So, I’ve got a new job with a nice chunky payrise, and I’m looking at buying one of the top-of-the line iMacs to replace my four-year old AMD 64. I’m a complete Mac newbie, so these will no doubt be damn fool questions?
So i finally bit the bullet after years of procrastination, desperately trying to avoid investing in a closed hardware platform, and even being aware that more than likely Apple will update these around September with 850M class graphics that will offer close to an 75%-100% increase in performance, and picked up a refurbished Late 2013 21.5" iMac with the 750M graphics card and a Fusion Drive. I then popped in Windows 8.1 64-bit through an external DVD on a boot camp partition and after much annoyance figured out how to turn off the ambient light feature that was dimming the display in Windows to about 33% of max brightness… and…
I have the best computer i have ever owned.
The most important thing to me is that it’s literally silent under even when gaming. It’s the ultimate SFF silent PC. Not one single whir of a fan is audible. I’ve tried gaming under Mac OS X and it’s still deplorable, but gaming under Windows is amazing. I’ve always heard that the best Windows PCs are Macs and this appears to be true. Rome 2 Total War on Very High graphics settings runs at about 30 FPS; Warlock 2 never drops below 60 FPS, Team Fortress 2 almost never drops below the 100s (!?), Civ 5 is around 50-60 FPS. Only Europa Universalis IV struggles with it running around 60 FPS zoomed out but dropping to 20 FPS or so if i zoom all the way down in terrain map mode and look at a bunch of trees. All games running at 1080P.
As far as the Mac OS X goes, with the Fusion drive going through photos is nearly instantaneous, which it should be, but Mavericks is a known quantity. I hate to say it but i kind of like that goofy Apple Magic Mouse and its gestures, though again, though not ideal for gaming, but for everything else makes a nice upgrade.
So now i’ve got a closetful of computers to unload ^^.
PS. I can download music through my old Zune account in Windows and see it in the Bootcamp partition in OS X all on the same computer. Hurray!
PPS Windows 8 seems like a more modern OS than OS X honestly.
The 750m isn’t much of a gaming GPU, but since you brought up the 850M coming up you clearly know what you’re talking about. I would never purchase an iMac as a gaming machine, but if you’ve got one, you can play some games on low/medium settings.
So far no issues at all. It helps that i waited about 7 months after release i’m sure; i wouldn’t get a Mac and expect 0-day Bootcamp support. The only issue was that Bootcamp would create a GPT partition that Windows couldn’t install into, and it took a bit to realize i needed to partition manually.
Well like i said above, i’ve been very surprised by the performance provided by this card. It needs 2gb RAM but otherwise it’s playing at 1080P at highest or med-high detail, not something like 768p at low settings or whatever. Skyrim runs at highest settings at 1080P and 8/8 MSAA/ASF at around 40FPS, which is surprisingly nice. But no, it’s not a next-gen ready kit, i’m just surprised at how good it is with NO FAN NOISE, which, let me be frank, is well over 50% of the appeal. The 850M GTX will be amazing, 2x performance per watt. I mean it’s close to 7850 performance, which is what i’m moving from.