Is gaming safe?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DOlsson, May 22, 2012.

  1. DOlsson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #1
    Good morning all!

    Well, I purchased my second Mac not too long ago. My original 13 inch black MacBook was replaced with a 27inch iMac. I cannot say how pleased I am with this machine.

    I have an unusual concern though. Is it really safe to game on these things? I understand these things get hot, and I know they have cooling fans and heatsinks to properly dissipate the heat. But is gaming on these things really advisable? WOW and Diablo 3 are really the only things I play on this machine and man does it ever get warm. Never shuts down or anything, all runs properly but I'm concerned I'm shortening its life.

    Anyway, does anyone else maybe advise not gaming on an iMac for this reason? Or am I just being silly?

    Thanks again :)
     
  2. Elven macrumors 6502a

    Elven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
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    UK
    #2
    I have a late 2011 i7 27inch iMac.

    I often have it on bootcamp in Windows 7 64bit Home Premium, gaming on EvE Online, Crysis 2 and a few other games.

    I do run a cooling fan in my room, however the iMac preforms it's duties with no trouble.
     
  3. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    You're just being silly :D

    Look, computers are made to be used. If you like gaming and have a modern iMac, then enjoy it. I do my fair share of gaming and the temperatures are fine. Only concern I've had is my HDD - the max operating temp is 60C, and OS X at times lets it hit 58-59C. I figure that can't be healthy, so I use smcfancontrol and boost the fans. I aim for 50C.

    Will it decrease usable life? Maybe a little, but not that much I reckon. I gamed plenty on my MBP, it got super hot, and lasted me over 3 years (it's now my mum's computer and is still working fine).
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #4
    Why are you touching the back of the computer? Do you touch your engine after you've been driving to try and figure out if it's too hot? No, you don't. You have temperature gauges and warning lights to tell if you things are too hot. The engine will be hot, but if it's not too hot, then it's ok. Your computer is the same. If it gets too hot, it will shut down.
     
  5. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #5
    That was not helpful, but thanks.
     
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #6
    He does make a good point, which is that processors, graphics cards, and logic boards have built in heat monitoring systems. Those should kick in and shut down the computer well before any physical damage is done.
     
  7. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #7
    It was actually more helpful than you think. Just stop worrying about using your computer and start using it. You won't shorten the life of your iMac though gaming any more than through any other processor-intensive activity, the iMac is designed with the maximal thermal output of its component in mind and has all the cooling they require in addition to safeguards which prevent thermal damage. And if your iMac happens to die due to overheating, well, thats what your warranty is for.
     
  8. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #8
    That I certainly understand.

    Just wondering guys. That's all. Just overly paranoid is what it comes down to I think.
     
  9. Sue De Nimes macrumors 6502a

    Sue De Nimes

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #9
    Gaming is not safe.

    Paedophiles have developed technology to molest children who play online games. They can make the keyboard on a Macbook emit vapours which allow them to control children remotely.

    This technology was first shown in the documentary "Brasseye" on TV during the 90s and had developed at a frightening pace since then.
     
  10. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #10
    HA!

    I also hear that only hackers use AMD processors... Anyone remember that?
     
  11. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #11
    I thought it was very helpful. If you're going to sit there and stress and be afraid of using your computer, then you may as well get rid of it. The point is that the computer knows if it's getting too hot and it will shut down or you'll experience obvious instability.

    ----------

    No need to be paranoid. Enjoy your computer.
     
  12. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    #12
    I heard that too much gaming on your Mac can cause you to go blind, or grow hair on your palms, or something like that.

    No, wait . . .
     
  13. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #13
    Nah.... That's something else fun.

    ----------

    From now on I am not going to worry about that stuff.
     
  14. DeF46 macrumors regular

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    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Belgium
    #14
    This is a good question. Is it safe? Most likely. Is it comfortable to have your GPU run at 90C and the iMac getting so hot? No.

    It may be safe to run the GPU at 90C 24h/24 and in theory it will shorten its lifespan but you will most likely have replaced the GPU by then.

    Personally I hate it to have my iMac run so hot, so I increase the fan speed a little bit to keep the GPU under 80C. I do this also because I overclock the 4850M with MSI Afterburner. On this late 2009 iMac just going from 1000 to 1500 RPM keeps the GPU always between 70-80C and the fan increase is barely audible.

    The GPU can easily reach temps of 90 C in Windows without manual fan control, I would imagine the same for OS X and AAA titles (PC titles that get ported over, ie. not solitaire and minesweeper).


    Under Mac you can use smcFanControl.

    My routine in Windows is:
    * Run GPUZ
    * Run MacFan (or run smcFanControl in OS X if I booted in OS X already).
    * Run MSI Afterburner to boost the GPU clock and shader speeds.

    Do NOT use LubbosFanControl in Windows for iMac it will mess up the fan (Lubbos is great for MacbookPro).
     
  15. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
    Ooh, I get to use this analogy again. Do you cover your Tiffany lamps in newspaper to keep them safe, or do you turn them on and enjoy them?

    The aluminum casing is part of the heat dissipation plan. Pay no attention to how it feels to the touch.
     
  16. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #16
    Almost like how some people cover their couches plastic, or their lamps in that clear plastic :)

    Gotcha - no longer going to worry about it! If it dies, it dies. Warranty to the rescue.
     
  17. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #17
    Your iMac will handle it, but as a mac gamer, I personally would be running a fan program such as SMC fan control. This allows you to set the base rpm, and the fans will still up-spin the same as before when needed. For example, the default base rpm of my 2011 2.5 i5 mini is 1800. Before gaming, I click my gaming preset, which bumps the fan speed up to 2800rpm. This keeps the computer much much cooler (90*C+ --->70*C), and even quieter (Cant hear 2800rpm, but if it needs to crank fans to 3500+ than it sounds like a helicopter taking off!) My mac never has to crank the fans if my base rpm is raised. I also invested in a laptop fan, which has done wonders. If you have room for a tiny fan behind the iMac to get the air moving some more, it can do wonders!

    Your iMac may last just as long, but warmer running components in general will not have the longevity of equal components kept cooler over long periods, simple thermodynamics.:)

    ----------

    Very good point, all of the aluminum-cased apple products feel much warmer to the touch, which is actually a pretty genius design in my opinion. If you have heard the controversy about the new iPad heat "issue", the aluminum heat sink is to blame, even though it does a much better job of dissipating heat from the CPU/GPU than the old plastic ones.
     
  18. DeF46 macrumors regular

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    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Belgium
    #18
    Sorry but when I put my hand to the top of the iMac and it's burning enough that I can't hold it there, I'd say that's not acceptable heat dissipation.
     
  19. theSeb, May 22, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #19
    I don't think you understand what heat dissipation is. The fact that it's hot shows that it is dissipating heat away from your electrical components and doing exactly what it is meant to do - act as a heat sink.

    It's like saying that if the temperature of the water used to cool my engine is normally around 110 C , then it is unacceptable since I cannot pour it over myself without first degree burns.
     
  20. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #20
    As long as it burns your hand and not the internal components, the heat dissipation is doing just fine. The task of the cooling system is to transfer the heat from the components to the outside. 200+W is not a joke, this is the heat generation of a small water kettle. Of course it gets warm.

    P.S. Think positively: you can use your iMac to dry your socks — I had very good experience with it!
     
  21. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #21
    :D :D

    It also acts as a nice radiator for the cold European winters.
     
  22. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #22
    Oh yes! I really think I would be frozen if not for my trusty iMac... works best if you loop some sort of game benchmark (Crysis works well) and place it under your feet overnight. Great device!
     
  23. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #23
    Didn't read the whole thread, too long.

    But, to give you your answer, I play Diablo 3 on my 21.5" 2011 iMac on High settings with no issues at all. It heats up but completely within safe ranges. If it wasn't safe the computer would know and shut itself down as it is designed to do.

    A lot of the time the iMac's feel warmer than they actually are just because the aluminium case feels very warm. If you check out your temps in something like iStat Pro. I'm sure you'll find that your temps are perfectly normal.

    As I said, fear not, if your computer is too hot it will know and stop itself. Playing Diablo 3 certainly won't over-heat your computer. It will get the fan running and the case will feel hot but it won't over-heat.
     
  24. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    NJ
    #24
    1 page, 22 posts, is too long? What has happened to the world's attention span?
     
  25. russofris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #25
    It is safe to game on an iMac. It is also safe to undertake any activity that pushes the GPU to 100% utilization for extended durations. GPUs under heavy load typically operate between 80-90C, and the enclosure is designed to dissipate the excess heat under normal operating conditions. This should only be problematic when operating outside of the normal conditions (when the ambient temperature exceeds the temperature specifications in the manual).

    For an iMac, this is:
    Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)

    If you live in a extremely hot climate, you may wish to invest in an AC. While there's a little leeway in the spec, there's usually less leeway in the warranty.

    F
     

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