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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:38 PM   #51
whooleytoo
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Originally Posted by jamesbarns View Post
I figured out the solution to our problem. Don't switch to PC, but get a PC. Yeah I know I'm supporting PC's on a Mac forum, but honestly both of them are good in different ways. If I were you I would go ahead and build a $1000 gaming PC capable of running anything on high, and keep your Mac for things besides gaming. Best of luck!
Hah, that's a good solution.

Personally, I'm tryyyying to avoid it if I can - not because I'm anti-PC, but I've a small apartment that is already cluttered up with Macs, routers, cable boxes, consoles, power cables, extension cords... I'm almost on a "one box in, one box out" strategy. So if I bought a gaming PC, it would probably have to replace one of the consoles under the TV.

It probably is cheaper though, to get a Mac mini & a ~1,000 gaming PC, than to get a bottom-end Mac Pro. I'd still prefer to support Mac game developers/porters though.
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Old Jun 22, 2013, 03:41 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by petsounds View Post
Now that there will no longer be a Mac which accepts standard PCIe graphics cards (albeit "Made for OS X" versions), will we see ports of graphically-demanding PC games diminish in quantity? The FirePros in the new Mac Pro, AFAIK, are not really geared for games, and the remaining Macs have integrated graphics which can't really keep up with the demands of high-end PC gaming engines.

Unless Apple surprises us with the mythical midsize-tower Mac, why would PC gaming companies bother or even be able to port their graphics-intensive titles to OS X?
Let me ask an honest question.


How many people, as a percentage, do you think buy a Mac Pro as a gaming machine?

I'd hazard a guess that it's very few.
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Old Jun 23, 2013, 09:07 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
Not to mention that my 2011 iMac plays ANYTHING I throw at it - in fact, most of the modern games I play are at highest settings and resolution and pose no issues at all - this includes Batman Arkham Asylum, CS:GO, TF2, L4D2, Dirt 2 etc.

This whole hoopla about "Macs not being good enough for gaming" is just a bunch of BS spread by kids who only care about a couple more FPS in their ugly beige boxes.
I agree 100%. And they don't get that fps > screen hz is pointless.
My 2011 21.5 iMac games very well.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 03:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by LastLine View Post
Let me ask an honest question.


How many people, as a percentage, do you think buy a Mac Pro as a gaming machine?

I'd hazard a guess that it's very few.
Roughly speaking public Mac Hardware stats on Steam is like this.

54% MacBookPro
26% iMac
14% MacBook
4% Mac mini
2% MacPro

Steam is the gamers choice and usually has a higher percentage of the gaming hardware then lets say Mac AppStore.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:15 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by edddeduck View Post
Roughly speaking public Mac Hardware stats on Steam is like this.

54% MacBookPro
26% iMac
14% MacBook
4% Mac mini
2% MacPro

Steam is the gamers choice and usually has a higher percentage of the gaming hardware then lets say Mac AppStore.
That sounds about what I would have expected, though I find the Mac Pro even higher than I'd have expected. Cheers for sharing.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:19 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by edddeduck View Post
Roughly speaking public Mac Hardware stats on Steam is like this.

54% MacBookPro
26% iMac
14% MacBook
4% Mac mini
2% MacPro

Steam is the gamers choice and usually has a higher percentage of the gaming hardware then lets say Mac AppStore.
I am in the minority here as I have always had Pro machines for my gaming and working combined, but it does make logical sense in the Mac world that the higher end machines, though great gaming machines in my opinion, are not practical for it.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:41 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by LastLine View Post
That sounds about what I would have expected, though I find the Mac Pro even higher than I'd have expected. Cheers for sharing.
In my experience for none steam stores like the Mac App Store the value is usually lower for Pro's and the mini is usually higher. But that's the difference IMHO between the Steam "gamer" and the Mac AppStore "casual" audiences.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:00 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by petsounds View Post
Now that there will no longer be a Mac which accepts standard PCIe graphics cards (albeit "Made for OS X" versions), will we see ports of graphically-demanding PC games diminish in quantity? The FirePros in the new Mac Pro, AFAIK, are not really geared for games, and the remaining Macs have integrated graphics which can't really keep up with the demands of high-end PC gaming engines.

Unless Apple surprises us with the mythical midsize-tower Mac, why would PC gaming companies bother or even be able to port their graphics-intensive titles to OS X?
I doubt it - as for the fact that the Pro has FirePro GPUs instead of plain Radeons; they're the same thing. Mostly, 99%. Benchmarks around the place show this to be close enough, and also, it's a bit old fashioned now, but my Power Mac has a Fire GL X3 card flashed with Mac Radeon X800 XT ROM, it's a beast, no graphical issues whatsoever with it.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:43 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I doubt it - as for the fact that the Pro has FirePro GPUs instead of plain Radeons; they're the same thing. Mostly, 99%. Benchmarks around the place show this to be close enough, and also, it's a bit old fashioned now, but my Power Mac has a Fire GL X3 card flashed with Mac Radeon X800 XT ROM, it's a beast, no graphical issues whatsoever with it.
I believe the most scepticism comes from the users that want to see the Mac Pro keep being a viable gaming machine also for the far future. So, the built-in cards might be top-of-the-line for now, but what about after 3-5 years ? The external upgrade is it really a realistic option for gaming ? (throughput-wise). Are we going to see internal upgrade options, instead ?

Another thing that I'm curious about: The new MP has 2 of these cards. Aren't they connected with crossfire ? If not, how can the MP take advantage of those 2 ?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:47 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I doubt it - as for the fact that the Pro has FirePro GPUs instead of plain Radeons; they're the same thing. Mostly, 99%. Benchmarks around the place show this to be close enough, and also, it's a bit old fashioned now, but my Power Mac has a Fire GL X3 card flashed with Mac Radeon X800 XT ROM, it's a beast, no graphical issues whatsoever with it.
I guess no mac pro users will flash their new Mac Pro to get better gaming performance.
You would also need a mac rom for the appropriate Radeon card, which might never be available.

It's also not very cost efficient buying a firepro over a radeon.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:58 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petsounds
Now that there will no longer be a Mac which accepts standard PCIe graphics cards (albeit "Made for OS X" versions), will we see ports of graphically-demanding PC games diminish in quantity? The FirePros in the new Mac Pro, AFAIK, are not really geared for games, and the remaining Macs have integrated graphics which can't really keep up with the demands of high-end PC gaming engines.

Unless Apple surprises us with the mythical midsize-tower Mac, why would PC gaming companies bother or even be able to port their graphics-intensive titles to OS X?
And the replies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I doubt it

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonis View Post
I believe the most scepticism comes from the users that want to see the Mac Pro keep being a viable gaming machine also for the far future.
Coming from someone who spends all his working hours porting games to the Mac hope I can put this to bed, the lack of an upgradable graphics card in the New MacPro has no effect on decisions on porting graphically intensive titles.

As 98% of the current Mac range cannot be upgraded graphically Apple's move with the Pro to make this 100% has very little effect on the overall status of Mac GFX cards. Given the cards in the pro are extremely powerful and will last for years in terms of gaming support it's highly unlikely the Pro will be under spec due to graphics cards, when that happens the Pro will have to be very old.

The Pro will ship with 2 AMD FirePro cards which from what specs have been leaked means:

2 x 2048 Stream Processors
2 x 384 bit Memory Bandwidth
2 x 6 GB VRAM (depending on spec)
~7 TFLOPS (OpenCL) processing power

To put this into perspective the 680GTX high performance PC Gaming card generates 3TFLOPS and the AMD 7970 PC gaming card 3.7TFLOPS. The FirePro cards are basically similar to the 7960 in many ways and the Pro has two of them! So it will start off with twice the graphics power as the super high end PC gaming cards.

For reference the HD5000 scores 0.7 TFLOPS and the NV 650M in the retina also scores a very similar 0.69 TFLOPS. This means the MacPro has roughly 10 times more graphics power than the latest rMBP and MBA machines!

I know TFLOPS is not the be all and and all of performance but it is a good indicator of the potential of the device. Actual performance can be effected by other things like VRAM speed and drivers etc

Edwin
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 05:02 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by antonis View Post
So, the built-in cards might be top-of-the-line for now, but what about after 3-5 years ?
Exactly; that's what disappoints me about the new Pro-tube.

Quote:
Another thing that I'm curious about: The new MP has 2 of these cards. Aren't they connected with crossfire ? If not, how can the MP take advantage of those 2 ?
I don't think they are, and I'm pretty sure that OS X doesn't support any form of Crossfire, it's just to be able to drive lots of monitors at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cluthz View Post
I guess no mac pro users will flash their new Mac Pro to get better gaming performance.
For sure, I was just mentioning mine as an example, not quite sure what Radeon these Firepros are going to be based on, does anbody know for sure? I guess even if we do know, we won't know exactly how they perform, for all we know, this thing is going to double as a great heater in the winter and the two GPUs are going to throttle themselves down nice and slow so they don't melt.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 05:26 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by edddeduck View Post
And the replies:






Coming from someone who spends all his working hours porting games to the Mac hope I can put this to bed, the lack of an upgradable graphics card in the New MacPro has no effect on decisions on porting graphically intensive titles.

As 98% of the current Mac range cannot be upgraded graphically Apple's move with the Pro to make this 100% has very little effect on the overall status of Mac GFX cards. Given the cards in the pro are extremely powerful and will last for years in terms of gaming support it's highly unlikely the Pro will be under spec due to graphics cards, when that happens the Pro will have to be very old.

The Pro will ship with 2 AMD FirePro cards which from what specs have been leaked means:

2 x 2048 Stream Processors
2 x 384 bit Memory Bandwidth
2 x 6 GB VRAM (depending on spec)
~7 TFLOPS (OpenCL) processing power

To put this into perspective the 680GTX high performance PC Gaming card generates 3TFLOPS and the AMD 7970 PC gaming card 3.7TFLOPS. The FirePro cards are basically similar to the 7960 in many ways and the Pro has two of them! So it will start off with twice the graphics power as the super high end PC gaming cards.

For reference the HD5000 scores 0.7 TFLOPS and the NV 650M in the retina also scores a very similar 0.69 TFLOPS. This means the MacPro has roughly 10 times more graphics power than the latest rMBP and MBA machines!

I know TFLOPS is not the be all and and all of performance but it is a good indicator of the potential of the device. Actual performance can be effected by other things like VRAM speed and drivers etc

Edwin
Those are very interesting numbers/comparisons, thank you for sharing these. Now, if I understand correctly, the fact that those cards will not be able to be used in crossfire mode means that only one of them will actually be active for games ? That means roughly around ~3.5 TFLOPS ? Or is it ~7 TFLOPS each ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I don't think they are, and I'm pretty sure that OS X doesn't support any form of Crossfire, it's just to be able to drive lots of monitors at once.
You're probably right and it's a shame, then. I mean all this power...
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 05:52 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by antonis View Post
Those are very interesting numbers/comparisons, thank you for sharing these. Now, if I understand correctly, the fact that those cards will not be able to be used in crossfire mode means that only one of them will actually be active for games ? That means roughly around ~3.5 TFLOPS ? Or is it ~7 TFLOPS each ?
They have not said for certain on the crossfire but from the Apple comments on never before having dual cards etc suggests some form of shared compilation will be available across both cards. That said I have no more facts than you do until Apple announce more details or the machine ships.

Edwin
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 07:58 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by edddeduck View Post
They have not said for certain on the crossfire but from the Apple comments on never before having dual cards etc suggests some form of shared compilation will be available across both cards. That said I have no more facts than you do until Apple announce more details or the machine ships.

Edwin
Thanks again for the useful info. I hope this sharing will be in low level, so it can be used with any type of s/w, gaming or not, transparently. That would be something.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 11:41 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
...
For sure, I was just mentioning mine as an example, not quite sure what Radeon these Firepros are going to be based on, does anbody know for sure?
You use a ten year old card and you seems happy with it's performance, I guess you are not a target for the gaming industry. I'm on my fourth card since the x100 era. My guess is that perhaps 1 of 1000 MacPros users would flash it, making that a 0,002% of the total mac market (which is pretty small anyways).

According to steam there are less than 2% MacPros used for gaming, and I think quite a few of those might even be hacks and not real mac pros.

The real boost for mac gaming is improving mac book pro and imac graphics.


When it comes to intel HD5000, it is perhaps the biggest disappointment.
In Anandtech's test the HD5000 was a mere overall 16% advantage over the HD4000, which was much less than I was expecting.
I'm pretty sure the GT650M is almost twice as fast as the HD5000 in the real world.

I was planning on replacing my 2011 MBA, but seems the HD5000 is pretty much only for 2D games and old 3D games still.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 02:32 PM   #67
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I've been a professional Mac user for quite some time, active in the gaming industry as an concept artist. For me, Mac is the perfect choice for running CS and CC software (and maxon, autodesk etc.). I've been using the 2010 8C mac pro for gaming since 2010 and it performed better than my gaming rig in CPU intensive games (mil-sims and flight sims). Of course, the 5770 was pretty underpowered and 30fps on battlefield was pretty decent in my opinion. (mid-high settings, native res of 2560x1440)

I am going to switch to the 6 core mac pro in december with the dual D500's (whatever those are going to be??). I have to say that im concerned about the gaming performance is going to be like with the Firepro's.

Has anyone got a clear FPS benchmark for Firepro cards cause I couldn't find one? It would really help a bunch.

P.S. I told my personal story because some people on the internet where like "pro users wont buy it for gaming" yet I think my situation shows that pro's sometimes need good gaming performance too.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 04:36 PM   #68
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Fortunately I don't travel as I used to, but I just took a look at the specs on the New MacBookPros, and I think I picked the perfect time to build a gaming PC...

A 3K Mac Pro exclusively for gaming? No frack'n way.

Looking at the rest of the Mac lineup, for travel, the $2600 15" MBP mentions NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5 memory. The $2000 15" MBP mentions nothing other than Intel Iris Pro Graphics which can I assume is integrated... in a $2000 laptop? I don't think so.

Unless I am confused on the details, I have to withdraw my recommendation to MBP as a good gaming vehicle. If you can't have dedicated graphics, for $2k, you might as well buy a $1200 13" MacBookPro and give up on serious gaming on Mac hardware or go for a $1500 21" iMac which as a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1GB video memory. At least AAA games will run on the latter.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 05:13 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by samm1551995 View Post
I am going to switch to the 6 core mac pro in december with the dual D500's (whatever those are going to be??). I have to say that im concerned about the gaming performance is going to be like with the Firepro's.

Has anyone got a clear FPS benchmark for Firepro cards cause I couldn't find one? It would really help a bunch.

P.S. I told my personal story because some people on the internet where like "pro users wont buy it for gaming" yet I think my situation shows that pro's sometimes need good gaming performance too.

Thanks!
Theres a lot of debate in the Mac Pro section regarding the identity of the D500 etc. Think the most expensive FirePro is equivalent to a 7970 or 7950 (there are benchmarks somewhere). Personally, I don't think you should get your hopes up. Besides, crossfire doesn't work in OSX.

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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:53 PM   #70
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It would be nice of course if Apple made an effort to make hardware geared towards gamers. The OS has potential to be pretty good for games but there are some areas with room for improvement there as well.

Sure, we can still have a Windows box that we use for games or dual boot but it would be nice to avoid this.

The real threat on the horizon however is Linux for gaming. Microsoft has already dropped the ball many times and keeps getting more chances but their luck is going to run out sooner or later. ChromeOS is going strong and SteamOS as a Linux OS built for gaming from a major game distribution channel is bound to increase support for Linux by game developers.

Apple could sneak a bit of extra support for their OS too if they were smart about it but I doubt they will bother.
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 04:11 AM   #71
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Theres a lot of debate in the Mac Pro section regarding the identity of the D500 etc. Think the most expensive FirePro is equivalent to a 7970 or 7950 (there are benchmarks somewhere). Personally, I don't think you should get your hopes up. Besides, crossfire doesn't work in OSX.
The drivers in OSX for FirePro and Radeon are the exact same. As seen by people plugging in Radeon 7xxx series card and having Mavericks and LuxMark see them As FirePro D series cards.

The D700 aka W9000 ( with changes ), is the equivalent of the Radeon 7970 in gaming on Windows.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ming,3425.html

Do remember that on Windows FirePros have separate drivers compared to the Catalyst drivers Radeons use. This is not the case in OSX, so with luck we will see some decent gaming results as well. Also the dual cards are for XFIRE, there is no need as they're workstation cards, and professional apps will use as many cores as possible with XFIRE. Note there is no Xfire drivers from FirePro on windows either.

Drivers aside, workstation cards do work differently for somethings, and have technology which is for rendering and work, while gamings card do not have these. Overall besides these, and Drivers( on windows ), they're very similar.

In the end, it's best to wait for proper detailed reviews come December.
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 05:21 AM   #72
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I'm going to be staring at barefeats site hard when the Mac Pro finally ships. If for some reason the cards magically blow apart game benchmarks, I will be spending. Spending A LOT.

PS - I'm not a creative pro but I do a lot of work with databases, websites and layout design. My machine is 80% work, 20% games (WoW mostly) but I do want the machine to excel at both.
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 06:02 AM   #73
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I'm going to be staring at barefeats site hard when the Mac Pro finally ships. If for some reason the cards magically blow apart game benchmarks, I will be spending. Spending A LOT.

PS - I'm not a creative pro but I do a lot of work with databases, websites and layout design. My machine is 80% work, 20% games (WoW mostly) but I do want the machine to excel at both.
I prefer Anandtech as well, there's more there, and far more in-depth than just some synthetics, and a few games.

Also keep in mind that AMD drivers on launch cards are always poor. The 7970 when it launched barely matched the GTX580, right now after better drivers it holds it's own against the GTX770.

Barefeats pointed that out with the Mac AMD 7950, but then never retested the card to see how it holds up today.

We can only hope that since AMD and Apple are working together closely the launch drivers will be good.

I'll personally be holding out for the second gen of these new Mac Pros, to let any issues be ironed out. Besides for pure CPU work my Mac Pro isn't all that slower than the new 6Core one will be.
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 09:42 AM   #74
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I realize this thread is focused on the Mac Pro, but in the name of "Mac gaming" there are some lively discussions going on over in the MacRumors MacBookPro section regrading the new MBP lineup. I think Apple has made a marketing mistake when it comes to offering dedicated graphics only in it's top of the line MBP for the price that it is asking.
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