Will Apple EVER address the iMac Graphics card problem?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Piggie, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    We all know it's a catch 22 problem

    For many years now the Mac, especially the iMac is not really regarded as good for games, hence has not really attracted developers who wish to push graphics as far as they can.

    Because the games have just not been out there (due to the the above) it seemed pointless to design an iMac with a pretty high end graphic card.

    As so it's continued like a chicken and egg scenario for years (decades?) now.

    Not going to write high end games for the mac due to sub standard (for the year) graphics

    Not going to design/fit high end graphics cards as the games that need them just are not out for the Mac.

    Someone needs to break this cycle, or they DID.

    Is it now too late, and Apple have given up, deciding that the iMac will never be a main player in the games arena, and that games consoles are for games and the iMac is for other more serious uses?

    Or, now that Valve had made an effort finally to release some decent games finally for the Mac, do you think this may break the cycle and Apple might at long last seek to do a redesign on the iMac, stop using mobile chipset and fit a medium to high (ish) end chipset in the iMacs ?

    I realise they have to shield the rest of the machine from the heat, and the power supply problem.

    They do appear focused in trying to shave the last 1/8" of the iMac's thin body, than add more space to address the Macs 1 achilles heel that's plagued it for years now.

    Truth be told this is the one and only one thing that's stopped me buying a mac for years.

    I'm not taking about the very VERY top end cards on the PC, perhaps 1 model down from the top.

    After all Steve Jobs again and again says publicly he's committed to building the very best computer he can. When clearly this is not the case in this instance. To me spoiling the whole (lets be honest, VERY expensive machine) for the sake of weak graphics is just a dam shame.

    I want to love to own a Mac, but this always stops me from taking the leap.
  2. BOSS10L macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Unfortunately, that's one of the caveats of buying an iMac. If you want upgradeability, go with a Mac Pro or build a hackintosh. I personally don't game on anything other than our PS3/360/Wii consoles, but I get what you mean.

    I've kinda always looked at people who purchase Macs as those people for which gaming is a secondary (or further) concern.
  3. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Indeed, but there is no real reason it had to end up this way.
    Apple could have kept up with the latest and greatest and be proud of it as they are with other aspects of their machines.

    I can see there may be some class thing as work here, where some (not many I hope) Mac users may look down on a "Gaming system" and beneath them.

    A Mac Pro as we all know it out of the question for most people as it's "unnecessarily" expensive. And it would seem crazy to tell people to spend Thousands just so they can get a good graphics card.

    Please don't get me wrong here.........

    I WANT the Mac to be great.
    I WANT the Mac to be better.

    Everyone knows the Mac has had weak graphics cards for years which has held it back and has stopped high end games from being developed in the past.

    I am just wondering if it's too late, Apple have given up and will never address this, either always fitting mobile or underclocked chipsets in their machines.

    I'd willingly pay the Mac Premium price, as I appreciate design and build quality, but I can't bring myself to purchase one due to this weak point.
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    I think apple's doing what they can without compromising too much on design quality. Adding an extra 1/8th or 1/2 inch to the iMacs won't do all that much good for fitting in desktop gpus, nor will taking away an extra 1/8th inch drastically decrease their chances for putting decent cards in.

    The current mobility 5850 in the highest end iMac has performance similar to desktop 5750, which isn't a bad card by any means, and it's perfectly good enough of a card to play most modern games at the native resolution or 1920x1080 with minimum fps to be smooth. Now of course it won't do so well 2-3 years down the line.

    I think the best bet is seeing if apple will eventually replace the hdd in the iMacs with all flash memory soldered on to the motherboard (once its capacity increases enough to warrant it) Then the iMac gets more room and perhaps additional fan for the gpu (as it stands the only fan gpu gets is under the odd, which passively blows through its massive heatsink)-- in which case they could possibly use desktop cards.

    Apple's clearly not marketing the iMac as a pc tower that can upgrade its gpu every 6 months like every other gaming zealot on the planet does.

    Also note that it's easy to get a sense of "old gpu tech" when it comes to the iMac, as 1: they use mobility parts, which are released later than their desktop coutnerparts, and 2: the iMacs almost always get released along new cpu releases, and not new gpu releases-- which are half a year behind.

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