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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - MacPro-Game Machine Migration

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Member Since: May 02, 2009
Posts: 480
wmprice1240 has a spectacular aura about
Mac Specs: MBP 2.33 4GB: MacPro 8 Core 2.8, 16GB: MacMini 2.26 4GB: MacMin 2.53 4GB: iPhone3GS 32GB

wmprice1240 is offline
So, after a few months of deliberation I finally pulled the trigger on migrating my gaming platform over to my MacPro (specs in signature).

I installed Win7 via Bootcamp on a separate drive in the MP last week and gave the system a dry run using the NVIDIA 8800GT that came with the machine (purchased via eBay about 6 months ago). I was quite impressed with the overall performance, noise factor etc. My stock games (Bioshock, FEAR2, HalfLife2) all ran roughly comparable to my NVIDIA SLI 8800 Ultra box (AMD 6400, ASUS Crosshair 590). As expected, Crysis was a bit sluggish on the 'very high' settings but very playable at 'high' settings.

So, today I got the NVIDIA 285 Mac Edition (obviously) and popped it into the MP. After installing the latest NVIDIA drivers things are running well and the noise level remains consistent with what I was experiencing with the 8800GT (far quieter than my gaming rig BTW which is roughly comparable to firing up a chainsaw in the house).

After building quite a few machines on my own, I am continually amazed by the ingenuity and elegance of the MP interior design, quality and overall craftsmanship. Of course, for the price tag, you would expect as much.

My main purpose in doing this was to consolidate hardware to avoid having to use a KVM switch to go back and forth between the AMD rig and the Mac. In my day job I on use Mac/Linux so having a dedicated Windows gaming machine beside my other hardware just irked me. A majority of people probably wouldn't mind this, but for some reason it just annoyed me to no end.

I was a bit skeptical about the MP being able to run GPU intensive FPS titles effectively, but I have to say the hardware handles the load quite readily. Of course, when the next big FPS title comes out this may all be rendered obsolete, but overall I am pleased with the results.
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Member Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posts: 120
Dylanyouto is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 2.4ghz MacBook Aluminum/ 16GB IPod Touch :D

Dylanyouto is offline
Hey man sounds like you have a nice setup going! I know what you mean about consolidating hardware. Ever since getting my Macbook I have tried to make sure I don't have to use my older windows pc for anything. Although every once in a while I have to pull it out to do something and it kills me . Same thing with my Phone and my iPod. I have to carry around my phone and iPod to have the experience I want, but I want to consolidate both into an iPhone. It is just more convenient to have less hardware at times.
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Member Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 3
vbetts is on a distinguished road

vbetts is offline
Almost any modern quad core machine with decent memory, video card, etc, should keep a stable 30-60fps constant in most games today. Even modern dual cores, like the core 2 duos, or Phenom based dual cores. Me personally, I would rather have one machine to do it all. And I would rather it be a Mac, since I enjoy Macs so much. However, some things have stopped me from buying a Mac.
1.Money. Money is probably the biggest factor for me, because the only Mac I'm interested in is the Mac Pro, and I don't have that kind of money to throw around exactly. I built my Quad core Phenom 940 rig with a Geforce 250 gts 4 gb of ram, 790 mobo, and other fun things all for under $700. Used Mac pro 1.1's are still on average $1500. Again, money I don't have to throw around.
2.Overclocking is not possible in Mac. Not anything extreme. I enjoy overclocking my system and pushing it, and this Phenom makes it easy with an unlocked multiplier.
3.Customization. This isn't that big of a deal to me, but it'd be nice to have a full customized system to my own. I mean, I can still buy the new Radeon hd5 series for windows, just couldn't use it in Mac. I could have it in the Mac, but only use it in Windows, which I don't have a huge problem with. I guess really, I can live without this, since there are easy alternatives.
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Member Since: May 02, 2009
Posts: 480
wmprice1240 has a spectacular aura about
Mac Specs: MBP 2.33 4GB: MacPro 8 Core 2.8, 16GB: MacMini 2.26 4GB: MacMin 2.53 4GB: iPhone3GS 32GB

wmprice1240 is offline
All good points.

Point 3 is really the killer IMO. I can understand why Apple restricts certain customization options in its platform (compatibility, performance, thermal control etc). However, what's frustrating is the lack of options for the MacPro when it comes to gaming in general. While the current options are better than what they were a year ago, I would like to see more options in graphics cards, and I would like to see them offered sooner rather than later.

A good example is the ATI 5870 that was just released, it would be nice to have a Mac edition as an upgrade option. Similar for the NVIDIA 295. While these may only appeal to a smaller market on the Mac, it would be nice to at least have the choice especially now that Mac has gone all Intel. I could understand some of the restrictions/lack of products when it was all PPC.
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Member Since: Jul 14, 2008
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 675
martyp is a jewel in the roughmartyp is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: nMP 6-core/32Gb/D700/512Gb: rMBP 15" 2.3GHz/16Gb/512Gb: iPhone 6 128Gb: iPad Air 2 128Gb: NEC PA322U

martyp is offline
Great points vbetts and congrats on your build!

Oh how I miss playing about inside PCs, looking forward to getting Win 7 Ultimate and a 5870 (or possibly nVidias rival?) for my Mac Pro tho.
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