So I installed Boot Camp on my MacBook yesterday. I had read a few articles saying that people playing games under Windows on the new Intel Macs saw a “20% performance increase”. That number doesn’t mean anything to me so I figured I should test it out myself.
Boot Camp is a pretty slick program. Once it is installed it lets you partition your drive a then it burns a disk for you with all the drivers you will need to make XP run on your Mac. You go through a standard Windows install and then you throw your driver disk in and boom it just works. Once I had XP on it was time to test it out and that meant installing WOW.
So for reference here are the stats on my MacBook:
2 GHZ Intel Core Duo
2 GB Memory
I’m running WOW at 1440 x 900 with all my graphic settings jacked all the way up. I’ve got spell effects and textures and all that good stuff up as high as it can go. With these settings under OS X I hovered between 15 and 20 FPS. It was just barley playable but for raids and stuff I’d drop down to a lower resolution and take off a few of the fancy effects. Now on the same laptop, but running under Windows with the same crazy settings I averaged between 35 and 40 FPS. That’s a pretty fucking big difference in my book. It was even able to maintain that frame rate in major cities and in a raid out in SS.
So if you’re thinking about giving Bootcamp a try now you have some hard numbers to consider. I may try and get steam on there today and check out Half Life 2 just to see how it runs. On one hand I’m pretty impressed with the machine. It’s a hell of a laptop. On the other hand I’m disappointed that I can’t get that kind of performance under OS X. I honestly prefer using OS X at this point and it was sort of nice to have a game I could play that didn’t require me to go upstairs and start up my Windows box. But it runs twice as fast under Windows for fucks sake. I can’t ignore that.
There’s a pretty big interview with us over at CGW and we’ll have a new podcast up this afternoon.