A troubled Imac buyer! Please help.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Smokeybaconlove, May 18, 2011.

  1. Smokeybaconlove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #1
    Hey all.
    I'm new to this forum so don't destroy me with your knowledge, just help me out. :p

    I currently own a Imac 24 inch 3.06ghz dual core from 2008. I love it so much, since i'm anti-windows. The problem is, I mainly use it for gaming (On windows bootcamp) and now I need an upgrade.

    I've been waiting for the new Imac to come, and yes there it is. Only which one is the best for gaming? I heard that the resolution of 2560x1900 (3.4ghz) will hinder the performance and fps of gaming. I need to know which one is best suited for gaming, because I know the Imac is capable of doing so. I've been playing with an Imac almost 3 years on the settings high.

    So is the i7 3.4ghz, 4gb ram, amd radeon hd 6970 2gb able to deliver great performance/settings, for example battlefield 3/skyrim?

    I'm no IT specialist, currently studying economics, so please, don't hate on me for asking these questions! :D

    Please help me! Appreciate it! :apple:

    (Don't tell me to buy a windows machine, because I won't. I need atleast one partition of osx...)
     
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #2
    It's 2560x1440. Might be a bit ropey at full res on something like battlefield 3, might be able to play it at reduced settings, or higher settings at 1920x1080. It's a good card, but it's still a mobility card.
     
  3. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #3
    I currently have the i7 3.4GHz with 1GB GPU & 12GB Ram. On OSX running WoW at 2500x1440 on mostly medium settings I can get 50-60 fps whereas my old duo-core iMac used to struggle to get 40fps at 1900x1200.

    Using Win7 through Bootcamp it's a different story; WoW runs comfortably at 120fps at 2500x1440 with just about everything cranked up to good/maximum.

    The only other games I've tried in Win7 are flight sims like DCS A-10, Rise of Flight and Cliffs of Dover all of which run pretty good at max. resolution.
    Cliffs of Dover is still pretty raw so that only runs well over the channel.

    I'm returning my Mac today as it's within the 14 days return period and going with a BTO with a 2GB 6970 GPU.
    I know some people say that it won't make a difference, well my system is currently using 2GB of RAM for the GPU; 1GB onboard and 1GB system memory. It obviously needs it, so I'm going to be a good iMac owner and give it all onboard.
     
  4. Binary Ninja macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #4
    a i5 cpu is more then enough for game i recently went from my i5 750 on PC to this current 27" iMAC in my sig and plan to game and i worked in pc industry 10 years and used pc's for the last 15 - 20 .... but this kicks most butts in the sandy bridge arena

    my old cpu hardly even got a workout on games like black-ops , crysis 2 , moh 2010 , bfbc2 ... and this CPU is far quicker and the video card is more then fine ....

    in general games require a modern quad core cpu 2.2 - 2.4 ghz not too much more .. it is more how the cpu offloads other tasks to the other available cores.. modern games us GPU for a lot of the work but under bootcamp i am not sure if the CPU will work harder but i think either i5 or i7 with 6970 should do
     
  5. yakkowarner epi macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    #5
    Did I read that right? Games run better on win7 through boot camp?
     
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #6
    Yes, because Windows runs natively on Bootcamp, rather than through emulation via Parallels, etc.
     
  7. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #7
    I can't comment on other programs to run Windows but from my experience of running Bootcamp Win7/OSX with World of Warcraft, the game ran significently faster in win7 64bit and looked a lot better.

    But then that's not surprising considering DirectX on Win7 and OpenGL on OSX. Aside from that my GPU in OSX was not performing at all which is why the machine is going back and I'm getting a replacement; my old iMac ran Warcraft better.

     
  8. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #8
    What happens when you crank up the setting on wow to max at 2500x1440 both on windows and OS X? I stopped using my i7 2010 iMac for gaming cause it was really struggling. I thought about the new model, and I would be much happier if I could max out the setting for say wow at 2500x1440. Otherwise I will just continue using my current iMac as a display for my gaming PC.
     
  9. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #9
    nah, the Irony of buying an iMac for gaming purposes and then running Windows on it so one can game. Fair enough to the OP for insisting they have an iMac, but frankly the same solution can be had for alot cheaper without the shiny apple case :) . Though i do know people who buy MBP just for looks and run win7 on them..... each to their own I guess.
     
  10. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #10
    Yes.

    The reason are the API stacks that ship with drivers in Windows are much more heavily optimized.

    Lion supposedly has a new, heavily-optimized Open GL stack. It's not the default, so applications (like games) will have to release a patch to be able to use it, since it's opt-in. However we may see some very large boosts (30-40%) as a result. The existing Open GL stack will still be available for the sake of stability and compatibility (you don't Maya for example, to use shortcuts that BF3 wants, when that would change what Maya ends up doing).

    Under Windows, nVidia and ATi actually write their own API stacks and include them in their driver packages. Under OS X, Apple writes the stacks. However I'm sure they're getting a ton of feedback from Blizzard and Valve, and are incorporating it into patches. A lot of OS updates for Snow Leopard have updated the Open GL stack.

    Lion will reduce the gap, but there'll still be a gap until OS X has more development resources behind it, in terms of gaming. Some of the additional difference is most games are written against DirectX, so when porting things over to use OpenGL, they can't justify spending as much time optimizing the OpenGL code as they can the DirectX code, since OS X is a small percentage of their user base.

    -----

    Regardless, the top-tier iMac with the 6970M w/ 2GB of video memory is a very capable gaming machine. Native res won't be a problem (especially under windows), even with AA, AF, texture quality, shader effects, etc. cranked way the hell up.
     
  11. MH01, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #11
  12. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #12
    In essence it competition that drives performance increases in the drivers. Nvidia and ATI are trying to squeeze the most out of thier products to get the gaming $$$$ . Performance increases in driver releases are quiet impressive. Sadly apple updates it drivers once in a blue moon. Apple is after stabability and not performance, so I cannot see this changing in a hurry. ATI and Nvidia push thier drivers to the bleeding edge, and they allow your to OC thier cards...
     
  13. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #13
    Re-Read my first paragraph where I say what happens when you crank up WoW to maximum resolution... :D

    In short: Win7 64 bit is awesome with 100+ fps but the Mac gets VERY hot, so I capped the fps at 60 with everything maxxed apart from sunshafts which are disabled as they singlehandedly 'shaft' the fps.
    It looks incredible on the 27" screen and is extremely smooth and fluid. I tried both DirectX9 and DirectX11 but didn't see any noticeable difference so can only assume it's not switching correctly as DirectX11 should be much better than DirectX9.

    OSX is struggling to get 40fps with everything on medium. again sunshafts off but as I've said my GPU is just not performing in OSX and refuses to crank up from tickover.

    When I get the 2GB replacement GPU, I'll comment again in both Win7 & OSX.

     
  14. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #14
    Correct, however Apple never had a serious gaming focus. With some AAA publishers pushing more titles onto the Mac now, and Steam being available, that's starting to change.

    Pop quiz: How many OS updates included non-critical graphics driver updates before Steam was released? EIGHT. I'm sure the feedback that Valve provided over a few years was tremendous.

    Now with Lion we'll have a "optimized stack" which sometimes violates API conventions and standards for certain apps -- like games, to make each game eke out a few more frames here and there -- and a stable, compliant stack for applications where following specs and standards to the letter matter.
     
  15. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #15
    To be fair

    "I currently have the i7 3.4GHz with 1GB GPU & 12GB Ram. On OSX running WoW at 2500x1440 on mostly medium settings I can get 50-60 fps whereas my old duo-core iMac used to struggle to get 40fps at 1900x1200."

    You only cranked it to Medium :p according to your first paragraph.

    So you can get a constant 60FPS at 2500x1440 with everything maxed out but sunshafts?

    I'd be interested if the extra vram helps.
     
  16. sinser macrumors 6502a

    sinser

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    #16
    Found this post on the official Blizzard forums. Still loooking for some realiable benchmarks on both 21.5 and 27 models...


    PS: I would be really, really grateful if someone could post a screenshot of how WOW looks on the 27" at non native resolution.


     
  17. SkippyScud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    My new 2011 System:

    I run WoW at native resolution on Ultra settings and have maybe ONE hic-up when turning around in Stormwind during prime time. The rest of the time I see no drop in frame rate.

    Portal 2 runs very smooth as well, though it will give me a stutter or two during the intro scene in the container cart as you move to the first puzzle.

    Oh, and this is all on the OSX:apple: side. I've actually found no need to install Win7 yet due to the games I play. But if anything, this kind of performance on the Mac side should be a good sign :)
     

Share This Page