Gaming on M395X: I'm satisfied

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MandiMac, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. MandiMac, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

    MandiMac macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Hello all,

    many of you lurk around lusting over benchmarks and data not even half of us fully understand. So I did what every sane person should do: Install everything and actually use the thing as we want it to use. So what did I find out?

    I come from an iMac 2012 with GT 650M, which wasn't exactly a slouch before. It just so happened in 2015 that I grew weary of the small display and the HDD, but for my gaming needs the 650M was good enough under Bootcamp (Divinity: Original Sin at 30 FPS, Diablo III between 50-60 FPS, and so on).

    So now that I finally got the machine, everything is running fine (everything stank: Time Machine, Boot Camp, but here I am!) and here's what I got with Bootcamp and Win 10:

    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning runs at 60 fps at 1440p, max detail. (5K around 30-40 fps)
    World of Warcraft runs at 60 fps at 1440p, max detail (5K around 20-40, depends on area)
    Neverwinter Nights 2 runs at 60 fps at 1440p, max detail (5K around 30)
    Heroes of the Storm runs at 60 fps at 1440p, max detail (5K around 30)
    League of Legends runs at 60 fps at 5K, very high detail (yes)
    Diablo III runs at 60 fps at 1440p, and if you're dropping shadows you can get way above 30 fps on 5K too.

    I really was worried when I read all those definitive ultimative comprehended benchmark threads, where almost anyone must go away pretty disappointed because there wasn't a big jump over the M295X. But when you're actually gaming quite a bit and don't have to max everything out, even 5K gaming is possible. I love having VSync on and enjoy a buttery experience, and I don't have to check every box with 8xAA and so on.

    My girlfriend, for one, claims she doesn't see a difference between 30 and 60 fps (I guess she doesn't care), and she almost always goes straight for 5K. The lack of support for 5K resolution almost always results in hilariously small user interfaces, so I'd recommend playing at 1440p nonetheless and with 2x antialiasing at max anyway. The iMac really is silent while you're playing, at least my i5/M395X/512 device.

    Just wanted to let you (and possible buyers) know that there's nothing to worry about with this new machine. And please don't respond here because you want benchmarks - you can help yourself with all the other threads ;)
  2. seekersu macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2015
    How's the temperature when running the games for a while?
    I think M395X can handle most of the games I used to play
    I just worry if the machine run at 90-100 degrees for too long.
  3. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    I'm playing for around 2-3 hours now, but always changing the game because of testing reasons. The fan didn't come on a single time yet, and Everest reports don't show a single figure above 70 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that I have VSync active, so even if the iMac were capable of calculating 120 fps, the VSync would cap it at 60 and thus regulating heat and electricity needs.

    Under OS X I can game better than I could on my 2012 iMac under Boot Camp: Without shadows, Divinity: Original Sin runs like butter at 60 fps at 1440p even in bigger fights with mages.

    I'll have to do a Diablo III/Divinity marathon tonight so I can watch the temps - but so far it is as I suspected all the time: Once you limit the FPS at 60 or 30, the GPU doesn't have to be under full stress all the time and thus the temperature is okay as well. I'll report back once that changes or anything is remarkable - any questions?
  4. seekersu macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2015

    Sounds much better than 5K 2014, thanks for your sharing
  5. toofargone macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2015
    Thanks for posting. This is exactly what I'm interested in before ordering: real world gaming impressions, especially with regards to heat. Now just need someone with i7 395x to do the same :)

    Any updates as you go along would be greatly appreciated.
  6. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    I don't know what settings the guys used with the 2014, without VSync I'd probably get way higher temperatures too because of the GPU bottleneck (what use is this when my monitor refreshes 60 times a second anyway?).

    Fun fact: The M395X idles around at 318 MHz and the memory clock is 300 MHz until you actually use the thing: Then it boosts up to 909 MHz and the memory clock shoots up to 1365 MHz.
    The i5 behaves similarly: Boost goes up to 3,9 GHz and idles around at a measly 1 GHz.
  7. gian8989 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2015
    First of all Thank you for posting this result.
    Like seekersu I'm curious about temp when GPU stressed and fan noise and gaming seems the most stressful for iMac GPU. I didn't buy last year imac 5k because of temp :)eek:105° is way too hot).
    Can you try some benchmarks of ffXIV (link) on 1440 and 1080 with this settings?

    I'm also waiting for your impression after tonight gaming marathon (always temp-noise related). Good luck!:D
  8. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Hey gian, I'll do my best ;)
    As for the benchmark, I stated in the OP that I won't do such things because we already have many threads about that. But one little cookie for you: I played around 15 minutes Diablo III with VSync off (180 FPS at 1440p!) and let things heat up a little. GPU-Z reported 909 MHz and 1365 MHz memory clock speed for these 15 minutes, and the temps rose to 62 degrees Celsius (from around 45 when idling). When gaming with VSync on (60 FPS), the temps were around 52-53 degrees Celsius. Once the iMac hit around 60 degrees, the fan went a little bit faster (from 1200 idle to 1700, still inaudible over the sound - you'd have to mute everything and sit in a quiet room too).

    Fun fact: I played in Act IV (Torment III) at 5K resolution and I had around 58 FPS (down to 35-40 in massive fights). So, yeah, that's gonna be interesting and I'll definitely stresstest that one tonight!
    As I write this - around 4 minutes after the gaming "session", the GPU temp is down to 41 degrees.

    Fun fact II: The CPU is around 4-6 degrees higher in Diablo III, so when the GPU has 55, the CPU has 60 degrees. It leads me to believe that either a) everyone was highly exaggerating or b) Everest is taking the wrong temperatures. Which app did you use to get the temps?
  9. sn0man1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2015
    Could you provide a screenshot of GPU-Z for us?

    Great thread, just impressions, no benchmarks.
  10. mjohansen macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Mandi, is all the tests and gaming done in win10?

    EDIT: Nevermind. Just read your original post again. Great thread though :)
  11. LoftyHammond macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2014
    This is what I've been looking for. Thank you!
  12. Astelith macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2014
    Could you try WoW @ 5K with all ultra except shadows and water reflection to the minimum ? With the M295X I'm mostly between 40 and 60fps
  13. Smarky macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2015
    thanks for sharing... while early days this possibly is good news. While the card may not be much of an upgrade, if it operates cooler in the end it could be a very worthy upgrade as the throttling causes performance issues.

    I understand the iMac is not a gaming machine but if your dropping at least this much on a machine you feel short changed if it cannot handle these tasks well.
  14. gian8989 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2015
    I'm not a hard gamer: I still play on ps3 instead of using my father pc so fps and resolution is the last thing i'm worried.
    My only concern is temp and the one you are reporting are really good and a lot lower than the one other people reported with same config as you but with i7.
    I don't like the idea of my mac melting since i do a lot of video encoding.
    Now there could be different conclusions:
    - having 60fps with VSync solves temp problem
    - i7 generate a lot more heat
    - you have the best assembled iMac in the world :p

    Congratulation with your purchase!!
  15. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Here you go. I added a Sensor Log as well, unfortunately without temps.

    Attached Files:

  16. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Haha, it seems like it's a combination of 1 and 2 ;)

    To add something: I've officially given up on Diablo III as a stresstest for this M395X. I started out with around 50 degrees and tried different stress, like 5K with ultra settings or running around at 1440p with 140-200 FPS. I **** you not: 50 minutes full of gameplay and bounties, and the temps were at max 63 degrees Celsius for the CPU and 58 for the GPU. The load of the GPU was always at 100 % (909 MHz, 1365 MHz memory clock), whereas the CPU had between 30 and 40 % load at around 3,5 GHz. So there's a lot of headroom, be it the additional 400 MHz or the 60 % CPU cycles.
    For the record, the fan swirled around 1800 rpm at max, a silent swoosh, nothing more. And this after 50 minutes of 100 % GPU load.

    It didn't matter what I did, the temps didn't rise with Diablo III. I gotta try something else, something what kicks the CPU as well. Maybe a small round of BOINC number crunching, let's see...

    @Astelith: Gotta try that one out asap!
  17. gerrard0804 macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    can try playing metal gear solid the phantom pain at the resolution max 3840x2160 with hi settings please?
  18. Nirurin macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2013
    Would the i7 really produce that much more heat though? Seems strange. I'd be tempted to go for an i5 over an i7 this time around, except my 2013 780m isn't actually much slower than the current 395x, and going to the i5 would be a downgrade :( especially for after effects
  19. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Sorry, I don't have that one :(
  20. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Hey Astelith, just came back. I flew around the Horde garrison where the FPS went from 44 to 97, averaging slightly above 60.
    I threw in a LFR (25) with Farnspore and in the battles the FPS bogged down to 25, but could go up to 60 as well. Averaging about 30-35 FPS though.
    Antialiasing was off while I tested this, doesn't make any sense at Retina resolution for me.
  21. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    The i7 needs around 30 watts more when used 100 percent, if I recall correctly. I game more than I work with 100 % cpu cycles, so the i5 was a no brainer then.
    I guess your machine is great for your needs and unless you don't want to be unreasonable and shell out the money for the same power with a Retina Display, you should be fine :)
  22. sn0man1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2015
    I think you picked the best gamers machine honestly. The i5 and the SSD are the coolest non gfx card components. Thanks for the GPU-Z. I bet if you had used an official AMd driver in Windows 10 you would get more stats but this tells us enough.

    Also thanks for the CPU speed log. I'm quite curious if you can get it to throttle or the temps to trigger such. Did you not provide temp readings because you couldn't or just forgot. No big deal honestly.

    Do you have Left4Dead 2? Want to do a time demo with specific settings? (Not a benchmark, just a time demo ;) Not even trying to compare to anything
  23. MandiMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Thanks for the compliment, I thought this through (like way too many of us, I bet). The official AMD drivers won't work and honestly I don't want to mess around with my now-functioning Win 10 partition :D

    I didn't provide them because I'm too dumb to actually log them with Everest - I only get snapshots when I want a log file. Do you have any other app which can log temps?

    I don't have L4D2, I'm sorry - but I can give you some useful info. Look at post #8: I stated that I maxed everything in Diablo III at 1440p and got around 140 FPS and more, whereas barefeats states that all they get is a 72 FPS.
    Here's the kicker: They tested under OS X, I test under Win 10. What a difference DirectX still makes, huh?
  24. vetruvian macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    Thanks for taking the time to provide details on your experience!
  25. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2007
    Wait, what? Did Barefeats test all those games in OS X?

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349 October 24, 2015