Mythbusters: The 8800GT Mac Pro Is Real.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Fujilives, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Fujilives macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    I finally received my 8800GT 2.8 8-Core mac pro.

    I do graphic design and video editing for a living (and whatever other little side-project that needs to be done.

    I'm also a big gamer, I play WoW at the moment, but the list of games in my past is too long to list, the all-time favorite being competitive play in Tribes 2 by a long shot. I'll be buying Unreal Tournament 3, probably CoD 4, and misc other games now that my computer is up to par. I'll also (obviously) be running both OSX and Windows (media center edition instead of pro for a couple obscure things).

    Long story short, I'll keep you updated on how things work out.

    And to the nay sayers, for someone like me this is a godsend. I need Final Cut so I need a mac, I game for freetime while my girlfriend of 9 years is still in college 2.5 hours away, and I've worked hard and been patient to be able to afford this. I cannot afford a gaming rig on top of everything, at least not one worthwhile. I'm completely thrilled to be able to do everything computer related with one machine.

    Oh, and I'll probably make some WoW videos since the mac client allows better recording, I'm fairly sure I can get some high quality captures with this rig ;).
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
  3. crm114 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Midwest
    #3
    Good Luck - I am in the same boat. I'll be installing XP next week.

    For me its AutoCAD and 3DSMAX - and of course some games as well - but that's really secondary to the work apps.
     
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #4
    DO NOT BUY UT3!!!!

    it is awful. it's like a shiny version of UT2k4 with 3x the system requirements and a tendency to crash or crap out in some other way ever 2 minutes. Good luck getting online, too!

    I have loved just about everything that Epic Games has put out in the last 10 years, but man, I loathe that game.

    just avoid it.

    CoD4, though, is surprisingly good.

    I never finished any other CoD title because I got bored with the linearity and predictability of it all.

    Somehow, 4th time's a charm.
     
  5. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #5
    your g/f is in college, and u've been together 9 years? people are in college (usually) 18-22 yrs old. that means u met when u were 13? woa.

    that or she went back to college, or went later? :)

    congrats on the mac pro tho. :D it's a beauty!
     
  6. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #6
    I met my wife in 9th grade. I was 14, she was 17 and in 12th grade. We've been together 12 years in Sept, married 4 years in March. Our son will be 2 in March.;)
     
  7. MrPDaddyHimself macrumors regular

    MrPDaddyHimself

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #7
    So are you running windows from a separate drive inside your MP?
     
  8. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #8
    can you let me know a FPS with everything maxed on 1920xwhatever in WOW?

    Cheers
     
  9. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #9
    mmccaskill got mad mac skillz
     
  10. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #10
    word :D:D:D:D:D
     
  11. Fujilives thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #11
    Quick update, No benchmarks yet

    I haven't had the time to run through full out benchmarks, but here's a quick overview.

    My windows boot-camp partition:

    I just put it on the same drive as the OSX partition for the time being, I wanted to make sure it was all going to go well and I'm not sure what I'm doing for extra drives at the moment - probably the same thing I did for work (couple drives in the main machine with a sonata esata external - but I'm looking into getting single esata externals from Seagate now for ease-of-storage and portability reasons (they also have usb) as the price difference has since been erased).

    I formatted in Fat32 to test file-transfers between Windos and OSX, to see if its something I would be finding necessary or not.

    Boot-camp drivers were amazingly useful and easy to get going. I upgraded the audio driver, and ended up rolling it back to see if I could get my stereo-mix usable as a recording device (useful for playing funny stuff over ventrillo or other voice applications) but failed to do so. I'm trying other things off and on, I'll report back should I get it working in a realistic non-retarded way. The volume up / volume down stuff is all great though, and you can even set it up so FN+Fkeys will do the volume up/down etc so you can have the normal functions of your Fkeys back (This is what I did - eject still works as normal without the FN key).

    I used Remapkey.exe to remap my left Windows Key (command key) to F12, this makes it useful for a push-to-talk button in Ventrillo. Remapkey.exe comes with windows XP (and I'm assuming Vista) and if for whatever reason you don't have it, you can download it via a Google search (lots of places have it since its only like 120k, but since its a Microsoft product I don't think I can safely link it from someones site. Normally I would use a different key, but I like the key to be the same on OSX and Windows side. On the OSX side I went into the preference settings and swapped the option and command key (the command key royally screws with stuff as a push to talk button otherwise). So now Command Key acts as my push to talk key on both OSX and Windows and interferes with little (as long as you can remember option is now command for shortcuts in osx).

    MONITOR POWER OFF UNDER WINDOWS - A SOLUTION FOR ALL!

    Monitor problems were something I didn't count on. I downloaded WinACD as its supposed to install the drivers to allow your monitor to be shut off via the button on the cinema display. This did not work for me. I went in and rewrote the INF files to match my monitor model, and it worked to get the drivers running, but they didn't actually work as advertised. In the end, no matter what I did it did not work - perhaps a future update to WinACD will get everything working with the newest Cinema displays.

    My solution to the monitor problem was a small free program called HotkeyP I was going to make another thread about it as well, specifically for people having issues with Cinema Displays not powering-down in windows - but heres hoping people all around the mac community read this and are able to make use of it. I liked this little application primarily because it got the job done well, but also because of how lightweight it was, and the fact that it could read all of my keys, even the f16-f19 keys in its little macro tools. What I did, is went into options like this:

    EDIT: They didn't like me hot-linking images ;p

    And changed the F19 Key to "monitor power off". Now the far right hand corner on my keyboard turns my monitor off with ease. I uninstalled the WinACD drivers after as well, so I didn't have the little quirky USB driver issues with my mouse needing to be unplugged/plugged back in.

    DOWNLOAD THE MONITOR SOLUTION

    You can download HotkeyP here : http://sweb.cz/petr.lastovicka/hotkeyp.zip

    GRAPHICS DRIVERS

    After that, I upgraded my Nvidia drivers to the newest ones from Nvidia's website, which was an easy process as usual (<3 Nvidia driver updates).

    MOUSE

    And finally, my mouse sucked, so I went and ordered the Razer Pro | Click mouse from razerpro solutions. A company that normally develops gaming mice, I had faith this mouse would not disappoint. I was correct. This is easily the best mouse I've ever owned. Even as a non-gamer, I'd recommend anyone in these forums buy this mouse, its just really top notch.


    ON TO THE GAMES.

    Unreal Tournament 3:

    I should have taken your advice, not a good game. However, I bought it for one reason alone, to play with a friend I met in Final Fantasy XI - we play WoW together now, but playing WoW together is pretty much the same thing as saying you live on the same planet. It doesn't necessarily mean you do stuff together frequently. It's one of those things you do just to make sure you keep in touch with friends.

    Graphically though, the game is easily, hands down, without a doubt, the most gorgeous game I have ever played, period.

    Running at maximum possible settings on a 23 in. Cinema Display under Windows - There is no "Ghosting" like people would make you worry about, and everything runs absolutely perfect. The only downside is I need a bigger desk, so I can move my monitor back. Its too close to me with my current desk, and it hurts my eyes to look left/right frequently. If you were getting this as a gaming machine exclusively, I'd say go with the 20inch. It means less left/right looking, more standard supported resolutions, and less stress on your system resolution wise so that, in the end, you'd have higher frame rates and better response-time as a human due to proportionate screen size.

    I had no frame rate issues with everything cranked - it was always smooth as glass.


    CoD4

    I was surprised how good this game is. It takes the good parts of the Rogue Spear series and the quick-setup features of games like Counter Strike, and combines them into a medium-paced game that looks good and has a Battlefield 1942 feel to it, but with all-around better game play. Having played tons of war-games in my day, I'm sick and tired of them, and this game just feels different and refreshing in a good way.

    Again, max settings 23 inch HD cinema display, in heavy-battle online my framerate drops down to 40 (at least thats the lowest I saw it hit). I had a long-time pro gamer friend of mine on vent (yes he gets payed to game) giving me some instructions on what is good/not good in the game. He got to a point where he was telling me to lower graphics settings to increase FPS etc for a certain map we were on that he said was "Horrible for frames per second", and which point I stopped him and was like... forget about that, this is fine as it is. At a resolution of 1920x1200, most machines would come to their knees at max settings very fast - on that horrible map I was keeping 40-100 FPS at max settings without issues. I decided to leave my game beautiful and risk more deaths when I plummet down to a piddly 40 fps ;).

    World of Warcraft : OSX SIDE

    Back to OSX side, World of Warcraft... I still prefer gaming on the PC side, but I wanted to use the OSX built-in recording features for some Machina type videos I'll be throwing together. It ran perfect at 1920x1200, and in Solarian's room (a boss in a t5 instance that is normally very laggy due to mass aoe etcetera) it ran with no problems whatsoever. It was strange seeing dozens of colorful explosions all on top of one another in a very smooth water-like animation, when I'm used to seeing that area as a slide-show, while facing away from he explosions so I don't lag as bad. This is all while-recording a fairly large (just under 1080p standards) video of the game with the built-in recorder.

    Again, I'd still rather play WoW under Windows and use OSX exclusively for work, but the recording feature is too nice to not take advantage of as a video editor.

    CONCLUSION

    So yeah, right now this is where I stand, 3 popular state of the art games, all running flawlessly at max settings on a 1900x1200 resolution with a Razor Pro Click mouse guiding my way though.

    To all the people who said these weren't "gaming machines" is quite ignorant. What's more, is the 8800 GT is not the most powerful gaming card on the market, its upper tier, and in this case a matter of convenience, but from here on out, it only gets better. I await the 9000 series GT card to appear in apple's store next year - I'll be buying immediately ;). Otherwise I guess I'll just have to buy whatever card I want, run it as a secondary, make it a primary under windows, and use a KVM switch whenever I go to windows - either way, From this day forth, gaming on a Mac Pro will not be an impossibility.
     
  12. Jonny427 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #12
    All I have to say is that COD4 is awesome and addicting. I've been going home during my lunch break to sneak in an extra hour of COD4 fragging hehe :cool:

    Wow at 1920x1200 is just fantastic, but as we all know its not a terribly demanding game. I just love being able to see more now (raid frames on a 19" monitor meant that I could only see a sliver of the action)
     
  13. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #13
    Apparently I do. We found out recently that baby #2 is due early Nov.
     
  14. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
  15. Mastershredder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    #15
    Congrats! My 2nd is due in August. That's why i'm rushing to get my Mac Pro ordered before nesting mode consumes my wife and she changes her mind ;)
     

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