iMac Graphics - For Gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bwfc0907, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. bwfc0907 macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Bolton, UK
    #1
    Gaming is a hobby but something I like to pass the hours.
    I'll in the main use the iMac for photo & video editing.
    I've considered building another PC but want to first visit the iMac as I have the apple Eco-system.

    What do games like Battlefield 4, Company of Heroes & Civ 5 run like in 5k on boot camp (or OSX).

    Which graphics card would you recommend. It's a compromise for gaming but want to explore it but making a decision.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Buy the best graphics card you can afford, for the sake of performance & longevity.

    I have a GT 650M in my 2012 15" cMBP. Runs Civ 5 without any real issues on high settings.

    FPS games like Battlefield 4 would be more noticable with framerate drops or stuttering though, as Civ 5 is a turn-based strategy. Should still be fine on medium/high regardless.
     
  3. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2008
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    #3
    I have a 13" rMBP but thinking more about the iMac so hoping somebody can point me in that direction.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    Well the iMac has much better graphics. So if it runs OK on your rMBP, it'll run much better on the 27" iMac with a dedicated GPU.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Yes it's a compromise using a Mac for gaming but the iMac will run most games at a decent level in 1080p, the more you spend on the graphics card the better it will be.
     
  6. qwertyisbak macrumors newbie

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    Aug 1, 2016
    #6
    If you play games on an imac, does it negatively affect the longevity of the computer?
     
  7. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #7
    No more so then using the machine for it's other tasks. If you do video editing I believe iMovie and Final Cut are using the GPU for elements of the work. It is ok to play games on Mac computers. :D

    My point is, if the graphics chip is going to fail it is going to fail no matter what be it old age or because the thing runs so hot it cooks off spontaneously. Buy AppleCare and if it is going to self destruct you are covered.
     
  8. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #8
    I concur. I don't game much but I always bought the best GPU Apple offered. And you will see benefits if you use Windows under Boot Camp since the Direct X driver support is much stronger than Open GL under OS X.
     
  9. mjohansen macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
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    Denmark
    #9
    You won't get good results playing in 5K resolution. I have the iMac with M395X and I do a bit of gaming in bootcamp (Witcher 3 at the moment). I usually get pretty decent results/FPS playing in 2560x1440 or 1920x1080 in mostly high settings.
     
  10. koyoot macrumors 601

    koyoot

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #10
    There is only one single GPU currently in the world that is able to maintain 60FPS under 4K resolution, which is much smaller resolution than 5K.

    That GPU might be able to maintain 60 FPS in some games in 5K, but in all of them.

    Most powerful iMac 5K GPU is something like 33% of performance of Pascal Titan X. So do not expect miracles from M395X.

    I would suggest using only 2560x1440p.
     
  11. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #11
    That said 1440P still looks very nice on the 5K iMac and keeps the UI elements of the games from getting too small to read.
     
  12. mjohansen macrumors regular

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    #12
    Totally agree :)
     
  13. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #13
    Personally I'd advise against it. Too many compromises vs building a PC or getting a console.

    If you still feel compelled to game on a Mac then like mentioned get the best graphics Apple offers at the time of purchase and run your games via boot camp.

    I would think it over very carefully though depending on your other uses for the Mac. If you have other uses that warrant the expense of Apples top tier graphics than go for it, it almost makes sense. Or if money is no object, thats a reasonable enough answer too. But buying a maxed out iMac specifically for gaming...thats a tough sale...

    Just my opinion on the subject. I've done a lot of gaming on iMacs and all of it under OS X. I don't regret it but wouldn't recommend it.
     
  14. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Great answer. Think I'll go PC. I have the MacBook Pro so still very much part of the apple Eco-system.
     
  15. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #15
    I agree. I got my i7 6700K and 395X for video editing and graphic design work. The games are a curiosity on my iMac more then anything as it stands right now.

    I use my self built gaming machine for 99% of my gaming.

    That said if Apple would release a SLI config in a case that has better ventilation. Preferably water cooled with large fans that don't have to spin as fast. Maybe even use those new fans that use magnets to keep friction to a minimum making them a lot quieter.

    I would be in absolute heaven. :D
     
  16. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #16
    Personally I feel they need the software support.

    As long as we need to rely on bootcamp for Direct X or outdated versions of OpenGL or Metal that no one seems to care about then they shouldn't bother with better hardware.

    I thought for sure Vulkan was going to be the answer especially with AMD GPUs. When Apple pulled out of the working group I wasn't so much surprised as disappointed. Kind of one of those "I f****** knew it!" moments....
     
  17. Appleaker, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2016
    #17
    Don't consider these ones, the new models coming out in a few months will have much improved graphics, whether they go with AMD or Nvidia.

    They look like they might go with AMD though, and the top (preconfigured) model will have the power of a GTX 980m.

    It will likely have TB3 as well so you could plug in a graphics card if you have the right drivers.
     
  18. Phoenixx Suspended

    Phoenixx

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    Jul 3, 2015
    #18
    Seriously, if you are considering gaming, just build yourself a Windows based PC. The Mac lineup is just a joke, when it comes to gaming. I use both Mac and PC computers (for different purposes), but my 5 year old $600 gaming rig just had a new graphics card put in, and still renders at 400% the speed of the latest 4 core Mac Pro. Macs are only good for light tasks that don't require raw computing power.
     
  19. callea, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    callea macrumors regular

    callea

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    #19
    Is Final Cut a light task?

    What's the difference between the power of a i5-6600 in a Mac and a i5-6600 in a Pc?
     
  20. Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2016
    #20
    Final cut is optimised for Mac hardware therefore is more efficient and faster than using something like Premiere on a Mac or PC using the same processor.
     
  21. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #21
    What he means is Final cut will make use of the graphics chip in the Mac in addition to the CPU while Premiere is only programmed to use the CPU.

    This could change if Adobe put the effort in.

    There are some things that premiere pro is faster on then Final Cut. You can search for it on YouTube with premiere va final cut.

    However Final Cut is $300 to own a license forever. Premiere Pro is a subscription. Premiere Elements is ok but limited and costs about $80. It's more like iMovie which comes free on the Mac.
     
  22. klatox macrumors member

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #22
    Get the M395X and stick to 2560x1440 if you can. Any resolution that is lower than that will look blurry. Anything that isn't OS X native, I run in bootcamp. If you really like the ecosystem then go for it, but like everyone said, just remember that you can build a much more powerful workstation for half the cost.
     
  23. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #23
    A gaming system with bluetooth, built in wireless, high end graphics, enough power to hand it would be comparable in price. However in terms of raw power it would be much more capable at gaming. It would also have no warranty for the end goal of a working machine. You would be responsible for making it work.

    This isn't a big deal for some like me who build them all the time but if gaming is a secondary purpose and you don't need max settings a high end iMac and boot camp would work fine. That is if you can get boot camp to work. I'm personally having a lot of trouble installing Windows on my Late 2015 iMac 5K. :(
     
  24. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

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    Feb 21, 2011
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    Michigan
    #24
    Just a little off the subject but in regards to iMac gaming. I down loaded Tomb Raider and Call of Duty 4 from the App Store. It is a little painful using the apple mouse, but manageable. Is there a better game mouse just for OS X, I would not have capability of setting it up in Windows first.
     
  25. Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2016
    #25
    Actually I didn't consider the GPU utilisation with Final Cut, I meant CPU efficiency.
     

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