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View Full Version : Buying iMac for gaming, what processor and graphics combo?



tombade
14th January 2010, 07:01 AM
First time buying a iMac, want it to run high end games and just wondering is the graphics card the main important thing to upgrade? Will a better processor like quad core (i5 or i7) make a big difference to game speed?

Should I save money and get C2D and upgrade the graphics card to the best?

Also I'm planning on getting a 21.5" iMac because of the screen problems in the 27" (yucky yellow and games strugling with high screen resoloution) what is the best graphics card you can get on the 21.5"

Please any advice will help, post recommended set ups ect..

Thanks tom

DagrtheSnide
14th January 2010, 07:36 AM
High end games and iMacs don't mix that well.

You should also consider if a console or a gaming PC will fit your needs better.

leon
14th January 2010, 08:30 AM
High end gaming will require a console or PC gaming rig.

If you want a Mac then the Mac Pro is what you require with either the EVGA GTX285 or ATI4870.

I have a Mac Pro but am waiting for an ATI 5000 series card to be released before I purchase a gaming card.

tombade
14th January 2010, 10:29 AM
I would prefer to get a imac over a pc because of the high quality wide screen (i watch alot of movies as well) and everything being in the monitor is handy too because I will be taking it to Adelaide from Darwin for uni each year.

The mac pros are too expensive aswell.

Will the 21.5" iMac i5 at least handle games like assasins creed, Call of duty 4...

I love the look of the iMacs and they sound so good just wondering on the performance?

tombade
14th January 2010, 10:31 AM
hey I posted my reply below.. Its my first post so still learning lol

~Coxy
14th January 2010, 10:45 AM
The best GPU in the 21" iMac is the Radeon 4670 256MB, which is not really good enough to run poorly-optimised or emulated Mac games on a high res screen.

If you care about running games well I should definitely go for a 27" model with the Radeon 4870, or a PC.
You could always get the low end 27" iMac, and then get a gaming PC to run alongside. The PC could even use the iMac as a monitor.

DagrtheSnide
14th January 2010, 10:58 AM
From Review: 2009 21.5″ iMac Notebook Critic (http://notebookcritic.com/2009/11/28/review-2009-21-5-imac/)

The RADEON 4670 can play older titles like Left 4 Dead at high settings in 1080p, but the 4670 is going to have a hard time filling the screen fast enough for demanding titles.

SoVeReIgN
14th January 2010, 11:49 AM
i5 or i7 + 4870 will sort most games out.

Not at the screens native res, but at 1080p

leon
14th January 2010, 11:53 AM
The 21.5" doesn't come with an i5. You have to purchase the 27" which some people on this forum are having problems with.

I have the previous model iMac 24" with ATI4850 card. This machine plays Doom3 really well at native resolution. The new 27" iMacs runs a higher resolution screen which the ATI4850 will have issues driving current generation games at.

Personally I would wait to see if Apple release a revised 27" with newer graphics cards if you can wait.

Also keep your eye on the Apple refurb site. I purchased an 8-core 2.26GHz Nehalem Mac Pro for $2798 in December last year.

caesarlike
14th January 2010, 01:41 PM
I have a 27" C2D with the 4670 graphics card. It will run modern warfare 1 & 2 easily at a high resolution. I have not tried the native resolution of the screen with these games as I do not think the card would handle it well. However, the iMac struggles with any game with heavier graphics than the MW series. Also, many games do not play well on the ATI card in the iMac. I have a number of older games that run badly, or not at all on the ATI card, even though they run perfectly well on an older C2D PC with a Nvidea card.

If you do decide to get an iMac for gaming, best get the 4850 graphics card, at least then you will be able to run more games. But don't expect the iMac to equal a PC with a high end Nvidea card, which is the brand I far more prefer than ATI. So while the games looks brilliant on the 27" screens, the limitation is the ATI cards graphics processing power, and their compatibility with some games.

Also I would suggest waitng a few months until the screen issues of the 27's have been resolved. No point in joining the growing ranks of people with disfunctional screens.

tombade
14th January 2010, 02:06 PM
i5 or i7 + 4870 will sort most games out.

Not at the screens native res, but at 1080p

Dam thats an expensive option and I think the 27" will dominate my small college room lol. I thought if I got the 21" with smaller screen res + ATI 4870 it would handle games okay, even if I have to go with C2D?

I love watching movies would graphics card affect my movie watching experience?

leon
14th January 2010, 02:13 PM
Dam thats an expensive option and I think the 27" will dominate my small college room lol. I thought if I got the 21" with smaller screen res + ATI 4870 it would handle games okay, even if I have to go with C2D?

I love watching movies would graphics card affect my movie watching experience?

Graphics card won't affect movie watching. If the 21.5" did come with a 4850 that would be ideal, but it doesn't.

Keep your eyes out for the previous model iMac 24" with ATI4850. Sounds like one of those would be perfect for you.

nibbles
14th January 2010, 03:08 PM
If you decide to get the 21.5" get one from the refurb store as they are $250 cheaper, here is the link if you need it. Refurbished Mac - Apple Store (Australia) (http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/specialdeals/mac?mco=MTM3NDY2NTI)