Mac Pro gaming in W7 64 bit and bootcamp questions

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by avro707, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. avro707, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 13, 2010
    #1
    I've ordered a new Mac Pro - custom built:

    3.2ghz Intel Xeon Nehalem
    8gb ram
    1TB HDD
    ATI Radeon 5870
    27" LED cinema display

    The screen has already arrived. The rest is on its way.

    I'm going to use the Mac side of it for work (photo editing and other heavy graphics work with Adobe CS5 Master Collection). I intend to use a perfectly functional older 300gb 7200rpm HDD for Windows 7 64 bit and games, in particular, Flight Simulator X, with some very heavy duty / advanced addons (hence, no interest in X-Plane):

    - Concorde X
    - PMDG Boeing 747-400/747-8
    - PMDG MD-11/MD-11F
    - Real Environment Extreme Overdrive
    - ActiveSky Enhanced

    I've used bootcamp and Windows XP on another computer (iMac 27") in an office and seemed to have problems with it overheating. I needed to have SMCFanControl to speed up the fans and prevent the "red boxes" across the screen.

    Will I likely have the same problems in Windows 7 64 bit on Mac Pro using Bootcamp? I know the performance will be very fast - just want the reliability too. ;)
     
  2. karsten macrumors 6502a

    karsten

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #2
    i've had no problems with a 2009 nehalem with a 5770 and a gt120 for physx in bootcamp. i've been pretty impressed with the ventilation on the system so far. i'd guess the case on the imac isn't quite so ventilated
     
  3. avro707, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010

    avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Great, sounds good. ;) Can't wait for the computer to arrive. :)
     
  4. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #4
    An iMac is very tightly packed and therefore will heat up much faster. Don't worry about this with a Mac Pro. Even when playing starcraft2 on ultra settings while ripping a DVD of my collection or during hour long Cinema 4D renders where all cores are maxxed out my Mac Pro doesn't heat up above about 50° Celsius. During "regular" graphic design work it even stays below 40°.
     
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #5
    MacPros are made for heavy workloads, the iMac are a home entertainment machine.

    Thus MacPro has much better ventilation and server grade components, and will take a a lot more beating!
     
  6. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

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    #6
    Windows is also slow to adjust the fan speed to counter rising temps, which is why a lot of people use smcFanControl to begin with.
     
  7. dimme macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I have a 2008 MacPro with Win7 x64 and use it for MFSX. Heat is not a issue at all. Before the MacPro I ran MFSX on my Macbook Pro and heat was a issue on the laptop.
     
  8. avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    That's all positive feedback.

    I suspected the Windows issue on the iMac was to do with the fan speeds not being sped up quickly enough. Glad I won't have those dramas on Mac Pro. :)
     
  9. aki macrumors 6502a

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    Japan
    #9
    Thanks for this thread. I've been using iMacs for a while now for heavy video work as well as gaming and it's true, they just aren't built for high-heat long-term use. Sad but true.

    So next time round (not the immediate future but eventually) I'm going to give in and fork out for a Mac Pro-style machine same as you. I want to be able to use the hardware to work without having to stress all the time sigh.

    Let us know how you do!
     
  10. avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 13, 2010
    #10
    Certainly will when it arrives and I get it up and running. :)

    The symptom of the iMac 27" overheating is that in windows, the fans don't speed up quickly enough to control the overheating, so the CPU temps cook up to 85degC - way too hot. We tested it with a number of them (all identical specs) and once SMCFanControl was implemented, running at the high fan speed, the "red boxes" on the screen and lockups disappeared.

    The funniest thing was that this occurred even in general use (email, web-browsing) and not just in heavy duty use such as Premiere Pro CS4 (which we were also using heavily at the time).

    I recommended that we should have got Mac Pro, but nobody listened... :rolleyes: Sure enough, they realised after it was too late. That's part of the reason I went for Mac Pro at home. Didn't trust the iMac 27". ;)
     
  11. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #11
    Windows is generally poorer with fan management than OS X.
     
  12. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #12
    Blimey! Think I'll stick with what I got then and not get an iMac, don't fancy playing Starcraft 2 for hours if it kills the machine!!
     
  13. avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Well, you'll be fine if you use SMCFanControl - but it means you have to boot into Mac OS X, let the SMCFanControl do its thing, then restart the machine, hold down option and then go into Windows. :rolleyes:

    I do that every day at work. :rolleyes: It's time consuming and annoying. I can't use Mac OS X because email on Entourage is totally impossible - it never works for me, and worse - CS4 Premiere video editing doesn't work on Mac for us, it crashes all the time.

    We still have to wait for the IT people to roll out CS5... I have it at home before we get it at work.... :p CS5 works fine with no problems in Mac.
     
  14. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #14
    Nah, I'll stick with my laptop. If it plays up with CS then playing a game hammering the CPU and the GPU and memory isn't gonna do well. I did alway's wonder about the slit at the top being enough as the i7 and GPU in it are powerful models.
    As you can see in my other thread I just ordered Windows 7 and will get 8GB ram early next year as it's MUCH cheaper then I thought from Crucial. Next will be an SSD most likely an Intel G3. Should do me :D
     
  15. avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The computer is up and running.

    I took an older 300gb 7200rpm HDD and put it in as a second HDD - installed windows 7 64bit ultimate on that, put in Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, Bootcamp 3.2 and a few other things. I do have no sound through the 27" LED cinema display - so it is going through the computer speakers for the moment. I'll change it to optical output when finished and have the sound through a big Sony home-theatre speaker system.

    It is very fast in W7 64bit - Flight Simulator X runs at 2560x1440x32bit at 45fps smooth, dropping to about 25fps in heavy areas. That's at very high detail, with light bloom and textures pushed up to highest levels. I haven't installed Acceleration pack yet, so no idea how the DX10 preview mode will help. That will be later. I have many more addons to put on the machine, and I must also put Creative Suite 5 into Windows as well.

    I'm now tempted to try an SSD later on and then try to clone Windows over to it. ;)

    In Mac OS X - the machine is rocket fast. :)

    Apolloa: The CS heavy load is rendering large complex Premiere projects. That pushes the computer quite hard.
     
  16. karsten macrumors 6502a

    karsten

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #16
    not sure if you're aware but they released the fix for the sound issue on the 27" monitor. just plug in your usb to the monitor and run software update, exit that and it will run when update is closed. then you're good to go :)
     
  17. avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 13, 2010
    #17
    I was aware of it, but couldn't find the forum thread about it - and then my internet dropped out near midnight. That was about the time I called it quits before I went to sleep at the computer. ;) I'll apply that fix tonight. :)
     
  18. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #18
    Ah right, still not good if the iMac can't keep itself cool. I just got my copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OEM yesterday and it was dead easy to install and is a decent Windows. I like how it asks if you want programmes to make changes a bit like OSX does. My computer as it is got a Windows performance rating of 5.9. The HDD and memory held it back, 8GB ram and an SSD should sort that though :).
     
  19. avro707, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I also like the fact that I can easily see from Windows 7 to Mac OS X on either side, the disks are visible. :) I'm still adding things to Flight Simulator, it takes ages - I have so many addons. ;)

    SSD seems to be the way, it will speed things up well. On another forum I visit, one person got one of the Intel SSD drives for a PC he built, and it starts Windows 7 extremely fast. He also reckons the modern SSDs are very reliable.
     
  20. dimme macrumors 65816

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    SF, CA
    #20
    I just upgraded my video card from a 8800gt to a ATI 5770. I am surprised that there is no speed increase in FSX. I average 18fps with things turned up a bit. On the OS X side I went from 20 fps to 60+ in X-plane. I read that FSX uses the CPU more that the GPU but I would expect a small bump given the fact that the vram has doubled.
    Just gives more reason to stay in OS X & X-plane
     
  21. elmateo487 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #21
    I am on a Mac Pro 3Ghz x 2, the old late 2006 model. With an OC 4890 and 12 GB of ram. and a 1920x1200 26in Monitor, Windows 7 64bit Ultimate

    I have an extensive game collection on steam, Crysis to the COD games, to starcraft, to Fallout New Vegas. all of the Valve games etc.

    I have all the ones I can have on the Mac side of things, and everything on the windows side of things, if you have questions about performance on each.

    If you have any questions on playability with my setup you can ask.
     
  22. avro707, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010

    avro707 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    To the person upgrading to 5770 ATI from 8800 Nvidia, that's hardly surprising. FSX prefers raw clock-speed on processors. So if you were to build a PC that was overclocked to 4.0ghz or greater - then you'd have a computer that will run FSX very, very fast.

    My Mac Pro manages to run it well enough at 2560x1440, but not with all detail turned up high. That said, I can still get this kind of detail:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    That plane is PMDG B747-400X addon (along with their B747-8i) and the first one is Level D B767, and airport seen in later images is Kai-Tak by Fly-Tampa. Malaysia and BBJ paint-schemes on the B747-8 are my own work.

    I can usually get around 25-30fps in that area, but the frame-rates fluctuate wildly, sometimes bursting to 80fps or higher.

    The thing is that FSX is the simulator that has all the advanced aircraft addons, PMDG 747, PMDG MD-11, FSLabs Concorde, etc. Those are just about as real as it can get on a computer. X-Plane doesn't have them. :( So there isn't much choice until something big happens and X-Plane suddenly gets those addons.

    I reckon FSX might be faster on a Mac Pro if you put a Nvidia GTX295 into the system. I understand there are some pretty enormous hurdles to make that happen, but I think it can be done. I've got two GTX-295s sitting in boxes here, one from my old PC that failed, and the other one unused (I intended to do dual video cards, but they both wouldn't fit in the case). The PC was pretty fast, it was a i7-920 with 6gb ram and a single GTX-295 1792mb card in it, along with a Creative Labs sound-card. It really steamed along. Cooling was adequate on it, even with the stock Intel CPU cooler - so it mostly turbo-boosted itself to 2.93ghz instead of the normal 2.66ghz.

    The Mac Pro runs at 3.33ghz sometimes (according to Win 7) - so I'm interested to see if the GTX295 might unlock more performance....
     
  23. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #23
    ^^^ I've gotta admit, that Cathay Pacific model is pretty incredible. It looks great!
     
  24. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #24
    You do realize that X-Plane is far more realistic than FSX, right? And there are scores and scores of addons available for it.
     
  25. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #25
    Well - and this is coming from an X-Plane fan - it kind of depends on how you see it. It's accepted that the flight model for X-Plane is more accurate, but that's only one factor in the overall experience. Some of these add-ons for FSX get very thorough with respect to avionics and systems, and I'm not sure that X-Plane has add-ons that can compete with this level of detail (although I may be wrong here, and in fact, I'd like to be).

    We can talk about the flight model all day long, but at the end of the day people are 'flying' 747s with joysticks and swinging the gear with a mouse or press of the keyboard. That's why the FSX/X-Plane debate has always been amusing to me. Fun is fun. If the sim is giving you enjoyment, I don't see much point in harping about anything else.
     

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