Transgaming's Cider: A Quick Preview To Next-Gen Gaming On The Mac

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Cider is the new Black. Or new iPhone. Or something. Well anyways Cider is:

I have not signed any NDAs, so I feel it is safe to share.

In the hoopla and hype around iPhone, some news at the end of June that got buried is EA's return to the Mac will actually be through Cider. That is, you take an existing EXE and it will run "near-Native" (that is no Parallels, VMWare, etc.) as a .app -- but the codebase is not XCode or anything like that.

I have tried NeedForSpeed:Carbon and not-announced-yet[at least from a Cider-related view] NeedForSpeed:MostWanted. On a 2.66ghz MacPro nVidia 7300GT 256mb RAM, and notably, on a 17" MacBookPro 2.4ghz with nVidia 8600M GT 256mb RAM.

1GB on MacPro (don't ask), and 2GB stock on 17" MacBookPro.

NeedForSpeed:MostWanted is pretty decent on the MacPro as well as NFS:Carbon. Interestingly, NFS:MostWanted is somewhat slow (not due to the video card) while NFS:Carbon is quite nice.

Bottom line with Cider, at least with NeedForSpeed, a very mature and popular game franchise, is we are looking at 2+ghz Core2Duos with an nVidia 8-series card.

I would go as far as to say, at a very rough estimate, for these titles, and possibly other Cider stuff, if optimised and released at gold master by ElectronicArts, perhaps including C&C3:Tiberium etc, definitely Harry Potter, we are looking at 90% of the pure native WinXP2Pro speed.

NeedForSpeed, C&C3:Tiberium, and HarryPotter, I would say playable, not pretty, on ATIX1600s in MacBookPro previous gen and current gen iMacs.

The key here is the new 20" and 24" iMacs which should have nVidia 8600M GT 128mb and 256mb respectively. The nVidia 8 series is not as stellar as 7600GT and 7900GT/GS on a blow-by-blow basis in the PC world, but I imagine nVidia's drivers will improve over time. In any case nVidia is aggressively phasing out the 7 series.

With AMD+ATI in the wilderness right now, gaming on the Mac is going to be oriented around MacBookPro and new iMacs, revolving around nVidia 8 series and Core2Duo(of course). MacPro owners can enjoy with X1900XT, otherwise 7300GT is somewhat underpowered. Those with X1600's can enjoy at simple, but I would argue playable, settings.

Interestingly enough, we are looking at Cider for the EA titles and perhaps many more if they prove successful. Anyway, just thought I'd share. By the way, playing NFS:Carbon Cider/OSX on the latest 17" is quite nice (though only at 1280x720-something resolution) -- the speakers rumble somewhat so your hands feel the sound quite nice.

BTW Any PC User with an 8800GTX or GTS should play at the full native resolution (if possible) of the 30" Cinema display. I pity the fools that blow all this cash on a super-overclocked-liquid-cooled-super-beast and play on anything less than a 30" screen. Fully immersive. Warning: Do not try 30" Cinema display full res with a 7300GT as in the MacPro. Teh laggy. Pretty though, very very pretty.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    The two major downsides are anyone on pre Intel-Mac-ATIX1600 can forget about new Mac (or PC) games. Secondly, in line with the fears about Bootcamp killing the Mac Game Development community, Cider could mean developers not being enthusiastic about OpenGL, Xcode-made Mac games. Though iD Software may be an example of something that bucks the trend in this regard. Curious...
  • Reply 2 of 2
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Also my use of "next-gen" would be rather controversial. But its potential is massive. It could mean huge amounts of PC-only titles being made available for Mac. Again, at the expense of OpenGL-Xcode games on Mac.
Sign In or Register to comment.