As a gamer should I get MacPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by LeandrodaFL, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Whats the diference in playing games on Xeon vs Intel/AMD, I always tought this processors werent good at games fps, I always tought they were design to run photoshop and stuff.
  2. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    No! Too expensive for a gaming rig.

    just build an i7-2600k gaming rig from newegg for $850-900.
  3. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    Well to start off Xeon are Intel CPU's. Just like the i3's i5's i7's, pentiums etc are all intel CPU's. The Xeons are just the Server grade CPU's. As far as I know they are optimized to have a longer life time and work better at constant high workloads without powering down.
    A fast CPU is important for playing games but only to an extent. So far benchmarks show that Intel is way ahead of AMD.
    Most important thing for gaming is the GPU (graphics card). Even with the quickest cpu in the world (some ARM chip which reached 8.4 something GHz) your games would run like s*** if you only have a slow GPU.
    If you want to get a machine to play games, then its utterly stupid to go for a Mac Pro. They do have good gaming performance but you can have like 5x the gaming performance for half the price if you build a gaming rig.
    You would be way happier with a Gaming rig like "blunti" bought if you are out for serious gaming.
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    No. Mac Pro's are way too expensive for gaming. Look into getting a PC with the fastest CPU and GPU you can get and at lots of RAM... this with an SSD and you're set.
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'd only recommend buying a Mac Pro if you had a good reason to own one outside of gaming. They're expensive and the OS X compatible GPU options are far more limited than what you'd find on a PC.

    Plus, to play the majority of games, you'll need to boot into Windows over Boot Camp anyway - at which point the Mac Pro will behave exactly like a much cheaper PC with similar hardware.

    Today's Xeon CPUs for the most part are identical to desktop LGA 1366 i7 CPUs, except they support ECC RAM and are available in multi-CPU compatible variants. For example, the W3680 (3.33GHz hex) chip on the base hex-core Mac Pro has practically identical performance to its consumer desktop equivalent (i7-980). But you can build an i7-980 gaming rig with lots of RAM and a fast GPU for half the money.

    With that said, gaming can be great on a Mac Pro with a fast GPU like the 5870 and lot of users do exactly that. But most of them also use the Mac Pro for its intended purpose as well: to get work done. I game on my Mac Pro occasionally, but 95% of its uptime is dedicated to editing video professionally.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's awfully expensive for gaming. If you're looking at one for work, I'd suggest waiting for the next generation if you can afford to do so. Right now it's missing so many things that the next generation should get beyond just the updated cpu/gpu. Things that could go in the next mac pro include thunderbolt ports, usb3, and a PCIe 3.0 interface. In the baseline model your processor option is pretty weak. They have yet to see anything from Sandy Bridge due to lack of processors in the appropriate socket type, but that should change by early next year or so. If you're really set on a mac pro you'd do well to wait just a little while longer.
  7. K15 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I just bought mine and love it for gaming and work. :D

    It had a small issue with Catalyst running Crossfire in Windows 7 x64, but I was able to fix it.

    Here is what I’m running:

    Mac Pro
    With the following configuration:
    • Processor 065-9537 One 3.20GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    • Memory 065-9546 16GB (4x4GB)
    • Graphics Card 065-9572 2x ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
    • Hard Drive Bay1 065-9558 2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    • Hard Drive Bay2 065-9561 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    • Optical Drive 065-9576 One 18x SuperDrive
    • Mouse from AOS 065-9589 Magic Mouse.
    • KEYBD + USER'S GUIDE FOR AOS 065-9593 Apple KB User's Guide.
    • Country Kit 065-9632 COUNTRY KIT.
    - 27" Apple Monitor
    - Apple Care Protection Plan

    You could build a high end gaming rig for the same price, but this is what I wanted.
  8. LeandrodaFL thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Does Apple provide a solution to gamers then?
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    No. The only computer that could be used realistically for gaming is a Mac Pro (and maybe the top iMac), but the fact is you can find a far cheaper PC that will outperform it especially in the graphics category.
  10. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011

    I wouldn't really call the top imac a good gaming rig. Terrible gpu compared to what you can get for an ordinary PC.

    It's ok to clown around and such but you will not be able to play the newest (keyword: newest) games on full full settings with that imac...

    i7-2600k + 16 GB ram + gigabyte logic board (MB), Sata3 drive, great case, corsair PSU and a nice video card can be bought for $1300-1400 TOPS. OC to 4GHz and it will blow ANY imac out of the water for fraction of the price.
  11. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
    I've bought many iMacs for some gaming and I will not do that ever again. You can't upgrade the graphics card and with 2560x1440 pixels, even the top end iMac will not last very long with the latest and greatest.

    I own a 2009 Mac Pro now and I use it for Photoshop and some light gaming (as I still need to replace the GT 120) and it works great. However, I got this Mac Pro for not too much money. I would not buy a brand new Mac Pro just for gaming, you can get a PC way cheaper and it will perform better in games. For the difference, you could get a Mac mini or a MacBook Air if you want a Mac.
  12. LeandrodaFL thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
  13. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Things might be changing for the iMac with the possibility of adding desktop GPUs via thunderbolt.
  14. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    It's a bit more complicated than this. The current Xeons don't have the latest Intel Sandy Bridge architecture. They're still great machines, but not the state-of-the-art from Intel. You're better off getting a PC with a Core i7 26xx processor for games, and getting a Mac for general computing. If desk space is a premium, get a Mac Mini with a KVM switch to share the keyboard, mouse and video. The latest model Mac Mini is a great machine.
  15. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    If you're going to be doing real work in addition to games, sure, it's a good machine.

    If you're just gaming, it's much more expensive than a good Windows gaming PC.

    But if you can afford it, by all means, feel free to buy one. Price aside, they are quite good at playing games.

    Thunderbolt just is not fast enough for gaming GPUs. In the future, newer versions of Thunderbolt might be faster, but in it's current state it's not going to happen.
  16. Xanix macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2011
    Hello. All the previous posts are helpful, but, let me tell you this:

    1) You want a computer to play games
    2) You want a Mac Pro
    3) You can have two partitions. 1st for Mac OS X and 2nd for Windows
    4) If you find a good deal, you can buy the base model and upgrade later:

    a) Keep the 5770 and upgrade later to a 6xxx series
    b) Buy Triple channel memory; 3 x 4 GB DDR3 or 3 x 8 GB DDR3
    c) Add three more drives. RAID 0 or 1 for both Mac OS X and Windows
    d) Time to buy a 6xxx or maybe a 7xxx series ATI card
    e) Best for last. When the prices get low, buy a Xeon 6-cores 3.33 GHz and upgrade yourself.

    # Sell at a good price:

    - 3 x 1 GB DDR3
    - 5770
    - 4-cores 2.8 GHz

    You can do these upgrades slowly on the next years. Like that, you can have a Mac Pro that would last some years to play the latest games and work wit some applications on Mac OS X.

  17. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I think you are wrong because even the existing models that use PCIe 1x lanes provide great improvement over the internal mobile GPU, and Thunderbolt is faster than 1x PCIe.

    Production is already underway on Thunderbolt external GPUs, so we'll find out soon.
  18. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    ECC ram is actually significantly slower than regular ddr ram
  19. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Not significantly at same speeds and timings. Not really. Unless you like to see artificial benchmarks come out slightly ahead.
    Besides you can aways get non-ECC and stuff it in there.

    If you need a Mac Pro to run OS X then get it. It will be pretty great for games with a 5870 in it. If all you need is a "game rig" then for the same money you could get a water cooled i7-2600K and Dual GTX580's and 12GB Memory and SSD's.
  20. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Keyword bolded.

    When one is a Mac Pro user, being better than Intel Integrated graphics does not make a good graphics card.

    High end cards absolutely require between PCI 8x and 16x. They just use too much bandwidth.
  21. EvilMonk macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2006
    Montreal, Canada
    Unless you are a 16 years old kid who wants to brag about it at school while your parents will waste the 3k the computer cost, don't do it :D


    You can build a high end gaming rig for half the price... seriously. Tell me you got that computer for work at least :p


    And void the warranty :confused:
  22. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I don't even think you pay much attention to hardware. Triple channel vs other configurations haven't shown a noticeable performance difference. The baseline configuration has a weaker processor than the imac. As for that six core the pricing is already low on a retail part. A w3680 on newegg or amazon is roughly $600. The 5770 should be replaced pretty soon. Telling someone to spend that much on a gaming machine then throw in a bunch of diy upgrades doesn't seem like good advice at all. If he's fine with swapping cpus himself he'd be better off just building a Windows box for gaming.

    As for high resale value on the mac pros, it's somewhat limited to desirable configurations. You'll get quite a lot of your money back on a 6 core machine with a 5870. On anything below that, they're not as desirable as they were in their first generation or so. Pretty soon the really old ones will go the route of the G5 and no one will want them because they're past they're old and expensive to service.
  23. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    ??? I feel like you are trying to change my point to something else, then saying the point is wrong.

    I made no claim or comparison about what is available on the Mac Pro. I was specifically responding to a comment about an iMac not being about to upgrade the graphics card.
  24. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    You are kind of in the Mac Pro forum. :p

    Regardless, the internal card on the iMac is also a PCIe x16 card. You'd see a performance decline at PCIe x4.

    PCIe 1x is only suitable for extremely low end cards (which is still better than integrated graphics.) Think the $30 cards you see at Frys.
  25. LeandrodaFL thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Since this thread kept going, I fell like posting again.

    I already own both Macs and PCs, and Im satisfied with what I have. Out of curiosity, I have a MacMini as my first computer, and a Windows build as a gaming PC (also have a white macbook)

    I was simply asking about the MacPro because Im considering the possibility of in the future, having just 1 computer, wich would be some Mac with Windows boot camp.

    But the only current Mac line up I like is the MacMini. I dislike the MacPro, the iMac, and the Macbook pro/air case designs. And the MacMini sucks for gaming. I hope these future thunderbolts graphics cards resolve that.

    My personal taste included liking the PowerMac, the Powerbook, the colored iMacs and the white macbook

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