Apple likes to keep ahead of games technology. Games do not develop independently of computers, but the best manufacturers push the limits of what is achievable. Gamers can rest assured that with a Mac, they’ll get what they need to enjoy the latest games to the full.
Availability of Games
Many years ago, there was a justified concern that manufacturers were failing to offer games compatible with Apple computers. This situation has completely changed. New games now come in a Mac as well as PC format. There’s no need to convert a PC game for Mac use.
Game-playing Mac owners can therefore be confident they won’t lose out. In fact, once they load a new game into a Mac, they know they have a computer that will do it justice.
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The Mac mini provides a perfect, reasonably priced introduction to game playing. Simply connect the Mac mini to an Apple Cinema Display, an Apple Keyboard, and a multi-button USB mouse – or use peripherals such as gamepads and joysticks – and you’re ready to experience the world of computer games.
The aluminium 13 inch MacBook is the initial choice for those who like to take their games with them wherever they go. The 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor combines with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor to give you impressive clarity, speed, and consistency.
If you’re happy to play your games at home, you need to see and use the 24 inch iMac to appreciate its potential. The 1900 x 1200 pixel widescreen is the ideal display for the remarkable 3D graphics reproduced by the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics option.
The most committed gamer, however, will want the Mac Pro. The great advantage of this top of the range computer is its flexibility: you can expand its power and capabilities as you see fit. The two Quad Core Intel Xeon processors give the Mac Pro some of the fastest computer speeds available. Add a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM, and you have a games machine that’s as good as it’s possible to get.
Even so, you may still want to have a superb gaming experience, plus mobility. For this you need the 15 inch MacBook Pro. This beautifully designed notebook has two graphics processors: a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB GDDR3 SDRAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with the main memory. Consequently, gamers have both high performance and startling power available in one package.
A keyboard and mouse may be all that you require to play your games. On the other hand, part of the fun can be using peripherals.
For instance, although Macs come with built-in speakers (apart from the Mac Pro), you may want the extra excitement generated by an external sound system with a pounding subwoofer. There’s a wide choice of these systems for Macs, including portable mini speakers for the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Other Mac peripherals include gaming mats, joysticks, trackballs, gamepads, and steering wheels – there’s a huge range for you to choose from. Most are Plug and Play; if not, it’s easy to run the relevant software in your Mac and ensure compatibility.
The Internet offers another arena for games players. There are now many online games on various websites, and there’s the chance to play a favourite game with players across the globe.
To find and download these online games quickly and successfully, you need a first class web browser. Every Mac comes with Safari, acknowledged as the computer world’s fastest and best way of searching the Internet. Safari helps you locate online games, and the other technology in your Mac ensures you enjoy them to the full.
If you have a game that’s not browser-based but you want to play it online with other people, Apple can help you with GameRanger. This is a free programme for Macs that provides you with a multiplayer online gaming service. With GameRanger, you can meet other Mac game players (there are more than 260,000 who use the programme) and play over 170 games.
Downloading the GameRanger programme is easy. Once you have it, you can see who is playing what game. If you have your own copy of a game, you can then ask to join in. Alternatively, you can set up your own competition and invite others to become part of it.
GameRanger also has six chat rooms for discussing games. If you opt for GameRanger’s premium membership, you can even run your own chat rooms as well as creating lists of friends and adding rankings to your contests.
If you currently own an older style Mac, you may find that the latest games require a spec that your computer doesn’t meet. If you try to run the games software, the result may be poor visual quality, slow speeds, and clumsy movements. You can often improve these by upgrading, where possible, your computer’s processor, graphics card and RAM. An Apple retailer can give you further advice, if necessary.
Mods are free downloads that can replace the content of certain games. For example, a game with a World War II subject matter can become a game with a science fiction theme. Macs fully support Mods, and allow you to give a well-worn game a new lease of life.
From Beginners to Experts
Macs offer everything a computer game player can wish for. From the start of a gaming career, through the intermediate level, and on to expert status, Macs are there to help you every step of the way.