What do you guys think...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Grenadier, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    ...of a Mac Pro as a Gaming machine.
    I know, total cliche, but dont just click 'Back' yet.

    I have been given mixed views on many forums, but Ill ask around here too.
    Here is my story-

    Im getting a new computer, but my wife wants it to be an Apple so it can run OSX, and quite frankly, so do I.
    I dread the thought of using Windows for everyday tasks.
    At first, I thought "iMac ?" but I am a extreme gamer, spending most of my free time gaming, and by that I mean about 6 hours a day.
    So then I came to the conclusion that the Mac Pro was the only way to go.
    So now, im awaiting to get a loan for £5000 (about $9000) to buy a fully kitted Mac Pro.
    However, I wish to ask you, am I making a big mistake ?
    And please, I beg of you, Dont tell me "get a Alienware", because quite frankly, they are ugly, and I need a computer that can run OSX.

    What do you people think of the Mac Pro as a sole gaming machine, kitted out with 2x 3GHz Woodcrests, 4GB FB-DIMMs, X1900 XT for OSX, 8800GTX for Windows, 750HDD and a 23" HD ACD ?
    Will there be any disadvantage, price aside, to using a Mac Pro with the above specs for gaming compared to say...a Alienware or a Voodoo with similar specs ?
  2. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    :eek: I think you'd be wasting a killer mac on games!:D
  3. MAcNIAC macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    buy an imac for work with the money you save by skipping on the macpro get a windows box from a local computer shop with a killer setup for games. even a mac pro will be limited in what graphics cards you can use.
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Hi Grenadier,

    You're never going to get a Mac Pro as good for gaming as a high end PC, but I do think that you should go ahead with your plans if you have the money. The system will look stunning, run cool and quiet and, assuming you take out AppleCare, you'll be well covered if things go wrong. I myself only play one game on my Mac Pro, and that's WoW under OS X on an ACD 30" with the ATI X1900XT - it's absolutely stunning, silky smooth and if I shrink it down to a window there's heaps of power left to chat, browse and work at the same time.

    So, what I'm trying to say is what you're suggesting isn't ideal for an 'extreme gamer', but if you want a computer that runs OS X you're just going to have to swallow that and enjoy that the beast will capably handle whatever you can throw at it.
  5. Grenadier thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    Now you see-
    I dont really want the hassle of two computers.
    I also am not too sure about being limited in GPUs-
    so far, it seems approximately 95% of standard GPUs work in Boot Camp.

    Hmm...I see...
    however, do you know if the Wooodcrests are inferior in some way to other comparable gaming CPUs, like the X6800 ?

    Also, do the FB-DIMMs lower performance than standard 667MHz RAM ?

    Oh, and to add yet another question mark to my post, is the motherboard going to give me a performance detraction from a comparable high end motherboard ?

    Thank you for your time.

    As you can understand, im shelling out quite a bit of cash, and and dont want do run my copy of Battlefield 2 or Company of Heroes and find out im running at 3FPS with high quality.
  6. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    1. Don't pay $800 to get 340 MHz. You'll notice a 5% performance in some tasks. Nothing else. Spend the money on RAM.

    2. 4 GB is good. I'm sure you could do with three, but if you get 4 GB, don't go for 8x512 MB since that ruins your upgrade capabilities. Go for 4x1 GB.

    3. X1900 XTX and 8800GTX. Sure, greats cards for gaming. However, if you'll only use bootcamp for gaming, just get the 7300 GT for OS X for everyday tasks, and use the 8800GTX for all your gaming needs.

    4. 750 GB. Sure, if you need the space. It's not much more money than a 500 GB.

    5. 23" ACD. If you want a big screen and 1080i resolution, go, but otherwise get a 20" ACD, and save money while getting better performance.

    So for 3.328 pounds you get a Mac Pro with:
    2.66 GHz Quad Xeon
    4x1 GB FB-DIMM
    nVidia 7300 GT for OS X
    750 GB HDD
    20" ACD
    AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
    Wireless KB and Mighty Mouse

    Then you just need a copy of Windows XP and a nVidia 8800GTX. I dunno what these are, but you'll save at least 1000 pounds using my config.:)

    (and still get the same game performance, actually evem better due to the lower resolutoion of the 20" ACD).
  7. wsgroves macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Yes, FB-DIMMs lower the gaming performance for the mac pro due to the latency and overhead. It is the main reason scores are lower on the mac pro then on a comparable core 2 platform.

    However, as you know I have a 8800gtx and run fear, wow, oblivion, and company of heroes at 2560x1600 full detail in windows and all are stunning. What that does not mean however is that future proof the mac pro is. Sure it runs games good with the 8800gtx BUT the lack of sli means the mac pro will grow old having to run the newest DX10 games at 2560x1600 on one card.
    But for now im happy with it as my rendering machine and gaming machine.
  8. Grenadier thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    to be honest, myself, im not a SLi person myself-
    too much hassle.
    I would rather just buy one powerful card.
    However, it is nice that you consider it a gaming machine.
    Atleast for the moment.

    You see, at the moment, I doubt ill see a incredible benefit from 3GHz, but I think that 1 year down the line, itll be more like a 25% performance increase. Just speculation :)
    I would get the 7300GT, but I will spend some time video editing in OSX, so the 7300 will not be overly suitable.

    I would actually opt for the 20" myself, however, as far as I heard, it doesnt support 720p, which, is quite a considerable disadvantage.
    However, I would be happy if you could prove me wrong
    *Crosses fingers*

    However, in general, thank you for the advice.
    Thank you all actually for the advice.
  9. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I played every game I could think of on my Mac Pro 2.66 with x1900XT. Ran beautifully on my 30" Cinema Display with all options cranked at full resolution. Also, I don't think the 8800 will run in a Mac Pro because it requires 2 power jacks and x1900 requires 1. SO you'd be 1 short. And the 7300GT is more than adequate for video editing since editing is not a GPU intensive task. It's when you get into programs like Motion, that it starts to choke.
  10. Grenadier thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    Actually, to prove you wrong, wsgroves got a BFG 8800GTX to function, and it is said to work beautifully.

    That means there is little reason for any 8xx0 series card not to work.
  11. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    only 2GB RAM will show up in windows.

    watch out!
  12. Grenadier thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    Ah yes-
    I heard of that.

    However, the 64 bit version allows upto 4GB.
    Are there any disadvantages to using the 64 bit version over the 32 bit version ?
  13. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006

    720p= 1280x720. All Apples current computerscreens support 720p. Even the MacBook which has a 1280x800 screen. The 20" ACD has a resolution of 1680x1050, which makes it more than capable of displaying 720p. The reason it only says "HD" next to the 23" and 30" ACD's are, that these are displays for professionals, and for them, anything labeled HD has to be able to support every current HD format, which also means 1080i. This requires a resolution of 1920x1080. The 23" ACD supports it, due to having a resolution of 1920x1200. This means, that if you'll have to edit of play 1080i video, you'll be better off with a 23" ACD, otherwise the 20" is $300 less, and still a huge screen. Of course the 23" has 400 cd/m2 vs. 300 cd/m2 on the 20". Your choice.:)

    BTW, I just found the 2nd thread I ever created. Back in March when there weren't no god darn Mac Pro's around.;)

    BBTW, Mac Pro's support SLI in Bootcamp. Can't remember where I read it, but you may cut off my testicles if I am incorrect. :D

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