Why doesn't Apple offer any decent video cards for anything?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by VigCS, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. VigCS macrumors newbie

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    Nov 23, 2007
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    Washington D.C., USA
    #1
    Hi all. I really want to buy a new iMac, but I'm having trouble doing so becuase I do a bit of gaming. I've been browsing basically all of Apple's computers and none of them offer a decent graphics card.

    The best you can get with an iMac is a 2600 Pro which sucks, the 8600M GT in the MacBook Pros is okay but they're out of my price range. I think it's funny that Apple still uses Doom 3 as a benchmark for the Mac Pro's 3D performance, and the cards they offer for it aren't that great anymore.

    Basically, will Apple anytime in the near future offer something that'll give some nice DX10 grunt? I'm not talking anything extreme but a nice 8800 option for the iMac would rock. Can the cards in an iMac be upgraded or are they integrated into the mainboard? Thanks all!
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #2
    The iMac is really a notebook computer stuffed into a desktop case ...

    None of the notebook MXM upgrade cards work in iMac, except for the Apple repair parts -- and the notebooks don't use cards, so you cannot swap with anything but another iMac.
     
  3. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #3
    So what kind of answer do you want? Not exactly a question that a bunch of forum lurkers can answer, now is it?
     
  4. VigCS thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    You answered my question. Thanks a lot :).

    It's a shame, Apple is loosing a decent share of customer base by not offering a computer with some beefy 3D performance.

    czach - my questions were regarding if Apple will offer anything with some 3D power anytime soon and how upgradeable hardware in the iMac is.
     
  5. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #5
    Ohh sorry. Somehow I got the impression that you were asking why Apple doesn't offer any decent video cards for anything. ;)
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Apple is losing a lot of sales by simply not offering a desktop chipset based machine.

    There are a lot of threads about the Airbus 380 sized hole in Apple's lineup between laptop based machines, and workstations.

    But Apple's current strategy does fit with the growth of the laptop market, and the slim/sexy cool running laptop-based desktop machines.

    Even without the real desktop machines, the Mac line is one of the fastest growing PC lines around.

    And without it there is no chance of cannibalizing your own workstation sales with a cheap desktop alternative.

    So no sexy GPUs for gamers on the horizon...
     
  7. VigCS thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Too bad :(. They've lost me as a potential customer. Thanks guys.
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #8
    You do know that the 2600 pro is really a 2600 XT, which is actually pretty good, don't you?
     
  9. VigCS thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    The XT and Pro are different cards...why would Apple market it as one when it's another? And the 2600 is just kinda "meh".
     
  10. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #10
    You should really do your homework before you criticize the new iMacs. The iMacs starting at $1499 U.S contain the mobility radeon HD2600 XT card. Can't explain why Apple doesn't market it this way but when running Vista or XP on the iMac the card reads as the Mobility HD2600 XT and it has pulled some really nice numbers when playing DX10 games in Vista.
    Hope this puts your mind to rest so go out and buy your new iMac. I have been playing Bioshock very nicely on my 24" iMac. :)
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    it is rather sad about apple offer crap for anyone who wants a computer with good graphic card. It is one of the huge reason I refuse to buy an apple desktop. I can build myself a PC desktop that covers my needs for about 1/2 the cost as it would to get a mac. Expandability and graphic card is the gapping hole I can exploit to do that. NO need to pay for all the extra stuff in the Mac pros I do not need. Now apple laptops are great but I think the desktops are crap.
     
  12. GoodWatch macrumors 6502a

    GoodWatch

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    #12
    One of the answers could be that Apple, as the concept owner, can do as they please. There are no ‘clone’ Macs. If you buy an iMac, like I did, you are more or less confronted with a take it or leave it situation. I knew this upfront. But after a month's usage I know this is the machine for me, I haven’t missed anything as of yet. Windows only programs are taken care of through VMware Fusion. It is more than capable for everyday computer needs. That’s what it’s made for, an iMac isn’t touted as a gaming rig. Having said this, it still would be great to have a little bit more user accessible expansion possibilities. A little hatch that gives access to the processor socket so that one can exchange it for a quad core. But that wouldn’t fit the overall marketing strategy. Clever, very clever. ;)
     
  13. jbstew32 macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2007
    #13
    maybe Apple does it to increase profit margin.

    I mean, computer illiterate people probably think 'more gigahertz means faster!' and 'a bigger hard drive stores more porn and games!', but chances are you can fake them out on the video card issue. I've noticed many computer manufactures neglect to mention much in the way of graphics capabilities.

    just a thought, but I bet they try to play to lots of people's ignorance on the subject. "it just works" right?
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    My Macbook comes with a decent video card for browsing the internet and watching video ;).

    Seriously though most "Pro" applications don't gain any benefit from high end video cards and Macs have had bad gaming for years, though now its fairly clear that PC gaming is really dead/dying.

    I've just seen the graphics benchmarks for Crysis, you probably need 2 8800GT's to consistently get 30fps. The top current games are unplayable by anyone unwilling to sink a lot of money into a new PC.
     
  15. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #15
    THANK YOU!! So tired of reading these threads of crying babies about the GPU not being "Good Enough". It doesn't matter if it's good enough because the latest games still choke the best GPU's and top SLI GPU's don't come cheap. It's not like you can go out and buy a $500 ugly Windows box and it ships with a top GPU, you still have to upgrade to it and it cost a lot.

    Lastly the OP should check around and he will see that ALL but Alienware truly sells a gaming rig that caters to demanding gamers, anything else on the market is for pros, prosumers and el-cheepo customers.

    Upset that Apple only offers the iMac in the mid range? Check out Sony's latest, they have given up completely on desktop towers, they don't sell them anymore, they only offer AIO's and laptops.

    I'm still having a problem understanding why the OP and several other gamers aren't buying the computer for everything else and not mentioning about game consoles such as the Xbox, Wii.
     
  16. jellomizer macrumors 6502

    jellomizer

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    Upstate NY
    #16
    No, you already made up your mind and looked at the models and saw there wasn't any with the video card you wanted.

    Apples Hardware isn't usually stellar Bleeding Edge hardware. It takes a rather conservative view on its hardware. It gets hardware that has proven to work and work well/mixed with whatever politics that the companies have.

    If they did have the Video Card you wanted then your post would be why isn't there any good games for the Mac. Or why are Mac Games more expensive. You didn't really want a Mac so you found a reason to prove to yourself to not get one. If you did get a Mac you wouldn't be happy with it, because you only got it because you couldn't find a problem with it. Not because you wanted one. If you want a PC and you need to justify to yourself and your peers who like Macs then you will find a way.

    So Macs are not a fit for you. I hope you are Happy with whatever PC you get.
     
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #17
    really? I don't think so...maybe not gaining as many as they could, but I don't think in any large numbers...they aren't lose "a decent share" thats for sure, as their market share is up.

    So that Mac Pro which used chips which no PC used at that time, wasn't bleeding edge?

    G4 was pretty bad, but G5 Quad,when its first came out was pretty good.
     
  18. martychang macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2007
    #18
    Not at all. With the right processor at it's side, the midrange Radeon HD 2600XT will do fine with all the latest games(except maybe Crysis) at high if not max settings, it entirely depends on what resolution you're doing it at. The people who are choking the latest cards are using huge resolutions, more often than not I find.

    I find if you're stuck with a large LCD that has a high native resolution, you can get better performance/quality by toning down the resolution a notch or two, and cranking up the Antialiasing.

    As for consoles, I find console games to be severely lacking personally. There are no more good games collectively across all the consoles of this generation than there are on the current generation of PC gaming, the ones on the PC tend to be significantly better, there's limitless backwards compatibility on the PC, and I'm not alone in saying that gamepads/controllers are for tools, mouse and keyboard is the only accurate method of control. There's a reason all console shooters have subtle auto-aim built in.

    All that said, I say the OP is bellyaching for no reason, the better 20" iMac will be a fine gaming rig unless you insist on maxing Crysis.
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
    Since its worse than the 8600GTS I doubt it, if you look at the benchmarks I linked earlier on Arstechnica.

    I don't see why the graphics card matters, to get Crysis running at 30fps with a decent detail setting needs $600 of graphics card, that alone is enough to buy a PS3 or an XBox Elite and several games.
     
  20. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #20
    That's because Crysis' engine is way too advanced for the current time.

    But bear in mind that the 8800's are a year old already - the next gen is around the corner and will certainly run the game fine w/ a single card.

    And FYI at 1920 x 1200 resolution and lower, a single 8800Ultra can play every game in existence but basically DX10 Crysis and to a lesser extent DX10 Hellgate London maxed out (assuming your rig is up to par). Hardly a ton of money thrown in. Heck, an 8800GT w/ a quad core, 2gb ram, and a small OC can be had for ~$1200 and will play everything up through 1680 x 1050 maxed out without a flinch. OEM game machines are true ripoffs - spend the time to read on how to build a rig and you will save yourself easily 100's if not 1000's of dollars.

    Build your own PC gaming rig and I guarantee you will get top performance for a fraction of the price. Heck for $800 I can build a budget PC with a ATI3850/3870 or 8800GT and still play 99% of games out there maxed out at 1680 x 1050 resolution or lower.
     
  21. dasein macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2007
    #21
    There may not be a great functional difference between them under most load circumstances, but they are different cards: http://www.hothardware.com/articles/ATI_Radeon_HD_2600_and_2400_Performance/?page=2
     
  22. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #22
    I dont think the upgrade cost is that high. You can get an 8800GT these days for $269. While its not chump change, its a strong GPU and its more than capable of running Crysis with a good amount of detail.


     
  23. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #23
    But you can get an XBox for that much, and it'll play games for a lot longer, in another 12 months there'll be a game the 8800GT can't play. Also when I priced it up earlier to get a Dell with an 8800 GT (8800GTX in this case) you needed to spend £1200 which is a lot of money.
     
  24. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #24
    Thats true, but according to this page, at least for the game Oblivion, the Xbox 360 is more in line with a midrange PC than a high end one. High end in this article was a 7900GTX which would get burried by a fairly modestly priced 8800GT. This would imply that the Xbox 360 might only have about 1/2 the HP of a 8800GT in a current machine.

    This means that if you really like eye candy, it still wont match a current PC with a decent card (not even the fastest cards but just good). Also current games like Crysis would likely not play well on an Xbox - see this article that talks about a 'stripped down' version going for the xbox
    http://www.joystiq.com/2007/01/13/rumorang-crysis-game-for-xbox-360-not-pc-port/

    I think a decent card will get you at least 3 years of use. Maybe 1.5 years of strong performance and then as newer and newer games come out, you'd have to lower the detail, but these would still look better than the console games. Eventually you'd be changing the console too in that same 3 years to get better looking games.


     

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