27 Inch iMac w/external monitor for gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by yeahus, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. yeahus macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2012
    I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work, but I thought I'd run it past you clever lot to see what you think:

    I've got a 27 inch iMac on order (with the 680mx), and I've also got an old 1080p monitor lying around. If I used the old monitor to play games (connected as an secondary display, not mirrored) would I get better performance (assuming native resolution on both monitors) than playing on the iMac screen?

    Or would there be issues with setting the external display as the 'primary' display?

    It's not something I plan on doing often (maybe for very graphically intensive games), it's really more of a random thought that popped in to my head.

    Interested to hear your thoughts,

    Cheers! :)
  2. b0redom macrumors regular

    May 4, 2007
    Why not just run at 1080p on the iMac? That's what I currently do sometimes.
  3. laetusviator macrumors member


    May 31, 2012
    When you run the monitor at something other than its native resolution, it won't look as good. So by running it on a monitor with the lower 1080 native resolution, you get the performance benefit and, in theory, it will look better.

    I don't know if you can switch the external to be primary display, yeahus. But it seems like it would be a hassle messing with the second old monitor just for the odd game, and I'm guessing the difference wouldn't be noticeable enough to be worth the trouble.
  4. Mac32, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    What about playing the game in a window, and setting the desktop background to a dark colour, or setting windows to a 16:10 or 4:3 resolution, thereby getting two vertical bars at either side of the screen but less pixels to calculate for the graphics card?

    Slightly off topic, but with the thunderbolt iMac it became no longer possible to use the iMac as an external monitor to a Windows PC (with a thunderbolt connection) or even another mac in bootcamp. Knowing Apple, I doubt this has been fixed with the new 2012 iMac, but I hope someone can test this as soon as possible. It would be great to confirm it anyway. The thunderbolt display can be used with a Windows PC though.

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