Thinking about purchasing a Mac, it will be my first one.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by squeezy, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. squeezy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    #1
    I want to get a MacBook or MacBook Pro, depends on which meets my needs.

    I have been asking around, getting other peoples input, should I get a new MacBook, or biuld a new PC? MY current PC is about three years old, it's sporting a 2.5 ghz P4, 768 MB Ram, Nvidia Geforce fx 5600 256 mb. It gets the job done, but its got its issues that have never been resolved. From what I've seen and hear, Macs run very smoothly, with very seldom slow down, is this true?

    I also have a few other question that I haven't gotten a good answer to.

    Any idea how Call of Duty 2 would run a on a new MacBook (not the pro) if done is DirectX 7? When comparing video cards to games for a Mac, do they all process exactly the same as on the PC, so the same standards could be held to both Windows and Mac systems?

    I know 64 MB onboard is not by any means awesome. How much does the dual core processor help with gaming, if any? I never knew if dual core effected other peripherals or not.

    Are there any not so obvious features about macs that just jump out at you, that would persuade someone to purchase one?

    Does anyone have any experience with connecting to a mac with your xbox? I use Xbox Media Center, and it connects on the network with my Windows box, will it do the same for the mac?

    Bottom line is; I want a Mac. I'm not the big of a gamer, I stick to call of duty and other WWII games. My current PC plays those fine for me. I would just like to have COD or BF:1942 on a laptop. And I'm also not too conerned about Bootcamp too much either. I have the cash for a MacBook, so I definately want it. I just want to prepare myself some before I just jump into it.

    I appreciate any help!
     
  2. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #2
    I haven't noticed any slow down at all on my mini, and i have had it since April.
    As for COD2, it would be pretty ugly, probably under 15 FPS, if it would even run at all.
    Dual core processing only helps with gaming if the game is designed to support it. I don't know much about games on macs or PCs (more of a console man myself) so i don't know of any games that are designed to take advantage of two cores.
    For playing games decently, go for the macbook pro. just keep in mind that macs weren't designed for gaming, so don't expect to be blown away, especially by a laptop.
    my personal experience with games on my mini has been ugly. My mini cannot run americas army or wolfenstein enemy territory, it is too slow. Even on my 3.0 Ghz HP with 1 GB of RAM and Intel extreme graphics 2 (integrated graphics), i can run Americas Army quite well on high settings.
     
  3. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #3
    you can always install games on a windows partition using bootcamp.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #4
    Yes, provided a Mac has plenty of RAM, it will be quite zippy. :)


    Performance would probably be iffy- for Call of Duty 2 (and any graphics intensive game) you really should have a dedicated gpu (like the on in the MacBook Pro). :eek:

    Dual-core processors such as the Intel Core Duo definitelly help out performance when gaming. For example, there was a patch recently released for Quake 4 that added support for dual-core processors. The result was that the same machine with the patch received a 35%+ boost in performance. Check out www.barefeats.com for that benchmark and the accurate figures.

    But the most important thing for gaming is having a good gpu- which means you should go with a MacBook Pro if you want to do gaming. :)

    The way that things just work- for example, when I installed my printer on my Power Mac G5 all I had to do was just plug it in and it was recognized immediately (not the case for my PeeCee). :D


    My advice squeezy, is to go with a MacBook Pro! :)
     
  5. Demoman macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2005
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    Issaquah, WA
    #5
    If your main concern is to play games, then I would suggest staying with PC's. There have been many more people writing PC games and they are optimized for doing that well. On the other hand, if you want the world's finest computer and are willing to wait a few months for some of the games to run well on your incredible computer, then definitely go Mac. Since you already have an Xbox, seems like you can have the best of both worlds.
     
  6. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    May 25, 2006
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    Arlington VA
    #6
    I understand what it means, but why does everyone use the phrase "it just works" when describing the benefits of mac ownership? When i was a mac noob (before i bought my mini), i saw the phrase, and it didn't really seem like a benefit, because most times, people provided few examples of macs "just working." I now understand that they do in fact work very well with almost anything, and with relative ease i might ad.
    Glad to see someone give a specific example, thanks dmw007 :D
     
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #7
    No problem steamboat26, I just hope it helps the OP make up his/her mind. :)
     
  8. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    Apr 2, 2006
    #8
    But his main concern isn't to play games.
     
  9. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    #9
    so then he can go with a mac, and a macbook pro should he decide to play some games.
    I think that Demoman was trying to point out the fact that COD2 and similar games are very processor and graphic intensive, and your best experience with the game would be on a PC, or a console.
     
  10. Demoman macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2005
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    Issaquah, WA
    #10
    Yes, I think he said that. However, look at his questions and it seems like gaming is dominate theme. That is why I said, "If gaming....."

    After reading this board over the past year and a half, I have noted quite a bit of contention between computer users and hard-core gamers. To me it is really a non-issue. I would buy a Mac for everything except if its' primary purpose was for gaming, AutoCAD, or other high-end Windows proprietary SW. But, it may very well turn-out in a couple years that these applications may run well on Macs too.
     
  11. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    Pacific Northwest
    #11
    Non of the intel macs can play Americas Army :( and the only way you can play them is to use boot camp. That is not an option for me. I really enjoyed play AA.
     
  12. Jamesw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    #12
    I can run Counter Strike Source, DOD Source etc on my crap PC.
    2.6Ghz P4
    1GB Ram
    Ati Radeon X800XL 256MB
    But well, I cant anymore because my PC died on me, sign.
    Now i have turned over to the dark side. :cool:
     
  13. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    May 25, 2006
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    #13
    When you say that they can't play AA, do you mean that it won't run? Because it ran on my computer, it was just really choppy and slow.
     
  14. squeezy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    #14
    I've actually started looking at the iMacs. I wanted the MacBook so I could take it where ever, but if I were to do that, I'd use it a lot longer than the battery could handle, and I'm sure I wouldn't be anywhere convenient to recharge it. Also, I know I would drop it, or spill something into it.

    Since looking at the iMacs, I do have a few questions about them...

    I have an HDTV, has all available inputs, so would I be able to hook the iMac to the HDTV? And if so, would the picture be ok? My current PC can, however the desktop is hideous, however games are beautiful.

    Would I be able to hook my PC to the 20'' monitor?

    When it comes to moving the iMac, since its only a flatscreen, keyboard and mouse, is it fairly easy to relocate?

    I have a logitech 5.1 system for my PC, could I be able to hook it up to the iMac?

    Any other features about it that I should know about?

    I really appreciate everyone's input!
     
  15. squeezy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2006
  16. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    #16
    as far as i know, the imac has no DVI/VGA output, but i may be wrong. The last time i dealt with imacs was with my G3 (completely different computer)
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #17
    I have my 17" iMac hooked up to my 40" Samsung HDTV using the VGA input and it looks great at 1360x768. You can't use the iMac's display for your PC though as there is no input. You could control your PC remotely using VNC or Remote Desktop, but that wouldn't be very fast...

    The iMac is heavier than it looks, but is still much easier to relocate than a typical PC.

    I don't have any info on surround sound as I don't have any at the house now. Check w/Logitech?

    EDIT: The current iMacs absolutely have a miniDVI port at the back and support screen spanning, not just mirroring out of the box. You can use the internal display and the external VGA/DVI display for different things.

    B
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #18
    MS is the dark side, ;) welcome to the light.

    You can hook it up to your TV if it has DVI or VGA. Otherwise, you can buy an adapter for s-video/rca composite. It's like $20 and works great. Any standard speakers will work via the 3.5mm headphone port and I think the new iMacs have digital out too. It's on Apple's site. You can also buy external fw/usb sound devices at places like OWC that I hear are really nice. They aren't that expensive on the lower end. I just use 2.1 speakers on my iMac though, so I don't know. The weight is listed on Apple's site too, it's not that heavy to me, but that's me. Even better if you're into the whole bluetooth mouse/kb thing. The Macbook is pretty nice, but it wouldn't be as fast as an iMac, nor as expandable. If portability becomes an issue, you could always just buy an extra battery or 2. ;)
     

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