Is the current iMac graphics card the best possible?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Thunderbird8, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Thunderbird8 macrumors regular

    Thunderbird8

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    #1
    The current high end iMac has a 256MB graphics card, does anyone know if Apple are likely to increase the power of the graphics card in a future update?

    I know I am asking people to predict the future here, but is there any likely reason why it will not (or cannot) be improved upon?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Cloudane macrumors 65816

    Cloudane

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    #2
    From what I've heard there's definitely room for improvement.

    Whether Apple are inclined to offer it is another matter...
     
  3. Thunderbird8 thread starter macrumors regular

    Thunderbird8

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    #3
    I'm sure I read somewhere that too powerful a card would overheat in the iMac..?
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #4
    its not the best that they could put in there, but given the space limitations and the heat issue i'd venture to guess that its the best that they feel comfortable with putting in such an enclosure.
     
  5. Senor360 macrumors regular

    Senor360

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    #5
    What..

    No SLI - Geforce 8800 GTX 768mb per card, water-cooled plans in the future for the iMac? Now I'm bummed. ;)
     
  6. MrT8064 macrumors 6502a

    MrT8064

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  7. vga4life macrumors 6502

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    #7
    In answer to your thread-title question, hell no. Apple seriously lags the PC world in high-end gfx card power.

    In answer to your first question, of course. Technology moves forward.

    In answer to your second question, Apple likes high margins. That means selling expensive consumer desktop systems with fancy cases and mediocre components. Sorry, that's just how it goes.

    This is not to say they don't make great laptops, or have a great OS - they do. If you're looking for raw hardware horsepower, though, you'll either pay through the nose for a Mac Pro or buy a PC.
     
  8. Mantronix macrumors regular

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    #8
    This is questionable. Depends on your gaming stanards. I pretty much play World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3 on my computer and that is it. Nothing too graphic extensive and its perfect for me. Now if you are talking about games like Crysis then yes.

    Apple primary concern is not the gaming market.
     
  9. Thunderbird8 thread starter macrumors regular

    Thunderbird8

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    #9
    To be honest I am talking (when it comes to graphics-hungry games) about FSX!
     
  10. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #10
    I woudnt expect a graphics bump for a long time, look how long the 1600 was used. Cpu bump will happen not much more in the next update. I have been playing Prey on one with no issues.

    This is typical Apple, you want a real video card there is one option its called powermac. (i mean mac pro)
     
  11. jdsony macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #11
    Well the X1900XT (isn't it 512mb? or is it just the 256mb one?) is the best card for the MacPro and it's still pretty decent. It's not going to play some of the brand new games like Crysis and perhaps Call of Duty 4 really well but it handles most games released up until recently really good. The memory amount doesn't truly matter as much as most people think. There are 256mb cards that outperform 512mb cards by a large margin. There are WAY more factors than memory amount, memory speed, and clock speed. If given two high end graphics cards one with 512mb RAM and one with 256mb, the 256mb could possibly fail to perform when given a 1920x1200 resolution and Anti Aliasing but really in most cases the amount of memory is not really all that relevant when choosing a card.

    The X1900XT is good but it's an expensive card from last generation. The things happening in the PC market right now are far beyond that. Finally there are sub $200 cards that perform really well for gaming and out pace the X1900XT.
     
  12. gorby macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Thankfully the console systems have gotten so good I don't even worry about.

    When I want to game, it's Xbox 360 time.
     
  13. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 9, 2004
    #13
    It's the Radeon HD 2600 Pro at the high end. (Merely saying that it's a "256MB card" is basically meaningless.) I saw a graphics test recently where the 3-year-old X800 card in my G5 spanked it pretty hard, which should tell you something. ;) It's possible that test wasn't completely indicative of overall performance, and the drivers could apparently use some substantial improvement--which would help get more speed in the future--but there you go.

    That's not very relevant, considering a lot of people don't care for console systems or console games, not even the current generation.

    --Eric
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #14
    Actually, it's an underclocked Radeon Mobility HD 2600XT.

    No serious Windows gamers are going to an iMac but as a casual gamer it runs the games I play flawlessly at the native screen resolution and high graphic settings. I mostly play Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. I play Bioshock as well but for that I need to lower the graphic settings a bit to play it smoothly.
     
  15. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The card in the imac is actually excellent for general use and some basic gaming. It'll run half-life 2 at full quality and the highest resolution very smoothly, and it'll even play crisis at medium to high quality at 1024x600 very nicely.

    But if you want to play the very latest high end games with the graphics turned up to maximum, then no it won't cut it. You'll need a high-end PC with lots of cooling and a big power supply - there's no way you could put the video cards needed into an imac without it getting much bigger, hotter, and louder.

    There's really not a lot apple could put in the imac just yet, there's the nvidia 8600 which could be a little faster, but not so much that it would be a big improvement. If you want something better, you'll have to wait until ATI or NVidia make it, and apple put it into an updated imac. And when that happens, new games will be out and new high-end cards, and it still won't run the latest and greatest at the best quality ;D
     
  16. Cloudane macrumors 65816

    Cloudane

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    #16
    I play WoW, Everquest and Second Life, no framerate problems on my 20" AlMac (option 2, not the cheap one)

    SL can be a bit sluggish in really busy areas but isn't it always, the recommended spec for that is a cluster of supercomputers and a direct optical connection to teh internets.

    Deadly serious gamers though don't tend to like it.
     
  17. Senor360 macrumors regular

    Senor360

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    #17
    Hmm..

    UNREAL TOURNAMENT III was announced to be coming out early next year for the iMac. Wonder how well it'll handle that game? :confused:
     
  18. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #18
    The Radeon 2600 runs the most demanding game available no problems. It might be on low/medium settings, but if you think Crysis is a slideshow then you're very much mistaken.

    There are many videos of Crysis on the iMac on YouTube if you look.

    What's the obsession on running games at absolute maximum settings? I've never run any new game with everything turned to max because benchmark games always require stupidly expensive rigs to achieve that.

    Doom 3 was very intensive when it came out. I just played it on medium settings on my AthlonXP PC.

    Games still look fantastic with some of the settings tuned down. Everything on max is nice, but not a necessity.
     
  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    good post alexis. I think that sums it up nicely. :)
     
  20. vga4life macrumors 6502

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    #20
    The point is that a high-end iMac *is* a stupidly expensive rig by modern standards but can't run current games at full resolution and quality - a task that a good $1500 PC has no trouble with.
     
  21. nhexima macrumors member

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    #21
    Exactly. Here's to hoping the video cards on the iMacs are upgraded at MWSF... though that's not super likely.
     
  22. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #22
    The point is I don't think you read higher in this thread than the comment you replied to.

    As psonice so eloquently pointed out above a gaming PC is a big box, with a BIG power supply, many BIG fans and a lot of noise. The price is not the issue. The iMac is never going to be a "top-end" gaming machine because of the power and cooling requirements of "top-end" GPUs. To have the silent operation and minimal footprint of an AIO computer you need to compromise a bit.

    You can't have everything. The current iMacs play games very well in Boot Camp.
     
  23. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #23
    Is it? It's a custom made all in one machine, not a PC box with a standard motherboard, casing and cooling.
     

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