Can you game on a $6,000 Mac Pro?

Afterburner on the new Mac Pro allows video editors to decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time.
All-new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

Snazzy Labs:

Sure, the new Mac Pro is supposed to be a workstation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t game… right?

The stock Radeon Pro 580X in the 2019/2020 Mac Pro is disappointing to say the least. It’s a budget card from 2017 dressed up in a sleek new MPX format to save face and it falls short; not just for gaming but for compute as well. So what GPUs can help accomplish those tasks better. What about a new generation NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super or last-gen NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti? Apple blocked NVIDIA’s Mac web drivers in Mojave so only older Macs can use their GPUs in macOS. But will it work in Windows via Boot Camp or virtualization in Parallels or VMWare? Maybe we should try out an AMD 5700XT GPU which has killer performance for the price and is compatible with macOS? Let’s find out all of this and more!

MacDailyNews Take: The new Mac Pro is not a toy.

9 Comments

    1. The new Mac Pro is not DOA. It was not designed for gaming. Conversely a rig optimized for gaming is not going to be good at the professional workflows for which the new Mac Pro is designed. The new Mac Pro is a very good machine for the professional video and audio workflows for which it is targeted.

      All that said, Apple making it nearly impossible to substitute Nvidia GPUs, e.g., the GTX 2080 Ti, for the AMD GPUs is truly asinine. Certain Nvidia GPUs are significantly better for compute, e.g., computational physics, than any AMD GPU.

      1. But it is DOA. except for some tiny subset of people married to the FCPx workflow its useless. the ram is SLOW by todays standards, the available CPUs are already outdated and SLOW by todays standards. it only supports PCIe 3.0. the afterburner card is a terrible investment that will end up in the pile of other apple proprietary garbage add ons.
        the build in SSD is also SLOW by todays standards. sure you can put in certain PCI cards (provided there are apple drivers available).. or for half the price you can build an AMD 32 core with faster EVERYTHING and even install macOS on it. I don’t understand why people keep falling for the mac pro kool aid at this point. its a pointless F U to the mac pros.. like cook et al were like “you want a god damn mac pro? here is your god damn mac pro, pay up…”

      1. On what is supposed to be a PC it’s only the user’s call.
        And QC is not forbidding whatever suits us, it’s being able to keep up with other’s.

        Anyway, on day 1 I saw these as the return of SGI. Vertically integrated, task optimized computers. Standards in some industries.

  1. The Mac Pro base configuration is very much a toy, it merely comes with a highly inflated price tag.

    Many comparisons have been made between the high price of the current Mac Pro versus earlier Mac products — products that almost always offered cutting edge features that were not found anywhere else at any price. This is a bad analysis. The proper comparison is bang for the buck that Apple offers today versus other machines sold today. Apple’s last decade in the Mac wilderness allowed the competition to easily catch up to Mac usability and value.

    It may be that a $50k Mac Pro configuration really is a bargain for certain users. Doubtful that is true for many, but every prospective buyer has to do an honest needs assessment for themselves. The biggest problems I see with the new Mac Pro is that its base configuration is nothing special, and the $6k starting price is about $2k above equivalent capability hardware available elsewhere. Anyone can do this comparison for themselves.

    For those who do not know, the relative performance of a Radeon Pro 580X chipset barely doubles the performance of cards available a decade ago. But again, it’s left in the dust by better hardware available. The 580X is only about 50% performance of a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti which was introduced back in 2017 at a price of $US 699. Is a $700 GPU too expensive to use in $6k computer? Really Apple?

    Moreover, if you’re a gamer, why dink around with an overpriced Mac that you would force you to use BootCamp + Windows in order to natively run the most current games? There are very few Mac native games, because Apple never tried hard to support the industry. Apple management must have been convinced that thin client iOS is the only Apple platform that should support gaming, because SUBSCRIPTIONS SUBSCRIPTIONS SUBSCRIPTIONS. But of course anyone knows iOS has horrid time waster games with very limited graphics and practically zero support for a wide variety of displays and inputs. Where’s the upside in using a Mac to run Windows games? A Gamer would have to be very excited about Apple’s boring flat grey GUI to spend more time and money on a Mac Pro gaming rig when Windows computers own the gaming space…

    So, it should make one wonder why Apple can’t be bothered to offer its customers a current GPU and at least a 512 GB SSD in its entry level Mac Pro for no price increase. Does Apple intentionally not want to serve the mainstream???

    If Apple has piles of old Radeon Pro 580X cards sitting around that it considers “good enough” for users, they why not offer them in a modest cost Mac tower along with “good enough” Intel Core processors? Apple: you could even wrap it in colorful plastic and please everyone. Because nobody — NOBODY — with a brain thinks that $6k is a good deal on a Mac Pro with the entry level specs you offer. The base configuration and price is a slap in the face.

    Apparently the marketeers at Apple have decided their company is no longer the computer maker for the “rest of us”. It wants to sell overpriced machined alyoooooooominyum desk art with old electronics parts inside. Any honest comparison of price and performance would tell you that.

    1. ” The proper comparison is bang for the buck that Apple offers today versus other machines sold today. ”

      Its not just the Mac Pro. I almost ordered a custom iMac but after comparing competitors products with similar specs I wasn’t comfortable completing the buy. Recently purchased my first Windows computer since before Windows 95 was released. No regrets.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.