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Can you game on a $6,000 Mac Pro? Probably, but you shouldn't

Mac Pro announcement
Mac Pro announcement (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Snazzy Labs tested gaming on an entry-level Mac Pro.
  • It didn't go great at all.
  • Adding a new GPU might help.

Quinn Nelson of YouTube channel Snazzy Labs has new Mac Pro content out, this time taking a look at whether the entry-level $5,999 machine (opens in new tab) can be used as a gaming rig.

That machine comes with a Radeon Pro 580X as standard which isn't great by any stretch of the imagination. Nelson tested it in both Windows and macOS and sure enough, the results speak for themselves. And just for kicks an Nvidia GTX 1080ti was used with Nelson foiled by the lack of macOS drivers. He was, however, able to make the card work in Windows. Eventually.

The only real solution was to pick up an AMD 5700XT GPU in order to make gaming work at all in macOS, and sure enough gaming was done. But it still wasn't breaking any FPS records.

Be sure to check the full video out for Nelson's rundown on exactly what happened at each stage as well as the advise that we'd all expected – don't buy a $5,999 Mac Pro to game on.

But, we all knew that already. Right?

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

7 Comments
  • Awesome a 6000 dollar ....ahem excuse me.....5999.99 dollar computer that you can't game on? SERIOUSLY? is this for real? ****, I have a computer that cost me 1500 bucks to buy that can game fantastically! The apple tax is alive and well people! As is the kool-aid dispensers!
  • My my. Misinformed people do love their exclamation points, don't they? Your machine is a toy at the tasks pros are supposed to be buying it for. As an example, it can't do what these people needed, and which the MP did extremely well...
    https://www.lunaranimation.com/lunar-blog/2019/12/23/using-the-new-mac-pro
  • SERIOUSLY, are you THAT stupid?
  • Are you?
    This is not a machine dedicated to a specific task.
    It’s not a router, or a switch or a dumb terminal.
    It’s a “general purpose” computer, and at 6000 anything’s whilst it may be optimised for Final Cut it should be able to game quite well right out of the box.
  • It's not really a general purpose computer, the primary audience for this computer are people doing seriously heavy tasks, large amounts of 4K/8K video editing, 3D rendering, large simulations, or maybe even a mix of these things at once. Apple aren't expecting anyone to buy this machine for casual use, the only people that are buying it for casual use have too much money. It's not designed for gaming
  • It most certainly is gen purpose. They may want video producers to buy but one of the reasons for this is that it's modular and designed for you to be able to tailor it to YOUR requirements.
    'too much money' is relative and from your POV.
  • Sorry, but nobody at Apple has said it “tailors to YOUR requirements.” They HAVE said that it tailors to the needs of PROS. It is not a general purpose computer by any stretch of the imagination. If it was, why do they call it Mac Pro and not just “Mac Consumer?”