Gaming & Thunderbolt Displays

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by cosmicjoke, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    Let me start with the junk I have, then I'll get to my questions.

    Mac: MacBook Pro (15" 2011) • CPU: Intel Core i7-2860QM @ 2.5GHz • RAM: 6.03GB/8.0GB [❙❙❙❙❙❙❙❙|❙❙] • HDD: 1.1TB/2.28TB [❙❙❙❙❙|❙❙❙❙❙] • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6770M [1024 MB] & Intel HD Graphics 3000 [512 MB] Res: 1680 x 1050 • Audio: AppleHDA • Power: 22% [1:45] • OS: OS X 10.7.3 x64 • Kernel: Darwin 11.3.0 • Up: 1 day 7:15 • Client: Textual 2.1.1

    I also have two Thunderbolt Displays.

    So, of late I've been feeling the call for some gaming w/ these gorgeous displays (the upcoming Diablo 3 amongst others), and I highly suspect the mbp will be entirely inadequate to do it (from my limited testing, some games run mediocre at best w/ low settings in clamshell, it also sounds like a hairdryer when gaming).
    It seems my only option is an iMac, I was hoping a new Mac Pro w/ thunderbolt capabilities would have arrived, but waiting with uncertainty for an indefinite period of time for something that may or may not be released isn't for me.

    Does anyone here by chance own an iMac w/ 2 Thunderbolt Displays and do any sort of gaming? Does the iMac driving these additional displays significantly impact gaming performance? I would be playing in windows mode and probably have some other various websites/itunes and the like up on the other displays. I don't have really high gaming demands imo, I just want to be able to play the current Blizzard titles at native res w/ medium settings, I couldn't care less about future proofing my purchase or any high end fps games in bootcamp etc.... but it still has to drive these current/very soon to drop os x games at native res/windowed mode along w/ 2 other displays on a mobility card.... has to be faster than my mbp, but don't want to make an unsatisfying purchase either.

    My other thought is that maybe the displays will work with one of these alleged PC Motherboards w/ a thunderbolt port that are due out any time now, though I have obviously have no clue, and if they'd work w/ graphics acceleration from dedicated cards etc etc. In retrospect I wish I had bought cinema displays, I fail at the waiting game, bleeding edge technology apparently is not for me.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    As you state, you're not looking to play the latest and greatest games that demand a lot of juice graphics-wise. The iMac should be fine for D3.
     
  3. cosmicjoke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    well, yeah, i imagine it is just fine for it w/ only using its internal display, but i need it to to be fine using its internal display and my 2 tb displays... for example, WoW runs reasonably well on my mbp in clamshell using the TB displays w/ the right settings, but even still always takes a massive fps dive to unplayable for 5 seconds whenever my wallpapers make transitions... i can only really speculate why that is, perhaps 1gb vram isn't enough, maybe it's just not fast enough of a graphics card, maybe TB using 4 lanes of the pci-e plays into it... hell if i know...
     
  4. Zauberer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #4
    I was researching this issue as well and came across this useful information from a post on Diablo3.
     
  5. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #5
    Multiple displays on a single card the VRAM gets divide up (I think equally) so the game will have less resources to deal with.

    Screensaver transitions are powered by OpenGL so are your games, the OS is kicking your card off processing the game to process the clever screensaver effect, while this is happening your game will slow down. The OS will also be accessing the HD to update the images used. To prove this theory disable the screensaver or select a very basic screensaver and see if the effect is diminished.
     
  6. cosmicjoke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Just to point out, I did say wallpaper as opposed to screensaver, it's just a matter of redrawing the desktop with a new image that slows it down, lol, the OS does take enough away from the game for it to take a big dive in performance until the task is complete (only a few seconds)... this has never happened on a prior rig, but it used lower res monitors and wasn't a mobility card /shrug.
     
  7. cosmicjoke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    well, the open beta of diablo 3 surprisingly runs as good on my thunderbolt displays as the laptop displays as long as it's in 1080p, even in windowed mode.. no joy w/ native res, though no surprise... still, since it's quite playable, i'll probably hold off on getting an imac until finding out the fate of the mac pro, since i'd much rather have one of those.
     

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