Windows vs Mac: What Is the Best Operating System for Gaming?
Windows is by far the best operating system for gaming. Most companies develop their games based on Windows 10, and you can build your own system that specifically targets the gaming sector. But you can’t mark out Mac because of a certain program that they offer called Boot Camp.
But why does Windows take the cake, and what exactly is Boot Camp?
Here is everything you need to know about determining the best operating system for gaming.
Benefits of Windows for Gaming
If a game gets released for a computer, 9 times out of 10, it will be released for Windows. Windows dominates the market when it comes to operating systems, as they have multiple manufactures like Lenovo computers and Dell computers that utilize their operating system. Because of this large variety of products, any laptop or desktop you pick up that isn’t an Apple product will more than likely be a Windows 10 device.
The Windows 10 operating system works similar to that of an Xbox as well. In fact, most developers will utilize Windows 10 as their main operating system to test out the product, and even the initial demos you see at showcases will utilize a PC rather than an actual Xbox.
Benefits of Mac for Gaming
Mac offers a smooth user experience, but the operating system is not designed for gaming. Rather it focuses on productivity and creativity. Because macOS can only be run on Mac devices (without illegitimately modifying a Windows device), you’re going to have to utilize an Apple product.
On the bright side, you can utilize Boot Camp to switch over to a Windows 10 operating system to experience the games you’re looking for.
The hardware underneath iMacs and MacBooks’ operating system is what gives Apple products an edge in performance, rather than the operating system itself.
Why Operating System Doesn’t Play the Biggest Impact
While Windows 10 is the best operating system for gaming, it doesn’t significantly impact performance. It more so comes down to the fact that games are not developed to be optimized for macOS systems, which make up a minority of gamers. Most games won’t even develop for the system because it typically requires that someone rewrite the code from scratch to interact with the operating system.
What plays the biggest portion into the performance of gaming is the hardware that you have in your PC or Mac. These components are responsible for handling the data and processing the graphics that come with a game. If you’re looking for more frames in a game, you’re going to want to look at what’s in the computer versus what operating system the computer is running.
What Hardware Do You Need for Gaming?
When it comes to gaming, you’re going to want to focus on a few key items. The first three are your graphics card, your CPU, and the type of storage device you’re loading your games off. After that, you can start making minor changes to peripherals like your monitor, keyboard, and mouse to really maximize your performance in a game.
For those looking for the best deals on desktops for gaming, check out Lenovo and see why they meet all the criteria for the best gaming performance around.
Graphics Card (GPU)
Your graphics card will be the most important part of your gaming rig. This will determine how much graphics data it can process at any given time to display on your monitor. The better computer cores a GPU has, the larger you can set your render distance, and the better frames per second you’ll receive.
The more frames you have per second, the less likely you are to experience lagging or tearing. Lagging happens when your graphics card cannot process all the information being thrown at it and needs a second to catch up to what it has before displaying the game again.
Though having the highest possible display with the highest possible frames per second won’t matter if your monitor only displays at 60 Hertz and maxes out the resolution at 1080p. You’ll want to scale your GPU with the rest of your hardware to avoid bottlenecking.
Bottlenecking occurs when the rest of your components can’t keep up with your GPU, leading to no increase in performance. Get yourself a GPU that meets your CPU’s standards and monitor, rather than the best around.
For best performance, you’ll want to get a dedicated graphics card rather than sticking with onboard graphics. Onboard graphics are computational units that are built into your CPU rather than being a separate device.
While you can still game on these units, you’ll find that the computer can hot very quickly, and the performance will be minimal. Most MacBooks tend to favor onboard graphics, so you’ll want to avoid utilizing these.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
Games also utilize the cores that are on your CPU to maximize performance. While most games only utilize a single core on a CPU (today, you can have up to 64 cores), there has been a slow shift to multicore usage as games utilize more data. For this reason, you’ll want to pick up a futureproofed CPU that can handle both effectively.
In recent years, the most sought-after CPUs have been from AMD (Team Red). With the launch of their Zen 3 5000 series, they now hold the top spot for gaming and multitasking. Because they offer more cores and hyperthreading, the CPUs offer fantastic support for current games and will continue to be good for games that utilize multiple cores.
Not to say that Intel (Team Blue) doesn’t have any promise. While Team Reds CPUs have recently taken the top spot, Team Blue held that spot for the last decade as their single-core performance has always managed to stay on top. So if you’re looking at the best laptops for gaming, don’t shy away just because it comes powered by Intel.
Depending on the setup you have, you’ll want to find a single-core performance of around 2.5GHz to 5.0GHz for the core clock speed. For those rocking the latest and greatest hardware, the better the clock speed, the better the performance.
Storage devices get left out of hardware quite often, but they are responsible for one of the biggest portions of gaming, storing and loading them. This can actually impact the operating system itself, meaning that you can see significant increases in both the operating system and the games you play.
If you’re still utilizing a mechanical HHD, you’re experiencing the slowest read and write speeds that storage devices have to offer. Simply updating to a SATA SSD can see a substantial decrease in loading times. For those with the option for an NVME M.2 SSD, you can expect to decrease your load times 10 fold as these storage devices offer up to 5000MB/s of reading speeds, compared to 190MB/s for HHDs.
RAM capacity and speeds will impact data sets on games, which also affect load times. Most games can run smoothly at around 8GB of RAM with a speed of around 2667MHz.
To sit comfortably, you can aim for 16 GB of RAM with speeds of 3200MHz, as this will ensure games with larger data sets down the road can be processed effectively.
You’ll need a monitor that supports the high FPS you’re looking for. If you want to take advantage of the 144 to 360 FPS you’re getting; you’ll want a monitor that can match that output in hertz. So if you get 144 FPS in a game, you’ll want a 144 Hertz monitor.
If you have a GPU that outputs graphics at 4K comfortably, it will be wasted when your monitor can only display up to 1080p resolution. Monitors are starting to get to the point where you can combine high resolution and high refresh rates, so you don’t have to compromise.
Keyboard and Mouse
Your keyboard and mouse will also play a portion of your gaming experience. You’ll want to pick up a keyboard that responds easily to your keypresses, making it easier to move around and respond to actions in the game.
Your mouse will determine how many quick actions you can take at the rate at which you can swivel and turn in a game. A higher DPI on your mouse will translate to more movement in-game for less mouse usage. You don’t have to move your mouse to turn nearly as far, and the same works vice versa.
The Best Operating System for Gaming: Windows 10
Windows 10 will take the cake of the best operating system for gaming. Most games are decided for the operating system, and even those running macOS can switch over to Windows 10 whenever they feel like it. Just remember that it comes down to the hardware in the computer rather than the software.
If you want to learn more about how tech works, check out the rest of our blog. Know someone in need of a new computer for gaming? Share this article with them, so they know what to pick out.