Is an iMac good for gaming?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DevonGaming01, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. DevonGaming01 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2013
    Hey guys,

    So I'm kinda new here, and I know there's probably bunch a topic like this, but I want to hear a good answers from you guys cause I have been wanting to buy an iMac 27" 2.9 GHz.

    I know I can build a well, cheaper gaming pc but I just want to know about the iMac cause I wanna play mostly high graphics games such as Battlefield 4. I mostly watch movies and play games.

  2. tomwvr macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2012
    Frederick Maryland
    They are great for gaming - I play Xcom, Civ 5 and Company of Heroes on my top end iMac with the 680MX video card. But if all you want to do is play games then you are paying a serious premium to do so.

  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The top-eng iMac with 680MX is quite decent for gaming. The gaming performance is similar to that of a desktop gaming machine equipped with a Geforce GTX 660 Ti. That said, if your only concern is gaming, then I recommend that you get a PC. I doubt that the iMac will manage excellent performance with BF4 at native resolution with high settings.


    None of these are demanding games, unfortunately. So I wouldn't take them to judge gaming performance of a machine.
  4. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
  5. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    iMacs are good for gaming.... well, MacOSX games more specifically. But it also depends which iMac you buy. The higher end iMacs have among the better vid cards available for Macs. The lowest-end model iMac video card is generally outdated poo.

    True, gaming PCs generally have better hardware and can run even the most CPU-intensive games, but that point becomes moot because any game that is super CPU-intensive and intended for a beefed up PC gaming rig generally does not get ported to MacOSX (right away). The developers of those games KNOW that if their game requires a powerful video card to play well, then they won't even bother to make a Mac version because the intended Mac audience is very small.
  6. NinjaDuck macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2013
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  7. DevonGaming01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2013
    I don't think those games are high graphical games. I'm pretty sure GTX 680 can run high quality games.

    I'm asking if the whole iMac can run high graphic games because I don't need the PC for just the games.

  8. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I haven't ran anything too intense on my 2011 iMac but it does handle everything I throw at it without any issues. Both Skyrim and Diablo 3 run perfectly fine on the highest settings (and Skyrim isn't even an official port). Mind you I'm not pulling 60fps in either game (average around 30 in D3) but for me that's fine.

    It all depends what you want really. If you want something that will run all the newest games on all the highest settings with high FPS, you're probably better off with a dedicated gaming PC.

    For me, most of my games are on PS3 so I don't use my mac for much (D3, Skyrim, TF2, Portal, Minecraft, a few others) but it runs everything on high at acceptable frame rates and this is an older iMac without even the highest end GPU in it's year.
  9. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    It depends on what games you want to play. Most typical games will play fine but more the more graphic intensive games like Crysis or a good flight sim will make an iMac work really hard. You can still play the intensive games but you'll have to play with a bit lower settings than a full blown gaming computer. Keep in mind a high performance gaming computer with an overclocked cpu, overclocked video card(s) and overclocked ram is just barely be able to play ultra settings at decent frame rates.

    Don't take me wrong, you would still be able to play many games on decent settings and they will look great, just don't expect to play Crysis on ultra and get 60+fps.

    Don't take my word on it, I recommend looking up data on some various cards and you'll soon have a good idea where the different cards rate. The 680, which used to be the nvdia king, is way faster than the 660 and a single 680 is "ample" for many games on ultra settings. For high performance now people are running two 680's or a 780, the former being slightly faster.

    You didn't mention which games you want to play. I would say you'd probably be happy with an iMac for most games. They are great computers and even though I do cad/cam/cae and gaming on a windows computer, I have to say my user experience on the Mac is better than Windows. My 2010 Mini is still plugging along with my old 23" ACD.
  10. malvicus macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2013
    If all you are doing is gaming, then the high end i5 version of the imac 27 inch is what you want. Not many games take advantage of hyperthreading in the i7.
  11. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    Here's an alternate question: what do you want OS X for? Video production? Programming? Design?

    BF4 will run at 1440p on a 680MX. It won't run in ultra though.
  12. tomwvr macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2012
    Frederick Maryland
    Forgot I also run Skyrim and Diablo 3 both perform flawlessly (havent played them much - too much time at work )

  13. madridboy86 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    I would wait until Oct 15 and then see what the new specs are, but I've asked around on youtubes videos on bf4 and people have said I can play it with my specs atm but at what res I dunno yet

    quick ? what's your gpu? and yea MAC are good for gaming that are native to them, but if I was you I would bootcamp into windows and play games that way :)
  14. Sanatogen macrumors member


    Sep 5, 2013
    I don't primarily use my iMac for gaming but I can play all the games I've installed and tried out (Diablo 3, Starcraft II, Guild Wars 2 etc) without any problems whatsoever.

    But I don't like using the Apple keyboard and mouse with games, the mouse is too small for my large hands first of all and it just doesn't feel right so I'm using my old mouse and keyboard I had with the old PC.
  15. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    In 2010, I purchased a dedicated gaming desktop PC and an iMac and the iMac spanked the gaming PC in gaming.
  16. Curren~Sea macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    To the OP:


    Cheaper than a comparable PC? Probably not. However, most people who decry the cost of an iMac for gaming do not factor in a comparable display. Sure, you can get cheap monitors but to accurately compare a gaming PC with an iMac you'd have to select a very high end (expensive) monitor for the PC.

    But, you'll be doing more than gaming on an iMac so in my opinion that makes up for the cost difference.


    and a Razer Naga.
  17. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I've been a PC Gamer for many many years now. I tried for a long time to keep up with new hardware to play the newest releases. The past few years I took a leap of faith and switched to an iMac as my main (gaming) machine. I pretty much only run it in Bootcamp and it functions perfectly for all my gaming needs.

    I can't explain exactly why, but for whatever reason I have a much better overall experience running Windows on my Macs (MBA, iMac, etc), and therefore gaming as well. You lose the capability of having the absolute best frame rates and resolutions, but you gain a lot in terms of overall stability and reliability. The screen is also one of the best I've seen.

    Also something that people forget to factor in is the over time value. All my iMacs have remained in great condition and retain their value either as "hand me downs" or for resale. My PCs? Not so much, most either ended up as junk or stripped of parts.
  18. antoniogra7 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    What about heat and fans? How does it handles them while gaming?
  19. JHBrown macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Southern California
    I'm curious to know what kind of "gaming PC" you have. A true "gaming PC" will out perform a maxed out iMac all day everyday. I own both, a GTX 680 iMac and a Haswell, GTX 780 " gaming PC". The gaming PC out performs the iMac without breaking a sweat.
  20. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    He's talking 2010… Things have changed in the year since the 2012 iMac came out.
  21. lJoSquaredl macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    I'll say one thing, anyone who says the new iMac 27 inch with 4gb of DDR5 ram can't play games well is just a Windows/PC fanboy. Whether it's a Mac game with a competent developer or you install and play on Windows, that card will chew thru ANYTHING you throw at it.
  22. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    The fans do come on with more intensive games/graphics (such as FFXIV running at full resolution), but personally I don't find it too distracting. Due to FFXIV's issues (different topic), I've had the game running all day (8 hours or more) and had no issues with overheating.
  23. nec207 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2011
  24. 2Turbo macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    As long as the 780m will perform decent in BF4 and CoD Ghosts, I'll be happy with it. :D
  25. AdolfCaesar macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2013
    If you are into hardcore fps games, iMac is the worst you can go. The graphics standards simply isn't there. A maxed out iMac with 16-32gb Ram and 780mx is gonna run you 3k. For that you can buy a haswell pc with sli gtx770 and a 1440p monitor. Sli gtx770 is probably going to be at least 4-5x faster then a 780m

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