Buying a Mac for gaming (wow)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Willstone525, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Willstone525 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #1
    Hi there i am looking into replacing my Dell laptop for a Apple desktop Imac. I have always had laptop rather than desktops as i have been moving about a lot and needed the portability for all of my computer needs. However now i am more settled i tough it was time i got a desktop, something which doesn't overheat when gaming and extra cooling systems. I have looked at the Imacs both 21" and 27" and looked at the base specs listed below.

    21.5-inch
    2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB

    27-inch
    2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with 512MB

    27-inch: 3.2GHz
    3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX with 1GB

    Now to me all of these look pretty good however im no professional with this sort of stuff. I use my laptops (and computers) for mostly gaming, the main game and most important one being World of Warcraft. Now i have been a keen gamer on this game for 6 years so i need the iMac to run this no problems on max graphics getting a decent amount of FPS all the time, even in raids ect ect. Looking to achieve 30+. It also needs to have a decent life scale, i get about 4 years out of each of my laptops currently so something similar is necessary.
    So my main question is which mac do i go for, keeping it below the £1700 mark. Now i get student discount so thats 14% off i believe. But yeah i need help finding the correct one for my needs today and to keep up with future demands for game development and improvements.

    Cheers
     
  2. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #2
    You're definitely better off going BTO and getting the 680MX, it's significantly faster than the 675MX.
     
  3. Razzerman II macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Scunthorpe - yes, that place
    #3
    Wowzers ;)

    Hello there.

    A few people might suggest you just get a cheap pc gaming rig to play games on. You obviously (and even maybe wisely) prefer the Mac experience.

    If I had £1700 quid to blow on a Mac mainly for wow, I'd probably wait until the pricing for the new Mac Pro has been announced, if you can wait a little. That would 'last', in terms of warcraft, for at least 5 years.

    If you much prefer the iMac route, I'd suggest using it for a couple of years, and sell to upgrade to the latest iMac offering. This will give you the longevity you require.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Cheers,

    Ray
     
  4. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #4
    Will you be buying games for Mac OS X or playing them on Windows?

    I'm an Apple fan and I think iMacs are fantastic machines, but when it comes to serious gaming (especially if you're playing Windows games), you really should consider building your own gaming PC.

    You're worried about your machine lasting 4 years. With a PC, you can just replace parts here and there when you need them. It doesn't get much more "future-proof" than that.

    It doesn't even need to be a big, noisy black box. You can get some seriously nice Mini ITX cases. My PC looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    It's a really cost-effective solution, too. I built my gaming PC for less than £600 (including a 24" LED monitor) and it plays Bioshock Infinite on high settings - and that's a fantastic looking game that I highly recommend.

    I know you've said you're "no professional" when it comes to computing. The hardest part of building a PC is making sure you buy a motherboard, processor and RAM that match. But you can buy bundles that include these components from Dabs and eBuyer. It's really satisfying to build your own PC.

    Give it some thought.
     
  5. RThom macrumors newbie

    RThom

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #5
    I've been running WoW on Macs for at least six years; right now I'm using a mid-2011 model i5, 2.5 Ghz; 12 GB RAM; AMD Radeon 6750M, 512 MB video memory. If I drop the resolution down a few notches, go full screen, I can run on the "high" settings, getting between 60 & 90 fps with no problem (just disable the "sunshafts" setting ... )
     
  6. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #6
    With regards to WOW. I have a previous generation i5 with the 6970m video card (1g) backed with 12g of memory. I easily run WOW at 2560x1440. I have even run FIVE WOW clients simultaneously; multiboxer. The four child clients were run at 800x600 with sound off, but still it was five clients running.

    So any of the more modern systems with discreet video should be fine. You can't beat the twenty seven inch displays for making a game look great
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    I suggest the 680MX option if you can afford it, otherwise you do want the 675MX.
     
  8. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #8
    I have been plating wow for 6 years in macs (started in the original macbook por core duo), and now play in a Early 2011 macbook pro. In 25 man raid I need more power...
    If I have that money, I would invest in a PC. I think they just run games better, and are way cheaper.
    If you really want a mac for gaming, I would wait for the next gen imac (they should be around the corner) and see what they have to offer.
    Anyway, adding a nice razer mouse is a must have.

    My 2 cents, a 27" screen is too big for wow. Specially in hardcore progression groups, where you need to have everything at sight (dbm, timers, grid, etc...)
     
  9. Slow Programmer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #9
    What brand is that case? I like the design, but maybe not the color :)
     
  10. flavr macrumors 6502

    flavr

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #10
  11. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #11
    Yes, the 680MX will in many cases be significantly faster, esp. because 675mx has only 1gb ram, which isn't a lot for higher resolutions. Gaming in 1440p is very demanding on hardware. Non native (lower) resolutions look rather bad unforunately, ie. playing in 1080p on an 1440p display isn't really an option if you are remotely interested in good visuals.
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #12
    It depends on what you're running and games like to chew up VRAM, so double the VRAM on the 680MX makes it noticeably faster and worth it.
     
  13. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #13
    If you're serious about your gaming, you really should go with the BTO 680MX option. But that will probably put you above 1700 quid.
     
  14. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #14
  15. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
  16. Willstone525 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #16
    Okay so overall what spec, build would you go for keeping cost in mind but more importantly the factors that will allow me to game on high settings for longest?
     
  17. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #17
    I chose my spec (i5, 680MX, 1 TB Fusion) with gaming in mind. For windows gaming you'd be better off with a full SSD instead of Fusion, but now you're getting into serious money.

    Remember regular RAM can always be added later. 8 GB stock is more than enough for now.
     
  18. Willstone525 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #18
    okay great! what sort of game and graphic levels (low, med, high) would you say that would cope with? World of Warcraft and Flight simulator X is what i mostly use.
     
  19. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #19
    I haven't fired up my WoW client in about 2 years :)

    You should be able to run WoW pretty much maxed for at least 3 years though. I'd check the battle.net forums for exact settings people have had success with.

    I know nothing of Flight simulator. But what I can tell you is that essentially the only games I'm aware people have had to move to "High" instead of "Ultra" on the 680MX are a couple of the AAA FPS's. A common tweak is to set Anti-aliasing low or off, since you basically have enough pixels to do a true rendering anyway. At normal viewing distances the 27" is almost "Retina".
     
  20. Willstone525 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #20
    Okay well it sounds like the right choice, and as for CPU, the i5 would cope or i7 upgrade needed? also would the standard hard disk be okay?
     
  21. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #21
    Standard drive would be okay. Fusion drive if you can afford it would help.
     
  22. Willstone525 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #22
    Okay i shall stick with standard as i cant really afford the step up without sacrificing the processor or GPU upgrade
     
  23. Willstone525 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #23
    After reading up a lot of people say the i5 to i7 upgrade is minimal so to get the i5 and not the i7.
    is this true and will the CPU heat up significantly more using an i5, also is the i7 going to give the imac a longer life?
     
  24. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #24
    What you have listed as your uses probably won't get that much more life out of an i7. If your usage changes it could.

    What you could do is check the Apple refurbished store and see if they have one with the 680MX. In the US, a refurbished 27" iMac with i7, 680MX and 1TB Fusion drive is $200 less than a new iMac with i5, 680MX and 1TB Fusion. I would opt for the refurbished and get the better system. Do note that you would have to check the refurbished systems regularly to catch that model.
     
  25. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #25
    The i7 is great for programs specifically designed to support it. That list is very small, and to my knowledge this includes zero games. There will be no noticeable difference in anything you will do between the i5 and i7. If you have to choose between the CPU upgrade and the fusion drive, you should choose the fusion drive. To use a horrible car analogy, buying the i7 would be like buying racing tires (which are great on race tracks, and useless on highways), while buying the fusion drive would be like installing a turbo boost.
     

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