Just ordered a Hex :) - Gaming & Other Benchmarks Inside!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by w00tini, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    • One 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”
    • 6GB (3x2GB)
    • 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    • ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    • One 18x SuperDrive
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) & User's Guide
    • Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
    Well, I just ordered my first MacPro. I'm a four year Apple user that is finally taking the plunge to a single computer solution after years of various MacBooks and a MacMini sitting next to my PC tower. It seems more efficient to have a powerful Mac like the MacPro which is capable of running both the OS X and Windows platforms instead of two large, power-hungry machines running at one time.

    My use for the MacPro will be gaming (in both OS X and Win7 via Bootcamp), using iMovie to create movies of my family (one 2.5 year old daughter and another baby on the way), and doing both work and schoolwork (currently working towards an MBA). I'm hoping this computer lasts me around two years, and it should as long as I can get one more graphics card cycle out of Apple.

    I was torn on the Quad vs Hex debate but after reading a lot about the differences between them and my needs the Hex was a better solution, albeit a more expensive one. I'm planning on acquiring the new Apple 27" Cinema display when they start shipping and I feel that the Hex will be more capable of running video games at the beautiful full 2560x1440 resolution given the CPU power needed to push the GPU to such higher resolutions. It also appears, given the current benchmarks of StarCraft 2, that Blizzard is utilizing multiple cores in their latest engines. I'm a huge Diablo fan and plan on spending way too many hours on Diablo 3 when it hits so I'm hoping the Hex will also be of benefit in that instance. Not that the Quad is bad, but the Hex is well... the Hex :D

    I did the memory upgrade through Apple because it was only $10 more than buying it from another vendor. The real memory savings come in the higher memory sizes. I do plan on buying another HDD for the Bootcamp installation but will buy that from my local CompUSA (Tiger Direct) because they're priced accordingly with NewEgg for the most part on drives.

    I plan on doing a lot of gaming benchmarks once the unit arrives and will certainly post them here for everyone that may be interested.

    The order acknowledgment says that the unit should arrive between Sept 17th and the 23rd. Thanks to everyone here on the MacRumors MacPro forums for all of your help. Now, let the waiting begin!

    Update after arrival:

    Ok so it has been here for a few days now and I've had some time to dig into it. I've installed Windows 7 via Bootcamp and have Steam running on both the OS X and Windows side of things. I have also run some various benchmarking software where applicable given which OS platform they run on.

    Here's what I have so far....

    (XBench in OS X)

    Some solid numbers here. Very impressive memory and CPU bandwidth. I'm running 2x 3GB memory sticks in triple channel mode which is accounting for the memory test numbers. Know that you will certainly slow down to a degree running 4 memory sticks, but also understand that not all programs require fast speeds, some require more memory overhead and not such a fast thoroughfare through the bus.

    (GeekBench in Windows7)

    I'm not sure why it is reporting 32-bit as I'm running Windows7 Professional in 64-bit mode. But nonetheless, great metrics were taken away from running this benchmark.

    Cinebench OS X
    (OS X Cinebench)

    As you can see, very poor 3D capabilities in Cinebench on the OS X side given the rather disappointing OpenGL support Apple has at this time. While the CPU score is solid, OpenGL is lacking.

    Cinebench Windows7
    (Cinebench Windows7)

    Using Windows7 via Bootcamp is where the MacPro really shines for an all around good gaming experience. Not the near-double OpenGL score in Win7 as compared to the OS X benchmark. The MacPro is a flat out scorcher in Windows7.

    3DMark 06
    Note: Windows Only

    (3DMark 06 in Windows7)

    Need I say more? That's a very, very respectable score for any custom PC build rocking a single core/single graphics card configuration, and will surely satisfy any current PC game's requirements.

    3D Mark Vantage
    Note: Windows Only

    (3DMark Vantage in Windows7)

    Game Benchmarks

    Counter-Strike Source Stress Test

    Note: Run with monitor resolution of 1920x1200 with all graphics and advanced graphics settings at maximum in Windows7.

    While Counter-Strike Source is an old game, the Stress Test built into it is still a good indicator of CPU and GPU bandwidth due to the how the two need to work together to push FPS in PC games. Source is dependent on the CPU pushing a lot of information through the GPU since the CPU is where the bottleneck would most likely occur in an older game like this.

    The FPS were pegged at 300 (the maximum Source records in this benchmark) for most of the run but did dip down to ~ 200 for the more taxing parts of the stress test. Still, slowed down to 200 fps?? After several runs the average stress test score was 225.04 FPS in Windows7.

    Unfortunately the OS X version of CS:Source does not have the stress test so I was not able to run it for a good comparison.

    Left4Dead and Left4Dead 2

    Note: Run with monitor resolution of 1920x1200 with all graphics and advanced graphics settings at maximum. Windows Only for now. Rumors are October 4th for OS X versions of this game.

    Given that timedemos are usually broken whenever a game is updated I was not able to run any specific in-game benchmark for either of the L4D titles. But I did take pretty detailed notes on FPS with hordes of zombies running around me, being boomed, and attacked by all angles to really push the MacPro in this game.

    The lowest FPS I saw at any one time in the most massive of horde attacks was 150 FPS in Left4Dead and 90 FPS in Left4Dead 2. In most cases it was over 200 FPS in both games. The games played beautifully no matter what was going on on-screen. Just a great gaming experience and much, much better than the Intel i7/Nvidia Gforce GTX260 that this MacPro replaced.

    Team-Fortress 2

    Note: Run with monitor resolution of 1920x1200 with all graphics and advanced graphics settings at maximum. Tested in both Windows7 and OS X.

    Much like the previous two titles here, I ran this game with a screen full of 24 bots in a server to get a feel for how well the game would run. I never saw TF2 game drop below 120 FPS in Windows. OS X fared a bit lower with an average FPS of around 80 FPS.

    Considering the CPU time required to run 23 bots in expert mode, it is a testament to the great multi-core utilization we're seeing from Valve in their games.

    Battlefield Bad Company 2

    Note: Run with monitor resolution of 1920x1200 with all graphics and advanced graphics settings at maximum. Tested in Windows7.




    Overall, BC2 is a smooth and lag/stutter-free gaming experience. Even with a lot of things happening at one time on the screen the game is a cinematic experience on the Mac Pro with every single video enhancement enabled to its highest setting.

    That's it for now. I'm going to mess around with more games as time goes on and update this thread. Please be sure to post any of your own gaming or benchmark metrics here so we can all share our experiences with the MacPro.
  2. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Congrats on your purchase. I'm heavily looking into a Mac Pro as well but I'm on the fence about the 3.2GHz vs the 3.33GHz model. For me I'm leaning closer to the 3.2GHz as I wont be needing the additional 2 cores but the only reason that is swaying me from buying yet is the GPU card upgradability. When I say GPU upgradability, I mean I'm deathly afraid that the next GPU might not be supported on the current Mac Pro systems sometime late next year (Sandy bridge) via PCIe 3.0.

    But I think you might be correct when you mentioned that we can get at least one more cycle on the GPU. Probably will be a PCIe 3.0 GPU but should be backwards compatible with 2.0.
  3. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I'm very happy for you. Gorgeous machine. Why not an iMac Core i7?
  4. cnstoll macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2010
    Congratulations. I think youll be surprised at how long that computer will last you. I'd be shocked if you feel the need to upgrade before you've had it for 4 years.
  5. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    the iMac uses a mobile GPU while the MacPro uses a full-fledged desktop GPU.

    the iMac is also not upgradeable after a certain point. I will need three hard drives and the iMac cannot do such.

    the iMac is still a beauty and the smaller version may find it's way into our home soon for our kitchen nook as the in-law/guest computer.
  6. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    thanks! and I hope you are right :)

    I stopped down at CompUSA today and snagged two 1TB drives. I'm ready when it arrives!

    one question for you macpro experts: what do you think a fair price would e on eBay if I decided to sell my three 2Gb 1333Mhz sticks should I choose to go for 12Gb?
  7. Bartman01 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    The iMac now uses a desktop class CPU, but I am with you on the rest of the reasons not to buy one. To even be a consideration to me for MY system the iMac would need at least 1 accessible PCIe expansion port, 2+ internal user replaceable 3.5" hard drives, and an eSATA port that supported a port replicator.

    edit - sorry misread your 'GPU' comment as 'CPU'.
  8. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Ya, the Hexacore is definitely going to last you at least 4 years, unless you are like me and just get bitten by the upgrade bug.

    Considering that software, hopefully, will be written better and better in the next few years, your computer will actually be faster and faster as time progresses. Then again, I can't imagine in 4 years what kind of hardware is going to be around.
  9. Magaman macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2009
    Congrats, I've been loving my hex since I got it. I run Final Cut and do gaming on it. As far as gaming goes, I've been running WoW on Ultra without an issue. And with Bootcamp Windows 7 been running STO again everything on ultra and it looks and runs great. There is a ton of gaming power in the machine in both Mac OS and Windows 7(which I'm pretty impressed with)
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    48 physical core with 2 threads in each core making it 96 core Mac Pro!
  11. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Next year is Sandy Bridge... then Ivy Bridge... then Haswell... then Rockwell..

    So if Intel don't screw up, in 4 years time there will be 16nm CPU's with 8-cores minimum (which sorta implies 16 cores for server grade).

    Our poor hexacores will eventually be overtaken by then.
  12. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2008
    Boston, MA.
    Congrats on your purchase! I hope the machine arrives quickly so you can enjoy it. Have you looked at maybe picking up a refurbished 24" so you can save some money? I bought mine from the refurb. store and it is flawless.
  13. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    thanks mac88 :)

    I am very seriously considering a dual 24" ACD setup. What I've decided is that if there is some unexpected delay on the 27" that pushes it out to the fourth quarter, then I will go the dual 24" route if Apple still has inventory. I noticed last night that they were out of refurb units though.

    does anyone have an idea what I could maybe get for my 2Gb memory sticks in the used market? I'm strongly considering a 12Gb upgrade and noticed that the trade-in value was only $30 to the memory vendor. I should be able to do better on my own but I was hoping for a ballpark price from you MacPro vets.

  14. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    one more question...

    what's to stop us from running two 5870's in Crossfire? I noticed that neither Barefeats or OWC have tried this.
  15. Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    The Mac Pro only has 2 power connectors inside for the video card and the 5870 is using them both.
  16. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    ahhh I see... Hmm...

    Has anyone dug into the PSU to see if it is modular?

    These are probably elementary questions, and I apologize if so, but I've yet to take delivery of my Mac Pro so I'm not sure.

    Thanks :D
  17. Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    Pardon me, wrong quote previously, also, in relation to the above: OS/X doesn't support Crossfire. You may or may not be able to get it to work under Windoze, no clue.
  18. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    cool. thanks for the info Schismz. I smell a weekend project coming on :)
  19. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    BIG congrats to the OP ~~~~~ :)

    FWIW, I also find the 3.2 Quad pretty compelling from a cost/performance perspective. I'd get the hex if there was better SW support for multicores. Sadly, there are few programs that take advantage of the power of the hex. Someday that will change though.

    cheers to us all
  20. ZeissmeisteR macrumors newbie


    Aug 6, 2010
    London, United Kingdom
    Exact same build as mine! Received it on Wednesday and i absolutely love it! Great purchase.
  21. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    how long did it take for you to receive it from order to ship to delivery Zeissmeister?
  22. ZeissmeisteR macrumors newbie


    Aug 6, 2010
    London, United Kingdom
    9 days :), although apple predicted it to be around 16-18 days.
  23. w00tini thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Awesome news!

    I ordered on the 11th and have a window of 17th-23rd for delivery. Man, if they got it out the door and on my front door step in six days I would be mightily impressed!

    I just dropped a few hundy at the office supply store and totally re-did my office. I love this stuff!
  24. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    I wonder how that's possible.. do you mean 9 days or 9 working days?
    I ordered mine on 31st August, it's been 12 days now (8 working days) and it has been shipped on day number 10 (working day number 8). I can't seem to be able to track it properly.. it just states 'Syncreon Technologies' as the delivery company for the Apple Care box and the iPod Touch and "Merge in Transit GB" for the Mac Pro. Since you live in London as well I wanted to ask.. how long did it take for you to receive the Mac Pro AFTER the shipping confirmation?

    I can't wait to receive my hex. hex-hex!

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