I like Mac OS X. This thread is not me trying to convince anyone else that it's good, so please don't lecture me on how I should stick with Windows, I'm just asking for honest tech advice.
The situation: I am being offered one of the new top of the range 24 inch iMacs. I would be very happy indeed to use it, however (as my membership here suggests) I am a keen gamer, and I want to know your opionions on how games would run on it - using Boot Camp (running XP on a Mac), of course.
Here's a spec sheet (obviously the further to the right, the higher they are - I'd be getting the high-end specs, and yes, I'd be getting at LEAST 2gb via an upgrade, screw 1gb for gaming) Apple (UK and Ireland) - iMac - Tech Specs
Thanks in advance for any help. For the record I'd be wanting to play Bioshock, Crysis and anything that's really likely to come out in the near future... feel free to tell me I'm barking up the wrong tree, but an iMac would be good for more than gaming considering my position (uni in 2-3 years etc). Thanks again.
I would die without GF
15th March 2006
The good news is that they are DX10 capable, which means they'll be capable of running Crysis. You'll need Vista for that, though. It should handle current games well enough.
The bad news is that the ATi graphics card fitted to the iMac is distinctly midrange - and it's not something you can upgrade. It will be sufficient for now, but within a year or two it'll be next to useless for gaming.
The unfortunate reality with Macs is that to get more than a year or two of gaming use out of it, you need a Mac Pro. And you need to upgrade it. You're looking at £1700 for the basic Mac Pro, plus at least £250 to upgrade it to 2Gb RAM and a better graphics card (if you do it yourself...Apple's upgrade options are crap and very expensive). And you don't even get a monitor with it.
Thanks for the help, I've taken it into account. I'm still going ahead with the iMac, however - in terms of life-plan, stopping keeping up with top games in two years is not so big an issue for me. Thanks again.
One more question, however - Is the 2gb RAM (available for just 30 quid extra anyway) and the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme (as opposed to the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) worth the extra 300 quid I'd pay for it?
"World's Best Boss"
14th August 2004
Meadow;3898188One more question, however - Is the 2gb RAM (available for just 30 quid extra anyway) and the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme (as opposed to the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) worth the extra 300 quid I'd pay for it?
For the 2GB, yes its well worth it. For the Core 2 Extreme...not so much. You'll be more than okay with the 2.4Ghz.
I tawt I taw a puddy tat...
30th December 2002
I agree with SteVen. Yes on the ram, no on the processor.
Enjoy that iMac.
Trust me, I'm a Doctor
25th November 2003
The graphics card will be decent as long as you don't mind turning the settings down on some games. You might not be able to run some newer games at the super high native res on a 24" iMac though, but as long as you don't have to set the res too low it should still look ok.
Everything thing else looks good though. Have fun with your iMac!
Thanks for your help guys, I shall place the order tonight :) If you want, I'll run some benchmarks and post the results here for anyone else in the same situation. Cheers!
1st January 2005
The plus on that video card is it has excellent HD video processing, though with a 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, you don't really make use of it. The 2600 series like the 8600 Nvidia series can do so on a single core, whereas the 2900s and 8800s require a dual. A shame they didn't offer more video card options, but then it's not designed specifically for gaming. As said if you're not picky about settings in games like Crysis it will get you by. The benchies would be nice, and a good way to see if the Macs can make any better use of that video card or at least compare closely to the PCs with it. BTW, Boot Camp last I heard was still needing a few fixes to work completely well but it is the best way to go for gaming as it uses no system resources like Parallels does, not to mention it's free.
I would die without GF
15th March 2006
I doubt an iMac could take the extra heat produced by the more powerful cards. That and if they offered better graphics, no Mac gamers would buy the Pro...
I think they really should just push the price up at the top and and go for that - remember that they want to pitch the iMac to families and students, both of which often have gaming interests... Should be here in a week, will get on those benchmarks once I've got an installation of Windows... (you need one with service pack 2 on it, and my current one only has service pack 1)