I want a new iMac...but is it good for gaming?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WorldTravelBro, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. WorldTravelBro macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2012
    I like to game ont he highest settings possible in high resolution. Am I better off building a computer or getting a fully loaded iMac?

    All I do is gaming, online shopping, and run an online business. I sometimes use video editing, computer programming and photoshop type software. Videos are at most 1gb and converted to smaller format. That is all I do...
  2. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    Looks like gaming is very important to you.

    Build yourself a PC.
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    You are better off building a PC if gaming is your main concern.
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
  5. Kjos, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014

    Kjos macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2013
    80% of the time I game
    18% of the time I watch Netflix/Youtube
    2% of the time I edit wedding videos (side hobby)

    I have the 27inch iMac (with updated Haswell)
    - 16gb RAM
    - 2gb video memory
    - i7


    Why I would recommend it to a gamer:
    - All in one design, fits on a desk perfectly
    - With the sleek design and new Haswell processor it never overheats and I've played League of Legends on this baby for many hours straight
    - And other Mac things like just one cord powering everything that needs to be plugged in and endless things I could talk about

    If you have any questions man about the iMac just message me, I check macrumors about every other day!

    Just thought of this, if you mainly play games off of Steam, then I would recommend a Windows computer, because the Mac selection is lacking soooo hard when it comes to Steam collection! Might be gaming selection in general, but if you are just a Blizzard/Civilization/LoL player then you'll be fine.
  6. andrep macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2014
    Depends on the games, if you play Minecraft, then get whatever you want, but if you want the latest and greatest, cutting edge graphics, then PC is the way to go (or a PS4/Xbox will get you close).
    A top end iMac will be a pretty good games rig, but an expensive way to do it.
  7. eattherich macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    As many people have already said, you're probably better off building a gaming PC. I have a top-end iMac (see my signature for the spec) and I'm a big gamer. If I didn't love (and need) the iMac for my work (web development) then I'd probably have better spent the money on a really high-end PC. That said, this iMac is really impressive with games but the definite killer is the resolution. The increase to 1440p from 1080p is really noticeable and playing downscaled at 1080p isn't an option (at least not for me as it looks awful). I've found that I can run a lot of new games with very high or almost full settings but I always turn AA off. Titanfall, for example, runs really well with the insane textures and all settings on max (with no AA). It's a personal preference though and if you're looking for high resolution gaming with AA and 60fps then you definitely need a PC. This obviously depends on what you're planning on playing.
  8. Shuzzone macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2014
    What's AA? Aaaah, the beauty of running games at full res... I can't do that... And I gotta turn down the settings most of the time for when I record a game because otherwise it lags like shiiiiz
  9. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    If gaming is your thing, get a PC. You will get much more graphics power for your buck.
  10. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Get a gaming PC. The maxed out iMac will play AAA games at medium-high settings around 60 fps, but you can build a PC with equal gaming performance for under $1000. iMacs are at their price point because they use expensive, mobile dGPU's and they have a warranty.

    I built an i5-4670k/gtx 770 hackintosh for about $1000 ($1400 including peripherals), and it handles all the games I throw at it. I set up OS X on a 256GB SSD, and I run games on my 1TB Windows drive. It gets about 50% better fps than the maxed out 2013 iMac. I am pretty bad at video games though, it just took a nice mid-range gaming rig to figure out that I was wasting my money :p. A gaming PC will be great if you want to game, but if you like OS X and you are doing anything else with your 50 pound box, you will want an iMac. Just something to think about.

  11. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    if you don't mind about complexity and the mess around a PC, get one
    i do play some games but i would never go back to the mess of what a PC is on my desk etc
  12. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    From what I have seen, the maxed out iMac should run current games on Ultra at 1440p (and if not, 1080p) at a minimum of 60fps.


    Well I video edit on my 21.5" 2014 iMac (750m GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM) with video files well over 10GB in size and my iMac tears through it. Gaming wise, I am able to run all games at a minimum of 900p at medium settings, with some new games and older games (2 years+) at 1080p high or ultra.

    I run X-Plane 10 at very high, 1080, 4X AA, 4X AF, buildings set to 'too many', roads set to 'too many', and every box ticked apart from HDR. I get around 45fps when flying around New York with hundreds of buildings on screen, and I get anywhere between 80-200fps in less built up area's.
  13. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    A gaming PC for 1000 (only the tower) will be better.
    For gaming, you could get an i5 CPU with a powerful GFX card, like the R9 270X or R9 280X, or Nvidia's GTX770. This are desktop cards, are way faster than the mobile GPU in the imac.
    Buy yourself a nice gaming PC for 1000 or 1200, and a macbook air for work.
    You will have the best of both worlds. (you could also wait for a mac mini instead).
    The beauty of this setup, is that you could upgrade your GPU in a year or 2, and still have a very capable gaming rig.
  14. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    But seeing as an iMac can draws a maximum of 90-120 watts, and a desktop PC could draw around 500-800 watts, the PC will still be more expensive in the long run. There there is also the fact that the iMac will have much better resale value over a custom built PC.

    Just throwing that idea out there for the OP.
  15. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    A top-end iMac with an i7 quad core processor and 27-inch 1440p display, with all the trimmings, draws a lot more than just 90-120W; the CPU alone needs 84W.

    This said, thanks to the mobile GPU, it is lighter on the power requirements than desktop cards that draw over 300W, you're right about that.

    However, it is possible to upgrade a gaming PC piece by piece, at a lesser cost too, rather than having to buy a whole new iMac to get newer hardware components.

    It really depends where one's priorities are.
  16. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    Better resale value, yes and no.
    A Pc will last you longer (you can swap the GPU) gaming AAA titles.
    Electric consumption,....ehhhh...no.
    In the long run the imac is an expensive option. Higher initial value and not that good resale value.
    3000 USD for the high end imac, after 2 years, half the value. you lost 1500 USD.
    Desktop PC, 1200 USD, after two years, for 300 you put a new GPU and have another good 2 years.
    The mac is a good investment for working (producing money), not for gaming.
  17. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    The highest end iMac can use 229 watts and uses 78 watts idle. My iMac uses 37 idle and 136 maxed out. Still no where near as a Windows desktop though. Windows alone is a lot less power efficient over OSX with people running it via Bootcamp noticing a larger power draw as well as shorter battery life.
  18. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    A PC works the same way, it's not because there's a 600W power supply unit in the box that it consistently draws 600W at all times.

    Have we already forgotten that Macs and PCs use the same components?

    The slight differences between OSX and Windows power management, especially when we're talking about a desktop computer and not a laptop, is minute.
  19. rrl macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2009
    Sadly, you're most likely going to need Windows at some point, but there's plenty of good hits if you Google:

    "hackintosh gaming rig"

    It seems that for $1500 or less you can build something that blows away a maxed-out iMac.
  20. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    What games are you playing? Are they available on OSX?
  21. Yixian macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    At the end of the day the fact remains that a huge % of Apple users are interested in playing games. We know that we could get better bang for buck with a gaming PC, but we are Apple users and we don't want PCs for all the same reasons that everyone else here doesn't.

    Steve didn't understand the appeal of video games and saw them as largely a waste of time. As much as I loved the guy, he prevented Apple from catering to a lot of particular groups of people due to these kinds of personal attitudes.

    The benefit of someone more pragmatic like Cook should be that he is willing to give a little more flexibility and provide to some of these other people. You're seeing it with extensions in iOS 8 etc.

    Maybe it's time Apple threw a bone to us Mac users who like to game. I can guarantee there are many more of us than there are Logic Pro or Final Cut users in the world. Many many many more.

    A thicker 21" and 27" iMac with a modern desktop GPU is going to make a lot of people happy.
  22. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Not from my experience. I have a similarly specced desktop draw much, much more power than my iMac.
  23. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013

    It can run many games at ultra, but quite a few games on the AAA list aren't playable on ultra at 1080p (let alone 1440p). The 780m is still a great graphics card, but it doesn't justify a $2500 purchase for pure gaming. The 4GB gtx 770, albeit a desktop GPU, can be bought for around $350. Even if you went all out and got SLI, it would cost less to build a computer than if you got an iMac. A single 770 gets about 30% higher fps than the 780m. Here is a link to tests of current games on the 780m. It can't do ultra 1080p at 60 fps on quite a few of the games. Again, still a solid graphics card, just not worth $2500 for gaming.


  24. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    While I do agree with you (and the number of 30% faster sounds right), Notebook check's figures appear to be off when compared to the real life tests (at least for my GPU).

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