A Gaming Dilemma

Discussion in 'Games' started by job, May 13, 2003.

  1. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    #1
    Even though I retired from these forums, I've decided to post this here, as I regard the advice from the users here as some of the highest.

    My situation: By the end of June, I should have close to $1200~1300. I currently have an iMacDV (400Mhz, 512MB RAM, 8MB Rage 128). I could use my iMac for a few more years, since all I do is word processing, iTunes stuff, and DVD watching. But I really want to play games again. I have several games (MOH:AA, RtCW, WC3, Undying, etc.) which really tax my iMac. Most of those games don't even run under OS X and I have to boot into OS 9.

    My dilemma: I want to play a lot of games this summer.

    My choices:

    1. I had considered picking up a new 1Ghz eMac with 1GB of RAM. I'm not a power user and MOH:AA and RtCW should run fairly well on the above speced eMac. My iMac is getting a bit long in the tooth and I need a new comp...but...

    2. I am also going to purchase a Gamecube, mostly since several of my friends have one and I would like to play Metroid and Enter the Matrix. I could still be within my budget and get both the eMac and Gamecube....however....

    3. I have considered not purchasing the eMac at all and picking up a cheapo PC tower from Walmart. I was looking at this one for roughly $500:

    Obviously I would get some extra cheapo, knockoff RAM, replace the HD, and get a Geforce or Radeon card. I'm not looking to build the ultimate gaming rig here. I only working with a budget of $1000, the other $200~300 will go to taxes, RAM, add-ons, etc. I also don't have a monitor for the PC either. I don't have any PC games as all of my games are for the Mac. I know I can get 2*512MB PC133 DIMMS from Compusa for about $70 each, so upgrading the RAM in the eMac won't be as expensive. Remember, any new Mac offered by Apple will kick my old iMac into the dust. I'm also not planning on the eMac or even the tower running Doom3. My motivation for the PC tower is just a few games, like HL2. I could see myself using the eMac several years down the road though, as it would be a fine all-round computer.

    So, again my options are:

    1. 1Ghz eMac with a 1GB of RAM, Airport Extreme, and stand + Gamecube.

    or

    2. Above quoted tower with 1GB of RAM, a Radeon or Geforce card + Gamecube.

    Please help me decide! Also, would the tower plus a GFX card and more RAM be as expensive as the eMac?

    Also, I don't want to hear, "get a <insert alternate console here>" statement. I've already decided on a GC.
     
  2. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #2
    The whole setup will change once the 970s come out, if they do at WWDC your in luck and apple might drop prices, BUT if they aren't intill fall you are quite screwed.
     
  3. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #3
    I was expecting a "watch out for the 970s" post as well.

    In all honesty, I won't have enough money for a new 970 tower, even though I'd like one. Also, I don't actually need the raw computing power of the 970. All I want is a decent upgrade from my (almost) 5 year old iMac, which I will still use as a iTunes jukebox. I don't care if Apple releases the 970s the day after I get my new computer, since the eMac will be wonderful for what I plan to do with it.

    In essence, I want an immediate gratification gaming fix, future hardware and innovations be damned. ;)
     
  4. icetraxxg5 macrumors 6502

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  5. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #5
    Thanks for the offer, but no. ;)
     
  6. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #6
    Um, I know that there is no way in hell you would get a 970, if you read the post... I guess you interperated it the wrong way.

    1000 isn't gonna get you the 970. I said after it is released the eMac price would go down, but because you want it over the summer... it is a delima.
     
  7. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #7
    I know.

    I will have close to $1400, which may be enough to get a base-line 970 tower, if the pricing stays the same.

    Heck, even G4 based tower like the dual 1.25s will come down in price, but I don't really care. They will still be over $1000 and I don't want to blow all of my money on a-just-gone-obsolete tower. The eMac will serve my purposes fine until I go to college.
     
  8. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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  9. mattmack macrumors 6502a

    mattmack

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    #9
    Since you have mac games you might stick with a mac. If you are planning on purchasing all new games the pc looks tempting. I personally wouldn't use an eMac for gaming because of the limitations of the video card. I currently use a G4 dual 450 with an ATI 8500 and am very satisfied with its capabilities for now. If you are going to play newer games (UT 2003) you are going to need soeting more than the imac.
    Since you are going to be paying $30 to $50 for each new pc game it will run up total spending quite a bit.
    If you are near an Apple store or CompUSA you might want to test an emac on the games you want to play and see if you like it.
     
  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #10
    In all honesty...I'd have to say go with the PC :eek: It will be a great games machine by the time u have upgraded the video card and memory, and word processing etc will be a breeze (although you will have to find a windows alternative to iTunes).
     
  11. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

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    #11
    I'd have to go with the Cheapo PC, too. Buying a Mac just for gaming seems like a big waste of money.
     
  12. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #12
    Although you MAY have some problems with the onboard video and the Geforce. There are a lot of cheapo pcs out there that have motherboards that aren't able to disable the onboard graphics, which counts as AGP video, or they just don't have an AGP slot (since it's a budget board and video is already onboard). Therefore you wouldn't be able to upgrade to a Geforce or Radeon.

    I would suggest that you find out what the motherboard configuration is if you're buying that pc or else you might be very sorry. If the pc doesn't have any of these problems, go get it and a radeon 9500 and you should be fine :).
     
  13. mim macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I've had this same dilema! (i'm sure it's not a common problem..)

    I bought a gamecube. It's great. I know quite a few people treat it as a kiddy machine - but there are some fantastic games for it - I just got Resident Evil 0 for example - it's like watching a movie.

    Now I don't really want another pc ever again - but I want to play Homeworlds 2 when it comes out. There is no way I want to miss that.

    I'm keeping the cube for the flashy graphic games. It's pretty fun already having my sis and a load of friends around to play Eternal Darkenss for example. It's robust and portable. And the games look very sweet.

    I've got the powerbook for a computer (saving for a new one!).

    I'm going to buy a pc motherboard with built in sound & graphics, get a huge drive a little bit of ram, and a 802.11g adaptor. I'm going to put all this in an old VCR case and stick it under the telly. I'm going to use it mainly as a massive wireless hd for the laptop. The built in graphics will suffice for the games I want to play on it - mostly strategy type things because there aren't available on the 'cube. If the graphics suck (but I doubt they will - it takes most games a year or 2 to catch up with just released graphic card hardware....) I'll just buy whatever, cut a slot in the VCR case, and stick it in.

    Last time I built few PC's I was pretty suprised at how cheap you could get one for if you don't buy bleeding edge quality components and assemble it yourself. Just treat it as a home server. Get your emac. You know it will be better for doing computer stuff. If you need massive graphical games (the graphics don't matter so much to me these days - I like games that actually have some 'game play') then get a Gamecube.

    a.
     
  14. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #14
    if you wanna play games get a pc or a console. go check out e3's new games that were announced today. i think i may get a gamecube just for the revamped metal gear. as well as mario kart and ninja turtles and metroid prime 2.

    iJon
     
  15. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #15
    Definitely the PC. I also recommend buying the PC off eBay instead of at Walmart, or any other store. eBay has GREAT PC prices.

    My PC (2.4 GHz p4) kicks major ass in games (and basically everything else). It just sounds to me like a PC would be better for you.
     
  16. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #16
    Ironically enough, I had not thought of that at all.

    I may go to the Houston Apple store this weekend and try that out.

    Re PC purchase: I have no PC games whatsoever, compared to the 30+ games I have for the Mac. Would it still make sense for me to get the PC tower? I'd like to play HL2, and I'm sure Halo will play better on that than on an eMac, just my lack of PC games forces the issue of money. By upgrading the video card and memory and purchasing several AAA game titles, will I still be around $999 (i.e. the cost of an eMac)?

    Like I said, this purchase is going to be geared for games. The reason why I considered getting the eMac is because even after it has outlived its gaming usefulness, I could still use it as my general purpose computer.
     
  17. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #17
    I have a 700 eMac for a general purpose machine, it's a good little computer, the screen is particularly nice for a CRT, and for the WP, DVD and iTunes work you describe it's very capable. I play some games on it, mainly Quake 3, UT, MYTHm Myst etc, and it handles them perfectly well. The recent price drops and increases in speed and capacity have made the eMac a real nice deal for the price.

    Sure, the PC would outperform it in the games area, and in most other heavy-use areas I should imagine, but eventually you're left with a windoze machine and not a mac. I personally don't use Macs just for performance, I use them because I appreciate the design ethic, the integration of hardware and software and the fact I don't have to re-install the OS every few months;)

    I think the PC/Mac argument is largely redundent, if you treat a computer as a tool only, get the PC, if you want a machine that will become naturally part of your life get the mac.

    Waiting for the next big thing is a mugs game, I bought an iPod in Feb, the fact that the new ones have arrived disturbs me not at all, I've been using it for 4 months and it's fantastic... Moral: get the machine, use the machine, upgrade it when it won't do the stuff you need to do anymore.

    Remember you can only play one game at once, having 50+ games on the shelf doesn't give you the hours in the day to play the damn things.

    Hope this helps:D
     
  18. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Since you have all those Mac games I would wait til WWDC and see if the 970 comes out. Then the prices for the SP 1 Ghz Tower should drop a lot at which point that would make for a pretty nice gaming rig for hopefully < 1k. DP is unnecessary since most games don't know the second processor is there (as far as I know). The PM is much more capable for gaming IMO since you can easily upgrade the video card if you choose. You can also pick up a 17" CRT somewhere for pretty cheap now. Thats my opinion.
     
  19. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #19
    Well, Job -

    Call me stupid if you will...

    ...but if there are so many decent games out there at the moment for the Mac, and the 970 isn't even OUT yet (and you'll have a maximum of about $1400 to splash out on your purchase), why don't you just aim for a decent G4 Tower system?

    It doesn't even have to be that grunty - since the whole G4 Tower computer is modular (i.e. you can replace the CPU and graphics card as if it were made out of LEGO...).

    Therefore, I suggest that you look for a nice low-end Tower with a fast bus speed. At least you'll have a fairly futureproofed system, and you'll be able to pick up the many upgrades from 3rd party vendors, or even eBay.

    Logic suggests that the current games available for the Mac are only limited by the technology available at the moment. By buying the basic version of a Tower, you'll easily be able to keep up with the play for many years to come (as long as you don't mind upgrading certain bits and pieces as time goes on...).

    ;)
     
  20. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #20
    I have thought of that option. ;) :p

    Like a previous user stated, if the 970s are released this summer, bone stock G4 towers (like the 1Ghz baseline) should be available for around $1000.

    My only issue here is that I don't want to spend over $1200 for the computer. I'm rebuilding an old car which is taking up most of my time and cash. If the G4 towers drop in price (i.e. 30-35% off before WWDC to clear inventory) I might seriously consider purchasing one.

    But as it stands, the 970 rumors are exactly that. Rumors. I'm looking at my current concrete options here, not possible "what-ifs." If the 970s are released, and the G4 towers drop in price, I'll get back to you. ;)
     
  21. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

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    #21
    On a slightly related tangent, does anyone know any good on-line retailers for refurb towers?

    I've checked powermax.com and smalldog.com, but their prices and refurb tower stock don't seem that great.

    The only place I've seen towers aggresively priced has been the online Apple.com refurb section. There was a 1Ghz tower there for $1299 today. Not sure which one, but it's at a nice price point.
     
  22. Frozone macrumors 6502

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    #22
    If I were you I would buy the Gamecube first which should keep you perfectly happy until WWDC. Then wait until WWDC comes to see if the 970's rumors turn out to be more. If they do then prices should go down and you'll be happy that you waited. If they don't then just go out and buy your eMac. But the PC shouldn't really be necessary since most of the top games are for the Mac and because you really don't sound like a Hardcore gamer.
     
  23. mattmack macrumors 6502a

    mattmack

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    #23
    I would check ebay. if you know what you are looking for it can be had relativley cheaply providing you are patient. There are always some boneheads that will pay $1000 for a system like mine which is probably worth about $700. The resellers of computers I don't like they tend to overcharge for outdated equipment. (they need to make a profit I guess and there's a sucker born every minute to keep them in business)

    PS my system is a Dual G4 450 with 768mb of ram and an ATI 8500 with 64 mb of ram
     
  24. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

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    #24
    If it was me there would be no question, get the PC. You can sell your mac games on ebay of at electronics boutique. There are many more PC games out there and like you said you have a perfectly fine mac for everything else. Just use the PC for games, dont even use it for the internet or especially Kazza. You can save a **** load of money and have better games. Plus the two button mouse essential for gaming.
     
  25. PaisanoMan macrumors member

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    Jan 26, 2003
    #25
    A quick note about x86 hardware

    If you do go the route of the PC (and if you're in it just for the games, I think it's the best idea), please buy some quality parts -- and I don't mean Dell or Compaq.

    Or, if you buy the really cheapo stuff, don't come whining back to us. :)

    Just like you get what you pay for with a Mac (love my PowerBook!), you get what you pay for with commodity PC hardware. There is[/] a difference; do some homework before you buy.

    Keeping your budget in mind, allocate money according to what's most important to you (video performance, audio quality, noise level, desktop/floor real estate, longevity) and go hog wild.
     

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