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Old Jul 10, 2012, 09:33 AM   #1
Maxcorpious
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27" iMac for gaming?

I'm thinking about getting a 27" iMac, 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB (I will upgrade to 16GB myself because it's much cheaper), 2GB ATI Radeon 6970M video. Would this be good for gaming if I did Boot Camp and installed Win7-64bit? I play WoW and other FPS games like Call of Duty MW3, ect. I read that a refresh of the iMac might happen by the end of the year or next year. I might wait, since I need to save money for one anyways.

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Old Jul 10, 2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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If gaming is your primary interest, you really should wait. While the 6970m (with 2 GB) is a pretty good card, this year's replacements (AMD's 7970m and the more likely Nvidia 680M) double the performance.

WoW isn't terribly demanding and can be safely played in OS X. For the most demanding games you'd probably need to go into Bootcamp on the 6970m, but may be able to stay in OS X on the 680M so long as a port of the game is available.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Okay, thanks for the info. I have a 15" MBP and I really like it. But it's about 3 years old and the graphics card only has 256MB. I do play WoW on that and it's not too bad. But the fan speed is at 100% (I believe) so I know it's working hard and it gets pretty hot. I do like the OS X, I wish more games get ported for it. But for now, I will wait to see if the iMacs get upgraded. The new Ivy Bridge CPU and a new faster GPU would be sweet I also wish they include a Blue Ray Player but that's not that big a deal since I watch stuff on iTunes and Netflix.

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Old Jul 10, 2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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More games are getting ported now. Some just take longer than others. E.g. Civilization V released a couple months after the Windows version, and the Gods & Kings expansion was a simultaneous release. Shooters are a different story.. Black Ops is still being ported, not quite released yet, and Battlefield 3 appears not to be coming at all. Anything by Blizzard you can bank on simultaneous release.

One thing we can hope for is that companies haven't been bothering to port the most demanding games (shooters chief among them) because Apple hadn't sold hardware that could handle it well anyway, and now they (hopefully) will be.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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If gaming is your primary goal with your new machine..

Get a Windows 7 box. For the money you'll spend on a 27in iMac. You can build.a gaming box that will blow pretty much any current mac out of the water.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 11:58 AM   #6
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If gaming is your primary goal with your new machine..

Get a Windows 7 box. For the money you'll spend on a 27in iMac. You can build.a gaming box that will blow pretty much any current mac out of the water.
Mandatory "build a gaming PC" comment. Thanks. The world can now keep turning as usual.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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Mandatory "build a gaming PC" comment. Thanks. The world can now keep turning as usual.
If he primary goal is gaming, he shouldn't buy an imac? Performance is just lacking.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:16 PM   #8
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I agree with the sentiment expressed by other users. If you do a lot go gaming, your options come down to:

1: Wait for the 2012 iMac.
2: Build/Buy a game oriented Windows PC.
3: Buy a console.

The downside of the iMac, as it relates to gaming, is that the iMac historically uses mobile GPUs, which are typically one tier below their desktop counterparts in terms of performance. While Thunderbolt allows the use of an external GPU, the TB->PCIe bus is only 4 lanes, which is not yet suitable for high-end graphics parts.

Option 2 is fine for gaming, but has no other redeeming attributes. While some may suggest the "hackintosh" route, understand that it's a bumpy road.

Option 3 only works if the the games you play are available on PS/XBOX.

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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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Option 3 only works if the the games you play are available on PS/XBOX.
Consoles are cheap, but so is the hardware in them. Both use 6 (!) generations old hardware. You'll never be able to play a game at 1440p with a PS3.

Games are also more expensive for the consoles.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:46 PM   #10
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If he primary goal is gaming, he shouldn't buy an imac? Performance is just lacking.
Pretty sure if he was interested in Windows as his primary OS, he wouldn't have stopped by here to begin with.

Lots of us want the best Mac money can buy to game on because we've already had our fill of Windows.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Pretty sure if he was interested in Windows as his primary OS, he wouldn't have stopped by here to begin with.

Lots of us want the best Mac money can buy to game on because we've already had our fill of Windows.
Pretty sure I was just offering an opinion.

For all I know he might not be aware of how bad the gaming situation really is on a mac. If his primary use of this machine is gaming, he would be much better off on a windows box, he will get a better gaming experience for his dollar.

I'm not dissing the imac itself, I have a decently speced out 11 imac, I love it. Makes a good media and web machine, but when it comes to anything that requires any kind of performance, like gaming, I leave that to my gaming tower. Which oddly enough, is plugged into an apple 30 incher The performance of an imac is just....ugh

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Old Jul 10, 2012, 01:28 PM   #12
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I mean if he wants an imac that bad, more power to him.

If he's going to install windows on it anyway.

He could build a decent gaming tower, and get a decent monitor, AND refurbed mac mini for less. So he would have a better time gaming, and still have the mini for primary use.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 02:31 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info. I will most likely get an iMac anyways because I love the OS X and the high-res (2560x1440) 27" screen. Plus I play World of Warcraft most of the time and I think that should run fine on the iMac. I do hope the new iMac will have better hardware (GPU especially) so when I run Win7 on it, I can play some of the FPS games. I did watch some YouTube videos showing people gaming on the 27" iMacs (3.4GHz, 12GB, 2GB 6970M -- Boot Camp Win7) and they were getting pretty good frames-per-second (over 40-fps) but the settings had to be turned down a bit. I really want to buy a 27" iMac... so I'm hoping for the best. Again... thank you all for the tips and suggestions. Now I'm getting excited about getting one. I think they are amazing machines.

Kamil
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 02:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by forty2j View Post
More games are getting ported now. Some just take longer than others. E.g. Civilization V released a couple months after the Windows version, and the Gods & Kings expansion was a simultaneous release. Shooters are a different story.. Black Ops is still being ported, not quite released yet, and Battlefield 3 appears not to be coming at all. Anything by Blizzard you can bank on simultaneous release.

One thing we can hope for is that companies haven't been bothering to port the most demanding games (shooters chief among them) because Apple hadn't sold hardware that could handle it well anyway, and now they (hopefully) will be.
Well, the ports never play as well as they do on the windows boxes. Games written to look great and use all of the bells and whistles of DirectX 10 and DX11 just wont look the same doing slightly different, less efficient rendering in OpenGL (mac).
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 02:56 PM   #15
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Well, the ports never play as well as they do on the windows boxes. Games written to look great and use all of the bells and whistles of DirectX 10 and DX11 just wont look the same doing slightly different, less efficient rendering in OpenGL (mac).
True, the Civ port is based on the DX9 version. Hoping support for newer versions of OpenGL can narrow that gap as well...
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 03:03 PM   #16
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Let's be true to ourselves for a second, with this sampling of my experiences:

I want to play Fallout:New Vegas.

Listed below I have detailed my first major hurdle/concern while running the game on three different platforms (PC/Mac/XBox 360):

PC - Right, my PC is a few years old, not a chance.

Mac - The performance drops from 60fps down to 7fps as soon as I walk outside the Doc's office (character creation).

XBox 360 - I keep getting killed by the feral ghouls on my way to Clearwater Springs.

Did you see what I did there? If you enjoy tweaking video options, fighting emulation schemes, and dealing with game-breaking system updates, enjoy gaming on the Mac. If you just want to turn the freakin' thing on and play, go with the XBox 360. My 2 cents.

I LOVE my Macs, but for gaming, they do better with the indie games and some of the stuff on Steam (but that's pretty buggy, too).
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 03:17 PM   #17
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I LOVE my Macs, but for gaming, they do better with the indie games and some of the stuff on Steam (but that's pretty buggy, too).
Realistically it wasn't until last year that they put out Macs with video cards that you would really want to game on. So your Macs suffer the "it's a few years old" problem too. (Oh, the 2012 MBP with integrated graphics, yeah, that doesn't count.)

I love my Xbox, but there are some games that just don't translate to console well.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 03:55 PM   #18
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I mean if he wants an imac that bad, more power to him.

If he's going to install windows on it anyway.

He could build a decent gaming tower, and get a decent monitor, AND refurbed mac mini for less. So he would have a better time gaming, and still have the mini for primary use.
The 2011 iMac can run all PC games, ideally in Windows for best peformance.

You're just an idiot who believes that gaming doesn't happen under 60 FPS.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacFarlane View Post
Did you see what I did there?
Yes you made an idiotic post mentioning among other things, emulation.

Here's to the idiots whio believe that you need to build a PC for gaming:

If you're going to build a PC then you can just as well install the bloody Windows 7 on your iMac in Bootcamp, enjoy higher performance, install the best drivers you can find, and overclock the GPU to get the most of the hardware.

But no, idiots do what idots do: perpetuate stupid binary thinking all over the internet.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 04:01 PM   #19
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Here's to the idiots whio believe that you need to build a PC for gaming:

If you're going to build a PC then you can just as well install the bloody Windows 7 on your iMac in Bootcamp, enjoy higher performance, install the best drivers you can find, and overclock the GPU to get the most of the hardware.

But no, idiots do what idots do: perpetuate stupid binary thinking all over the internet.
There is the one solitary benefit of building a beige box, and that's access to a desktop GPU.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 04:17 PM   #20
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Since I am the proud owner of the exact computer you're considering buying, OP, I can attest that it's a great machine for gaming, and even better on Windows 7 through bootcamp. Vast majority of the games I own can play on max settings in 1600x900 if not 1080p with smooth framerates and great visuals.
Skyrim in particular plays very well on the computer, and so does Battlefield 3, StarCraft 2, and the latest Call of Duty games. Some games like Metro 2033 and Assassin's Creed 2 (played in OSX, at least) did require some tweaks to the resolution and shader settings before I could strike a good balance between frame rate, visual quality, and pixelation, but in general the games I play are of superb quality.

...just keep your hands off the top of the machine after a few hours in BlackLight: Retribution. That aluminum could cook an egg! xD

Still, you probably want to save up for the next machine just because it'll be better. But the current iMac is a real beast for gaming, make no mistake!
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 04:37 PM   #21
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Let's be true to ourselves for a second, with this sampling of my experiences:

I want to play Fallout:New Vegas.
The current iMac will absolutely kill Fallout:New Vegas. I mean, it runs Skyrim (which is newer game with higher performance demands) maxed out at native 1440p resolution with 45+ fps. Your XBox won't even come close to the performance or quality levels of the iMac. It has a equivalent of Radeon 6850 which was one of the best bang for buck gaming cards of 2010, while the XBox is still stuck with the ancient GPU...

And if you are trying to run the game in the emulator... well, it can't be helped. You know that iMac can natively run windows, do you?
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 09:07 PM   #22
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Realistically it wasn't until last year that they put out Macs with video cards that you would really want to game on. So your Macs suffer the "it's a few years old" problem too. (Oh, the 2012 MBP with integrated graphics, yeah, that doesn't count.)

I love my Xbox, but there are some games that just don't translate to console well.
Absolutely right. Games like Starcraft would be terrible on a console. In fact, I think Starcraft (I) was ported to the N64, and it WAS terrible.

A simple indie like "World of Goo" was a joy to play on the Wii, but it does feel more responsive on my computer. The Wiimote has a lag to it that breaks the wow factor it's supposed to give me.

And, I know I'm not running Crysis anytime soon on my MBP with the Intel 4000HD IGP, but it is pretty awesome. Starcraft II looks better and runs smoother on my MBP than it does on my iMac (although I think the reduction in screen size is playing a huge part in this 1920x1080 vs. 1280x800).

Still, good times . . .
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 09:19 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DeF46 View Post
The 2011 iMac can run all PC games, ideally in Windows for best peformance.

You're just an idiot who believes that gaming doesn't happen under 60 FPS.

----------



Yes you made an idiotic post mentioning among other things, emulation.

Here's to the idiots whio believe that you need to build a PC for gaming:

If you're going to build a PC then you can just as well install the bloody Windows 7 on your iMac in Bootcamp, enjoy higher performance, install the best drivers you can find, and overclock the GPU to get the most of the hardware.

But no, idiots do what idots do: perpetuate stupid binary thinking all over the internet.
Wow. At least I can go to sleep tonight with the comfort of knowing you don't think I'm the only idiot out there. Lighten up, we're here to have fun, right?

And, as far as binary thinking? 01000110 01010101
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 09:53 PM   #24
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And, as far as binary thinking? 01000110 01010101
You are so smart

Still, your previous post was a load of nonsense. Don't act surprised if people react sharply to it.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 10:52 PM   #25
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Frankly .. high end iMac is a sufficient and capable gaming machine. You can play modern games mostly at 1080p in all its glory. Problem is your display is in 1440p and anything lower looks blurry and kinda moot point. Playing it on native resolution is a suicide, GPU is not THAT good.

With that said, iMac is the best Mac you can get for the money. Performance wise, it stands very well against quad MacPro, which cost $2500 for the tower. And it's definitely much better performer than any MBP out there. You get better CPU, GPU, storage, and you can bang 4 RAM sticks in it and plenty of screen real estate for the money.

Not to mention iMac has the best AppleCare value of all. For $130 you get 3 years coverage on a $2500 machine (assuming you buy the highest end BTO). Yeah, compare to what you have to pay for cramped 15" or 17" MBP's AppleCare.

Too bad they have their own problem, my screen has this smudges problem that keeps coming back every 3 or 4 months and I have to keep it replaced to enjoy a clean display. Now I have AppleCare, but this irregularity is burdensom since it keeps coming back again and again .. and again.
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