iMac - Questions for gamers...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hey, I'm considering to purchase a Mac (I'm leaning towards the 20" iMac).



Although I'm not exactly a gamer, I am interested in having the ability to run current games appropriately... therefore, I've gathered a set of questions for gamers that I I'm looking to be answered:



a. Is the graphics card of the 20" iMac (ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 )good enough for today's modern games?

b. How do modern games handle widescreen LCDs? Isn't the non-standard resolution problematic with gaming?

c. Could anyone tell me what is the response time of the 20"s monitor? I can't find this info anywhere...



Thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    copsecopse Posts: 64member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    Hey, I'm considering to purchase a Mac (I'm leaning towards the 20" iMac).



    Although I'm not exactly a gamer, I am interested in having the ability to run current games appropriately... therefore, I've gathered a set of questions for gamers that I I'm looking to be answered:



    a. Is the graphics card of the 20" iMac (ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 )good enough for today's modern games?

    b. How do modern games handle widescreen LCDs? Isn't the non-standard resolution problematic with gaming?

    c. Could anyone tell me what is the response time of the 20"s monitor? I can't find this info anywhere...



    Thanks



    http://www.apple.com/imac/graphics.html
  • Reply 2 of 12
    That link actually tells very little in terms of games performance.

    A X1600 with 128MB...well, lets just say it wont be pretty.

    Try atleast 256MB.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    Hey, I'm considering to purchase a Mac (I'm leaning towards the 20" iMac).



    Although I'm not exactly a gamer, I am interested in having the ability to run current games appropriately... therefore, I've gathered a set of questions for gamers that I I'm looking to be answered:



    a. Is the graphics card of the 20" iMac (ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 )good enough for today's modern games?

    b. How do modern games handle widescreen LCDs? Isn't the non-standard resolution problematic with gaming?

    c. Could anyone tell me what is the response time of the 20"s monitor? I can't find this info anywhere...



    Thanks



    I can't answer the questions specific to the 20" iMac card, but having just bought a 24" with the upgraded graphics card (7600GT) I can tell you that the two games I've been playing have handled highest end resolution (1920x1200) with the highest quality settings with no problem. Both games (Half Life 2 Episode 1 and Dreamfall) support widescreen LCD displays; Half Life with an actual 16:10 settings (which is that of the 24" screen) and Dreamfall by supporting 1920x1200. I hope this helps to answer at least part of your question.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    a. Is the graphics card of the 20" iMac (ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 )good enough for today's modern games?



    I would say so. It depends on what is acceptable to you but since you aren't a hardcore gamer, it is pretty good. It can play UT2004 on full settings smoothly and it looks great. Doom 3 plays about the same rate as a Quad G5 with a GF 6600.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    b. How do modern games handle widescreen LCDs? Isn't the non-standard resolution problematic with gaming?



    Most of the games I tested had issues with that. They wouldn't accept higher than 1024x768, which is quite annoying because higher resolutions are less resource intensive for reducing jaggies than FSAA. UT2004 was the only game I tried that let me use widescreen.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    c. Could anyone tell me what is the response time of the 20"s monitor? I can't find this info anywhere...



    8ms. I found the graphics tearing when playing some games but 8ms is about the standard response time so I'm not sure if that was the cause or not. Vsync is supposed to fix it but it didn't seem to work for me. The 1024x768 annoyed me the most because it leaves black bars on the sides.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 132GHz,4TB DDR8 SDRAM,95TB HDD


    That link actually tells very little in terms of games performance.

    A X1600 with 128MB...well, lets just say it wont be pretty.

    Try atleast 256MB.



    i'm running an imac with the same card....counterstrike:source is giving me 1440x900 with all supported features turned on, 35-45fps online. Extremely playable, looks great. This is under bootcamp windows XP.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    lirandlirand Posts: 174member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    8ms. I found the graphics tearing when playing some games but 8ms is about the standard response time so I'm not sure if that was the cause or not. Vsync is supposed to fix it but it didn't seem to work for me. The 1024x768 annoyed me the most because it leaves black bars on the sides.



    How did you find the "8 ms" figure? Could you give me a link? (or at least explain) What's the figure for the 24"?



    What do you mean in "tearing"? Was there any "ghosting"?



    Regarding the black bars - Would black bars appear whenever I play games that weren't meant for widescreen resolution? The graphics won't be "stretched" to fit the whole display?



    BTW: thanks for the answers guys
  • Reply 7 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Here are the real world marks from barefeats. You decide if its good enough for you, but if you want to play the games at the 1680 resolution, the radeon x1600 isn't going to do the trick.



    http://www.barefeats.com/imcd3.html



    http://www.barefeats.com/imcd4.html
  • Reply 8 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    How did you find the "8 ms" figure? Could you give me a link? (or at least explain) What's the figure for the 24"?



    I can't remember where I found that number. I tried to look again and there's not much info around about it. From looking at the Cinema displays, they are around 14-16ms and I doubt Apple would put better displays in their consumer models. I'm not sure if they all have the same response time either. Someone noted the model of the 17" iMac and it suggests a 25ms response. If it's 14ms at the fastest then it might explain the tearing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    What do you mean in "tearing"? Was there any "ghosting"?



    I don't recall any ghosting. The tearing is the effect you used to get in OS 9 when you dragged a window and it would flicker in the middle. In some games, when looking at vertical objects like pillars and moving the view left and right, it would flicker in the middle. Even my brother who didn't know what tearing was could see the effect quite clearly when I pointed it out. The effect was quite easy to produce.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    Regarding the black bars - Would black bars appear whenever I play games that weren't meant for widescreen resolution? The graphics won't be "stretched" to fit the whole display?



    I expected them to be stretched but instead they maintained their 4:3 aspect and large black bars appeared on either side. I'm sure the more modern games won't have a problem but the issue is that if you get a modern game, there is a chance the iMac won't play it smoothly at 1650x1050 and if you lower it, you only get choices of 4:3 aspect ratios.



    If I was to sum up the iMac personally, I'd say that performance-wise it is a decent gaming machine and as a non-hardcore gamer, it would be a good buy.



    I just came across this site, where someone else noted the tearing:



    http://forums.macnn.com/77/games/310...c-not-working/



    I only remember the tearing in Quake 4 and Doom 3 so since they use the same engine, it may well be a bug in that particular game.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    14ms? That's terrible. My $200 19" is 5ms.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    lirandlirand Posts: 174member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    I can't remember where I found that number. I tried to look again and there's not much info around about it. From looking at the Cinema displays, they are around 14-16ms and I doubt Apple would put better displays in their consumer models. I'm not sure if they all have the same response time either. Someone noted the model of the 17" iMac and it suggests a 25ms response. If it's 14ms at the fastest then it might explain the tearing.







    I don't recall any ghosting. The tearing is the effect you used to get in OS 9 when you dragged a window and it would flicker in the middle. In some games, when looking at vertical objects like pillars and moving the view left and right, it would flicker in the middle. Even my brother who didn't know what tearing was could see the effect quite clearly when I pointed it out. The effect was quite easy to produce.







    I expected them to be stretched but instead they maintained their 4:3 aspect and large black bars appeared on either side. I'm sure the more modern games won't have a problem but the issue is that if you get a modern game, there is a chance the iMac won't play it smoothly at 1650x1050 and if you lower it, you only get choices of 4:3 aspect ratios.



    If I was to sum up the iMac personally, I'd say that performance-wise it is a decent gaming machine and as a non-hardcore gamer, it would be a good buy.



    I just came across this site, where someone else noted the tearing:



    http://forums.macnn.com/77/games/310...c-not-working/



    I only remember the tearing in Quake 4 and Doom 3 so since they use the same engine, it may well be a bug in that particular game.



    14 ms is really quite bad... can anyone approve this figure?



    And how bad is that tearing effect? I've never heard about it...
  • Reply 11 of 12
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    14 ms is really quite bad... can anyone approve this figure?



    I don't think so. Apple never published response times for its displays in the past and everything discussed around this issue was educated guess from "reasonable" comparisons at best.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    14 ms is really quite bad... can anyone approve this figure?



    If you go to the Apple site and hardware and then choose the Cinema Display. Then the 20" one, which has the same resolution as the 20" iMac, it says the typical response time is 14ms. I couldn't find stats on the iMac at all but like I say, I presume they wouldn't use better components in their iMac than they do in their pro displays. To find out for sure, you'd need to find a part number for the iMac screen (I think they maybe use Samsung). I don't think System profiler lists that info.



    Is it response time that causes tearing btw or does that just cause ghosting? There's also refresh rate. You can't change that on LCDs but they still have one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lirand


    And how bad is that tearing effect? I've never heard about it...



    I don't mind graphical problems that much as I'm used to playing some games at say 15fps but it really bugged me. Especially in games like Doom 3 and Quake because they have a lot of fast movement.



    Check the third post down on this site for another account of the tearing from an IGN reviewer:



    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=181708



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iRolley

    Here is what I got so far:



    timedemo 1

    1024 x 640 : 43 fps

    1024 x 640 (2x AA) : 37 fps

    1024 x 768: 40 fps

    1280 x 800: 33 fps



    On an iiMac (intel iMac) 1Gig Ram, X1600 128mg, with HQ, shadows and all the rest on (except vsync and AA, unless specified).



    Pros: it looks beautiful; runs great with few slowdowns; playable with shadows on !!!; widescreen;

    Cons: Tearing: I will try vsync (although I seem to recall it has no effects on flat panels...). I usually happens close to a wall, not too often, but consistently. Performance is good, not great.



    My setup is now 1024 x 640 (2x AA). It doesn't look as good as 1024x768 but I like the widescreen (not stretched).




    Final words: FINALLY !!! I love this game. I still hope will get the RoE expansion. I can't say the iMac is a great gaming machine though. It is a huge step up from the previous iMac, but it is borderline for someone who wants all the eye candy turned on for Doom 3.



    He seems to have managed to get widescreen though.
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