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View Full Version : New 2010 imac gaming (need imput)




jgross
Aug 13, 2010, 03:03 AM
I am getting the new 2010 imac in a week or so and I wanted some input from current imac users who run graphic intensive games either in Mac OSX or in Windows via Bootcamp. I love my macbook that I have at the moment, but I'd really like to run games such as Counter-Strike, Starcraft 2, Borderlands, ect.... I want to know if the imac can handle these games with ease. See sig for the specs. :apple::apple::apple:



TMRaven
Aug 13, 2010, 08:36 AM
You'll be able to play those games with high settings at native resolution under windows.

jgross
Aug 13, 2010, 12:19 PM
Well a game such as Starcraft 2 will run in either Windows or OSX. So are you telling me that I should run all games in Windows even if they can run in OSX? If so why is that? Btw I'm also planning on installing Windows 7 in Bootcamp (maybe the gaming edition).

Spanky Deluxe
Aug 13, 2010, 12:47 PM
To be honest, it'l probably depend on the game. Games that are cross platform such as Steam games and Starcraft II are worth trying on both. I've tried Starcraft II in Windows and in OSX and there's not much difference for me - especially since Blizzard has nerfed Antialiasing support. Steam games such as Counterstrike and Halflife will likely run smooth and silk for you in OSX though.

My general advice is:

If a game is cross-platform then give both OSX and Windows a try.
If a game is available for Windows and OSX but has seperate licenses then get the Windows version.

jgross
Aug 13, 2010, 01:09 PM
Awesome thanks deluxe. What kind of setup are you running?

TMRaven
Aug 13, 2010, 01:14 PM
Starcraft 2 performs considerably better under windows than osx. The single element in starcraft2 that affects fps the most would be shaders. If you keep shaders down to low medium and everything else really high, you probably won't notice a difference between starcraft2 for either osx or windows. If you plan to keep shaders at high or ultra, the difference is night and day.

rasmasyean
Aug 13, 2010, 01:43 PM
That would be considered a "weak" video card for state of the art modern games. When this happens, OpenGL doesn't perform nearly as well as DirectX under the same game / hardware under most circumstances. Those are 2 competing graphics software thingies where the latter is only in Windows. If you want to be "graphics intense" about your gaming experience, then you should definately bootcamp unless the game is pretty old or does not fall in that class. It is also my understanding that gaming devs focus more energy on the Windows "edition" so you might experience a different definition of "highest settings" between platforms.

jgross
Aug 13, 2010, 01:45 PM
Have they improved Bootcamp a lot from a year or so ago? I used to play CS 1.6 on my macbook in XP Bootcamp, but weird stuff happened in my OSX from it like the clock didn't know what time it was. Is it pretty stable now? What Windows OS should I run?

rasmasyean
Aug 13, 2010, 01:55 PM
Have they improved Bootcamp a lot from a year or so ago? I used to play CS 1.6 on my macbook in XP Bootcamp, but weird stuff happened in my OSX from it like the clock didn't know what time it was. Is it pretty stable now? What Windows OS should I run?

Run Windows 7 with DirectX 11. This will futureproof it too. DirectX11 is also through and update in Vista if you have it and don't want to pay for Windows 7 just to play games.

daren
Aug 14, 2010, 04:26 AM
I've been thinking about buying an iMac for years, and now after the latest upgrade I think it's finally the time to actually buy one (21,5" model). However, it's really really hard to decide between the 3.06 and 3.2 ghz option. I have played games before and I might play some games with the iMac, like WoW or Bad Company 2. The question is, is the 300 more in the price tag worth it? I dont need the extra 500GB, but the better cpu and gpu would be nice. I've been looking for benchmark charts and they say that the 3.06ghz model has better price/performance value, but if I'm buying a expensive computer i'd like it to last as many years as possible. What do you guys think is really the better one, for random playing, but mainly for watching movies and using internet etc. Youtube is full of 27" gaming videos, but haven't really found many 21,5" tests

Spanky Deluxe
Aug 14, 2010, 04:39 AM
Awesome thanks deluxe. What kind of setup are you running?

My main computer is now a hackintosh but I have 5 other real macs in constant use around the house. :-)

I've been thinking about buying an iMac for years, and now after the latest upgrade I think it's finally the time to actually buy one (21,5" model). However, it's really really hard to decide between the 3.06 and 3.2 ghz option. I have played games before and I might play some games with the iMac, like WoW or Bad Company 2. The question is, is the 300 more in the price tag worth it? I dont need the extra 500GB, but the better cpu and gpu would be nice. I've been looking for benchmark charts and they say that the 3.06ghz model has better price/performance value, but if I'm buying a expensive computer i'd like it to last as many years as possible. What do you guys think is really the better one, for random playing, but mainly for watching movies and using internet etc. Youtube is full of 27" gaming videos, but haven't really found many 21,5" tests

The graphics card in the 3.2GHz model really is much better. I'd consider the much better graphics, faster CPU and extra hard drive space to be worth it.

EthanNixon
Aug 14, 2010, 01:17 PM
The only question I have about gaming performance is with Counter-Strike: Source on Windows.

FPS with i5 + 5670 at 2560x1440 (High, Medium, and Low Graphics if possible)
FPS with i5 + 5750 at 2560x1440 (High, Medium, and Low Graphics if possible)

I am a competitive gamer, and I play CS:S at 640x480 when I game seriously. However, when I am just practicing and what not I like to play on the native resolution of my monitor. So basically, if I can play with anywhere between 80-120FPS at 2560x1440 I will definitely buy an iMac 27". If not, I will just hook it up to my gaming monitor when I play seriously, that shouldn't be too much of an issue, right? This would be in Windows (gaming competitively, I would use the iMac as a normal computer: word processing, syncing, etc) too, since there is too much acceleration in Mac OS X and I have to run different anti-cheat clients to play.

Baltac87
Aug 14, 2010, 07:58 PM
If a game Recommends these specs would the 27" i5 quad-core be good enough? or do i have to get the i7 not to mention will the graphics card even handle the specs?

Operating System Windows 7 32bit / 64bit 2
CPU Intel Core i7 (2.66 GHz) or higher
RAM 4GB or more
HDD/SDD Space Installation: 15GB or more ; Download: Space on the hard drive where My Documents is located should be 6GB or more
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 or better with VRAM 768MB or more
Sound Card DirectSound compatible sound card (DirectX 9.0c or higher)
Internet Connection Broadband internet connection or higher
Screen Resolution 1280 x 720 or higher; 32-bit
DirectX DirectX 9.0c
Others Mouse, Keyboard, and Gamepad

Matthew9559
Aug 14, 2010, 10:00 PM
^^^ I am also interested in info on the 27 in. for gaming.

I am between high model 21.5" or the low model 27". I want the 27 in. screen for Xcode but I do want to be able to play some games (TF2,CS:S,DOD:S,COD4,WoW). I heard the games need to be scaled for the 27 in. How does that work exactly? What res do you play at? Is there a huge impact on performance because of the 27 in. screen? I see the default specs are pretty much the same between the models I am looking at.

Gary King
Aug 20, 2010, 10:43 AM
I've been thinking about buying an iMac for years, and now after the latest upgrade I think it's finally the time to actually buy one (21,5" model). However, it's really really hard to decide between the 3.06 and 3.2 ghz option. I have played games before and I might play some games with the iMac, like WoW or Bad Company 2. The question is, is the 300 more in the price tag worth it? I dont need the extra 500GB, but the better cpu and gpu would be nice. I've been looking for benchmark charts and they say that the 3.06ghz model has better price/performance value, but if I'm buying a expensive computer i'd like it to last as many years as possible. What do you guys think is really the better one, for random playing, but mainly for watching movies and using internet etc. Youtube is full of 27" gaming videos, but haven't really found many 21,5" tests

I have pretty much the same question as this. I use my computer mainly for programming/word processing/web browsing so the graphics card isn't the high priority, but I still want to be able to sometimes play the latest games, like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I want the computer to last at least for years. The extra 500 GB can be ignored for me since if I really want it, then I'll just buy an extra 500 GB external hard drive. I'm really curious how big of a performance boost the better GPU is, though.

byron_hinson
Aug 20, 2010, 11:39 AM
I can play StarCraft 2 fine in ultra with just shaders reduced down one notch.

savvos
Aug 20, 2010, 11:46 AM
I have pretty much the same question as this. I use my computer mainly for programming/word processing/web browsing so the graphics card isn't the high priority, but I still want to be able to sometimes play the latest games, like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I want the computer to last at least for years. The extra 500 GB can be ignored for me since if I really want it, then I'll just buy an extra 500 GB external hard drive. I'm really curious how big of a performance boost the better GPU is, though.

Gary, you might find this analysis on the Barefeats website of use: http://barefeats.com/imac10v.html. Basically, you aren't just getting a better graphics card, you are also getting more performance per dollar when you upgrade (assuming you live in a country where pricing is similar to the US.)

EthanNixon
Aug 21, 2010, 12:47 PM
I can't believe no one who has an iMac 27" is willing to give an answer for CS:S performance.

jgross
Aug 23, 2010, 04:16 PM
UPDATE:

Got my new 21.5" imac.
Been playing SC2 on ultra with no lag whatsoever. (Win 7)
Counter-Stike Source Average FPS 159.9. (Win 7)
New Mighty Mouse is a disaster for gaming but other than that is amazing.
Very Pleased.

EthanNixon
Aug 23, 2010, 06:20 PM
UPDATE:

Got my new 21.5" imac.
Been playing SC2 on ultra with no lag whatsoever. (Win 7)
Counter-Stike Source Average FPS 159.9. (Win 7)
New Mighty Mouse is a disaster for gaming but other than that is amazing.
Very Pleased.

What resolution were you using for CS:S? 1920x1080?

I review gaming products for a job, you should check into Razer's mobile gaming offerings.

www.razerzone.com

sikkinixx
Aug 23, 2010, 10:35 PM
UPDATE:

Got my new 21.5" imac.
Been playing SC2 on ultra with no lag whatsoever. (Win 7)
Counter-Stike Source Average FPS 159.9. (Win 7)
New Mighty Mouse is a disaster for gaming but other than that is amazing.
Very Pleased.

Doesn't Ultra on SC2 require a 1GB gfx card?

TMRaven
Aug 24, 2010, 09:12 AM
Doesn't Ultra on SC2 require a 1GB gfx card?

Nah that's just what the game says. You can run ultra textures on windows for the mobility 4850 model iMac and you'll only get a drop in like 2-3 fps compared to high textures.

Gary King
Aug 24, 2010, 05:21 PM
I got the 21" iMac with the 512 MB graphics card. The performance in StarCraft II (Mac version) has been great on High settings with native resolution, until the level where there are Zerg Infestors that you have to destroy. On that level, the stuff spewing from these Infestors slows down the FPS drastically. This is a disappointment as I was hoping that the new iMac could at least play SC2 on High with decent framerates.

rasmasyean
Aug 25, 2010, 01:42 PM
AFAIK, the higher GB mostly affects really large monitors in high resolutions. It's like a "buffering" effect. I would presume this applies to multi-moitoring too.

The other stuff, is affected most by memory bandwidth. Like 256-bit vs 128-bit.

Of course clock speed and other things come into play as well.

TMRaven
Aug 25, 2010, 02:52 PM
Larger vram amounts are just buffers, yes. The more realistic performance of a gpu is determined by its memory bandwidth-- which is determined by multiplying bus width by clock rate of memory (not double data rate clock) of vram, then times the the amount of data rate the memory has (2x rate for gddr1-4, and quad data rate for gddr5), then dividing it all by 8.

jgross
Aug 26, 2010, 10:48 AM
What resolution were you using for CS:S? 1920x1080?




Yeah I run it on native with high settings. I did the video stress test and it came back with 159 fps.


Been playing the campaigns of SCII and it still runs perfectly.:apple:

Gary King
Aug 26, 2010, 11:12 PM
Yeah I run it on native with high settings. I did the video stress test and it came back with 159 fps.


Been playing the campaigns of SCII and it still runs perfectly.:apple:

What settings are you using for SC2? I played it on High and it was choppy during some levels and cinematics. My computer is very similar to yours, except for the CPU (see my signature).

jgross
Aug 26, 2010, 11:22 PM
@Gary King

The only part of the entire campaign that dropped to maybe 20 fps, was on the level with the big laser melting the doors. I sent a group of 20 units right through the laser and it was choppy for just a sec, once I moved past the laser beam it was fine again. I'd say I average around 40-50 fps, but I haven't clocked it.

Gary King
Aug 27, 2010, 11:42 PM
@Gary King

The only part of the entire campaign that dropped to maybe 20 fps, was on the level with the big laser melting the doors. I sent a group of 20 units right through the laser and it was choppy for just a sec, once I moved past the laser beam it was fine again. I'd say I average around 40-50 fps, but I haven't clocked it.

For me, the level with the worst performance was the one in which there were Zerg Infestors infesting marines and you had to destroy them. They were spewing green stuff, which was what slowed down my computer. SC2 even gave me a warning, suggesting that I turn down the game's quality so that it can run faster.