iMac i7 for gaming..

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mark1122, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Mark1122 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm looking to buy a new Mac soon and have more or less made up my mind on the iMac i7 2.93 Ghz.. But just have a few questions left if anyone could answer them for me..

    If I'm looking to run the latest games at max settings or the highest possible settings.. which areas are most important for peak game performance? is 4GB memory ok? Would 8GB make a noticeable improvement to performance? And would the 1TB Hard drive make any difference vs the 2TB/ SSD ..again as far as gaming performance goes?


    Secondly how does the current top of the line MBP perform with games such a CIV IV? / How would it perform with something like the upcoming CIV V at High to Max settings?

    http://www.civilization5.com/#/community/system_requirements

    Basically looking for the best possible computer at the best possible price :)


    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. REALIN macrumors newbie

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    Sweden
    #2
    With a i7 2.93 ghz processor + 4/8gb ram, the only thing left behind is the graphics card and you can't upgrade that.
     
  3. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #3
    max game settings? highest resolutions? If these are your criteria then an iMac is not what you are looking for.

    The iMac has a fast enough processor and enough RAM for these tasks but iMacs do not have the kind of graphics cards capable of getting the silky smooth high frame rates that hard core gamers desire, at least with the latest games.

    IF you are willing to live with lower frame rates then the iMac is capable of playing many modern games.

    However, you can build a gaming PC for much less money than the iMac that will absolutely crush it for flat out gaming performance.
     
  4. tanderson11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #4
    yeah, go with a PC if you're wanting to game. if its just Civilians you are playing, i *think* a mac could handle that pretty easily. i only know a few games that are super demanding, im not sure civilians is one of those.

    but an imac may work if thats all you're playing, also. you wouldnt need an i7. and i5 would work for gaming. save yourself 500bucks or so and do a bit more research, or ask here and we'll try and save some you some money!
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #5
    It sounds like an iMac, or any Mac isn't a computer for you. If you really want to game, get a PC and hack it or get a Mini along with it. iMac plays games fine but not when everything is maxed out, especially in the future. If you really want one, you're going to do sacrifices in graphics and FPS
     
  6. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #6
    It'll play all modern games at native resolution and high-highest settings with respectable fps. If your'e looking to play games 2-3 years down the line at highest settings and good fps, then you should instead invest money into a pc gaming rig.

    Amount of ram or marginally faster cpu/ssd will not matter in gaming performance. Overclocking your gpu under windows will.
     
  7. byron_hinson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    #7
    I'd expect a game like Civ 5 to run well on the top end iMac - Starcraft 2 does in ultra (with shaders to high) and Civ 5 has lower requirements. As others say, you have decent card in the iMac i7 - but it's still a mobility card so not the best for gaming.
     
  8. rashhashan macrumors newbie

    rashhashan

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    Aug 10, 2010
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    Norfolk, Virginia
    #8
    Not lurkin jus tryin to find someone to relate to

    Hey! I just posted a similar question

    ref: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=990400

    So yea i would have to agree with jmpage2, tanderson11, and Hellhammer. As much as i want to have a Mac for everything, its just not practical in the performance sense...but if money is no problem then max out a Mac Pro with 2 ATI cards :D
     
  9. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #9
    Yes, exactly, if you MUST have a Mac, and gaming performance is paramount, and money is not an issue then just get a Mac Pro and max out the graphics on it.
     
  10. Mark1122 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #10
    Thanks for the replies..

    Well basically the only game I play is Civ IV - soon to be Civ V and was just wondering what options I should select when choosing the computer for the best possible gaming performance on a mac.

    So the 8GB memory would make it smoother? Would 16GB improve on that or would it be overkill for CIV V?

    Would the 2.93Ghz i7 make any difference vs the 2.8Ghz i5?

    What about the Hard Drive? (1TB vs 2TB vs SSD?)

    (Oh and an answer to the above.. I have looked into it.. but just prefer the 'all-in-one' idea.. I'm willing to sacrifice some performance for convenience :).. Thanks for the input )
     
  11. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #11
    It is difficult to make recommendations for a game that is not yet out.

    Very, very few games make any use of RAM over a couple of GB so it's hard to say if this game you are looking at would need even more than 4GB of RAM.

    Again, because the game is not yet out.

    Likewise, with the CPU, it is not known yet if the game will use or leverage hyper-threading or is optimized for multiple cpu cores, because, again;

    The game is not yet out.

    So, get a computer you want and worry about the game when it comes out, or if the performance in this game is paramount then wait for it to be published, find out what the performance is like on different systems, and then make a purchasing decision.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #12
    Most games are still 32-bit and thus cannot utilize more than ~3.3GB of RAM. 8GB upgrade could show a minor increase because OS X and other apps need RAM as well but RAM isn't the bottleneck, it's the GPU. The CPU speed or HD/SSD plays no major role in this
     
  13. Mark1122 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2010
    #13

    Thanks everyone
     
  14. ramallite macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Greensboro
    #14
    Civ 5 has not been announced for Mac yet, nor is there any indication of if or when it will be. Here are the requirements of the Windows version though (you may already have seen it):

    So the i7 iMac appears to well exceed these "recommended" requirements, although that doesn't mean it will necessarily play super-smooth, but it should be good nevertheless. As a comparison, here are the recommended requirements for the older Civ 4 - Mac version (Windows version is identical save for CPU Mhz):
    Now my Power Mac G5 has a dual 2.0 processor, 256 MB of VRAM on an ATI Radeon 9650, and 1.5 GB of RAM, so it's somewhat above the "recommended" requirements. Yet I can tell you that the game is almost unplayably slow when you use large worlds with multiple civilizations and you get beyond 1 AD. I can still finish the game, but it gets really slow to the point of pointlessness towards the end.
     
  15. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a

    InvalidUserID

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    Palo Alto, CA
    #15
    Is the 1GB 5750 not a decent video card for gaming?
     
  16. ramallite macrumors regular

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    Greensboro
  17. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    Wha? Not sure what iMac you're talking about, but my i7 iMac sure as heck doesn't run Starcraft II in ultra at 2560x1440, that's for sure.
     
  18. nobias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #18
    Was playing SC2 on my 2.93 i7 16GB 2tb+SSD, frame rate dropped during heavy action. All settings maxed.

    SC2 recommended only medium settings... This was in OSX.
    The missions loaded in 5-10 seconds though due to the SSD.

    Tried it on lower settings/resolution but there was a lot of obvious pixelation and pixel doubling...

    Boot camp is the way to go, the drivers are much better and you will get 15-30 more FPS.
     
  19. RedDragon85 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #19

    I will be getting that same set up just without the 2tb HD... Do you find it runs fine on medium to high settings even during heavy action?

    What would you suggest to be the best setting to play this game at on your system?
     
  20. nobias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #20
    Medium/high works fine for native res. Also must lower resolution to 1080p to run smooth on ultra.

    Maybe I am spoiled from playing ps3 at steady 60fps (admittedly most games run at 720p)
     
  21. DMRsweden macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #21
    Anyone has good help how to get the real drivers installed in boot camp?

    I have the new iMac 27" Core i7.
    Installed Windows 7 and have managed to get Boot Camp 3.1 in.
    Have tried three different ATI Catalysts but max resolution in Windows is 1920x1440 or something. Not a 16:9 resolution. And obviously not the native resolution.

    Ive tried to remove all the display drivers in safe mode and everything. The ATI Catalyst thingy installs but I never get that little ATI icon program down there by the clock. Like on my old "real" PC. (Which has a Radeon x1950).

    Any tips would be highly appriciated. :)
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #22
    http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonmob_win7-64.aspx

    Download the first one. That's for 64-bit Windows 7 so let me know if you have something else
     
  23. DMRsweden macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #23
    Thanks. Gonna try it. Thought I did yesterday. But I tried so many things maybe I messed something up. Will clean all drivers and try again. (Its Win7 64 bit I have). Thank you! I hope it works. Or I will get back here. :)
     
  24. lisharts macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2010
    #24
    A comment on the SSD for gaming - my understanding is sometimes on some machines it can help. Or perhaps help is the wrong word. Let me explain...

    What I mean is I play World of Warcraft and was very interested in the Alienware m11x for a long period of time, until they updated it and plagued it with problems.

    However there was a noticable difference between the machines that had an SSD and the machines that didn't. Whilst the gamplay may not benefit from it particuarly, when logging in (I'll try and explain for those who don't play) you are generally in a city with a high population. There's lots going on and on some slower or older machines you can run around as a shadow and see other shadows running around for sometimes up to 30 seconds (my PC is very old :() whilst it all loads. Those running the SSD had everything loaded up in a few seconds. As someone running and older machine I was quite excited by that. :) However it's a lot to pay to see your character a few seconds sooner. :D
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #25
    Yeah, it improves loading times but not the actual gaming performance. Not really worth it for games though
     

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