Improving FPS on high-end iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Domino8282, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #1
    Well I just got my brand-new 2011 iMac, fully loaded:
    i7 3.4 GHz, 6970M w/2GB VRAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM

    I went ahead and installed Boot Camp with Windows 7 64-bit and installed the game I'm currently addicted to, an MMO called Rift (www.riftgame.com).

    I was a little disappointed to see that even on medium graphics settings, I'm only getting 20-23fps.

    Please don't just reply and say that Macs suck for gaming or that my iMac has a laptop graphics card... If anyone has any useful advice for improving my framerate, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Oh, and I tried updating the graphics drivers but I had some issues... The desktop version of Catalyst seems to install, but I don't see any difference, and the mobility version says it can't detect an appropriate graphics card...

    In device manager, it says the driver version is 8.812.0.0
     
  2. iAK macrumors member

    iAK

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #2
    I am about to install windows 7 as well... how did you set up your HDD with it? You're not keeping everything on the SSD... are you?
     
  3. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #3
    Yeah I just split the SSD into 2 partitions... gave Windows 7 80GB. I really only use it for gaming and basically just play that one game, so I don't need any more space than that.

    Gah this is irritating, it seems like 40 fps isn't asking for too much here... Any ideas what I can tweak to get some better performance?
     
  4. iAK macrumors member

    iAK

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #4
    What is your internet speed? Games like this, Second Life etc... are bandwidth intensive.

    ....and are your going wired or wireless?
     
  5. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
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    #5
    I have about a 16MB/s DSL connection... Latency in-game is 78 ms, so I don't think the connection is to blame.

    One thing that worked wonders was reducing the resolution... In order to run in windowed mode (which I prefer since it's easier to pull up web browsers on my secondary monitor while gaming), you have to game at the native resolution, which is 2560x1440...

    Switching to Fullscreen mode and changing my resolution to 1920x1080 (which is still full HD when you think about it), and I'm now getting 37 fps on Ultra settings...

    I may just set my native screen resolution in Windows 7 to 1920x1080 so I can run in windowed mode.

    I guess asking a laptop video card to run at 2560x1440 on high settings is just asking a wee bit too much?
     
  6. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    Lawton, OK
    #6
    Are you using the Boot Camp drivers, or have you tried the latest version of the AMD Catalyst drivers? If they cause issues, you can always roll them back.

    If you search around, there was a thread where someone took a high-end 27" and ran some benchmarks both stock and overclocked -- at native resolution, there were some rather impressive numbers, even in Crysis 2.
     
  7. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #7
    I started with the Boot Camp drivers, and then I installed Catalyst, and the driver version number stayed exactly the same under device manager: 8.812.0.0

    So that makes me wonder if the Catalyst drivers installed properly,... wish I knew what the latest version of the driver was.
     
  8. mrfoof82, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

    mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Here's the overclock thread. I'd contact the thread author via PM.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1156496

    Unless Rift is poorly optimized, 20-23fps seems to be considerably below what you should expect, but windowed mode is usually a very large hit for most game engines compared to full screen mode. Again, I'd contact the thread author for some insight.
     
  9. iAK macrumors member

    iAK

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #9
    Post your Windows Experience Index score for Windows 7...That would be great to see.
     
  10. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #10
    Processor: 7.6
    Memory: 7.6
    Graphics: 7.6
    Gaming graphics: 7.6
    Primary hard disk: 6.8
    Base score (determined by lowest subscore): 6.8

    Funny that the lowest score was hard disk and it's running on an SSD.
     
  11. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
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    Southeast USA
    #11
    Managed to find these beta drivers:
    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=345525

    It actually installed properly... driver now shows 8.860.0.0

    Getting slightly better fps at native resolution... but not much. Still hard-pressed to get above 30fps on either "High" or "Ultra" settings.
     
  12. MacHamster68, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    just lower the resolution a bit more and some game settings to medium or low and job done 60fps+

    curious thing is that some games get better fps results with the 1 gb GPU then with the 2 gb GPU in the iMac , seems sometimes less is more


    and i guess you got a 16Mb /s line and not a 16MB/s as the later would mean roughly a 128Mb/s line which would be seriously fast and 16Mb/s are about 2MB/s (sorry not awake yet , please correct figures if i'm totally wrong)
     
  13. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    That sounds wrong. My 4850M 512MB got higher frame rates than that.

    EDIT: Perhaps you've got DX11 features like Depth of Field, etc., which might be greatly destroying your frame rate? (Options I wouldn't have)
    You need to use the mobile graphics drivers, not the desktop drivers. I believe someone linked you to them.
     
  14. Sansibar macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2010
  15. nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #16
    Run with one monitor in use and not dual monitors. This will increase your FPS dramatically in the game. This worked for me on my PC.

     
  16. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #17
    This right here. The native resolution for the 27" iMac is huge for gaming.
     
  17. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #18
    Bear in mind that 2550x1440 is a lot of real estate to render for a GPU.
    In my experience with my iMac it's usually one setting that needs tweaking that will give acceptable frame rates.
    One tip I would give regarding you iMac getting hot in Windows gaming is to install SMC fan control in MacOSX, set up a profile with the fans upped a bit from stock save it and then boot into Winodws.
    The last fan settings will stay at the last settings so keeping the Mac cooler.

    Gaming in Win7 makes my Mac get extremely hot, so I do this as I've never witnessed the fans spinning up despite the high heat.
     
  18. sinser macrumors 6502a

    sinser

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    #19
    I haven't played RIFT myself, but some friends of mine reported that it's not that much demanding. Those performances look very poor tbh.
     
  19. Objector macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #20
    Is it really true that the 2GB runs slower than the 1GB version? I will order the exact same iMac (without the SSD), so I am really thinking whether I should go for the extra VRAM or not. My initial plan was to order the iMac with the upgraded videocard, because I want to "futureproof" and I will run multiple monitors.
     
  20. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #21
    Yeah already tried those... as I mentioned above, when I run that installer it says I don't have an appropriate graphics card.

    However, the beta drivers from Guru3D installed fine and did increase performance slightly.

    Still, I agree that something is up... Will keep trying to get to the bottom of it.

    I'll try turning off my second monitor and report back.
     
  21. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #22
    My mistake... that file is different from the mobility driver I found going through AMD's little drop-down menu. Going to uninstall the beta Guru3D drivers and try these and I'll report back.
     
  22. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #23
    Alright, I installed those drivers you linked above, and the version is actually higher than those Guru3D drivers! 8.861.0.0

    Unfortunately, hardly any change in framerate. Also, disabling the secondary display didn't change the framerate whatsoever.

    Here's a screenshot of the graphics settings. I currently have them on Medium, which gets me around 30-33fps in a non-crowded area:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Domino8282 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #24
    So running in native resolution, starting with Ultra settings and then unchecking all of the check boxes (leaving sliders alone), I'm now able to get 40 fps.
     
  24. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #25
    Strange as I had two displays running 1920x1200 and when both were on it would lag more in the game, but when I disabled the 2nd one, it wouldn't lag anymore and got better fps. Surprised you didn't get that.
     

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