The Best Mac For Gaming???

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Austin2, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Austin2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Can someone tell me what the best mac for hardcore gaming is???
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    There isn't one. A custom-built Windows gaming machine will outperform any Mac for a given dollar amount and specifications.
  3. Austin2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    But, I HATE Windows and I know how to do windows games on a mac.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you are a "hardcore gamer" as you claim, Macs are not an option if you truly want performance.
  5. Austin2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    By Hardcore gamer what I meant was : I play games alot and stuff.
  6. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    3.3GHz Hex would be the best MP for gaming.

  7. Austin2, Jul 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

    Austin2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    I was thinking of the 3.2 GHz Mac Pro Because I Want to: Do live streams nicely, Podcast, Play games sometimes, Animate in *Shocker* Adobe flash pro CS5. Photoshop. I do too much stuffs to have one dedicated machine.
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    The best Mac for gaming is the Mac Pro as it offers the 5870 GPU and allows you to replace that GPU with another GPU that Apple might offer down the line. The best value Mac for gaming would be the high end 27" iMac.

    However, you'll get less performance playing games on your Mac in Snow Leopard or Lion compared to Windows 7 (in Boot Camp, VMs suck for gaming).

    And, as has been said, building your own rig is ideal as you could have a system for ~$1100 excluding the screen that will destroy the Mac Pro. However, I do understand why you want a Mac :p

    If you do decide to buy a Mac Pro, I'd recommend waiting for the next generation models (although it may be a long wait) which should include Sandy Bridge CPUs and much better GPUs.
    You won't really get any performance gain when gaming from the 3.33GHz six-core Mac Pro vs the 3.2GHz quad-core. So, that'd be the model to go with if you do that.
  9. Austin2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Then don't plan on being able to upgrade your video drivers easily, either.
  11. CaptainChunk, Jul 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    You hate Windows, yet you're a hardcore gamer? Inevitably, you'll be booting into Windows for 99% of the games out there. Buying a Mac Pro for "hardcore gaming" accomplishes the following:

    1. More money spent than necessary because you bought workstation-class hardware that makes absolutely NO difference in games.

    2. Limitations on GPUs that actually boot into Mac OS. Additionally, you're limited to two PCIe power connectors on the logic board (unless you mod with splitters and/or a secondary PSU) and one of those are already used by the stock 5770 card; both of them if you order with the 5870.

    3. No official SLI support on the logic board (if you're an NVIDIA guy); but ATI Crossfire has been known to work.

    4. No analog mic input, forcing you to use a USB sound card or a dedicated sound card (that only works in Windows, of course) if you plan on using a headset.

    There's probably more points I'm not even thinking of right now. But the main point here is that from a gaming perspective, spending that much money, given the platform drawbacks is completely insane, IMHO.

    Look at this way: $2500 buys you an ENTRY-LEVEL Mac Pro with only 3 gigs of RAM and a so-so graphics card. That same $2500 can buy you one beast of a gaming rig. Is booting into Mac OS for those rare occasions you WON'T be using the machine for gaming really worth that hassle?
  12. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    MythicFrost is exactly correct.
    The Mac Pro using Windows 7 under Boot Camp is an excellent gaming machine.
    The HD 5870 is a very good card for gaming. The next Mac Pro will be even better with a 6000 series AMD card.
    Or add an even more powerful PC video card that will work under Windows. I'm not sure, but if you do this, you may need to add an additional power supply.
    I use Windows 7 to run X-Plane at very high renderings. I am very pleased.
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The 6-core mac is basically a i7-980X with a 5870 if you go that route. I have yet to find a game I can't max on DX10. A few DX11 titles give it a workout. But it is a quiet workout:)
    You will get a couple extra frames here and there with the 6-core over the 4-core 3.2GHz. Super happy with mine and I came from custom built PC's for gaming prior to this Pro. Albeit on a GTX280 and overclocked Core2Duo at 3.66GHz so the gains were there already.
  14. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    WoW, diablo series and civilization series for the Mac pretty much. yea, some other titles as well here and there but i wouldnt call this hardcore gaming ;)

    perhaps a mac + ps3/xbox360 ?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. AustinZ macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2008
    If you really want to spend $1000s more than strictly necessary, go and configure a Mac Pro to your liking.

    It's your money, you can spend it however you want. If having OS X really is worth paying at least a thousand dollars more than a comparable Windows-only gaming PC, go at it.
  16. Austin2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    In my Opinion, It is. Because its SO much more cleaned up, and SO much less frustrating.
  17. UnitedAlliance macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2011
    A PeeCee.
  18. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    For me, the Mac Pro is the perfect machine for working with professional applications under OS X and gaming under Windows 7.
    $1000? I already have a very powerful HD 5870, the only thing I had to add was Windows 7.

    If I were using a computer strictly for gaming, then there's no question but I'd go with a PC.
  19. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    If you want to be on the cutting edge of gaming I would strongly urge you to consider building a PC just for games, and getting an iMac for everything else. The price will come out pretty close to a Mac Pro with monitor and upgrades.

    I couldn't go back to using windows everyday but making my own "console" is something I have kicked around many times. For now the only PC game I'm anticipating is Diablo 3 and the Mac Pro should run that absolutely fine.
  20. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    Get a nice Mac/Macbook Pro for yourself and an xbox 360 for the games...
  21. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    Windows 7 is an exceptional OS, really MS outdid themselves and has really non of the hassle, slowdown of previous OS's and is far better configurable and optomized for gaming than OS X.

    For gaming, a dedicated Windows rig really is the best choice, it's like building your own gaming machine, you know?

    For all else, get the Mac, but even then, I've been using Windows 7 primarily for about a month and honestly..can't complain much sans the few niggles here and there (OS X still beats it overall hands down, but the gaps closing imo).

    Far better gaming performance can be had by DIYing a Windows rig and it will be far more configurable, how's that not desirable?

    If you really just want ONE. MACHINE. then the Mac Pro is the only real choice, but unless you need that graphical horsepower under OS X, I'd just get a Mac Mini (when the new frefresh comes) and a dedicated Windows gaming rig. That's what I have and there's really no better option that I can see.
  22. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Why not? It's as easy as going to the AMD website and downloading updated drivers for my 5770.

    Or I can click the video driver updater in Steam.

    Seems pretty easy to me.
  23. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Mac Pro single processor with an AMD 5870. Get an SSD, a little extra RAM, and the highest clock speed you can afford.
  24. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Macs for PC gaming = Meh.

    I use a Mac Pro to play WoW, it is my only real addictive game and I use my OS of choice to do it despite the lack of DirectX 11 support and limited choice of GFX card to use. I put up with these limitations purely because I dislike Windows and see enough of it at work.
    One of my guild mates recently asked me for help in upgrading his gaming hardware from a 13" 2011 Macbook Pro with i5 CPU and HD3000 Intel GMA to something more useful.
    I looked at all the Apple options that he was lusting after and the best value performance Mac was the 27" iMac with an i5 CPU and 6970 mobility GFX card at £1700.
    Then I went to Overclockers UK and selected a Gaming PC that would hand the iMac its arse in any gaming situation.
    After looking at both choices he bought an i5 CPU (overclocked to 4.2 GHz) equipped PC tower with 8 GB RAM, 24" LCD screen and a full fat 2 GB AMD 6950 GFX card for £1200. He is ecstatic at the performance difference.
    It will take future upgrades and runs WoW in Windows 7 at a fantastic pace. I advise any PC gamer with an eye on their wallet to do a similar comparison before taking the plunge.
  25. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I hate responses like this...

    I mean, the info here is correct, but if OP is here asking about a Mac Pro, he's probably already past the Windows vs. Mac part. Some people need a machine for real work and games.

    As for the question, any Mac Pro with a 5870 should do you. Just spec up from there. Probably no need to go beyond a quad or a hex.

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