Top of the line MacPro + Windows 7 Gaming

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ZestyOne, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. ZestyOne macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #1
    Hey there,

    I have been a PC user for 15 years and after using my friends new macpro via remote desktop, I think I really like the workflow a lot better...

    I do online marketing so efficiency is most important for me. The other really important thing, and the only thing that would prevent me from getting it, would be the fact that I LOVE windows gaming. I have read on the mac site that I can install a copy of windows alongside. First, will windows 7 be able to be installed? Second, my question mainly deals with the hardware of a mac... I'm not sure how the graphics suffer when trying to run windows games on high quality on mac hardware.

    Can anyone with experience tell me how this would work?

    If what I'm about to describe will work and is kosher, then I'm going to get an absolute top of the line Mac Pro

    -Two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    -32GB Memory
    -4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB (or would 1x ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB be better for gaming?)

    Totak 13k

    So you think I could put windows 7 on there and play crysis (or any hot new windows game) on full graphics with that setup?

    Thanks guys :)
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    This seems overkillish, but yeah, Windows 7 and Crisis will run fine. I suggest buying your ram somewherelse.

    Alternatively you could probably buy a 5k Mac Pro and an 8k PC that would achieve both better.
     
  3. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #3
    at this point $ isnt really a concern. I'd like to just have 1 computer if I could.

    Where else would I buy my ram? So when I order it I would just by the minimum buy the rest and install it myself?

    btw, i also do extensive graphic design so I dont mind paying for the extra overkillage. I want this mac to last a -long- time
     
  4. tooz macrumors 6502

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    #4
    ^ yep. your best bet for ram is either Kingston, or Crucial (or whatever it's called :p)
     
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #5
    Crucial will save you a couple hundred dollars. iThink you are set otherwise.

    The better solution is probably to buy a mid-range system and then upgrade.
     
  6. Andy348 macrumors 6502

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    Montreal
    #6
    Check the advertisements at the top for Crucial memory. They're known to be very good in terms of pricing and customer service.

    edit: Golden beat me to it!
     
  7. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #7
    Hahah.. I lol'ed in real life at this. I can't even imagine how many istyle jokes there are on this site.

    iBetcha...
     
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #8
    I'm actually the only one who does it, to my knowledge and it really is only with "iThink."
     
  9. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    #9
    For gaming, you're better off with the ATI 4870. The 4x GT120s are NOT SLI'd--on the Mac side, multiple cards are only used to run multiple monitors, NOT for boosing graphics performace.
     
  10. Bushplum macrumors member

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    #10
    ( 1 ) Buy your ram from elsewhere.
    ( 2 ) Buy your video cards from elsewhere.
    ( 3 ) You can buy a better card than the Geforce GT 120. I would not be surprised if a US$250 graphics card outperformed your 4xGT120 for games.

    Have a look at newegg.com or if your are in aus have a look at msy.com.au
     
  11. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #11
    What's the best 3d card money can buy for a mac? im not sure which ones are compatible. ive built tons of PC's but it honestly feels like im starting at square one again :rolleyes:

    im also really glad you made that SLI comment... thats really good to know
     
  12. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #12
    Although most things have already been covered, I just wanted to underscore it. I have an iMac (well look at my signature). 8800 GS video card.

    I'm able to play crysis at high settings on windows 7 (at the moment installed via bootcamp). So you should definitely be able to play games on a mac pro. I've also played fall-out 3, assassins creed, Call Of Duty 4, Far Cry 2, Mass Effect and the title that is coming (my little brother pre-ordered the white edition) Assassins creed II, on my iMac.

    So yes, you can play enough games. But as already said, I would go for the ATI, as 4 X GT120 won't be faster.
     
  13. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #13
    also is it possible to get SSD harddrives for mac?

    also do you think it would be possible to talk to mac directly and order it w/o a graphics card or memory.. or do i have to buy at least the ********* one and then upgrade
     
  14. TheSilencer macrumors regular

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    #14
    If you aim for best game performance (get a PC :D) it might be better to use a single CPU (the quad Mac Pro) system and upgrade with 3.33GHz CPU. As benchmarks show, more CPU cores do sometimes result in bad CPU performance for games and some Apps.

    Usual SSD drives work with Mac. No need ot buy an "for Mac" labled SSD/HDD. At least I don´t see a reason for.

    And if you don´t need high game/OpenCL performance in Mac OS then consider to move the GT120 to one PCIe 8x slot and get an Radeon HD5870 for gaming only. Otherwise, stay with the Radeon HD4870 upgrade from Apple or get the EVGA GTX 285 for Mac.

    Also for best performance, take advantage of tripple channel RAM configs -> 6GB (3x2GB), 12GB (3x4GB or 6x2GB) or 24GB (6x4GB) RAM max.
     
  15. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #15
    Combine Posts.

    I would suggest that you buy everything third party, unless Apple is cheaper. But I also recommend you only spend say half your budget, if the goal is longevity.
     
  16. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #16
    So, wait I'm confused. Actual mac-supplied parts aren't the highest quality?
     
  17. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #17
    I mean, sometimes. Apple, like most everyone just puts everything together. For example, the SSD's Apple uses are not the best. Also, nearly everything Apple puts in the computer can be purchased cheaper elsewhere: ram, video cards, etc.

    I recommend you getting a Mac Pro that is half your budget after you upgrade and then replacing it on a quicker cycle. As in three years a 7,000 Mac Pro will out perform your 13,000 one from Oct. 2009.
     
  18. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #18
    hey bud, very awesome post, thank you. Several Q's

    1. I thought about getting another super-baller PC but honestly the benefits of a mac seem to outweigh PC at this point.. I'm ready to make the switch. Id rather have mac for business and that boot camp to windows when I want to play games.

    2. do you have a link to those CPU stats where multi-core performs worse? is it a lot worse or a little? I do tons of graphic design as well as having many programs open for my business workflow, so I'd hate to cut the awesome multi-tasking power of multi-cores out if the loss for gaming is negligible. Unless it's a huge difference that is.... then I'd have to think about it. It's mainly for work, but a nugga's gotta play his sims 3 and crysis too :p

    3. I'm absolutely going to be playing games on it, thats 50% of the reason I'm buying it, to play all the best games out right now on the highest quality. It's also for work which is the other (less fun) 50%. Which Gfx card would be the absolute top of the line for all the games coming out, as well as photoshop/dreamweaver and all those.

    4. Right now I had decided on 32GB (8x4GB). Is that a triple channel ram configuration?. If it's not, would 24GB of triple channel be better than 32GB of double channel?

    Thanks a lot guys, you're all really helping answer a lot of my Q's :)

    Oh I see what you mean.

    Can I order a mac direct from apple with no hard drives, graphics cards, or ram?
     
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #19
    Umm... No, unless you are a special enterprise level customer (i.e. buying multiple machines)
     
  20. TheSilencer macrumors regular

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    #20
    4. Nope, that would be dual channel config.
    Personally I like it maxed out the way it´s meant to be but if you need 32GB RAM, go for it! It will become usefull when working with many Apps at the same time. While using dual channel the throughput only shrinks 5% (rarely 10%) or is not noticeable at all.

    3. Well, for absolute top of the line it has to be a Radeon HD5870 currently. So, keep the GT120 for Mac OS, just change the PCIe slot and stick the Radeon in the PCIe 16x slot, which will, of course, only work while in Windows. Otherwise try to get an EVGA GTX 285 Mac version.

    2. That is the problem. While working with many Apps at the same time, dual CPU systems are really useful. For games not so much. However, you can disable the second CPU in Windows, at least in theory to reduce overheads.

    Look here. While Productivity Apps seeing not much win of extra cores, media converters and 3D renderer do.
    Tom´s Hardware: Core i5 vs i7

    The i7 9xx is basically the same chip as used in the Mac Pro only that the XEONs do have ECC RAM support.

    Windows 7 might take advantage of the HyperThreading tho as some DirectX 11 functions can be routed towards the CPU making DirectX9 faster. I experienced this with Flight Simulator 9 (FS2004) and Source Engine games like Half-Life 2, CounterStrike Source and such. Compared to Windows XP/Vista these can gain sometimes up to 30% more performance.

    1. I agree even Apple isn´t making it easy for hardcore gamers. Anyway, the Mac Pro is a beast and it laughs about games, except for the graphics card maybe but even the Radeon HD4870 is still a good card to go with. Some exceptions like GTA 4 (can utilize up to 2GB VRAM) are there tho but that´s it.
     
  21. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #21
    Given that the MP has 4 PCI slots, wouldn't it be easier to buy a PC only card with a ton of gaming oomph and just disable it under OS X?
     
  22. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #22
    So the HD5870 only would work under windows?

    Could I have the HD5870 for when I boot camp it to windows and then also have a GTX 295 for Mac (if I understand you correctly, that's the best option for a mac-compatible card)?

    I'm unsure if that would use all my slots :p
     
  23. TheSilencer macrumors regular

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    #23
    Yeah, PC cards just work while Windows is running.

    Well, I meant use the standard GT120 for Mac OS. If you want a high end card for Windows and another one for Mac OS you have to get two 6pin Y-cables to power the cards (idk if this is a good idea tho) while the GT120 doesn´t need extra power.
    Or wait until Apple releases an HD5870 upgrade...mh...ok, might take awhile. :D

    I suggest getting the EVGA GTX285 "Mac Edition" which works for both sides without pain.
     
  24. ZestyOne thread starter macrumors member

    ZestyOne

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    #24
    Thanks, that makes sense :D

    What makes the nvidia quadro fx 4800 so expensive? Is that even all that much better for the extra 1k?
     
  25. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #25

    Xbox 360 - 250$
     

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