New To Mac-Forums?

Welcome to our community! Join the discussion today by registering your FREE account. If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact us!

Get your questions answered by community gurus • Advice and insight from world-class Apple enthusiasts • Exclusive access to members-only contests, giveaways and deals

Join today!

 
Start a Discussion
 

Mac-Forums Brief

Subscribe to Mac-Forums Brief to receive special offers from Mac-Forums partners and sponsors

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

iMac for design (and gaming?)


Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

 
Thread Tools
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
I am in the market for a new desktop. I have always been a Windows (and Android for that matter) user, but in the past two years I have purchased an iPad and iPhone. I really like both and now that I am looking to buy a new desktop, I am looking at the iMac.

I am a Windows power user. I understand drivers, BIOS, DOS etc, but don't always feel like messing with it. Mainly I want my machine to work. Which is why I'm looking at the iMac.

I am a designer and I use Adobe's Creative Suite daily, which is another reason I am looking into the iMac. But here's the kicker: I'm a gamer. I don't have to have a computer capable of maxxing out settings and frame rates on Crysis and BF4, but I would like playable good looking graphics.

So my questions are these:

Is the 27 inch iMac, GTX 780m capable of meeting my needs, specifically in gaming? How about a refurbished 2012 27 inch with the GTX 680m? How big is the difference between the two, in terms of gaming?

Keep in mind, I'm not buying the desktop FOR gaming. I'm buying it for everything else, but would like to be able have a quality gaming experience. Should I just forget the iMac and get an Alienware?

Any and all opinions are welcome, but I would really appreciate the opinion of someone that has experience gaming with an iMac as well as using it for Adobe products.

Many thanks!
QUOTE Thanks
pigoo3

 
pigoo3's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 27,203
pigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

pigoo3 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
But here's the kicker: I'm a gamer. I don't have to have a computer capable of maxxing out settings and frame rates on Crysis and BF4, but I would like playable good looking graphics.

Keep in mind, I'm not buying the desktop FOR gaming. I'm buying it for everything else, but would like to be able have a quality gaming experience. Should I just forget the iMac and get an Alienware?
From what I'm reading...your expectations regarding gaming are a lot higher than you're admitting to...and if you get a new computer & can't run your favorite games at max resolution & detail...then you're going to be dissatisfied with an iMac.

The iMac will run Adobe Creative Suite just fine..and will run most Mac compatible games just fine. But if you want to max. out the settings on games...get the Alienware. Otherwise...the iMac would be fine.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
QUOTE Thanks
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
From what I'm reading...your expectations regarding gaming are a lot higher than you're admitting to...and if you get a new computer & can't run your favorite games at max resolution & detail...then you're going to be dissatisfied with an iMac.

The iMac will run Adobe Creative Suite just fine..and will run most Mac compatible games just fine. But if you want to max. out the settings on games...get the Alienware. Otherwise...the iMac would be fine.

- Nick
Thanks Nick.

Like I said, I don't need to be able to play with max settings and frame rate. I just want it to play games. Some of these guys build custom PCs with 4 graphics cards to play games in the greatest detail possible. I don't need that. But I also don't want it to stutter constantly and have to play with no textures at all.

I guess I'm just saying, can one have a good gaming experience with Windows games on an iMac? And is the value for a designer/ gamer there? Or should a designer/ gamer look elsewhere as far as "bang for the buck"?
QUOTE Thanks
pigoo3

 
pigoo3's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 27,203
pigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

pigoo3 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
But I also don't want it to stutter constantly and have to play with no textures at all.

I guess I'm just saying, can one have a good gaming experience with Windows games on an iMac?
Yes. But if you want to play games that are Windows only (no Mac version)...you will need to install Windows via bootcamp (native) or via emulation (Parallels or VMware Fusion). If you don't know what this means..."Google it" and/or read this:

Running Windows on a Mac: A Switcher's Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
And is the value for a designer/ gamer there? Or should a designer/ gamer look elsewhere as far as "bang for the buck"?

"Value" is a relative term...depends on a persons needs.

- lots & lots & lots of designers use Macintosh computers
- depends how much you like the Mac OS
- like you mentioned in your 1st post..."Mainly I want my machine to work. Which is why I'm looking at the iMac."

Focus on that last statement you made..."Mainly I want my machine to work. Which is why I'm looking at the iMac."

This is what a Mac does...and does well! This is a MUCH MUCH more important thing than just gaming or Adobe products...it applies to everything!

But like I mentioned...an iMac will do gaming well (maybe not max. settings)...and it will certainly do Adobe products well.

- Nick

p.s. Just remember. If you've only been a Windows person (not much Mac OS experience)...there will most likely be a learning curve (or a "change curve"). If you have any concerns about this...get yourself in front of a Mac & play with it for a while (coworkers Mac, friend's Mac, Apple Store, etc.).

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
QUOTE Thanks
Slydude

 
Slydude's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 15, 2009
Location: North Louisiana, USA
Posts: 6,531
Slydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant futureSlydude has a brilliant future
Mac Specs: 2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.8,3 8 GB mem, 2.66 GHz Mac Pro - Dead, iPhone 4

Slydude is offline
I'd suggest going to forums for the games you want to play and asking questions about specific games. Keeping in mind that some of those forums despise Macs and will feign barfing the minute you ask about Mac gaming. See if people who actually play the games you are interested in on Macs can answer the following questions:

1. Does a Mac client exist for the game and how current is it?
2. Does the Windows version of the game play well under Boot Camp? It may or may not due to graphics card differences.
3. Try to get them to give an impression of the experience. Their definition of acceptable play might be very different from yours.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

"Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling
QUOTE Thanks
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
Thanks, Nick. Good advice here.

I am aware of bootcamp, and to be honest, if the iMac wasn't capable of dual booting into Windows I wouldn't consider it an option. That may give you an idea of how important gaming is, in my decision. It's important enough that it's a requirement. Any idea how well an iMac runs Windows?

And secondly, I completely agree that I will have to learn the OS. But what I can say is the whole reason I am interested in an iMac is due to my school having them. That big beautiful monitor and smooth OS is the reason I'd really like to go that route. I have only scratched the surface of what an iMac can do and I'd really like to immerse myself in it. I'll never own another Android, simply cause I did the same thing with iOS.

Thanks again for the advice....really helpful stuff! Would love to hear from any Mac gamers out there.
QUOTE Thanks
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
I'd suggest going to forums for the games you want to play and asking questions about specific games. Keeping in mind that some of those forums despise Macs and will feign barfing the minute you ask about Mac gaming. See if people who actually play the games you are interested in on Macs can answer the following questions:

1. Does a Mac client exist for the game and how current is it?
2. Does the Windows version of the game play well under Boot Camp? It may or may not due to graphics card differences.
3. Try to get them to give an impression of the experience. Their definition of acceptable play might be very different from yours.
Good call. I started here because every forum I looked on had fanboy wars flaming any mention of Mac. It's ridiculous, really.
QUOTE Thanks
pigoo3

 
pigoo3's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 27,203
pigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

pigoo3 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
Any idea how well an iMac runs Windows?
With bootcamp…Windows is supposed to run at "native speeds"…compared to equivalent Intel hardware on a Windows PC.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
QUOTE Thanks
Algus

 
Algus's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 14, 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 50
Algus will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: 2012 Mac Mini 2.5 ghz i5, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD (5200 RPM)

Algus is offline
I game on my Mac Mini. Some thoughts:

Bootcamp runs really well on desktop Macs. It's big drawback: driver support isn't as much of an issue because you can supply your own mouse, keyboard, and aren't reliant on a battery. (To be fair this is the same as on a Macbook...but who wants to be plugged in all the time?)

Be sure to get Windows drivers for your hardware, i.e. not the drivers that Bootcamp initially supplies you. I ran with Bootcamp's video driver for months and I finally installed Intel's driver for the HD 4000 and the performance was like night and day! My FPS became much more stable and the Mini stopped running as hot. It was really spectacular.

I will not use Windows as my daily driver. I run it off my Mac Mini for one reason and one reason alone: to run the few games I play that don't have Mac equivalents. I play a lot of strategy games and MMOs: Total War series, The Old Republic, Dawn of War. Most of these games aren't super graphics dependent and my tolerance is "as long as they run, I'm good" so I don't care to much about visuals.

I do not recommend an Apple computer if you are going to be spending most of your time in Windows doing Windows things. The value of Apple computers comes from the complete package: hardware and software. If you aren't using the Apple software then you are overpaying for the hardware and could buy a Windows machine that is much more suited to your needs.

Check out benchmarks for the iMac you are targeting. iMacs use older GPUs and while they are quite reliable for what a Mac would need a GPU for, they are hardly cutting edge for the newest computer games. If you just want to run your games and have them look reasonably good, an iMac with Bootcamp could be a great compromise that will still let you game while being able to use OS X. If performance is your goal, get a Windows machine.

Gaming on Macs is all about compromise.

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt
QUOTE Thanks
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Algus View Post
I game on my Mac Mini. Some thoughts:

Bootcamp runs really well on desktop Macs. It's big drawback: driver support isn't as much of an issue because you can supply your own mouse, keyboard, and aren't reliant on a battery. (To be fair this is the same as on a Macbook...but who wants to be plugged in all the time?)

Be sure to get Windows drivers for your hardware, i.e. not the drivers that Bootcamp initially supplies you. I ran with Bootcamp's video driver for months and I finally installed Intel's driver for the HD 4000 and the performance was like night and day! My FPS became much more stable and the Mini stopped running as hot. It was really spectacular.

I will not use Windows as my daily driver. I run it off my Mac Mini for one reason and one reason alone: to run the few games I play that don't have Mac equivalents. I play a lot of strategy games and MMOs: Total War series, The Old Republic, Dawn of War. Most of these games aren't super graphics dependent and my tolerance is "as long as they run, I'm good" so I don't care to much about visuals.

I do not recommend an Apple computer if you are going to be spending most of your time in Windows doing Windows things. The value of Apple computers comes from the complete package: hardware and software. If you aren't using the Apple software then you are overpaying for the hardware and could buy a Windows machine that is much more suited to your needs.

Check out benchmarks for the iMac you are targeting. iMacs use older GPUs and while they are quite reliable for what a Mac would need a GPU for, they are hardly cutting edge for the newest computer games. If you just want to run your games and have them look reasonably good, an iMac with Bootcamp could be a great compromise that will still let you game while being able to use OS X. If performance is your goal, get a Windows machine.

Gaming on Macs is all about compromise.
That's the "inside" information I was looking for.

I would use OS X for everything but gaming. I imagine that would mean I'd have Windows running 20% of the time. Sometimes I'll go weeks without gaming. But then on a long weekend, I might play all weekend.

To me, it's mostly that I just need to be able to play the games when I want to. I don't want to have the itch to play Battlefield and only get stuttering and lag. But I'm certain I would appreciate the reliability of OS X and the wonderful design of the machine. So that's why I'm trying to see what I would be compromising by going with the iMac. Then weighing that compromise against what I wouldn't be getting with a better suited gaming rig.
QUOTE Thanks
Lifeisabeach

 
Lifeisabeach's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 6,970
Lifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: iMac i3 (mid-2010) + OS 10.9; TV 3; iPhone 5S; iPad 4

Lifeisabeach is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
Is the 27 inch iMac, GTX 780m capable of meeting my needs, specifically in gaming? How about a refurbished 2012 27 inch with the GTX 680m? How big is the difference between the two, in terms of gaming?
Here's an article comparing performance for the GTX 680m to other mobile GPUs. This should give you a good basis for deciding if that GPU will suit your gaming needs.

In Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, GTX 770M & GTX 765M - NotebookCheck.net Reviews

Personally, I would avoid buying used. You'd save some money, but if you want to maximize its life as a gaming rig, get a new one with the best GPU you can because you will be stuck with what comes in it. It's worth mentioning that the iMac line is expected to be updated soon, likely in the fall with the release of the next version of OS X. I do agree with the advice to update the drivers in Boot Camp. The ones Apple provides are tweaked for maximum stability, not performance.
QUOTE Thanks
JamieTwelve

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2014
Posts: 6
JamieTwelve is on a distinguished road

JamieTwelve is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
Here's an article comparing performance for the GTX 680m to other mobile GPUs. This should give you a good basis for deciding if that GPU will suit your gaming needs.

In Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, GTX 770M & GTX 765M - NotebookCheck.net Reviews

Personally, I would avoid buying used. You'd save some money, but if you want to maximize its life as a gaming rig, get a new one with the best GPU you can because you will be stuck with what comes in it. It's worth mentioning that the iMac line is expected to be updated soon, likely in the fall with the release of the next version of OS X. I do wagree with the advice to update the drivers in Boot Camp. The ones Apple provides are tweaked for maximum stability, not performance.
Thanks for the article. Was a good read and should help. Also good thinking on buying the refurb. Heat is the enemy, and a used computer will have experienced some heat to one degree (pun not intended ha!) or another.

Do you game with your iMac? If so, what has been your experience?
QUOTE Thanks
chscag

 
chscag's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 40,040
chscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

chscag is offline
Quote:
Do you game with your iMac? If so, what has been your experience?
Yes, occasionally. I do run some graphic intensive games and they seem to run very well considering my iMac has a Nvidia GeForce GT 755M with 1024 MB of VRAM. The "M" stands for mobile. As you may or may not know... iMacs use the mobile versions of the various GPU chipsets. This is a 2013 27" iMac by the way.
QUOTE Thanks
Lifeisabeach

 
Lifeisabeach's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 6,970
Lifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond reputeLifeisabeach has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: iMac i3 (mid-2010) + OS 10.9; TV 3; iPhone 5S; iPad 4

Lifeisabeach is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieTwelve View Post
Thanks for the article. Was a good read and should help. Also good thinking on buying the refurb. Heat is the enemy, and a used computer will have experienced some heat to one degree (pun not intended ha!) or another.

Do you game with your iMac? If so, what has been your experience?
I used to, but my gaming days are pretty much past me. Examples of games that I have played on this iMac are Starcraft 2; Diablo 3; Deus Ex: Human Revolution; Bioshock; and Borderlands. I can't max out all the settings on most of these, but all those are Mac-native versions and they play acceptably well. I've also played the first Mass Effect under Boot Camp without any issues.

EDIT: As a side note... I used to build my own PCs with an emphasis on gaming. I'd do a full new build every couple years (or less!) with component upgrades in between. I've had this iMac since August 2010 and though I would "like" to upgrade to a newer, 27" model, I simply have no pressing need or desire to (though an SSD upgrade really helped a LOT!). If I was still into top tier gaming, I probably would have to be looking at an upgrade for today's most demanding ones.

Last edited by Lifeisabeach; 06-25-2014 at 11:17 PM.
QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe


« folder missing | So still no new Mac Mini.. But if they released one this fall..... »
Thread Tools

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
What's your favorite iPhone/iPod Touch app? schweb iOS and Apps 227 09-18-2014 02:58 AM
2014 iMac 27in. safe internal temperatures Vyn Apple Desktops 3 05-21-2014 10:26 PM
Should i buy a macbook air and a cheap gaming pc or just a macbook pro w/ retina? tdod Apple Notebooks 2 05-07-2014 02:24 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
X

Welcome to Mac-Forums.com

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this community the ultimate source for your Mac since 2003!


(4 digit year)

Already a member?