Flight Simulator X on the new 2009 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mozthefox, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. mozthefox macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #1
    Hey - very new to Macs and the forum so be gentle! :)

    I have been using OS X on my PC for a while now and have decided to buy some kind of Mac. I say some kind because I am not entirely sure which one I want yet as I am still looking at gaming benchmarks.

    I'm not particularly into playing games on the desktop any more and those I do play aren't exactly graphics hungry. My boyfriend, on the other hand, loves Flight Sim X and on our PC (2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, 8800 GTX OC) it runs very nicely.

    Now, I know performance of 3D games won't match PCs but I am interested to know if anyone has tried playing FSX on the new iMac range (using boot camp of course!), particularly on the 9400m and GT 120 chips. I don't have unlimited funds but if the GT 120 is a big improvement over the 9400m then I might be able to push for the £1499 24-inch model.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? I would really appreciate some FPS info if possible :cool:

    Thanks for your advice,
    James
     
  2. youssefm macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #2
    i play flight sim. X on my unibody 2.0ghz macbook on high settings.. Now of course it lags just a little, but otherwise its great!
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #3
    I think it would be fine. For a Mac compatible and more realistic sim, I recommend X-Plane. It can be bought for $39 and includes 6 or 7 DVDs for scenery.
     
  4. gasport macrumors 6502

    gasport

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #4

    I second that. Great program and an awesome amount of additional planes and scenery. The price is great too and the service is excellent.
     
  5. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #5
    Thanks guys - I REALLY appreciate the feedback.

    Not being familiar with hardware on the Macs, could you give me the specs of your machines? Particularly the graphics card/chip, CPU & RAM so I can compare it and look at some benchmarks...

    My b/f did look at X-Plane and has said that he wonders what all the fuss is about. He tried a demo of it a while ago and said the handling of the planes is completely different (not being a pilot of any kind I wouldnt know ;)).

    £1500 for a new PC that isn't as good as my current PC is pushing it I think, but it all depends on what specs you guys have and how FSX/X-Plane runs with the 9400m GPU. I have heard X-Plane has some performance issues :confused:

    Thanks for your help once again,
    James
     
  6. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    X-Plane will surely be different because it is more realistic. It actually calculates how the plane will behave, whereas FSX uses a table. Considering X-Plane has a certification by the FAA for training, I think that speaks volumes as to its realistic behavior.

    I run X-Plane on a PC right now, with an AMD 5000+, 2GB of RAM, and an NVidia 8600GT. It's not high-end at all.
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I wouldn't recommend the 9400m for Flight Simulator on the iMacs. While it might be ok for a MacBook with the odd stutter as youssefm says but the iMacs have a lot more pixels to drive. The 20" iMac has 70% more pixels than a MacBook and the 24" iMac has 125% more than a MacBook. At a guess, you'd want at least the GT 130 for smooth gameplay.
     
  8. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #8
    I think I have come to that conclusion too. After looking at what people are playing FSX on (mainly MacBooks & MacBook Pros) it seems like that would be the only viable option.

    I just can't justify spending over a grand for something I already have - even if it is a Mac :(

    However all is not lost...

    My brother is at Uni at the moment and the student price for a Mac Mini is great...£391 & £508 for the low and high end models respectively. That's roughly a 22% discount :)

    I think I might keep the PC for hardcore gaming (after all Bioshock 2 will be out this year!) and use the Mac Mini for our main computer. At a later date (maybe the summer) I might fork out for a 24" display (27% discount!! :eek:) to go with both machines and a KVM switch so I can switch between PC & Mac on the fly.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?

    Thank you so much for your advice, much appreciated!

    James
     
  9. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    £391?? How? What Uni? As far as I know, the Higher Education discount only usually gives 14% off although in the case of the new Mac Minis, its only ~10%. Unless you're talking without VAT or something?

    Back when the first Intel minis came out I bought one to go along side my gaming rig. Unfortunately, the PC ended up not being used, it was so much louder and Windows was so horrible that I ended up not gaming nearly as much and hardly switched it on. A year later I'd sold the parts from my gaming pc, my mac mini and my Dell laptop and bought myself a Mac Pro and a second hand iBook. :p
     
  10. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #10
    That was the price I was quoted by an Apple rep on the net. I was chatting to them and asked what price the new Mac Minis were for Uni Students...she created a new basket and told me to look in it. £391 for the low end and £508 for the high end...including VAT

    I have previously rung them up and asked about student discounts for the MacBook. Its not as much of a discount but its still pretty big. I was amazed :D

    I would love a Mac Pro - but only using it for net access and the occasional image/video editing I can't really justify the extra expense...3x the expense in fact :eek:

    James
     
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #11
    Hmmm... it said £449.65 and £548.20 respectively on the online Higher Education store. :(

    Ah, I just got them to do what you said they did via the chat and its brought up my basket. £391 ex.VAT, £449.65 with VAT. :p Thought I was onto a winner there! Hehe!

    Yeah the new Mac Pros are a bit over priced now and not really worth it. I vaguely justify it by spending so much of my day on mine and I use it to run *some* simulations for work!
     
  12. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #12
    How well will this chug my 7600GT powered iMac?

    Is there a good list of compatible gear for playing this on a Mac?
     
  13. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #13
    Damn it - I knew it was too good to be true...I was blinded by my own excitement :p

    Not a massive discount but better than nothing I guess. I can get a low end Mac Mini and the wireless keyboard & mighty mouse for £520.10. Definately going to go for that me thinks.

    If we decide we want a monitor then we can go for the cinema display at £526.70. It's an option at the end of the day. iPhone development can pay for that bad boy me thinks haha! :cool:

    Shivetya: We have a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB DDR2 RAM & 8800 GTX OC to run FSX. It runs with everything on high at about 20 fps. Not bad but not that good. The 7600 GT isn't as good as the 8800 GTX but not having any experience with the 7xxx series im not sure of its capabilities. You can view the benchmarks for different games for these 2 cards here if you want:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/.../compare,783.html?prod[2078]=on&prod[2105]=on

    HTH,
    James
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #14
    Nice deal on the wireless kit there. Its £68.10 extra normally in the HE store.
     
  15. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #15
    Hmmm....if I worked it out correctly :)cool:) then the wireless kit costs £71.10??


    Mac Mini @ £499
    +
    Wireless Keyboard & Mighty Mouse @ £79
    =
    £578 - 10%
    =
    £520.20

    Which would make the wireless set £71.10 (£79 - 10%)...no? :)

    Anyways - too much talking about spending money and not enough buying. I need to arrange a time to meet my brother at the Apple store to get this bad boy!

    Thanks again for all your help and advice. It's been extremely useful!

    Cheers,
    James
     
  16. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #16
    Haha yeah the discounts get confusing - its different for every single product alas. I think you need to go and spend money pronto now!!

    I'm still waiting for my mini to be delivered. Its looking like tomorrow now. :)
     
  17. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #17
    Nice - which model have you gone for? Let me know what you think about it.

    I hear that they are very quiet machines too - will be a nice change from my pneumatic drill sounding 8800 GTX fan :)

    Unfortunately I have to wait a little until my b/f can get hold of the cash...soon though I hope!!

    Very anxious to get mine ordered now. I think I am going to order the keyboard & mouse separately as I don't want the bundled wireless keyboard as it's missing the numeric keypad. The amount of times I have used a laptop and missed having one is amazing.

    J
     
  18. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    I've gone for just the base model but I've got a 7200rpm 250gb drive that I'll be putting in there and 4GB of RAM on the way too. If the previous Mac Mini's anything to go by, this thing will be silent. That's one of the biggest things I noticed going from build-your-own-pcs to macs, the difference in noise levels.

    I've ordered a wireless keyboard but I ordered it seperately and am getting it on eBay instead - its actually cheaper that way than through Apple with the higher education discount. I've already got a wireless mighty mouse that's not in use at the moment so I'll use that with it. Its mainly going to be a video streaming device for under the TV so I won't need to control it much.

    I agree that the lack of numpad is mighty annoying but as a lounge computer it'll be fine. I don't understand why they don't release a full sized wireless keyboard though. I've got one of the previous gen wireless keyboards on my Mac Pro and I absolutely love it. When I finally get round to replacing my MP, I'll have to go with the wired version - which just means less ££ for Apple.
     
  19. mozthefox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #19
    Interesting. I was wondering about upgrading the RAM & HDD at a later date but was worried as it was an Apple product. During my what seems like daily conversations with Apple online chat assistants, I mentioned the possibility of upgrading the RAM & HDD but she said that the HDD was a sealed unit and could only be replaced by Apple if it got damaged. She did say the RAM could be upgraded at a later date though...so you might want to check that out!

    I didn't realise but as a student you get the 3 year AppleCare for free and you can extend telephone support to 3 years for £34.50. Thats pretty good if you ask me :)

    James
     
  20. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    Yeah that's one of the biggest perks with the higher education store. Be careful though, since if you use the higher education discount in a retails store, they only match the price - you don't get the 3 years worth of warranty and you don't get the full Applecare for £34.50, its closer to £50.

    That online chat assistant was talking out of their backside! The hard drive and the RAM are right next to each other. Its very easy to upgrade the RAM or the hard drive in the mini. Not quite as easy as in the MacBooks or the Mac Pro but still easy. Have a look through the iFixit tear down guide. The daunting this is using a spudger to price off the lower chassis because it takes a little more force than you normally feel comfortable using. The first time I did it it took aaages because I was being so careful. I can now crack open and replace a hard drive and RAM in a Mac Mini in a matter of minutes. You *don't* invalidate your warranty changing these parts.
     

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