Use new iMac as Windows PC - does it make sense?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by EAristo, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013
    I have a budget and a few requirements.

    I need a perfect screen (21..23 inches) with at least 1920*1080 resolution. Even if I buy a good (1920 or 2500) screen as a single unit, I would also want to upgrade my PC. I need it to be as silent as possible and have at least i5 with 6-8Gb RAM. MacMini is a good candidate in terms of size and productivity, but if I add up macMini.price + and display.price I would get = iMac price.

    I can buy a AIO-PC based on Windows or add about 15-20% in $$ and get a new iMac 21.5 (late 2012), to be exact this model:

    Important thing, I need a Windows OS (for work and other things), so I will surely install Windows 7 or 8 (probably with bootcamp) on iMac. I'm not sure if I will be using MAC-OS at all.

    Arguably (Maybe it's all wrong): what I like about new iMacs is how they look and that they are quite powerful, for about the same price compared to Windows-based AIO one can get 1TB HDD, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and A VERY GOOD DISPLAY.

    For the same price (my budget +- 20%) most I can get in addition is 2TB HDD, Blue-ray disk drive and i5 at 3.0 Ghz (or maybe even i7) in Windows AIO compared to 1TB HDD and 2.7Ghz in Imac (least pricey model of iMac). And a better and more powerful Video card with 2GB or Ram, probably, compared to 512 GB in imac (NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M).

    Talking about Windows AIOs, I'm not sure about display quality. [I read all the reviews about modern AIOs and there are few models with relatively good screens. And I never read a review about iMAC where the reviewer would seriously critique an iMac screen]. With the same resolution I think Imac's screen will be better compared to any of 21..23" Windows-based AIO. No touchscreen, but I can get over it. The quality of display is very important to me regardless the price.

    You may ask for what purposes I need a computer, I would answer mostly for programming and watching HD movies and I don't need a super fast PC. In that sense I think it would not be much difference to me between i5 and i7, though, of course, I like when my computer does any job faster.

    So the questions are,

    does it worth its price if I want to use new iMAC late 2012 as a Windows 7 or 8 PC with the best screen on the market of AIOs?
    Will iMAC keep all the functionality of Windows 7/8 out of the box (except for touchscreen) ?
    Will it be comfortable to use it as a normal Windows-based AIO ?
  2. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Other people on the forums use iMac as windows only; it works well in bootcamp. It's probably important to keep a minimal OSx on the system in order to download and apply firmware updates.

    Touchscreen is a gimmick - just think of all the fingerprints on your lovely display and having to clean the screen so frequently. Plus sticking your arm out to a display is very uncomfortable.

    The iMacs are not perfectly quiet - they still need fans to cool them. The HDD makes a little noise since it is a rotating device.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    iMac is the best AIO out there, no contest. Even as Windows PC, it's still the best looking, and it is a beast (especially the high end 27") .. Other OEMs throw in *****y GPU like GT630M in their AIOs and they cost $2000

    WTF Man, who would get that over an iMac? Not to mention they look fugly as hell.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    Why not try to challenge yourself? You can find equivalent apps in Mac, and try the all-Mac day. If you still not satisfied then you can go with vmware / parallels. I did this and has no regret at all.

  5. macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California

    In a sane discussion on AIO computers, the typical OEM AIO's are to a knife as a iMac is to a gun, all at a gunfight kind of thing. You have the typical OEM mantra of cost and margins and toss it out the door and let 'em deal with it, versus Apple building a unit indicative of Apple, which equals no comparison.

    I would look at your budget and make a decision on whether or not the iMac or the MacMini + IPS screen are doable.

    If yes, I would opt for Parallels for your Windows VMware container.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Just about any computer made in the past 5'ish years will do that just fine. You also didn't list an AIO as a requirement. Is it?

    If that's all you're really going to do with it, you could be throwing your money away. Whether you are or not, IMO, depends on if you have to have an AIO. Personally, I'd just build a cheap windows PC.
  7. hfg
    macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I am always amused when I go to my dentist ...

    They have all iMac computers in the office, black MacBooks in every exam room, and probably a server somewhere that has all the patient information.

    They all are running Windows XP :eek:

    I assume the Dental Software Package they purchased is Windows based, and whoever maintains the system for them prefers Macs for appearance or reliability.
  8. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2012
    What does "equals no comparison" mean???
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2011
    South Carolina
    I guess the most important question right now is; do you need an AIO?? If yes, then get the iMac. If the answer is "no", then just build/buy a PC.
  10. macrumors 601

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    It's also very possible (and most likely the case) that the rest of the office work is done under OS X. In the case of a dental office I find it hard to believe they would buy Macs for their office because of appearance. A good quality Windows workstation can be just as reliable as a Mac.

    That being said, the OP is just spending money for nothing. If you're going to run Windows, buy a Machine where Windows is fully supported. Plain and simple. The Mac experience is OS X and Apple hardware. A good quality workstation PC and Eizo monitor would suffice perfectly. Doesn't sound like the OP really needs an AIO.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2013
    Not if you take into account resale on an unmolested iMac.


    Just try OSX and experience the benefits or get a Windows non-AIO.

    What you're asking is what would happen if you bought a Porsche 911 turbo and retrofitted it with a Honda motor just so it feels familiar.
  12. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    Complete baloney. You, and others, may prefer OS X and that is fine, but it is not superior to Windows as a computer operating system. In many ways it is quite inferior. Wish people would just let people stick with their personal preferences without injecting falsehoods into the mix.

    To answer the OP, as others have done, if you want to do this, it's not a terrible idea. iMacs are, for the most part, very nice machines. Just be aware of the downsides, like the sealed hard drives, before you take the plunge.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    I don't think I've used OS X since January on this 2010 iMac.
    I use it for programming and games which it can still handle surprisingly well. Currently weighing up getting another later this year or building a PC instead, though.

    That and the GPU are the worst part. There's nothing wrong with the CPU on this machine but I'm dying for an SSD and a better GPU would keep this machine going for another couple of years, easily.
  14. Arfdog, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2013
    Lol. My opinion on the superiority of OSX/Windows doesn't matter. Price does. Take a look at "sold" prices for iMacs, calculate % lost vs a comparable sold PC (i'm thinking a high-end HP), then get back to me. Prices don't lie.

    And "sealed hard drives"...what? All hard drives are sealed. Mac HDs are not especially proprietary.

    edit: sorry i didn't see the part you put in bold. As for that, it's not just a preference. It's objectively better in terms of security, speed (efficiency with computing cycles), graphics, networking, and install size.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    Maybe poorly worded.

    In short, Apple has no competition when it comes to AIO units.

    Dell? Pft

    HP? Puleese, don't make me laugh.
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013


    21.5-inch: 2.7GHz
    2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M with 512MB


    or this:

    2.8GHz / 6GB DDR3 / AMD Radeon HD 7450A (1GB DDR3 dedicated)

    Overall my bugdet is ~ 1300$. I can pay more, but only if it makes sense. Basically, I want to stick to 1300$-1400$.
  17. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    It's a pretty good idea in term of resale $$$

    Used Imac always sell for fairly good prices,while used pc's get slammed.
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013
    AIO is not a requirement, but I would like the whole thing to be compact. I don't want a tower box. At most an external HDD sized box. Well, maybe a small UPS sized box. The smaller the better. The lighter the better.

    I have an old PC with an old 2-core AMD CPU and 3GB of RAM and 1GB of Video RAM, SATA HDD. It is rather slow. Windows 7 indices range from 4.9 to 6.5. But it is slow for me. And it is very noisy and the mid-tower box weighs like 10+ kilos. Not that I cannot live with it, but I want an upgrade. Smaller, lighter and more powerful.


    In what sense Windows would not be fully supported if used in iMac ?

    Will mid-priced Eizo monitor have a better quality screen than 21.5 iMac's?
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
  20. macrumors 601

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    Pot calling the kettle black. Stick to your own advice. :rolleyes:

    Well for one thing, the only support Apple's going to give you is installing Windows. When you start having issues with Windows or the way your iMac is reacting to running Windows you're going to get zero support from Apple. They designed the Mac to run the Mac OS.
    Secondly, GPU's on Windows machines aren't generally the same ones used on a Mac, therefore it may be more challenging finding Windows drivers when needed.
    Firmware updates can only be done under OS X. I can go on, trust me. I have a 27" iMac and I have Windows installed just for testing purposes and a couple of work-related softwares but I don't really need it. The people that are here telling you that Windows runs equally as well on a Mac as OS X does are generally the ones that are Anti-OS X. You will not get the same stellar experience. You'll find out soon enough. You're buying a product to do the work is wasn't designed from the ground up to do.
    I'm glad Apple opened up the option to install Windows as it helps people with transitioning and for those who like to game a bit when certain games aren't under OS X, but that's all it was truly for. If all Apple was going to do is design the machine's DNA to run any OS then they would sell empty OS Apple boxes and tell you to install your own OS.

    I don't know ever Eizo monitor but I would recommend to at least purchase one that is like for like in terms of specs on the iMac. You'll most likely get a much better screen. Eizo's are used by professionals in the arts.
  21. macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    You can run a windows partition 24/7 with no issues. apple includes all the drivers you need including graphics driver but you have to have a macosx partition in there somewhere for firmware updates. dont try and completely remove osx. just keep it safely tucked away to boot into now and again to check for updates. that is the easiest and safest most stable way to do it.
  22. macrumors 68040


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    If you do buy the iMac, I do ask that you give OS X a chance. You may find it far more enjoyable than Windows!
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Buy the iMac, you'll never look back. Buy the PC, you'll regret it every day.
  24. SupaLawlCat, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013
    Me too.

    I wouldn't get an AIO. They can't be upgraded. (Other than RAM and HDD.) and have mobile parts. For the $1300 iMac, you could spend $1000 on the PC's parts and get much better performance, and then spend $300 on the monitor and get something better than what is in the iMac.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I saw this:

    If you were to build a PC it would probably weigh like 15-20 KG. Mine is a mid tower and weighs 17.
  25. macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Classic fanboyism. I got my 2011 iMac and I was regretting my purchase every day since it has bring nothing but more and more failures until it was replaced. 5 times repairs for 1.5 years.

    Funny my Pentium 4 box was fine and trouble free for 6 years, and counting.

    Just as PC, Mac is not perfect.

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