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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > When the HELL is apple going to make an iMac with a decent video card?!?!?!

When the HELL is apple going to make an iMac with a decent video card?!?!?! (Page 8)
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jamesa
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Sep 22, 2004, 12:00 AM
 
Originally posted by Pierre B.:
Surprisingly enough, PC Magazine believe the new iMac should be a decent gaming machine. Their words:

Here is the article.
You didn't happen to take a look at one of the very few weaknesses they identified in the machine, did you? Their words:
Cons:
Can't upgrade graphics.
Or did you happen to see the front of www.xlr8yourmac.com's new page today? It's in with the link to the PC review report.
(Number 1 on the iMac G5 wish list from readers is a faster graphics chip/more video ram - expected in the "rev B" model.)
It seems everyone thinks this is a great machine, but for the damn GPU. Funny that, it seems a lot of people on here seem to be saying that too.

Originally posted by QuadG5Man:
Barefeats.com has new benchmarks for the iMac G5. In Apple's Motion RAM preview bench, the iMac G5 outperforms a dual 1.8 G5........?

Perhaps not enough credit is being given to the iMac's 'measly' 5200 ULTRA video card.

This may reflect that the current iMac G5 will run Tiger very nicely.

For those of you 'on the fence' about buying the iMac G5, I would take a look at barefeats.com. It's the best mac EVER (price/performance). Wow.
well, that remains to be seen; on the barefeats page now:
(We pulled the RENDER RAM PREVIEW graph because the numbers for the iMac G5s were so fast, they must not be rendering all 300 frames. We'll check on this and report back.)

Either way, remember that the Powermac G5 has the same measly 5200U in it - explaining why it got beaten (if indeed it did). But the thing is, it really doesn't matter in the PMG5, because as it's been said a million times before, if the card isn't good enough for you, you simply swap it out.

Which you can't do on the iMac, as the PC review kindly pointed out for me.

-- james
     
WinTroll
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Sep 22, 2004, 12:04 AM
 
I ran Command & Conquer Generals on the 17" iMac G5 1.8 gHz with 768 megs RAM.

I ran it at 1024 x 768 at medium settings.

No problem!

No jerkiness, no slowdowns, very quick and responsive.

The video card will be fine for casual gamers. Will it run Doom3 at the highest settings? Won't know until it comes out.
     
jamesa
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Sep 22, 2004, 12:07 AM
 
Originally posted by WinTroll:
I ran Command & Conquer Generals on the 17" iMac G5 1.8 gHz with 768 megs RAM.

I ran it at 1024 x 768 at medium settings.

No problem!

No jerkiness, no slowdowns, very quick and responsive.

The video card will be fine for casual gamers. Will it run Doom3 at the highest settings? Won't know until it comes out.
that game is over one year old on the PC side, which is a fair comparison because GPU development is a cross-platform thing. So yeah, the 5200U should be able to handle a year old game, you'd kind of expect that.

-- james
     
Pierre B.
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Sep 22, 2004, 07:57 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
You didn't happen to take a look at one of the very few weaknesses they identified in the machine, did you?
.
.
.
.

Or did you happen to see the front of www.xlr8yourmac.com's new page today? It's in with the link to the PC review report.
Come on now, do you really believe that I did not read the rest of the article? It is obvious that the iMac G5 got an excellent review in a PC-centric magazine. What do you want them to tell you for an AIO? Of course they will tell that you cannot upgrade the graphics.


It seems everyone thinks this is a great machine, but for the damn GPU. Funny that, it seems a lot of people on here seem to be saying that too.
And would you expect that the iMac could get a score of 5 in this forum, like it did in PC magazine? A poll can easily show. In my eyes, PC magazine gave it a much more favorable review than the readers of this very forum.

By the way, I think the iMac, as an AIO, should have better components (graphics, for the present case) since it locks you with what it has for the rest of its life.
     
jamesa
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Sep 22, 2004, 09:56 AM
 
Originally posted by Pierre B.:
And would you expect that the iMac could get a score of 5 in this forum, like it did in PC magazine? A poll can easily show. In my eyes, PC magazine gave it a much more favorable review than the readers of this very forum.
With the exception of their quip about the graphics card, I believe their review was pretty much spot on. It's a great machine. Like I've said earlier though, I don't think there'd be all this fuss about getting a decent GPU in it if people weren't interested in it at all - it's just that people want to buy the iMac, but the GPU is putting them off. That's why all the complaints.


By the way, I think the iMac, as an AIO, should have better components (graphics, for the present case) since it locks you with what it has for the rest of its life.
Well, then we're in agreement. I'd like to have seen a better GPU in the current one.
I hope they improve on it in the next revision. I'd like to see a few other little additions for the next one, even over a bump in clock speed, but that's just me. We'll see I guess.

-- james
     
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Sep 22, 2004, 01:48 PM
 
Originally posted by QuadG5Man:
Barefeats.com has new benchmarks for the iMac G5. In Apple's Motion RAM preview bench, the iMac G5 outperforms a dual 1.8 G5........?

It looks like on CPU dependent graphics tasks, the new iMacs shine. However, more and more of the burden is going to be shifted onto the GPU in Tiger, and the 5200U may quickly become a liability.

Secondly, Apple advertises close to a 200% improvement in frame rates for Halo and Unreal Tournament for the new iMac compared to the last G4 iMac. The barefeats tests definitely do NOT support this claim, at least in 1024x768 mode.

Finally, interesting to note that a Powerbook with a Radeon 9700 outperformed a DUAL 1.8 with 5200U in the Halo test. If Apple can put a better GPU in a laptop, they can definitely find a way to get one in the iMac. In other words, I don't think you can defend the 5200U choice from an engineering standpoint. Perhaps Apple is holding back the graphics on the iMac to protect Powerbook sales??? <shrug> Just a guess.
     
PookJP
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Sep 22, 2004, 02:41 PM
 
My Powerbook 867 with what must be considered a really measly graphics card performs just fine in all my daily usage. You freaks who are making an enormous deal out of the graphics card need to realize that not everyone demands the absolute top of the line for their graphics need, and it's much more important to the mainstream consumer to keep the cost down. If I were in the market for a new iMac today and it cost $200 more but had whatever bells-and-whistles-card you people want, I'd wait until a price drop.

For the record, my daily usage includes Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark, and a bit of Final Cut Pro. So no, I'm not playing Doom, but I'm not exactly using it for only word processing either.
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Pierre B.
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Sep 22, 2004, 03:58 PM
 
Originally posted by PookJP:
If I were in the market for a new iMac today and it cost $200 more but had whatever bells-and-whistles-card you people want, I'd wait until a price drop.
I am afraid I am going to repeat the obvious: no one is asking for Apple to include better graphics chips or more VRAM in the STANDARD iMac configuration. But offer those as options. Its is called BTO. Built to order. Many people here love to pay a little more on BTO. Just Apple do not let them do it.
     
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Sep 22, 2004, 05:08 PM
 
BTO may not be an option because of the tight enclosure. No iMac ever had it. If you need BTO, there is another Mac that supports that feature. What Apple should do, however, is to make a single CPU low-end Powermac available at a decent price point and bundle it with nice LCD. Killing the 17" ACD has raised the entry price for a Powermac - although you could always get a CRT screen. That's better for gaming anyway.

No, the valid complaint is that the 20"er, and maybe the midrange as well, is expensive enough to rate a better board, especially as the Radeon 9600XT would be only 50$ more tops.
     
terrancew_hod
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Sep 22, 2004, 10:01 PM
 
Originally posted by P:
BTO may not be an option because of the tight enclosure.
My powerbook has a 9600 in it; the 17 inch powerbook has BTO for the 9700 with 128MB RAM and both are 1 inch thick... so I think they could squeeze one in a two incher; even if it is just the mobile processor to save heat.

No iMac ever had it.
Well if you gotta BTO bluetooth and the Airport on the new iMacs, they could definitely do the GPU as well. I believe ATI even has the technology available to swap the GPUs on laptops so you could upgrade them just like the Alienware laptop I'm ordering to do my gaming and work on... so if Apple wanted, they could incorporate this technology on these machines to keep the GPU from causing the whole unit from becoming obsolete prematurely.

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PookJP
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Sep 24, 2004, 09:40 PM
 
Originally posted by Pierre B.:
I am afraid I am going to repeat the obvious: no one is asking for Apple to include better graphics chips or more VRAM in the STANDARD iMac configuration. But offer those as options. Its is called BTO. Built to order. Many people here love to pay a little more on BTO. Just Apple do not let them do it.
This crazy built to order, or BTO as you've apparently coined it, option might -- just might -- have a cost associated with it as well. There is a really outside chance that designing and tooling the computer and assembly process to accommodate multiple cards would have taken more time and cost more money. And there's also an incredibly small chance that had R&D and assembly costs increased on the computer, it would have translated to a later release date and a higher cost. But oh, that's crazy, I know.

Of course, this is just an incredibly outside chance. I'm sure that offering this BTO option would have actually made the iMac cost only $400, and Apple had just never heard of such a process. If they had thought to make BTO a reality, they obviously would have had no reason whatsoever not to have done it.
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jamesa
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Sep 25, 2004, 12:16 AM
 
Originally posted by PookJP:
This crazy built to order, or BTO as you've apparently coined it, option might -- just might -- have a cost associated with it as well. There is a really outside chance that designing and tooling the computer and assembly process to accommodate multiple cards would have taken more time and cost more money. And there's also an incredibly small chance that had R&D and assembly costs increased on the computer, it would have translated to a later release date and a higher cost. But oh, that's crazy, I know.

Of course, this is just an incredibly outside chance. I'm sure that offering this BTO option would have actually made the iMac cost only $400, and Apple had just never heard of such a process. If they had thought to make BTO a reality, they obviously would have had no reason whatsoever not to have done it.
If they're already offering Bluetooth as a BTO option (which can't be added later either, btw) they must already be doing stuff to the machine while it's being built.

As for the cost going up, I don't remember the cost going up on the Powerbook when they added a BTO GPU, other than the additional cost of the upgraded graphics card.

-- james
     
Boondoggle
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Sep 13, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
The real reason that Apple does not provide this option is that it would raise the base price of the iMac, which makes marketing and sales more difficult.

Providing options like this increases operational costs for several reasons including complexity (book keeping, manufacturing, customer interactions, etc) extra time, and investment in inventory of additional components.

Since a graphics card is a requirement, it cannot be ommited. Airport and BT cards on the otherhand can be ommited, which keeps the base price down after the increases associated with providing an option are added. To offset the increase in base price by offering a GPU option Apple could charge appropriately more for the upgrade, but then even fewer people would choose it.

Factor in that many people would still be dissatisfied with the GPU for a AIO consumer system, and that many more would not even care, and you've got a genuine non-starter.

And here we are.

Note that Powerbooks are a Pro system, and believe that the premium for having the ability to upgrade the GPU is part of the price of every system. People are used to paying a premium for "pro" gear, so it is not as much an issue. The premium is also hidden in other enhancements. Further, market research drove that option. There are a lot of TV/Movie people that need a better GPU in a portable system, and by providing it Apple can support sales of it's VERY high margin software products.
( Last edited by Boondoggle; Sep 13, 2005 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Comment on Powerbooks)
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harrisjamieh
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Sep 13, 2005, 01:03 PM
 
Boondoggle you do realise that the post before yours was submitted almost a year ago, and that the iMac now ships with an ATI Radeon 9600 with 128 mb ram, a vast improvement on the old G-Force cards they used to have........
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Pierre B.
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Sep 13, 2005, 01:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by harrisjamieh
...and that the iMac now ships with an ATI Radeon 9600 with 128 mb ram, a vast improvement on the old G-Force cards they used to have........
An improvement yes, but a vast improvement? It is questionable, since this is a regular Radeon 9600, not Pro nor XT.
     
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Sep 14, 2005, 12:10 AM
 
One option Aplpe might have for an updated iMac is a Radeon X1600 Pro when it's available to OEMs. Not the fastest card, and Apple would probably use a 128 MB version, but combined with slightly faster G5s I'm sure it'd make a nice step up over the current iMacs.
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budster101
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Sep 14, 2005, 12:16 AM
 
<cough>PowerMac</cough>
     
Dex13
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Sep 14, 2005, 03:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by budster101
<cough>PowerMac</cough>
Shutup. look at the price difference b/t the two.
and the imac comes w/ a flat panel monitor.
People know they have the option. but apple doesn't make it easy when they start at 2k.

the video card in there now. is a vast improvement. from the ATi Rage that plagued and tormented so many users back in the day.
     
budster101
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Sep 14, 2005, 03:20 AM
 
If you are going to use Pro Aps, you should be using a PowerMac. Video Editing.

I know the price differences quite well, and for what it was designed to do, the iMac is great, but not professional grade, it's more like prosumer for digital cameras for an analogy. You could get by, but for some serious work on pro apps then you should be using the PowerMac.

Don't tell me to shut up either.
     
Dex13
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Sep 14, 2005, 03:46 AM
 
i don't think any pro would have an issue w. the imac G5. it may not be dual but it gets the job done at 2.0Ghz. And any real pro who needs something as powerful as the G5 Tower would be educated enough to do so. so don't go coughing in your suggestions trying to evoke some type of epiphany on people reasonably arguing about the imac's shortcomings.

so yeah. shutup.
     
Kyros
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Sep 14, 2005, 04:38 AM
 
Dex13, the iMac has all the capabilities it is meant to have. It is not meant to be a gaming machine and it is not meant to be a professional editing platform. Nothing else requires a powerful video card. Apple is cutting costs by using cheaper graphics cards. I'm sorry if you can't understand that.
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Dex13
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Sep 14, 2005, 03:08 PM
 
im not the person having a hard time understanding that. it's budster who is.
     
lamewing
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Sep 14, 2005, 04:44 PM
 
Zombie thread, never mind.

For what it is worth, the iMac is still well behind the power curve in regards to video cards. I would buy one if it had at least a GF 6600 model it in.

So, if the iMac isn't meant to act as a game machine ( I can buy that) WHAT Mac system is supposed to act as one? The G5 desktops? It doesn't make sense. I can buy a Superdrived based mac mini for day to day stuff AND a dua-core AMD system for gaming and be better off.

Maybe once Apple starts to ship the Intel based Macs, we gamers will have hopes. At least then we can have a dual boot system for OS X and games.
( Last edited by lamewing; Sep 14, 2005 at 04:53 PM. )
     
jhogarty
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Sep 14, 2005, 05:13 PM
 
I don't get why people say the iMac is not a game machine. I play WoW on it and it looks/sounds awesome! Much better than any of my other PC's. It even plays WoW better in full screen than my dual G5. I have to do window mode on the dualie (probably due to screen rez) or it is real laggy. No lag on the iMac.

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lamewing
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Sep 14, 2005, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by jhogarty
I don't get why people say the iMac is not a game machine. I play WoW on it and it looks/sounds awesome! Much better than any of my other PC's. It even plays WoW better in full screen than my dual G5. I have to do window mode on the dualie (probably due to screen rez) or it is real laggy. No lag on the iMac.

J.
I also play WoW on a PC. What do you consider to be acceptable play? Framerates? What eye candy do you have on? With my old PC, everything is turned down and I run at 1024 x 768. The best framrates are around 25 and the lowest are around 4. My wife's machine will run 80-90 frames max down to about 35 in Ironforge with everything on max and at 1280 x 1024.

Specs are PIII 1ghz with Geforce 2 card - 512MB system RAM/ 64MB video RAM
Athlon 64 3000 with Geforce 6800GT - 1gb system RAM / 256 video RAM

Her system cost about 800 to build, mine (4 years ago cost 1500 to build - /cry)

How does the iMac fair in comparison???
     
fleaplus
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Sep 14, 2005, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by lamewing
I also play WoW on a PC. What do you consider to be acceptable play? Framerates? What eye candy do you have on? With my old PC, everything is turned down and I run at 1024 x 768. The best framrates are around 25 and the lowest are around 4. My wife's machine will run 80-90 frames max down to about 35 in Ironforge with everything on max and at 1280 x 1024.

Specs are PIII 1ghz with Geforce 2 card - 512MB system RAM/ 64MB video RAM
Athlon 64 3000 with Geforce 6800GT - 1gb system RAM / 256 video RAM

Her system cost about 800 to build, mine (4 years ago cost 1500 to build - /cry)

How does the iMac fair in comparison???
It might not be WOW, but I have had some pretty good UT2004 results under OSX. In Onslaught mode, the fps never dips below 20, and hovers between 70 and 90. This is with all normal settings, all extra options except trilinear filtering, and view distance set at 75%, and res set at 1440x900. My 17" iMac is of the 1.8ghz variety, and has 1GB of ram (unmatched 512mb sticks if it matters)

I have also tried the Halo and Battlefield 1942 demos on my iMac. Both seem to run well at 1440x900 but Halo can start to get skippy with advanced pixel shading enabled..

I tried install ATIcellerator II and doing a little overclocking on the Radeon 9600. For some reason it doesn't seem to make any difference at all in performance. Once I get the core speed up to 450mhz (which isn't highly unlikely for a radeon 9600, atleast on the PC side) the system does lock up once a game is launched. I'll have to look at some PC reviews and see if its the same story. I guess only so much performance can be had out of a 4-pipe card.
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lamewing
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Sep 14, 2005, 09:46 PM
 
I am actually very curious, because I spent part of the day looking at computer costs (for me to build a new system) and while I can put a dual core AMD system together for about 1100.00, I am getting tired of Windows and to top it off, I really don't see myself playing much of anything besides the OCASSIONAL game of WoW, and maybe some UT.

It is a tough choice, do I:

1. Upgrade the PC and get a mini
2. Get an iMac
3. Get a G% tower (one time student developer discount OR regular student discount + free ipod mini, which I would sell)

Choice 1 works, espeically if I still want to play PC games.
Choice 2 is cheapest, but I worry about lack of upgradeability. The Radeon 9600 is already two life-cycles behind current generation video cards.
Choice 3 works well if I want to give up PC gaming and switch to the upcoming generation of game consoles.

Decisions...what do you folks think?
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fleaplus
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Sep 14, 2005, 10:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by lamewing
1. Upgrade the PC and get a mini
2. Get an iMac
3. Get a G% tower (one time student developer discount OR regular student discount + free ipod mini, which I would sell)
I would have bought a G5 Dual Tower + LCD if I could have afforded it. Try to go for a faster processor model though if you go for it. After checking out a few game reviews from PC side, it looks like the Radeon 9600 in the iMac isn't holding the FPS back -- its actually showing signs of cpu limitation. Argh, now this makes me wonder if the 2ghz G5 iMac would have been enough extra power to be a better match for the Radeon 9600...

Hah, I forgot about the free iPod deal going on. I ought to call the apple store up and ask them. I'm not a student, but I might still be eligible since I work for my School District. I was able to get $100 off my iMac when I bought it.
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Boondoggle
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Sep 16, 2005, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by harrisjamieh
Boondoggle you do realise that the post before yours was submitted almost a year ago, and that the iMac now ships with an ATI Radeon 9600 with 128 mb ram, a vast improvement on the old G-Force cards they used to have........
Doesn't matter. The post was about BTO options for Video cards. That hasn't changed.

bd
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mhuie
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Sep 16, 2005, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by jhogarty
I don't get why people say the iMac is not a game machine. I play WoW on it and it looks/sounds awesome! Much better than any of my other PC's. It even plays WoW better in full screen than my dual G5. I have to do window mode on the dualie (probably due to screen rez) or it is real laggy. No lag on the iMac.

J.
Macs in general are not gaming machines. You need a more powerful card on a Mac to get similar results on a PC. Add on to the fact that Mac video card prices are outraegous. I've pretty much given up trying to play WoW on my PowerMac. Waste of money IMHO.

Might as well build a $400 PC that will run circles around your iMac or Powermac, it'll cost the same as a high end Mac video card.
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lamewing
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Sep 16, 2005, 08:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by mhuie
Macs in general are not gaming machines. You need a more powerful card on a Mac to get similar results on a PC. Add on to the fact that Mac video card prices are outraegous. I've pretty much given up trying to play WoW on my PowerMac. Waste of money IMHO.

Might as well build a $400 PC that will run circles around your iMac or Powermac, it'll cost the same as a high end Mac video card.

What machine do you have and what is your WoW experience? FPS in varous locals? What hardware do you have? What problems have you seen?

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Sep 20, 2005, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by george68
Look, I don't WANT a tower. I like the iMac because it's smaller, more compact, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I like how it includes the screen.

But since it's inception, Apple has always stuck a complete **** video card in the imac, making it pretty embarassing to play games with. Why!?

Look at an average person who'd like to play games. Chances are, they don't have the bling for a nice G5 tower setup with the monitor and accessories. But they like macs, so they get an iMac. For the past 5 years I've owned iMacs exclusively, and htey've ALWAYS been subpar when it comes to gaming.

WHY!?!?!

WAKE THE HELL UP APPLE. Make a GAMING edition with a decent video card!

Christ.... they'll never get this concept. It'd sell like hotcakes, but whatever.

- Ca$h
Why have you been using iMac's "for 5 years" if they are not satisfying to you?

My 2.0 Ghz iMac kicks butt at FPS games with all setting set to max. I am very impressed with my iMac's video performance.

Sounds like you need a PC, or a Power Mac with a $600 video card.
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