Which iMac for gaming?

Spurk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 28, 2010
18
0
What do you guys recommend i go for, i plan to game aswell as run Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign. I reckon the 3.60GHz Intel Core dual core i5 + the 1GB video card is better then the quadcore for my needs? Sure it cost a bit more but i don`t see the need for 4 cores with my usage. The quad core only offers a 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 aswell.

And how does this compare against the 21.5 i5 ATI Radeon HD 5670 512MB 3.60GHz setup?


Please shed some light on this.
Thanks
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Quad core is faster in most games because the CPU is not the bottleneck. Don't waste your money on i5 upgrade, get the quad. Real cores are better
 

reticulate

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2010
101
0
What do you guys recommend i go for, i plan to game aswell as run Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign. I reckon the 3.60GHz Intel Core dual core i5 + the 1GB video card is better then the quadcore for my needs? Sure it cost a bit more but i don`t see the need for 4 cores with my usage. The quad core only offers a 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 aswell.

And how does this compare against the 21.5 i5 ATI Radeon HD 5670 512MB 3.60GHz setup?


Please shed some light on this.
Thanks
Clock speeds are largely irrelevant, and have been for years. You're getting more performance out of the 2.8GHz quad core i5 over the 3.60GHz dual core i5.

Further, you're one of the people who will actually see value in the quad core because you'll be running apps that love multithreading.
 

axma

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2006
37
0
That bad? :confused:
not bad but the same performance.

The GPU is the bottleneck and the mobile 4850 is approximatively the same as the desktop 5750 or mobile 5850.

In France the refurb imac is 1.529 (quad core i5 and 4850M) and the new imac is 1999, so i save 470€ (=611$) for the same performance in games.

To be honest I am really disappointed by the imacs price increase

[EDIT] Do we pay for the last generation screen issues ?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
Quad core is faster in most games because the CPU is not the bottleneck. Don't waste your money on i5 upgrade, get the quad. Real cores are better
it depends on the game. given that most games are still dual core, you would want to go with the i5 (TB of nearly 4Ghz!), the OP would have to research more for each individual games.

as for the video work etc, a quad core cant be beat!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
it depends on the game. given that most games are still dual core, you would want to go with the i5 (TB of nearly 4Ghz!), the OP would have to research more for each individual games.

as for the video work etc, a quad core cant be beat!
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/12

It's faster in every game that Anandtech tested. There is no i5-680 included in those tests though. Anyway, the CPU is not the bottleneck here so there won't be major difference between dual and quad.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/12

It's faster in every game that Anandtech tested. There is no i5-680 included in those tests though. Anyway, the CPU is not the bottleneck here so there won't be major difference between dual and quad.
wow. i wasnt aware that HT so actively killed benchmarks like that! i knew that it effected synthetic marks but not REAL ones (gaming counts as real right? ;) ).

i guess a lot of the games are becoming fully multicore aware :)
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
wow. i wasnt aware that HT so actively killed benchmarks like that! i knew that it effected synthetic marks but not REAL ones (gaming counts as real right? ;) ).

i guess a lot of the games are becoming fully multicore aware :)
i5-750 doesn't even have HT and it's still faster than Clarkdale ;)
 

Spurk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 28, 2010
18
0
So i guess the 27" quad is the way to go.
Should i get the # 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 upgrade?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
So i guess the 27" quad is the way to go.
Should i get the # 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 upgrade?
If it's only gaming, then probably not but if you're going to do something else which is CPU intensive, it's worth it. It's only 200$ for up to 30% performance increase
 

Spurk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 28, 2010
18
0
If it's only gaming, then probably not but if you're going to do something else which is CPU intensive, it's worth it. It's only 200$ for up to 30% performance increase
Does it really provide 30% better performance? Not that i doubt your word but any chance you can elaborate some on that. Seems like a major difference when they seem almost the same?

Cheers
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Does it really provide 30% better performance? Not that i doubt your word but any chance you can elaborate some on that. Seems like a major difference when they seem almost the same?

Cheers
It does provide ~30% better performance when all threads (8) can be utilized. Those tasks are usually video encoding and rendering, most games cannot take advantage of the extra threads. See some benchmarks here
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,745
5,243
Only that the benchmark you provide uses the i5-750 while the one in the new iMac is the i5-760, with higher clocks. I think that in real-time applications the i7-870 will be at most 10-15% faster
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
True but the real difference isnt from clocks, but from HT
these virtual clocks slow down performance overall when utilisation is >50% - the performance decreases the more %CPU you use. (i hope you get what i mean) it REALLY depends on how demanding of a user you are.
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
ofcourse, and yes i understand. thats why i think people who are buying imacs to game are fine of with just going the i5.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
ofcourse, and yes i understand. thats why i think people who are buying imacs to game are fine of with just going the i5.
haha great - sorry, bit tired at the moment and cant think straight! i think the i5 is probably the best for users who do single tasks at a time. if they are doing multiple things such as converting, heavy PSing, video editing ALL AT THE SAME TIME - then they will most certainly see a difference in the HT. but not for singular. :)
 

cheetahmen

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
4
0
Hi everyone. I've been reading these forums for quite some time, and this is my first time replying to a thread.

I've been using an eMac for the past five or six years, and like many of you, I waited for the current iMac update before deciding on which new computer to buy.
Thought it would be good to ask in this thread: Any opinions on which graphics card would be best for playing Starcraft 2? I know there are already lots of threads on this, but it seems no one really knows...

Being a student, I'm considering buying the 27" iMac (not quad-core, a bit too expensive). Would it be worth paying extra to upgrade from ATI Radeon 5670 to 5750?
 
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