Justifying a Mac Pro for Gaming

The Mac Pro.

A thing of beauty. A thing of beauty that some says looks like a trash can.

But is it the ultimate gaming device? Well, we have some things to consider. Like what you’re using it for, if you need to be mobile, if you want a desktop that is a Mac still, and if you have a monitor to name a few.

Well let us look at the base specs and prices:

3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each
256GB PCIe-based flash storage

3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each
256GB PCIe-based flash storage

And then there is the ultimate configuration:

2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor
64GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each
1TB PCIe-based flash storage

So is this much power something you need in your life? Something to actually game with? Specifically speaking, the configuration is mostly designed for doing lots of math really really fast. Like for example, for gaming.


Here’s the main issue. Mac gaming, it really isn’t a thing yet. Having dual cards in your machine would be great, but no one is going to fully utilize it right out of the box. In fact, this problem was the issue with the Retina MacBook Pro. You can have great games, but they won’t be fully optimized. The only things that will be optimized out of the box will be Apple’s software.

Also, keep in mind that not only will Apple be the only people worrying about software, but it could be months, if ever, that a game vendor will make use of the 8 plus cores and dual graphics cards. I mean seriously, teraflops of data can be computed in a second, but Call of Duty can’t go past 2560×1440 and 80 something frames per second.

These limitations are nearly identical to the 15 inch MacBook Pro. High end expensive hardware that may or may not be supported to its max in the future, and definitely not upgradable later.


Well it is pretty much the ultimate travel desktop. Considering you’re shelling out three grand for the CPU, it better do more, but it really does meet the mobile middle ground. Most professionals wouldn’t care about that, but as a gamer, you can actually go to your friends house with a monitor, wireless mouse and bluetooth keyboard.

You could also justify it if you were going to buy it anyway. Meaning, if you already have Thunderbolt drives and external monitors, then going the route for a 27 inch iMac is less and less appealing.

Should you buy it? Well only if you have the monitor and external drives to use – the previous gen and Mac Mini. Also, the traveling thing is a good reason to pick one up too.

But other than that, you should probably just use the same money to max out a 27 inch iMac. Not only will most software max out its capabilities faster, but it is probably better value for your money.



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