Resolved Is the Mac Pro better than my laptop for gaming?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Darthmnkyrpm, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Darthmnkyrpm, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    Darthmnkyrpm macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #1
    First off, let me apologize if this has already been posted somewhere else. I've looked around, but I could never really find an exact answer to my question.

    So, when they first announced some of the specs of the Mac Pro, I was so excited because I've been waiting for a new computer for awhile now. But the more and more I read online, the more people seem unhappy with it.

    Anyway, here is my question. Will the Mac Pro be better than my Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15"? Now let me be clear, I still want the Mac Pro because I am primarily a video editor using Premiere, AE, Cinema 4D, etc, so I do like everything the Mac Pro has to offer. My only question is, with the new AMD FirePro graphics, will this beast of a computer be suitable for gaming? (At least more than my older laptop)

    Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15"
    -Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7
    -Memory 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    -Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6770M 1024 MB
    -HDD - 750GB SATA Disk x7200rpm
     

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  2. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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  3. nitromac macrumors 6502

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    #3
    TBH If you have the cash to drop on a new Mac Pro, you could probably spend ~$1000 and get a very nice gaming PC (if you really want).

    The workstation graphics will be able to handle games but they are purpose-built so it won't be as good as a top of the line gaming PC.
     
  4. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    So, I'm sorry if I don't quite understand, but will the Mac Pro simply be better than my laptop because my laptop is older, or because it's legitimately good at gaming? I have just heard so many differing opinions on whether or not the Mac Pro can run games well. (i.e. running Battlefield 3 on at least high graphics)

    ----------

    I'm aware that it definitely won't be the most top end PC for gaming, but since my primary focus is video editing, I think it would still be better than a gaming PC for that, I was just wondering how well the Mac Pro could run games when I have some free time.
     
  5. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #5
    You need to understand that you are paying a lot for the design. You are also paying 4-5 times the price of regular core processors for xeon and ecc memory.

    Not only that, but you are also paying 4-5 times the price for fire pro graphics. It's because companies love to rip off professionals and businesses. I wouldn't bother unless, in addition to wanting to game, you do a lot of stuff and have mission critical things that cannot be harmed due to bad drivers or non dcc memory.

    Or, you simply like the look of the mac pro and want to pay $1000 for it.

    I was gonna get a Mac Pro, but I'm instead receiving a 2013 core i7 iMac with 16 gb ram and a 780m. Honestly that's a road you may want to consider.
     
  6. nitromac, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    nitromac macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Unless someone can provide a review of gaming performance on a similarly built PC (two fire pro cards, a xeon processor) then don't bother listening to all the differing opinions.

    I have a PC with an Intel Q9450, 4GB of ram (very low by todays standards but DDR800 is expensive as hell now....), and a Radeon 6850. The 6850 is a midrange card and I can run BF3 on Ultra (without AA) at 1920x1200 pretty well (doesn't go below 30 fps)

    I don't know how that compares to two FirePro workstation cards, but considering they are brand new and my 6850 is two years old, I think they'll handle it. But don't take my word for it...

    Totally agree with this. You don't need a Xeon processor and ecc memory for video/graphical work. Those things are great in a server or tasking developer environment but give no advantage over a regular i7 or something in the video/3d/etc environment.

    I'd seriously consider just building your own PC. Hackintosh if you really need OSX on it (you'll still have your MBP).

    If money is of no importance then by all means go for it. If your primary focus is video editing and you have a Mac-only license for Adobe (I do) then the Mac Pro is a good fit.
     
  7. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #7


    Look. A GPU in a MBP sucks. It is barely better than integrated. The cards in a MP are full desktop cards! And very nice ones for that matter! The only difference MP cards and gaming cards are what the DRIVER tells them to be! They are the EXACT same silicon.
     
  8. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Well, I'll be honest, I do actually really like the look of it. Though if there was a way to build my own Mac with those specs, I might look into it. I know I could build my own gaming PC, but it won't really be optimized for video editing.
     
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #9
    In every respect, the MP will outshine your MBP. As posted, it has a dedicated DESKTOP GPU card...Gaming on the MBP will seem like a crawl by comparison.

    An iMac with the 680MX 2GB mobile chip in it will beat your MBP hands down too.
     
  10. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #10
    So if I ran bootcamp on it, do you think there would be a way to trick it into thinking it's using a high end gaming card or something? It'd just be a shame to let all that power go to waste.

    ----------

    That's good to hear, though I'm surprised with my little MBP. It can still run most games on high quality with a solid 30-40fps, though I usually turn them down because I like to have 60+

    And that's my thinking, I would think that just about anything could beat my little Radeon 6700 series. And, yes I do have a Mac only license, plus I've never heard of a Hacintosh working as smoothly as an actual Mac.
     
  11. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    #11
    The main reason for using bootcamp/parallels is beginning to vanish. Before, drivers were so much better that you had to use Windows for gaming, esp. since the same gpis supported direct x10/11. But now Mavericks supports OpenGL 4.1. Hopefully Apple continues to take opengl seriously in the future.............:rolleyes:
     
  12. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Wait what? I don't quite understand what that means, but it sounds like Macs are becoming a more viable option for gaming and that makes me happy. So you think I may not even need bootcamp? Most of my games now have a Mac version so that would make me a very happy camper.
     
  13. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #13
    Please don't use bootcamp, you will be much better off by EFI booting. There might be a way to spoof the cards to their gaming equivalents. Also, in windows both GPUs will work together in crossfire.
     
  14. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    And I actually have one more question. I've heard that it may be possible to replace one of the graphics cards with something else, maybe more suitable for gaming. Do you know the validity of this statement and if it would be something that would be worth it?

    ----------

    I've actually never heard of EFI booting? What is that and how can I do it?
     
  15. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    #15
    You would need to bootcamp if you got this mac pro though, like the guy below me said.

    And basically, open gl 4.1 supports a lot of new graphics options, and does things faster.

    Think of the recent OSX versions as Windows, if Microsoft never added anything beyond Directx 9.0. Even if the games and the gpus supported better drivers the OS didn't, and as such the games suffered.
     
  16. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #16
    it's not a sure thing that the new MP will be better. the GPU is powerful but the drivers aren't optimized for gaming...you'll have to look for gaming benchmarks with the current high-end FirePros to see where they lie.

    the traditional tower Mac Pros could use any PCIe graphics card in Windows, and certain ones were drop-in for OS X depending on which generation and which OS version. the new one uses custom boards, so there won't be any replacements not offered by Apple when it comes out, unless someone announces one between now and December.

    edit: couple more things
    1. I don't recommend a hackintosh if your video editing is your business

    2. yes, the chips are the same between pro and consumer video cards, but it's not always possible to install the opposite drivers to turn one into the other. I haven't kept up to date with it, but last I heard it's not possible any more, or at least much more difficult.
     
  17. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Yea, I feel like the old Mac Pro was much easier to customize to your liking. I have one at home, but it's become the home office computer and is actually slower than my laptop. And I suppose we'll just have to wait to see how customizable the new one will be. I know they said it's the most customizable one yet, because of so much potential for outward expansion. But can I somehow hook up more graphics cards and stuff via Thunderbolt 2? I just can't wrap my head around what can be expanded besides just more storage.
     
  18. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #18
    Bootcamp works by emulating BIOS and a master boot record on your computer.
    Emulating bios makes boot up times much longer and is ugly.
    Having an emulated MBR makes it impossible to repartition your HDD after you've installed windows.
    EFI booting is the solution to all of those issues.
     
  19. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #19
    Okay yea I see what you mean. Hopefully though, I'll have more storage so that splitting up my hard drive with bootcamp won't be as much as an issue with my MBP.

    ----------

    So, that's only a problem with newer computers? Since I can still install Windows on my MBP fairly easily? And I tried to read up on it a bit; so when I get the Mac Pro, I should EFI boot instead of going through the full bootcamp process?
     
  20. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #20
    Also take into account your laptop will generate more heat as games are cpu and gpu intensive. This may shorten the life of your laptop. The current Mac Pro has a 2 step cooling system. The front fan brings in cool air to cool down the components. The back fan pushes out the hot air.
     
  21. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    Yea, I've definitely realized that I can really only get a solid hour to an hour and a half when running off battery life. That's why I always run of a power supply if I'm going to game.
     
  22. Snowshiro macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Not sure I agree with that. The *main* reason for bootcamp gaming is simply that there are hundreds of games released every year on PC that are never released for the Mac. Even at best (with the notable and rare exceptions of companies like Blizzard) games arrive several months later.
     
  23. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #23
    Is this serious? Mobile GPU's and CPU's can't really hold a candle to their desktop versions let alone compared to a line of CPU's like the Intel Xeon's.....the FirePro D300, D500, and D700 are bound to be very powerful, they appear to be rebranded W7000's (at least the latter two).
     
  24. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    Again sorry if I didn't know, but all I've been hearing is that those graphics cards are designed for workstations and therefore would be terrible for gaming. And since I have an old Radeon 6700 series, I didn't know which would be better. I know all the other specs are of course way better, I just didn't know about the graphics card
     

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