HOW ABOUT MAC GRAPHICS?
You’re right, we have spent all this time referring to Windows products, making generalizations regarding PC’s and optimizations for a PC, but what about those who prefer computers manufactured by fruit? First things first, find out what type of GPU you are running off of: is it a dedicated graphics card, or is it built-in (integrated) graphics. Click on that shiny Apple logo found at the top left of your screen and click on “About This Mac”. Go a couple of steps further and select “More Info…” and then “System report”. Inside here look on the left navigation tree and select Graphics/Displays. Inside of this informative screen you will see the manufacturer, model and bus type of your graphics card. Below we have two examples, the left is the dedicated graphics card running out of the PCI Express X16 slot. On the right is the integrated graphics found in a MacBook Pro.
If you have a MacBook Pro that features a dedicated graphics card then the you may be fortunate enough to be able to supercharge your MacBook’s graphics performance with the flip of a switch … really, it’s that easy! On your MacBook Pro, head over into System Preferences, and further into Energy Saver. At the top left you may have the option to disable Automatic Graphics Switching, make sure that is unchecked. Doing so dedicates the individual graphics card to focus primarily on producing your Mac’s graphics, and leaving the CPU to focus on its necessary functions.
The next step would be to take a look at what programs are currently sucking up your Mac’s processing power. While this tweak is more geared towards overall system performance, graphics performance will also be affected. Head over into Activity Monitor that can be found in the Utilities folder inside Applications. Sort all of the processes that are running to show the higher CPU processing percentage at the top. If you find that these are from applications that are sitting idle in the background, or you haven’t used them for a while, go ahead and close these applications and clear some of that CPU processing space so that you have more room for your games.
When it comes to tweaking the performance on your Mac, it is much more difficult that heading over into Control Panel and adjusting one setting. In fact, majority of the settings you tweak are based within your game itself rather than your operating system. If you are trying to run a game on a Mac and you notice the game to be running a little more rugged than you would like, hop on over into the Video Settings of your game and adjust the settings for optimized performance. The screenshot below gives you a quick example of how easy adjusting these settings may be, but we would need a couple of years to put together a guide for optimizing every game for pristine graphics. Your best is to head over to Google, pop in the name of the game and ask for the optimized graphics settings.
Did you just get all excited for that new game? Watched the trailer and you’ve already got it pre-order? First thing you could do to bump up the graphics in your Mac is swap out that sluggish hard drive for a solid state drive. This is one of the easiest and fastest upgrades you can make to your system, and you’ll be supplied with definite increase in gaming performance.
What happens when the game arrives and you find out that it only runs on PC … uh oh! There is another easy option that still lets you play that PC game on a Mac, it’s called Boot Camp Assistant. Simply load up the application that can be found in the Utilities folder of your Applications. Load up your Windows Install Disk (DVD or USB) and follow the on-screen steps. It really is that easy.
The only downfall with having Windows installed on your Mac’s storage device is that it’ll take up a fair amount of disk space, especially once you throw your game files on there as well. Make sure that your solid state drive is of adequate capacity to properly fit both Mac and Windows, and have ample room for further expansion.