Help with getting my MacPro ready for a little gaming

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by robotartfashion, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    I've been reading through a lot of forum posts on this so I apologize if bits and pieces of these have been asked elsewhere, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

    I have a early 2008 2.8 octo (in my signature) that I use for my home music production and for photo processing with CS4, so graphics cards are the Radion X2600 (2 of them for 3 monitors) because I wasn't really worried about it. I do most of my gaming on Xbox 360 and PS3.

    I have an XP boot camp partition as well.

    I'm all of the sudden interested in doing some gaming because of the free Crysis mod "Mechwarrior Living Legends".

    So here's my question:

    1) I'm pretty sure that Crysis will run terribly on the current graphics cards I have (haven't purchased Crysis yet). Should I buy a ATI 4780 card off of ebay and flash it, or will the new base video card the NVIDIA GT120 be better than my current card and adequate for it? (trying to spend less than $200 if possible for this)

    2) Should I keep XP or should I pony up for a Windows 7 install?

    3) If I'm buying this stuff should I just build myself a dedicated windows machine?

    Appreciate the opinions and help!

    Thanks!
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    Why don't you purchase Crysis and test it with your current setup to see if you're happy with the performance?
     
  3. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #3
    When it comes to Crysis, the GT120 is worthless. The 4870 performs okay at lower resolutions with no anti-aliasing. But at higher resolutions and 4x AA, it's performance drops dramatically.
    The GTX 285 does well.
    The PC 5870 does a very good job of running Crysis.

    Crysis video card comparisons

    You could wait for the new video card in the new Mac Pro, if/when it comes out. It will probably be either the 5870 or the GTX480. Either card will do a good job running Crysis.

    That's a good question about WinXP compared to Win7. I am curious about that answer myself.
    .
     
  4. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #4
    Gtx285

    is EFI64 and won't run on any 1,1 or 2,1 mac pro at all.. requires 3,1 or higher.


     
  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #5
    Great !! Thanks for the tip !!!

    And since the OP has an Early 2008 3,1...the GTX285 is great choice for him.
     
  6. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #6
    Hey.. i know this is a little off topic..

    I want to apologize for acting foolish towards you.. I think I could use your expertise in terms of good pc graphics cards for my 2009 mac pro.. Will you accept my apology, and as to my question.. so, the 5890 or 5870 works in the mac pro, but quartz extreme and hardware acceleration have been disabled or are disabled? Any hope as to when full power and use will be used in this card on a mac pro?



     
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #7

    Lot's of hope. Not much in way of results recently.

    Went out and bought a NEW Octo 2.26 yesterday in hopes of finding a way....(just fell off a truck deal from Criagslist...you can buy anything there CHEAP !!!)

    While this machine is worth 2 times what my Quad 3.0 2006 is, it is noticeably slower in most things. I tell myself that SOMEDAY I will put Octo 3.3 in, but those are still a touch on the PRICEY side.

    Right now, GTX285 is still KING for Mac Pros. I would guess that sometime in next 60 days we will get the drivers going better for GTX480 or 5870 and the GTX285 will move a spot down the ladder.
     
  8. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Thanks so much for the info guys, another question

    I've found spotty info online about it after a lot of googling, but I have 2 ATI 2600XT's in there right now. If I buy the crossfire cable it seems like some people are saying in past forum discussions that I can enable ATI crossfire for these cards which would give me ok graphics performance on something like crysis.

    Can anyone weigh in?
     
  9. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #9
    Hi

    You will be able to only use crossfire under Windows 7 or Vista(Better with win 7), it won't work under Mac OS X.. His greatness, Steve doesn't believe in crossfire under os x.

    So, yes.. two same 2600xt cards crossfired will help under windows.


     
  10. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    Can I do so under XP? I've never made the switch to upgrade
     
  11. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #11
    Best Practice for Mac Pro Gaming.

    To get the best out of your Mac Pro for gaming you will need to spend some money on kitting it out with both software and hardware.

    Hardware: 1 Nvidia GTX285 with Mac and Windows Drivers http://store.apple.com/us/product/TW387ZM/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=MTA4MzU2MDA# $449 from the USA
    or a Flashed PC version of the HD4870 1gb http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11133-04-20R-4870-PCI-E-Graphics/dp/B001HQHZ4K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1279696749&sr=8-1 £100 secondhand still available in the UK and flash it yourself.

    Software: Windows 7 64 bit version (£85) to allow access to all 10 GB of RAM and use the latest games available.

    You can keep your XP build for older games that have problems with 64 bit drivers and have the best of all worlds.

    Personally I would say spending £600 on a custom built PC gaming rig would be a better idea with more GFX card options, SLI and Crossfire as standard and less wear and tear on your Mac Pro from thrashing games all day and night. Horses for courses m8. :D
     
  12. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    Also keep in mind that if you want enable DX10 effects for games in Windows, you'll need Vista or 7. The latest version of DirectX supported by XP is 9.0c.

    But here's to hoping that we'll soon be able to flash GTX 400 series cards. The GTX 460 seems to be the new price-performance king of the hill. Right now, I have a flashed 8800 GTS 512 (well, it's more like an 8800 GT with 128 shaders when flashed as a Mac card) and I for one have issues spending more than $300 (let alone $450 for EVGA's Mac GTX 285) on a graphics card I would just be using for games. Different priorities, I guess.
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hollywood, CA
    #13
    neat idea, but Crysis needs more horsepower than 2 @ 2600

    Try Anandtech or Tom's...somebody must have tested the combo.
     
  14. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #14
    My belief is that..

    Yes, you can.. though I don't run XP through bootcamp. I do know in Windows vista and 7 it works rather well and is easy to setup.


     
  15. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #15
    The 2600XT is SLOOOOW card by gaming standards. While you can in theory run two of them in CrossFire in Windows, it still wouldn't come close to matching even a single GeForce 8800 GT, performance-wise - by a LONG shot.

    The only current ATI cards really worth putting into a Mac Pro are the 4870/4890 if you want to game in Windows. Otherwise, an 8800 GT or GTX 285.
     
  16. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    I thought about finding a 4870 to flash but they are really scarce these days. I would like to keep it under $150-200 for cost considering i'll have to pony up about $110 for Windows 7.

    The 8800GT is really outdated at this point right? What about the GTX 465 or 470, they seem to be getting affordable, are these solid cards for something as graphics intensive as Crisis? I know that there's a solid possibility that the drivers will show up in the future to enable use of the PC editions of the 400 series cards correct?
     
  17. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #17
    Yeah, 4870/4890s (especially that ones that are able to flash) are very hard to find now. Nobody really manufacturers them anymore.

    The 8800 GT is indeed an outdated card by today's standards (it's almost 3 year old tech) but in my particular situation, I acquired (as in no cost) my roommate's old EVGA 8800 GTS 512 card, which just so happened to have the correct ROM chip to flash for EFI-64. Using this card has been a treat compared to the stock 2600XT that came with the machine. It will play Crisis, but probably not acceptably at native monitor resolution. Lucky for me, I'm not a huge FPS guy (I play mostly MMOs and strategy games).

    The new GTX 400 series cards in contrast, have a ton more horsepower for games like Crysis. The new GTX 460 is more powerful than the GTX 285 and costs considerably less ($200-220, depending on the version). In the opinions of a lot of tech editors, that card is the new price-performance sweet spot. If you don't mind a Windows-only card (at least for now - that might very well change soon), that might be an option for you.
     

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