Transform Early 2008 Model into Gaming Rig?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mishine, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. mishine macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    So can my old Mac Pro (Early 2008 Model) be a gaming rig?

    I was hoping someone might point me to the video cards I could install in my old Mac Pro and perhaps get some info on what type of performance I could get?

    I expect that I will be in bootcamp for most of the gaming.
  2. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Jul 28, 2011
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    You do realise that you've asked probably the commonest question on this forum don't you?

    Check out the Nvidia sticky at the top of this forum for a starter ;)
  3. mishine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Thank you for the well mannered response. I realized that I may have asked a question that had been covered. Cheers.
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    The gtx 680 in my 3,1 monsters most games at 1920x1200 in 7x64. Selection limited as my son has a habit of installing crapware on my admin account but minecraft plays at over 100fps with the rudo plays shader pack and all the settings turned up, assassins creed and blackops 2 work great.

    Yet to test it with the GPU killer BF4 but having to repair a lot of clients installs being bricked by BSOD's by that game no matter what brand of card it's put me off using it until it's rather more stable, despite it looking pretty awesome when it works.
  5. lupinglade macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2010
    Even the 5870 runs games well on that machine. But of course nowadays you can do better...
  6. mishine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    If I do not care about a boot screen what would you recommend for $300 or so?
  7. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    With a $300 card, you're going to be suffering a CPU bottleneck. I would go for more around a $200 card like a GTX 760 or 670 if you can find it used. They won't provide a boot screen, but they'll give great gaming performance. I use a GTX 660 OC 2GB Edition in my '08 8 Core, and run most modern games on high/ultra settings with acceptable FPS, often 60, rarely less.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    GTX 680 is very popular for those who insist on EFI boot screens, as it is available in an official MAC version and PC versions can be easily flashed to support EFI without requiring hardware modification. Unfortunately the MAC version is expensive and the PC versions have been steadily rising in price.

    I feel the GTX 770 is about the best you can do with current gen cards. If it is too pricey, I'd work down the GTX 7xx series from there until you hit something in your budget. Yes there is the GTX 780 and Titans, but these are really expensive, they seem overkill to me for the CPUs in a 2008, and you also start running to power supply and/or driver issues (although I think the driver issue might be solved now).

    For AMD options, 7950 and 7970 seem to be popular around here, but I don't know much about those. There is an official 7950 MAC Edition card and I think there are ways to flash many (or even most?) AMD cards, but again, I don't know much about that.
  9. mishine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    I went with a PNY OC Geforece GTX760 2GB for about $260

    This interesting thing is that it worked out of the box with bootscreens!

    I think the part # is VCGGTX7602XPB-OC
  10. mishine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    I think I was wrong about the boot screens. No screen for switching drives.
  11. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I would say put the best GPU you can afford in there and boot it exclusively in Windows. (Taking into power consumption of course). That way, you will transform your Mac into a gaming PC.

    My 08 Mac Pro with 5870 (PC version) can handle every game I have maxed out with the exception of Crysis 2. CPU could be a cause for concern on the latest games though (e.g. Crysis 3). Far Cry 3 peaked above 80 % (using 4 out of 8 cores) on my Mac Pro and my 5870 was at its limits.

    Why not put a sound card in there for glorious surround sound too :cool:

Share This Page