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Mac Upgrade path for a gamer?


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#101 Matt Diamond

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 08:14 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 05 May 2019 - 12:38 PM, said:

Organizations that want to get work done. There is a huge disconnect with the folks in this forum and the professional world.

I already gave you an example from the professional world. The number of Macs in my consulting firm are exploding because they run both Office and all the data science tools you can shake a stick at. And we can run Linux and Windows in a VM. I don't need this as much as I used to, but each project is different. My Mac laptop is a swiss army knife.

View PostJanichsan, on 05 May 2019 - 07:56 AM, said:

NumPy is probably not the best example as it's actually platform agnostic,
I seem tor recall that I had to run it in a Windows VM early on, but I don't recall why. Maybe it was some other dependency that was the problem.

View Postmacdude22, on 05 May 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

I'm not trying to trivialize anyone's opinion but Apple's key customers are no longer the armchair prosumers of the late 90s. It's insurance companies, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, etc...
I think you are looking too far into the future here. If you are right the Mac desktop line is going to wither away by itself- all Apple needs to do is what they are already doing: make iPads more and more business friendly. Preemptively forcing ARM on the Mac desktop seems very risky to me. Whereas in a few years it might seem inevitable. (I think the Pro models will be the last to go though.)
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#102 Janichsan

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:34 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 05 May 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

The majority of sales, office, marketing folks do not need a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro. However they frequently need somewhat more flexibility than an iPad or Chromebook provides.

Would it surprise you to learn that my wife works for a Fortune 100 company and does the majority of her work on a company provided iPad? Would it surprise you to learn that I manage the Apple infrastructure for an organization that has thousands of Apple devices. Devices that facilitate some of our most mission critical workflows (literally life and death)? There's a LOT to complain about with apple (and I do frequently) but these concerns about gamers and nvidia cards and ARM devices are so off apple's (and most organizations) radar they are in another galaxy.
I'm not doubting what you are saying is true, but it's still no argument for an ARM based Mac.

If some markets as you phrased it love iPads/Chromebooks and are not interested in desktop PCs anymore, why should these markets care about a desktop PC with an iPad CPU?

And that professional iPad/Chromebook users occasionally need something with more flexibility does not answer the question where the overlap between this group and the target audience for a high-end, high-performance machine with server grade multi-core CPUs lies. And especially why this group would require a new iteration of this machine to be based on ARM CPUs and why something based on Intel CPUs could not offer this more of flexibility. It sounds that what the target audience you describes needs are better, more flexible iPads with extra bells and whistles, not ARM-based Macs. Or if they need Macs, there is no reason why these Macs cannot be Intel-based. Quite contrary, the flexibilty argument speaks rather in favour of keeping Intel CPUs, as these allow for more software (see above) and the option to run Windows (with full application suppprt) in any way locally.

Neither is clear how the companies you and your wife work for would in any way profit from ARM-based Macs.

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#103 macdude22

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 06:40 AM

You're the experts not me :teehee:
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#104 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 08:21 AM

I need to run Safari, Scrivener, and Civilization IV. If an ARMacbook can do that, then I am fine. I wouldn't want an ARiMac though.
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#105 Cougar

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 09:22 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 06 May 2019 - 08:21 AM, said:

I need to run Safari, Scrivener, and Civilization IV. If an ARMacbook can do that, then I am fine. I wouldn't want an ARiMac though.

I doubt Aspyr would bother to port such an old game. Civ VI is already on ARM, if you could live with that....

#106 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 05:07 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 20 March 2019 - 06:46 AM, said:

My Mac Pro 2008 is (holds up both hands with fingers extended) THIS many years old. I upgraded the video card twice. So I'm holding out for the next Mac Pro, and if it lasts 8-10 years it will have been well worth the expense. But if it is ARM or starts at $5000 then I'll probably get a Mini with eGPU instead.

Well, looks like it'll be a Mac mini for you!

#107 nick68k

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:09 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 04 May 2019 - 09:39 PM, said:

Sorry, I just don't see it. How many years of warning have they been giving us over the 64-bit migration? Why would they spring an ARM switch with no notice whatsoever?

The number of Macs among my fellow consultants is exploding at the moment. Switching to ARM would send us back to the days where numpy and other scientific software no longer was Mac compatible. It would take years to recover. Worse, we would also lose access to VMWare so we couldn't get around the problem with a VM. Most of us would have to go back to Windows laptops.

Jumping in late here on the 64-bit topic, but I work in academia and have several 32-bit applications that I rely upon that are either still in the process of being upgraded by the developers (such as Kaleidagraph), have been abandoned (mostly freeware, but still useful, such a various molecular biology applications) or of uncertain status. So, I'm holding off upgrading for a long as possible.

With regards to data analysis and graphing...the group is moving over to Python, and, to a lesser degree, R. Anaconda's jupyter notebook has NumPy (and various other useful packages) baked in, and is a popular solution here amongst the Mac people, but frankly I'm getting on, and learning new stuff like this doesn't come as easily as it used to. That said, other data analysis software is available which doesn't require rolling your sleeves up, and I'm giving GraphPad Prism a trial run. But for more esoteric stuff, i.e. molecular dynamics packages such as VMD it's a concern.
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#108 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 03:23 AM

So, the Mac Pro is clearly out of the question as a gamer mac with that price tag.

So what now? iMac? iMac Pro? Mac mini with eGPU? Hackintosh? How future proof can you make the latter? Can you rely on macOS updates for several years by choosing the right components?
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#109 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 07:44 AM

27" iMac with a 6 core CPU and the Vega 48 is the best performing Mac someone can get without shelling out huge money for the iMacPro/MacPro (although this is still a very expensive Mac).

A 6 core Mac Mini + eGPU is probably the most affordable option though and will still give decent performance - plus with the mini+eGPU you can be using a 1080p/1440p display which is much easier to run games on.
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#110 macdude22

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:51 AM

The most "future proof" option would be a Mac Mini + eGPU. You can connect an eGPU to an iMac but the support is kind of janky. mini->eGPU-> monitor everything is accelerated to the connected display.

I personally don't have any issues with gaming on my 2017 iMac (Radeon 560) but I am admittedly a low maintenance gamer.
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#111 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 12:53 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 04 June 2019 - 03:23 AM, said:

So what now? iMac? iMac Pro? Mac mini with eGPU? Hackintosh? How future proof can you make the latter? Can you rely on macOS updates for several years by choosing the right components?

Unless you have a reliable crystal ball, there's a always a risk a future update will break macOS compatibility. Well, then you can recycle it as a Windows or Linux box...

#112 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 10:53 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 04 June 2019 - 09:51 AM, said:

The most "future proof" option would be a Mac Mini + eGPU. You can connect an eGPU to an iMac but the support is kind of janky. mini->eGPU-> monitor everything is accelerated to the connected display.
I will likely go this route then, when my 2011 iMac fails for good. How is thermal specifications for the Mac Mini? Can it sustain a 6-core i5 for extended periods? Would the i7 be a worthy upgrade if gaming is the main high-end use for it (Handbrake video encoding secondary)?
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#113 Matt Diamond

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 09:59 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 06 June 2019 - 10:53 AM, said:

I will likely go this route then, when my 2011 iMac fails for good. How is thermal specifications for the Mac Mini? Can it sustain a 6-core i5 for extended periods? Would the i7 be a worthy upgrade if gaming is the main high-end use for it (Handbrake video encoding secondary)?
I've been trying to answer that i7 question myself. Barefeats did an analysis way back when with iMacs that suggests that the i7 makes a significant difference. http://barefeats.com/imac10v.html
The only "game" in their test is XPlane though.

Also assumes your RAM, GPU and disk are sufficient-- it wouldn't make sense to skimp on those. But I think I'd rather spend money on i5->i7 than on upgrading Vega 56 to 64, or SSD 512 GB -> 1TB. If this sounds wrong to anyone, please chime in!
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#114 macdude22

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:25 AM

i5 is the sweet spot of price performance in the mini line. The I7-8700B is faster but not THAT much faster IMO. They are both 6-core, and single threaded performance barely has a 5% change. There is a more appreciable performance delta in multi threaded workflows because HT.

https://browser.geek...seline=11516356

I would not spend the extra money on the i7 if the primary concern is game performance.
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#115 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:54 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 10 June 2019 - 09:59 AM, said:

But I think I'd rather spend money on i5->i7 than on upgrading Vega 56 to 64, or SSD 512 GB -> 1TB. If this sounds wrong to anyone, please chime in!
For gaming I would go eGPU anyway, so no upgrading the internal GPU. And for SSD, I wouldn't mind paying a premium for a 1TB SSD, but definitely NOT at Apples premium prices, which are completely outrageous.
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#116 macdude22

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:10 AM

The storage is not overpriced for the performance, just your average consumer doesn't need 3600MB/s R/W. I run my imac off a thunderbolt external.

OWC has 4TB Micron SATA drives for $400.

https://eshop.macsal...ron/AK3T8TBY1A/

SATA performance is fine for my needs. If I needed faster (but still not the literal fastest storage in the universe) I would probably get an OWC Envoy Pro EX.
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#117 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 12:30 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 10 June 2019 - 11:10 AM, said:

The storage is not overpriced for the performance, just your average consumer doesn't need 3600MB/s R/W. I run my imac off a thunderbolt external.
True that, I just won't want to juggle stuff too much around, because it can't fit on the internal drive. 512GB is minimum for me at this point I think.
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#118 macdude22

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 12:41 PM

I boot off the external TB (2TB Micron). I use the internal 256 for scratch space if i'm working on a project in iMovie or something. I don't really have to juggle or dick around with symlinks. I appreciate that class of storage when i'm trying to cut a video.
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#119 Matt Diamond

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:03 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 10 June 2019 - 10:54 AM, said:

For gaming I would go eGPU anyway, so no upgrading the internal GPU.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I was talking about whether to select a Vega 64 instead of 56 for the eGPU.
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#120 Matt Diamond

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:43 PM

I have had good luck with Apple refurbs. I used to get them from Small Dog but (as most of you know) Apple now sells most them itself (here, click on Mini, select 2018; optional select RAM and SSD size.)

Over the last week I've seen almost every Mini config show up there and sell out again. So if you are patient and check back twice a day you can effectively "build to order" even though its a refurb. This will typically save you around $200, more if it's a maxed out model.

So today I finally pulled the trigger: 2018 mini with i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD.
I'm trying to force myself to wait before ordering the eGPU, until AFTER I've transferred the family's files and applications over. This will also et me finish AC2 Brotherhood on XBox first.  But I expect I will cave.
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