankly, I like OS X more than Windows for multiple reasons. However, iMacs don't perform sufficiently when it comes to gaming. Even though this is a very known fact, I still haven't managed to find out why this is so. It's very noticeable that most game developers don't make their games compatible for OS X, and that's not a coincidence. I believe that game developers don't make their games compatible for OS X because Macs don't have sufficient gaming performance, and not that Apple doesn't design Macs with sufficient gaming performance because most game developers don't make their games compatible for OS X.

So, what's the deal with this particular issue?



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:54 PM

The performance of a machine has nothing to do with the OS, performance is related to the hardware. iMac's typically use onboard or intel cpu graphics (no dedicated GPU) which are not idea for gaming. Mac's also typically cost more for the same hardware you could buy running windows or hardware built custom with no OS.

 

However writers do not write games for OS X due to the very limited population that uses OS X. ~95% of the world population uses windows so writers make games for Windows mostly due to this factor.

 

There are some Mac computers that are capable of gaming. For example the new Mac Pro (most of the models with decent hardware) would do fine gaming.

 

Ask yourself this question: if you were a programmer that made a game, who would you write that game for: 95% of the population or 5% of the population? You could in most cases write the game to be compatible with both or all OS's but why would you spend the extra time in making it cross platform compatbile to target only an extra 5% of the population?

 

Don't get me wrong, Mac OS X has some advantages in some areas but the problem is not hardware related, it is a numbers game. Game developers and the companies they work for want the biggest bang for their efforts so they write the games for platforms that are popular.


Edited by zingo156, 30 July 2014 - 01:56 PM.

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#3 PRIME00943

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:08 PM

The performance of a machine has nothing to do with the OS, performance is related to the hardware. iMac's typically use onboard or intel cpu graphics (no dedicated GPU) which are not idea for gaming. Mac's also typically cost more for the same hardware you could buy running windows or hardware built custom with no OS.

 

However writers do not write games for OS X due to the very limited population that uses OS X. ~95% of the world population uses windows so writers make games for Windows mostly due to this factor.

 

There are some Mac computers that are capable of gaming. For example the new Mac Pro (most of the models with decent hardware) would do fine gaming.

 

Ask yourself this question: if you were a programmer that made a game, who would you write that game for: 95% of the population or 5% of the population? You could in most cases write the game to be compatible with both or all OS's but why would you spend the extra time in making it cross platform compatbile to target only an extra 5% of the population?

 

Don't get me wrong, Mac OS X has some advantages in some areas but the problem is not hardware related, it is a numbers game. Game developers and the companies they work for want the biggest bang for their efforts so they write the games for platforms that are popular.

I always knew that there are more Windows-users than OS X-users, but I honestly thought that nowadays OS X is almost on the same level as Windows from the amount of users-perspective.

Well, it's clear to me now; thank you for your clarifying response.

PS Isn't the Mac Pro mainly a workstation as well? I've watched video's that indicate the Mac Pro's gaming performance, and it didn't turn out to be sufficient.


Edited by PRIME00943, 30 July 2014 - 02:11 PM.


#4 zingo156

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:19 PM

Here is a decent list of OS's in use on desktops, most are windows OS's, if you add them all up it is roughly 90% windows, however this list may be developed using computers sold with operating systems already installed which means custom builds may not be included. Most custom builders use windows because mac os does not support many hardware configurations. Mac os only works with pretty specific hardware. Some people do create custom machines running OS X, these are sometimes called "hackintosh" computers. When building a "Hackintosh" you have to be very specific about which components you buy to make sure OS X supports it.

 

Operating systems in use:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems


Edited by zingo156, 30 July 2014 - 03:01 PM.

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#5 PRIME00943

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:28 PM

Here is a decent list of OS's in use on desktops, most are windows OS's, if you add them all up it is roughly 90% windows, however this list may be developed using computers sold with operating systems already installed which means custom builds may not be included. Most custom builders use windows because mac os does not support many hardware configurations. Mac os only works with pretty specific hardware. Some people do create custom machines running OS X, these are sometimes called "hackintosh" computers. When building a "Hackintosh" you have to be very specific about which components you buy to make sure OS X supports it.

 

Operating systems in use:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

On the basis of those statistics, I don't think that Apple and the video game-industry will play major roles in the advancements of each other any time soon, which is unfortunate.



#6 zingo156

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:07 PM

It is unfortunate. There are some games that are compatible. Steam is available on Mac OS which might help some games find their way over.

 

I wish more than anything that Linux would take a larger portion of the desktop market, it is a free OS, it supports most of the hardware that currently exists, the only problem is there are so many versions of linux which makes it more difficult for game dev's to support.

 

For the foreseeable future, games will likely remain mostly on windows platforms, xbox's, and playstations.


Edited by zingo156, 30 July 2014 - 03:08 PM.

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#7 PRIME00943

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:46 PM

It is unfortunate. There are some games that are compatible. Steam is available on Mac OS which might help some games find their way over.

 

I wish more than anything that Linux would take a larger portion of the desktop market, it is a free OS, it supports most of the hardware that currently exists, the only problem is there are so many versions of linux which makes it more difficult for game dev's to support.

 

For the foreseeable future, games will likely remain mostly on windows platforms, xbox's, and playstations.

That's true.

I would definitely be satisfied when I could game on an iMac or whichever, while I know that there is a huge amount of people that does that as well.






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