iMac Pro iMac Pro Vega 56 Gaming Testing Results

Discussion in 'iMac' started by seasurfer, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. seasurfer, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018

    seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #1
    Posted a few threads here seeking for opinions, most of the testing posted by others are mostly done on the Vega 64. I decided to just go and get one and try it out myself to see how it goes.

    UPDATES:

    Model: Base iMac Pro model, with Vega 56, 32Gb RAM, Xeon 8 Core
    Games Tested: World of Warcraft, Diablo III

    Results:
    With World of Warcraft in Mac OS 10.13.3:
    At 5K native resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 100%, Anti-alias turned off, vertical sync turned on.
    FPS in Dalaran (most crowded place in WOW): 40-50 most of the time, may drop to 30s
    FPS in Stormwind (probably second most crowded place): 40-50 most of the time, may drop to 30s
    FPS in World: 40-60. most of the time 50s
    FPS in Dungeon: 40-50
    FPS in Tanaan (Very intense graphic area in Draenor): 30-40

    At 2560x1440p resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 200%, Anti-alias at max setting, vertical sync on
    FPS in Dalaran: 30-50
    FPS in Stormwind: 30-50
    FPS in the world: 40-60
    FPS in Dungeon: 40-50

    FPS is only one of the components that affects your gaming experience.

    Between native 5K res and 1440p, gaming experience is better with 1440p, seems slightly smoother.
    At max setting of everything, whether it is 5K res or 1440p, FPS fluctuate very wildly, this will make your eyes dizzy while playing. Therefore, 10/10 max setting is probably not recommended. 8/10 or 9/10 setting is probably better.

    With World of Warcraft in Windows 10 Pro Version 1709
    With Official Apple Boot Camp Drivers:

    At 5K resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 100%, anti-alias off, vertical sync on
    FPS in Dalaran: 15-25
    FPS in Tanaan: 10-20

    At 5K resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 200%, anti-alias max setting, vert sync on
    FPS in Dalaran: 8-15
    FPS in Tanaan: 9-14

    With Unofficial Adrenaline 18.2.2 Driver updates: (Updated on 28th Feb 2018)
    At 5K resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 100%, anti-alias off, vert sync on
    FPS in Dalaran: 45-60
    FPS in Tanaan: 45-60
    FPS in 5-men Dungeon: 55-61 (I capped it at 61)
    FPS during intense spell fights: 40-50

    At 5K resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 200%, anti-alias on, vert sync on
    FPS in Dalaran and Tanaan: 8-15

    In addition, color looks significantly more vibrant compare to WOW running in Mac OS. The red color of Horde flag looks so vivid. On the other hand, at 5K, you cannot run anti-alias...but you probably do not need anti-alias at 5K.

    At 5K, I could hardly tell any difference between Anti-alias and no anti-alias, you need to zoom in big to see that very subtle jagged line in non-anti-alias.



    With Diablo III in Mac Os 10.13.3:
    Whether is at 5K max setting or 2560x1440p setting, there is stuttering or sense of slowness while moving around, it is not as bad as my old iMac 5K 2014 (which improve under Windows 10). Though not that bad, you can feel it and you will not like it. I believe this is in part Diablo III not optimized for Mac or Mac OS not optimized enough.

    Update: With vertical sync turned on, stuttering disappear. However it still feels a little slow compare to a 1080Ti PC.

    With Diablo III in Windows 10 Pro Version 1709 with Adrenaline 18.2.2
    At 5K max setting, vert sync on, it is very smooth and the colors are very vivid, FPS is constant at 58 at all time! There is no lag or slowness. You may only notice a subtle difference after playing with a 120Hz monitor with a 120FPS.

    Model: iMac 5K 2014 version, Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB
    With World of Warcraft in Mac OS 10.13.3:
    At 5K native resolution, it is not possible to run it beyond 6/10 setting. Beyond that be prepared to have your iMac randomly shutting down.
    At 5/10 setting, FPS is around 50-60 in less populated area, 40-50 in Stormwind.
    At 2560x1440p, 5-6/10 setting, with anti-aliasing maxed out, FPS is around 50-60

    With Diablo III in Mac OS 10.13.3 and Windows 10 Pro Version 1709:
    At any resolution, significant stuttering. Improved in Windows 10 setting at 2560x1440 resolution, at 5K, it will stutter again. Worst of all, the computer will easily crash or disconnect, seem to crash more often in Windows setting.


    In comparison,
    Model: Corsair One, Core i7-7700K, GTX1080Ti, 16Gb RAM, Alienware 34 inch curved monitor 3440x1440P with 120Hz Refresh Rate


    Results:
    With World of Warcraft in Windows 10 Home Version 1709:
    At 3440x1440p resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 100%, anti-alias at medium setting
    FPS in Dalaran: 70-90
    FPS in Stormwind: 120 most of the time
    FPS in the World: 120 most of the time
    FPS in Dungeon: 90-120


    At 3440x1440p resolution, max setting 10/10, rendering at 200%, anti-alias at all max setting
    FPS in Dalaran: 70-80
    FPS in Stormwind: 70-100
    FPS in the World: 80-100
    FPS in Dungeon: 70-80
    FPS in Tanaan: 60-70

    At 3440x1440p, anti-alias may not be necessary, it drops the FPS from a stable 100 to 60-70s, the only improvement I noticed is the lines seem a little less jagged and you can see the name of character further away a little better.

    With Diablo III in Windows 10 Home Version 1709:
    At 3440x1440p, all max settings, it is very smooth, running at 120FPS all the time.


    iMac Pro Base model cost: $4999, with education discount $4500, with Microcenter discount: $3999

    Corsair One with Alienware 34 inch curved monitor, Razer Nommo Chroma speaker, Corsair K63 wireless keyboard, Logitech G903 wireless mouse: nearly $4000


    Other thoughts:
    1. Looking at the Alienware 34 inch monitor is better than looking at the iMac Pro 5K monitor if you are looking at it for a long period of time. My eyes get drier on the iMac Pro faster and feel more tired.
    2. The iMac Pro monitor is probably the most color accurate monitor I have seen, color gradient is outstanding, the Alienware 34 inch monitor color pale in comparison.
    3. Browsing internet seems to be faster on the iMac Pro in Mac OS than the Corsair One in Windows 10.
    4. Both Corsair One and iMac Pro boot up very very fast.
    5. Both machine load the game very fast too, can't tell the difference.
    6. The Alienware 34 inch monitor has a bigger screen area, being curved, it actually gives you a more immersive gaming experience compare to the iMac Pro 27 inch monitor. After playing with the 34 inch monitor and going back to 27 inch, you feel that your world is smaller.
    7. Your eyes can definitely notice the difference between a 60Hz and 120Hz monitor, the smoothness of high speed motion is obvious.
    8. Browsing internet, typing documents, checking email are more fun on the iMac Pro, I am Mac OS biased.
    9. The iMac Pro is clean, only one wire.
    10. The Corsair One got a lot of wires....
    11. Watching WOW cinematic trailers is much better on the Alienware 34 inch than on iMac Pro 27 inch, the experience is just more immersive.
    12. Based on my findings and others who posted on the Vega 64. I can confidently say that there is not much difference between 56 and 64 when it comes to playing WOW or Diablo III. Can't speak about other games.
    13. You definitely do not want to play game with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, as beautiful as they look, it is not fun at all to play game with it. The Corsair K63 Mechanical Wireless Keyboard and the Logitech G903 Wireless Mouse are significantly better.
    14. I am quite disappointed the iMac Pro being such an expensive machine does not come along with a trackpad. Worst still, you cannot even buy a matching color trackpad in the Apple Store.
     
  2. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #2
    Thanks for posting this.

    On my maxed out 27" Late 2012 iMac, I decreased the max FPS to 40 to prevent the fans from becoming audible, and the gameplay was really smooth, so I am sure that the iMac Pro would look great with the posted results.

    But, I am surprised that the iMac Pro isn't doing better for WoW.
     
  3. Mac32, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018

    Mac32 Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #3
    Thanks, very interesting.

    Are you playing in OSX? Bootcamp/Windows performs better with games, but you should avoid Apple's Bootcamp graphics drivers. Apple is using some crappy generic or beta driver. Try Adrenaline 18.2.2 from bootcampdrivers.com, which performs much better. Your similar framerates between 1440p and 5K is typical of unoptimised drivers.

    As previously mentioned, playing various modern games maxed out in 1440p (Crysis 2, Crysis 3, Doom etc.) sits at 60 fps consistently for me w/moderate anti-aliasing (Vega Pro 64). At 1440p GPU temps are fairly moderate, which helps. Not too bad...
     
  4. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #4
    iMac Pro is definitely an improvement if you are coming from any previous version. However, keep in mind that the monitor is only 60Hz, so FPS is capped at 60, no matter what. That is why to me, I am noticing a significant improvement with the Corsair One PC, due to the Alienware monitor refresh rate at 120.

    I added the iMac 5K 2014 results. I happened to have your iMac 2012 version too, but it is in store room, haven't use it for a long long time. That was the second computer I used to play WOW.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2018 ---
    I added the OS environment in my original post. :)
     
  5. Mac32, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018

    Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #5
    Nice. :) The stuttering you mentioned could be down to the default graphics driver in Bootcamp. Try Adrenaline 18.2.2, it can make a huge difference in performance. There's very little stuttering here, except for "known offenders" like Crysis 1 and STALKER (game engine issue).

    Very interesting topic. I will try to test out a high framerate monitor tomorrow, though I'll probably hold on to my iMac Pro. Really enjoy the colors and overall display quality. I'm not into twitch shooters and online gaming anyway.

    PS: Using framerate cap at 59 reduces lag with triple buffered vsync (at least it used to, but use it anyway to keep GPU running cooler).
     
  6. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #6
    You should definitely check it out. I have never really used any monitor with a refresh rate of more than 60 until I got my Alienware 34 inch with 120Hz 12 days ago. I never thought it was that big of a deal. But after playing it for almost 10 days and now playing the same game again on the iMac Pro, despite the crispier and more color accurate look, the iMac Pro is not that smooth compare to the Alienware monitor. Apple needs to put the iPad Pro screen on the iMac Pro, that will solve the problem.
     
  7. RMD68 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #7
    Did you run tests in bootcamp on the Windows clients ?

    A lot of the lower FPS results you have are very likely do to the weaker Mac clients.

    For example, I can higher FPS, less drops, and less stutter on the Windows Clients via bootcamp on Steam [Rocket League] and League of Legends.
     
  8. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #8
    My wife plays the macOS version of Diablo III with our iMac Pro (10-core, 128GB memory, 4TB SSD) with Radeon Pro Vega 64 at native 5K resolution all the time. I have no idea how to benchmark it or report FPS, but it seems smooth and flawless.
     
  9. RMD68 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #9
    I was referring to the results in the OP.

    Blizzard has been pretty good for years with having dual platform coverage even in the pre-Intel Power PC days, which was pretty much rare for Mac users then

    But even today, on many of the dual platform games such as the games I mentioned , the games run better on the same machine with the same specs when using the windows client of the game on boot camp.

    Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from the OP or others if they ran or repeated the tests on boots camp.
     
  10. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #10
    It is smooth and fluid? On my iMac 5K 2014, stuttering is very severe. I was hoping it is not an issue with iMac Pro Vega 56, but it turns out that there is still a little stuttering, compare to the Corsair One PC which is absolutely fluid.
     
  11. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    #11
    Yes and yes.
     
  12. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #12
    I have not tested the iMac Pro with Windows setting yet. I have been reading that the bootcamp drivers do not fully support iMac Pro yet. Wonder if that is still true.

    The irony is that, if I have to use Windows 10 in Bootcamp on my iMac Pro to enjoy gaming....the Corsair One PC is just sitting right beside the iMac Pro...
     
  13. Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #13
    Comparing gaming benchmarks between two computers, while one runs on OSX and one Windows isn't really a fair representation of the Vega Pro. Of course the Windows machine will win out. The unofficial Bootcamp graphics driver works just fine, certainly much better than Apple's beta driver, both just misses some of the adjustment options a full driver has (some software options, overclocking, undervolting etc.).
     
  14. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #14
    I didn't realize there is a vertical sync for Diablo III like WOW. I turned on the vertical sync, the stuttering has definitely improve a lot. I can certainly say that I can play Diablo III more normally like I would expect.

    Despite that, there is still some kind of slowness I couldn't explain, this is comparing to the Corsair One with 1080Ti.

    I am going to try to install Windows 10 on the iMac Pro and install these two games and see how it goes.
     
  15. Rockadile macrumors 6502

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #15
    V sync would get rid of the chop but increase input lag.

    Anyone know the iMac Pro monitor's response time? That could explain the slowness feeling.
     
  16. Mac32, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    Mac32 Suspended

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    #16
    Windows 10 has triple buffered vsync by default, so performance and lag isn't such a big deal anymore. Just cap the framerate at 59.

    Tested an Asus ROG Swift PG348Q today (34'', 21:9, 100hz). Unfortunately there were no games installed, but I ran Unigine Heaven. I was pleasantly surprised with the colors, it's an IPS after all. Moving the mouse cursor and windows quickly around seemed smoother. I tried the Heaven benchmark afterwards at my iMac Pro, but couldn't really tell a big difference. Side-by-side testing would be better. Maybe Asus ROG had slightly clearer visuals doing fast panning sequences in Heaven (still visible jerking), but movement on iMac Pro screen looks fine to me if framerate stays at 60.

    Seeing 109ppi non-retina resolution again was definitely rough. iMac Pro is overall much superior, the colours and text are so clear and pronounced. Also the gamer monitor design is a bit gimmicky and teenager-like for my taste.

    Anyways, I've decided to keep my iMac Pro (my 14 day return window closes tomorrow), since the Vega 64 Pro is able to give stable 60fps in 1440p in the games I've thrown at it so far (with moderate anti-aliasing), and the GPU temperature stays fairly moderate at this resolution. I wouldn't mind having both an iMac and a separate PC system w/21:9 monitor, but don't have the money or space for both. So, as an all-in-one (productivity+gaming) solution, the iMac Pro does really well IMO.
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #17
    If it's the same spec as their 5K LG USB-C monitor, than it's 12ms (14ms GTG).
     
  18. fathergll, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    fathergll macrumors 65816

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    #18

    I'm curious on the results from Windows 10 in Bootcamp using the updated drivers. I never was considering the iMac Pro when I first read about the launch but that MicroCenter discount puts it very close to regular iMac territory.
     
  19. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #19
    @Mac32, did you test the ASUS ROG PG348Q on the iMac Pro or a Windows PC? I am very interested in knowing how is it like connecting another monitor to the iMac Pro to play game.
     
  20. Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #20
    I was just played around with it at a local store, connected to a Windows PC. I activated G-sync, but there was still tearing in Unigine Heaven, strange. I'm sure a proper gaming session would make the difference from 60hz to 100hz more obvious. Your 21:9 monitor should work fine with the iMac Pro, just check the connections to be 100% sure. Btw., I totally get 21:9 now. :) It's a great width to height ratio for gaming and consumption.

    1080ti is a monster card, and will take pretty much anything you throw at it. With Vega Pro you have to be smarter with your settings. For instance, I maxed out Crysis 3, but noticed the highest setting of shader quality had some function (SSDO?) not well supported in the AMD drivers, and caused the framerate to plummet. Similar with Crysis 1 the in-game AA setting from 2-4x had minimal performance impact, but at 8x the framerate would fluctuate a lot more. When using graphics settings more carefully, Vega Pro 64 performs really well. AMD's superior dx12 and Vulkan support is a plus for upcoming games (like Far Cry 5).


    PS: This a nice 21:9 game tutorials channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxfsK33BWlxHgglWl9LTAYA
     
  21. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #21
    If you are looking to get 21:9, Alienware 34 inch curved monitor is the best, it has a 120Hz, no other monitor on the market beat that. It is truly a bliss while playing WOW too, which is why I am having such a tough time deciding between the iMac Pro 5K display vs this.

    There is absolute no question that a curved wide display provide you a more immersive experience, even the crispier 5K can't do it. Your world just feel bigger with a 21:9 34 inch.

    However, browsing internet is significantly more superior on the iMac Pro.
     
  22. Mac32, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    Mac32 Suspended

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    #22
    That’s one good looking monitor, very nice design.

    Choices, choices.. :) I had a really hard time deciding myself, but found the iMac to be the more practical choice overall - for me anyway.

    I wonder what the decrease in performance using a 1080ti eGPU over tb3 would be vs. 1080ti as internal GPU (between the iMac Pro and a 21:9 monitor)? I only find tests done with laptops using weaker CPUs, which affects the framerate rather badly.
     
  23. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23

    I know how it feels.

    Practically speaking, the iMac Pro is more useful to me. I can use it for my day to day work and really enjoy it.

    But in my personal time, I want to play game, I want to enjoy playing games too. I can't say that I can fully enjoy playing games on the iMac Pro like the way I do on the Corsair One 1080Ti with Alienware 34 inch. With the 1080Ti, I never need to worry any setting, I just set everything max and it just work...with the iMac Pro, I have to tweak around a little, when I start tweaking around it makes playing games less fun....

    Also despite the iMac Pro being more color accurate and crispier. In the game itself, the color seems to show up better on the Alienware 34 inch, I don't know why. For example, in Diablo III, the Barbarian has spell called Whirlwind, whirlwinding around with the Barbarian is very fast and smooth on the 1080Ti than on the iMac Pro, but most importantly, I could see the beautiful color in the Whirlwind on the Alienware 34 inch monitor, but I can't see it well on the iMac Pro...this alone, just make the gaming experience on the Alienware 34 inch and 1080Ti superior to the iMac Pro.

    Also, for whatever reasons I still don't understand, watching WOW cinematic trailers is far better on the Alienware 34 inch with 1080Ti than on the iMac Pro. This is most obvious with the latest WOW:Legion trailer when you start the game. I really don't know why.
     
  24. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #24
  25. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #25

    I was debating between that and the Alienware 34. After seeing multiple Youtube reviews, I decide to go with the Alienware. I think these are the top two monitors for gaming right now.

    I wish there is a 4K or 5K curved monitor with a refresh rate of at least 100...I wish Apple makes a curved iMac 34 inch...
     

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51 February 25, 2018