Tough choice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sesshi, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    OS X iMac 24", 2.33Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM, 256MB 7600GT (crippled), Wireless Apple Keyb/Mouse & IR remote, Applecare 3-year send-away warranty. £1,900

    Windows Media Center with front panel VFD display, Dell 2407WFP, 2.33Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM, Silent cooling options, 256MB 7600GT XXX (overclocked) + silencing kit, Logitech wireless keyboard, MX1000 mouse and IR remote, TV Tuner + PVR, 3-year on-site warranty. £2,100

    Dunno if any of you have tried Windows Media Center, but it's not too bad - and gets better with Vista. I'm nebulously attracted to the iMac for various reasons but my head is predominantly saying 'Go for the Media Center'. Hard reasons to go with the iMac?
     
  2. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #2
    Is it for home or for work?

    Cause Sesshi, I know how you prefer PC hardware for work.....:D
     
  3. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    This is a Mac site. More than likely you will get "Buy the iMac" more than not, the responses will be biased.

    With that being said, buy the iMac. OSX is much better tha Media whatever you call it (which IMHO looks like cheap crap).
     
  4. Buhbuhb macrumors member

    Buhbuhb

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    #4
    Without a doubt I personally would buy the iMac... I mean, wouldn't you??
     
  5. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #5
    Normally I would agree with you. but Media Center does have some capabilties that Mac OSX doesn't, I think. (TV Tuner?) Buy what makes you happy, cause you're the only one thats got to live with it.
     
  6. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    #6
    umm, Macs are better :)

    Unless you are going to use the TV tuner and DVR there is no reason to get the Media PC.

    1. Movies, pics, songs can all be played using FrontRow

    2. iMac looks better

    3. iLife is great

    4. no spyware or viruses
     
  7. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #7
    I have a Media Center PC with the t.v. tuner and it's great. It complements my 360 and PSP as well. If you want the Media Center capabilities, go for the Dell. If not, go for the iMac.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #8
    Since the choice is between a Mac and a Dell, and you are asking on MacRumors ...
    I'd have to tell you to buy the Dell. [​IMG]
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    So, if you add a TV tuner to the iMac, it's about the same cost.

    The graphics card will be a bit slower. But... the iMac takes up a lot less room and will be better looking and likely quieter, along with better software with the exception of Front Row, which will mature in a few months.
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    I would second these thoughts! :)

    Get the iMac.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #11
    They're both PCs, and the Dell won't run OS X and they will likely both run Vista.

    So the Dell is the better deal, since you won't be tempted to overspend with the Mac and buy OS X 10.5 ;)
     
  12. weldon macrumors 6502a

    weldon

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    #12
    Buy the iMac and get a copy of XP MCE to run using Boot Camp?
     
  13. wchong macrumors 6502

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    #13
    or don't buy xp mce and buy EyeTV
     
  14. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #14
    Sesshi - aren't you the one who switched from mac to pc? ...

    I think we should know what you intend to use the computer for. The graphics card seems to be important to you, so I'm guessing this is going to be a gaming machine? I personally don't get how gamers can spend a couple of thousand pounds for a box to play games on. But if that's what you're doing, perhaps the PC is better. It's likely more expandable than the iMac.

    I've had much less trouble with apple computers and OSX, so the decision would not require much thought if it were up to me. Windows is getting better no doubt, but don't you think learning windows is kind of like training at a cordon bleu school so you can flip burgers at McD's?...

    yt
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    This would be a good tidbit of information to know before giving advice. :)
     
  16. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    I wasn't clear about what I was going to do with it, was I? It's going to be used entirely for Play. Play = 50% music, 40% web & other media, 10% games. If it's the iMac, it's probably going to sit on a table in the 'AV corner' of the living room where there's already a Mac Mini, or it might even be wall-mounted somewhere there. If it's the MCE PC, it'll sit in the audio rack, be wired to the TV and replace the Mac Mini. Due to the inadequacy of Front Row I was very seriously thinking about replacing the Mini with the MCE PC.

    Play - Audio: The quality / ability of the built in soundcard is not a concern as I'll be using an external Firewire unit. And on either platform I'll use a full application for playback as the TV's big enough (and the room small enough). I already use iTunes on the Mac Mini more than Front Row. And on the MCE PC, I'll probably use j.River Media Center, a superior application to iTunes for this sort of thing (except for the Coverflow view). The nerdy Mac'er might say that Windows screws with the sound and that's true in most cases, but my soundcard has custom drivers for Wave Out under Windows and j.River has support for ASIO.

    Play - Web: I find browsers on the Mac to suck individually in certain cases, so that I have to use several to be able to do everything. On Windows Firefox does everything notably more reliably than the Mac implementation. When I switched I was taken aback by this inadequacy under Mac and everyone here's very blase attitude to it. Perhaps switching apps is second nature now for many when a site doesn't work but I still don't get it. I mean, for the most part I now browse Macrumors on a Windows machine because I'm fed up with buttons acting strangely at times, etc.

    Play - Other Media: For web media, one word of course... WMV. Once again it could be browser problems or otherwise but a lot of media related stuff on the web breaks under Mac. For DVD's no real advantage either way that I can see. And for other stuff like XVid or DivX, the PC has better support. I won't be editing media on this machine but I will be doing a lot of ripping.

    Play - games: It would be good to be able to play games on it. And that means games under Windows, there's nothing game related that needs a Mac. This means Boot Camp on the iMac and I'm not sure if I'd like rebooting every time I want to game. And if I can play games on it, I'd like it to do it properly if you see what I mean. Not halfway. And from what I can see, there's some difference in gaming performance between the underclocked card on the Mac and the overclocked card on the MCE PC. In fact I might spend a bit more on the PC option and get a fanless 7950GT which will make a major difference. And also to be considered is that with the MCE I can do that, but with the iMac I can't.

    Environment: I don't want it to be noisy and the MCE system is apparently not going to be any more noisier than the iMac. In fact they said I can return it if it is. Having the display separate does give me the flexibility of having it replace the Mac Mini.

    Viruses: I don't need a Mac (and I don't disparage Windows for these flaws) due to a cluelessness about computers. I really know what I'm doing. The last time I got a virus was on the Atari ST in the 80's and the only spyware I've had running on any of my Windows PC's is a keylogger I created in the early 90's. In fact you don't need to be like me - choose the right antivirus/antispyware tools (and that isn't Norton or McAfee), use Firefox and you're as safe as the Mac on the Net as long as you don't make a habit of going to dodgy sites. Virii/Spyware isn't a deciding factor.

    Looks: The iMac is a tidy device and I like it on that basis but I'm so over the 'iPod look'. The silver of the MCE PC (the links show a black one but the one I'd be considering is silver with a black middle bit) is smarter than the iMac in my opinion and fits in better with the audio gear. The current iMac doesn't really appeal to me on an aesthetic level - I prefer the Lamp - apart from the fact that everything is kept very neat.

    Despite that considered as a whole, I like the iMac. It's just that from the above reasoning it's looking like the MCE PC makes more sense - which could well lead to the total expulsion of Macs from Chez Sesshi because having one remaining Mac (the MBP) just by itself doesn't make much sense. And that would be kind of a shame. If there was a 'Mac', a headless iMac, it could well have made it easier for me to remain more Mac-centric at home but the choice as it stands is pretty tough.

    That's about all of the stuff so far that I've considered. For the uses I've put down is there a compelling reason I should pick OS X for play?
     
  17. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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  18. slabbius macrumors member

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    #18
    My .02 on macs:

    I never have browsing problems w/Firefox.
    WMVs run just fine for me
    Paralells will soon have 3d support


    My .02 on pcs:

    MCE is god awful. Reminiscent of millenium... *shudders* just a virtual testing ground for new software
    MCE won't run on bootcamp only pro sp2



    But to each his own, you already sound like you're leaning towards the pc, so why continue asking for opinions? You're only going to end up buying the Dell no matter what anways.... go buy your dell. you hit the nail on the head anyways, pcs are for play.
     
  19. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #19
    It sounds like what you need is a PC.

    I'd still rather 'put up', as so to speak, with a 24" iMac though.
     
  20. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #20
    @ slabbius:
    [​IMG]


    @miniConvert:
    Yeah. Thing is of course, there's lots about OS X which makes you go 'heh' because it's done in such a freakin cool way. You NEVER come across that in Windows. Problem is, it doesn't do enough.

    It is actually quite a tough choice. I might have to buy both :D
     
  21. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #21
    You can make all the arguments you want. Weigh what you will use it most for, etc, etc, etc. But at the end of the day it comes down to the complete experience.

    A few analogies:

    Driving: OS X is like driving an Audi, BMW, or some other nice car, Windows is like driving something that shakes with no A/C or idea when it will next break down.

    Space Travel: OS X is like the Enterprise D, Windows is like that tin can Tom Hanks and his friends almost died in in the movie.

    Food: OS X is like a mix of mom's good cooking and a nice restaurant, Windows is like eating McDonald's every day like Super Size Me, eventually you will get sick and fat and almost die.
     
  22. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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  23. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    A few more accurate analogies:

    OS X is like driving a BMW. Windows for most experienced users is like a GT-R. It's actually pretty crappy inside, and outside it's usually tackier but once you concentrate on the driving it gets the job done quicker and better than a BMW.

    OS X is like a mix of mom's good cooking and a nice restaurant. Windows is like a range of well-priced, fairly decent ingredients which is easy to boil into a total mush if you don't know what you're doing.

    The 'complete experience' (and I do actually know where you're coming from) vs superior function... hmmm.
     

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