is the 7300 GT enough?

Nym

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
607
0
Porto, Portugal
Hi!

I'm getting the 24" iMac sometime this week and I've just found out that the standard GPU (NVIDIA 7300 GT) can be bought at a regular hardware store for 60€ (with 256 MB!). What this tells me is that the 7300 is a very low-end graphics card right? my question is:

Since I don't have any more money to BTO and get the 7600 GT, do you think that the 7300 GT will give me decent fps playing CS:Source, Doom 3, FarCry, COD2?
I can't get any decent benchmarks for the 7300GT, usually they test the GPU with an iMac that has 2gb RAM or the 2.33ghz processor, which can be misleading because I'll be ordering the base configuration!
Does anyone here happens to be playing one of these games with the default setup for the 24" iMac? If so, please post your experience with the 7300GT.

Anyway, just having last minute doubts and sure could use some opinions...

Thanks in advance.
 

Accylad

macrumors member
Mar 7, 2006
73
0
Accrington
Not sure mate, but being an experienced pc gamer before I switched, I cannot understand why Apple keeps putting crap cards in their machines. That is the only downside to being a mac owner. One point of note though I was running a 6800gt 256mb in my shuttle but found you need a least 2gb of ram for games like BF2 and Fear.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
7300Gt is a little weak for what Apple charges in my view, I also run a 2yr old 6800GT which is still faster then the 7600GT. If you are a gamer 7600Gt is the solution. You should let Apple know about the low end GPU's they are pushing everywhere in my view. In fact all of us Gamers and Mac lovers need to educate Apple on this matter. They just keep doing it, low end GPUs in every product.Its almost like Intel & Apple want to kill off the games:(
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
The 7600GT is the better card for gaming, but since you are on a budget, go with the 7300GT- it should still perform well enough for you. :)
 

Xenesis

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2006
197
0
Australia
Eh, it's the 'Apple Tax' as it's so called.

Of course, I'm pretty sure the GPU situation is because, (like the majority of computer manufacturers) the people buying them are Joe Blows who want a big screen to watch DVDs on, or for some Government department where they need something that can power Minesweeper, or people who just use them for work.

Heck, I know someone who had a 17" screen 10 years ago because of his eyesight.

The ratio of people needing high end graphics cards (Gamers) vs those who don't (Most other people) is probably exceedingly high towards not needing a powerful card. So for those of us who like macs and like to game a bit or w/e, we basically lose. But it's not going to hurt ~98% of Apple's customers.
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,265
0
Bookshop!
agreed, they are underspeced.

Kick up a fuss, but in the meantime, i recommend you don't get the 2.33GHz, and use the saved cash to buy the 7600GT. 170MHz per chip probably won't be noticeable, but the 7600 sounds much better than the 7300.
 

orangezorki

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
618
17
It all depends on whether or not you can stand gaming at the non-native resolution. At 1920x1200, the extra horsepower is pretty necessary.

David
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,686
690
The 7600 still gets quite good reviews as a budget gaming card in PC magazines, so I'd go for it if you're planning to play games in XP or OS X. As its not upgradable, the extra money is worth it to future proof yourself for a wee bit longer.
 

sokrates

macrumors member
Oct 1, 2006
51
0
well I've played cod2 on my 24" imac with the gf7600gt.... nothing mind blowing, but it rains fairly, at 35 fps in 1280.
if that's enough for you, go for the 7600, the 7300 will be definatelly much slower... I still don't get why they can't offer a 7800gt or even a 7900, but I guess the folks at apple don't know that either...as far as the native resolution is concerned, you won't find a 3d shooter with decent graphix which will run in this resolution, you would need far more than a 7600 to do that.... I have played civ 4 in native though, that works flawlessly, but then again, civ 4's graphics are average at best.

one more notice: the 7600 in the imac is underclocked... it runs with 500 mhz instead of 560, some models of the 7600 even push it to 580, same goes for the ram on the card, it's clocked to 600 in the imac I think, while pc cards clock it way above that (800 or something like that) correct me if I am wrong, don't quite remeber the ram timings. I overclocked the clockspeed to 520 which gave me about 100 marks more in 3dmark2006 2 but then again, do you want to burn it to death? =) didn't notice any fans, which it should have, so it can probably take some more abuse.
 

0010101

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2006
141
0
Apple needs a low 'starting' price on their products.. they don't know what the end user is going to do with the computer, and truth be told, the 7300GT is plenty of graphics power for a whole lot of applications.. if not MOST applications.

Kind of like the car they advertise on TV that 'starts' at $19,999 but is $24,000 'as shown' in the commercial.

Not everybody needs the heated leather seats and automatic nut scratcher.

Hey, the heaviest hitting game I play on my Mac is Return To Castle Wolfenstein, which runs pretty smoothly on a 900Mhz PPC w/ a 32 MB video card.

My reccomendation for a new computer buyer is to look at the reccomended specs for the applications you want to use, and buy something higer than that, to give you some room to grow.
 

Nym

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
607
0
Porto, Portugal
I guess that my goal is to play games at 800x600 if that is what it takes to run them smooth, i'm not very picky with the resolution, I just want the games to run at a stable fps (like over 35 it's enough for me). I just felt a little disappointed when I went to check the 7300GT prices :)
The problem is that I can afford the 7600GT, but in Portugal we don't have a single Apple Store, which means that the only BTO option is RAM upgrades, the other options would force me to order the computer from Spain or some other country but in that case I would lose the ability to pay the iMac in 10 installments (I guess this is the word :S). So, as you can see i'm in a bit of a bind.

On one hand I can buy the iMac with the 7600GT but would take me over 5 or 6 months to gather up the money, on the other I can buy it now but will have a 7300GT non-upgradable which I know nothing about ... Ahhh geez :mad:
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
You are in a pickle, I havent seen any photo's of the card in the new imac and really dont know if its possible to be replaced or if its on the motherboard. The cpu is upgradeable but if its like 90% of Macs the video is what you get. A slower cpu & better gpu combo would be the ticket. A 7600 Gt is going to make more difference over gaming then the few hertz difference in the cpu will. Welcome to Apples GPU misery. I hate to admit it but for the same price you can get a gaming rig that will slaughter this machine but then you are on windblows.:mad:
 

weg

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
888
0
nj
dmw007 said:
The 7600GT is the better card for gaming, but since you are on a budget, go with the 7300GT- it should still perform well enough for you. :)
Is the 7300GT good enough to drive two 20" displays? (at a reasonable resolution?)
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
weg said:
Is the 7300GT good enough to drive two 20" displays? (at a reasonable resolution?)
Presumably you mean a 24" (the internal iMac one, as only the 24" comes with the 7300) and a 20" external, and the answer is yes, up to 1920x1200 on each assuming DVI.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
Dont Hurt Me said:
7300Gt is a little weak for what Apple charges in my view, I also run a 2yr old 6800GT which is still faster then the 7600GT. If you are a gamer 7600Gt is the solution. You should let Apple know about the low end GPU's they are pushing everywhere in my view. In fact all of us Gamers and Mac lovers need to educate Apple on this matter. They just keep doing it, low end GPUs in every product.Its almost like Intel & Apple want to kill off the games:(
Hate to be picky but the 7600GT is a fair bit better (10 - 20%) than the 6800 GT. If you want benchmarks for the base config 24" look here at the 20" iMac Core 2 Duo. The 7300 GT would add just a few more frames onto what the 2.16 GHz + X1600 can do.
 

Nym

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
607
0
Porto, Portugal
Humm, I guess the 7300GT will have to be enough because although I could spend 2000€ in a PC that would be perfect for gaming I really don't see myself working in any other OS than OSX... Of course the number one reason for me to buy an iMac is for work, (graphic and multimedia design) the gaming is secondary (although i love gaming), so I guess i'll stick to the base configuration and hope for the best, who knows? maybe i'll get surprised with the results :)
 

jamesi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2005
595
0
Davis CA
you wont be able to upgrade if you get the 7300. the 7300 is an awful card and you really should spend the extra bit for the 7600, which isnt even all that hot to be honest. I used to be a pretty serious gamer, but i still keep up with the graphics card debates and if you are a true gamer then id advise you spring for the 7600 or just save up for a mac pro.
 

suneohair

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2006
2,137
0
I am a very light gamer, very very light. I play CS: Source. Which is about it.

I have Mac Pro 2x2.66, 2GB and the 7300GT and CS:S runs great, and that is in OS X via Crossover Mac.

If you don't game often I would say the upgrade isn't worth it. If most of your time on the computer consists of gaming, then upgrade.

You have to measure your personal utility, asking for help here is fine but we don't know your habits or needs. If you think you will get more utility by doing the upgrade and that amount of utility offsets the cost of the upgrade then do it.
 

Shadow

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2006
1,576
0
Keele, United Kingdom
ascender said:
The 7600 still gets quite good reviews as a budget gaming card in PC magazines, so I'd go for it if you're planning to play games in XP or OS X. As its not upgradable, the extra money is worth it to future proof yourself for a wee bit longer.
Uhhh.....yes it is upgradable in the 24" iMac.
 

bluewire

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2006
99
0
Bay Area, California
bite the bullet and get the 7600GT. Its not THAT much more and will be worth it down the road.

The 7300 is not really user upgradeable for the average user. I mean I'm sure there are some smart people that are confident enough to take their iMac apart and try to plug in a better card since it uses an MMX port (that isn't consumer available anyways I think)

But all in all, I would scrounge together the extra cash and splurge.

Why do I say that?

Because I did. And I have no second thoughts and am extremely happy with my 2' iMac
 

Nym

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
607
0
Porto, Portugal
Yes, I would definitely go with the 7600GT but as I've said earlier, I don't get that BTO option in the Portuguese Apple Distributor. I guess I'll probably go for the 2gb upgrade (since it's the only one they can make in the store) and hope it somehow compensates the 7300GT poorness :)

I guess that for CS:Source and some other games, at medium detail with 800x600 it will run smooth, hell, even my previous PC (AMD Athlon XP 2.4, 768 RAM, NVIDIA 5200 FX 128MB) would allow me to run CS:S with low detail and relatively stable fps (around 30) so, wish me luck... eheh. Thanks for all the replies!

PS: I know its a shame to run a game in 800x600 in a 24 inch display ;)
 

Pressure

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2006
3,952
254
Denmark
Just for clarification but the Geforce 7300GT and Geforce 7600 are both using the same G73 chip.

Although the Geforce 7300GT only has 8 pixel pipelines enabled compared to the 12 pixel pipelines of the Geforce 7600 series.
 

Shadow

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2006
1,576
0
Keele, United Kingdom
topgunn said:
It is upgradeable assuming you can find an EFI MXM video card.
Thats a small technicality.... But seriosuly, I heard that its a developing industry standard. Should be "as common" as USB in a few years (if all goes to plan).

EDIT: I meant the EFI bit, MXM may make it difficult.