1. trparky's Avatar
    First, some background. I'm somewhat an entrenched Microsoft customer meaning I've been using PCs for a very long time. I've been in the Microsoft camp since... God, I think Windows 95. I currently use Windows 7 and like the OS but Windows 8.x is a different story, I can't stand where Microsoft is taking Windows. The whole mishmash of tablet, mobile, and desktop is just that, a mishmash and a bad one at that. Generally speaking I don't like where Microsoft is going. I strongly feel that there should be two operating systems; one for mobile and one for desktop. So far Apple seems to be the only company that understands that there needs to be a clear delineation between the two very different platforms.

    OK, so with that being said I do have to admit that there really isn't that much holding me to the Microsoft platform. Most of the software I use is very platform agnostic. I use Firefox as my browser of choice and Firefox also runs on the Mac. I need an office suite and it appears that I'd be covered in that department too since an office suite seems to come free with every Mac you buy. I would also need a good text editor with good syntax highlighting and text color for my PHP/HTML/Javascript dabbling. Oh, and an SSH client to SSH into Linux servers.

    But, here's the biggie. I do some gaming and by that I mean Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft. Those are the only games I really play and have any real interest in playing so if I were go to to a Mac the Mac would definitely have to support those games. But, how do I do that without breaking my bank account. What would be the best Mac to get for that kind of workload? And don't tell me Mac Pro because that's well out of my price range.

    Any ideas?
    05-28-2015 10:54 PM
  2. Trees's Avatar
    One way to approach it is to use the game system requirements as your baseline. If Starcraft 2, for example, has minimum CPU requirements of W GHz and WW Cores, X RAM in MB or GB, Y Disk in MB or GB, and Z GPU in RAM and Cores/GHz; then if a Mac can provide that equivalent for the Windows VM you will run for the Windows games listed - it might be good for Starcraft 2.

    How the above approach maps to a MacBook configuration, I'm not sure. If you're thinking about using Bootcamp instead of a hypervisor, then the same approach above holds true, but would need fewer hardware resources compared to running OS X, a hypervisor, and the Windows VM.

    If the games you listed have native support for OS X, then I'd still suggest using the hardware resource requirements for the games to determine the baseline for which Mac to get.

    For the Web Development tools/apps, I think a MacBook Air would be sufficient for text editing type of work. Similarly SSH clients are likely lightweight apps, and not needing much for hardware resources.
    05-28-2015 11:39 PM
  3. trparky's Avatar
    Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft all have native Mac versions that need no installation of Windows to function. I would be doing a desktop instead of a notebook, I figure that going for a desktop would be better for the kinds of needs that I have. Gaming is generally not a good thing to be doing on a notebook simply due to cooling limitations.
    05-28-2015 11:44 PM
  4. trparky's Avatar
    The more research that I'm doing the more I've come to the conclusion that if I game I'm going to be stuck in Windows land for forever. Basically it comes down to this... if you play games, forget about the Mac; it's useless. Unless you want to spend upwards of $4 thousand for the Mac Pro and only then will you be able to play games on the Mac.

    Sadly, Macs are limited by the fact that Apple uses a lot of mobile GPUs in their system designs and unfortunately mobile GPUs just don't cut it. Gaming needs to be done on high-end desktop-class GPUs simply because gaming pushes lots of data through very wide data buses and those data buses don't exist in notebook-like builds which are found in Mac computers.

    I guess I better start liking Windows 10 because that's where I'm going to end up getting stuck with.
    06-02-2015 07:16 PM
  5. SWFLFFPM's Avatar
    I play D3 on my iMac with no problems.

    I, too was entrenched since Windows 3.1 but found the transition easy and don't miss Windows at all.

    If you have Microsoft Office documents then buy Office for Mac. The iWorks suite is fine and compatible to some degree but I think you'll find the consensus is working with Office documents is easier with the Mac version than the iWorks counterparts.
    06-22-2015 08:40 AM
  6. techntools's Avatar
    Can you share what your video card/GPU are? Do you need to dial down any of the video settings?
    10-16-2015 05:13 PM
  7. SWFLFFPM's Avatar
    Can you share what your video card/GPU are? Do you need to dial down any of the video settings?
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512 MB on my iMac.

    I tweaked some settings on the D3 option screen.
    techntools likes this.
    10-16-2015 06:16 PM
  8. Algus's Avatar
    If you are used to having PC quality gaming GPUs in your computers, you will definitely be disappointed by the gaming capabilities of Macs. Now an HD 4000 or Iris GPU is more than capable of running most modern computer games but you will be sacrificing visual effects, screen resolution, and FPS. This is a sacrifice I am willing to make because the games I like are still playable and fun and I would rather do my work and every day QOL stuff on OS X.

    If you are a serious gamer however and you want to be in the Mac world, it makes a lot of sense to maintain a basic gaming tower for that purpose. It is far cheaper and more efficient than spending thousands on a Mac with a discrete GPU. Even then, the GPUs put in Macs are intended for use with production software like Final Cut Pro, etc. and don't always have the features and options you would want as a gamer.

    FWIW I am a serious Blizzard fan and have all their current games on my Mac Mini (2.5 ghz i5, 16 GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 GPU, 960 GB SSD) and they run very, very well but 20-35 FPS is the norm. I can output most of them to 1440p (I run the Thunderbolt display that came out several years ago) but with most advanced graphics options turned off. I also maintain a Bootcamp partition with Windows 7 for compatibility with Windows games (mostly Star Wars: The Old Republic) again this works very well but I must turn off several advanced options for smooth gameplay.
    techntools likes this.
    10-16-2015 08:36 PM
  9. techntools's Avatar
    That's a good point Algus. I think I'm going to maintain my current Win box for games only and move everything else to my new 5K. Thanks!
    10-21-2015 12:49 PM
  10. Daryle Bayless's Avatar
    I wanted a stable operating system that was capable of running the software I needed for work, with no drama. For office software, the iWork apps are sufficient for most. There are also open source options that are somewhat comparable with MS Office, and if that doesn't do the trick, MS Office on the Mac works exceptionally well. TextWrangler is excellent for coding.

    I like to game, but wasn't going to make the inability to do so a deal killer when I purchased my computer. In fact, coming from the Linux world, I was accustomed to Windows based games not working well. That said, I play Diablo 3, Elite Dangerous, Guild Wars 2, and Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced edition). These are all native OS X games. Integrated video is much better than it once was, as is Mac gaming support.

    They will only take my Mac from me when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands... or something to that effect. Anyway, I like my Macs.
    02-16-2016 03:47 PM

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