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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

New top-end 27" iMac - good for me?


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Rambler358

 
Member Since: Jun 17, 2011
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Hi everyone, first post here and possibly many more! My Apple journey started on the iPad 2's launch day when I got my first Apple device. Not too long ago I went to my local Apple store to get my iPad 2 replaced for the screen bleed issue. I was surprised how well they took care of me and gave me a replacement, even though I bought the iPad at Best Buy. While I was at the Apple store I saw the new 27" iMac, and I was seriously impressed! But back to my main question:

I currently have a custom built water-cooled PC. I'm getting tired of the maintenance, and I just want it to work with minimal hassle. I'm also getting older and don't have the need to keep upgrading my PC for benchmarking purposes.

So I'm thinking about selling (or parting out) my current PC and getting the new 27" iMac with: Core i7 3.4GHz CPU, 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM and the AMD HD 6970M 2GB graphics option. I want to partition the drive for OS X and Win7 dual boot capability (via bootcamp?). The Windows side will be used mostly for some occasional online PC gaming. I plan to use the OS X side for everything else, and attempt to learn the new OS X at the same time.

The big question I have is, will PC games such as COD: Black Ops & Modern Warfare along with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, be playable enough (hopefully at least 40+ FPS with decent graphic settings) with the i7 3.4GHz CPU and the HD 6970M 2GB graphics - if I set game resolution to 1920 x 1080? Seeing as how I don't want to have a seperate PC strictly for gaming, I was hoping this new iMac might do the trick for me.

And as technology progresses, is there any possibility the CPU and graphics of the 27" iMac could be upgraded down the road if needed or wanted?

Any comments or insight is greatly appreciated!
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chscag

 
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The iMac you intend to buy (with the specs you mentioned) will be fine for the games you want to play. You should be able to run them at or near the 40 FPS you want.

As for upgrading the iMac later on, it's just not practical. The graphics card in the new 27" iMac is on a daughter card which plugs into the logic board. As far as I'm aware, there are no upgrades for it. I'm not certain but I think the CPU is soldered on the logic board (surface mounted). You would have to double check that because some older models have a socketed CPU.

Someone else who is more familiar with upgrading should be able to step in here and provide additional information. Hang on for a bit.
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Rambler358

 
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Thanks. I was really more concerned about the graphics capability, and upgradability if needed. I think the CPU should hold me over for the life of the product, but new graphics cards seem to come out almost every 6 months. But ~40 FPS would work for me and give me smooth enough gameplay.

For dual booting with Windows 7, is Bootcamp required? I heard Windows drivers sometimes may have an issue with that. Thanks again!
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Housekat

 
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To be honest, its much easier to build a gaming pc and connect it to the iMac, thats my plan as far as gaming upgrades. Its easier and cheaper than selling your iMac for the latest and greatest every year. Video and Audio will come through the iMac and you will still be able to game on the luxurious 2560x1440 screen. Just my two cents, than again, I bought my iMac for gaming only lol.

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Rambler358

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Housekat View Post
To be honest, its much easier to build a gaming pc and connect it to the iMac, thats my plan as far as gaming upgrades. Its easier and cheaper than selling your iMac for the latest and greatest every year. Video and Audio will come through the iMac and you will still be able to game on the luxurious 2560x1440 screen. Just my two cents, than again, I bought my iMac for gaming only lol.
That's actually a pretty good idea. But how are the audio/video connections done between the gaming PC and the iMac, and how would you switch back and forth between the two? And I guess with this setup, dual-boot wouldn't be necessary?
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Housekat

 
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Most of the high end video cards have a mini display port out, there is a cable you can buy that connects the video card to the iMac's mini display port in. There is also a keyboard shortcut that switches from iMac OSX to the display port in. The cable handles all the video and audio, so you won't have to worry about buying speakers.

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Rambler358

 
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Ah... ok, thanks. But that would mean having to switch keyboards and mouse. And the wife just nix'd the idea of having 2 computers. LOL I already have a laptop and iPad, so I guess I can agree with her on the 1 computer. But seeing as how the iMac's GPU is on a plugin card, that makes one kind of think that it could be upgradable in the future perhaps.

But I'm still not sure about the dual-boot capability. Is Bootcamp required for that?
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Housekat

 
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Well, i've emailed a few apple technicians back and forth and even though its a mxm card slot video card, they pretty much said placing the 6970m would either a) not work b) work c) fry the computer All of which automatically voids warranty and the video card from apple, yes you have to get apple version due to firmware is about 600 dollars. So its easier to just get a high end gaming computer for under 500 bucks and plug it into the iMac. You can leave both on, so iMac is running OSX, you want to switch, use keyboard shortcut and it switches to the windows machine, pretty easy, you can check it out on youtube.

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2010 Macbook 2.4 intel Core 2 Duo 4GB
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Rambler358

 
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Thanks again, but the 2nd PC option is out - wife says so, and I've got to keep her happy as well.
I'm sure the current high-end GPU in the 27" iMac will last me a while, but in a year or so I just wonder if Apple will offer upgrades for it? I hear the graphics requirements for Battlefield 3 are right about the same as for BFBC2, so I think I'm good for the current games I have, and the upcoming one I want.

Can anyone comment on my dual-boot question - if Bootcamp is required for that?
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Housekat

 
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Yes, bootcamp is required, I am waiting on BF3 myself lol. Just remember that you will be gaming on 2560x1440 so its going to stress your video card. Make sure to get the 2GB card just in case for future proofing

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Rambler358

 
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I was actually planing on lowering game res to 1920 x 1080. That would give me better FPS. And yeah, I was planning on getting the 2GB graphics option as well.
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chscag

 
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Lowering the res on that beautiful screen is blasphemy. Seriously, while the FPS will improve, clarity will be sacrificed. You would have to experiment of course, but I'm betting that after about 10 minutes or so you'll be jacking the res back up to its native 2560 x 1440.
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Rambler358

 
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LOL, I hear you, but I'm already used to gaming at that res, so I won't know what I'm missing! When I'm online in multiplayer I definitely don't want smooth gameplay! If I can play at the higher res and still do that, then great. Otherwise I won't mind bringing the res down.
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pedropete

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler358 View Post
Thanks again, but the 2nd PC option is out - wife says so, and I've got to keep her happy as well.
Mate - I think you need to get your Priorities sorted soon...
Before it's too late to save..
Your Gaming Career etc

Live each day as it comes - it may be your last !?
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Nighthawk4

 
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Do all iMacs have a connector for a feed in?

Mine is a 2007 model, 20". I thought the small connector was strictly for output, although to be honest I never saw the point of feeding the signal out as the iMac has a better picture than either of my monitors

Even so, if I can feed the signal from a Windows box that would be cool.
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