2013 8-core Mac Pro with D700s
'playing games' with
a 2010 Mac Pro tower
Posted Thursday, February 27th, 2014 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Now that we have the 8-core 2013 Mac Pro with dual FirePro D700 GPUs in the lab, we can revisit the game shootout. In this round, the competitor is the 2010 Mac Pro 6-core tower sporting various high-end GPUs. (The 2009 Mac Pro 8-core was slower, so we 'sat it on the bench.')
RED graph bar means fastest under OS X; BLUE bar indicates result under Windows 8.1 with CrossFire mode enabled
nMP 8c D700s (W) = 2013 Mac Pro 8-core with dual FirePro D700s (Windows; Crossfire)
nMP 8c D700s = 2013 Mac Pro 8-core with dual FirePro D700s (OS X Mavericks)
MPt 6c G780 Ti = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single GeForce GTX 780 Ti
MPt 6c G780 = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single GeForce GTX 780
MPt 6c 280X = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single Radeon R9 280X
MPt 6c R7970 = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single Radeon HD 7970
MPt 6c R7950 = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single Radeon HD 7950
MPt 6c G680 = 2010 Mac Pro 6-core with single GeForce GTX 680
iMac 4c G780M = 2013 iMac 4-core i7 with single GeForce GTX 780M
Feral Interactive Tomb Raider
It conveniently includes a built-in benchmark. We ran with the High Quality preset, Fullscreen, 2560x1440, Vsync off. The BLUE bar indicates the result running under Windows 8.1 with CrossFire mode enabled. The RED bar indicates the fastest under OS X Mavericks in Frames per Second.
Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam
We ran the TIMEDEMO of a recorded game sequence we call 'BF5.' The Advanced Settings were 2560x1440 Rez, Fullscreen, 4x MSAA, Anisotropic 8X, Vsync Disabled, Shader Detail Very High, Effect Detail High, Model/Texture Detail High, Multicore Rendering Enabled. The BLUE bar indicates the result running under Windows 8.1 with CrossFire mode enabled. The RED bar indicates the fastest under OS X Mavericks in Frames per Second.
Feral Interactive Dirt 2
Resolution at 2560x1440; Fullscreen; Vsync Disabled; MSAA Disabled; Graphics Detail Level Ultra; Shadows, Particles, Wind, Crowd, Tessellation, and Cloth Enabled; Ground Cover Blended; Clutter Enabled; Water Update Enabled; Skidmarks Enabled; Dynamic Ambient Occlusion Enabled; Environmental and Vehicle Damage Enabled. The RED bar indicates the fastest under OS X Mavericks in Frames per Second.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
The results are from our Narache Village run between the totem and large tree to the East. Settings are 2560x1440 Fullscreen, Vsync OFF, 1x MSAA, Ultra Preset. The RED bar indicates the fastest under OS X Mavericks in Frames per Second.
The FirePro D700s in the 2013 Mac Pro can be considered 'competitive' as a gaming platform but under OS X Mavericks. But if your gaming is done under Windows 8.1 (Boot Camp) in CrossFire mode, you will see a dramatic increase in the performance of some games.
Those of you 'retaining' your Mac Pro tower can rest assured that high-end GPUs keep it competitive when it comes to gaming. The same boost is available on the Mac Pro towers under Windows 7 and 8 if you have a pair of AMD GPUs jumped and CrossFire mode enabled.
We chose the 2010 6-core Mac Pro for this comparison. Why? Because it produced faster game performance than the 2009 8-core Mac Pro featured in our "Pro App" article about the 8-core 2013 Mac Pro.
The Radeon R9 280X we used was 'un-flashed.' It booted OS X fine but there was no startup screen. Also, when we checked the speed of CPU-to-PCIe-to-CPU communication, it appeared to be running in PCIe 1.0 mode instead of PCIe 2.0. However, unless the GPU intensive app saturates the PCIe 1.0 bandwidth, it will not run any faster in PCIe 2.0 mode.
Lastly, we slipped in the results for the newest, fastest iMac for inquiring minds.
Comments? Suggestions? Email
, mad scientist.
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