7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2009 10:27 AM by Dave_Allen
Christopher.Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello!
Please forgive me if this has been posted before, I just joined the forums. I currently have a Mac mini with 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, and the shared video memory. I can run games like Doom 3 and X-Plane 9 at the lowest settings. I am looking into buying a replacement that can run Doom 3, X-Plane, Quake 4, STALKER, etc. at the highest settings. Is the iMac a good computer for this? What specs should I customize it to, if it is?

Thanks

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • 1. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)
    Christopher,

    First welcome to the Apple Discussions.

    If you are satisfied with the Mac Mini you should be much happier with any of the new iMacs, even some of the refurbished ones would be a vast improvement over your current machine. For the best iMac there isn't much doubt the new iMac i7 will provide the best overall performance.

    However that being said if gaming is your number one priority then a MS Windows machine will be a less expensive way to go, many are made specifically for gamers. The downside is they are MS Windows machines and prone to all the problems of MS Windows. The main advantage of a Mac is OS X which is a much more elegant OS than any version of MS Windows and is much more secure.

    Having owned a Mac for the past two years there is no way I'd go back to using a PC unless I was absolutely forced to and even then I'd go kicking and screaming all the way.

    Regards,

    Roger
  • 2. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    Christopher.Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely leaning towards the iMac. Perhaps a Mac pro, but I'm not quite at that level financially. I have considered going to MS Windows, but I absolutely HATE them. It's not just the OS, it's the machines they come on. What I'm going to do though, is install XP (or vista) on the iMac or whatever one I get. I read somewhere that if you do this, your mac should be configured at least to 2x the system requirements...
  • 3. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)
    If you can do it a MacPro is the most powerful and also the most expandable. iMac's are a very nice AIO computer however for expandibility they are limited to only upgrades on memory. If you are the type of person that wants or needs upgrades on graphic cards, internal HD's etc then a MacPro is a better solution.

    Personally I have Win XP loaded on mine using VMWare Fusion 3.0, for my limited Windows needs it runs great and is considerably faster than the dedicated Windows machines I was using. I allocated 512 MB RAM to XP and partitioned my drive for only 20 GB because I knew I wasn't going to be using it for very much. The advantage of virtualization software like Fusion or Parallels is you can run OS X and Windows simultaneously and still have great performance. Some people use Bootcamp which also works very well but you are either booting in Windows or OS X so the limitation is you cannot run both simultaneously. Like any MS Windows machine if you choose to run MS Windows you need to use precautions for virus's and malware. Last I would skip Vista, if you really want MS Windows go with either XP or Windows 7. While I haven't loaded Windows 7 (and have no intention of doing so) reports are it's much faster and stable than Vista.
  • 4. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    k8ysv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just took delivery of a new i5 27" iMac. It's got the Radeon 4850 graphics card with 512MB of dedicated video RAM. Right now it's got 4GB of RAM with another 4GB on the way. I partitioned the 1TB hard drive and allocated 150GB to a Windows XP partition running Boot Camp.

    The one game I've loaded so far (Just got the iMac on Friday) is probably the greatest test of a machine's gaming power: Crysis. It runs beautifully! Native resolution on this computer is 2560x1440 and Crysis runs at this resolution with all graphics settings on high (haven't tried anti-aliasing yet...no real need) and I'm getting 50+ frames per second. I'm REALLY happy with it. Doom3, Q4 etc should run on something like this completely maxed out and not even warm up the box (I'm kidding...it'l get a little warm).
  • 5. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    Dave_Allen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I have the same configuration as you. Question: I don't do much in the way of gaming, but would like to get a couple of games and controllers to use when my nephews visit. (maybe Call of Duty 4 and some strategy/role play games) Do I have to run those on a Windows Virtual machine, or can you play through standard OS X? Any Performance issues? Also, what should I get for controllers? (preferably wireless)
  • 6. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    -fafu- Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Depending on if the game is made for PC or Mac will depend on where you run the game. If it's made for Mac you can run it right in OS X. If the game is only released for PC then you would need to run it on Windows either through a virtual machine or Bootcamp. I would suggest Bootcamp to run any Windows games as the system then can allocate all of it's resources to run Windows and the game. I know VM Ware Fusion will allow you to run Windows from your Bootcamp partition while in OS X as a virtual machine, and then you can also boot into Windows by itself.

    I have had my machine since late 2006 and every games I have played (mostly Battlefield 2, and BF 2142) run amazing. Better than they did on my old PC that I built for gaming. I'm hoping by this weekend to have a new 27" iMac, and can only imagine how that will handle games.

    As for controllers, I have no suggestions. I am a keyboard and mouse gamer!
  • 7. Re: iMac good for gaming?
    Dave_Allen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Thanks fafu...will confirm Mac platform compatibility.
    Anybody else out there have suggestions for controllers? Keyboard/mouse would be fine for me, but I would like to use some multiplayer games with people in the same room.