Is 4gb of ram enough for gaming?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SkyMasterson, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. SkyMasterson macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ok so first off I'm a long time lurker first time poster and have anxiously been awaiting the new imac refresh and now that it's here, I just want to make sure I get the proper system for my needs.

    So I plan on getting the higher end 21.5 model. However I'm wondering if it's worth it to get 8 gb of ram vs the 4gb standard? Now I don't play alot of PC games but I would love to run Starcraft 2 close to high-ultra settings as possible. So will that extra 4gb of ram help SC2 run smoother or is that overkill?

    Also anyone with the new macs yet test out how well SC2 runs on them? Thank you.

    Edit: Also is it worth it to upgrade to the 3.60GHz Intel Core i5 [Add $180.00] ?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Most games are 32-bit and thus cannot utilize more than 3GB of RAM so 4GB is fine
  3. SkyMasterson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2010
    Sweet thanks.

    Also any thoughts on the i3 or should I upgrade to the i5? Will it make a difference at all for gaming?

    And one more question, sorry I'm a noob but if you do a custom order through apple, does it come in the white box or a plain brown box? Thanks again.
  4. jpjandrade macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    No, they won't make any difference. In your case, the bottleneck will be the GPU. I don't believe you'll be able to run Starcraft on Ultra, but high is possible. On Boot Camp, of course, the OS X version will run like crap, but so it does on the high end iMacs.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It will increase the FPS but IMO it's not worth it. It isn't a major difference.

    White box
  6. dexthageek macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2007
    My refurb also came in a white box. A friend of mine also ordered a refurb and his came in a brown box.
  7. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    I disagree, having the faster processor will help, my brother has a 2 year old gamming rig his cpu was cutting edge at the time, and he just got a new video card for it that is better than what any of the imacs have.

    I have the 09 core i7 imac and i load the multi player matches 2x as fast as he does.
    the game runs flawless on my machine, in osX with all the settings maxed out
  8. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    hi ima also a noob and i have read tooons of threads about this but i just dont understand with all de talk about cpu vs gpu bottle neck and GDDR3 vs GDDR5 and all that so please clear and simple. for gaming whats better refub 27-inch 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB or the new one with quad core i5 and 1GB??? if the last is better by how much, is it worth it the extra 200?
    i will also be doing photography in photoshop and some 3d design (studying industrial design)

    what about a 21" i3 with the 512mb?
    im also getting a dslr so saving money wold be really awsome but ill be using this computer for a looong time so i dont want to sacrifice performance over time just for some hundred dollars.

    Sorry for of all the questions...
  9. Ryaneezy macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2010
    there are so many factors:
    Graphics Memory.

    Basically if you have one that is slow, it will not matter what the other can do. Thus holding it back and creating a bottleneck. Imagine these are 4 people connected by a rope and are running, if one falls the team has to drag that person causing them to slow down.. (lol stupid example but it gets the point across)

    Now how much memory you GPU has, matters on your gaming resolution. If you are gaming at 1080p resolution, 512mb is more than enough to run on decently high settings. If you are gaming with 2560x1440 resolution with high settings, you will need more memory.

    Next thing you should know is if your GPU sucks it won't be able to take full advantage of all the memory and it won't be able to process all graphics rendering and what not.

    A better CPU will always help.

    now for my conclusion for you
    A refub 27-inch Intel Core i5 with the HD 4850 will be decent
    the new 27 inch 5750 even better. So if you are looking for the best imac, the newer one will of course be faster.
  10. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    iwas expecting it to be better but enough to be worth it the extra money...
  11. Ryaneezy macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2010
    worth the extra money? IMHO nope. I'd wait or pull the trigger on the previous generation.
  12. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Yes its more then enough, most games are gpu intensive more then anything.. some games like crysis demand a decent processor.. but 4GB memory is more then enough
  13. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    wait' for what? so they get refurb or a new one? i need it for February thats as much as i can wait, will a new imac be out by then? its just that im spending big cash in my firs decent computer and my first mac and i want it to be the bst of the best i can get.
  14. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The issue is the bandwidth (how much information that can be pushed thru pr given time)

    Earlier you needed a 256-bit card to get decent bandwidth, because the limits of GDDR3.
    The GDDR5 has roughly twice the bandwidth of GDDR3 and thus will perform about equal to a 256-bit GDDR3 at 128-bit.

    This is a very simplified explanation, but I hope you get the clue.

    128 bit GDDR3 < 128 bit GDDR5 = 256-bit GDDR3 < 256 bit GDDR5
  15. nilka macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    And yet again everyone speak as though they know it all. Yeah most games are 32 bit, and can only utilize 3GB of memory. But what happens if you happen to have 1 or 2 tabs open in safari and msn, ventrilo and a lot of other small apps. Then you dont have 3 GB free on your computer and then your precious 32 bit game wont get fed.

    I dont say it will do much in every game, but World of Warcraft is a memoryeater. When I had only 4GB I got a lot of stuttering in Dalaran and on Raids, I upgraded to 8 GB memory and suddenly all the stutter vent away. I can say in Dalaran my Wow installation often eats out 3.5 GB of Memory.

    So yes more than 4GB memory can deffintly help out on some games.
  16. GyroFX macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2002
    Los Angeles and NorCal

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