Anyone else disappointed with the graphics performance of the 27" iMac

eviljack

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
61
47
A few days ago I decided to get the 27" iMac with the GTX 680, 1Tb fusion drive and an i7 as a replacement for my almost 3 year old gaming PC after one of my 2 GTX 580's died. I did this as a switch from windows to OS X whilst thinking that a single 680 would suffice for my gaming needs.

So far the performance has been on par or worse than a single 580 from my previous pc. Are there any GPU overclocking tools for OS X that I could use to bring up the performance of the 680?
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
While the gap is closing, there are still some inherent performance gaps between OS X and Windows games due to the respective implementations of Open GL vs. DirectX. I find OS X performance more than sufficient for my needs and will purchase the OS X version of a game when one is available, but if you're a serious performance junky, you'll want to Bootcamp into Windows for your serious gaming.

Your previous card, a desktop 580, is very close in performance to desktop 660 Ti, which is the closest desktop comparator the mobile chip (680MX) in the iMac. So by going from a single 580 to a 680MX, you've bought roughly equal performance, which you then need to temper somewhat with the Open GL penalty.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
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yes, you just have to wait for 10.9 and that will have OpenGl 4, and your problems are solved
 

jmcgeejr

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2010
460
7
Seattle, WA
While the gap is closing, there are still some inherent performance gaps between OS X and Windows games due to the respective implementations of Open GL vs. DirectX. I find OS X performance more than sufficient for my needs and will purchase the OS X version of a game when one is available, but if you're a serious performance junky, you'll want to Bootcamp into Windows for your serious gaming.

Your previous card, a desktop 580, is very close in performance to desktop 660 Ti, which is the closest desktop comparator the mobile chip (680MX) in the iMac. So by going from a single 580 to a 680MX, you've bought roughly equal performance, which you then need to temper somewhat with the Open GL penalty.
Yeah I had to adjust my expectations for gaming in osx. I used to have two computers one for windows and gaming and then a mac mini for osx for day to day, I went to a 27 BTO late 2012 imac and the performance isnt there, however if you boot into windows and run the same game on that same imac it's so much better.
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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A few days ago I decided to get the 27" iMac with the GTX 680, 1Tb fusion drive and an i7 as a replacement for my almost 3 year old gaming PC after one of my 2 GTX 580's died. I did this as a switch from windows to OS X whilst thinking that a single 680 would suffice for my gaming needs.

So far the performance has been on par or worse than a single 580 from my previous pc. Are there any GPU overclocking tools for OS X that I could use to bring up the performance of the 680?
If gaming performance is important then you should use Bootcamp. Sadly many mac games ported end up missing things like AA options and frame-rates always tend to be markedly lower than its windows counterpart running on the exact same hardware.

Stick Bootcamp and a copy of windows 7 on there for your gaming needs and you'll have a great machine indeed, then boot back to Mac OS for your other computing needs.
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
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games like blizzard that are build for mac does support OpenGL 4
Source? I just did a quick check and found that, at least as of last year, D3, WoW, and SCII are all using OpenGL 3 (not even much of 3.2).
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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yes OpenGl3 and Mac 10.8 use Opegl 1.2 so with 10.9 Opengl 4 the games will work on Opengl 3 and that is better
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
yes OpenGl3 and Mac 10.8 use Opegl 1.2 so with 10.9 Opengl 4 the games will work on Opengl 3 and that is better
The point being that there's no OpenGL 4 calls being made in Blizzard games (or anyone else's), likely because there's nothing for them to call anyway. So updating the OS is a good first step, but the developer needs to implement the support.
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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yes, but it was about time to go from that crapy opengl v1
almost all the games will be running now on Opengl v3 and thats better.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,016
2,419
Seattle
Not disappointed at all. How could I be? Playing Borderlands 2 at 1440p at 60fps? Check. Playing 90% of the latest games at 60fps at 1440p? Check!

Key is: Bootcamp. The difference is night and day between OS X gaming and Windows gaming.
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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yes but the differences between bootcamp and osx will no longer be thanks to opengl 3.1
 

Mac32

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Nov 20, 2010
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Yep, the 680MX is a bit lackluster for 1440p gaming with high settings and high framerates. But gaming in 1440p IS very demanding, even for a high-end desktop gfx card. Basically, you have to overclock in 1440p, and it gives a big difference in performance. The 680-design is very mature now, so you can overclock fairly high and have a totally stable machine, and decent temperatures. It goes without saying, but "serious" gaming in OSX is not a proper option (at present time anyway).
 

apedance

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2012
86
0
Vienna
Not disappointed at all. How could I be? Playing Borderlands 2 at 1440p at 60fps? Check. Playing 90% of the latest games at 60fps at 1440p? Check!
Same here.

I stick with 1080p and use some AA instead.

Tried Crysis 3, Assassin's Creed 3, Battlefield 3, DiRT 3, DiRT Showdown, etc.

They all run very smooth.

Beast! :D
 

eattherich

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2011
580
151
Berlin
I'm actually really impressed with the 680MX. I've played a lot of new games and they've looked great. After some playing around, I've found that I would always prefer to run them at native res and sacrifice some (or all) AA as opposed to running them at 1080p.