Academic Mac Users

Hi - I’m lecturing in a college that is mainly Mac based. I’m looking in to upgrading the spec of one of the labs.
We have Unreal running on bootcamp on iMacs but the graphics cards can’t really handle it any more.
I was wondering if anyone has got a good Mac based setup that can handle the graphics and processing of Unreal without overheating or going very slow ?
If so can you let me know your software/hardware setup ?

If you’re changing the hardware anyway, why don’t you switch to Windows PC’s where you can get more power for the cost?

As for what’s available right now for Mac, there’s not a lot of options, most Macs have integrated GPU’s which are terrible. The cheapest option is the 27-inch iMac, which has a Radeon graphics card, but it’s not great and you’d need to increase the RAM.
Overall, the Mac options that have a usable graphics card are ridiculously expensive.

I totally agree with you about the PC route but I’m in a situation where we have to deal with purchasing Apple hardware only.
Unless I can install an Apple type partition on Windows machines!

You technically can, as far as compatibility goes, but it’s against the Apple EULA to install OSX on anything but Apple hardware.

I would really push for getting Windows PC’s, the only program I can think of that wouldn’t be available on Windows would be Final Cut if that’s an issue, everything else runs just as well if not better–including UE4 which runs better in Windows. And if the lab has already been running Windows on Bootcamp then it’s not much of a leap. It doesn’t look like there’s any reasonably priced options for Mac game development hardware in that type of situation since you can’t do complex hardware setups and while an individual is probably OK with installing OSX on a PC despite the EULA restrictions it’s not like you can do that for a lab.

Apple does not currently sell hardware suitable for use with Unreal Engine 4 (at least in the UK) - I’m sorry to say it, but that’s the situation you’re in - if you want to teach using Unreal, you cannot do it with Apple hardware. Both current Mac Pro offerings run AMD FirePro graphics cards, which are not suitable for games - not to mention the towers cost £2500 ($3600) / £3300 ($4700) respectively before you try and upgrade things like the hard drive (which by default is only 128GB).

A Windows PC running much more suitable hardware would cost a fraction of that price. The three new towers in our office came to less than one top-end Mac Pro.