Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ

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Boot Camp Baby!
Boot Camp Baby!

Welcome to the Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ. Mac's are great computers and taking them into Windows for the purpose of gaming only makes them better! If you are happy with native Mac gaming, that is outstanding. However if you want to expand your horizons and don't mind dealing with the "dark side", if you have the proper Mac, an intel Mac capable of running Windows, with the expense of purchasing the Windows OS, you'll have many more options for itching that never ending gaming itch. :)

This FAQ will not answer every windows question. Originally I created this FAQ as I ran into problems when gaming on my PC. But now that I have a Mac Book Pro, I am playing a wide variety of Windows only games, top notch AAA titles such as Crysis and The Witcher on my Mac. I realize the MacRumor Guides are collaborative efforts. My only request is that if you add information, please don't go crazy changing the format of this FAQ, feel free to add content, but please don't delete content unless you are sure it is obsolete and please include a good description of what you edited. It will be easier for me to keep it updated.

If you prefer to send me your suggestions, tips, or solutions, please go to please Private Message me, or reply to this thread and I'll make sure they are added to this guide. Thanks!

Disclaimer: A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE INFO CONTAINED IN THIS GUIDE MAY BE OUT OF DATE. I'm better at adding, than pruning. As of 27Oct13 moved much of the info in this guide to the archived section and updated all (most?) links.- Huntn

My hardware: 2011 MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), 64b Windows7; 1.8 dual G5, a 3.0 Pentium4 PC with 4GB RAM, and MacBook 2.2 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 2GB Ram with the Chipset: GMAx3100. This circa 2008 MacBook is a step above previous model MacBook as it appears to have better graphics support for shaders. -Dave Peck (Hunt'n)

This FAQ continues here: Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ Part 2

Native Mac gaming performance can be posted in the MacRumors Native Game Performance On Your Mac Guide.

Contents

Updates

  • 28Oct13- Under Bootcamp section added MacRumors Link regarding Bootcamp issues with new MacBookPros, Windows 8, and Bootcamp.
  • 27Oct13- Updated Part 1 of this article, moved much of the info to the archives section, completed a link check.
  • 27Oct- Added bootcamp compatibility section. Massaged info in Bootcamp Section.
  • 25Oct- Updated the Mac Centric Gaming Choices based on the Oct13 Mac hardware lineup.
  • 4Oct- Added Windows 7 Hidden File section. Added info on Windows Reserve Partition under Windows How To section.
  • 25Aug13- Reorganization of this article. Game info moved to Part 2. Added the Your Path to Windows on a Mac: Bootcamp section. Added Reinstalling Windows in an Existing Bootcamp Partition Section.


Mac Centric Gamer's Hardware Choices Oct 2013

  • After looking at the new Mac lineup and what includes dedicated graphics versus integrated graphics, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about looking to Mac for portable gaming as it takes $2600 in a MacBookPro to achieve dedicated graphics. Keep in mind these choices are for people who want MacOS and like to game. Obviously console can be added to any of these categories that don't all ready have it figured in.

  • Money Is No Object: MacPro ($3200-4200 + whatever laptop if you want one too.) There is no good reason to spend this kind of money for dedicated gaming. If you need it for professional tasks, all righty then. Depending on the model, the 2-3GB graphics should do a find job. Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp.
  • Travelers Extravagance: MacBookPro ($2600) Price reflects MacBookPro model 15", 2.3GHz armed with dedicated graphics . Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp. If you travel a lot a MacBookPro is a must. Windows can be installed on it and it functions as a mid range gaming platform handling AAA games adequately. Best of both worlds. The $2000 MacBookPro includes integrated graphics only.
  • Gaming Macs: 27"iMacs. Price reflects iMac ($1800-$2000). Depending on model offers 1-2GB dedicated graphics. Play native or install Windows via Bootcamp. Price includes monitor!
  • Portable plus Gaming PC: ($2000-2100) Do your serious gaming on Windows, casual gaming on Mac. For the MacOS go with bottom tier MacBookPro or MacbookAir $1000-1200 + a $1000 PC dedicated to gaming. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc. 

  • Casual Desktop Gaming+ Console- ($1700-1900) Love those find the hidden object games? 21" iMac $1300-1500 + Console $400. Add 100-200 more for latest generation Xbox or PlayStation. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc.


  • Casual Portable Gaming + Console- ($1400-1600) Knock off the console and save $400. Love those find the hidden object games? Bottom tier MacBookAir or MacBookPro $1000-1200 + Console $400. Add another 100-200 for latest generation Xbox or PlayStation. You have a shot at improved game performance running Windows on your Mac via Bootcamp, but don't count on running AAA games- Crysis, The Witcher, etc.

  • iPod/iPhone/iPad- There are very casual games to be played, but not to be confused with gaming on a Mac/PC via Bootcamp. From this group iPad best choice $300-900 depending on model.

Other Considerations:

  • Console- Best choice $$, strictly for gaming, no OS period, none of the standard OS/online abilities (approx $350 invest).
  • Mac Native- (Playing only Mac native games) If you really like casual gaming (I Spy, Cosmic Encounter, etc) or don't mind a limited number of delayed compromised AAA ports. You'll only miss out on most of the biggest titles- The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Half Life2, Crysis, Witcher, Oblivion, etc, etc. You've all ready spent the money on a Mac, $70 more (Win7) and you just quadrupled your options, if not more.
  • PC- No MacOS= individual preference. Over the years Windows has gotten better, but the MacOS is still a superior operating system. My opinion- Huntn.


Windows Native (Boot Camp) or Virtualized?

  • The Best Way To Run Windows On Your Mac @MacWorld. (April 2012) This article only mentions Bootcamp in passing, but it does say the best performance, especially gaming, is through running Windows natively on your Mac with Bootcamp install of Windows. Of the Virtualized Software, it mentions Parallels 7 as the best choice, however it won't be as good as running Windows natively on your Intel Mac. If you consider your Mac a mid level gaming machine and want the best performance you can buy a copy of Windows7 for as low as $100. A little more than the purchase of Parallels7 and you have maximized your performance which for AAA games is important.
  • Virtualized/Other Choices are: CodeWeaver's CrossOver (software runs under Mac $50 free trial), Parallels Desktop (Virtualized $80 free trial), VMware Fusion ($50 free trial), and Virtual-Box (free but geeky).


Bootcamp: Your Path to Windows on a Mac

  • Boot Camp is an Apple utility that facilitates the installation of Windows on your Mac. It creates a Windows partition, a size of your choosing, has you install Windows from a Windows install disk (purchase may be required if you don't own one all ready), and then installs Apple drivers so Windows can properly interact with your Mac hardware.

Bootcamp Links

  • Oct 2013- There are some questions about Maverick's (MacOSX v9) support of Bootcamp. Some issues reported when upgrading to Mavericks, breaking existing Bootcamp Install.
  • Oct 2013- Quick Fix Brings Windows 8 to new iMac Computers.
  • Windows 8 is now supported by Bootcamp v5. -posted 8/25/13.
  • Bootcamp Support @ Apple.com
  • Mac Basics: Using Windows on Your Mac via Boot Camp.
  • Link: manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/Boot_Camp_Install-Setup.pdf‎- Print out this article before starting your Windows install. This document is also available within the Bootcamp Assistant Utility that is located in your Application>Utility folder.
  • For Bootcamp Installs, Which Version of Windows Matches your MacOS? (Mar 2012)- MacOS 6&7 support Windows 7. MacOS 5&6 support Vista and XP. See this Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows operating systems.
  • See the Reinstalling Windows in an Existing Bootcamp Partition Section that follows.

Bootcamp Compatibility


Reinstalling Windows in an Existing Bootcamp Partition

  • Aug 2013- I ran into a situation where Windows 7 was no longer installing updates, they were just piling up. Despite using Windows for gaming because it is faster and more games are available, I hold it in low regard because every version of Windows I've ever owned starting with Windows95 gives me this kind of trouble requiring clean installs. On my Mac since upgrading to MacOSX, I've never had any kind of clean install issue. The MacOS is the best except Windows is better for gaming, but it's like dealing with the Devil, you'll pay. Ok, well, I am not a Windows expert, but this is what I did. To resinstall Windows up to the part where I installed Apple drivers took 90 minutes. Installing ALL of the Windows updates took another 3 hours or so.
  • First of all, I tried to restore my Windows to an earlier state, but I had no Windows restore points. :( I don't know how that happened. But you should make sure you have Windows setup to do this- Microsoft Restore Point Article. Then I tried to restore Windows to an earlier date using my WinClone backups. They did not work and WinClone is now on my s*** list. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows and hopefully eliminate this problem.
  • Made sure I had a Windows 7 install disk. Of note, I could not find my original disk, however I still have my Windows 7 serial number. Of note, because Windows was all ready installed in this partition, during the reinstall, the installer did not ask me for a serial number. I downloaded Windows 7 from the MyGigitalLife Windows 7 Repository which on Aug 2013 offered both a 32 and 64 bit version. My choice was the 64 bit version, downloaded it, then burned it to a DVD. If you have a 2011 or newer Mac, 64 bit works and it should be a little faster.
  • Opened the Bootcamp Assistant Utility (On your Mac: Applications>Utilities>Boot Camp Assistant) and printed out the Bootcamp Installation and Setup Guide. Then I checked the right box to download Apple's Windows Support Software. These are the drivers required for Windows to interact with your Mac hardware properly. After download, I placed the folder on a thumb drive.
  • Booted into Windows 7, opened the Control Panels pane and selected Advanced Recovery Methods where I chose to reinstall Windows. Follow the prompts. It will ask you if you have a copy of Windows. Say Yes. Of note, if the installer does not like your copy of Windows, if it does not recognize it as an install disk, it will allow you to back out of the install process.
  • One of the aspects of this install is that when it triggers a restart (several times), you will have to be there to hold down the Option key so you can select to boot back into your Windows partition. If you are gone when this happens, your Mac will boot into the MacOS. No problem. Just restart holding the option key and select the Windows partition.
  • After Windows has finished reinstalling before you start updating the hundreds of updates that will be required, navigate to your thumb drive where you stored the Apple Windows Support Software, open the folder and click on "setup.exe". This will install all of your Apple/Windows drivers.
  • Navigated to the Windows Network and Sharing Center to join my home network and get online. If you can't find it, in the search window, type in Network and Sharing. Join your home network either wired or wirelessly. See this Dummies.com: Sharing an Internet Connection in Windows 7.
  • Navigate to Windows Update (Control Panel pane), bend over and plan on spending hours installing hundreds of updates. And they don't all register at once. For me it was an initial 140 updates in one shot, then it was 26, then 2, then 1, then 41, etc, etc. I'm confident you don't get them all in one shot because some updates are built on others. This is why you want to keep a good backup copy/image of your Windows C drive!
  • After the reinstall was complete, I hooked up a 1TB portable drive, (formatted to NTSF- see this link, hopefully it's not perishable) to my Mac while booted into Windows and created a Windows Backup of my C drive. See this Microsoft document: Back Up Your Programs, System, Settings, and Files.


Boot Camp Issues

Unable to boot back into MacOS after booting into Windows

  • Apple Discussions.
  • Possible Solution: Boot to the OS X System Disk and repair disk permissions using Disk Utility.

After Boot Camp Install can't see Windows Partition

  • On a 2007 Santa Rosa MacBook (X3100 chipset) after I installed BootCamp everything appeared to go well (selecting FAT as Windows file format) until I did a reboot holding down the Option button so I could choose my Windows partition. The Windows partition did not appear as a choice. Apple Care was not familiar with the problem and suggested I reinstall Windows. I did but this time selected NTFS. The second time it worked. I'm not absolutely sure if it was the reinstall or selecting NTFS that worked, but I can now select my Windows partition and boot into it. See this Apple Discussion for more info. I assume Apple is now aware of the problem and at some point in the future, the issue will be resolved.Nov07 -Hunt'n


Mac Rumor Threads


Windows Tidbits

Handy Windows Utilities

Background Tasks

  • Written for Windows XP/Vista section may be out of date for Windows 7/8.

- Don't let them suck limited resources (RAM)! Your copy of WinXP may have dozens of background programs running. Obviously this can have a huge impact on your games performance. Here is how to turn them off:

  1. Hold down Control and Shift, then tap ESC to bring up the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click the Processes Tab.
  3. Click the User Name column heading. This sorts processes together by user name.
  4. Click an item in your user name group and click END PROCESS.
  5. Do NOT select items from the SYSTEM, LOCAL SERVICE, or NETWORK SERVICE groups. Do NOT select explorer.exe or taskmgr.exe items in your user group!
  6. In your user group, turn everything off except explorer.exe and taskmgr.exe.

Note: Items turned off will come back on the next time WinXP is started.


Direct X What Version Do You Have?

  • Select Start. Type in "dxdiag" to launch the Direct X Diagnostic Tool.
  • WinXP- Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type "dxdiag" (no quotes), and then click OK.
  • Vista- Click Start, and in the window that says "Start Search", type in run, hit Return (enter). In the Open box, type "dxdiag"(no quotes), and then click OK. Under the System Tab, check the Direct X version.
  • Details of what you'll see in the tabs here ... Microsoft Support


Where are my Desktop Icons?

Right click on your desktop and select "Arrange Icons by" then make sure Show Desktop Icons is selected.


Multiple Versions of Direct (Vista)

  • Slightly dated, but could be still valid info. Did you know multiple versions of Direct X can coexist in Windows at the same time and both be functional? Yes they can!
  • I installed Gothic3 on my MacBookPro. Because I knew it had DX10, I unchecked the option to install DX9. When I went to launch the game I got an error message "Error while starting executible: could'nt load DLL file d3dx9_29.dl." Gothic3 was looking for DX9 and it could not find it. The solution is to put the Gothic3 disk in and select Install DirectX9. Then the game will launch normally.


Hidden Folders in Windows (Windows 7)

  • Display Hidden Files and Folder @microsoft.com. (added Oct2013)
  • Playing Minecraft, I discovered that Minecraft saves are kept in the hidden-by-default folder, "AppData". AppData>Roaming>.minecraft. (added Oct2013)


Internet Connect Times Out

  • After Sitting Idle, can't connect to Net.
  • Try opening the Control Panel called Network Connections, and click on a connection listed. On the left side of the window a list of tasks pops up. Select "Repair This Connection". You may no longer have a valid IP address and need to renew it, no reboot required.


Internet Explorer- Don't use for your Windows browsing

For security issues use Firefox instead.

Monitors: Running 2 in Windows

  • Dual Monitor Setup (Windows7, added Sept 2012).
  • Move Windows Between Multiple Monitors- Microsoft for Windows 7.
  • If you have a MacBookPro or MacBook Air, see this MacOSX Tips Guide section for hardware hookup instructions.
  • While running Windows, (in my case Windows7), Open Control Panel>Display>Screen Resolution. Displays can be run as mirrored images or one large display desktop. The latter is more functional. Under the Multiple Display Tab select "Extend These Displays" and Apply. If using a laptop and want the external monitor to be the main display, pick it in the display and check the box "Make This My Main Display". For a laptop and external monitor an external keyboard will be helpful if you want the laptop sitting off to the side.


Move a Program in Windows

There are utilities that allow you to move programs in Windows to a new location/different folder. But if you drag a folder to a new location in Windows, you may or may not break it. When I speak of a new location, it does not have to be a different hard drive. I'm referring to a different folder that results in a different file location path. I'll clarify that the registry concerns itself mostly with program files. Plain old data files like a text file, documents, or pictures can be moved around without any problems. The MacOS is friendlier overall when it comes to moving programs around.

In Windows you may need a utility to move a program that updates the Registry entries for that program or it may break. Without a utility, one possibility is to uninstall the program, then reinstall to a new location. Games or for other programs, make sure you backup any important game saves or documents. Some un-installers will give you the option of keeping saved games but you can't count on it. Those files may be located in the game folder itself or elsewhere such as the user's folder on the C: drive/My Documents/My Games folder.


The Registry

  • Window's most inept & sinister feature even today! A giant text file telling Windows where everything on the computer is located. If it gets scrambled, Windows breaks and most likely it is time for a clean install! Most Windows compatible System Utilities, like Tuneup Utilities 2013 include programs that back up the registry. If you'd rather not pay for a Windows Utility, Windows itself includes a means of backing up the Registry. For reference see this Microsoft Support Document.


Registry Health

The Registry is an editable file. Under no circumstances should a novice open this file and start editing entries. However as time goes by using WinXP, it can become larger and unwieldy, slowing the operation of your computer down. This is where a System Utility such as Tuneup Utilities 2013 comes into play. It includes utilities that will clean your Registry and keep it in good health.


Save your Game Saves

While this falls under basic backup philosophy, it is a good reminder. Windows is more likely to hick up and die than your MacOSX environment. If playing any Windows game where you have worked your butt off to reach a level or develop a character and it would kill you to lose it, be sure you go find where the Windows game places it's save files, either in the game folder itself or possibly in your Documents folder (something like Documents/Your Games or some such) and save them to a secure location.


Windows 7 Reserved Partition

  • If you stumble across the Windows 7 Reserved Partition, according to this superuser link, you don't want to delete it. It holds Windows boot files and removing it will stop Windows from booting. (added Oct 2013).
  • This Technet Article offers options for when it is ok to delete this partition. (added Oct 2013).


Your Windows Game No Longer Works/Uninstalling a Game/Program in Windows

There could be many reasons for a game not to start in Windows, even after you've been playing it for a while. It is not that unusual for a registry problem to have developed. The registry is a giant text database that allows Windows to keep track of where everything is located/installed on your hard drive. See the Registry Health paragraphs in the Understanding Windows XP on Your Mac Section of this FAQ.

First of all do not uninstall a game by simply tossing the program folder into the trash and deleting. This method does not uninstall a program properly. Windows, depending on the program will install program files into many locations. If you have a registry problem associated with your game, this will not uninstall your game in the proper way and will not correct a problem with a registry error. Uninstall Programs that come with many games, or the Program Uninstall Control Panel are the primary way to correctly uninstall a program in Windows. They also make utilities, like Revo Uninstaller, that track the install location of every part a program and profess to be the best way to uninstall programs. For most people if you stumble across a solution that involves manually editing The Registry, my suggestion is to resist or at least make a backup copy of the Registry before doing this. If you make a mistake, you can break part or all of Windows.

Three Approaches to fixing a game problem

1. Uninstall the Game. Make a copy of your last game saves before doing this despite that many uninstallers ask if you want to save your save games. Try uninstalling the game using the Uninstall feature with the game. Look in the Start menu/Programs for the game launch choices or put in the CD and see if it offers an uninstall option, and/or finally go to Start/Control Panels and choose the Uninstall Programs Control Panel to uninstall the game and then reinstall it.

After the game is uninstalled, run a registry cleaner utility such as TuneUp Utilities or a free program such as CCleaner. The idea is to remove stray registry entries that might be causing your game to break.

2. Restore your computer to a former state. Precautions have to be taken before the problem appears. See Create a Restore Point @microsoft.com.

3. Clean Install- The 3rd option drastic option is to peform a clean install of your Windows OS. using Microsoft Advanced Recovery Methods.

Remember to save your game saves prior to a Windows reinstall or all game progress will be lost. Most game saves are located in the game folder itself or in the My Documents/My Games folder/Game Name (or something similiar). Google is your friend.


Windows Keeps Dropping My Internet Connection

On cable modem connection, this can happen if PC remains idle for a period of time.

Try:

  • Select Start in Taskbar- Open Control Panel
  • Select Network Connection
  • One at a time select each of the Connections displayed. On the left side of the window under Network Tasks, a choice will appear "Repair This Connection".
  • Cross your fingers and say a prayer. A message will appear that the connection has been repaired. This method works for me most of the time. If not, I restart the computer, maybe several times to get my connection back.
  • Notice: You don't have to do this with OSX. :)


Archived Info

Archived Links (Boot Camp, New Mac Hardware, Parallels, Windows Related)


LTTG Installing Vista Drivers with pictures.


Archived Mac Gaming Hardware

MacBook- Is it for gaming?

  • This section out of date.
  • Late 2008 Update- MacBooks are continually being improved and are now much more viable for gaming. See this Obsessable.com link for MacBook gaming performance via bootcamp.
  • Older Macbooks were much more limited for Windows gaming (via Bootcamp). For PC games on older MacBooks, the Intel Link shows a list of games and their performance using the Intel 945GM Express Chipset Family. Officially the MacBook uses an Intel 950, but I believe the 945 list can be used for reference.


13"MacBookPro/MacBook Performance

  • Keep in mind that some of these references go back to 2007- Huntn.
  • Macbooks were discontinued in July 2011. Replacement hardware would be the 13" MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.
  • Obsessable.com link- Macbook as a gaming machine.
  • 'Dracula Origin' runs well on MacBook with x3100 chipset/WinXP. (submitted by Huntn)
  • Half Life 2 Demo worked but had autosave crashes.
  • Medieval Total War 2 does not run.
  • Morrowind runs great.
  • Penumbra: Overture- runs on MacBooks with x3100 chipset or newer. Older MacBooks won't run this game. (available as Mac Native game).
  • The Lost Crown- a ghost hunting adventure runs on a x3100 chipset Macbook under WindowsXP. Title may run on older Macbooks but unverified. (submitted by Huntn)
  • Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War runs great.


15" MacBook Pro Performance

  • Keep in mind that some of these references go back to 2007- Huntn.
  • Now that the MacBooks have been discontinued, replaced by the 13" MacBookPro, more distinction is required regarding game performance. Therefore, I have changed this section to 15" MacBookPro.
  • Vampire:The Masquerade-Bloodlines (from 2004)- after installing the latest "unofficial patch" runs the game well on this MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. See the Game Specific Help page for this game. (added by Huntn Nov11)
  • Star Wars The Old Republic MMO- runs well approx 20-50 fps on this MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Nov11)
  • Elder Scrolls V- Skyrim runs well on this MBP: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Nov11)
  • Dragon Age: Origins runs well, 20-30 fps range, with medium to low settings (2.2 Ghz 15" MBP, Mac OS 10.5, 2GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista. Submitted by Huntn 11/09) Even on low settings the game looks decent. For Vista, technically my MBP is below offical system specs. Windows XP: Windows XP with SP3, CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.6Ghz or greater, AMD 64 (or equivalent) running at 2.2Ghz or greater, RAM: 1 GB or more, Video: ATI Radeon X850 128MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater. Windows Vista with SP1: CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8Ghz or greater, AMD 64 (or equivalent) running at 2.6Ghz or greater, RAM: 1.5 GB or more, Video: ATI Radeon X1550 256MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB or greater.
  • Assassin's Creed (4/08) Assassins creed runs good on my MBP, albeit on lower res (1300*768) and low-medium detail. (I have a first generation MBP, with a X1600) Although you need to install new drivers, if you are still running Tiger, with the Bootcamp Beta 1.3. (Don't know about the newer leopard bootcamp drivers). The latest Omega Drivers should do the trick, if you are getting crashes on "Memory Block 3", in the game. It crashed every time I tried to get to Acre or Jerusalem, and sometimes at random in Kingdom.

-Additional Notes: Runs on XP, game runs almost 2x as good on the X1600 using Omega Supplied Radeon Drivers.

  • Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare : Works great with default settings, no lag whatsoever, able to up the graphics setting a bit without sacrificing gameplay performance (Tested on MBP SantaRosa 2.4GHZ, 2GB Ram, 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, OS used : Windows XP)
  • Command & Conquer 3 : works fine under native settings, turned up high.
  • Crysis runs well, 20-50 fps range, with medium to low settings (2.2 Ghz 15" MBP, Mac OS 10.5, 2GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista (submitted by Huntn 12/07)
  • Crysis Demo: With 169.04 Nvidia beta drivers runs in high 20's at 800x600 on 32bit Vista/DX10 with adjustments to graphic settings. See this thread for specifics. (reported by Huntn 11/05/07)
  • Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind runs well under Vista (should run ok under XP. Reported as running on MacBooks too.) (submitted by Huntn 9/08)
  • Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion runs about about 30 fps with mid range settings on 32bit Vista. More testing needed. (submitted by Huntn 12/07)
  • Enemy Territory : Quake Wars : crashes when joining or making new game (off- and online), but only randomly (might be punkbuster related) - works fine as soon as connection is successful, turned up high. (hardware: MBP w/ 17", X1600 Radeon, 2,33GHz, 2Gb RAM, latest Firmware and updates for OSX 10.4)
  • Fallout 2 : works fine under native settings.
  • Guild Wars2 runs well on this MBP in the range of 15-45fps: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Sept12).
  • Half Life 2- runs well!
  • Hellgate London: runs great. Note: the walls are invisible with model quality set to high. Correct situation by setting model quality to medium.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
  • KOTOR II: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
  • KOTOR 1 & 2: both have rare crashes, so save often, but they work fantastically on a MBP w/ x1600. 2x FSAA + 8x Trilinear Filtering + Soft Shadows (also, it automatically stretches to widescreen, so choose 1280*960 instead of 1280*1024, to prevent extreme stretchiness.) KOTOR 2 has a slightly lower framerate, but still fantastic.
  • Lord Of The Rings - Battle For Middle Earth 2 : works fine under native settings, turned up high.

(MBP w/ x1600) Update: I believe wall issue was resolved by running game at lower resolution- Hunt'n.

  • Penumbra: Overture runs without any problems.
  • Planetside 2 runs well on this MBP in the range of 15-35fps: 2.2 GHz intel i7, 4GB Ram, Radeon HD 6750M (1GB VRAM), Bootcamp: 64bit W7. (added by Huntn Sept12).
  • Rome Total War: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
  • Sword of The Stars 1.4.1 (+Born of Blood Expansion) : works fine under native settings (1600*1050), turned up high.
  • Sacred Gold : works fine under native settings, turned up high. (11/04/07)
  • Silent Hunter III: Runs fine on native settings, turned everything up high.
  • SimCity Societies: very rare crashes. 1400*852 (MBP w/ x1600) (although framerate is rather low, so MBP w/ x1600 is minimum)
  • Star Wars Empire at War: Runs fine on native (1440x900) settings, and everything turned up high.
  • Tabula Rasa runs great on 2.2 Ghz MBP. (submitted by Huntn 11/06)
  • Team Fortress 2
  • The Witcher runs well. (2.2 Ghz 15" MBP, Mac OS 10.5, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8600M GT, 128MB VRAM, Boot Camp- 32bit Vista)
  • Unreal Tournament 3 runs well on the 2.2Ghz MBP depending on settings 30-60 fps on 32bit Vista. (submitted by Huntn 12/07)
  • Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines runs well on a MBP. I'm using 32bit Vista. I assume it will run on XP, no problem (submitted by Huntn 09/08)


iMac- 2-2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM, RadeonX1600 256 MB VRAM

  • Keep in mind that some of these references go back to 2007- Huntn. Specific configurations may be listed for specific games.
  • Blazing Angels - Runs very well with most settings maxed. Only terrain texture quality had to be lowered, otherwise one would get black slabs of nothingness. 1280x796.
  • Bloodrayne 2 - Flawless performance with max settings. Strangely enough, there's no gamepad support. Odd. (Something high)
  • Brothers in Arms - Smooth at 1680x1050, everything maxed.
  • Call of Duty 2 - Runs OK at default settings (800x600, everything else at high, textures at extra supadupa).
  • Far Cry - Runs extremely well with max settings at 1280x796 with only one area near the end of the game making it slow down a bit. 32-bit version only.
  • FarCry - Runs like butter at 1024x768 everything maxed. Even runs OK with the 64 bit to 32 bit conversion patch - but some of the textures look a bit screwy. The extra view distance and content is nice though.
  • FIFA 2007 - Runs very well in lower resolution. Slows down significantly on higher ones. One could lower the graphical details, but that makes the players look butt-ugly, and it doesn't seem to help performance gain much.
  • Galactic Civilizations II - Runs perfectly fine at max settings. Not that it is a very demanding game from the start. 1680x1050 (I think)
  • Ghost Recon 1, 2 and 3 - super smooth maxed out at 1680x1050.
  • Half-Life 2 - Runs smooth everything maxed out (except no FSAA)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode one - Runs fine. There's a few minor visual glitches (bump-mapping shininess)
  • Day of Defeat: Source - Runs quite well with good fps and high settings. Some glitches such as tree models appear as blocks. (fps slowdown on smoke, but that happens on many PCs)
  • Lego Star Wars II - Perfoms flawlessly with everything maxed out. (some high resolution 4:3 format, no widescreen support)
  • Max Payne 2 - Perfoms flawlessly with everything maxed out. 1680x1050
  • Pirates! - Runs without a hitch at max settings. (4:3 only, no widescreen support)
  • Prey - Runs very well on high settings with only very rare minor slowdowns in certain spots. 1024x768
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - Runs perfectly with max settings. Just be sure to deactivate one of your processors for this one. 1280x796
  • Stronghold 2 - Smooth as butter with maximum detail. 1280x796.
  • Stronghold Legacy (Demo) - Same engine as Stronghold 2. Seems to run about the same.
  • Team Fortress 2 (original Intel Core Duo iMac, 1600 card at 256MB of video RAM and 2GB of main RAM 12/07.
  • Titan Quest - Runs pretty well for the most part with some details (i.e. shadows) lowered. 1280x796.
  • Unreal Tournament 3 reported to run at about 20-40 fps running at 1440 x 900 High Settings with VSync off and Post Processing at Intense. (2.4 Ghz 2gig ram w/ HD 2600 Pro Imac running XP Pro SP2). 12/07
  • Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines - Runs perfectly with everything maxed out. 1900x (no widescreen support).


IP Address in Windows

  • Section out of date.

- How to find it.

  • On the Windows desktop click on Start>Run.
  • In the box type cmd and click OK.
  • At the prompt, type ipconfig and press Enter.

This will display the IP address, subnet mask, and the default gateway of your adapter. If the address is 0.0.0.0, check your adapter installation, security settings, and the setting or your router. If your on a network/router, the number you see will start with a 192.


Where is the Recycle Bin? (Vista)

It may have gotten deleted! To restore in Vista, right click on the desktop then click personalize. Once there look to the left pane near the top and click Change Desktop Icons. This is where you choose which icons you want to appear on your desktop. Choose the Recycle bin and you are done. (1/08)


Where is the Run Menu? (Vista)

The Start Menu (Start Search Window) in Vista works like the Run command did in XP. Click the Start Button (task bar lower left) and type in the name of an executable it will launch. See more in this article. (Jan 08)


How to Backup the Registry (Windows XP)?

-From Ramesh's Site:

Method 1: Using System Restore One way to backup the registry is to create a System Restore snapshot. System Restore returns your computer to a previous snapshot without losing recent personal information, such as documents, history lists, favorites, or e-mail. It monitors the computer and many applications for changes and creates restore points. You restore these snapshots when your configuration isn't working. This method is unreliable in case you want to rollback the registry changes made a longtime ago, in which case the System Restore might have purged that particular restore point - due to space constraints or due to a recent system restore point or even a Restore point corruption. Please remember, System Restore points get deleted for many reasons, making it unreliable, especially in the long run.

For more help, see: How do I create a System Restore point? and Use System Restore to Undo Changes if Problems Occur.

Method 2: Backing up the whole registry ("System state")

For backing up the whole registry, use the NTBackup utility to back up the System State. The System State includes the registry, the COM+ Class Registration Database, and your boot files. See section "Back Up the Whole Registry" in the following article: How to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP.

NOTE: NTBACKUP is not installed by default in Windows XP Home Edition. Install it using the instructions available at Microsoft.

Other Registry Links Windows XP Registry Backup 101.


Share your Mac with a PC (MacOS 10.3 and WinXP)

This example is using WinXP and Jaquar (Mac10.3) so that the Windows machine can connect to and see files on your Mac.

Apple Reference Document

1. MacOS Sys Preferences/Sharing Control Panel

  • Turn on Windows File Sharing by placing a check in the window next to the selection.
  • Highlight Windows Sharing selection and at the bottom of the window it will show the address for Windows users to connect to your Mac, something like: \\192.168.1.200\jsmith" (no quotes). The name is your short user name.

2. MacOS Sys Preference/Accounts Control Panel- Identify which user can connect from the Windows machine.

  • Select a user and then click the Security Tab. At the bottom of the window, check "Allow user to log in from Windows".
  • If the user is designated as Admin, then this choice may not be visible and will not need to be checked.

3. WinXP- Click on Start Menu and select My Network Places.

  • Click on Add a Network Place. the Add Network Place Wizard starts.
  • Select Next
  • Select Choose Another Network Location.
  • A prompt will appear to type in the Internet or Network Address. Type in the name from step one: "\\192.168.1.200\jsmith" (no quotes).
  • Select next. You will be prompted to log in. Use your short name and password you normally use on your Mac to log in.
  • If all goes well you will be logged into your Mac's shared folder, by default the Home folder for the user who logged in. A window will open up with the contents of your Mac's Home folder displayed.
  • A icon for this network place will be added to your My Network Places page for connecting in the future. Now Files can be dragged into and out of your home folder from you PC.


Vista- Improving System Performance

Side Bar- Turn it Off- Right click the sidebar and select Properties. Uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts then click ok. Reboot for change to take effect. Turn Off Sidebar Link.

Turn Off Vista's Visual Effects- Click on the Start Button and in the Start Search window type in sysdm.cpl, enter. Tell the User Accont Control dialog box to Continue. In the Systems Property Box, select the Advanced Tab, then click Settings button in the Performance Box. In the Visual Effects tab, uncheck whichever options you don't want or select Adjust for best performance. When I selected Adjust for best performance on my MBP running Vista, everything was turned off.


Windows XP Home Edition versus Pro Edition Article

  • See the Supersite for Windows Link.
  • Home Edition supports dual core processors such as your intel iMac. Pro Edition supports multiple processor slots. Not an issue for Macs at this time.


Connect your Intel Mac (running Windows)/Windows Box to an Airbase Network (Windows XP)

(11/3/07 submitted by Hunt'n) Reference: MacWindows.com. Regular passwords don't work in Windows for some reason so if you type in your regular password, Windows will tell you that it's the wrong password. Windows needs to know the hexidecimal password that your Airbase network is using.

Note: This may only be an issue using WEP inscription. I was told if using WPA it is not an issue but I've not verified it. When you pull up Network System Prefs in 10.5 and click on "Advanced". You'll get the same list of available networks. Double click on the applicable network you want to join. Initially I had a problem in 10.5 on my wife's MB, when I clicked "Show Password", instead of seeing the hexidecimal password, the °°°°°°°s change to *******s. The hexidecimal password was not initially revealed in 10.5. On my MBP, the password showed up ok? I don't know what was going on there.

IMPORTANT! Now, here is the trick. You get the code key from your Mac. You can't just enter your standard worded password like you do on the Mac. The PC won’t understand it, so what you MUST do is set up your Macs on the network first, then get the hexidecimal password from you Mac for use on your PC. I only have the AirPort Express, but I suspect that the AirPort Extreme is the same.

Once you have set up your Macs with their passwords accepted and have them fully functioning on the Internet, go to one of your Macs. Click the Apple menu, then System Preferences, then click Network. On the Network page where it says, 'Show' click the up/down arrow to AirPort, then double click the AirPort tab to make certain you find the Networks window.

Where it says, "By default join-" Make sure you click the up/down arrow until it says "Preferred Networks."

Then in the window below "Preferred Networks" it should show a full list of networks that you can join and yours should be listed. Double click on the name of your network and a drop down window should appear.

Once it does then you should see your network name and the “secret” password you used to protect your network.

Under that password there is a small blank box and beside it says "SHOW PASSWORD" Click THE BOX. (This is what appears on Mac OS X 10.4.9)

It will show you the full hexadecimal key that you need to enter into your PC for a network password.

DO NOT use the money insignia at the beginning of the password. The password will not work with it included on the PC.


Archived Info Known Issues

  • Going as far back as 2007.


ATI/AMD- Upgrading ATI/AMD Graphic Card Drivers

Upgrading the ATI/AMD Graphic Card Drivers. Find ATI/AMD software here.

*Uninstall the Ati Control Panel or the Catalyst Control Center from add/remove applications
*Uninstall the Ati drivers from add/remove applications
*Reboot in safe mode (keep pressing F8 at boot)
*Use Driver Cleaner to remove everything ATI (optional but useful)
*Reboot in standard mode
*Stop the "new hardware found" wizard
*Install the new drivers set (in case you are going to install the official Ati Catalyst suite remember to choose the "custom" installation if you don't like the bloated Catalyst Control Center)
  • Reboot and test everything

DXDIAG file causes Windows XP to Crash

When applying for beta testing, many PC game developers ask for a DXDIAG file, along the lines of an Apple Profile report to verify that a computer has the ability to run a new game. One of our readers has discovered that trying to generate a DXDIAG file (Start menu -> Run -> DXDIAG) with Windows XP on his Intel Mac causes Windows XP to crash and does not generate the required file.

Update- the good news is that i got this to work eventually. the process crashed a couple of times, but then started asking me if i wanted to skip the part of the profile that was causing it to crash! it had something to do with a specific component of DX9 that relates to profiling the hardware and which is tied to some MS database online. skipped that small part and the rest of the report came out fine.


Keyboard & Mouse Dies when using Windows

There is a problem with Windows drivers that cause the Mac's keyboard and/or mouse to randomly stop responding when using WinXP. The current solution is to unplug and plug the key board and mouse back in. Update: Possible solution is to install the Apple keyboard update.

  • Update: Plugging the keyboard into a USB 2.0 hub corrected the problem.


Resolution Adjustment for Windows (iMac)

Windows may stretch resolutions in iMacs that should be a 4:3 ratio.

One needs to go to ATI Display Settings which should open up the Advanced portion where one has to go to the Displays panel and click on the Panel button on the active display. All one has to do then is to switch from Expand to full panel size to Expand while maintaining aspect ratio. This solves the stretching problems and places the black bars on the sides instead.

It is unknown if NVIDIA cards or integrated Intel chips include the same settings.

Speaker Sound

  • When using a headset, computer speakers don't mute.
  • Updated: It has been reported that the latest version of Boot Camp (1.1 or 1.1.1) has corrected this problem.

Windows Airport Networking

  • How to make Windows see your airport with WEP or WPA2 enabled:

1. In MacOS, Open Airport Utility and go to configure the required base station 2. change wireless security to not enabled 3. update your base station 4. Reboot into Windows 5. Open the windows version of Airport Utility, found either on your included airport CD, or here on the apple website. 6. re-enable the password you had previously.

Alternatively, you can completely remove the password and rely entirely on the MAC (not to be confused with the computer) address system that all wireless cards and routers have, thus locking out all computers that you have not personally enabled.

Note: MAC addresses are like a kind of serial number. Its just a way of totally securing your network from people hacking into it, mainly because they cant even see it. for more info on what they are look at the wikipedia page.

To find your MAC address, open up System Preferences in OSX, go to the Network preference pane, select Airport and click on 'Configure...'. Your computer's MAC address should appear labelled as Airport ID and appear in the form:

00:29:85:3a:c7:5d

This info is also available in Windows XP, and should correspond to that which you find in OSX, however you will have to consult the Help provided with the Windows version of the Airport Admin Utility in order to find this.

In order to add the computer you are using to the Access Control list in Airport Admin Utility, click on the + next to the list and then there should also be a button labelled 'This Computer'. (I cannot confirm this for the Windows version, but it is there in OSX)

IMPORTANT: If a computer's MAC address is not in the Access Control list, then it will NOT be able to see the network, and will NOT be able to connect. That computer's MAC address must be added using a computer in that list, or the base Station must be reset.


Continue to Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ Part 2