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doggywuv's avatar

Is the Mac Pro the best gaming computer?

Asked by doggywuv (1041points) October 26th, 2009

The Mac Pro is a workstation computer made by Apple, but it can also be used for gaming (and is advertised as such).

It can have 2 CPUs (Intel Xeon), which will give it a total of 8 CPU cores, and can have a CPU speed of 2.93GHz.
It can have up to 4 Nvidia GT 120 graphics cards, each with 512MB memory, or an ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB memory. Can you install other graphics cards, for instance 2 Nvidia GTX 295s?
It can have 32 GB RAM.
Can a sound card be installed in it? Can an SSD be installed in it?

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17 Answers

Ame_Evil's avatar

Doesn’t Alienware claim to be? I may be wrong.

doggywuv's avatar

@Ame_Evil They have the best 15” gaming laptop. But I wouldn’t say it’s the best gaming computer.

timtrueman's avatar

Most games don’t really take advantage of more than two cores. This means a faster dual core can handily beat eight Xeon cores. Also in the Mac Pro the graphics cards are not connected in SLI. This means you can only use one for a game. Gaming PCs can use two or more higher end graphics cards (compared to the Mac Pro). Apple’s page can definitely make the ultimate gaming Mac claim but it’s definitely not the best gaming PC.

So basically yeah it’s pretty damn fast but if you’re doing just gaming I’d get an overclocked dual-core gaming PC with SLI (and I’ll admit to being an Apple fanboy but I also have a gaming PC for precisely these reasons).

Bugabear's avatar

Theres a problem. Its a Mac.

But hardware wise its pretty sweet. Dual booting or Virtual box might make something special but unless you’re playing Spore or Halo CE it would be better to just get an Alienware.

nxknxk's avatar

As @Bugabear said, Macs aren’t really known as gaming computers. A lot of games aren’t even compatible with Macs until long after they’ve been released. The specs are nice, but you might find your options somewhat limited.

jackm's avatar

If you install windows you can run every game out there.

nxknxk's avatar


Although that seems to defeat the purpose of purchasing a Mac.

jackm's avatar

If you just want a powerful computer for gaming, but also want to run os x when you aren’t gaming, its perfect.

nxknxk's avatar


True. I hadn’t considered dual-booting. #_#

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

MacBook Pros are being advertized as great gaming computers simply because they aren’t known for that, and Apple wants another reason to get people to buy their computers. Not to hate on Macs (I’m typing this on my 15” MacBook Pro right now)—they are almost essential for graphic arts—but most games are formatted mainly for PCs.

Most desktop PCs these days will have enough RAM and processing speed for many games out there. The one thing you may need to upgrade is your graphics card, and perhaps (depending on the computer) an extra gig of RAM.

It may seem like a lot, but really, in most cases it’s cheaper than getting a MacBook. These things are pricey, and if you really only want it for gaming, not your best choice.

Course, you could always get a MacBook and make a Windows partition, like others have said. But be warned: it’s kind of a tricky process, and may be more work than you want.

jackm's avatar

He’s talking about the Mac Pro, Not the MacBook Pro

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Ah, sorry, my bad.

Still, I don’t trust Macs for all my gaming needs, desktop or laptop. Not yet, anyway.

Response moderated
StellarAirman's avatar

It’s definitely the best gaming Mac, as someone else said, but not the best gaming computer.

You can build a gaming PC to run Windows for half the price, with a better video card. New video cards come out on the Mac maybe every year or so, whereas on the PC they come out constantly. The Mac Pro is already behind the curve as far as gaming video cards go, even if you get the best one available currently.

Setting up Boot Camp to install Windows is extremely easy on a Mac, and it runs Windows very well, but still, you’ll quickly be behind the curve as far as gaming hardware.

For the money of a Mac Pro you could just buy a nice iMac to use as general computer use, and then build a gaming PC for $1000 that would be better than the Mac Pro for gaming and just get a DVI switch to change monitors. The Mac Pro is really a workstation machine for professional users, not a gaming machine.

JONESGH's avatar

A friend of mine plays games like WoW and other MMOs on his MacPro and loves it. All in all it’s a pretty nice computer. I wouldn’t go with an alienware, it’s good for gaming, but for that price I’d want to be able to do other things with my computer too.

doggywuv's avatar

@timtrueman It sucks that you can’t have SLI on it. Thus a Mac Pro can’t have numerous graphics cards working together while a non-Mac can.

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