Mac Pro Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by apolloa, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. apolloa macrumors G4

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    #1
    Hi, after some advice. I will need to update my ageing 15" 2010 MacBook Pro sooner or later. I have decided not to buy the new ones or an iMac. The main reason is because I like to tinker, service and update my computers myself.
    So I have decided the Mac Pro is the way to go. I won't be buying new. I wanted some advice with my idea.

    I see I have two options. My preferred one, because I've always wanted one, is to buy the trash can Mac Pro, looking at the prices most likely the quad core dual D300 one, or if I can find it at a really good price the six core dual D500 one. Don't care about RAM as 16GB will do me and I'll update it to 32 if needed once the prices drop.
    I'll probably get some portable 1 terrabyte hard drive to time capsule, my first question is can you get thunderbolt ones? Or is it no worth it and USB 3 would do fine?

    My use for the machine will be home use, I will not be relying on it to make me money in any way shape or form.
    Apart from the norm, email, web, You Tube etc, I will tinker with 3D Animation purely as a hobby if I can find some software.
    I would also like to play my old games on it, Crysis 1, Doom 3, Half Life 2, Metro 2033, Starcraft 2 plus it's add ons, Diablo 3.
    I want the system to be able to comfortably play these games.

    Now firstly I want to know will it do this? And will it do this in Windows 7 or will it need Windows 10? Secondly if I then went with an EGPU like the Razer Core, would it be worth it over the standard dual AMD cards, would say a RX580 be worth the money for performance.
    Now if it was worth it and I went for say a Nvidia, a 1070, I understand these need to be flashed so you get the boot screen? Can you do it yourself or do you have to buy them already flashed?
    My requirements would be frames per second of say 30 to 60, I would most likely get a 27" ish monitor, probably a 2K one, maybe 4K but not if it would dramatically affect the games where they crawl along at 4K.

    I won't be playing any new games, I have consoles for that.

    Now if it can do all that, my next question is, can it do that in a virtual machine like Parallels or VMWARE? Would this work with an EGPU say and then would the games run? I'm intrigued by this idea.

    Also I would probably update the internal SSD to a terrabyte, can you buy these? If so whats the best one or trusted make? And last one, how good is the wireless on the trash can Mac Pro, is it a decent wireless AC signal?


    Now....

    My second option..

    The same as above but with a cheese grater Mac Pro, this is not my first choice as I would much rather have the machine on my desk, the cheese grater Pro may be a bit too big, but if I did go this route, I would buy a 12 core 2011 model, does it come with wireless AC or can you add it? And if I added a GPU to it, again would it need to be a flashed 1070 Nvidia card and can you power it from the board, or would you need to steal power from one of the DVD bays?
    And then would a machine like this be capable of doing all the above?

    If I did chose the trash can Mac Pro route, if I waited for the new Mac Pro next year to launch, would the Mac Pro 6,1 drop in value a lot? The Cheese grater model is a lot cheaper now.

    Sorry for a long list, any help would be greatly appreciated. I want a desktop as I don't need a laptop anymore, I also want a system that will last me, another reason for one I can take apart easily. My needs are simple so don't need an iMac Pro or new MacBook Pro power, just may need the boost in GPU performance.
     
  2. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #2
    My first thought is that if GPU is of prime importance to you then you're better off with a cheese grater due to the PCIe x16 slots. While it's true the trashcan can utilize eGPU to expand its video capabilities, that is only possible through a hack (i.e. Apple doesn't officially allow eGPU over TB2) and who knows with future versions of MacOS if that hack will work.

    And absolutely, the trashcan will drop in value a lot once the 2019 Mac Pro is released. It's already artificially high today.

    There is no 2011 cMP. It's either 2010/2012 (which are identical) and 2009 (which you can easily flash to turn it into a 2010/2012 for all intents and purposes).

    No the cMP does not have wireless ac. But you can add it without much fuss by purchasing a card (bonus is you also get bluetooth 4). Osxwifi.com has a ready-made kit or you can buy on eBay.

    You don't have to flash the video card on a cMP if you don't care about boot screens, FileVault, etc. But if you'll be regularly booting it to Windows and back to MacOS then boot screens are helpful.

    Edit: If you truly like to tinker then the cMP is for you. Lots of things with the cMP require fiddling and hoop jumping. It's really a very different experience than with most other modern-era Macs where there isn't a whole lot you can do to change it after you buy it, and as a result everything "just works". What you'd find owning a cMP is that when there's a wide variation of hardware combinations, a lot of things don't "just work" and require some finesse to get working. If you don't think you could enjoy (or at least tolerate) that process, don't buy a cMP.
     
  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #3
    Years ago I loved the 5,1. Today I don't see any clearly great choices for Mac Pro.

    5,1 is getting really long in the tooth. Modern GPU support is there, but problematic. The golden era of GPU upgrades is long over. Windows support however is fantastic. You can add WiFi AC. It should be fine for the software you listed, but you mention wanting to use it for many years into the future--that's quite a stretch for a CPU architecture that's already 9 years old. Future MacOS support is probably coming to an end very soon.

    6,1 is very overpriced for a 5 year old machine. The GPUs scare me and they should scare you. You can never get better internal GPUs. eGPUs are problematic. External boxes for storage and GPU would create a rat's nest on your table. It is literally a failed model, with Apple having admitted that it was a mistake. Windows driver support for the GPUs is spotty and weird.

    7,1 is many months away, maybe even a year or so. After a terribly long wait, it might be the best thing ever, or it might suck.
     
  4. apolloa, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018

    apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #4
    Thanks for that, I only said about the GPU because of the games I would play, even though they are old the GPU would be the weakness.
    I did read that it only takes a few commands in terminal to get an EGPU to work with the trashcan? Is that still the case? And would you just need to renter the commands every time yo0u upgrade. Or are the D300's enough to run these old games anyway? Or if I waited and the prices dropped I could get a pair of D700's?

    Interesting about the flashing of the cards, is it right the Nvidias can be flashed to give the bootscreen and the AMD's cannot? With the Pro 5,1, like I said a 12 core model, with a dvd drive and most likely two or three storage drives, can it power a 1070 from the main board?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 27, 2018 ---
    My 2010 MB Pro still works, and that's 8 years! So for my use a Mac Pro is fine. And much better as you can easily replace parts. Why should the GPU's scare me? Apart from the price of them now, I appreciate it's a premium but that's why I would never buy new, and I can wait till the new one to get it cheaper.

    I have read mixed things on EGPU's it seems you can run them, just need a terminal command or two, and the AMD's run natively, the Nvidias need the web drivers. But with my requirements would I even need to do that, or would the D300's D500's or 700's work fine? Again for my needs. I would also never spend the 3 or 4 grand minimum the next Pro would cost for what I would use it for.
     
  5. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Sorry I'm not a gamer so hopefully some others with more expertise in that area can comment about how those games would run with the various Mac Pro GPU options.

    I've also never owned a nMP or messed with eGPU so I'm not sure how well it works or how easy it is to enable. But with any hack there is no guarantee that it would continue to work in the future. Maybe in 2019 Apple will modify MacOS to kill the ability to do eGPU on TB2. Or maybe they won't (I don't wish to scare you unnecessarily). But my point is that eGPU on TB2 Macs is an unsupported hack and Apple may prevent it from working in the future. So it's a bit of a risk.

    ActionableMango is correct that the stock video cards in the nMP have not proven especially reliable, and because they are custom, there's nothing much you can do about that.

    Aside from the Nvidia GTX 680 which you can flash yourself, flashing NVIDIA cards means buying one that's been pre-flashed by MacVidCards. He charges a premium for that service, so you would have to decide if that's worth it to you. As I said, boot screens aren't strictly necessary but they are nice to have.

    On the ATI side, the only cards you can flash yourself are the 7950/7970/RX 280 (someone correct me if there are any additional models).

    The GTX 680 and Radeon 7950 are metal-capable cards so would be usable in MacOS Mojave. But you will have to look at benchmarks to see if they would be adequate for the games you want to play. Both are old cards by now.
     
  6. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #6
    There's more models of AMD cards you can flash, HD7850/7870, R7-265, R7-270 and maybe others. Basically every Pitcairn/Tahiti card.

    You can flash yourself the Nvidia GTX680 too, just buy one of to the confirmed flashable list.
     
  7. Jsiegrist macrumors newbie

    Jsiegrist

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    #7
    I just built a 12 core 2009 cMP. It’s plenty fast, and really fairly trouble free.

    I delidded the cpus myself. Put a usb 3.1 card in it, as well as a RX580.

    I built it to supplement a 2014 4ghz iMac for Lightroom and FCPX work. I could definitely use it as a daily driver if it supported HEVC decode, but so far it doesn’t. I’m on the latest Mojave beta.

    If you like to tinker, I think you’ll love a cMP.

    I considered a nMP, but the cost would be double what I paid for the classic.

    I don’t buy into the rats nest argument. The cMP is a pretty messy cable situation too, and most external raid/ gpu boxes are attractive to me.

    I bet either machine will be capable enough for you IMO.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #8
    If you want to game. I think upgrading the Mac doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    Whatever card you were going to get for the Mac Pro you can use in a standard PC without dealing with flashing, drivers, etc. If your budget is tighter, buy an older Z170/Z270 series mobo, a 6700/7700, and the fastest graphics card you can afford. You will have an awesome gaming computer for years to come. It will be very capable for your hobbies.

    Some people will give me flak for this, but unless you are running macOS only applications, I no longer see "it's running Windows" as a valid argument against going with a non-Mac that people still like to make. My Windows gaming computer never crashes, always have the latest driver, and it's really easy to use. I don't get virus or malware because I don't do stupid stuff on my computer. The fact of the matter is there is no real reason restrict yourself and waste money on getting an old Mac Pro.

    I recently upgraded my old Mac Pro to faster CPU and am considering a newer graphics card because I don't have the cost of acquiring another Mac and I already own the eGPU that I can double-duty for my MacBook Pro. If you are starting off buying a nMP you're looking at I think $1500 starting price, you can buy or at least start to build a very nice gaming computer that will be more powerful for that money.
     
  9. apolloa, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018

    apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #9
    I do not want a PC, the games I want to play are old, as per my first post. I really really really really do not want to use Windows as a daily driver, only for my games. A PC is something I have no interest in.
    Plus no PC will have the compactness and quietness of the nMP.

    I have been looking for a while for a new machine, and every time I look at a PC I don't like it and it runs Windows. I could so easily build my own, to me it's peanuts as I worked in I.T for several years before, these day's I only want to use Windows at work and for my old games. Nothing else.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 28, 2018 ---
    Thanks, informative post, I looked into the nMP GPU' and it seems that they the D500 and D700 had issues of failing but in models built in 2013? The D300 are fine.

    Looking at the pricing of a 12 core cMP, on ebay it's around 600 to 800 pounds, if I added the cost of an RX580, wireless card, USB 3 card it is approaching what the standard nMP quad core model goes for. I guess the question is which one is better for my use.

    Seem to be a lot of shouts on here for the cMP, but I prefer the nMP design. What do people make of the idea of running the games I have in a virtual machine?

    I also understand the risk with the nMP and an egpu, I guess it is very possible Apple will totally kill off the ability to run an egpu on the machine, hence my line of questioning or thought about how good the internal cards are.
    Do the internal GPU's fail a lot?

    Also with the Nvidia 1070 or RX580. If you can't flash them and get the boot screen, how do you get into bootcamp? It seems Macvids sells them at quite the premium.
     
  10. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #10
    There are several workarounds for bootcamp without bootscreens. If your MacOS volume isn't APFS (which with Mojave you have to do manually) then you can get back and forth by using the "Startup Volume" control panel in MacOS and in Windows via the Boot Camp Assistant app.

    Or there is also the third-party utility Bootchamp. I have no experience with it but I know others here use it.

    The best deal to be had on the cMP isn't buying a 12-core. It's buying an 8-core and upgrading the CPUs yourself. You can save even more money by buying an 8-core 2009 cMP, but you would either have to buy already-delidded CPUs or delid them yourself. The advantage of the 2010/2012 dual processor design is that the CPUs drop in without needing to delid. But you will pay a slight premium for a 2010/2012 over a 2009. And actually, first ask yourself if you would even really benefit from a dual CPU model, because the absolute best, easiest deal ever is for a single CPU 2009, which for all intents and purposes is identical to the 2010/2012 models in that you don't have to delid the CPU for it. I think I got my single CPU 2009 for about $400 two years ago. Should be the same price or cheaper now.

    Also, just throwing this out there: Hackintosh is a thing. You may have already evaluated it and decided not to, but that would allow you to purchase a more modern machine, small form factor case, quiet fans, etc. and still run MacOS as your daily driver. The downside is that you will have to tinker with it, especially after MacOS updates. But the cMP is a bit that way also...

    If you're pretty much set on a nMP and have the budget for it then just go for that. I feel it's a poor value for what it costs because who knows how long Apple will support it (only really guaranteed OS support for a couple of years, then what?!) I agree that D300 isn't as trouble-prone as the higher end GPUs, but I have no idea if that will run your games adequately. If you already have another card that works well for the games you want to play you could always use one of the benchmark sites and then you can compare it to the various Mac Pro GPU options.
     
  11. apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #11
    I’m really not interested in a hackintosh if any sort, last thing I would want to do to be honest.

    As for a dual CPU, that would always be the route I would take, for the money it’s much easier to buy a 12 core second hand I think and more convenient. Wouldn’t have to worry about deliding then, buying a single CPU cMP machine then buying a dual CPU tray then the processors would probably cost more and be more hassle.

    Ok, still no one has answered about powering these cards in the cMP, I know it has power in the main board itself, but is it enough to power a 1060 or 1070 GTX or not? It seems a mixed bag from what I’ve read and their isn’t a guarantee it can power these cards properly?

    With regards to the nMP, again no one has answered my question, beyond the machines built in 2013 where Apple has a repair pegroamme for failing GPUs, do the D500 or D700 fail in the nMP built after 2013? Is it a known issue?

    And finally, no one has responded about the gaming in boot camp question I have.

    To me I am leaning more to the nMP because if it’s design, I don’t care about spaghetti junction as their won’t be that much attached to it other then a portable hard drive and maybe an egpu. If the D700 are capable cards then I can wait for them to drop in price and upgrade a quad core machine to those GPUs as it may give me what I want all in one Compact machone without having to get an egpu etc.

    Thank you for the answer on boot camp though.
     
  12. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #12
    Yes you can, even a 1080TI using a eVGA PowerLink - do a search and you will see a lot of reported working ones. Mac Pro 5,1 power supply is rated for 980W, you just have to provide a way to power evenly on PCIe A and B and that's the job of the PowerLink.

    People here report failing GPUs wit all models. Read the Mac Pro (Late 2013) GPU (Driver) Issues thread.

    D700 are much sought after cards to upgrade and replace failing ones, did you take a look on their prices on eBay? I don't think that D700 price will ever came down…
     
  13. apolloa, Jul 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018

    apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #13
    I just wanted to add, in regards to OSX update suppprt, it really is nothing to worry about and I think it’s a little silly to claim the nMP will only be supported for 2 years, Apple offer software support for devices for five years after they end manufacturing of the device and that seems to be very very loose. My 2010 MB Pro is currently bugging me to update it to High Sierra, so OSX support is the last and least thing on my mind.
    If anything the cMP is at a far greater threat from not receiving any updates in the future.

    Thank you sir, seems an interesting device the power link, I’ll take a look.
    The D700’s currently are expensive, I was more thinking next year if they drop in price once the new Pro is launched. I think an egpu setup would cost 600 to 800, unless I went second hand on the graphics card. And that wouldn’t be for a 1080ti which would cost more. A quick browse and the cheapest 1080ti is £650, add another £300 for an egpu and you at the cost of two D700’s new.
    I was looking at D700 refurb and new pricing on Mac spare part websites here in the U.K. I haven’t looked around much on eBay.

    I’ll have to look at that thread you posted to, I was thinking with the nMP the quad core or maybe the six core would help reduce the thermal stress on the system? I’ll have to look at the D300 performance if I can in Windows but not sure how well they would cope, I presume they’ll run in crossfire in Boot Camp?

    EDIT::

    Ok so I’ve just read through some pages from that thread, it seems people running beta software having issues, which I find pointless, but it affects some of the D300’s more then any other card. Maybe it’s worth getting a six core D500 machine instead, although the thread does say any egpu fixes their issues.
    It’s also tricky as many people will have the same machines without any issues.
     
  14. bookemdano, Jul 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018

    bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I didn't really claim it would only be supported for two years. I said it's a question as to whether it will be supported after 2+ years (with new macOS versions). There's no guarantee is my point, when you buy a 5 year old design. Software support does not directly translate to compatibility with new versions of macOS, and that's a major consideration when taking into account the cost of the nMP. Most Macs are only supported by new MacOS versions for ~7 years of their lifetime. Maybe the nMP will break that mold, but Apple has already admitted they painted themselves into a corner with its design and unlike the cMP there are not off-the-shelf ways to replace the GPUs with something newer/more reliable. Consider this--if the cMP didn't have PCIe slots to swap out the video card, it would not be supported under Mojave. Apple has already made the decision to cut off TB2 from eGPU support, and they are highly unlikely to change their minds. So counting on having that option available for the future is another gamble.

    I didn't answer any of your other questions because I don't have the answers to them. All I was trying to do was help you make an informed decision as to what model to choose. It sounds like you have made up your mind though, and I wish you well with your purchase. Everyone has different needs, budget, risk tolerance, etc. It sounds like for you the nMP is the best fit despite its drawbacks. It's just that you won't find too many nMP enthusiasts here.

    I'd encourage you to follow up in this thread when you've purchased whatever you decide to purchase and let us know how it worked out for your needs.
     
  15. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #15
    Don't take beta in consideration, people are running anything/testing everything trying to resolve nMP GPU problems…

    My two cents: I like a lot the nMP design, it's a iconic device and I'd like to have one. If I find it at a clearance promo, like the basic one for US$ 1499 some days ago, and I have the funds, I'll think seriously in buying one - but I know it's risks and know that's a big gamble. I'll never buy one without Apple Care, that will be a unacceptable risk.
     
  16. apolloa, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

    apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #16
    I think the software updates are fine, does the cMP still get updates? My 8 year old MacBook Pro is still getting updates so I'm not so sure about the 7 year lifespan.
    I think an EGPU is kinda an off the shelf solution, but I may not need to do that with my use. And from my understanding it's only a couple of terminal commands to get an egpu to work with the nMP. Granted Apple may block that in the future or they may not.
    I won't be buying a machine yet, have to buy a new iPhone first. Kinda crazy that that can cost over half the price of a second hand nMP!

    I appreciate your input though, whilst the cMP is a nice machine, and no doubt value for money, I've always liked the nMP. But I'll research some more about it's issues. I think it may be worth waiting for the next Pro as the prices will drop. Tricky to say. Both machines have strengths and weaknesses to me.

    I won't get Apple Care as I'd need to buy a new computer for that. I think? But if it has a known issue admitted to by Apple then they would have to fix it here in the UK.

    Does anyone know if Windows 7 in bootcamp supports Cross Fire on the GPUs in the nMP? Looking at the thread about people having faults, the six core dual D500 seems to be more reliable, maybe that's the sweet spot? It's won't run as hot as the D700's I assume, plus looking into it currently, the pricing for the GPU' is very high. So I would still need to see if the D300's or D500's do what I want; or at the moment look at egpu's. Or wait for to prices to drop. Or go the cMP route. Hmmm
     
  17. TinyWorkshop macrumors member

    TinyWorkshop

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    #17
    In my opinion, for your needs, the best is a 2009 cMP like mine, single cpu x5690 + rx580, if you add a Nvme disk you’ll have a real beast
     
  18. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #18
    As I said in my previous post, the only reason the cMP 5,1 is getting Mojave is because it has a PCIe x16 slot where a modern GPU can be easily purchased and installed by the user. The nMP has no ability to do that (only via eGPU which Apple has already decided not to support over TB2). And once their "mMP" or whatever they call it is available, they'll have even less incentive to keep the nMP on the compatibility list.

    It's easy enough to research how long various Mac Pro models were on the compatibility list for new macOS versions.

    2006 cMP: Tiger (2006) through Lion (2011): 5 years / 4 macOS versions (they really got screwed)
    2008 cMP: Leopard (2008) through El Capitan (2015): 7 years / 7 macOS versions
    2009 cMP: Leopard (2009) through El Capitan (2015): 6 years / 7 macOS versions (of course it can be flashed to a 5,1, but that is not sanctioned by Apple)
    2010 cMP: Snow Leopard (2010) through Mojave (2018): 8 years / 9 macOS versions (a record, but only possible because of standardized GPU)
    2013 nMP: Mavericks (2013) through ?? ... Mojave (2018) will already be 5 years and 6 macOS versions

    So yes making a purchase now, the nMP likely will get you more officially-supported macOS versions than a cMP will. But as you can see, the nMP is already past the halfway point in its macOS compatibility timeline. It would be one thing if you could buy one for $700-$800, but even the cheapest used ones are twice that amount. It's just a risky purchase if you want to be able to use it for more than a few years IMHO.

    But I agree it looks cool and I would love to have one if money were no object. But the "bang for the buck" is definitely not there for the nMP.

    And I really don't advocate a cMP purchase unless you really like to tinker and troubleshoot (or are willing to run it totally stock). I kinda like my cheese grater, but it's been the most frustrating Mac I've ever owned in terms of getting all the upgraded components to live together harmoniously.
     
  19. apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #19
    I understand your points, it is that value for money thing, the nMP is costly even second hand, but is such a cool design. the cMP is great value, but a beast.

    I have a question, if you had a 8 or 2 core cMP, 32GB RAM, SSD etc. And I put a Nvidia 1070GTX in it, would it play games at 1440P as well as this video of the iMac Pro, and if not would they hit 60FPS, it would be interesting to have Crysis one with all those mods you can get that boost the graphics to insanely high levels:

     
  20. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Hopefully someone else can answer that. I don't game at all so I have absolutely no clue.
     
  21. MisterAndrew macrumors 65816

    MisterAndrew

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    #21
    I wouldn't get a 2013 Mac Pro. I suppose a D300 model would be fine for a lot of tasks, but it's an older GPU and probably wouldn't play games very well. I suppose it's still a good time to buy a 2010/2012 Mac Pro since the 2019 model isn't here yet and we don't know anything about it. I'd stay away from Nvidia cards that rely on the web driver and ones that rely on hacked firmware for boot screens. A GTX 680 is a good option since you can flash it yourself as other pointed out and the drivers are built-in to macOS, but it is pretty outdated. Nvidia cards also do not support the latest Metal feature set (family 2 version 1) and Apple is not recommending them, so it's better to go with an AMD card such as the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 which is great for gaming. You can start Boot Camp without a boot screen using a script in 10.13.6 & above as shown in the first post of this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-to-boot-camp-without-a-boot-screen.2114788/. Just keep an EFI card handy for times you need a boot screen (firmware updates, etc.). It seems some people have had success keeping a GT 120 or similar low power card in their machine along with the RX 580 though.
     
  22. apolloa thread starter macrumors G4

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    #22
    I wouldn’t be fussed about Metal as I would not play the games listed, then again if Starcraft 2 was supported I may. Thanks for the input though, something to bear in mind. Looking around the performance of the nMP varies.

    Can the cMP take the new Vega cards or does it become a nightmare to power them?
     
  23. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    #23
    I just bought a nMP last month, 6 core with D500s. I am very happy with it. You can get good deals on EBay from reliable sellers. Mine was a brand new unopened BTO Mac Pro (only option on it was the 512GB vs 256GB storage). I picked up AppleCare for it and I am very content.

    Originally I was looking at upgrading internal storage and thinking of getting an eGPU - but at this point since it is covered for 3 years by AppleCare, I don’t think I will bother.

    A single D500 benchmarks a little better than the 560x in the 2018 MBP15. The 6-core CPU Geekbench is right around 20k multicore on my machine. I picked up 64GB RAM for around $275 on Amazon. I feel like it is a great option value wise compared to what is available today.

    Look for a 6-Core D500 machine with 512GB that is either new or certified refurbished and has the full year of Apple warranty. You should be able to pick up one for $2k USD (or less). I’ve seen 3 year AppleCare warranties on eBay for $75.

    You might have to search and message some sellers, but you can find one for sure. I didn’t want a used machine (I was afraid someone would be dumping their GPU issue), and I wanted a new machine covered by Apple in case I was hit with my own GPU issue.

    I haven’t played games with mine so I can’t comment on that. I think it would do fine for anything that a gtx 1050 can run.
     
  24. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    A400M Base
    #24


    I do admit, when it comes to good games, I am an occasional boot camp gamer. I do have a small game collection on Steam that I do use with my Windows 7 boot camp partition. My favorite games have been Prey (FPS), XCOM2, DayZ and a bunch of other games. I really can tell you, everything runs very smooth on my machine. I have to add, in order to close bottlenecks in this old system, Windows is installed on a SATA2 SSD. All new games are installed on the fastest PCIe SSD card I have. The Samsung 951 does around 1300MB/sec to help keep that Nvidia card on fire. I don't have my 1gen HTC VR goggles anymore, but this was a great setup to run all VR games on it. As long as you do games on boot camp, everything works just fine on the 5.1.

    The trouble starts once you play games on MacOS. A bad example is "The Bureau/Xcom". It plays slow and struggles big time once more enemies are coming in. In my opinion, it really depends on the software and driver side. Metro Last Light was really doing fine on the Mac side, the last two Deus Ex titles have been great so far as well.
    To wrap it up: You can be happy with gaming on a 5.1 cMP. If you do your homework on fast PCIe card SSD's, a fast GPU and boot camp with Win7 or newer, you will do just fine for most games. It will not be an experience like on a 5000 US Alienware Gaming System, but for advanced casual gaming, I think the 5.1 can do surprisingly well.
    I couldn't be happier. Since I do have so many different applications on it, and use that tank for so many different things/tasks as well as playing/recording BlueRays, I think there is just not a better Mac out there at the moment when it comes to the versatility of usage. I just never could have run my old Xbox 360 on an iMac, - on the Apple Display, it works great with the Dr. Bott Video Link adapter.

    Of course, I absolutely love the new iMac Pro, but for this kind of money, I wouldn't go for it. Apple never was good on GPUs or good cooling.
    For both issues, the 5.1 was the big, big exception. That's the reason why the cMP is definitely a keeper.
     
  25. MisterAndrew macrumors 65816

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #25
    Vega requires pixlas mod or separate PS. There are some DIYs for the pixlas mod. You may also want to hold out a little longer to see if Apple refreshes the Mac mini this year. It would probably be an adequate gaming machine with an eGPU.
     

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83 July 27, 2018