Gaming, GPU Performance on 2011 iMac

iMac’s have been upgraded with much anticipated Sandy Bridge processors, Intel Thunderbolt and a switch from Nvidia to AMD graphics processors.

The upgrade beings significant jump in gaming performance making iMacs capable of handling all the lastest games smoothly. The 21.5” iMac comes in AMD 6750M and 6770M, while the 27” model adds a 6970M GPU. 27” iMac can push out 2560×1440 resolution display.

Here are some benchmarks which would give you some idea of the capabilities of these Apple desktops. Checkout raw specs of the AMD Radeon 6750M6770M and 6970M GPUs.

iMac 2011 Benchmark

Graphics Card 6750M 6770M 6970M
Core Speed 600 MHz 725 MHz 680 MHz
Shader Speed 600 MHz 725 MHz 680 MHz
Memory Speed 900 MHz 1600 MHz 900 MHz
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Amount 1024 MB 1024 MB 2048 MB
Pipelines 480 480 960
DirectX Support DirectX 11 DirectX 11 DirectX 11

Gaming Performance

If you are a hard core Gamer, don’t look out for 6750M or 6770M.  But the Radeon 6970M with 2GB of DDR5 RAM, handles almost any games quite easily. However, if you play them in 2560×1400 resolution, performance would suffer. If you stick the upper limit to 1920×1080, you would be happy with the performance even with high detail in just about any modern game.

Radeon 6750M

The weakest of these Radeon GPUs is best suited to running games with basic OpenGL games. If you plan to play latest games, you would have to stick with low detail settings. At 1280×800, StarCraft II and FIFA 2011 can give out 100 fps. With High settings most games deliver below 30fps at 1920×1080 with 16x anti-aliasing. Crysis 2 and Metro 2033 each slow to a 12fps crawl on ultra settings.

Radeon 6770M

With the higher clock speeds, it can deliver better performance than 6750M. At a resolution of 1360×768, several games like  StarCraft II, DIRT 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are playable at near 120fps.

Radeon 6970M

This is the one you want if you are serious about graphics. The 6970M sports double GDDR5 RAM at 2GB and stream processors at 960. At 1920×1080, Ultra settings, it was capable of give out 35fps in Crysis 2, 70fps in Black Ops and 58fps in StarCraft II. All these are decentnumber for a Core i7 Sandybridge.

Video Encoding Benchmark iMac 2011 vs 2010


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