The New iMac Could Be Your Next Gaming PC

It didn’t get the same fanfare as the recent iPhone refresh, but Apple has new, Haswell-packing iMac models for sale, starting today.

The form factors are the same, sleek 21.5- and 27-inch all-in-one models you’re used to seeing, but the insides are all brand new. For starters, all the new iMac models use some sort of fourth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, which is coupled with a new 700M series Nvidia GPU. Due to the small frame, all the components are mobile parts, as has been the case with most previous iMac models.

The minimum available specs have all been raised as well, with 8 GB of DDR3 now the minimum amount of RAM you can select. Hard drive options are robust, but pricey; each iMac model comes with a 1 TB hard drive standard (5,400 rpm in the 21.5-inch model, 7,200 rpm in its big brother), and there are “fusion drive” and SSD upgrades available. The fusion drives combine 128 GB of solid state storage with a traditional platter hard drive, similar to the hybrid hard drives made by Seagate. Per usual, the hardware upgrades are very pricey — jumping from a 1 TB 5,400 rpm drive to a 1 TB fusion drive, or 256 GB SSD, will run you $200.

Last but not least: Every iMac now has 802.11ac wireless on-board, so they’re all ready for the AC router you’ll be buying in the near future. Other I/O is the same as before — USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, Ethernet, and an SDXC card slot. HDMI and other video I/O can be done via Thunderbolt adapters.

That all aside, let’s talk gaming performance. A top-tier 27-inch iMac, priced at $2,549, has a quad-core 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GTX 780M GPU with 4 GB of RAM, one 1 TB fusion drive, and 8 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM — all paired with a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440 display. Is it practical? Is it cheap? Is it reasonable for John Q. Gamer? Of course not, but if you’re a multimedia professional who needs a high-spec Mac, who also loves playing PC games on a Windows partition, this could be the perfect work-play machine for you.

The new iMac models start at $1,299 (21.5-inch, 1080p) and $1,799 (27-inch, 1440p).

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8 Comments on The New iMac Could Be Your Next Gaming PC


On September 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Heh, Gaming PC.

Funny. Almost got me.


On September 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Or you could build a better PC for half the price.


On September 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

GTX 780M

lol integrated graphics

Ron Whitaker

On September 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

I almost hate to reply to lol, but just so no one thinks he’s serious…

The GTX 780M is not an integrated graphics chip. It’s a laptop GPU that’s comparable in power to a desktop GTX 480, or a Radeon 7870.


On November 28, 2013 at 11:00 pm

This is not a review it lacks anything other then a spec sheet of the iMac and a statement that the system could play games. Nothing about how well it will run them or why it would or would not be a good gaming. He’ll I learned more in a single review comment then I did from this article. Someone find Devin an editor and maybe even an iMac to use so he can make a decent review.


On January 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Build a pc half price? Yeah 1440p monitor are 600-700$ How would you manage that? Don’t tell you will buy a cheap coreen monitor that will break within 3 month.


On January 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm


I’ve got a Dell 21:9 1440p monitor for $400

@Ron Whitaker

That’s great but for 2 1/2 grand I can buy a 290x rig with a better monitor. I could also upgrade it in the future without having to pay apple tax. Sure it could be a gaming rig but no one games seriously on a mac nowadays.

Devin Connors

On January 12, 2014 at 5:02 am


“…but no one games seriously on a mac nowadays.”

That sure is a broad (and incorrect) assumption if I’ve ever heard one. There are plenty of people who game on Apple computers. Many of them are running Windows via Boot Camp, etc. on these machines, sure, but it’s still Mac hardware. Personally, I have three or four close friends who do professional A/V work (Avid, Pro Tools, etc.) on a Mac by day, and switch over to Windows on the same machine, and game through that OS at night.

In fact, I was in a room LAN-ing with two of them two nights ago — one friend on the latest MBP, and another on a 2012 (or 2013, I forget) 27-inch iMac. Playing CSGO, TF2 and L4D2 is a snap.

The Windows PC might be the dominant gaming PC, yes, but there are plenty of “serious” gamers who need to put a $2,000 Mac work machine first, and gaming second. Steam has a sizable OS X library, as does EA/Origin, and

-Devin Connors