Advice Sought - Diablo 3 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by N33t, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. N33t macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #1
    Part-time lurker, first-time poster. Many thanks in advance for your advice.

    FACTS

    - I am planning to return the iMac fold after a five year hiatus in the world of Windows PCs.

    - I am not planning to purchase a new iMac each "refresh" (future-proofing is therefore important to me).

    - I am a "casual-hardcore" gamer (mostly Blizzard titles; Starcraft and WoW).

    - Once it is released, I intend to spend a fair amount of time dispatching hellish minions in Diablo 3.

    - When gaming, I value excellent graphics and frame rates (I don't minding waiting a few extra seconds on loading screens).

    - When gaming, I like to play in native resolution.

    - In general, I do not use programmes like Final Cut Pro, After Effects or Photoshop.

    QUESTION

    - What iMac spec should I buy for Diablo 3 gaming?

    - More specifically:

    * what upgrades on the basic model should I get (if any) and in what order of priority?

    * 21.5" or 27"?

    * Is it worth waiting 4-5 months in the hope that the next iMac incorporates AMD's New Radeon HD 6990M?

    CAVEAT

    - I am aware that iMacs are not the best gaming rig (you therefore do not need to tell me that).
     
  2. Red Dmitry macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #2
    Diablo 3 will release earlier than next iMac upgrade, so it's your decision to buy or not to buy!
     
  3. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #3
    Yes, let's hope so!

    My current PC should, however, be able to run Diablo 3 (albeit on medium or low settings).

    I would therefore consider delaying my iMac purchase until Spring 2012 if the consensus is that the next version of the iMac will be significantly better from a gaming perspective.
     
  4. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #4
    Well, every refresh is going to have some improvement in gaming performance, but the 6970m in the current high-end iMacs is just fine for gaming. I can get a pretty good frame rate with most games running at a full 2560x1440 resolution with mostly all the options (other than AA which is sort of redundant at that resolution) maxed out.
     
  5. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #5
    I'd suggest:
    27" high end model
    6970m is significantly faster than 6750m even though 27" model has the higher resolution. (and WoW is just great on higher resolution)

    possible bto options from most desirable to least:

    1. Buy non-Apple memory!!!!!!! Top priority. For pleasant gaming, you need more than 4 gig memory.

    2. SSD helps greatly on games. Starcraft2 running on hhd slows down more frequently than running on SSD. SSD option helps greatly when your games require constant loading. Everything is more snappier, and nowadays you usually run multiple programs while you game (streaming, voice chat, browser etc), so SSD helps a lot.

    3. 2 gig of graphic memory isn't really needed, but you can't upgrade later on, so if you have extra money, go for it. but not really needed. 2 Gig may help you when you run games with very high texture sets in the native resolution, but 1 gig is more than enough for Blizzard games.

    4. CPU, for your tasks, i5 is enough, and possible to DIY.


    iMac uses a desktop CPU. Ivy Bridge is schedule to be released in March-April 2012, so Id rather wait.
     
  6. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #6
    Sorry to be slow, but please can you expand on this slightly?

    The only memory upgrades available to me when buying online via the UK store are from 1333MHz DDR3 2x2GB to 2x4GB or 4x4GB.
     
  7. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #7
    You probably want to play while browsing, IM, and voice chatting, and 8 is sweet spot for that purpose.
    Do not buy from Apple. Their price is outrageous compared to others.
    Of course, more is always better, but unless you plan to do heavy memory requiring tasks such as multiple virtual machines, raw picture editing etc, you don't need more than 8. Since your needs pretty much are general computing with some heavy gaming sessions, 8 gig is sufficient.
     
  8. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #8
    OK so best advice seems to be 27" with upgrades prioritised as follows:

    1. 1333MHz DDR3 2x2GB > 2x4GB (£160)

    2. 1TB Serial ATA Drive > 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive (£480)

    3. AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB GDDR5 > AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 (£80)

    4. 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 > 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 (£160)

    Not sure my budget will stretch that far but at least I know where to start.

    Any other thoughts on this? All tips/advice gratefully received.
     
  9. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #9
    None of those are really needed but what he was flat out saying is DON’T buy apple RAM. Apple will charge you about $180 bucks for 4GB of RAM when you can go to outside sources like new egg or OWC (macsales) and get 4GB for under $50. iMac RAM can be installed in about 5 minutes and doesn’t void the warranty. Apple even offers exact directions in how to change it. NEVER pay apple premium for RAM.

    As far as the others go:

    An SSD is a good option if you have the money. However make sure you have external drives for actual storage. Out of any of the upgrades you listed, I would go for this first.

    1 Gig of VRAM should do you plenty if you’re stretching your cash too far. If you feel you have some extra money for this rig though, go for it.

    Don’t upgrade the CPU, you won’t need it. I got the 2.8GHz i7 in my 21.5” iMac but I do heavy video editing so I needed the extra power. For your purposes, the i5 will do perfectly fine.
     
  10. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #10
    OK, got it now!

    Again, sorry to be slow but please can you expand on this?
     
  11. spcdust macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
  12. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #12
    SSD's are faster and more stable however they aren't nearly as large, space wise, as normal hard drives are. For that reason it's best to put your OS and applications on the SSD but for your normal files and such get external hard drives. That way you get the speed of a solid state with the storage capacity of HDD's.

    It's up to you if you think you need it though. If it's primarily a gaming rig you won't need much space anyway.
     
  13. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #13
    Hard swap is pretty hard and tedious to do for iMacs.
    If you want to maintain the cost low while not sacrificing too much performance wise,

    Order from Apple
    iMac 27" higher end model
    128 gb SSD + 1TB.

    Order from 3rd party
    Ram


    Optional if you are rich,
    2gig graphic memory.
    i7 CPU
    256 SSD + 1TB
     
  14. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    #14
    Thanks for the advice guys/gals. Greatly appreciated.

    I think I am going to pull the trigger on the following:

    - 27" 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 > no upgrade to i7

    - 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB > populate 2 empty memory slots with 2x4GB third party RAM for total of 12GB (£40)

    - 1TB Serial ATA Drive > 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive (£480)

    - AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB GDDR5 > AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 (£80)

    Shout if you have any final thoughts. And again, thanks.
     
  15. saberlam macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #15
    6970M is indeed just a 6850 desktop. The iMac 27 6970M Base model is enough for Diablo 3.

    You can invest money on a good speaker, mouse and keyboard.

    Diablo 3 will be arrived in the first quarter of 2012. But we got many big titles before.
     
  16. Red Dmitry macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #16
    BTW If it helpes, I'm planing to play Diablo 3 too, and I'm getting just low-end 2011 imac 21.5 because I need computer now, not after half a year. But I think it will handle Diablo 3.
     
  17. N33t, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
  18. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
  19. N33t thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011

Share This Page