Mac Pro as a main Windows gaming machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by St. Germain, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. St. Germain macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    #1
    I know there were some initial problems with gaming on Mac Pros (don't remember the issues)...just wondering if a well equipped mac pro can stack up with a well equipped Dell for Windows gaming. After seeing my MacBook, my wife would like me to replace our old Dell desktop with a Mac Pro. It was mainly used for Windows gaming though. If I can kill two birds with one stone, I'll go with an Apple.

    Does anyone have experience with Windows gaming on a Mac Pro? Any drawbacks compared to a Dell for gaming for instance?

    And did I see that you can get Mac Pros equipped with 4 nVidia video cards? :eek: Can games actually take advantage of that?
     
  2. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #2
    The Mac Pro is not a gaming machine, more like a versatile solution for those gamers who also happen to spend a lot of time using os x. You can get much better gaming rigs for the money of a Mac Pro.

    As far as the actual gaming performance on the Mac Pro, I don't think there are many issues... Of course it depends on the games and the graphics cards etc.
     
  3. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #3
    For goodness sake-
    dont give him that.

    90% of the time, when asking around, thats what I was told.
    What a load of BS.


    The Mac Pro is a fantastic gaming machine.
    Even more so because you can put almost an GPU into it for Windows.
    Suggested config:

    2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, X1900XT, 23" ACD

    Just remember to get the 1900, if anything !


    Enjoy your uber l33t gaming system-
    I know I will ;)
     
  4. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #4
    Waste of money.

    You can get better performance at half the price with a self build Windows PC.
     
  5. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #5
    Some of you people fail to realise that some of us hate Windows boxes, and actually want to run OSX.


    Dont listen to him-
    get the Mac Pro, and enjoy :)
     
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #6
    Here's a bench by PC gamer on the Mac Pro . They did a review on how it stacks up to the PCs in gaming in their monthly issue but I dont think they posted the whole review on their website.http://www.pcgamer.com/images/MacPro.jpg
     
  7. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The West Loop
    #7
    Easy people, let's watch our diplomacy, the guy's asking a valid question - one that I'm curious about too.

    Of course, my MacPro will be used for OS X heavy lifting, but every now and then, I'll venture onto the Windows side for a quick fragging. :D
     
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #8
    If you want gaming grunt and OS X in one machine then, fitted with the X1900XT card, the Mac Pro is really your only choice. Depending on what your gaming expectations are, it should perform admirably.
     
  9. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    I'd say it breaks down like this: if you do heavy OS X lifting (either big-time image/photography work or video work) and occasionally want to play a Windows game or two, a Mac Pro with 2GB of RAM and the 1900XT gives great performance in both.

    If, however, you're PRIMARILY a PC gamer who's interested in trying out OS X, you'd be better served building your own PC tower and buying a lower end Mac like the Mac mini (or an iMac if you don't mind the integrated display).

    Personally, I enjoy the occasional game but needed the Mac Pro's power for editing and compositing HD video in FCP and Shake (versus my 3 year old PowerBook G4). Plus, while I had owned an aging gaming PC back in Virginia, my move to California prevented me from bringing it along, and I needed access to Windows at home. In light of all that, the Mac Pro was the best fit for me.
     
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
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    The West Loop
    #10
    -killmoms

    Well stated. You're right, getting a MacPro just for Gaming - let alone if one removes OS X, is like swatting a fly with a sledge. Could be done cheaper.
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Yahooville S.C.
    #11
    Again Apple needs a mid grade Tower for Consumers.
     
  12. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
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    The West Loop
    #12
    -Dont Hurt Me

    Yes, as long as they don't so low as to compete in the Wal-Mart market.
     
  13. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #13
    Agreed.

    The Mac Pro is a bloody powerful computer, but for most of us its just too damned expensive.

    And spending £1700+ to play Half Life 2 is funking stupid.

    The Mac Pro is a computer for people who make money with a computer, if you buy for bragging rights your an idiot.
     
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #14
    You can get a windows PC with a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 320GB HD, 8800GTS graphics card, decent motherboard, case, psu, windows etc for $1,500. That will play games fine for at least 2 years, longer on lower than the highest settings then get another $1,500 PC when yours doesnt cut it anymore. You could get a Quadcore, gaming beast for $3,000 if you game alot. Or you can drop $3000 on a Mac Pro (2GB RAM and ATI 1900). Yeah you get OSX and it is a more than capeable machine at many, many tasks, but you need to look at how much extra you are paying to be able to do things you never will. Even if money isn't an issue, the Mac Pro makes little sense as a pure gaming system.
     
  15. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #15
    Or , from a British price alternative, for the price of a Mac Pro (£1700) you can buy a decent speced self built PC with a 30" Dell monitor and a decent surround sound system.

    'Nuff said eh?

    ;)
     
  16. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #16
    -combatcolin

    I think this is what they call "invidious distinction".
     
  17. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #17
    Funked if i know what that means!

    :confused: :p

    Wikied it but no luck.

    Although i think it might be latin or something for "more money than sense", but im probably wrong
     
  18. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #18
    Like everyone else said, if you're going to take advantage of the power for something in addition to gaming, then the Mac Pro is a great machine. All the Windows issues have been hammered out with firmware updates. As for the 4x nVidia 7300's, no, they can't be used in SLI mode AFAIK. Better to get the X1900 XT.

    You're replacing an old Dell, what was that used for? If you want a high-end gaming rig AND a new Mac, the price might work out so that the Mac Pro is still a good deal. If you're looking for a family/home computer, might be better to look into an iMac. That wouldn't be too bad for gaming either, especially if you get the 7600 gfx card.
     
  19. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #19
    -

    That's a good one huh? :D

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
    in·vid·i·ous /ɪnˈvɪdiəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[in-vid-ee-uhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –adjective
    1. calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful: invidious remarks.
    2. offensively or unfairly discriminating; injurious: invidious comparisons.
    3. causing or tending to cause animosity, resentment, or envy: an invidious honor.


    Or just click on the Linkypoo.

    It's a great term, but a bit dangerous as even using it can cause one to appear to be a subscriber of "invidious distinction". IMHO those who by expensive things for status are subscribers in my book, cars, houses, diamond-encrusted celphones, etc.
     
  20. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #20
    There are certain things that a self-build, or a gaming Windows PC brings to the table that you can't get on a Pro.

    For the more esoteric but more relevant as of late, there's physics processors. There isn't a PCI-E processor readily available as far as I know, although one can't be far away. Then there's Creative's X-Fi. If you're a half serious gamer, the Realtek onboard the Pro is something of a joke - and on the Pro, there's no way to add a gaming audio card. Then there's Boot Camp. Whatever people say it is not quite a fully Windows machine. There are still hiccups here and there especially in demanding gaming applications. Then there's the gaming systems themselves, which aren't based on the Intel 5000X but more commonly (now) on platforms like the NF690. The 5000X is not a board which is that gaming friendly.

    If you spend the vast majority of your time in OS X and you only occasionally dabble in Windows, then the X1900 system is not a bad choice.

    But if it's a case that you're anywhere near an avid gamer and your OS X use is dabbling, then you can definitely do better with a self-built, or a 'boutique build' machine if you want support from one party. And get yourself a Macbook or something for OS X dabbling.

    I thought about this rather a lot before buying the Pro. At that time Boot Camp was even shakier and bearing that in mind plus the hardware compromises, I bought the Dell XPS 700 and the Precision 490 as well so that I had a no-compromise Mac workstation, Windows workstation and gaming PC.

    Since then a few things have changed. More recently I realised that I was not using the Pro because I've already moved all of my 'heavy lifting' apps (back, in some cases) to Windows. So the Pro has been shuffled off elsewhere to be part of a testbed for a scientific computing applications I might end up using, and it's replacement is the new Dell XPS 710 H2C so now I'm back to an all-Windows desktop lineup at home. The Pro's duties as the OS X desktop is now back to being filled by the 17" MBP hooked up to an external monitor. Having no applications running under OS X that requires the power of a Quad-core, I've come to prefer to run powerful Windows machines more specifically geared towards home entertainment - but machines which can be very effectively used in graphics and audio work too.
     
  21. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #21
    If you want a MacPro for a gaming machine (i.e. your gonna run Windows on it...) then you will have to fork over some extra $$$ for a DirectX 10 capable card. With Vista this close you might as well get it, and since you are spending the cash for a MacPro gaming rig then you can probably afford the extra card. Sadly Apple only sells the ATI 1900XT which is NOT a DX10 card. Buying a GeForce 8 series card won't currently work on OS X (though it will in Windows), so if you want to switch back to OS X you will also have to switch the video card because apparently you can't boot into OS X with an 8 series card + one of the Apple offered cards in the machine at once.
     
  22. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #22
    I think the macpro does just fine if not better then a windows box.
    I have both and both of them have the same video card and I think windows runs faster and the games run smoother running on my Mac, this is just my opinion.
     
  23. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #23
    Uh no it isn't

    1) most games still aren't very multithreaded so you wont use the other 3 cores anytime soon
    2) ****** video card selection (unless you don't care about OS X)
    3) Overpriced intel hardware (though cheaper than it usually is, still way more than a mid-range AMD which will not see significantly lower benchmarks in games).
    4) Expensive RAM
    5) High latency RAM

    I could make a better gaming machine than a Mac pro with X1900XT ($2,748.00) for less than $1500

    If all I were doing was gaming, I would buy a PC. The fact that the MP does gaming allowed me to sell my PC.
     
  24. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #24
    I use my Mac Pro, in part, for gaming and it flies through titles like FEAR, Oblivion, X3 etc.. with the res at 1600x1200. Obviously I have the 1900XT card.

    The Mac Pro replaced an old self build PC with a Althlox 2400XP in it. When Apple announced that they were moving to Intel the obvious choice was to buy a Mac which would replace the old PC and also my PPC Mac Mini.

    Since getting the MP I've started to get into video editing and am finally getting on top of my photo collections, it has enabled me to expand my OS X usage in ways that would have been impossible if I'd kept using my PPC Mini for OS X. Could I have acieved this by getting and iMac and a new PC to play games with? Probably. Would it have been signifficanlty cheaper? A bit perhaps but the OS X performance would be a lot lower. Plus I find having a single machine to maintain makes for a better user experience, especially as the MP is a nicelly engineered machine, no more faffing around with cables and suchlike.

    Quad core isn't that important for gamming at the moment but it will become so over the next year or so. Valve's Source engine is being rewritten to scale over however many cores you have. Supreme Commander supports multi core (possibly only 2 tho). More and more titles will take advantage as time progresses, so the extra cores are an investment for the future on the Windows side and are exteemelly timesaving on the OS X side now.
     
  25. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #25
    I think that review was done with the 7300GT that came stock in the Mac Pro at the time of publication. Have they done an updated review now that the ATI Upgrade cards are shipping? Because those numbers definetly do relate to what you would get on a 7300 or there was something seriously wrong with the config if it had a 1900xt in it.
     

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