Which Mac for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kipsley, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Kipsley macrumors member

    Kipsley

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #1
    Hi guys. I've decided I need a new Mac. I've upgraded this old 1.1 as much as it will go and it's still not able to handle even the simplest of graphical games. Upgrading the memory was pointless as it bearly touches it, and I rarely use more than 15% processing power. And yet I get crash after crash after crash. I've figured out it's the actual 2006 architecture, so time to not just upgrade, but up size. So what Mac is a good one?

    I'd like one that I can upgrade as needed. It must run El Capitan, be able to handle gaming, and be under $1000 AUS ($500 US). I'm confused by the Mac Air, iMac, Mac book, Mini Mac.......

    Which is best?
     
  2. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Location:
    near Boston, MA
    #2
    Upgrade what as needed? handle what type of gaming exactly? Under $500 is basically a Mac Mini.
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    Without knowing which game and what setting you are looking at, it's almost impossible to give out any accurate suggestion.

    Anyway, $500 is good enough to build a basic gaming PC.
     
  4. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #4
    Just so you know, I'm all for upgrade when you feel the time has come, but your gaming problem is definitely not a 2006 architecture but nVidia GT640.
    Especially if you're using anything larger than 17" screen (720p resolution). It is a low end card made for desktop/office use, not 3D applications and gaming.

    For comparison, i use Bootcamp on my cMP 1,1 for Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 only, OS X is for everything else.
    CPU utilisation is barely over 70-75% and 8GB of RAM is still more than enough for most games.
    HD7950 is what makes a difference.

    P.S. Can't comment on crashes, you didn't say anything about them.
     
  5. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #5
    Your best bet is to just suck it up and buy/build a dedicated gaming computer that runs Windows. Even then, you'll only get away with so much with that budget.
     
  6. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #6
    First step is to open console.app and figure out why you are crashing.
     
  7. highlystrange macrumors member

    highlystrange

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    ÜT: 42.710806,-71.447929
    #7
    If your budget is iron-clad and if you must stay with Apple, you'll have to buy a Mac Mini. I've been using them for years and for the most part I'm happy. I do encourage you to use an SSD (solid state drive) instead of a typical hard drive--that will make the computer much snappier.
     
  8. brianbrook macrumors member

    brianbrook

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    Before you abandon your 1,1 get a GPU if you want to game on it, you upgraded everything but that (which makes no sense to me?) if your $$ is tight a 960 4 GB will do nicely in a 1,1...forget the Boot screen and save $$ not flashing it!
     
  9. Ultracyclist macrumors regular

    Ultracyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    #9
    Your question doenst make sense to me, the power of an cMP 1,1 fully upgraded is far more than the latest and highest spec mac mini at $1300 or an iMac 4K.


    What are your specs?
     
  10. imhereareyou macrumors regular

    imhereareyou

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #10
  11. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #11
    A classic Mac Pro won't be supported for much longer, so you'd be correct in going with a newer mac.
    If you want a headless desktop, go for the mini (once they refresh it this year).
    If you want a snappy cheap laptop with reasonable graphics, go for the macbook air.

    Otherwise, wait until the prime minister changes, change your smoke alarm batteries, and save for a macbook pro.
     
  12. Ultracyclist macrumors regular

    Ultracyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    #12
    the 1,1 and 2,1 arent supported at this moment, but for gaming I think they are more then capable! (especially when doing it in windows)
     
  13. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #13
    The 1,1 and 2,1 mac pros will only handle lion is the main problem.
    I think the crashes maybe coming from trying to run el capitan if as indicated in your signature.

    I'd suggest that if you want massively powerful games to run, on the order of Sleeping Dogs definitive edition, then you want a mac with a discrete GPU with at least 1GB ram.
    If you want something visually stunning as a desktop, then I'd suggest the iMac 5k and not run the games at full 5k resolution on fast games. Civ 5 and Civ BE will handle 5k well at the lower framerate of the full resolution though.
     
  14. Ultracyclist macrumors regular

    Ultracyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    #14
    [​IMG]

    This my Mac Pro 2,1:

    2x Xeon X5365
    32 GB RAM
    Sapphire 7950 3GB
    Samsung EVO 850 250GB
    2x Dell Ultrasharp U2515

    Running 10.11.4 without any issues!
    Is capable of gaming at full res and highest settings for most games I have.
    Call of duty 4
    Tomb Raider anniversary
    (not a big gamer as you can see)

    But as stated, my classic Map Pro is more powerful then any Mac mini in the world!
    https://browser.primatelabs.com/user/jeroenvankeulen1985

    So any Mac mini isn't fit for gaming purposes.
     
  15. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #15
    It's the age of the processor which is the main issue with support.
    As there are upcoming macbook pros with more processing power than an obsolete antique mac pro,
    it is not much point delaying the inevitable upsize to something with a fresh lifecycle.

    And it matters not a bit how powerful a computer is once it no longer works, which is precisely why a newer mac with approximately the same processing power as the old mac pro (if not more) will be a better option than wishing for continued operation until the OP can afford a new mac pro.
     
  16. Ultracyclist macrumors regular

    Ultracyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    #16
    It has nothing to do with the age of the processor, its the firmware from the motherboard that doesn't support 64 bit efi natively.

    If any Mac is to used for gaming it will remain a classic Mac Pro for the next 5 or so years! Its the only Mac capable of upgrading to a new graphics card or any other real worth doing upgrade.

    So maybe buy an cMP 3,1 (supported) (or better yet a 4,1 or 5,1) and upgrade the graphics card to the liking...
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
    For $500 you are looking at a base model Mac Mini. Not good.

    You would be better off using that $500 for a newer video card, and you'll have money left over.
     
  18. orph, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    what kind of games are you playing and is it in osx or windows?
    something like a used GTX660,GTX680,GTX770 is fairly cheep and will work without to much messing around you also need to get a power cable or 2 depending on the card, or an ati card like the one mentioned.
    i have a GTX 660 in my 3.1 which for games is about the same speed as your 1.1 (might even be a tad slower as im 2.8ghz) and can play games mostly fine in osx, maybe not at the top settings but still looks good and works well.

    in windows iv played games like crysis 3 & metro 2033 at good settings and fps (not max more like mid settings but looks good) and in osx i can play games like total war shogun,civ 5,citys & pillars of eternity.

    the only games i have problems with are relay CPU dependent newer games like total war Attila (in osx) which plays ok low to mid settings but the cpu turns are to slow for it to be fun for me.
    that was a problem a lot of ppl had with the game in windows too.

    games do play better in windows most the time youll get something like 10-20%+ the frame rate but i tend to be happy with games just in osx now and there's lots of old games on steam relay cheep ^^
    picked up knights of the old republic 1&2 for less than £5 on sale, they will work on your GT640 and are super fun GOG is relay good for games to.
     
  19. Kipsley thread starter macrumors member

    Kipsley

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #19
    Okies... first off. My "stats" are clearly given below. Please look. I don't want Windows on my Mac as it's the reason I went Mac in the first place. Who wants to turn their machine on only to be told "Come back in an hour. I'm downloading the latest upgrade". And my Graphics card ran great in my old Windows machine, not so much in this Mac. I had a flashed 3 GB HD 7950 before this one. Ran real hot and frame rate was blah.

    As to what amazingly graphically challenging game I want to run.... Second life.

    If a new GPU card is all I need, please suggest one. But I do feel my Mac is not even using the full capacity of the one it has at the moment.
     
  20. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #20
    2009 4,1 - better PCIe support

    Even the 3,1 PCIe 2.0 is limiting as is its EFI 2.0

    And bare 2009 have been popular inexpensive
     
  21. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    second life requirements https://secondlife.com/support/system-requirements/
    id think about a used gtx 660 thats a cheep option and a big boost from your gt640
    this has some nice info https://community.secondlife.com/t5...ow-to-improve-Viewer-performance/ta-p/1316923
    but also see ppl on windows complaing about performance
    https://community.secondlife.com/t5...U-SL-still-has-extremely-low-FPS/td-p/2941054
    turn shadows off might help a lot

    got to ask, always wanted to know what is second life like?
     
  22. h9826790, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #22
    Didn't play this game. However, 7950 should works quite well in both OSX and Windows. Yes, it's hot, but unless you OC it a lot, temperature should not be a big problem.

    I have 2x 7950 in my 4,1, I can play Tomb Raider, GTA V, etc in 3840x2160 (on Windows 10). A single card should be very capable to handle 1080P gaming. I stick to the stock 800/1250 clock speed, and lower the voltage to 0.956V (both min stable at about 0.9V) The GPU with reference cooler max at about 73C (with much lower fan speed to reduce noise), the other one with after market cooler max at about 68C.

    If your real limitation is the CPU's single thread performance. Then no matter which GPU you choose, you can't make it run better. However, your XEON should be still quite capable for casual gaming. If you experience extreme low FPS, that's more like software / setting issue.
     
  23. Kipsley thread starter macrumors member

    Kipsley

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #23
    Hmm. So would I be better buying a 2009 4,1 or going with a later release Mac Mini?
     
  24. Phoenixx Suspended

    Phoenixx

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    #24
    I never thought I would end up suggesting this, but with the current reliability issues with OS X, the lowered quality of Macs in general, the gutting of the hardware, the dumbing down of the software, the ridiculous pricing and the complete removal of almost all upgradeability, are you sure that the Mac is the right system for you?

    Apple isn't the company it once was, any more than a Mac is a computer built with the same care and attention they once were.
     
  25. Kipsley thread starter macrumors member

    Kipsley

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #25
    Well... I do see your point. But alas it "goes". I switched to Mac after I kept getting the latest "download for windows" on my old windows machine. If i was a business I would have gone broke waiting for it to download then configure, etc. I don't like machines that make me "wait", so I'll stick with the Mac. At least with this machine if I want to download and instal an OS upgrade, it is done when I want.

    I know my Mac is no screaming gaming machine. But that's ok and it's why I ask the questions that I do. I just have to get the mix right and I am very confident that i will.... one day (Lol)
     

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