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Q6600 OC'd with 5850 vs. Apple iMac i7 with 6970m

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Gaming
  • Apple
  • iMac
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 7, 2011 2:19:35 PM

I currently own both a custom gaming PC I built a couple of years ago, and a recently purchased 27 inch Apple iMac. The gaming PC has older tech, but of course can be upgraded and doesn't use any mobile parts. Where as the iMac has newer tech, but cannot be upgraded for the most part and does use mobile parts.

I am trying to decide if I should keep my trusty gaming PC, or just sell it and use my iMac via boot camp as my main gaming machine. Or another route would be some small upgrades to the gaming PC that would still make it much better for gaming.

With either machine, i will be using a monitor that displays a 1920x1080 res. Also, the only thing I have OC'd right now is the gaming PC's Q6600.

Here are the basic specs of each machine:

GAMING PC:

-Q6600 OC'd to 3.0 GHz
-4GB DDR2 (Mobo is expandable to 8GB)
-Radeon 5850 1GB
-Asus P5K-E Mobo
-650 watt PSU
-Windows 7 64 Bit

27 INCH APPLE IMAC:

-Core i7 3.4 GHz
-12GB DDR3
-Radeon 6970m 2GB
-Windows 7 64 Bit


The main games I play or plan on playing are BF3, Old Republic, Black Ops, MW3, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 and others.

Right now I use the Gaming PC for gaming and the iMac for work, but any suggestions on if I should just ditch the gaming pc for now or keep it would be great. Thanks in advance

More about : q6600 5850 apple imac 6970m

November 7, 2011 2:37:06 PM

If you stick with the more popular titles, you shouldn't have too many problems finding enough titles for your mac. If a mac performs as efficiently as a pc, then that mac should be much faster than your current gain rig.
But I don't know about mac gaming at all.
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November 7, 2011 2:39:03 PM

Well I will be using boot camp running Windows 7 64 bit. With boot camp, you can run Windows 7 100% natively on a Mac with ZERO emulation and it pretty much turns it into a PC. I will not be buying any Mac versions of games and running them in Mac OS.
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2011 2:40:06 PM

Actually it will performs slightly worse with the iMac than the PC in balanced game as the HD 6970m has around the same performance of a down-clocked HD 6850.
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November 7, 2011 2:45:27 PM

To keep it simple, the iMac is much stronger than the Q6600 rig overall. Given the 2 systems in question, there is no need to keep both (per the OP's original question/concern).

However, keep in mind the upgrade limitation of the iMac. The PC can have all the guts replaced and you can easily (and inexpensively) build a rig that would run circles around the iMac.
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November 7, 2011 2:47:16 PM

yummerzzz said:
Actually it will performs slightly worse with the iMac than the PC in balanced game as the HD 6970m has around the same performance of a down-clocked HD 6850.


So are you saying for gaming, I should just stick with my gaming PC? I could upgrade the ram to 8GB from 4GB, and also upgrade the video card. Do you have any suggestions for a good video card upgrade from the 5850 that won't cause bottleneck issues with the Q6600?
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November 7, 2011 2:49:52 PM

COLGeek said:
To keep it simple, the iMac is much stronger than the Q6600 rig overall. Given the 2 systems in question, there is no need to keep both (per the OP's original question/concern).

However, keep in mind the upgrade limitation of the iMac. The PC can have all the guts replaced and you can easily (and inexpensively) build a rig that would run circles around the iMac.


Thanks for the reply. As I asked Yummerzzz, do you think I should keep the gaming PC and just upgrade the ram and video card to make it much more powerful than the iMac for gaming? I am afraid though that the Q6600 will turn into a bottleneck at some point.
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November 7, 2011 2:54:30 PM

You aren't going to make the Q6600 more capable than the i7. You can add more RAM (to the max for your mobo) and the beefier video card, but it will still a Q6600 rig (and yes a future bottleneck). Personally, I would keep the PC and upgrade it to an i5/i7 rig. Up to you, really no wrong answer here.
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a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2011 5:22:53 PM

No, the Imac WILL perform worse than a HD 5850 with a 3Ghz Q6600.
The 6970m(Slower than a HD 6850) vs the HD 5850 (HD 6870 level performance), will get you a lot better FPS than an i7 ever will.

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a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2011 6:47:58 PM

COLGeek said:
You aren't going to make the Q6600 more capable than the i7. You can add more RAM (to the max for your mobo) and the beefier video card, but it will still a Q6600 rig (and yes a future bottleneck). Personally, I would keep the PC and upgrade it to an i5/i7 rig. Up to you, really no wrong answer here.


An i7 is a faster processor than the Q6600, but that's not going to make nearly as much of an impact on gaming performance as your GPU. You get identical framerates with any decent OC'ed quad core processor. People that make the argument "processor bottleneck" often don't understand what they mean, it's just based on "I have a very modern GPU and a somewhat modern CPU so that must be bad". Until you have a LOT of graphics horsepower, a Q6600 OC'ed is not going to hold you back in gaming. Check benchmarks for various titles comparing CPU performance and you'll see what I mean. The 5850 performs slightly better than the 6970M. See the TH GPU heirarchy:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

You're going to get ball park the same performance out of either machine right now (similar framerates equating to roughly the same gaming experience). If you have any interest in making piece-meal GPU or other upgrades, keep your gaming rig and it will outlast the mac. If you'd rather stick with just one machine, get a little cash back out of your Q6600 rig, and then just upgrade to a new build altogether when your mac isn't cutting it anymore then that's a good option, too.
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