How much benefit upgrading from my current iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Shivetya, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    I have a 2009 2.66 QC i5 with 4850 and might buy the 3.1 QC i5 with 1g 6970m provided it actually provides a significant boost in Mac and Windows games (read: WOW and SWTOR).

    The other option is to get a stand alone PC with display port output and use the iMac as a display though I am leery of breaking the iMac somehow by doing that.
     
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    For SWTOR I'd consider a 2GB 6970m.
    The game is a real VRAM hog. On my 1680x1050 screen I do actually use 1GB VRAM at max settings. With the 2560x1440 screen on the iMac you will actually benefit from 2GB, it's only $100 extra.

    I have no idea what a 2009 iMac is worth, but you need approx $700 to build a gaming system equal to the iMac with 6970m.

    The old iMac + PC will be more future proof, since you can upgrade the GFX, but it might be more of an hassle
     
  3. AoxomoxoA macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    #3
    I have recently upgraded to a 27" 3.1 2gb 6970 iMac and when i describe it I feel like Ferris describing the Ferrari in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".
     
  4. Meicyn macrumors regular

    Meicyn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #4
    To the OP: If you get the 2011 iMac, you won't need the 2 GB of VRAM. The bottleneck is the GPU itself, not the VRAM. Your performance increase will be negligible for the $100 extra that you'd be paying for as has been shown in testing. The upgrade to the latest iMac is worth it, but you'll be fine getting the 6970m with just 1 GB of VRAM. In fact, you would be just fine with the i5 processor as well instead of shelling out extra for the i7. Again, gaming performance comparisons have been tested. Just buy the 27" i5 model with the 6970m available on Amazon for $1900, buy an 8 GB stick to bring the total to 12 GB, and you're set. If you want some data to back up what I'm stating, check out the site below:

    http://barefeats.com/imac11c.html

    What I'm recommending is exactly what I've been gaming on. You can see video footage of my playing SWTOR in 2560x1440 resolution below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KYdGYLS-WM
     
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #5
    Normally I would agree, but SWTOR just eats up my VRAM.
    My GPU isn't limited by it's computing power in SWTOR (GPU usage hovers from 40-70%, but VRAM usage is constantly at 80-95% on 1680x1050)
    I'm measuring with EVGA Presicion btw. In other games like Skyrim and BF3 my GPU usage is 80-100%, but VRAM usage like 50-65% on SKyrim, and BF3 is same as SWTOR.
     
  6. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #6
    Well I figured on buying one off the refurb site

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    I did look at building a Windows PC and using the iMac as a monitor, but most options with 6950 or such; yes I know its higher power than the iMac; cost nearly $1200 without the monitor!.

    Too bad you didn't have the FPS meter up (ctrl-shift-F) ... looks like you had the shadowing set on... how many settings were max?
     
  7. Meicyn macrumors regular

    Meicyn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #7
    I had everything maxed except with the exception of bloom, which I turned off. My framerate stayed in the mid 30s and higher depending on the location. There was a spot on Coruscant that had a lot of smoke while riding an air taxi that made my framerate drop in the upper teens, but it wasn't during any gameplay. That was also a few builds ago, going to see how things handle on the new build tomorrow. From this past weekend, I had anti-aliasing at 2x for minimal performance impact. I'll likely record my results and post them on Youtube to showcase performance.
     
  8. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #8
    Please try to remember to keep the FPS meter active.

    I was not depressed with my frame rates on my machine, it certainly is more of a CPU muncher than GPU muncher, I only have that 4850 and I still ran it at 2560 but I had shadows low and some other settings down to hold an average of 20fps
     
  9. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #9
    Ordered a Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 from the Apple Store, will get it in about a week.

    Will probably get a pair of 4g chips to bump it up to 12g which should be sufficient for Windows 7 (of which I will need a new OEM copy for).

    Really dumb q, does Lion transfer with the old computer or is the Lion upgrade tied to my Apple account?
     
  10. gdeputy macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    Lion is tied to your Apple ID not that it matters, the new iMac ships with OSX Lion.
     
  11. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a

    Sandman1969

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #11
    I found it interesting that the i7 3.4 was a touch lower FPS than the i5. :confused:


    Yup, it comes with the new iMAC. There is also steps to make a DVD from your recovery partition as well out there.


    Very cool, that is what we ordered as well, through the Refurb site. Hard to beat the discount.

    How do you like it?
     
  12. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #12
    LOL, had cancelled the refurb order because of shipping times and I "thought" I had won one on ebay which the seller didn't sell because I guess it didn't get enough of a bid.
     

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