Sell Gaming PC for Mac Pro 2008?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by WAM2, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. WAM2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2011
    United States
    First of I'd just like to say, Beware of buying A Mac. I Swear its an infection/addiction, once your in the cycle you cant get out D:.

    Anyway, I Have a Custom Gaming PC I Built eh, 1-2 Months ago, And I'm really in love with it, But, Once again, I Owned a MacBook Pro that I Sold to partially pay for it, and I Also Own a Powermac G5, Cinema Display, iMac, White MacBook, and 2 iMac G3's. For some reason I Just miss having another mac! Now, I'm a very heavy (well ok maybe not Pro/Heavy, But a Bit more than casual) gamer. So I Have been thinking. I Could sell my current Gaming PC easily around $1000. And With that I Could Wait Until the new Mac Pro's are released, or the Mac Pro is discontinued (hopefully not), and the prices will drop even more. I Would buy a 2008 Model, Most Likely the 2.8, but I Would try to get a higher one, but with this model, Would I Be able to get a nice Nvidia Card? I Refuse to go with an AMD/ATI Card because the games I Play favor Nvidia, and I Like Cuda and all that good stuff. Also I Would like an SSD, how do you manage to get SSD's in the Mac Pros?

    Other than that, Would it be comparable or better than my Current PC? And How well would Dual Booting constantly into windows (because I Would definitly enjoy having OSX On there, because I Also Video edit games I Record, and I Support it would be faster on the Mac Pro Opposed to my entry mid 2011 iMac?).

    Current Gaming PC Specs:

    AMD Athlon II X4 3.6ghz
    8gb DDR3-1333 Ram
    PNY XLR8 GTX 470
    120gb Vertex 2 SSD
    320gb WD Blue HDD
    LG SATA DVD Drive
    Corsair CX600V2 600w PSU
    Cooler Master HAF 912 Case
  2. MacinJosh, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012

    MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2006
    Even though a 2008 MP is a bit long in the tooth compared to your gaming rig, it still is very current in terms of performance and support. It has workstation components that are leaps and bounds better than consumer ones.

    Consider the 2008 (3,1) the oldest MP that you should get. 1,1 and 2,1 are still fantastic but lack EFI64. You can install a GTX570/580 on a 3,1 ( which will give you boot screens that will make your dual-booting a more enjoyable experience.

    SDDs are essentially Plug&Play. The only drawback is the size. I've installed my 2.5" SSD in the first bay with a support on the bottom so it doesn't hang from the SATA connector. MPs have SATAII so anything over a Vertex 2/Intel 320 is overkill unless you get a SATAIII PCIe card.

    I'm not familiar with with AMD performance but a MP 3,1 with lots of RAM and SSD will certainly give your current rig a run for it's money. It would definitely be a better gaming rig than your iMac and certainly be at least as fast in video editing.

    EDIT: Assuming your Athlon is is the 640 one, Geekbench show that it's only *slightly* faster than my Quad 3.0Ghz MP 1,1. So a 3,1 Octo is significantly faster in terms of raw CPU power. Games don't really give a crap about cores so it wouldn't necessarily reflect there.
  3. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    If you wanna game, don't buy a 2008 mp. Keep your current rig. I am suppressed to see that you've bulit an amd based rig as intel has the best chips these days.

    Anyways light gaming is ok on the 2008 mp, but my 3 year old wolfdale based core2 rig crapped all over my mp for gaming. It's a workstation.
  4. MacinJosh, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012

    MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2006
    That's a bit harsh. But there's some truth to it. Anyone buying a MP strictly for gaming would be insane.

    However, a 3,1 MP with SSD and GTX580 will run any current game more than sufficiently. In fact, a 3,1 would seem to be a better gaming rig than the OP's current one given the poor performance of AMD chips.

    Saying that the 3,1 is "ok" for only light gaming is a major understatement.
  5. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    You can get 3.5" SATA2 SSDs that just go straight into the MP HDD trays with no adapter.
  6. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Mac pro gamer here.

    I use a Mac Pro 2008 with 16 GB RAM, HD5870 and 128GB SSD to play games as well as all other Mac like duties it needs to perform. It does a fine job for a 4 year old beast tbh.

    The main thing that makes it less attractive as a gaming tool is OS X, the OpenGL drivers are ancient and covered in cobwebs. If the OP is willing to use Bootcamp and gain access to the massive games library that Windows offers combined with DirectX drivers, then a 3,1 Mac Pro becomes a very competent gaming rig.

    Having said that, if you built an Intel i5 2500k based PC instead with one of the incoming GTX6xx series Nvidia cards you would make a rig that would hand any Mac Pro its arse for game playing. It would cost less too.
  7. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I'd say wait until the new Pros come before doing anything. With any luck 09 models should come close to 08 ones and 08s should drop even further.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The 4,1 Mac Pro is a significantly better choice. Memory upgrades are far cheaper, there are better base model features, and you are only one free unofficial flash away from being the current model still sold today. That flash enables compatibility with newer CPUs and audio over HDMI and MDP.

    Mac Pros use hard drive sleds that plug directly into a backplane with no cables. You either need to get 3.5" SSDs (I have two of these), or a 2.5" SSD with a specific type of offset adapter. The generic adapters do not work because they do not line up the connectors properly.

    Don't artificially limit yourself to Nvidia just because a game starts with that logo. If you look at most benches both companies are basically neck and neck at most price points with negligible differences. In OS X there are substantial compatibility differences between Nvidia and AMD.
  9. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I don't think you'll get 1k for it..

    You might, I don't know your market but it seem over reaching a bit.

    But I'd sell and get a MP
  10. iCFX macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    Under your Desk

    Id say keep your current RIG or either sell it and save up for a more up to date MP. Fore pure gaming though, I would pass.
  11. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    As a owner of the Early 2008 Mac Pro I can honestly say it is on its last rope.

    Buy something else or wait for the new Mac Pro or iMac.
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Gaming is all about cards. Of which Apple has very little selection unless you hack unsupported (as is the GTX5xx case). Apple also has been very fond of AMD and has shunned Nvidia lately.
    Processors matter very little after getting a decently clocked quad core. Stay where you are at. Buying a Mac for gaming is really bone headed unless there are other motivations. It's like buying an Xbox to play PS3 only titles.
  13. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    I can't believe anyone could honestly describe an 8 core Intel workstation class machine as "On it's last rope". Four years used to be a long time in technological terms but isn't as big a deal these days.

    I'm sure the OP knows that gaming on a PC is all about the GPU and the CPU plays second fiddle really.....As long as you have a relatively modern CPU (which the 2008 machine has two of) gaming will be fine, provided it's done in boot camp. Forget gaming on the Mac if you're serious.

    The Nvidia 5XX GPU's are fine in OS X with the Nvidia drivers. Out of the box there's no EFI boot screen but for everyday use, QuickBoot negates that issue.

    The 2008 machine is still a great Mac. Obviously the later models get progressively more powerful and if you can snag an affordable 2009 or 2010 then it makes sense to go for that instead, but it's crazy to say the 2008 machine has had it.
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    My 4,1 /5,1 is "only" a Dual Quad 2.26.

    But I enjoy the HECK out of it playing games.

    This is in fact how I test cards that I sell.

    When I hire helpers, I tell them that they will need to play games all day. Pretty easy gig.

    Would it be cheaper to be a Winbox? Sure. But if you want a Mac Pro to game on, why not?

    They are fantastic computers and the ability to choose OSX or Windows with a couple mouse clicks is golden.

    SC2 in OSX? GREAT !!!

    Now I feel like Crysis 2? OK, quick reboot and I'm zapping away.

    Need to edit some video? Back to OSX.

    Want to watch a Blu Ray? I can do that in either.

    Life is good. Enjoy what makes you happy.
  15. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    I'm sure that I've missed something here, but can you share your Blu Ray on a Mac tips?
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I installed a Blu Ray drive

    I installed a Blu Ray on Mac app that I found via Google.


    So much for a "bag of Hurt"
  17. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You can rip to HDD for later playback using MakeMKV.

    You can play titles directly by setting MakeMKV to stream and opening the stream from VLC. It is a little bit awkward but it works.

    There is also some commercial software for BD playback made by some company I've never heard of. For some reason it requires an Internet connection. I personally wouldn't use it until I understand what the hell it needs an Internet connection for and what it is sending out from my computer.

    AFAIK there is no way to get any of the BD's HD audio codecs to play.
  18. Derpage Suspended

    Mar 7, 2012
    Don't game on a mac if you care about how the game looks. Open GL and all it's variants are rubbish. DirectX if you wanna game. It's pretty simple. And your not going to get 1k for an athlon based rig that's used...ever.
  19. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    I'm pretty sure users are playing on Windows with their Mac HW. It would be wise.
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    If you use it for anything besides browsing Facebook and checking emails, the Early 2008 Mac Pro IS on its last rope.

    The next OS update will be the last it will get, the end will be Mountain Lion for that model. None the less, it can still be used as an expensive paper weight but you can get much better performing computers for less. Pretty sure you can get a great deal on a 2009 or 2010 model by now. The 2008 is obsolete with its FB-DIMM requirement.

    Harpertown is old news, even a quad-core Westmere can match that ol' 8-core workstation unless you do really parallel stuff.

    Well, the new performance metric should really be about minimum frame rates, in which Intel clearly wins over Bulldozer.
  21. macz1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Although it does a good jop at games when paired to a fast video card, the 2008 MP has the drawback of using FB-DIMM memory. It has many advantages from the workstation point of view (large memory, very reliable, ECC) but at the cost of an increased latency. Which many games do not like too much.
    For this reason a PC with the same video card using standard cheap DDR3 usually performs better (but might crash a bit more often...).
  22. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    I use my 2008 machine for 3D graphics & animation, rendering, photoshop, Aperture, video editing and music production. I think the only old rope around here is the stuff you're smoking brother:D

    Do you have a link or any proof to back up what you're saying here?

    That's such a crazy statement to make. An eight core Intel workstation is only good as a paperweight.....Really?:confused:

    The fact that there are faster machines around does not make the 2008 machines obsolete. People who think like that are a marketing department's dream.:)
  23. FeaRThiS macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2011
    Personally I wouldn't sell a gaming pc to buy an old mac pro or at least not if I was a gamer. Having said that I also wouldn't consider your pc to be up to gaming spec.
  24. eurekor, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

    eurekor macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    2007 Mac Pro 2.1

    I own above with 8Gb RAM and 2Tb HD. I am happy with its performance and reliability. It is still running like a NEW - dead quiet, powerful and fast enough for my needs. Personally I don't see what on earth anyone need more than 8Gb RAM for, when most of of time it is using 2 to 4 Gb max.

    I do internet browsing, lots of downloads, programming and some music and video editing with occasional gaming.

    If it were me, I would keep the pc, if possible, and watch out for good second hand Mac Pro deals, as Macs are good for certain things, but there is time when only PC will do i.e. they all have their strong and weak points.
  25. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    It's called Mac Blu-ray Player and it's developed by a Chinese company called Macgo. I actually caved and bought it after I got sick of pulling my hair out trying to get my BD drive working in Windows on my 2008 MP.

    It uses an Internet connection to talk to an AACS/BD+ server to decrypt the content on commercial discs. Windows-based players do the same thing, actually. Set-top BD players don't need an Internet connection because they're assigned the proper credentials already in firmware.

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