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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

GAME SHOOTOUT:
27-inch iMac with GTX 680MX
versus other recent Macs

Originally posted Thursday, December 20th, 2012, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Okay all you gamers, now that we have the 27-inch 'late 2012' iMac with the GeForce GTX 680MX, we can show you how it compares to other IMacs -- including one "big dog," a 6-Core Mac Pro with a GeForce GTX 680 Classified (overclocked) GPU and 4G of VRAM.

GRAPH LEGEND
MP 3.3 G68C = 'mid 2010' Mac Pro 3.33GHz Hex-Core Westmere with GeForce GTX 680 Classified (4G VRAM), 27" LED Backlit Cinema display (2560x1440)
MP 3.3 = 'mid 2010' Mac Pro 3.33GHz Hex-Core Westmere with Radeon HD 5870 GPU (1G VRAM), 27" LED Backlit Cinema display (2560x1440)
iMac 3.4 '12 = 'late 2012' (27") iMac 3.4GHz Core i7 with GeForce GTX 680MX GPU (2G VRAM), built-in-27" LED backlit display (2560x1440)
rMBP 2.7 = 'mid 2012' (15") MacBook Pro 2.7GHz Quad-Core i7 with GeForce GT 650M GPU (1G VRAM), 27" LED backlit Thunderbolt display (2560x1440) with the lid shut
iMac 2.9 = 'late 2012' (21.5") iMac 2.9GHz Quad-Core i5 with GeForce GT 650M GPU (512M VRAM), built-in 21.5" LED backlit display (1920x1080)
mini 2.6 = 'late 2012' Mac mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 with Intel HD 4000 GPU (shares main memory), 27" LED backlit Thunderbolt display (2560x1440)

Though many gamers use Windows 7 in a Boot Camp partition, all the games we tested ran under OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2.

Blizzard World of Warcraft - Mists of Pandaria - We did our "Narache Village Totem to Tree to Totem Run" which tests GPU performance and used the Titan Panel Performance Addon to compute average frames per second. Settings were "ULTRA" preset. Resolution for the iMac was 1436 by 808. The Mac Pro, Mac mini, and rMBP were forced to run at a slightly higher 1456 by 820. (HIGHEST number indicates the best average FPS.)

Feral Interactive Dirt 2 - We ran the built-in benchmark where Travis Pastrana races seven copies of himself. SETTINGS include multisampling OFF, graphics_detail level ULTRA, shadows enabled, tessellation TRUE, dynamic_ambient_occ enabled, vehicles characterQuality="4." Resolution was 1344 by 756 for all Macs. (HIGHEST number equals the the best average FPS.)

Laminar Research X-Plane 10 - Run from Terminal app using this command line: ./X-Plane.app/Contents/MacOS/X-Plane --no_fbo_minify --fps_test=3003 --load_smo=Output/replays/p3.rep --pref:_prefs_found=1 --pref:_is_full_ALL=1 --pref:_x_res_full_ALL=1440 --pref:_y_res_full_ALL=900 --pref:_bpp_full_ALL=32. Our test was a replay of an F4 Phantom jet taking off and making a 180 degree turn. (HIGHEST number equals the the best average FPS.)

Steam Team Fortress 2 - The settings were Model/Texture/Shader Detail High, Water Detail = Reflect All, Shadow Detail High, Color Correction Enabled, Antialiasing = 4, Filtering mode = Anisotropic 8X, Wait for Vertical Sync Disabled, Motion Blur Enabled, Field of View = 75, Multicore Rendering Enabled. Resolution was 2560x1440. (HIGHEST number equals the the best average FPS.)

Feral Interactive Borderlands has a built-in benchmarking sequence. "High" Quality settings included MaxAnisotropy=4, MaxMultisamples=1, DetailMode=2, DynamicShadows=True, DynamicLights=True, DynamicDecals=True. Resolution was 2560x1440. (HIGHEST number equals the the best average FPS.)

IMPRESSED
In the five tests above, the
27-inch 'late 2012' iMac with the GeForce GTX 680MX beats all the Macs we put up against it.

The only exception was Diablo III which we didn't test in time to include in the graphs. At 2560x1440, High Quality settings, Anti-Aliasing=4, and Vsync OFF, the iMac 27" with the GTX 680MX averaged 60 FPS where we sampled. The Mac Pro with the GTX 680 Classified averaged 130 FPS. The Retina MacBook Pro struggled at 25 FPS.

MORE TO COME
We have done some added testing on various drives including two different Fusion Drives. And we have some info on heat and fan speeds when various apps are run on the 27" iMac. For other articles on the 2012 iMac 27" versus others, see our INDEX page.

BONUS FUN: See a YouTube video of a guy running X-Plane on three displays.

Thoughts? Questions? Contact
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WHERE TO BUY NEW APPLE PRODUCTS
Help us earn a commission by ordering your Apple products using this link:

For UK readers, visit Apple Store UK

WHERE TO BUY MEMORY UPGRADES FOR 2012 IMAC
Other World Computing has an upgrade kit for the 21.5" iMac. It requires disassembly but they provide the tools and the installation video. They also offer memory upgrade kits for the 27" iMac.

Check with Trans International for memory kits for most models of Mac.

MaxUpgrades has memory kits for various models of iMac.

WHERE TO BUY PHOTOSHOP OR OTHER ADOBE PRODUCTS
See all the Special Offers for Photoshop and other products from Adobe USA.

Live OUTSIDE the USA? Go to THIS LINK and pick your Country. Then pick the type of Adobe online store (Home, Business, or Education).

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copyright 2012 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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