Best Mac for gaming/WoW?

90 Human Paladin
8795
I'm finally getting ready to pitch my last Windows machine (yay!) and replace it with a Mac. What is the best possible Mac setup for gaming?
- iMac?
- Macbook Pro?
- Mac Mini?

Cost is not relevant, just need to know the best gaming setup.

Thanks in advance!
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85 Human Death Knight
5360
What would be a comfortable way of gaming for you? for WOW, all the recent models are good enough. You should stop by the apple store and experience the machines that best matches your environment.

I personally prefer a big screen, external good mouse and keyboard.

(e.g. a Retina macbook pro might be good but if you game only at desk, you want to connect to a bigger screen, then you have cables and clutters...)
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
16460
I wouldn't buy a mac for WoW until the low fps problem gets fixed. Macs with more than enough power to run the game at ultra/high can barely run it at low with 20 fps.
Edited by Marc on 1/31/2013 7:53 AM PST
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90 Worgen Death Knight
5530
Personally I'd say go with the Pro, you can run dual monitors (28in widescreen ftw) and it doesn't take up so much space. I have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse so that problem is non-existent.

I have an iMac too and the huge screen is great for raids but multitasking is right out with that. With the price of monitors and peripherals they probably will end up costing about the same too.
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90 Human Paladin
8795
01/31/2013 07:53 AMPosted by Marc
I wouldn't buy a mac for WoW until the low fps problem gets fixed. Macs with more than enough power to run the game at ultra/high can barely run it at low with 20 fps.

Holy crap, is that seriously still a problem? I ran into that with my old 2010 Macbook Pro with top of the line specs. Couldn't understand why fps was terrible despite having specs way over minimum. Ugh.

Great responses so far. Right now I'm leaning to maxed out 27" iMac with Thunderbolt secondary monitor. I heard a new Mac Pro is due out this year though with revamped specs. Dunno if I have the patience to wait!
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90 Human Warrior
12490
I have a 2012 27" iMac and I love it for playing WoW. The screen is excellent and it has a great framerate at high settings. I usually don't turn it up to ultra, but it will run it fine. There are certainly fewer top end games for macs though, be aware of that. If you are a gamer that likes to game hop its not really a good choice.
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01/31/2013 07:53 AMPosted by Marc
I wouldn't buy a mac for WoW until the low fps problem gets fixed. Macs with more than enough power to run the game at ultra/high can barely run it at low with 20 fps.


This is news. 27" iMac, 680MX, everything at Ultra (couple things at High cause I'm too lazy to change settings) and am *always* at 55fps (capped) in heroic 10s. So...um... what about macs having low fps problems?
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90 Night Elf Hunter
2190
01/31/2013 07:53 AMPosted by Marc
I wouldn't buy a mac for WoW until the low fps problem gets fixed. Macs with more than enough power to run the game at ultra/high can barely run it at low with 20 fps.


This is news to me also. In fact, I run an early 2009 MacBook Pro with 8gb ram, at "Fair" settings across the board and consistently get 35-40 FPS depending on where I am.
Admittedly I'm down around 20-25 if I'm sitting at the Stormwind Bank, but I'm not experiencing the "low fps problem" you are referring to.

**Edit**
I was searching around for where I found the settings I use, and thought I'd re-post the portion that applied to me.

The following comes from a post here on battle.net but the system won't let me link directly to it.
(You can search for "The World of Warcraft Performance Guide For Macs - Updated 03/21/2012" and find the entire post)

Pay attention to the last part at the bottom about settings on your MAC, that are not part of the WoW client Settings!


2009 13-inch Unibody Macbook Pro with nVidia 9400m Integrated Graphics

Graphics > Display

Multisampling: 1x

Vertical Sync: Disabled

Graphics > Graphics

Graphics Slider: Low

Texture Resolution: Good

Texture Filtering: Bilinear

Projected Textures: Enabled

View Distance: Fair

Environmental Detail: Fair

Ground Clutter: Low

Shadow Quality: Low

Liquid Detail: Low

Sunshafts: Disabled

Particle Density: Low

Advanced

Triple Buffering; Disabled

Reduce Input Lag: Disabled

Hardware Cursor: Enabled

Notes: Expect 25-30fps.

Notes: Make sure to enable "Higher Performance" under "Video" in OS X's Energy Saver prefs to turn on the 9400m. Uses Integrated Graphics otherwise.


As an additional Note: If you reset the SMC (System Management Controller) on youyr MAC, it seems that the above MAC setting gets reset to "Energy Saver" performance, and your FPS will drop dramatically, in the range of 50% or more.

*Edit to add additional information for mac users**
Edited by Vyrus on 2/15/2013 11:03 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Warrior
11175
- iMac?
- Macbook Pro?
- Mac Mini?


Any of the iMacs will run WoW just fine. High or Ultra settings I'd recommend the 27" for its graphics processor.

The MacBook Pro 15" uses a dedicated graphics processor; This is also recommended.

The MacBook Pro 13", the MacBook Air, and the Mac Mini use an Intel HD 4000. Their graphics processors are shared memory, and I wouldn't recommend going past medium or fair settings for optimal framerate.
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90 Orc Rogue
0
01/31/2013 05:17 AMPosted by Romavictor
What is the best possible Mac setup for gaming?


You asked what the best possible Mac is for gaming, and the answer is a Mac Pro. With an ATi Radeon 5870 card.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
7675
02/20/2013 01:00 AMPosted by Eitheriol
You asked what the best possible Mac is for gaming, and the answer is a Mac Pro. With an ATi Radeon 5870 card.

Mac Pro is so old though. No USB 3, no Thunderbolt, old Nehalem microarchitecture. If they are going to be refreshed i'd likely be around march.

I'd just get an iMac with the GTX 680 MX and be happy.
Edited by Dwarftude on 2/20/2013 8:13 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Mage
2515
I'm running WOW on a 2012 MacBook Pro 13" with 4GB of RAM and the Intel HD4000 graphics. It seems to run really well aside from the bottom being hot after hours of playing. I run the game at good settings and usually get 30-40 FPS. I recommend the MacBook Pro.
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83 Human Warlock
1560
01/31/2013 07:53 AMPosted by Marc
I wouldn't buy a mac for WoW until the low fps problem gets fixed. Macs with more than enough power to run the game at ultra/high can barely run it at low with 20 fps.


I'm finally getting ready to pitch my last Windows machine (yay!) and replace it with a Mac. What is the best possible Mac setup for gaming?
- iMac?
- Macbook Pro?
- Mac Mini?

Cost is not relevant, just need to know the best gaming setup.

Thanks in advance!


I run it on a mac mini 2012 model with 16 gigs of RAM and the HD 4000 chip. Runs well. The system gets hot, but if you limit your FPS to 40, you can drop the heat about 15C.
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90 Troll Warlock
7210
if you decide to go for iMac, make sure you buy 27 inch as they still allow you to upgrade RAM by yourself while 21 inch imac just have it sealed off.

I am happy to see price on those iMac get low every year. I do remember when I bought my 2007 iMac 20 inch for $2400
at same price, I can easily get current iMac that will outperform my iMac by 8-10 time plus sport 27 inch monitor instead 20 inch
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
19010
02/23/2013 12:40 PMPosted by Nijenza
if you decide to go for iMac, make sure you buy 27 inch as they still allow you to upgrade RAM by yourself while 21 inch imac just have it sealed off.

and BTO a 680MX in it, that's biggest thing you can do by far. the lower end graphics offerings are so much weaker. You really want to get the high end vid card if gaming is goal. Or just wait for haswell this summer if you can endure about 4-6 more months since it's a big intel jump cycle.
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