A total turnaround for me, regarding Mac Q's

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Metoyou, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. Metoyou macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I've never really considered getting a Mac, I've always been a far too heavy gamer for that, and a stickler for some Windows-only programs -- but after reading a few things, browsing a few sites, checking a few benchmarks and such I'm finding myself falling in love with Macs a little.. They're so sleek and smooth, and so space efficient I also had a little play in a local store with them and I almost pee'd myself

    Admittedly I'm usually one of the one's who scream they're overpriced eye-candy but I'm also one not to bash much without actually trying something out -- therefore I am interested in purchasing a Mac, specifically the highest end, fully speced out iMac G5, but I have a few questions to see if it would suit me for my needs:

    a| I've heard that you can emulate Windows games on a Mac using a tool, is this tool actually any use and can I emulate a few games fairly well, specifically MMORPG's? And on the same note, do they play Mac-native games well?

    b| How long do Macs last before they become outdated? Does the technology advance very fast, so much so it'd be worth me waiting for the next version of the iMac before I purchase, does it make much difference?

    c| MSN Messenger for Mac, I've heard bad things about it, is it all true? Would I be forced to use the Web-based version, can I view and send webcam for instance..

    d| This is most likely taboo here, but I'll ask anyway and someone can tell me if it's against the rules so I can edit the post; how is the warez scene on the Mac, am I gonna have to buy all programs and games?

    e| Do I need to purchase all the memory from Apple or can I purchase my own for cheaper then insert it? Also on the same theme; Do Macs have any upgrade capability or is it a case of having to just buy the next version of the product?

    Okie I know there's a lot there, but I'd realllllly appreciate it if you could answer a couple of the questions, I'm looking to buy at the end of this month btw

    Oh yeah, can anyone link me to some really active and fairly big Mac Communities that I can ask at and get involved with?

    TIA <3

    (sorry about lack of emoticons, i copied this from a post i made at another forum ;o)
     
  2. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    a| The Windows emulator on a Mac is called Virtual PC, but it's kinda slow. Haven't used it on a G5 based system like the new iMac, but in my experience, it might just be quick enough to run MSN messenger (i.e. games, even role play games, probably not)

    b| There's usually a product update every 9 months or so, but there are lots of people out there still using the original blue iMac from 98 - Macs tend to last quite a long time. Realistically, if you want to be able to do all the latest stuff, you'd probably have to upgrade in 3 years.

    c| MSN messger works fine. It has some drawbacks - seems not to be able to cope with transfering files very well, and it won't do video or display any of the emoticons in the latest PC version. But there are also lots of other freeware chat programs, including Yahoo messenger, which does do video, and Apple's own iChat, which will talk to AOL instant messenger on PCs and, if you've got a suitably fat broadband connection, will do multiple simultaneous video and audio chats.

    d| There's a fair few filesharing and peer-to-peer programs, such as Limewire, and you could probably fine hooky software to your heart's content, if you know where to look. Personally, I own (nearly) all of mine, but hey.

    e| Memory you can get from anywhere, and is usually cheaper then getting it from Apple. Crucial is a good place in the UK. Upgrade wise, Apple's consumer products don't generally offer much scope for replacing parts, so you'd probably need to buy a whole new system. Having said that, in the PC world, it's games that drive the need for faster upgrades generally, so there's less pressure in Mac's where gaming isn't as big. If you're just using stuff like office, itunes, iphoto, and browsing the net, then any Mac up to about 4 years old will happily do all of this, and yours will do all of it for the next four years.

    Mac communities - this one is your best bet!
     
  3. andym172 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I'll try to answer a few of your questions :)

    a - if I were you I'd buy the iMac and have a pc for your games. I'm not much of a gamer, so can't really answer this for you...

    b - how long until the iMac will become outdated? Probably 2 years. How lon until it's too slow to use? Forever! :D We have quite a few Mac's in our office that are used everyday. One of the Quadra's is being replaced this weekend for a new iMac, so that's something like 15 years of hard use. Not bad, not bad at all...

    c - MSN Messenger isn't too bad on a Mac, but you're correct in thinking that Microsoft haven't allowed the use of a webcam yet. You won't want to use MSN after you've played with iChat though ;) You'll just have to get your mates to get AIM accounts.

    d - Hmm... ;) Erm, I do know of an app called Acquisition but have never used it. There's always bit-torrent if you're that way inclined...

    e - Don't purchase from Apple, go to a company like crucial.com but buy as much as you can afford - it's widely said that OS X loves RAM :)


    If you have a search around on the forum you'll find much better/more detailed answers :)
     
  4. toughboy macrumors 6502a

    toughboy

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Izmir, Turkey
    #4
    a) you can emulate programs with something called Virtual PC but I dont really recommend it, its better to play the games themselves.. there are alot of mac games these days, and a good G5 can run them seemlessly...

    b) late-outdating is one of the best things about mac.. there are friends of mine using 4-5 year old macs (iMac G3s) with maximized ram and running latest OS.. you cannot play games maybe, but you can manage rest of your life :)

    c) I use messenger and like it.. I havent heard about a problem with it.. if you want camera stuff that much, you can use a flawless program called iChat AV (it will support 4 person chatting at the same time soon)

    d) I dont care about taboos and etc, its piece of cake to find mac warez and stuff on web and from warez sellers to me.. try p2p, you'll find anything. Plus, because of the system of the Mac OS, you dont have to crack everything, most of the programs work just by dragging and dropping.. :)

    e) You can insert anytype of DDR rams or sdrams into your mac according to its ram-support.. new iMacs support DDR400s I guess.. I'm planning to buy one and max it by Kingston ram for example.. you can upgrade PowerMacs with everything except board and CPU.. harddrive, graphic card, ram etc.. iMac G5s can be upgraded with harddrive and ram.. graphics stuff is integrated if I'm not mistaken..

    Macs are good, really good. They were never eye-candy, never will be.. a "switcher" (a PC user buying a Mac) usually loves mac and never looks back (like me :D )
     
  5. Metoyou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Problem is, I'm actually a GM at Ragnarok Online, so my iMac would -have- to be able to play this game, it's low-end in game terms -- is there any way I could find out if I could emulate this game fairly well? Or if this is impossible..
     
  6. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #6
    Anything that is not CPU intensive and require 3D will be emulated fine on the iMac. Currently rumors are that virtual PC was rushed to the market because of Apple, they should release soon a patch that will take in charge the video cards and also be much more optimised so I dont think it would be a problem in your case.

    I would say the iMac will probably be a good performer for at least 2 years, after that games will be too demanding but the rest will work fine.

    I had problem with MSN for a while but with the most recent version I dont have any anymore. But for webcam chat, I have to use iChat, which is 10x better for video anyways.
     
  7. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    You could try asking on here if anyone is running Virtual PC 6 or 7 and would be willing to give it a go for you. Or there might be people actually playing the game who are already doing it - are there any game communities you could ask on?
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    IMO, the graphics cards for the G5 iMacs is quite weak. I don't believe there will be any upgrading of it. You're really limiting your Mac gaming longevity.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    I say get a PowerMac. At least it's upgradeable. If you game, the iMac may be obsolete right now if you play new and/or recent games. Of course, I'm sure some Apple users are going to come on here and tell you that some game like UT2004 or any number of games will run "okay" (ie: 20 - 30 fps) if the game is set to low or medium detail, blah blah blah, but realistically, it isn't a gaming machine. The non-upgradeable video card is an indication of that, isn't it?

    Again, for your particular situation, I'd get a PowerMac. ;)

    And yeah, you can download programs and such using Acqlite/Acquisition, BitTorrent, or any of numerous programs.

    Don't bother playing Windows games over Virtual PC.
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    cough, refurb rev.a dual 1.8GHz powermac with a 9800se and ogles of ram will last a half a decade, cough.

    as for upgradeability g5 cpu upgrades are being working on but only the powermac have there cpu's in a socket with an imac you can replace the HD and add more ram and other than airport that is it.

    msn for mac sucks. period
     
  11. Metoyou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    PowerMac really wasn't an option since I wanted the space efficiency, not to mention the fact everything's inclusive so I wouldn't have to waste time finding a good price on a 20" LCD which would spoil the whole lovely look of a Mac :p

    I was only interested in playing a few games, native ones work for me too -- I just needed to know if this one game works on it so I can do the job I get paid for ;) I spend 90% of my time not on RO on The Sims 2 or UT2k4 anyway, so I'll be ok :D

    I'll go about asking people if they can test it for me, also anymore input on my questions are greatly appreciated!
     
  12. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #12
    None of those people know what Ragnarok Online is, but I do; I was a player.

    And trust me, if you are thinking of playing RO under emulation, don't even bother. Virtual PC emulates a ~500 MHz P3 with no hardware video acceleration.
     
  13. Metoyou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    So I should wait for them to release the new version then see how it peforms?
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    Virtual PC 7 is already out. I beleive the above quoted stats were for it, as <= VPC 6 was a P2 emulator.
     
  15. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #15
    The new iMac, maxed out, is plenty of machine. The thing about VP is that it emulates, so it doesn't take direct control of the Macs hardware. This is especially important to note for games as all "GPU" type stuff is emulated, not actually done by the video card in the Mac. So, no 3D acceleration of any kind! People think M$ is going to do enable VP to actually take control of the Macs hardware and be able to utilize the GPU, but I will believe it when I see it!
     
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #16
    Ragnarok Online will not run in Virtual PC because it requires a 500MHz PIII and VGA card 8MB with DirectX 3Daccelerator support.

    Virtual PC (6 and 7) has no 3D acceleration support.

    Also, since it requires DirectX and not OpenGL it will be difficult to make a Mac port of the game, but it's still worth letting the developers know that there is a demand, so we should all go and tell them :)
     
  17. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #17
    cough http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86812 cough

    As you can see almost everything if not all can be removed and replaced. Even the G5. The logic board is also replaceable(hold the 5200). I think a third party company might make a logic board upgrade with a better GPU built in.
     
  18. The Past macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    #18
    Virtual PC

    Virtual PC 6 was sloooooooow and version 7 is sloooooow. I would wait for additional updates before even commenting whether things have improved much. This is not even an option for you for now.
     
  19. advocate macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    #19
    I would recommend that you keep a Windows machine (say, your current PC) around for Windows-only games. It's about the only thing I use my desktop for these days -- everything else I can do better on my PowerBook.

    Just a word of caution about the iMac: it is a consumer-grade machine, which means it's targeted for "normal people", not PC enthusiasts. If you want raw number crunching performance then you won't find it there. On the other hand, if you subtract out the price of the included LCD panel and the software bundle, you will find that you're getting a sub-$500 computer. For that price it's a great deal.
     
  20. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    the cpu is soldered on the logic board and a company cannot sell a replacement logic board as the logic board has the apple firmware on it which the upgrade company cannot sell as it is the property of apple.
     

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