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Old Dec 24, 2012, 07:02 PM   #1
Mark1478
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Build me an iMac please :)

Hi guys. Thinking of buying myself an Imac. Returning to school changing careers and I love the apples ecosystem. I'm not as familiar with macs as I am with PCs so little help.
Thinking 27 but 21 is also an option. Primary use is for school,Surfing web, itunes with a lossless library and I would like to very occasionally game in it. Maybe give diablo a shot or Warcraft. Obviously looking long haul 4-5-6 years since paying for school and a mortgage on a bartenders salary could be tough.
Thanks in advance
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 07:06 PM   #2
kaellar
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Hi guys. Thinking of buying myself an Imac. Returning to school changing careers and I love the apples ecosystem. I'm not as familiar with macs as I am with PCs so little help.
Thinking 27 but 21 is also an option. Primary use is for school,Surfing web, itunes with a lossless library and I would like to very occasionally game in it. Maybe give diablo a shot or Warcraft. Obviously looking long haul 4-5-6 years since paying for school and a mortgage on a bartenders salary could be tough.
Thanks in advance
Hey dude! If you're only occasional casual gamer, I do think 675mx would be enough for you and there's no need in 680mx option. In fact, in your case I would just go with the 1999$ model plus fusion drive. That would be more than enough IMO. Good luck!
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 07:12 PM   #3
ChristianJapan
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what do you mean with "build" ... do you mean choose a configuration or plan something called "hackintosh" ?

If you have right now a PC how about get a Mac Mini which would save you quite some money (with maybe a bit downside on game performance). You can reuse keyboard, mouse and monitor (of not too old).
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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a Mac Mini which would save you quite some money (with maybe a bit downside on game performance).
A bit?
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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I have an old 17 laptop connected to an external. It's ok I guess, I plan on using my ipad with a keyboard for school and lectures and an imac or Mac mini as my main, sell or gift my laptop to my lil bro. The Mac mini is intriguing but I do want to game a lil on it. The old Warcraft game and def check out diablo and any future games that may come out.

When I say build I meant configure. For my purposes (school, light gaming) future proof say 5-7 years. I5 or I7... Fusion drive? Graphics card etc. 21 or 27? I'm not computer dumb but km not very savy either.

Appreciate all the advice and merry Xmas
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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5-7 years is a really really long time to plan to own a computer. With these Macs and their resell value you will often do better by planning to sell and replace after about 3 years.

If you do plan to own it that long, and you would like the future equivalents of WoW and Diablo 3 to load, I'd have a hard time recommending any less than the system I just bought (27", 680MX, 1TB fusion). If you take gaming out of the equation, for your other purposes the 21" 650M model would suit you fine. - again suggesting 1 TB Fusion, and I'd consider the Apple RAM upgrade on that one since its a royal pain in the apple to add it later on the 21". (Simple to add later on 27".)

If you consider a 3 year cycle, for your gaming choices the 27" 675MX should be fine. Fusion would be a nice boost, but you could probably talk yourself out of it.

Under no circumstances would I get an i7 in your situation.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:42 PM   #7
ChristianJapan
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Ok, what is the budget ?

Talking about 5 to 7 years I would max out with all memory and graphic power around. But you talked also about other expenses you have to carry. And believe me, in three years you want something complete new ... So spend now a bit less and support your life and save for a shorter replacement cycle.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 10:51 PM   #8
Mark1478
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So the 675 would be fine for minor gaming? And the fusion drive? I understand the premise of it I guess but what performance boosts would I see? I get the three year shelf life idea and your prob right.
Another option I was thinking is getting an older refurbed imac. Good idea?
U guys are awesome. If any of u are in NJ drinks at my bar for free
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 11:02 PM   #9
monkeybagel
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Originally Posted by Mark1478 View Post
Hi guys. Thinking of buying myself an Imac. Returning to school changing careers and I love the apples ecosystem. I'm not as familiar with macs as I am with PCs so little help.
Thinking 27 but 21 is also an option. Primary use is for school,Surfing web, itunes with a lossless library and I would like to very occasionally game in it. Maybe give diablo a shot or Warcraft. Obviously looking long haul 4-5-6 years since paying for school and a mortgage on a bartenders salary could be tough.
Thanks in advance
Don't forget you will need to at least get an external optical drive of some sort for your music collection since Apple sillily dropped it on almost all current models.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 11:11 PM   #10
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For your uses I'd actually recommend the 21.5 inch base iMac. The GT 640M in it seems to fair reasonably well in low to medium end games at Notebookcheck. (Scroll down to the bottom of the list to see all the game benchmarks.) This isn't the system to go for if you're wanting to play games at native resolution on highest settings though.

The 27 inch model is quite luxurious though with its large display, if you were to go for it I'd recommend the i5 3.2GHz, GTX 680MX (it's only a little more and it's a substantial improvement over the GTX 675MX) and 1 TB Fusion Drive.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 02:41 AM   #11
Arman
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Originally Posted by Mark1478 View Post
Hi guys. Thinking of buying myself an Imac. Returning to school changing careers and I love the apples ecosystem. I'm not as familiar with macs as I am with PCs so little help.
Thinking 27 but 21 is also an option. Primary use is for school,Surfing web, itunes with a lossless library and I would like to very occasionally game in it. Maybe give diablo a shot or Warcraft. Obviously looking long haul 4-5-6 years since paying for school and a mortgage on a bartenders salary could be tough.
Thanks in advance
My advice would be to not buy an iMac. From the small information you have given me I think you should either get a Mac mini or take some initiative and build a Hackintosh. With your financial burden and uncertainty, that extra $1000 in expense could go a long way.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:50 AM   #12
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So the 675 would be fine for minor gaming? And the fusion drive? I understand the premise of it I guess but what performance boosts would I see? I get the three year shelf life idea and your prob right.
Another option I was thinking is getting an older refurbed imac. Good idea?
U guys are awesome. If any of u are in NJ drinks at my bar for free
Depends on what you mean by "minor". WoW and D3 purposely built for a lower common denominator and the 675MX would handle them extremely well. StarCraft II on the other hand is a little more demanding.. the 675MX would handle it fine now, but Blizzard has a tendency to release patches that gradually raise the minimum/recommended specs and it's possible that on a game like StarCraft II (and even more likely some non-Blizzard games) the 675MX could be eclipsed and banished to "low" settings before you're ready to give it up.

If you can find a refurb 2011 27" with the 6970m 2GB, it's not a bad option. But the 2GB VRAM was a BTO option and hard to find in refurb. The 1GB VRAM stock model kinda chokes a bit at native res.

.. so where in NJ? I'm in Monmouth County.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:23 PM   #13
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Depends on what you mean by "minor". WoW and D3 purposely built for a lower common denominator and the 675MX would handle them extremely well. StarCraft II on the other hand is a little more demanding.. the 675MX would handle it fine now, but Blizzard has a tendency to release patches that gradually raise the minimum/recommended specs and it's possible that on a game like StarCraft II (and even more likely some non-Blizzard games) the 675MX could be eclipsed and banished to "low" settings before you're ready to give it up.

If you can find a refurb 2011 27" with the 6970m 2GB, it's not a bad option. But the 2GB VRAM was a BTO option and hard to find in refurb. The 1GB VRAM stock model kinda chokes a bit at native res.

.. so where in NJ? I'm in Monmouth County.
I'm in Morris county, morristown . U seem to know your stuff. If I went with the 21.5 2012 would that be a decent gamer? Excuse my ignorance with this and appreciate your help
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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Get a 27". Go big or go home.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 07:51 PM   #15
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I'm in Morris county, morristown . U seem to know your stuff. If I went with the 21.5 2012 would that be a decent gamer? Excuse my ignorance with this and appreciate your help
If you look at the link in my earlier post you'll get an idea of how the GT 640M in the low end 21.5 inch iMac will perform in a variety of games. It's not a powerful GPU, but should do just fine in games that aren't too graphically demanding -- CoDMW2, Diablo 3, etc.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 04:03 AM   #16
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Primary use is for school,Surfing web, itunes with a lossless library and I would like to very occasionally game in it.
Get the base line 21.5, it will do just fine and you can replace it with a new machine a bit earlier instead. Or go with the high end 21.5 with the additional Fusion Drive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SzJ0...yaiNDA&index=7

Side note for the high end 27":
Aiming for the 680MX in the high end 27" is a waste of money, I wasted it and now I regret it. I thought upgrading the GPU in this years iMac would make a difference but I was wrong. The BTO-GPU in the high end iMac has *never* given you any noticeable speed increase, it has always been a waste of money, at least when it comes to gaming.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:14 AM   #17
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I'm in Morris county, morristown . U seem to know your stuff. If I went with the 21.5 2012 would that be a decent gamer? Excuse my ignorance with this and appreciate your help
Ha.. I don't get to Morristown much. Mainly for Dreamation.

Roughly speaking, here's how I would rank the models if you want to play with good settings at native resolutions:
1. 27" BTO 680MX
2. 27" 675MX
3. 21.5" 650M
4. 27" 660M
5. 21.5" 640M

There's a bit of a drop from each level to the next. But the top 21.5" model would be sufficient at running most games at mostly medium settings for at least a couple years.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:49 PM   #18
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Cool

i would strongly recommend not building a hackingtosh. i have been using / building (fixing) my old hackingtosh for around 4 years. where it can be a money saver. you will spend a week sourcing the parts you want to use if your looking for high specks.

you will need a strong understanding in the components your have picked and how os x works. their are lots of config guides and how to guides if you use one stick to it letter by letter finally you will always run the risk of apple killing it on the next update they releases (this happened every time to me)

i would only recommend hackingtoshes for a bit of fun or if you like the hard core geek challenge.

if i was you i would buy the most expensive mac you can should last you a long time, the build quality is second to non i have a 6 year old macbook pro that just died a few months ago and you can always sell it in 2 years get most of your money back then buy the latest and greatest.
(don't forget educational discount )
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:37 PM   #19
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5-7 years is a really really long time to plan to own a computer. With these Macs and their resell value you will often do better by planning to sell and replace after about 3 years...
Just how easy is it really to sell these macs? A few years ago Apple stuff was more special/rare, and a lot of people hadn't yet figured out that you could sell your expensive Apple computers/laptops at a good value. At least here in Norway it seems difficult to sell off your Mac these days. Looking at Norwegian websites for used articles, there are hundreds and hundreds of ads with used macbooks etc. The people I know always buy new stuff anyway. Apple hardware isn't as elite as it used to be, it's much more mainstream. Still if you could sell off your Apple stuff at a good price every third year, good for you. If I were to sell my mac stuff, I would suspect I'd have to offer it at a rather low price to get rid off it.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:56 PM   #20
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Just how easy is it really to sell these macs? A few years ago Apple stuff was more special/rare, and a lot of people hadn't yet figured out that you could sell your expensive Apple computers/laptops at a good value. At least here in Norway it seems difficult to sell off your Mac these days. Looking at Norwegian websites for used articles, there are hundreds and hundreds of ads with used macbooks etc. The people I know always buy new stuff anyway. Apple hardware isn't as elite as it used to be, it's much more mainstream. Still if you could sell off your Apple stuff at a good price every third year, good for you. If I were to sell my mac stuff, I would suspect I'd have to offer it at a rather low price to get rid off it.
My broken 2007 iMac is on eBay right now with multiple bids. It might clear $400 by the time it's done. Paid $1700 (I think) new. Stuff still sells.
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