Gaming On A Mac? If You Say So...

The modern world of computer gaming has become fairly dominated by Windows-powered computers, with Linux being a close second and Mac slowly catching up. It hasn't always been that way, but there are a few technical and business limitations that are in your way. Worry not, since a few adjustments and software choices can help you keep up with gaming without putting your money into a Dell, HP, or other desktop computer powered by another operating system (OS).

Why Isn't Gaming Big On Mac?

Gaming means more than the blockbuster titles like Mass Effect Andromeda, Nier: Automata, For Honor, or Injustice 2. Various games played on browsers such as Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are available, as are games designed for Apple's iTunes and other Apple-friend platforms, but you're still left out on systems that are written for Windows...but what does that mean?

"Written" for Windows means that the programming language used by the game "speaks" to Windows in a specific language. The instructions needed to run the game are in a language that Windows understands, which is a different language from Mac's OSX. In some cases, those differences are deep within the game. In many cases that lead to cross-platform games for Windows and Mac, it's just the wrapper that unpackages the game that matters.

Unfortunately, there are many games that are deeply written for Windows to the core, and a Mac version happens months or years later. To combat the late release problem, you will need to consider dual booting--a process that runs both Mac and Windows on the same machine.

There are many ways to do this, but they can get pretty technical. In some cases, you can use programs such as Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac, allowing most of the functions for your system. If you're more technically-savvy, you can even do the reverse by installing Mac on a PC that used to have Windows-only. This can be risky, as specific hardware may also be written for Windows-only language and may control what kind of parts your computer needs.

Hardware Performance And Constraints

On the note of hardware, the language limits may stop you from getting a truly powerful computer for your budget. The most important component for gaming is the video card, and not all video cards have drivers that work with Mac.

Drivers are interfacing software and firmware(software used to control deep hardware settings) packages that tell your video card or other devices how to behave on an operating system. If there isn't a set of drivers for Mac for a video card you already own, you'll need to purchase one that works with Mac. This is true for both Mac systems running Boot Camp and Mac OSX installations on non-Mac machines.

If you need help figuring out which way to install your new graphics card for any system, or need guidance on how to get your gaming to the next level on a Mac, contact a Mac support professional, like Computer Help, Inc.