Spec help

Mac Technical Support
Hi,
The specs on the system requirements page confuse me, because they don't match up to anything on the Apple website. If I bought a basic 27' iMac today, would it be good enough to run the game, or just be bare minimum? Do I need the full boat i7 processor $2500 iMac? Is that even good enough?

I have considered PC, but I don't like them. I have always had Macs, always been happy with them. And from what I can tell a PC with required gear will cost as much as a Mac anyway.
The basic 27" iMac with only a bump from 8 GB to 16 GB RAM will cost you $1999 + tax (~$2150 in most places). The reason you want to CTO more RAM now is because you won't be able to later. Apple's current design makes getting to the RAM next to impossible (you have to take the machine apart to do so, definitely voiding your applecare warranty).

The i7 CPU might (emphasis on might) see a slight boost vs. the i5 once WoW gets multithreading support put in, but it's almost certainly going to be at the "hardly perceptible" level. The higher clock is nice, especially in the short term or just to help the machine last longer, but at $300 more the markup is too great to justify ($300 is 80% of the cost of an i7 CPU of the type allowed in the CTO config in the box from Intel off the shelf anywhere else making this a ridiculous expenditure and why so many people disavow Apple's hardware sales tactics). I wish it wasn't the case with the huge markup because the jump in base speed is very noticeable (4.2 GHz base non-turbo vs. 3.5 GHz on the i5).

The 4 GB VRAM will hurt you long term sadly, because you're stuck with a 5k display. 4 GB VRAM is not enough to drive that display with more than a tiny smattering of bells and whistles turned on in games.

If you don't plan on ever going the eGPU route, budget for at least 16 GB RAM and as good a GPU as you can get in your new iMac because once you choose, it's set in stone. If you plan to go the eGPU route eventually, just get the bump to 16 GB RAM and enjoy, knowing that you'll be making tradeoffs for performance with an iMac running a 5k display with a barely better than mobile GPU inside.
Thank's.

So the next question. My current iMac is a mid 2011 with i7 3.4 ghz CPU. The game never ran great on this, but it ran well enough to raid, which ultimately was enough for me. It's been upgraded with an SSD. Currently it won't run WoW, non metal compatible. But is it worth looking into this eGPU for this machine? I looked up the CPU and it's faster than some of the i5's but I'm not sure that's enough.

Edit.
How much performance would I lose with a Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt 3 adapter?
eGPU either won't work (most likely) or will require insane hacking to do so (even more likely) on that machine. It's been made to work on TB2 with some pretty gnarly software trickery, but outside of native TB3, it isn't worth it. You're better off just getting a new machine. If you already have a good display and wish to keep it, you may want to consider your options carefully.

You could get the new Mini (get the upgraded model with CPU that can turbo) and go with an eGPU, or just get the iMac 27" and be done with it all in one fell swoop. There's no realistic way a 2011 iMac is going to run WoW unless you enjoy kernel extension hacking and toiling around with the command line, potentially having to do so after each and every OS update.

I assume you are currently running in boot camp to play WoW on that machine?
No, I'm not running the game at all. I was able to put the SSD in myself, but beyond that I don't have the knowledge to do the things that you mentioned.

So I have to decide on a new Mac, or just be done with the game.

Thanks for your help.
Hi,
The specs on the system requirements page confuse me, because they don't match up to anything on the Apple website. If I bought a basic 27' iMac today, would it be good enough to run the game, or just be bare minimum? Do I need the full boat i7 processor $2500 iMac? Is that even good enough?

I have considered PC, but I don't like them. I have always had Macs, always been happy with them. And from what I can tell a PC with required gear will cost as much as a Mac anyway.


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