Gaming performance reports in osx from nMP owners?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by abluehaze, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. abluehaze macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    Trying to create a central thread for gaming reports under OSX for the nMP. If you'd like to help out your fellow Mac fans and possible nMP owners to be post your fps and gaming performance results along with build specs here.

    Many of us are curious to see real world performance of these new machines for OSX gaming.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. abluehaze thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Personally I don't game on my Mac (I prefer a console). However, I'm a bit surprised to see a thread on gaming on OSX... is there such a thing? I thought anyone that gamed on a Mac did so in Windows. :confused:
  4. Frong macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2013
    Common, professionals never play, apart short breakout/tetris sessions for a pause to work even better after.
  5. Frong macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2013
    Borderlands 2
    Deus Ex human Revolution
    X-Com Enemy Unkown & Enemy Within
    Civilization 5 w all extensions.
    The Witcher 1&2
    Bioshock series
    Metro Last Night
    Max Payne 3
    The Bureau X-Com Declassified
    The Darkness II
    Lord of The Ring: War On The North
    Endless Space w Disharmony
    Battle Worlds: Kronos
    Shadowrun Return
    Europa Universalis IV
    Crusader Kings II
    Spec Ops: The Line
    The Incredible Adventure of Van Helsing
    Baldur's Gate 1&2 Enhanced Editions
    Jagged Alliance Online
    Unity Of Command
    Legend of Grimrock
    Avadon Series
    Space Hulk
    Bionic Dues
    Wargame series

    And many more plus the unofficial ports using wine which working more and more often with semi pro helping supporting and improving this.

    In fact it's from far the hugest gaming year of all Mac History, and this year will certainly be at same level, with for example:
    Divinity: Orignal Sin
    Wasteland 2
    Dragon Age 3
    Might & Magic X Legacy
    Eschalon Book III
    Dead State
    Neo Scavenger
    Lords of Xulima
    Banner Saga
    And more.
  6. usman.rz macrumors member

    May 15, 2010
    I'm still waiting for my nMP but I came across this video and they cover a bit of 4K gaming using a 8c/D700 setup.
  7. abluehaze thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    Professionals never play? I'm sure there's a lot of professionals (this one included) that would strongly disagree with that statement.


    There a ton of us that play games in OSX. Blizzard has understood the value of the Mac gamer for many years and more games than ever have been coming to the Mac.

    People like to game on their devices whether they be computers or mobile devices. iOS is proof enough of that.
  8. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I used to play starcraft 2 in OS X because it was convenient to not have to reboot, and the performance difference ( which was staggering ) didn't matter with my hardware.

    Maybe in the distant future it wont be so bad, but it's such a ridiculous waste of your hardware to play games in OS X. With this new Crossfire machine (nMP), it's really just insane.

    Hopefully they'll get SteamBox working with Xfire, etc... then mac users can dual boot into that for free.
  9. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Regarding gaming you can expect identical performance from a maxed out iMac 27". You're way better off in windows where you will have twice the performance as crossfire is not supported in OS X. What's the obsession with gaming in OS X anyways? Bootcamp is a click away.
  10. NeonHeatDisease macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2014
    God thatd be so awesome.
  11. abluehaze thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    Question is why can't apple get crossfire working in osx or some other variant to enable dual gpu usage system wide? Why have one gpu sitting there idle and doing absolutely nothing most of the time? Why doesn't apple work out some kind of code to switch gpu use between the two gpus based on load and demand?

    I agree that Steam Box holds a lot of promise and potential for us Mac gamers. It's a shame that we have to look to Linux (which has an even smaller market share) and Steam to see the potential in gaming with a current revision of Open GL because Apple refuses to stop thinking of gaming with a 1984 PC mentality.
  12. Anim macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2011
    Macclesfield, UK
    From what I understand....

    Games can take advantage of a second GPU without crossfire for things like Physics, some shader effects like smoke, turbulence and hair dynamics, fluids etc but the game developers have to write that code themselves. OSx apparently does this for the last two versions so the second GPU isn't always sat idle and unused but I can't verify this, just snippets on the net suggesting how OSx works.

    This is also seen in pro apps like VRay that can see all the GPUs in the system and allow you to select which ones you want enabled via its own interface. And why you can mix cards in a machine (e.g. Quadro + Tesla) without any need for SLI/Crossfire.

    Crossfire on the other hand (which is a driver implementation) kind of combines both GPU's, as seen by the system into one therefore making all games use it without the developers getting involved as much.

    So, what I'm getting at is Crossfire isn't the only solution to get the second GPU doing something although it would help in previous games that have not been optimised for multi-gpu systems.
  13. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Again you can instal windows on a Mac using bootcamp and play any game your heart desires. I think Apple realizes it's customers like to use windows sometimes.
  14. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    On my 2009 iMac, cross platform games are simply 'good enough' to not need to bother with rebooting into windows. I don't care if it's 80fps or 40fps.
  15. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    Over 1000 mac games on Steam alone, never mind the other myriad of other places to get games.

    I also have a little youtube channel in my signature, it's gotten to the point where nearly every game I show has been sent to me by developers. It's an ever growing ecosystem.

    I'll certainly be trying to showcase what the nMP can do for gaming in OSX when it finally arrives.
  16. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    There are two ways in OS X for multi-gpu support. One is through using OpenCL. In a game that might be useful for game logic and physics behind the scenes (assuming that the memory bandwidth doesn't kill the performance gains you're trying to get). The other way is that a form of Crossfire/SLI IS supported in OpenGL, called "offline rendering". You can specify frames to be rendered "offline", i.e. on a GPU that isn't connected to your display. It's not a huge amount of work either, but the difference is that where Crossfire/SLI is automatically applied, in this case the game developers have to write code to manage this.

    Which, actually, is better. The developers can fine tune the frame pacing for the best performance. However the down side is they have to do something, so basically it never happens. Projects cost millions of dollars and are always understaffed. AMD has the better GPU architecture, but again it takes some work on the developers part to get the performance out of that, whereas Nvidia is just brute force, but easier to program for. Guess which GPU's games generally run better on? Nvidia of course, but they're hotter and louder for that.

    So it's one of those things where the Mac certainly could be a much better platform for gaming than Windows technically, but Windows wins because it's easier and it has the history. Also obviously Macs are impossible to upgrade sufficiently for bleeding edge performance.

    I'm a "professional", and I like to play MMO's only, Lord of the Rings Online and possibly Skyrim when it comes out, both of which are Mac and PC. For LOTRO I have my 2009 Mac Pro relegated to near permanent Windows 7 duty. The Mac client is buggier, it crashes after an hour (they claim it is because I have the settings too high but they clearly have a memory leak they don't want to bother fixing). Anyhow on Windows I can get a few things. First is Eyefinity, so I have three monitors hooked up for glorious widescreen gaming. Two is the latest AMD drivers. They've been working on these like crazy to fix the frame pacing issues, and let me tell you this last one made a huge difference. Buttery performance most of the time at 40-60 fps. The driver also manages clocks, fan and other factors that OS X won't touch.

    When my new Mac Pro comes in I'm not sure what I'll do. I have 3x 27" monitors hooked up to it, and with the D700's/hex it'll surely be a treat. Under Windows only though, and I hate rebooting my work computer. I'll try those games under Mac just to see, maybe LOTRO won't crash now with 6GB VRAM. But it'll be single monitor only.

    And there's further complications ... AMD is addressing frame pacing for Eyefinity users now. What in the heck does three monitors mean with the nMP? Do two connect to one GPU, and one to the other? Nobody knows how the video is multiplexed. I suspect that IOSurface is automagically doing the offline rendering as I indicated above, instead of it being a purely hardware solution, but I don't know. Regardless for Eyefinity all monitors need to be physically hooked to the SAME GPU, which I suspect isn't the case with three monitors on two TB busses on the nMP (what about if they were on three busses?)

    Too many questions, too goofy, I could get better and easier performance by spending $2k on a custom gaming rig.
  17. jondunford macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2013
    Going for a poo Moderator
    i game on a mac

    i dont understand what the problem is with mac gaming

    i like playing games, i like mac os, i don't like windows. gaming on a mac comes across as being the best solution..?
  18. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands
    I still enjoy my COD4 Modern Warfare (OSX) edition for SP/MP a lot! But most games I play on the Windows side of my cMP, like Falcon BMS 4.3!
  19. Quash macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    Can we please make this a topic about actual nMP frame rates.

    Instead of rehashing every other gaming thread about mac VS windows gaming.
    I've been gaming for nearly ten years on macs exclusively (Warcraft 3 on a g4 mac mini, and Vanilla Wow on powermac G5 <3 good times) and the situation now is way way better than back then, or ever really.. The only way it's gonna get even better in the future is more people actually gaming on a mac under os x.

    I'm actually interested in what the original poster is asking for. So please frame rates under games in mac os x on the new Mac pro. Thank you :)
  20. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Maybe you could read my post right above yours? Gaming on the Mac is OK, but you don't get Crossfire, Eyefinity, performance, driver tuning, updates and many titles.
  21. jondunford macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2013
    Going for a poo Moderator
    but on a windows machine you will get a virus as soon as you connect to the internet and all that stuff will be irrelevant


    and i am interested in gaming fps rates too, especially in 4k

  22. 2128506 macrumors regular


    Dec 28, 2013
    Heart of Mordor
    Even if someone would bother to optimize OS X game for dual GPUs (which is highly unlikely), it will be pretty bad for modern FPS games. Civ-like games would run decently (again, if developer would bother to write and test code relevant to really tiny fraction of OS X users, most of which do not game anyway).

    MacFormat guy managed to get ~15 FPS in BF 4 Ultra out of dual D700s in Crossfire on Bootcamp - which is unplayable. ~30 FPS on Medium settings - which is barely playable.

    Proper 4K gaming is for people with massive SLI setups and suchlike and is kind of a hardcore enthusiast niche at the moment.

    But for 1080/1400p gaming in Bootcamp this is going to be an awesome machine, with D700s. Would easily do V-Sync'ed 60 FPS in most games on High. If AMD will sort out their drivers that is.

    Planning to order mine, once Apple sort out delivery time frames ("sometime next month" is not good enough, card gets charged during ordering for CIS).
  23. Cubemmal, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

    Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013

    lol .. yeah OK.

    You know, actually, come to think of it after 20 years of using Windows I've never gotten a virus, and never used anti-virus software.
  24. jondunford macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2013
    Going for a poo Moderator
    true, although i wonder what slightly older games will be like

    i mainly play these older games, i played world of warcraft at 60-120fps in native resolution on my 15" rmbp (over 1400p i think) and it looked amazing, i bet a single d700 could outperform the 750 for these types of games even if it isn't a gaming card
  25. jasonvp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2007
    Northern VA
    Same same. I understand the desire to work and play on the same machine, but it's rarely ideal to do so if the work machine is a Mac. My Mac Pro is my workhorse. The only thing I do on my Windows rig is play games. I've never had virus, malware, or any other issues at all with it. I despise the OS, but I acknowledge that it's a much better gaming platform than a UNIX-based one.

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