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Understanding Video Cards

4695 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2013 8:07 PM by S.Thomson RSS
Zathrak Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Dec 6, 2012 11:13 AM

Simply put, I need a decent understanding of the video card differences in the last 2 versions of the iMac line. While I don't do a lot of high visual rendering or anything, however I do play an awful lot of Team Fortress 2 on Win 7 boot camp because the graphics get quite choppy when run on OS X. I do some light video editing. I am getting the new iMac and am trying to weigh the video card differences.


(Keep in mind that this isn't a matter of cost, bad feelings, or anything else besides what you see here.)


My current 27in upgraded iMac has: AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB

The new 27in iMac has: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5

The new 27in upgrade iMac has: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5


The most obvious difference from I can tell right here is the 2GB RAM in my current machine (which was CTO) and that all the new iMacs come with 1GB RAM with no option to upgrade that except the highest end iMac. I'm assuming the sheer RAM capacity is a huge differenciator in the matter?


What about the cards themselves? Is there a small/large difference based on the card specs/achitecture alone? 


While I know a decent deal about hardware, the GPU is the area I never really cared about...until now.



  • thetimeparadox Calculating status...
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    Dec 6, 2012 12:03 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    The AMD Radeon HD you mentioned is slightly slower than the GeForce GTX 485.  The GTX 680 on the high end imac is roughly twice the performance of the mentioned card.  So you would get a significant graphics performance increase.  However, the GTX 765 on the low end imacs are also very good, and would still be a significant increase in performance.  You can compare the performance of the cards here...



    hope this helped.

  • thetimeparadox Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
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    Dec 6, 2012 12:23 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    Your interpretation is correct.  1:  essentially more breathing room.  2)  More VRAM allows the process to spread out on the card and causes less stress to the heating system at high loads.  For Team Fortress 2, even the low end is fine (have played it).

  • thetimeparadox Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2012 12:26 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    no problem

  • S.Thomson Calculating status...
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    Apr 10, 2013 8:07 PM (in response to thetimeparadox)

    This is a bit after the fact, but thanks for all the info here. Very helpful!


    And the OP for the question!


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