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Mac Upgrade path for a gamer?


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#21 Tetsuya

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:46 PM

View PostCougar, on 19 April 2016 - 06:04 PM, said:



Oh, I didn't realize you still wanted two machines. You mentioned that your next mac would be a hackintosh, so I just thought you'd like to know that you potentially already have one.

Oh, yeah, and some thought was given to 'retiring' the Gaming PC to Hackintosh duty and building a new PC (when the time came, my PC is still going strong and is getting a top of the line Polaris or Pascal GPU upgrade when they lanuch - whichever has the best price/performance).  

Then i realized ive probably got at least another year of useful life out of the Mini (the HD3000 iGPU being..old and clunky is the only thing ive got a serious gripe about) but more like 3-4 years of life in the PC gaming rig (as CPU performance gains have peaked, i expect Haswell to be good for at least 5 years) - so ill probably (over)spend about ~900-1100$US on a hot-looking mITX X99 (or the new HED chipset, if theyve replaced X99 by build time) six or eight core Hackintosh.  Im thinking ill use the Fortress FT-03 from Silverstone.  It feels Mac-like to me.  

Like i said, i dont think i could ever go back to using a simgle computer.  Having my daily-driver divorced from my gaming has been killer.

#22 Tetsuya

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:54 PM

I mean, dont get me wrong, id love for Apple to come out of their "The Mini is now awful and useful only as an internet appliance, so waste your money on an iMac" deathspiral, and just buy a new Mac.  If they released a 2016 server Mini with a real quad-core i7 in it mated with whatever the top-end iGPU is, and user-upgradeable RAM (or at least a high (32+ GB) soldered-down cap that didnt cost Apples typical pocket-gouging prices), id drop a decent pile of coin on it withoutnthought, as id probably easily get six-seven years out of it.  

Doesnt seem likely, thouh, given Apples recent trends.

#23 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:58 AM

I totally agree with Frost. Just a couple remarks to add:

Quote

Right now, I think the best option for gaming seriously on a Mac would be to get a really good 2010 or 2012 Mac Pro that's used but not abused.
A 2009 is good too (and probably even less expensive), if you stick with a mono CPU setup (which all you need for gaming and most computing tasks except some pro apps which are highly multithreaded). Hardware wise the 2009 is 99% the same as the 2010 and 2012, and it can be very easily flashed with the 2010 firmware, so it will accept the same CPUs and RAM. Try to avoid the dual CPUs 2009 models because replacing their CPUs isn't as straightforward, that's all, but the single CPU variant doesn't have this issue.

Quote

(although you lose your boot screen if you don't reflash them. MacVidCards can do that job for an exorbitant fee).

Corrected that for you. ;) Hardly worth the expense, and I don't like black market style vendor margins (or Apple-like? :rolleyes: ).

Quote

  • You want one machine to do it all: Sell the 2007 Mac Pro, put it toward a 2010 or 2012 Mac Pro, and stick a PC GPU in it. Profit.
And change for a 3.46 GHz quad or hex core CPU(s). The quads are dirt cheap, the hex are still somewhat expensive because many Mac Pro users choose this path, which maintains high prices (honestly, unless you use your Mac for a living producing videos and stuff, sticking to quads is good enough; it certainly is for gaming).

Also, there's a third option, or rather a variant of #1: you can virtualize OS X on Windows, so depending on how much you'd use OS X vs Windows, you can save reboots this way. It won't work if you need to use the GPU under OS X though.

#24 Frost

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:43 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 20 April 2016 - 12:58 AM, said:

Corrected that for you. ;) Hardly worth the expense, and I don't like black market style vendor margins (or Apple-like? :rolleyes: ).

Having done plenty of business on eBay myself, in his defense, probably half or more of his "profit" over the cost of parts goes to eBay and PayPal fees even with a store subscription. More than half if he doesn't have a store subscription. If you're not just selling one-offs that you've already paid for and you want to get rid of, but are actually trying to turn a profit off of value-added resale, you need a serious markup on tech hardware or you're going to be just treading water.

If he does business outside eBay these days and still charges that much, well, that's something else (I haven't kept up with him in a long time).
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#25 jgwdoc

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:40 AM

http://www.macrumors...aris-2016-macs/

So, if it really turns out they use the Polaris in the next iMac release, that may solve my problem. We'll see. Edited the resolution on Witcher 3 to make it more playable, and waiting for developments.
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#26 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:54 AM

I just ordered the base Macbook rev. B. It will blow all your Mac Pros and gamer PCs out the window!

(....i just hope it will run Baldurs Gate EE and Civilization 4)
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#27 mattw

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 01:43 PM

Despite the great number of titles now available and the promise of more soon there is no doubt it's a tricky time for decisions about hardware if you are a Mac OS X based gamer (like me).

The trouble is the machines Apple are making today don't really have many gamer friendly options despite that fact that they are clearly meeting the needs of the majority of computer users (looking at the sales) who either play most of their games on consoles, are mainly happy with casual games rather than the latest GPU hog or just have no real interest in gaming on a computer.

In the past the fact that you could put in a better GPU in some models and even swap it later meant that although virtually no-one purchased their Mac only for games you could get hardware options that keep us close to what was available to PC owners.

I got my Mac Pro a few years later (2009) as I was coming from a Power Mac G5 so hung on until PowerPC really became an issue to me. Its started life as a 2.2GHz 8-Core (because the extra RAM slots seamed a good idea at the time and all the talk then was about a massively multi-core future).

I'm now onto my 3rd GPU upgrade (a Radeon 7950) and running two 3.06GHz 6-cores which cost a tiny fraction of what an iMac with the same kind of gaming performance would have been when researching those before the upgrades.

At this point I'm hoping there is a way to get one of the new Polaris GPUs in here at some point as that would likely still be better for games than a new iMac with a mobility version of the same chip and defer my own decision a little longer.

If nothing changes in the longer term I can see me faced with either buying a console or having to build and maintain a gaming PC and then hoping whatever Mac I have for everything else will have enough grunt to at least run my existing library of OS X only titles well.

With consoles I do look at them from time to time but it is the premium price of the games and no guarantee of backwards compatibility that bother me most, along with that with the current generation I'd be dropping back down to 1080p graphics rather than 1440p than I run today. I'm also assuming you can avoid having to go back to dealing with optical discs on them these days as I enjoy no longer having to store them or find the disc you want now on my Mac.

With the PC the hardware options and performance would be great but it is the maintenance and not being able to run my other day to day OS X applications along side my games (this is why I never bothered with bootcamp on this machine either - I like to keep stuff running in the background).

I though Steam OS might have been an answer if it gave us a console like lack of maintenance along with the ability to take my library of games to the next piece of hardware but it is off to a slow start and I'd still be separating my games from everything else.
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#28 Locutus27

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 03:34 PM

Completely understand for many people a console is a nice compromise for gaming until apple makes the right machine for you on the next refresh.  My son had a iMac 2010 3.06GHz i3 with Radeon was just starting to show its age for gaming, so i traded my MacBook Pro 15"2008 and a work Lenovo 1st Gen i7 Carbon for a Mac Pro 2012 upgraded Hexacore Xeon W3790 3.46Ghz turbo max frequency to 3.73Ghz  with Mac Edition Nvidia GTX 680 with Nvidia Web driver, 24GB 1333mhz memory, 2TB Hybrid drive and it runs all the games great on El Capitan 10.11.4.  I had the 1st gen PowerMac G5 DP 2.0Ghz until getting my Mac Pro 2010 same upgrades as the 2012 except I'm using a PC EVGA GTX 980 4GB ACX dual cooler and it rocks.  Have a GT120 mividia in this machine for Apple updates as the PC card has no boot scree.  My son also has a xbox One so we can game on the Macs or Xbox one.  Have bootcamp Windows 10 pro on bootcamp of Mac Pro 2010.   I also have a work provided xeon workstation z620 with hexacore with Windows 10 pro for windows only free games.

#29 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:43 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 20 April 2016 - 09:54 AM, said:

I just ordered the base Macbook rev. B. It will blow all your Mac Pros and gamer PCs out the window!

(....i just hope it will run Baldurs Gate EE and Civilization 4)
And it does! Quite well in fact, so I am a happy camper. The Macbook could handle my gaming needs for quite some while it seems. Having a small girl at 16 months takes a hell of a lot of time. DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU WANT TO GAME.

Ahrem.

It also appears that it *will* have to handle my gaming needs, as my 2011 iMac just had its Radeon card die on me. :( At least, classical description of symptoms. I should have taken up the offer for exchanging the card back when Apple had its exchange program, sigh.

But short of trying to bake the card, which I will do, I still need a long term proper solution. Buying a super expensive iMac is an option, but I am now seriously considering other means as I think Cook is steering for an iceberg of doom. Unfortunately, I don't want to go Windows, so macOS is still the only option there. What to do? Wait out for the xMac or build a gaming Hackintosh? Is the latter a viable goal? I want stability and full functionality, as I will also be using it for work related stuff.
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#30 macdude22

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:44 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 13 December 2016 - 01:43 AM, said:

And it does! Quite well in fact, so I am a happy camper. The Macbook could handle my gaming needs for quite some while it seems. Having a small girl at 16 months takes a hell of a lot of time. DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU WANT TO GAME.


Naw, you just have to give up things like sleep, and personal hygiene.

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#31 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:23 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 13 December 2016 - 07:44 AM, said:

Naw, you just have to give up things like sleep, and personal hygiene.

<_<
>_>
At least that will make sure you don't get child number 2. :P
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#32 the Battle Cat

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 10:34 AM

Cats have been known to eat their young.  I bring this up only because now you have a little insight as to why.
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#33 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:07 PM

Gamercats?
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

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#34 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 02:19 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 13 December 2016 - 07:44 AM, said:

Naw, you just have to give up things like sleep, and personal hygiene.

Sex life may be impacted, too.

#35 nick68k

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:21 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 13 December 2016 - 01:43 AM, said:

I think Cook is steering for an iceberg of doom.... What to do? Wait out for the xMac or build a gaming Hackintosh?

Cook's iCeberg. I'M HERE ALL WEEK FOLKS :w00t: :wall:

Anyway. xMacs. How long have we been asking for those. A decade now? Two?

I don't see them happening, as least as long as Ive has an influence at Apple. Not appliancey enough. Can we get Bob Mansfield to un-retire again and get working on it?
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#36 macdude22

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:22 PM

View Postnick68k, on 13 December 2016 - 07:21 PM, said:

I don't see them happening, as least as long as Ive has an influence at Apple. Not appliancey enough. Can we get Bob Mansfield to un-retire again and get working on it?

I'm fine with appliancy, we just want appliancy + a little upgradability like the old days. Ala kitchenaid mixer. Works great out of the box, works great with upgrayyds.
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#37 Frost

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:41 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 13 December 2016 - 01:43 AM, said:

It also appears that it *will* have to handle my gaming needs, as my 2011 iMac just had its Radeon card die on me. :( At least, classical description of symptoms. I should have taken up the offer for exchanging the card back when Apple had its exchange program, sigh.

And this is one reason why I'm done buying Macs that have mobile Radeon in them. Granted the 8600M GTs in the early 2008 MBPs popsnizzle the bed too, but ever since the Radeon 9000 had the dying VRAM issue on the Titanium PowerBooks (and mine ended up being one of those too), it seems like every other Radeon mobile chip in a Mac is a ticking time bomb. Granted it may be Apple's fault and not AMD's, such as the 5K iMacs running their GPUs 40 degrees hotter than they should be under high load, but jeez.


View Postmacdude22, on 13 December 2016 - 08:22 PM, said:

I'm fine with appliancy, we just want appliancy + a little upgradability like the old days. Ala kitchenaid mixer. Works great out of the box, works great with upgrayyds.

Exactly. That's all I want from my Macs as well.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#38 nick68k

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 09:35 PM

The best Mac I ever owned was a Sawtooth G4. I upgraded the hell out of that thing. And not coincidentally, it was the machine I had the longest use out of (seven years, if you're interested).

But that boat has long since sailed it seems. What's the best xMac we can (semi-realistically) hope for? Some sort of mini/pro hybrid expandable only via a third-party chassis? (- and has that ever worked, ever?). Even that seems wildly optimistic atm. The future of the desktop seems to be iMacs all the way down.

edit: for the sake of completeness, I should add that the worst Mac I ever owned was a sheet metal 604e StarMax clone (yes, a clone of a clone) that I also upgraded the hell out of. It was cheap, fast, ran hot and loud, and sliced my fingers when I took the case off. It had PS/2 connectors on the back and a 3dfx Voodoo card. Nice.
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#39 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 02:11 AM

View PostFrost, on 13 December 2016 - 08:41 PM, said:

And this is one reason why I'm done buying Macs that have mobile Radeon in them. Granted the 8600M GTs in the early 2008 MBPs popsnizzle the bed too, but ever since the Radeon 9000 had the dying VRAM issue on the Titanium PowerBooks (and mine ended up being one of those too), it seems like every other Radeon mobile chip in a Mac is a ticking time bomb. Granted it may be Apple's fault and not AMD's, such as the 5K iMacs running their GPUs 40 degrees hotter than they should be under high load, but jeez.
Funny, I have that impression of Nvidia cards in Macs. :P
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#40 macdude22

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 07:44 AM

View PostFrost, on 13 December 2016 - 08:41 PM, said:

And this is one reason why I'm done buying Macs that have mobile Radeon in them. Granted the 8600M GTs in the early 2008 MBPs popsnizzle the bed too, but ever since the Radeon 9000 had the dying VRAM issue on the Titanium PowerBooks (and mine ended up being one of those too), it seems like every other Radeon mobile chip in a Mac is a ticking time bomb. Granted it may be Apple's fault and not AMD's, such as the 5K iMacs running their GPUs 40 degrees hotter than they should be under high load, but jeez.

You forgot the 2012-2013 models with Geforce Cards. Basically most macs since 2010 that came with a discrete card are a ticking time bomb. Having seen so many iMacs and MBPs with discrete cards come across my desk yet so very very few using Intel Graphics I firmly believe this is one of the reasons they've gone all in with the Intel solutions. It is the rare exception that there hasn't been a systematic problem with discrete cards yet no widespread issues with integrated models. With the intel solutions being "good enough" I think Apple is happy to sit most devices on these graphics platforms, unless absolutely necessary (i.e. the token top end iMacs and MBPs).

View Postnick68k, on 13 December 2016 - 09:35 PM, said:

The best Mac I ever owned was a Sawtooth G4. I upgraded the hell out of that thing. And not coincidentally, it was the machine I had the longest use out of (seven years, if you're interested).

DA4life :P

I have milked close to 8 years out of my 2008 Mac Pro, with an upgrade here and an upgrade there. I am planning on replacing it with a mini whenever they get updated so this will have had close to a full decade in full service.

I probably would have stayed on my DA longer but I was pretty quick to jump on the intel train with an iMac in 2006.......that quickly got outgrew :cool:  and I traded up for the Mac Pro.
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