iMac for gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mugghat, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. mugghat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #1
    Hi,
    my first post, and sorry if this for has already been discussed but couldn't find exact numbers.
    I'm planning to buy an iMac, which apart from usual stuff (browsing, office, iphoto, some programming,..) will be used for gaming. I usually play only Blizzard games, so WOW, SC2 and Diablo 3 (if it will be ever released).
    My desk is small (also not a big fan of the huge 27"), so I plan to buy the 21.5" with the 5670 graphic card. How will the mentioned games run and at what settings ? Has someone some detailed data at native resolutions or can post a link to them ? Also a comparison between the 27" and the 21.5" would be nice, curious to know how the two compare, since even if the 27" has better graphic card it has an enormous amount of pixels to handle. Thanks.
     
  2. SayaSe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #2
    Do yourself a favor and get a PC for gaming.

    If you insist on a Mac, Blizzard games generally tend to cater to weak hardware so the 5670 should be fine.
     
  3. mugghat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #3
    I must confess that I'm a bit surprised. While everyone has been kinda happy for some things going on for the Mac gaming like Steam coming to our platform, at the same time it has become quite common to reply with answers like this :(
     
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #4
    I'm guessing you should be able to run sc2 and diablo3 at 27 inch's native resolution with a mix of medium to high settings. Blizzard said that Starcraft2's shaders were designed to be very gpu taxing, and it's apparent, because you get huge jumps or plunges in performance when tweaking the shaders in sc2. At ultra shaders, starcraft2 is just as taxing as dirt2. At lowest shaders, sc2 is just as taxing as doom3.

    And yes, it's true. You should never get any apple hardware just for gaming.
     
  5. aphxtwinin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #5
    I have a 27in Quad with the 5750gpu. I play SC2 and Counterstrike Source, they run perfectly with no problems at all. I play them at native 2560x1440, with graphics settings at Medium. I think as long as gpu drivers get updated and all that you should be fine. If you are getting a computer JUST for gaming then get a PC you will be happier, if you are getting a computer for LIFE and all its necessities and your going to game on it then get the iMac, even though i do suggest the 27in...i have a small desk as well and it does not take up as much of a footprint as you may think
     
  6. aki macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2004
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    Japan
    #6
    Well to be honest, if you only want to game, get a console... but the OP said she had other uses so that's a tangent.

    I run SC2 on a 27 iMac with the 4850 and can run everything on native res on high or probably ultra to be honest haven't bothered trying; but anyway, your newer card shouldn't have any issues at all. (Btw it's true the shaders is the killer setting.) As regards Diablo 3 we don't really know yet but again I imagine you should be fine.
     
  7. mugghat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #7
    Where did I write that I will use it just for gaming ???

    Some feedback from a 21.5" owner ?
     
  8. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    #8
    I am also a gamer who is looking at a 27'' iMac, with trepidation.

    The sad truth is that Apple has never been put fast graphics cards in these machines, as a result they lag way behind PCs in terms of price vs. performance.

    Personally, I'm going to wait until they are refreshed next year, if by some miracle Apple has decides to include a graphics card worthy of a $2000 computer, I'll take the plunge. At present the 5750 option represents technology which is about 2 and half years behind the rest of the industry... It might not matter to most people, but for anyone interesting in playing new games, its a deal breaker.
     
  9. Devie macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    If you just want to be able to play the games, every game available today will run fine at full reso with graphic tweaks on the 27" top. Future, can't say the same. Basically if you casually play games on computers then go for it, otherwise I'd strongly reccomend building a PC and putting OSX on it for general use etc.

    As much as I love my iMac, my next computer will be a hackintosh, more than likely in a Macpro/G5 case with an Apple monitor. Though I have 0 intentions to do it any time soon.
     
  10. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #10
    It's my understanding that a 5750 is the best thing they could fit into the iMac's thin frame, and for an all-in-one computer it's the best they could have used. I don't think we'll ever see the latest and greatest graphics cards in consumer macs unless Apple chooses to make a minitower, and that'll never happen...
     
  11. Maltkvist macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    I gotta say, coming from a 21.5inch display to a 27inch iMac was really cool.

    Atleast by playing WoW :)
     
  12. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    #12
    You're right, it is the result of the enclosure and heat considerations, but that doesn't really justify it– Apple is compromising performance for form. The vast majority of people would accept a small increase in case size for considerably improved performance.

    iMacs are beautiful machines, but there comes a point when aesthetic purism becomes pretentiousness! If they can't work their engineering magic on the next revision and include something better than a 4890, they ought to bite the bullet and make the case bigger. The computer would be a lot better for it.

    Just out of interest, what are the experts here expecting the iMac's next graphics card to be?
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #13
    Blackcomb (ATI Mobility 68xx or 69xx, unconfirmed). Based on Barts (desktop 68xx). Barts is a nice upgrade from Juniper (57xx) but it has fairly high TDPs [similar to Cypress (58xx) and there never was a Cypress based mobility GPU] so mobility version may either be heavily crippled (underclocked, less shaders) or have high TDPs.

    Here is a review of desktop 68xx. Definitely more data needed before more accurate speculations can be made.
     
  14. TMRaven, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #14
    Well, everybody's making an argument for a thicker iMac which would allow some more beef in the gpu sense, but I just don't see how that would happen.

    One of the only time you've seen a literal huge jump in iMac performance was in the late 09 iterations, where they bumped the screen size up to 27 inches to accommodate for the lynnfield chips. That gave them adequate surface area for separating the gpu and cpu heatsinks far from each other, and providing bigger fans, for greater heat dissipation.

    I don't know what apple would do with 1 extra inch thickness of the iMac's case. I seriously doubt 1 inch thicker heatsinks would allow for high tdp desktop gpus. The only way I could see apple getting away with that kind given one extra inch of thickness would be to implement a liquid cooling system, but I don't know if they're too keen on that. It would be a very valiant effort, though.

    Other than that, I think the road to desktop gpus will sooner be realized in reducing the area the iMac's innards take up-- most noticeably eventually getting rid of the HDD for flash memory and further reducing the logic board size. With that amount of free space out of the way, apple could actually fit a desktop sized card in, while actually giving it a dedicated fan. The current fan for the iMac's gpu is moreso just responsible for cooling the side of the iMac that the gpu's heatsink happens to be on, unlike the cpu's fan, which is directly under its heatsink. If you look at the current 27 inch iMac's insides, you can see there'd be a considerable amount of free space if you took out the HDD.
     
  15. BlakeRearthUSA macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    TX
    #15
    honestly, rather than trying to get maxed out 27 inch imac, you'd be better off just getting a basic 21.5" to handle your other apple related tasks like photoshop,indesign, etc. and then buy a customer built desktop from newegg or something. prices i saw recently were like 1200 for the 21.5 inch and 2000 for the top of the line 27 inch. 800 price difference means u could build a windows based desktop for around 850 that would kill the 27 inch in performance every day of the week. trust me, I bought 27 inch and have had nothing but problems with it since the beginning. screen flicker, yellow tinge on screen. At my time of purchase, had one with screen flicker returned it, was given another brand new machine with seriously four spots of a cluster of dead pixels around on various parts of the screen the size of an old half dollar, so I immediately said no and asked for another, got another that seemed fine, brought it home, within a week, it started to flicker. nearest apple store is like 5 hours from me so difficult to exchange, etc. so i just gave up. the 27 inch are notorious for those problems and even though Apple claims it's fixed, it's not and i don't think it ever will be. just research the 27 inch more about its problems, I believe I remember reading that the 21.5 inch didn't have as many problems.
     
  16. mugghat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #16
    It's sad. Since almost everyone suggested a PC and since I don't want the hassle of two computers I just bought....an assembled Win PC. Thanks anyway.
     
  17. Shylad macrumors newbie

    Shylad

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #17
    HI,
    I bought a 27" iMac 2 weeks ago and love it.
    No Dead pixels, no screen flicker, no yellow tint, none of the problems people have had with some of the previous iMacs.
    I play WOW on line and its ace, no problems what so ever.
    If you want to run windows, one word, Bootcamp, or is that 2 words ;)

    Mac FTW PC FTB (FTB-for the bin:D)
     
  18. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #18
    Congrats on your purchase. Based on your original post a Windows based PC (imo) was the right choice. All in ones, iMac or otherwise are never going to outpreform, or be a manistream gaming rig. Hopefully you purchased a machine that can be easily upgraded so you can upgrade your graphics as needed.

    iMac's for gaming is imo a bonus, to the rest of what they can do. They (my last few iMac's) have been excellent computers but if I was still gaming on a regular basis I wouldn't purchase an OSX machine for gaming, let along an all in one. PC parts are way to cheap to pay extra for someone to pre build and/or restrict upgrade paths as tech evolves.

    iMac's can game, but never as well as a machine built with a focus on gaming (CPU/GPU/RAM). You made a good choice and will be happy you went the PC route for gaming and saved yourself some cash in the process. :)
     
  19. frunkis54 macrumors 65816

    frunkis54

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    Apr 2, 2009
    #19
    or you could get a sweet mac pro and you can set up a sweet bootcamp partition and get a great graphics card for all your gaming and than use OS X for everything else.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #20
    Or you can build a comparable PC for 1/2 of the price
     
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #21
    Just use a PC for half of that.
     
  22. Tempto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    #22
    Hello. I've got the same 21.5 inch iMac you are planning to buy, and I too play mostly Blizzard games (namely WoW and SC2). Here are my comments:

    WoW runs at about 50 fps or so with all graphics on ultra, though this can be really increased by setting shadows on low (which impact performance a lot), and performance can be further improved by reducing the 'antrioscopic filter' or whatever it is called to lowest. Personally I see absolutely 0 visual difference, but it improves performance.

    (As you probably know OS X can't run with full graphics, namely water and shadows on ultra yet, and probably one more I can't think of yet, until the next 10.6.5 update. But I have tested this on Windows using Bootcamp, and on Mac results were identical except for the waters not on ultra).

    As for SC2, its performance on OS X seems to be poor, so I've set it on lowest graphics because personally I don't care much for graphics on an RTS, still looks good anyway, and constant 60 fps. You can probably run it better on Win, but meh.

    Cheers, and if there's something you didn't get (post looks confusing), just ask.

    EDIT: Oh, I just saw you got a Win PC. :S

    Congrats anyway and enjoy it!
     
  23. frunkis54 macrumors 65816

    frunkis54

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    Apr 2, 2009
    #23
    :( ouch it was only a suggestion
     
  24. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

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    Nov 20, 2006
    #24
    I think you made a positive choice, enjoy your new computer!

    I'm a huge mac fan, but unfortunately their just not made for gaming (presently). If in the future you ever need a laptop, or a non-gaming desktop, you should have no reservations in jumping ship.
     
  25. BlakeRearthUSA macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    TX
    #25
    I hope u end up happy with your purchase. I believe it was the right choice for now. As most users stated, if you are going to do some heavy gaming, it honestly is better to go custom rig and save yourself a lot of money. :D :D
     

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