PC Emulator that will play PC games

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I realize I'm asking a really really stupid question, but is there Windows software for the Mac (possibly a Universal Binary) that will play Windows games and won't cost me a major organ? I'm willing to pay as long as the cost is reasonable.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    The closest thing is Virtual PC, which is a PPC app that emulates the x86/PC machine. Of course, it's in a major state of limbo given the fact that macs are now x86 machines themselves.



    If a new version of VPC comes out for the Intel Mac, you can bet that it will be more like a "wine" or VMWare in its operation. With that said, it's also only a matter of time before there's an OS X port of "wine," and it also won't be long before someone gets Windows to boot on a Mac. But for the time being, there's no good way to run windows -- or windows software -- on a mac
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Generally the emulation environments suffer from two flaws when trying to mimic PC games...



    1) performance hit from emulation itself...

    using one chip to mimic a subset of the instructions for another is harder than you might think, without getting into the endian translations... even MAME takes a lot of work for a modern CPU to mimic a 20 year old console... a high end machine effectively 'loses a generation of performance' or more when emulating





    2) general inability to call specialized GPU functions...

    most modern PC games require pretty hefty graphics cards to deliver all the polygons/smoke/effects, etc... while the Mac may have a similar graphics architecture from similar manufacturers in some cases, the emulation environment usually explicitly notes that it isn't picking up the DirectX and turning it into OpenGL or Core... you might eventually find UB games or a rare few that are written for OpenGL on both platforms, but in general the DX-to-GL hurdle means most graphic acceleration is lost in the emulation sandbox.



    Some games may be unappealing or downright unplayable without hardware acceleration. Expecting the emulation machine to pick up extra slack by doing software acceleration instead is just cruel.



    You're probably better off keeping a cheap PC box around for old windows games and sharing a monitor.



    YMMV
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by curiousuburb

    You're probably better off keeping a cheap PC box around for old windows games and sharing a monitor.

    YMMV




    I thought of this. One of the few shortcomings of the iMac is that there's no video in, so you can't use it as a monitor for another computer.



    As it stands, I don't find the idea of a big, clunky CRT monitor sitting next to my iMac all that appealing.



    Granted, if I could find a cheap LCD monitor that's less than CAD $200, then that would probably work for me.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yeah that's something that I think is fucking retarded from Day 1. From the TOASTER, that is the oooold all in one Macs with a 9" CRT. Why no video-in? I think it boils down to just another company with planned obsolescence in their products. I mean it would cost zilch and be incredibly useful. Probably almost half of what you're paying for on a 20" iMac or 17" PowerBook is the freakin screen. But they won't let you plug anything else in to it. And now that iMacs practically ARE the screen this little snag is glaringly obvious. I hope for the sake of perhaps marketshare or just making a Good Product, they add this some time.



    Do other hardware manufacturers do this?
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Yeah that's something that I think is fucking retarded from Day 1. From the TOASTER, that is the oooold all in one Macs with a 9" CRT. Why no video-in? I think it boils down to just another company with planned obsolescence in their products. I mean it would cost zilch and be incredibly useful. Probably almost half of what you're paying for on a 20" iMac or 17" PowerBook is the freakin screen. But they won't let you plug anything else in to it. And now that iMacs practically ARE the screen this little snag is glaringly obvious. I hope for the sake of perhaps marketshare or just making a Good Product, they add this some time.



    Do other hardware manufacturers do this?




    I think there's a legitimate design issue involved. That is, when you hit the power switch, is it for the computer or the monitor?



    Something to think about.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,219moderator
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JavaCowboy

    I thought of this. One of the few shortcomings of the iMac is that there's no video in, so you can't use it as a monitor for another computer.



    As it stands, I don't find the idea of a big, clunky CRT monitor sitting next to my iMac all that appealing.



    Granted, if I could find a cheap LCD monitor that's less than CAD $200, then that would probably work for me.




    I hate LCD and it's why I won't buy an imac G5 ever. It's a Mac Mini or tower from now on. Just today, I was using a flash program and the whole media looked very aliased that I was worried it had rendered badly. It was aliasing from the display itself. On my CRT at home, it looks fine. Colours on LCD are all washed out too.



    Anyway for the gaming issue, a dual boot would give you the best performance but that could be a bit awkward. The closest thing would be virtualization and reports say that VMWare for Linux runs pretty fast on the Intel Macs albeit under Linux. It's not perfect but it would do for most people.



    I could even see it running high end games as you can do that in Linux. It probably depends on the software though and not all of it works well. We'll be able to judge better when someone actually makes a usable virtualization package and you'll know when that happens because lot of people will be talking about it.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Marvin

    I hate LCD and it's why I won't buy an imac G5 ever. It's a Mac Mini or tower from now on. Just today, I was using a flash program and the whole media looked very aliased that I was worried it had rendered badly. It was aliasing from the display itself. On my CRT at home, it looks fine. Colours on LCD are all washed out too.





    LCD's are sharper than CRTs. Your CRT is just out of focus.



    Also, I don't know what LCD you're using, but colors on any professional LCD I've used (ie, Apple Studio/Cinema displays or high end Dell displays) are perfect. Provided it's been calibrated.



    There are really only three problems with LCDs:



    - dead pixels

    - washed out blacks occasionally

    - ghosting due to slow refresh



    Also, I notice more posterization on my LCD, but that's only because it's sharper than CRTs. That'll only go away when we move beyond 24-bit color.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Sounds like the resolution settings doesn´t match that of the screen. That results in "bad aliased"-looking picture.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    Sounds like the resolution settings doesn´t match that of the screen. That results in "bad aliased"-looking picture.



    Or that :P
  • Reply 11 of 14
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gregmightdothat

    Also, I notice more posterization on my LCD, but that's only because it's sharper than CRTs. That'll only go away when we move beyond 24-bit color.



    A lot of LCD panels only display 262k colors. The more expensive ones can display the whole 24bit range.



    Anyway, if you are sensitive to color variations between 24bit color, you have ridiculously sensitive eyes.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    A lot of LCD panels only display 262k colors. The more expensive ones can display the whole 24bit range.



    Anyway, if you are sensitive to color variations between 24bit color, you have ridiculously sensitive eyes.




    I usually can't see posterization in photos because of noise, but in blurred images/gradients, it's really apparent to me. Things is while 24 bit sounds like a lot of colors (16.78 million), it's still only 256 colors per channel, which isn't enough, particularly for grayscale illustrations. If you made a gradient (in Photoshop) from a dark gray to a slightly lighter gray, you'd easily be able to see it, too.



    I checked the specs on my display (17 in. ADC Apple Studio from 2002) and it displays the full 16.7 million colors.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    shapiro2shapiro2 Posts: 37member
    just installed VPC 7 w/ XP Pro. the maximum that it lets me set the VRAM to is 16MB. this would also have a performance hit on your gaming.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    If you're not an extremely serious gamer, just get a 360 and stand it.
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