Mac Pro For Gaming

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by paulkwalton, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. paulkwalton macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007

    After reading a number of comments regarding mac gaming, here's my 2 pence worth.

    I find it very strange there is no graphics card update for the Mac Pro, and were still stuck with the outdated ATI and Nvida offerings. Whats puzzling is the mention of EA using Cider to port games accross to the Mac, and effectively open OSX to a possible gaming platform.

    If this is the case, there has to be a graphics card upgrade to make this actually work. Otherwise the whole excercise will fail, with games running at low frame rates and Osx getting slated from all angles regarding a gaming platform. It's obvious that Apple want a slice of the gaming action, as this is often a deciding factor between buying a Mac, or a high end Dell/Alienware.

    What scares me is if Apple don't release a graphics card upgrade for the Current Mac Pro, and effectively force people to buy a future Mac Pro with a new card. This could happen with changes to chipsets etc, so I won't rule it out.

    Would like to hear your opinions guys.

  2. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    It's great news, as is UT3 and Gears of War coming to Mac, and John Carmack's latest and greatest Rage engine coming to Mac. I have a hard time thinking this industry pros would come to Apple for gaming revenue after all this time if they didn't believe Apple was going to get its hardware ducks in a row.

    What does that mean? Well, as some of our colleagues on this very site have pointed out, it means several things for a base gaming machine:

    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Q6600 quad-core processor
    2 GB non-ECC RAM
    320 GB serial-ATA hard drive
    nVidia GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB DDR3) in one of two PCI-E slots
    16X Superdrive
    New Flat keyboard and Mighty Mouse
    OSX Leopard

    And sell it all in a standard Mac Pro case (to save development time and dollars passed on to us)


    Plus, give us the option to upgrade to a better card. Like an 8800 Ultra, or an ATI HD2900 XT card.

    And then, by Xmas, a nice refresh for that would be:
    2.8 GHz
    500 GB Serial-ATA hard drive
    nVidia GeForce 9800 GT (256 MB DDR3) in one of two PCI-E slots
  3. astroboi macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Melbourne, Down Under
    I disagree.

    Epic and id have always made cross-platform engines and their games (Unreal Tournament series, Quake series) have always been examples of this, often being built to run on Windows/Mac/Linux from the ground up. This makes the engine much more attractive for other game developers.

    The announcement by EA amounts to nothing in my opinion. They're trying to make it look like they are making a big effort to support Mac gamers, but in reality they're doing the bare minimum to sell a few extra copies. And they have already missed the July dates, so apparently they aren't even able to do that.

    Serious gamers have never been a huge target market of Apple, and I don't see this changing. The announcement at WWDC was little more than marketing hype.

    (Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to playing UT3 on a Mac Pro, hopefully with a 8800GTS or better - but I'm not holding my breath).
  4. Misterfridge macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    Hi all,

    I'm interested in this area of discussion as I'm planning to upgrade my ancient PC at some point soon and was seriously looking at the Mac Pro. I mainly use my PC for design work (CS3, Dreamweaver, Flash etc) and web browsing / music downloads which is why the switch to Mac would perhaps make sense. I do however occassionally play games and was hoping I'd be able to use the Mac Pro to play forthcoming titles like Crysis and Bioshock. My option's would seem to be the following and i was hoping you lot might be able to nudge me in the right direction:

    A) Buy a refurbished or second hand Mac Pro and upgrade the graphics card further down the line.

    B) Hold fire and wait for the expected Mac Pro upgraded system which will hopefully feature a better graphics card, more ram etc

    C) Buy a high Spec PC and forget the Mac altogether

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers. M
  5. statikcat macrumors 6502


    Mar 20, 2007
    Well a Mac Pro exclusively for games does not make very much sense. But I think there are plenty of Mac users or people interested in Mac for doing multimedia work that are also big into gaming. These people would be the target. I think a 1200$ gaming Mac that can also boot XP would nudge a lot of curiosity from many PC users and existing Mac users.

    And as mentioned above EA still has not delivered a Mac version. They had on their site a big announcement for CC3 earlier this month that never happened either. They are totally non responsive about the Mac version slated for July. And now it also seems the Mac version will be a quick port which will not perform as well as on the PC. Now maybe for future games from ground-up this will be different but as it stands right now there are few hi graphic demanding games for OSx. Of course people are interested in a gaming Mac for bootcamp as well.
  6. Evergreen macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2001
    You will save a lot of money (>$1,000) by building your own gaming PC. The MacPro is a workstation machine aimed at professionals. This is why, after a year, they added a RAID card but didn't bother to update the video cards.

    Apple really needs a product between the iMac and MacPro. I doubt they will create it, though.
  7. Evergreen macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2001
    I would go with a Mac dual booting Windows for the games. Try to hold out until the Sept. 25th Apple Paris Expo, if possible. The Pro should get a refresh (and new video cards) at that time.
  8. Misterfridge macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    Thanks for the advice, i probably won't be able to afford a new system until September/october anyway so I'll wait to see what (if anything) Apple unveil. My priority for whatever setup I get is for a stable platform for professional design work, the gaming aspect is something I delve into every now and again but obviously I'd prefer it if I could get the two combined in one system, ideally the Mac Pro. Cheers. M
  9. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    Seriously, if that's all you got to say, you don't even need respond to this thread. If we game on a Mac, we're seriously not worried about spending a little extra for a gaming machine that's gonna work much better than any Windows machine or Xbox piece of junk.

    Agreed. Epic and Id have always been there for the Mac, making the Unreal Tournament series and Quake Series (and Doom), available on the Mac, and providing the gaming developers with cross-platform 3D game engines to license. Heck, the UT3 engine was ported to the Mac over a year ago. We all knew UT3 was coming to the Mac before they announced it.

    I'm not sure what to make of EA's announcement and Apple bringing them on stage for it. Marketting hype? Or did EA finally realize they were missing a market. I'll have to wait and see. But I'm not impressed by them using Cider, and being late on delivery. Sorta reminds me of the Half-Life situation. Promise something and then later decide not to deliver.
  10. jasonvp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2007
    Northern VA
    I'm not sure why you chose to respond to the post like this. He's right on the money (pun not intended) - you WILL save a lot of money by building your own single-purpose gaming PC. Period. And, you'll have a significantly larger option for video cards, sound cards, processors, etc. Also, you'll have access to easy(?) upgrades when the next big video card comes out. Or when the next killer sound card comes out. Because they'll come out with Windows drivers, by default.

    I'm not defending Windblows. Lord knows I hate it with a passion. But I use it. For games. And only games. There's no real reason to try to fit a square peg into a round hole by playing the latest and greatest games on a Mac. Play them on Windows (where they were designed and developed, originally) on an inexpensive, infinitely upgradable PC (NOT an expensive Mac Pro running bootcamp, for crying out loud)

    Leave the Mac for the work, email, web surfing, photo editing, video hacking, music downloading, etc.

  11. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Hi Kosh, I have to admit that Evergreen is right. I mean no matter what he was going to say, it wouldnt have mattered. Its not going to make a better video card appear in apple's lineup.

    One can build a low end Core2 box with 2gig ram and a single HD + 8800GTS and mop up the floor with a Macpro when it comes to games even though the macpro has so much more processing power. Its all in the video card as you know. Also windows is the better gaming platform right now and for a good line while to come ( no matter how much you hate it ).

    People need to voice their opinions loudly and STOP buying the high end mac towers if they want something done about the frequency of hardware updates. Steve Jobs needs to know that its not his decision what to offer in these boxes but what the purchasers would like in the boxes that counts.

  12. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    About EA - they don't stand to make any extra money by announcing games they don't ship, especially for a platform they haven't historically supported.

    THAT is why I think the announcement is legit, and they will follow through on it, at least in the near term (6-12 months).

    Now all we need is Valve and Sierra...again. :)
  13. flappo macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    in the cubicles
    i tried playing call of duty 2 and doom on my supposedly tricked out ac pro

    let's just say it was 'underwhelming'

    thank gawd i still have a ps3

    leave games to the consoles / pcs , the real stuff to our wonderful , oh so stable macs
  14. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Exactly...that's what I've been trying to say :D
  15. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    So true.

    And I blame Apple.

    These video cards (especially in the iMac and macbook) are to blame for EA's change of heart.

    The Macbook is probably Apple's best-selling computer and it has a non-accelerated card.

    We all know, by now, the downgrade in iMac cards.

    Why make games for a platform that can't play them?
  16. metalmoses macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    LOL@native mac gaming

    intel chip killed the idea, anyone who would wait years for ports doesnt really even deserve to play

    got my cracked vista and im playing cs

    i loved marathon though;)
  17. toru173 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    No matter how much we want Apple won't release a gaming mac. It's just not their market. They want to build computers for Joe Average, and Joe Cool who owns a music business or an engineering firm. These people don't play games.

    The only reason I can see Apple putting really high end GPUs in macs is if nVidia port CUDA to OSX - or AMD do the same with their equivilant. These things do work.

    As far as Apple thinks we ought to have enough fun making home movies or photo albums.

    "Yeah, woo, look at me process this set of images from Grandma's birthday" vs "BOOM - Headshot"
  18. pseudonymph macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Buy a desktop PC for gaming and a MBP or iMac for work. Same amount of money as a Mac Pro, no worries about game compatibility, and no excessive charges for graphic card upgrades (seriously, $400 for a X1950?)

    Or buy a PS3 :p
  19. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    if enough people click the link in my signature and tell Apple we want better cards in the Mac Pro already. :D And they do it often.

    Year and a half-old video card configurations that haven't changed since the Mac Pro's inception one year ago = unsat.
  20. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I try not to be pessimistic, but most of Apple's new customers (switchers) are people who are genuinely shocked by the Mac Vs PC commercials. "ZOMG NO VIRUSES? IT'S WITCHCRAFT I SAYS!"

    Specs have little to do with anything, as long as the computer isn't too slow to boot or do simple tasks, OS X basically sells macs.

    So, with Macs being sold more and more like they're toaster ovens, the 'trivial details' like video cards are being overlooked by customers, and Apple is happy to pocket the difference.

    Apple has decided that the 1-2% boost in sales isn't worth the 3% loss in per unit profits from using good cards.

    This is just my opinion, but I've been a mac user a long time and it looks like they balance ignoring their power users with profiting off the ignorant. I'm sure they know how dissatisfied we all are with them, and I'm sure they don't care.
  21. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I used to hope for decent cards (right up until the last iMac update:rolleyes:) But now I'm happy to keep gaming to my 360 and use my mac for everything else. Gaming just isn't Apples target market.

    The competition is too steep – cheap dells that have massive room to put in desktop CPUs and decent cards with loads of options. What would be the point in trying to go up against that? Sure, they could try to but they much rather do a few things very well (music, video etc.) then try to do lots of thing averagely.

    Apple know their strengths and play well to them.
  22. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    You know, you're probably right. But Apple makes a lot more per unit than the average computer builder. As I said in previous posts, they could throw an 8800GTS in there, go octo-core all the way, and go two gigs standard and still make roughly the same profit they do know. Also consider the uninformed unlucky ones who BTO their machines with added memory and hard drives. Most of us know their BTO options are absolutely insane dare I say offensive? $320 bucks for a 500 gig drive you can buy for $109?? $400.00 for an EOL'd x1900xt??? that costs $150??? $149.00 for a $74.00 7300GT????

    The most vexing thing for me is that they have the wiggle room to keep the Mac Pro up to date, but they don't. Their update cycle closely resembles the PPC days. Bottom line: Steve puts what he thinks you need in there.

    Quote of the day, my man.
  23. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    Yes it is. Until the sales figures suffer, why should they bother making any changes? The trouble is that if they produced more cards as options for upgrade this wouldn't be a problem. But they don't want to bother with that market, so catch 22.
  24. TheSilencer macrumors regular

    May 27, 2007
    The funniest thing is that you can get a ATi X1900GT G5 Mac Edition. Now we still stuck with the X1900 series, the all known X1900XT!

    Looking back in history, all PowerMacs came with underpowered GPUs but you got some upgrade options. Remember? Starts with ATi Rage 128, then Pro, then 7000, 7500 (AFAIK), 8500, 9000, 9200 PRO, 9500/9650 PRO, 9700 PRO (AFAIK), 9800 PRO, X800 XT, X850 XT and X1900GT, as for the Geforce Series, starting with GF4 Ti 4200, 5200, 6600 LE and GT, 6800 ULTRA, 7900GT - sadly I do not know all ATi and GeForce Mac Editions that came out, however, you got a choice after some time, sometimes you only had to wait 5-6 months, sometimes forever. Yeah, the list is from PM G3 to G5.
  25. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Not for years. Also, gamers are willing to spend 2K+ for a machine (need I cite XPS and Alienware?), and the 1.3K you're quoting is amazingly optimistic for those hardware req's, not to mention the fact that it'd completely screw with the iMac line sales.

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