GAMES, GAMES, GAMES:
Fastest 2013 iMac versus
Fastest 2012 iMac
Posted Friday, October 18th, 2013 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
First, many of you asked for more game results. Second, many of you are trying to decide between a new 2013 iMac with the fastest Core i7 + GTX 780M and the fastest refurbished/used 2012 iMac Core i7 with GeForce GTX 680MX GPU. Third, many gamers wonder if it is time to shift to an iMac instead of upgrading their aging, bandwidth challenged Mac Pro tower. So here's some data to help you decide.
Mac Pro G680 = 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-Core Westmere with GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
iMac i7 G780M = 2013 iMac 3.5GHz Core-i7 Haswell with GeForce GTX 780M
iMac i7 G680MX = 2012 iMac 3.4GHz Core-i7 Ivy Bridge with GeForce GTX 680MX
World of Warcraft (Mists of Pandaria) at 2560x1440, Ultra preset, 1X MSAA, Vsync Disabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Diablo III at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, Vsync Disabled, High Quality with Anti-Aliasing Enabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Sid Meier's Civilization V (on Steam) at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, Medium Quality except for Texture which was High Quality, Vsync Disabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Left 4 Dead 2 (on Steam) at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, no AA, Anisotropic 8X, Vsync Disabled, Shader Detail Very High, Effect Detail and Model/Texture Detail both High, Multicore Rendering Enabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Team Fortress 2 (on Steam) at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, Model, Texture, and Shader Detail High, Water Detail Reflect All, Shadow Detail Medium, Color Correction Enabled, 2X MSAA, Anisotropic 2X, Vsync Disabled, Motion Blur Disabled, 80% FoV, Multicore Rendering Enabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Portal 2 (on Steam) at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, Anti-Aliasing Disabled, Anisotropic 8X, Vsync Disabled, Multicore Rendering Enabled, Shader Detail Very High, Effect, Model, and Texture Detail High. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
Dirt 2 at 2560x1440; Fullscreen; Vsync Disabled; MSAA Disabled; Graphics Detail Level Ultra; Shadows, Particles, Wind, Crowd, Tessellation, and Cloth Enabled; Ground Cover Blended; Clutter Enabled; Water Update Enabled; Skidmarks Enabled; Dynamic Ambient Occlusion Enabled; Environmental and Vehicle Damage Enabled. (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
X-Plane 10 at 2560x1440, Fullscreen, Best Settings ("fps_test=3003"). (LARGER number means FASTER in Frames per Second.)
The 2013 iMac's top GPU beat the 2012 iMac's top GPU in 8 out of 8 game tests, but not always by a large margin. The biggest gains were with Portal 2 (24%), Dirt 2 (15%), and Team Fortress 2 (12%). But the advantage for the other five games ranged from 3% to 8%.
As for the Mac Pro with the GTX 680 Mac Edition, it beat both iMacs running WoW, Diablo III, Civilization V, Left 4 Dead 2, and X-Plane. In the remaining three games, it lost to both iMacs. (Note: We also tested some of the games running the GTX 780 and Titan. With the exception of Diablo III and Civilization V, they had no advantage over the GTX 680 Mac Edition.)
Should I buy the new iMac or last year's refurbished iMac?
It depends on what games you play.
Will a new iMac replace my old Mac Pro as a better gaming platform?
It depends on what games you play.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER MODELS OF IMAC?
I wish we could benchmark all six CPU and all five GPU permutations of the 2013 iMac, but our budget won't allow that. If you purchase or have access to one of the models of 2013 iMac we have not shown above or have the same model with a different GPU, we would welcome your help in testing. Ditto for different models of 2012 iMacs. (Of course, you will need to copies of the games we tested.) So email me,
OTHER 2013 iMac TEST PAGES:
CPU and STORAGE SHOOTOUT: Fastest 2013 iMacs versus other Macs
PRO GRAPHICS SHOOTOUT: Fastest 2013 iMacs versus other Macs
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WHERE TO BUY MEMORY UPGRADES FOR YOUR 2013 iMAC