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I use a MacBook Pro regularly, but I also have a Windows 10 box that's sitting right next to me. I use Microsoft Remote Desktop (MRD) from the Mac to occasionally remote into the PC over WiFi for the quick odd job.

Now I have a game on the Windows box that I'd really prefer to play over on my MacBook Pro. Trouble is, MRD is too sluggish for the game over my WiFi. Is it possible to connect these two computers with an Ethernet cable so that I can still use MRD to access the Windows box? I assume the greater bandwidth will allow me to play the game without lag.

Appreciate any pointers how to make this work. Thanks!

  • Sure it’s possible but the outcome won’t be what you want. Part of the lag is bandwidth and part is compression and decompression. There are systems designed for thin client gaming but Remote Desktop isn’t optimised for this. – unknowndomain Feb 27 '18 at 23:33
  • It won’t help in this case. Have you looked into game steaming systems that specifically solve this? Depending on the platform this game runs on, something like Steam Link could be used. – John Keates Feb 28 '18 at 0:49
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While the latest version of Microsoft RDP protocol supports RemoteFX which is an implementation of a virtual GPU, "game play" is a very broad term.

RemoteFX vGPU: the ability to present a virtualized instance of a physical GPU into multiple Windows 7 virtual machines. This provides VMs with access to the physical GPU, enabling hardware-acceleration for rich graphics scenarios such as 3D rendering and game play.

Your game (never mentioned) may not be 3D intensive (maybe it's full contact tic-tac-toe). Then again, it may be the latest release of Halo. Will the game "play"? Yes. You should be able to play it remotely.

Will it lag?

It depends. My rule of thumb is that video and games are best played locally and not over a shared screen.

  • Appreciate the quick response, thank you. Game in question is the new reboot of Age of Empires ("Definitive Edition"). – R DelRossi Feb 27 '18 at 23:41
  • I may very well play. I doubt you'll enjoy it, even over a gigabit Ethernet connection. It will definitely be better than WiFi, but still not (IMO) good enough for enjoyable game play. – Allan Feb 27 '18 at 23:58
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I have a Linux box connected to my Mac via gigabit ethernet cables, a switching box and VNC. The VNC connection is still so slow it struggles to run media-rich websites. I suspect the easiest option for you would be to use a monitor switching box that would allow you to swap control of the main monitor, keyboard and mouse between the PC and the Mac.

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