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External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming
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TOPIC: External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming

External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1315

I was looking up external graphics cards that would work with Mac, because you can't replace the card on the Mac Mini and all of my other system specs are good enough for gaming, and I was wondering if there were any that I could hook up to my Mac Mini that would help me run current PC games, such as StarCraft 2. I have seen some that seemed like they would probably work, but I want to get a second opinion before I shell out the money for one. Your help would greatly be appreciated.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1316

jack59splat59 wrote:
I was looking up external graphics cards that would work with Mac, because you can't replace the card on the Mac Mini and all of my other system specs are good enough for gaming, and I was wondering if there were any that I could hook up to my Mac Mini that would help me run current PC games, such as StarCraft 2. I have seen some that seemed like they would probably work, but I want to get a second opinion before I shell out the money for one. Your help would greatly be appreciated.


All I can say is good luck with that. Your issues will be bandwidth (USB or Firewire won't cut it) and Mac drivers (which most likely won't exist).

You're better off buying a cheap PC rig for gaming, tbh.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1317

vitaflo wrote:
You're better off buying a cheap PC rig for gaming, tbh.

I guess so. I think the problem is that it's a very specific need and I don't think a lot of people need an external drive for mac gaming.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1319

Well, they do exist even for Mac
www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=8863

However, they will not do what you want to. They aren't meant for gaming, but rather are for display only. I would imagine even video looks horrendous on these things.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1320

I'm not sure how it'd look horrendous. It's video. It'd not be accelerated in any way shape or form likely, but other than that, it should give clear, crisp video. And OpenGL does have software modes for times when it's needed for anti-aliasing and such, though that's very CPU intensive, what with having no GPU in the device and whatnot.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1321

USB2 theoretically has a data rate of 480Mbps

1280 x 1024 resolution at 32 bit color is about 42Mb. That a max of about 11 frames per second if there were NO other devices to share with and no collisions. (I picked 1280 x 1024 as its the standard LCD resolution of monitors that most people have now)

Now even more realistically, USB2 actually transfers at about 320Mbps. This leads to about 8.5 frames per second.

8.5 frames a second is fine when dealing with Text, graphics, etc. But once you put motion into it, you WILL notice it and it will be unwatchable.

Oh yah, and USB requires the CPU to do its processing. So the computer will be controlling the USB transfer and decoding the video, potentially dropping the frame rate even lower.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1323

Like everyone else has said, you can't have an external graphics card for gaming. Your best bet is to buy a POS PC for 300-400$ if you want to play games. If you insist on getting a mac, a refurbished MacBook with a decent card is only about 800$ will run SC2 fine.

Re:External Graphics Cards for Mac Gaming 8 years, 1 month ago #1326

Gotta agree here I built a POS box about 2 years ago and it runs SC2 just fine.

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