Radeon HD 4850 vs. GeForce GTX 285

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Rezox, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Rezox macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2010
    #1
    I'm stuck on deciding between the Mac Pro and purchasing the Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 Mac edition or purchasing an iMac 27" i5 with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 for playing games at 2560x1440 resolution.

    From anyone's experience or knowledge does the ATI card hold good frame rates at a high quality setting in most games at this resolution or does the 285 blow it out of the water and warrant the extra cost of the Mac Pro plus 30" screen.

    Thanks for you opinion in advance!
     
  2. tomacintosh macrumors regular

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    #2
    The extra cost of the Mac Pro and 30" screen? If that is actually an option just buy the mofo lol!

    Sure the 4850 is decent, but if the Mac Pro is actuallly an option, it'll smoke the iMac game wise
     
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #3
    Really?

    A Macpro for "gaming"? What games? Who buys a Mac for gaming?

    Here are your benchmarks. i5/i7 4850 have nearly identical numbers, just a few clicks behind the MP 4870. MP with a 4870 does not "smoke" them.

    However, next set of MPs (coming out in a couple of months) should have ATI 59XX series cards, even faster.

    And they better, since the i7 iMac is nearly as fast as the Quad 2.93 MP, which clocks in at $2900 sans a monitor...

    http://www.barefeats.com/imi7g.html

    http://www.barefeats.com/imi7g2.html
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    GeForce GTX 285 is a lot better card as it's desktop version while ATI 4850 in iMac is mobile version. Price wisely iMac is much better choice as quad core 27" costs 1999$ while quad core Mac Pro costs 2499$ + GTX 285 449$ + 30" Cinema Display 1799$ giving the total of 4747$, over twice as much as the iMac.

    Cheaper choice would be a Mac Mini or iMac + PC gaming rig or PS3/X360
     
  5. tomacintosh macrumors regular

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    #5
    Who said anything about the 4870? He specifically asked about 4850 vs GTX 285.
     
  6. Rezox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Yes I will be buying a Mac for gaming. I play titles made for mac, but will also be bootcamping for Windows titles. I just can't give up my favorite apps by switching to Windows completely.

    I have heard in some threads on this forum of Apple tech's claiming the 4850 is the desktop variant.

    I may just buy the 27" i5 and then if I ever want the Mac Pro I can use the iMac as a monitor.
     
  7. silentsage macrumors member

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    May 13, 2008
    #7
    I've had the opportunity to use both the i7 iMac with a 4850, and a Mac Pro with a 285.

    From a performance stand point the Mac Pro with the 285 is much faster (maybe 50%) for gaming than the iMac. The processor speed is about the same in both machines, but the 285 is a much more powerful GPU.

    The 4850 in the iMac is the laptop version of that card. It's OK for for undemanding games like (WoW) but it has a hard time with more demanding games.

    The 4850 is really mismatched to the iMac's display, in that the display has a massive amount of pixels, and the 4850 mobility chip is really intended for laptops with much smaller displays.

    My guess is that we'll see a revision of the iMac soon that has a more powerful GPU.
     
  8. Rezox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Thanks, I was looking for someone like you to reply.

    Can you WoW at ultra settings in Dalaran or Wintergrasp and keep good FPS on the iMac?
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    They have, but it doesn't change the story, it's the mobile version. There is simply no space for desktop version
     
  10. tombb macrumors member

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    #10
    The iMac with the 4850 can be used to play games (www.barefeats.com), but that's not the iMac's main purpose.

    The mobility 4850 has about half the pixel-pushing power of the 285 (www.videocardbenchmark.net), which is nothing to sneeze at. Also, the potential benefits of OpenCL may help some people to choose it over the 4670 (for a little more "future proofing").

    The 4850 (or even 4670) is plenty powerful enough to drive the 27" display and an external ACD for most all consumer-level applications. It is my understanding that only a few high end graphic apps are GPU-bound.

    The iMac's design precludes the use of a faster, hotter, louder, larger, more energy-hungry chip. As a matter of fact, I doubt that an iMac will ever be created that sports the biggest baddest bleeding-edge GPU.

    If you want the cheapest, best FPS gaming rig, get or build a PC (or a PS3). For everything else, including non-GPU-bound strategy games, the iMac is great.
     
  11. Rodus macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

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    #11
    AFAIK the mobility 4850 and desktop 4850 are the same card just with different clock speeds. Crank up SMC fan control, use ATI tools or somesuch to overclock the GPU and voila, you have a desktop 4850, as for it no being able to handle current games decently, crap, it'll handle most of them virtually maxed out, ok, some games like Crysis need the graphic levels turning down but most stuff runs great The 285 is a faster card yes, but if you are buying a Mac Pro for gaming then that's crazy, you can build a far better Windows gaming rig.


    It's not. If you download the latest ATI Drivers you have to use Mobility Modder on them, and the GPU identifies itself under ATI's drivers (Ignore Apples) as a 4850 Mobility.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    There is no ATI tool for OS X. Yes, the mobile version of 4850 is just underclocked desktop version and its performance is about the same as desktop 4830's.
     
  13. Rodus macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

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    #13
    ^^I was referring to running in Windows since Apple generally underclock the GPU under OS X (don't know if this is true in the 27" though), sadly since the death of ATicellerator, Mac OS GPU overclocking is dead in the water.
     
  14. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    People have said they get 30 FPS in Dalaran maxed out, while there is a lot of people, and 60 FPS elsewhere. I have seen it maxed out in 25 man raids running smoothly. Looks great on it.
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #15
    Totally agree. I guess Im trying to figure out how the OP can spend either $2000 or $4000 and then try to compare the two?

    And the only thing we are concerned about is gaming?

    Did you look at *any* of the barefeats benchmarks?

    How about a video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GFPSFMzu3c&annotation_id=annotation_147677&feature=iv

    Really, if you have $4000 to burn, and dont want an iMac, then just buy a new MP when they come out in a month. If you really dont have $4000, pickup either an i5/i7 iMac since their GPU numbers are identical.

    However, if you really have that $4000, you should really pickup a $1200 gaming PC with twin Radeon 5XXX cards setup in SLI mode + 22" screen, and an i5 iMac. Best of both.
     
  16. Rezox thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I hear what you're saying. I'm settled on the iMac i5 at this point because of the value of the entire package. I was just very wary of the graphics performance since I'm already using my MacBook Pro (2.93) 9600Gt for gaming and wanted to make sure I'm making a great upgrade for this screen size that I desire.

    Thanks
     
  17. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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  18. silentsage macrumors member

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    #18
    Rezox -

    The i5 and i7 versions of the iMac will run WoW maxed out at full resolution without problems. Looks great on the 27" screen.

    The Core 2 Duo version of the iMac might also work well for WoW, but I don't have direct experience with that machine.
     

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