Converting 2006 Mac Pro to windows gaming PC.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by defender, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. defender macrumors member

    defender

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    #1
    I have a mac pro that I don't use anymore, and I am really really looking forward to F1 2010 coming out and want to get the PC version. Is it worth converting my 2 x Dual Xeon 5150 Woodcrest 2.66Ghz Mac Pro into a windows only gaming PC? Which is the best graphics card I can get for it that will work off the shelf? I don't need to go back into mac so it doesn't have to work in mac mode.
    Or would I be better off selling it and getting a windows PC purely for gaming? I'd rather not go through that hassle to be honest as I'm sure the Mac Pro should be able to work well with a decent graphics card?
     
  2. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #2
    With a good graphics card your Mac Pro would make a good gaming PC. I suggest you install Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit edition along with a Direct X 11 graphics card like an ATI Radeon 5870. Since you will be using your Mac Pro as a pc only there is no need to purchase an Apple Gfx card. I also would suggest you get an SSD if you can, you will notice a much faster boot and loading time in games. A Mac Pro can make a great PC if you configure it well.
     
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Jan 17, 2008
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    Sweden
    #3
    My dual 2.66GHz with 5870 maxed out bf2:bc at 1900x1200. It should work fine. But yes, you get more power by selling it and getting a PC.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    For the price you can get off your Mac Pro, you can build a very powerful PC. It's an extra hassle but you get more for your money. You get newer technology and thus "future-proofing". Shouldn't be that hard to sell the Mac Pro if it's in good condition
     
  5. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

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    #5
    Yes, however he would lose the sleek and stylish look of the Mac Pro. Gaming PCs or any other desktop will never match the ergonomics and design of the Mac Pro :D
     
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    Denmark
    #6
    Does it matter? Isn't it just a hunk of aluminum under the table?
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    You'd be better off selling it. You should be able to get at least around $1000. Use that money + the money you would have had to spend on a decent graphics card to either build your own gaming machine or buy something like a Dell Inspiron 580 with an i5-750 ($840) and throw a 5870 (~$365) or 5970 ($580) in there and you'll have a far more powerful gaming machine.

    Putting a 5870 in your old Mac Pro would cost you up to $449 (if you go for the Apple card with the necessary cables etc).
    Selling your Mac Pro for $1000 and buying an Inspiron 580 + a 5970 graphics card will cost you $420 yet would get you a machine that is far more powerful in terms of CPU and graphics power and comes with 6GB of RAM.
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    And the quietness.
     
  9. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    Oct 29, 2007
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    CA
    #9
    There are tons of nice looking cases out there and plenty of options for building a silent PC. It just takes a little research.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    A Mac Pro with a decent graphics card in will not be much quieter, if at all, than a gaming PC with a decent graphics card. The reason being, it's the graphics cards that make most of the discernible noise whilst gaming. Tax a 5870 or 5970 and it'll be far louder than all the other fans in your system combined. The only way around that is water (or even more extreme) cooling.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    #11
    You can buy a Mac Pro case off eBay and use it as case, just like Spanky Deluxe is doing (I think) ;) Anyway, the design is an opinion question. There are great looking PC cases around

    If you pay little extra on cooling, it will be dead silent. There is nothing special about Mac Pro's cooling. Get yourself a Noctua NH-D14 and well cooled GPU and there won't be much difference. There are also those silencer matts which work fairly well. As Spanky Deluxe said, the GPU causes most of the noise so a Mac Pro with similar GPU will be as noisy.
     
  12. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #12
    A Mac Pro would be an awesome hackintosh case IMO
     
  13. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #13
    It's not for the faint of heart and requires you to be handy with a dremel. If you want a Mac Pro like looking case then an old G5 case is *far far far* easier and can accommodate pretty much any sized board (you'd still need to dremel out the back for the ports though. If you use a Mac Pro case then you're limited to mATX boards unless you're willing to lose drive sleds, which is one of the best features of the case imo.
     
  14. defender thread starter macrumors member

    defender

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    #14
    Thanks for your advice everyone, I ended up doing the option that would be quickest to see results...
    I got myself a 5870 thinking I can always use it in a windows PC if its no good..
    But it is good. It runs Dirt 2 in 2560x1600 with everything set to max, and it plays great. The 5870 is also much quieter than the x1900 that it has replaced. I am a very happy chappy and am now prepared for the release of F1 2010, I can't wait!

    I should think this setup should do me for another couple of years now.
     
  15. OptimusP83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    #15
    I imagine the difference between a 1900xt and the 5870 would be quite dramatic! I think the 1900xt could have been the WORST GPU I've ever owned. Only one that was worse was the x800xl. the PCB was curved/bent when i got it, and it never quite worked right (lots of crashing in game).
     
  16. defender thread starter macrumors member

    defender

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    #16
    It's like night and day, I feel like I've bought a complete new system.

    After many hours now of playing, it's still silent. Cannot believe all this time I thought the mac pro was a noisy beast and it was just that darned 1900 card!
     
  17. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #17
    Congrats. I told you that the Mac Pro can handle pretty much any new game on high settings with a good graphics card like the 5870. Enjoy your "new" Windows-only Mac Pro!
     

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