New iMacs - Gaming PoV

Discussion in 'iMac' started by N33t, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #1
    Looking at the new iMacs from a gaming PoV, what spec choices are people making (assuming you are not just getting everything)?

    Or to put it a different way, if you had to rank the 21" upgrades / 27" upgrades in order of priority from a gaming PoV, what would your list look like?

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    Asheville, NC
    #2
    2GB 680MX GPU ($150) and max out the ram (32GB for $160 on crucial) and it should handle anything
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #3
    If you're ranking solely based on gaming, the priority would go:

    GPU > CPU > RAM > HD

    The faster the GPU the more frames per second. The faster the CPU the faster the physics get processed for the more complicated games which will also boost the frame rate (won't help for simpler games). The more RAM the less the swap file has to be accessed causing stuttering in the frame rate. Finally with an SSD instead of an HD game levels will load faster and there will be less stuttering during texture loads.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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    #4
  5. macrumors member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    #5
    And remember, this ain´t a gaming machine. The 680MX quite packs a punch, but in 2 years theres no more native resolution battlefield 4 gaming - for sure.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2011
    #6
  7. macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #7
    The hyper threading, no, but the pure clock speed difference, yes. For example a game like Starcraft 2 is surprisingly CPU limited once you have enough GPU horsepower to get it to a smooth frame rate. Once the frame rate is smooth, the game only chokes on huge battles with near maximum amounts of units on the the battlefield - because at that point the sheer amount of physics calculations required brings most CPUs to their knees.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    May 13, 2008
    #8
    How good will the 21.5" highend model be for gaming ?
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    NJ
    #9
  10. macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2009
    #10
    Remember that the most important component for gaming is the GPU. If you intend to play any modern games on these devices, you want to get the best possible GPU.


    Any of the i5/i7 processors will be more than sufficient for gaming.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    NJ
    #11
    About the same as the non-Retina MBP, with a better CPU. It will hold its own, but be quite easy to over-stress.
     
  12. macrumors member

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    Aug 8, 2012
    #12
    The Verge is far from being objective. The games the have tested aren't recent ones.
    My feeling says it's worth it to spend a extra buck to get the higher end GPU. Let's hope sites like toms hardware will publish soon there reviews
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2011
    #13
    So, subject to the caveat that you can upgrade the memory yourself, the priority for the 27" would appear to be:

    • 27-inch: 3.2GHz
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    Is the 1TB Fusion the "correct" HD choice?
     
  14. Jingleballz, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #14
    That looks good...although I would try to save some money by getting the 32GB of memory outside of apple.

    OWC and Crucial has 2x16 (32GB) for $160 bucks. I ordered 8GB and plan to just upgrade when I get my IMac.

    Just to let you know, most games only require about 2GB of on board video memory these days. I don't think you'll see a ton of difference in upping it more than 8GB. 16GB is way way more than enough. 32Gb is over kill for video games.

    I'm a gamer and here's what I ordered today:

    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) & User's Guide
    AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll

    Delivers Dec 24 - Dec 31 by Standard Shipping

    Order Total: $2,941.00
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Winter Park, Florida
    #15
    I disagree sir!

    With over 500 hours of gameplay on MW3 alone and just "killin it" literally and figuratively on the battlefield, this statement is extremely invalid.

    Battlefied 4 runs just fine on my current iMac as well!
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2011
    #16
    Let's try not to get diverted by the is it or is it not a "gaming computer" discussion if possible please.

    TYVM @ Jingleballz - that is very helpful advice. Sadly the pricing in the UK seems a bit more agressive (about 1k USD more for the same system if I am reading the Apple UK site correctly).
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #17
    Says who?
    It's got decent CPU specs, decent GPU specs (especially when optioned up). There isn't a whole lot that counts against it for gaming now.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #18
    If you're going reduce cost, the one thing I wouldn't neglect is the video card. Purely from a gaming perspective. The CPU and HD won't make a huge difference.
     
  19. NMF, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    NMF
    macrumors 6502a

    NMF

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    Oct 27, 2011
    #19
    For the love of God don't waste your money on 32GB of memory. You people recommending that should be ashamed of yourselves. No game on the market requires that much RAM. Hell, even 16GB is overkill. For purely gaming the base 8GB is more than enough.

    You do need the high-end with the upgraded GPU though.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #20
    Wasn't aware there were 16GB SODIMMs out yet, much less at that price point. Are you sure you're looking at SODIMMs and 16GB modules?
     
  21. thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2011
    #21
    OK so the consensus would seem to be the 27" priorities are:

    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    And then manually upgrade RAM later as and when required.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #22
    I've researched the i7 vs. i5 issue, and the difference in gaming is about 0-4% in 4-core CPUs at same freq. So I ordered the 3.2ghz i5 CPU. Since I don't to video and photo editing, there's practically no difference between the i5 and i7 CPU in daily use. I did go with the 768gb SSD, because SSD makes a huge difference in loading times (just imagine how many times you load a level in a game, there's a lot of waiting there..). But damn, that was expensive. It almost doubled the price of my iMac. Really crappy by Apple to put the buyer in such a predicament..
     
  23. macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #23
    Good catch...
     
  24. macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2011
    #24
    If you're going to Bootcamp Windoz to play games you won't need a Fusion drive. I got tired of waiting for games to come out inn OSX and just got a copy of W7 and can play whatever I want.
     
  25. NMF
    macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #25
    Pretty much, but even then I'd go with the i5. Unless you have a workflow that would seriously benefit from hyper-threading the i7 is kinda overkill. The quad core i5 is more than enough beef to run the latest games. Games these days barely tax two cores, let alone four or eight.

    For gaming, get the high-end 27" model with the fusion drive and GTX680MX. Those are the only two upgrades you really need.


    Sure, but if you're buying a Mac then you want OSX for day-to-day computing. Windows is just for gaming. If you buy a $2k+ iMac and then boot exclusively into Windows then you're an idiot. If you want a Windows-based machine it is much cheaper to simply build a gaming PC.

    OP, I would stick with the Fusion drive. I currently manage an HDD/SSD combo myself, and while it's doable and not a huge hassle I'd rather have the OS do it all for me. I'm looking into activating Fusion on my MBP.
     

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