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Old Nov 8, 2010, 05:11 AM   #1
Anon4261
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Smile 2 Questions (iMac game performance)

Hi!

I currently use a macbook pro, but it's getting on at 3 years old now, I never use it as a portable device and I'm desperate for a more powerful iMac.

In terms of performance I need something that can play the latest games - WoW and CoD specifically - as smoothly as possible. At the moment I'm drawn between the better 21.5" mac, or the 27" with the same settings.

1st Question: I'm fairly sure the 21.5" would play the games well, but if I upgraded to a 27" screen, would the games play slower as a result?

2nd Question: The 21.5" iMac comes with an i3 processor. Is there a big difference between the i3 and i5 in terms of performance (specifically, again, for gaming). Would it be worth getting the i5?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 07:38 AM   #2
TMRaven
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If you play at the native resolution of both monitors, yes. The 21.5 inch is 1920x1080 and the 27 inch is 2560x1440, the 27 inch monitor has nearly double the amount of pixels, so it will affect performance to a degree (it won't halve the performance like the pixels number indicate, but it will put be a decent decrease)

If you're planning on getting the 27 inch to game, then you might as well upgrade its gpu to the 5750 for only 150. Otherwise stick with the higher end 21.5 inch.


No, the cpu will make very little difference. Probably only a couple fps difference at most.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 09:59 AM   #3
rugonnagraduate
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
If you play at the native resolution of both monitors, yes. The 21.5 inch is 1920x1080 and the 27 inch is 2560x1440, the 27 inch monitor has nearly double the amount of pixels, so it will affect performance to a degree (it won't halve the performance like the pixels number indicate, but it will put be a decent decrease)

If you're planning on getting the 27 inch to game, then you might as well upgrade its gpu to the 5750 for only 150. Otherwise stick with the higher end 21.5 inch.


No, the cpu will make very little difference. Probably only a couple fps difference at most.
I recently purchased a 27" with the 5750, have not had a chance to play games but wonder is it better to set the screen resolution in the game to 1080?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 10:25 AM   #4
TMRaven
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You'll get better performance out of it, sure, but your games will look crappy. LCDs are at a disadvantage to CRTs because if they're not set at their native resolution, then the display looks mirky. I personally rather play my games at native resolution and sacrifice a little bit of anti-aliasing or graphics settings to keep it at native resolution.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 10:36 AM   #5
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If you want to play games, why not just get a pc?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 11:24 AM   #6
rugonnagraduate
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I do most of mine on the Xbox. Steam just recently started supporting MAC so I want to take advantage of a few games they offer. (TF2 especially)
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 11:41 AM   #7
SidBala
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If you want to play games, why not just get a pc?
+1

A sub $1000 PC will easily pwn any iMac for gaming.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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+1

a sub $1000 pc will easily pwn any imac for gaming.
+1
And you can upgrade the video card as required.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 12:02 PM   #9
rugonnagraduate
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+1
And you can upgrade the video card as required.
I agree with the both of you but gaming was not the reason to purchase, but if I can play games on it why not?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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The 27" iMac looks good at 1080 But you need to go with the 5750 as it'll give you way more graphics power. The CPU is less important for gaming, an i3 should be fine, as for consoles, they're fine if you like control pads and gps or racing games and they're cack if you like keyboard/mouse controls and strategy games.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 03:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hamlin View Post
If you want to play games, why not just get a pc?
- Because Macs reign supreme! That's what bootcamp is for..

I play WoW on my 21.5" 3.2 GHZ i3 and have no lagging issues whatsoever..
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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Check out my thread with wow performance:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1043434
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 04:43 PM   #13
Anon4261
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Thanks for the replies!

I'll go with the upper end 21.5" instead, not sure I can afford adding any extras to the 27" atm, maybe after uni...

As for gaming with PCs, that did cross my mind, but I'd be using the iMac for gaming in addition to everything else (the macbook's portability will probably get used more next year living off-campus), and I'm deeply in love with mac as opposed to PC I'm afraid! An expensive love for sure.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Anon4261 View Post
Thanks for the replies!

I'll go with the upper end 21.5" instead, not sure I can afford adding any extras to the 27" atm, maybe after uni...

As for gaming with PCs, that did cross my mind, but I'd be using the iMac for gaming in addition to everything else (the macbook's portability will probably get used more next year living off-campus), and I'm deeply in love with mac as opposed to PC I'm afraid! An expensive love for sure.
Good choice! That's what I have and I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed!
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 10:30 PM   #15
nightscape94
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I'm gonna hijack this thread a bit!

I've narrowed my choice to either this or that. I'm just trying to determine whether the graphics update is that much better that I should make the price leap. Honestly, the price difference isn't so great as to be a deterrent but I'm not going to be gaming, but I will be watching video. I'll also be using Logic extensively.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 07:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon4261 View Post
Thanks for the replies!

I'll go with the upper end 21.5" instead, not sure I can afford adding any extras to the 27" atm, maybe after uni...

As for gaming with PCs, that did cross my mind, but I'd be using the iMac for gaming in addition to everything else (the macbook's portability will probably get used more next year living off-campus), and I'm deeply in love with mac as opposed to PC I'm afraid! An expensive love for sure.
I'm running the i7 2.8/4850 iMac (late 09) and it runs games just fine in native resolution such as WoW, HL2, Starcraft 2 etc... While I have WoW as a native Mac program, and HL under steam/OSX you will see better framerates under bootcamp/Windows setup. In a busy area in WoW I may avg say 25 FPS and on the Windows side maybe gain 8 to 10 FPS in the same situation. This is however at the native 2550x1440 which I've never had a monitor that would even go that high so to me it's rather impressive.

Consider these are "mobile" GPU chipsets pushing that many pixels, it's pretty impressive they even perform as they do. Overall very playable, and as I didn't buy this as a gaming machine it works very well when I want to mess around in a game.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bossxii View Post
I'm running the i7 2.8/4850 iMac (late 09) and it runs games just fine in native resolution such as WoW, HL2, Starcraft 2 etc... While I have WoW as a native Mac program, and HL under steam/OSX you will see better framerates under bootcamp/Windows setup. In a busy area in WoW I may avg say 25 FPS and on the Windows side maybe gain 8 to 10 FPS in the same situation. This is however at the native 2550x1440 which I've never had a monitor that would even go that high so to me it's rather impressive.

Consider these are "mobile" GPU chipsets pushing that many pixels, it's pretty impressive they even perform as they do. Overall very playable, and as I didn't buy this as a gaming machine it works very well when I want to mess around in a game.
I installed Windows using Parallels. Is it better to use boot camp for games etc..?
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 11:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugonnagraduate View Post
I installed Windows using Parallels. Is it better to use boot camp for games etc..?
Well, unless I'm way off base here (I have not used Parallels) boot camp in theory should run Windows better/faster etc... because your not sharing resources with OSX at the time you are running Windows. I've always used Bootcamp because the only thing I do in Windows is gaming. I only have the base 4gigs or ram and didnt' see splitting resources to run both OS's at once.

Short answer, yes boot camp is better. (but I"m not an expert on the VMware)
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 05:49 PM   #19
aki
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Originally Posted by bossxii View Post
Well, unless I'm way off base here (I have not used Parallels) boot camp in theory should run Windows better/faster etc... because your not sharing resources with OSX at the time you are running Windows. I've always used Bootcamp because the only thing I do in Windows is gaming. I only have the base 4gigs or ram and didnt' see splitting resources to run both OS's at once.

Short answer, yes boot camp is better. (but I"m not an expert on the VMware)
This is correct. Bootcamp makes your mac hardware a regular PC, in virtually every possible respect. It's always going to be faster and more compatible. End of story.

Having said that though, products like Parallels have come a long way. There is a lot you can do in them now, including gaming, depending on what you play and how important "glitz" is to your gaming experience.

Basically you have to decide what you want to do, and then choose the tool.
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