Could this just be a faulty unit? Or are the newest generation iMacs just crap?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sam93, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. sam93 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    Okay so let me explain my situation, about 2 years ago I bought the mid 2011 21.5 inch iMac base model which was £999 at the time. The specifications were:

    • 2.5GHz quad-core i5
    • 4 GB 1333MHz DDR3
    • AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics with 512MB of GDDR5 Memory

    Over the past couple of years its served me well and I've pretty much fallen in love with OS X and really don't like the thought of going back to Windows, so I treated myself to the current generation iMac since they went down in price. I got the highest level 21.5 inch and made some additions so these are the specs:

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5
    • 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    • 1TB Fusion Drive

    However, I've noticed a couple of things wrong with this new iMac that got delivered today. First of all the screen isn't very sharp on the top third, almost looks as if there is still a protective layer on the screen. My last generation iMac looks a lot better screen wise.

    Secondly, I used to run the video game Team Fortress 2 on my old iMac. It ran brilliantly on 1920x1080 resolution with advanced settings on their highest (apart from model detail which was low). However, on the exact same settings on with my new iMac i'm getting terrible frame-rate drops. :(

    I called apple tech support who instantly ordered a replacement unit (not due for up to a week because it's a custom unit). They seem to think that there must be something wrong with the unit because why on earth would the newest generation iMac perform worse with better specs? That's what I'm hoping because I don't want to be limited on what I do with Mac.

    What are your thoughts on this, has anyone had a similar experience? Just wondering if the newest generation iMacs simply aren't as good as the 2011 versions.


  2. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    It sounds like you just got a faulty one - it's inevitable that some will be since it's a mass produced product.

    For what it;s worth I have a Late 2012 27" top spec unit that I ordered the day they were announced and it has been a fantastic, solid workhorse.

    When you get a properly working one I think you'll find that it's more than a match for your old one, you've just been unlucky but it sounds like Apple are addressing the problem quickly.
  3. shoulin333 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    You moved from ATI to Nvidia, so I am curious, are you playing TF2 with the windows version of steam or the mac version?

    If it is the windows version, have you installed the latest Nvidia drivers, or are you using the stock drivers that came with the bootcamp install?
  4. sam93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    Thanks for the reply, that's what I'm hoping for. My old iMac was always a solid unit, never had a problem with it.

    I'm using the Mac version of Steam, Team Fortress 2 is available for Mac :)

    The only reason I moved from ATI to Nvidia is because that's all that is available in the new iMacs, however the card in my new Nvidia out performs the ATI in my old iMac (on paper).
  5. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    iMacs do come with protective plastic on them. Did you take yours off? Just making sure :D. If you did take the plastic off, it does sound like you have a problem.

    The issue with your graphics card does sound like a problem. TF2 is not a demanding game, and Source is fairly Mac compatible. Again, this seems like an issue. The thermal paste may not have been applied properly.

    I hope you get these problems resolved!

  6. sam93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the reply, I have taken the protective film off :D however I thought there might have been another layer I had missed and did spend 5 or so minutes making sure haha.

    Regarding TF2, I agree it's not a very demanding game. Especially because it worked perfectly on my older iMac!

  7. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    if i m not mistaken, doesn't the earlier iMac before 2012 come with desktop gpu unlike the late 2012 & above that come with mobile versions? dunno when apple did the change to mobile gpu on the iMacs, anyone can share some light? a desktop gpu can never be compared to mobile gpus which are meant for notebooks. Wish the iMacs had desktop gpus, would have been awesome for gaming :(
  8. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    iMac's always had mobile GPU's. The difference between the Late 2009 era design and the 2012 era design is the GPU's on the Late 2009 era was they were on a daughter card and theoretically upgradeable. The 2012 design forward has the GPU soldered.

    Anyway, as for GPU performance the 750M is only about 6% faster than the 6750M. And combine the fact NVIDIA drivers on OS X suck, that could be the issue. Play a game in Windows( that is equally demanding) with the latest NVIDIA drivers and compare.
  9. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    hmmn, thanks for the info, i agree the nvidia drivers for osx suck big time, wish apple stuck to ati for the slim imacs. I noticed the only think that we can download for nvidia cards for mac osx is their Cuba drivers. Will that make a difference in the gaming experience? i mean makes their video cards run better on osx?

  10. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    NVIDIA GPU's are better than AMD's at the moment. It was a good move switching. It's just the better hardware is crippled with crappy drivers. Windows is on 334 drivers and OS X is on 310. It's the opposite with AMD. AMD drivers suck in Windows.

    Not sure in that regard with the CUDA drivers, but I doubt it.
  11. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    hmmmn interesting, lets hope Yosemite will update the drivers for these nvidia cards. Why isn't apple updating the drivers or is it Nvidia being lazy to make them for osx?
  12. sam93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    So it looks as if the Nvidia drivers could be at fault, I'm guessing there is no way to manually upgrade these?

    As it happens my sister has the latest generation iMac and also plays TF2 on it occasionally, I set hers to the same settings as mine on her Intel Iris Pro 1024MB card and it performed fine!! My iMac has a better CPU and double the RAM so either it's a faulty unit or a problem with the drivers?
  13. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    ya i have read on other forums about nvidia drivers begin crap on mac before also, so i think some blame has to go on the drivers too but your iMac has a screen issue as well so could be a defected one by bad luck, let apple take care of it. Wish we had direct support from nvidia for the drivers for osx :(
  14. sam93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    You'd think that when people spend £1,000 plus on an iMac the least they could do is make sure the drivers are awesome!

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