New iMac Pro for Gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brucie1dog, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. brucie1dog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    #1
    I currently have the following configuration:



    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)

    Processor 4 GHz Intel Core i7

    Memory 32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3

    Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4096 MB

    500GB of Flash Storage



    I use the iMac for both work and entertainment (X-Plane Flight Simulation). I definitely need more VRAM, probably 12 or 16. Since I am not a technical person, from what I can surmise it looks like the iMac Pro will be far superior for flight simulation. My guess is to get a configuration that I need could set me back 7-9K. Any thoughts on this?



    Andy
     
  2. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    The Vega series GPUs in the iMac Pro will be a fair bit more powerful than the Polaris ones in the new iMac, but how that translates to gaming performance remains to be seen. I expect the iMac Pro's drivers to be tuned for stability, not performance, and then you will probably need native Metal (2) support to reality see the top scores as Apple's Open GL support is now woeful.
     
  3. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2015
    #3
    So for a non techie that means it';s going to be hit and miss? Not familiar with Metal 2. I'am a loyal Apple person but the new iMac Pro could be 7 -9K when I am done. Thought on that?
     
  4. Joe The Dragon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    #4
    at $5K apple says comparable to an $7000 pc.
    What are they smoking for about $2000 you can get an system with just about the same cpu / 1TB pci-e ssd / 64 GB ECC. What is in there 7K pc an 3-4K display??? like that is needed? as an high end 1K video card is better then what apple can jam in there.

    Hell say $2-2.5K base system + 2K for 2-4 high end video cards (over kill) = way better then apple and still room for an $0.5-1K display if you want one.
     
  5. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #5
    2000€ for a system with an 8-core Xeon and 64 GB ECC?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2017 ---
    What game currently requires 16GB VRAM? I believe none.
     
  6. Stacc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #6
    The iMac Pro will be great at gaming. While the Vega GPU that is in it hasn't been thoroughly tested, it should be roughly twice as fast as the Radeon 580 Pro introduced today in the iMac. It is likely among the fastest gaming cards currently available. Additionally, Metal 2 will make games run even better in macOS.

    However, it will be a poor value for gaming. An 8+ core Xeon processor will mostly go unused in games, and pro features like dual PCIe SSDs, 4 thunderbolt 3 ports and ECC RAM are unnecessary. But if money is not a concern, this will be the fastest gaming mac by a good margin.
     
  7. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    You can always do it cheaper with off-the-shelf PC parts, but a comparable Dell Tower will set you back around $5000 - and that without the 5K display.
     
  8. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2015
    #8
    The more VRAM you have the better the performance with X-Plane.
     
  9. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    #9
    Workstation parts and PC's will always be more. Just so you know for comparison a Dell Precision Tower 7910 with all specs very close and a Xeon E5-2620 v4 8 Core, is just under $4700. That was with a SATA SSD not a pci-e SSD nor a 5k display.

    You could build a good PC with consumer parts for a lot less we all know that. But buying a workstation form any manufacture with those specs will be several thousand dollars.
     
  10. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    #10
    I am not tech savvy so building my own PC is out of the question. Dealing with Dell for customer support would be a nightmare. At least when you get bad answers from Apple Support you can understand the person. I've heard horror stories about Dell support.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    Too many variables to make an informed decision currently.

    If we comepare to what is available for PCs now, using 11tflops GPU (Titan) you'll run into CPU bottlenecks using a Xeon CPUs due to low base clocks with most games. X-Plane which you are concerned about appears to favor quad core with higher frequencies vs more cores at lower.

    So we'll need to know more than 8+ cores with turbo boost up to 4.5ghz. We need which CPUs specifically.

    Also Vega + Xeon + Metal 2 = WAY to narrow of a customer base for most devs to leverage everything to its fullest capacity for the far foreseeable future when it comes to gaming (if ever).

    Honestly I think you'll be just as well off using a high spec iMac (non Pro) + bootcamp for gaming. Personally I would NOT order an iMac Pro for gaming until you see real world first hand reviews from unbiased reviewers.

    For me this is a really tough decision whether to get a high spec iMac or spend a bit more for a base model iMac Pro. However I do a lot of software video encoding so more cores helps me quite a bit, I don't do any gaming.
     
  12. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2015
    #12
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2017 ---
    Do you think I will get better performance one X-Plane using Boot Camp and Windows on my machine than using it on the Apple side?

    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
    Processor 4 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory 32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
    Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4096 MB
    500GB of Flash Storage
     
  13. SnoFlo macrumors regular

    SnoFlo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    #13
    Business class technical support from Dell, Lenovo, or HP are quite unlike consumer tech support. Workstations from the big three makers come with 3-year, next-day, on-site technical support as standard. If your workstation breaks someone comes to your house (or business) the next day to fix it. This warranty is included in the price of the workstation.
     
  14. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #14
    Historically it's run with higher FPS on Windows with equal hardware. I don't believe they support Metal (although I think it's in the works for 11?) and certainly not Metal 2 which will take even longer for them to fully support.

    Btw Metal is currently MacOSs counterpart to "DirectX" on Windows which you've probably heard of. Since most computer gamers use Windows it's much more supported then Metal is or ever will be. This is where a lot of the reason lies for people saying "Macs aren't good for gaming". Even with the best hardware it doesn't mean much if devs can't utilize it to its fullest (or don't want to waste development time due to the market base not being there).

    I would ask on the x plane forums though. They will be able to give you a better answer based on real world experience.
     
  15. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    #15
    I wasn't aware of the Business Class Technical Support. I'll definitely check that out. Thanks you!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2017 ---
    I work out of my home. What do you do to qualify for the business class tech s
    I work out of my home. I am self employed. What would i have to do to qualify for the business class tech support?
     
  16. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #16
    Up to some point. Once you've got enough VRAM, adding more won't change. The plateau is likely to be way below 16GB.
     
  17. bopajuice macrumors 6502a

    bopajuice

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    Mar 22, 2016
    #17
    A $5000 playstation. Five grand to play games. Wow.
     
  18. AlexH macrumors 68000

    AlexH

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #18
    Bottom line: Buy a top of the line console or buy/build a hot rod PC for gaming. Right tool for the right "job."
     
  19. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #19
    There are plenty of PC builder places that will configure and build a PC for you. Plus it will be fully upgradable right down to the processor and motherboard, with no soldered parts. And if aesthetics are important to you, trust me, there are some kickass cases and displays available.

    There is simply no reason to buy the iMac Pro for gaming. You can build the most kick-ass gaming PC for half the price, and it'll last YEARS longer with fully upgradeable parts.
     
  20. SnoFlo macrumors regular

    SnoFlo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    #20
    Hey brucie,

    Once you buy a computer from Dell's Precision line, or HP's Z line, or Lenovo's Thinkstation line, you qualify. Dell and HP have more extensive support, in general. It doesn't matter if you are a home user (so am I). I buy my computers from an authorized retailer like B&H Photo in New York. Once you have your computer just register it online and you are good to go. In any case, workstations rarely fail, but the peace of mind is nice to have. You can extend the warranty if you wish as well.
     
  21. Appleaker macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #21
    If you want to save money, it might be worth going for the new 27" and simply using an external solution, especially now that Apple have native support for it (although there may be slight hits to performance due to TB3). Even if you didn't use an eGPU, the Pro 580 is a significant step up from the R9 M395X.
    But if you can afford it then it could be better to go with the iMac Pro.
     
  22. pat500000 macrumors 604

    pat500000

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #22
    You should get maxed out imac pro.
     
  23. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #23
    Yeah, 128 GB of ECC RAM for gaming, or bust!
     
  24. The Mac Doctor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    #24
    I think folks are mistaking the iMac pro for a gaming rig...

    Gamers do not need Xeon processors. The hallmark of Xeon processors are more cores, and ECC (Error correcting memory) support. Most games at this time cannot address more than 4 cores, so throwing in an 8 core Xeon does not make financial sense. Yes, AMD and Intel are touting their new threadripper and i9 processors with a lot of cores, but that would only help with a small list of games, and maybe multitasking while gaming.

    Gamers absolutely do not need ECC memory. The stability provided by ECC memory is needed for complex and prolonged mathematical calculations that can be uncovered by rendering workstations and scientific applications.

    Most games would run fine on a Radeon 580, but Vega would be a great options.

    Again, the iMac pro is a workstation not a regular PC and should not be treated as such. Workstation hardware is expensive, and is geared towards stability first.
     
  25. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #25
    To a certain extent.
    X-Plane 10 and 11 are also heavily CPU "throttled".

    I have 4 GB VRAM now too (late 2013 iMac) but have noticed that with extremely heavy scenery loaded (ZL18 scenery, very detailed cities / airports, etc.) that sometimes it reaches almost 6 GB VRAM, and therefore killed off any performance.
    Turning down some settings lowered it down again to < 4 GB, and therefore "flyable".

    Now, I went for the 2017 iMac i7 / Radeon Pro 580 with 8 GB VRAM and hope that 8 GB will suffice. But I assume (by reading the .org forums with readers using the GTX 1080) that before the SIM needs that 8 GB of VRAM, the CPU will have been drowned anyway.
     

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