Ask Max: Gaming on the Mac
I am interested in buying a new Mac with the Intel processor. I am also interested in doing some gaming. I would like to be able to play World of Warcraft online and also Call of Duty1 and 2 and Guild Wars. I Currently have a PC but it won't run these games,not enough speed and RAM. Will the New Mac's run these games. Or are they strictly for a PC-formatted computer?
Yes, most Intel Macs will work for gaming, but there are a few things you should consider when buying a Gaming Mac. You will want a Mac with a minimum of 256MB video RAM for the best gaming experience. Upgraded VRAM will also make sure that you can play future games that will require that much VRAM. That Video RAM requirement will point you towards a 20" or larger screen iMac, or a mid-range to high-end MacBook Pro. If you have funds for a Mac Pro, it certainly will fulfill your gaming needs but it is overkill for the games you are interested in. If a 256MB VRAM Mac is priced outside your budget, 128MB VRAM is sufficient to play contemporary games to their fullest. The only drawback to 128MB VRAM is that, with the exception of the 24" iMac, you can't upgrade the video card in an iMac or MacBook Pro. Games will always require more VRAM, System RAM, and processor speed in the years to come. With 256MB VRAM you have some breathing room before you must upgrade again.
The other consideration for a Mac gamer is Windows. As much as I hate it, games are generally released for Windows before they are for Mac. So in that instance I would also recommend that order your Intel Mac with Windows XP installed via Boot Camp.
This will allow you to play PC-only games on your Mac by using the Windows operating system. Most of the games you want to play are made for the Mac, but as a gamer, you will probably want or need to boot into Windows XP from time to time, at least for a few more years.