Are Macs Good for Gaming?

BeK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 2, 2012
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I am considering getting a Mac Pro or iMac. I was wondering if they would make good gaming machines when compared to a PC. The new Mac Pro which is yet to be released will house two GPU's. Does that make it a true SLI machine? Will it be able to handle games that have intense graphics? Would I just be betting off sticking to PC I regards to gaming? Thoughts?
 

sonicrobby

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Apr 24, 2013
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New Orleans
I am considering getting a Mac Pro or iMac. I was wondering if they would make good gaming machines when compared to a PC. The new Mac Pro which is yet to be released will house two GPU's. Does that make it a true SLI machine? Will it be able to handle games that have intense graphics? Would I just be betting off sticking to PC I regards to gaming? Thoughts?
Hardware-wise. I dont think there are any problems running games on a mac. The current retina macbook pros can play games in high settings and high resolution for some games. So its capable of running games. The mac pro will definitely be able to run games. The issue would be the software. You would have to use Bootcamp to make a windows partition and use that for gaming. OSX does have support for some games (steam, for example, has some of its valve games such as half-life2, CSS, TF2, CSGO available for mac OS).
 

BeK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 2, 2012
183
11
Hardware-wise. I dont think there are any problems running games on a mac. The current retina macbook pros can play games in high settings and high resolution for some games. So its capable of running games. The mac pro will definitely be able to run games. The issue would be the software. You would have to use Bootcamp to make a windows partition and use that for gaming. OSX does have support for some games (steam, for example, has some of its valve games such as half-life2, CSS, TF2, CSGO available for mac OS).
Thanks for your response. Do you know this from personal experience or hearsay? I ask because I have heard different opinions thrown around regarding this issue. There's no way I'm dropping a few grand on a computer that can't run the latest and greatest games at the highest settings.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
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396
New Orleans
Thanks for your response. Do you know this from personal experience or hearsay? I ask because I have heard different opinions thrown around regarding this issue. There's no way I'm dropping a few grand on a computer that can't run the latest and greatest games at the highest settings.
Well more of research. I currently do play some garry's mod on my 13" Macbook Pro, it gets a playable 30fps but nothing great (this is with the standard intel graphics and a dual core i5).

Ive just ordered a 15" retina macbook pro hearing that it is a good for gaming (both from users on the forums + some youtube reviews). It has an NVIDIA GTX 650M (1GB GDDR5) and a quad core i7. It actually should be delivered today. My goal is to transfer all my stuff over first, but when Im done with all that I can try running some games and let you know how it goes.

The one thing I know for a fact is that those macbooks get pretty hot when gaming, so make sure to get somekind of cooling pad.

But seeing that the Mac Pro is probably going to hoist a lot more than what a macbook pro has, Im going to go out on a limb and say it will definitely be a decent gaming pc
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,289
4,811
No, macs are not good for gaming. They are adequate. But they won't play latest games at max settings/1080p with 60fps if that is what you are after. It is very unlikely that the Mac Pro will have SLI. And it won't be 'good' for gaming either, as it will use workstation GPUs. The iMac's top GPU is roughly comparable to the GeForce 660Ti, which a decent card, but definitively not on the top. If you are looking to maximise your gaming performance, a Mac is a wrong choice.

That said, even the 650m can handle games with 'intense graphics'. You just need to lower the resolution/tweak the settings a bit. I am very happy with my 15" retina MBP in regards to the gaming performance, but there are people who would find it completely unacceptable.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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I am considering getting a Mac Pro or iMac. I was wondering if they would make good gaming machines when compared to a PC. The new Mac Pro which is yet to be released will house two GPU's. Does that make it a true SLI machine? Will it be able to handle games that have intense graphics? Would I just be betting off sticking to PC I regards to gaming? Thoughts?
The new Mac Pro will not do SLI/Crossfire.

That said, I still like the Mac Pro for occasional games. You don't really need SLI/Crossfire for good framerates at full resolution on new AAA games. I haven't had any issues.
 

DFTU101

macrumors member
May 16, 2008
94
0
I agree with the above. Much better & cheaper to have a separate PC for games and "gaming" graphics card. From what info we have, the MacPro will have workstation GPUs that may not be optimized (maybe not even supported) by intense GPU video games. These are GPUs for autocad, video rendering applications. AND, the new MacPro is likely to be ass-expensive.
 

goMac

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Apr 15, 2004
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From what info we have, the MacPro will have workstation GPUs that may not be optimized (maybe not even supported) by intense GPU video games. These are GPUs for autocad, video rendering applications.
I don't see any reason why a workstation GPU wouldn't run a game. Workstation GPUs are just gaming GPUs with a new driver, and sometimes ECC RAM.

With that in mind, I don't see why gaming performance on a card would be significantly worse either.

And we still don't know what all the GPU options on the new Mac Pro will be. It's possible (and likely) that the FirePros will be BTO and there will be other cheaper options.
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2012
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No, macs are not good for gaming. They are adequate. But they won't play latest games at max settings/1080p with 60fps if that is what you are after. It is very unlikely that the Mac Pro will have SLI. And it won't be 'good' for gaming either, as it will use workstation GPUs.
Current workstation graphics cards aren't geared for gaming, but they do fare rather well.

As Toms Hardware points out, the FirePro W7000/W9000 in particular are right up there with AMD's fastest gaming cards.

So this means the Mac Pro might be a very good gaming machine, although a very poor value proposition for somebody who needs a primarily gaming machine.
 

rabidz7

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2012
1,203
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Ohio
No, macs laptops are not good for gaming.
An iMac, however is.

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The new Mac Pro will not do SLI/Crossfire.

That said, I still like the Mac Pro for occasional games. You don't really need SLI/Crossfire for good framerates at full resolution on new AAA games. I haven't had any issues.
What is the point of two GPUs it one will be not doing anything? :confused:

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I am considering getting a Mac Pro or iMac. I was wondering if they would make good gaming machines when compared to a PC. The new Mac Pro which is yet to be released will house two GPU's. Does that make it a true SLI machine? Will it be able to handle games that have intense graphics? Would I just be betting off sticking to PC I regards to gaming? Thoughts?
I recommend an iMac, it is the 680MX is the exact same as the desktop 680, it just has lower clocks, which can be increased.
From my experience with my 7970 which is equal to the 680, can play any game at max settings at 1080p, and probably 1440p, though I have not tried 1440p.
 
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Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
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Japan
All Macs suck butt for gaming! Mini, iMacs, MacPros - ALL MACS!!! If you're into games build a PC tuned for that. If you later become love-sick for OS X then create an OS X partition and boot it as a Hackintosh occasionally.

Mac ≠ Good Gaming (period, end of story, no further discussion needed.)
 

rabidz7

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2012
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Ohio
Thanks for your response. Do you know this from personal experience or hearsay? I ask because I have heard different opinions thrown around regarding this issue. There's no way I'm dropping a few grand on a computer that can't run the latest and greatest games at the highest settings.
An iMac with 680MX will run any game you throw a it.
Anyone who says otherwise is lying!
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
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396
New Orleans
All Macs suck butt for gaming! Mini, iMacs, MacPros - ALL MACS!!! If you're into games build a PC tuned for that. If you later become love-sick for OS X then create an OS X partition and boot it as a Hackintosh occasionally.

Mac ≠ Good Gaming (period, end of story, no further discussion needed.)
I dont understand your reasoning for this :confused:
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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What is the point of two GPUs it one will be not doing anything? :confused:
OS X supports using multiple cards at once for OpenCL. It also frees one card for OpenCL while the other does OpenGL.

You probably also need it for the (at least) 6 display support the Mac Pro will likely have.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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An iMac with 680MX will run any game you throw a it.
Anyone who says otherwise is lying!
Except when it doesn't, and at the kind of money you're going to put into an iMac with the 680MX I could build a PC that will SMOKE it gaming.

There are zero good reasons to own a Mac to game.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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Except when it doesn't, and at the kind of money you're going to put into an iMac with the 680MX I could build a PC that will SMOKE it gaming.

There are zero good reasons to own a Mac to game.
No doubt a PC will give you better gaming for your buck... But if you're buying a Mac anyway, buying a Mac and a PC becomes a lot less cheaper of an option.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
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New Orleans
Except when it doesn't, and at the kind of money you're going to put into an iMac with the 680MX I could build a PC that will SMOKE it gaming.

There are zero good reasons to own a Mac to game.
The question is whether or not a mac is good for gaming, obviously building a pc is cheaper and better. But the OP is asking for a specific question.

"Will it be able to handle games that have intense graphics?"
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
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An iMac is pretty good at gaming.
A Mac Pro with decent grfx card is good at gaming.

But, a gaming PC is best at gaming. Duh: Faster gaming hardware, faster gaming software (Direct X) and more games available. Cheaper than a Mac Pro.

If you want a computer just for gaming, then a Mac is not the obvious choice.
HOWEVER:
If you want a computer that simply does everything for you, then a gaming PC is crap. A gaming PC is just that: a gaming PC: Neon lighting, a lot of noise and runs Windows.

A higher priced Mac with at least a decent grfx card is the better overall computer.
That's my reason I want a Mac Pro with good grfx card: just one computer that fills all my PC-needs, including gaming.
 

GermanyChris

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Jul 3, 2011
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No doubt a PC will give you better gaming for your buck... But if you're buying a Mac anyway, buying a Mac and a PC becomes a lot less cheaper of an option.
The OP is considering buying a Mac, If gaming is any part of you criteria then that immediately removes the Mac.

The question is whether or not a mac is good for gaming, obviously building a pc is cheaper and better. But the OP is asking for a specific question.
The Mac is in now way no how good for gaming. Can it play games? Sure, good NO.

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An iMac is pretty good at gaming.
A Mac Pro with decent grfx card is good at gaming.

But, a gaming PC is best at gaming. Duh: Faster gaming hardware, faster gaming software (Direct X) and more games available. Cheaper than a Mac Pro.

If you want a computer just for gaming, then a Mac is not the obvious choice.
HOWEVER:
If you want a computer that simply does everything for you, then a gaming PC is crap. A gaming PC is just that: a gaming PC: Neon lighting, a lot of noise and runs Windows.

A higher priced Mac with at least a decent grfx card is the better overall computer.
That's my reason I want a Mac Pro with good grfx card: just one computer that fills all my PC-needs, including gaming.
My gaming PC's never have lights and are just a quiet if not quieter than either of my Mac Pro's. My Gaming PC's almost are almost always delivered or under my desk with Windows, OSX, and Fedora.
 

ihuman:D

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2012
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Ireland
The OP is considering buying a Mac, If gaming is any part of you criteria then that immediately removes the Mac.



The Mac is in now way no how good for gaming. Can it play games? Sure, good NO.

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My gaming PC's never have lights and are just a quiet if not quieter than either of my Mac Pro's. My Gaming PC's almost are almost always delivered or under my desk with Windows, OSX, and Fedora.
:rolleyes: I game in Bootcamp on my iMac. The only thing that makes Macs bad for gaming is lazy developers who don't port their game from Windows properly e.g. EA and their crappy Cider Ports.
 

GermanyChris

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Jul 3, 2011
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:rolleyes: I game in Bootcamp on my iMac. The only thing that makes Macs bad for gaming is lazy developers who don't port their game from Windows properly e.g. EA and their crappy Cider Ports.
you game in boot camp but want to see dev's port their games from Windows.

So you like old drivers?

Hardcore gamer you are.. :rolleyes:
 

ihuman:D

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2012
925
0
Ireland
you game in boot camp but want to see dev's port their games from Windows.

So you like old drivers?

Hardcore gamer you are.. :rolleyes:
Yes, I do so I wouldn't have to game in Bootcamp. The only reason I game in Bootcamp is for games that have crappy or no Mac ports.

Some people know how to keep their drivers update, we're not all like you. ;)