Running Windows & Gaming on iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pr0jectile, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. pr0jectile macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Hi guys, I don't know if this has been asked already but since there's alot of topics around here, I couldn't find my answer. Anyways, I'm thinking of getting the new iMac 27" 2.7Ghz. I plan to use windows (alot) via bootcamp for my gaming needs (games like Bad Company 2, Portal 2, Crysis etc) and other softwares that I need for work that don't run on Mac OSX. Will the iMac work smoothly with all this? Also, as far as replacing parts goes, can I manually upgrade graphics and other components down the line or will it have to go back to Apple? Thanks.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    They should run fine. The CPU and GPU are both replaceable, but you need to remove the logic board to do it.
  3. pr0jectile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Thanks. Also, which components from a PC work in the iMac? Just wondering if I get the iMac, I could use the PC's parts as a backup for repairs or something, if anything is to go wrong with it =)
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No idea, because I don't know what the specs are of your current machine. Generally the hard drive is the most interchangeable component.
  5. pr0jectile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    My specs:

    CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-760 Processor 2.80 GHz / 8M Cache
    Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 1600 MHz
    Hard Drive: Samsung 500GB / 7200 rpm / 32MB cache / SATA II
    Video Card: Gainward NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 1024Mb
    Sound Card: Realtek Digital Output High Definition Audio (7.1 channel)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD6

    Also, if I were to replace anything, which of these would be more better to use on there? (Sorry I'm asking too much here lol, just need to get some ideas before considering it a safe move for me as I've been using PCs and after seeing what the Mac is capable of I'm leaning towards it). Thanks.
  6. sudosu, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    sudosu macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    Firstly many of the games you want to play, portal 2 for example have versions that will run under mac osx, with the mac growing popularity more and more devlopers are creating mac versions. A limted selction can be seen here

    Secondly for the stuff that only runs under windows, windows performs very very well on a mac. Your osx install cd will contain all the drivers needed for your hardware.

    As far as hardware upgradeablity is concerned (if your brave enough to pull the screen off)

    Processor - Bog standard, same as in pcs (remember its sandy bridge)

    Memory - PC3-10600(1333) DDR3204-pin SO-DIMMS (easy to upgrade)

    HDD - Custom 7 pin sata(normaly 4 pin), as of yet only apple can replace this in 2011 models

    Graphics card - MXM format card (used in latops) its not yet known if non apple ones will work, but is theorticaly upgradeable.

    A full teardown can be seen here
  7. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    Parts between PC and iMac are not interchangeable. Possibly the processor but this is a different world than opening up the side of your PC and swapping something out. For the most part, consider the iMac as static, what you get out of the box is what you will always have with the exception of memory as that is the only thing that is easily upgradeable.....but of course, it is not the same memory you would put into a desktop.

    If you are the type that likes the ability to upgrade and always wants the latest, stick with a PC, especially since it sounds like you will mostly be in Windows.

    I'm not sure what you want to get out of the Mac but if you just want to get into Mac, consider buying a Macbook to run alongside of your PC. I did this exact same thing when I wanted to get into Mac.....and then was quickly hooked and have since moved to an iMac. The wife and kids however love the Macbook and as the "geek" in the family, I absolutely love not having to reformat a machine every 3 months to get rid of junk with windows.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The iMac will be able to play all the modern and future games, but do not expect it to run it on max settings. The iMac has an ultra high-res screen and a middle-class GPU (even it its the fastest mobile GPU on the market). But it will surely suffice for smooth gameplay.

    You will not be able to upgrade components save RAM. Theoretically, it is possible to take the iMac apart, but it is a very complicated procedure and you won't find any affordable replacement parts anyway. The iMac already spots the top-end Sandy Bridge CPU (not much to replace here) and the GPU is a mobile card with a custom interface (you won't find them in store).
  9. pr0jectile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    @sudosu: Thanks for the list.

    @troutspinner: Yeah, I'm more of a guy who likes to upgrade parts alot (or mainly because PCs are just made that way to mess up lol). I'm considering a permanent switch to an iMac since most of you guys here mentioned that it will serve my windows needs easily. Also, the fact that Apple has consistency in their design makes it that much more tempting (graphic designer here). Talking about geeks, how technical can you get with a mac? For example with a pc you can do alot of things in BIOS etc such as modding or tweaks.

    @leman: Thanks, didn't know it used a mobile GPU. It does work really well in that case.
  10. MacHamster68, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    if you like to mess things up you will quickly get bored or fustrated with a iMac especially when gaming under windows is a priority
    if you want to play games there is only one recomendation and thats the MacPro (12 westmere cores ), you even got the choice there of using different GPU's for OSX
    and windows(any pc PCI E card will work if you got windows drivers for it, option of sli or crossfire ), and proper desktop ones which really help with gaming , the MacPro makes a perfect gaming rig
    see it like the iMac is golf gti and the MacPro is a bugatti veyron ... both made by the same company volkswagen ..aeh Apple

    ok you could aways buy a iMac and use it as monitor for a self build gaming rig
  11. pr0jectile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Yeah, there is always the choice of the Mac Pro but I was really interested in the all-in-one iMac which will make my place clutter-free. Also, gaming is not the highest priority for me but comes around the top. If games run with good graphics in windows via bootcamp then I'm ok with that. (I'll be getting BF3 when it's out so if anyone has any news about that running fine on an iMac then be sure to drop by).
  12. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    You won't be able to mess around with settings as much as with Windows, but the OS doesn't need that. On my windows PC it always took me a day to completely set everything up and tweak to my preferences, but that ain't necessary on an iMac.

    What you can do is graphicly enhancing your OS with stuff like Geektool.
  13. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    I had the 2.7 Ghz model and for Bad Company 2 it ran pretty well with a nice smooth FPS for the majority of the gameplay. It'd slow right down if I was caught right in the middle of an explosion but that was it. I found that when in the helicopter as a gunner the screen would tear quite a lot with the gun effect when I fired. Other than that, ran pretty good with nice graphics.
  14. pr0jectile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Yeah I realised that. I guess it's just upto me to try out a Mac now after hearing all the positivity in this thread.

    Are your settings above medium? I'm still wondering whether BF3 will cope since it may require some of the newer hardware to run well. Might have to run BF3 on low settings if I get the mac now. Of course there's no specs available for BF3 yet so only time will tell.

    Thanks everyone, your comments helped me alot. I'll be considering a switchover from PC to mac real soon! =)

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