2012 maxed iMac or wait for new Mac Pro - For Gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wilds94, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. wilds94 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    #1
    My question is as above. For someone that wants an all in one machine for both gaming and OSX, what would be better? I don't need the best graphics akin to a GTX Titan or even 680, but would like to be able to play all of the latest games at 80% settings for the next few years. The ability to upgrade would be nice, but because of personal reasons, i'm able to buy a mac at 25% discount per year.

    So will the GTX 680MX iMac be enough for me?

    Or should i wait till the next Mac Pro comes out?
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #2
  3. turtlez macrumors 6502a

    turtlez

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #3
    The iMac will do max settings for current games, the Mac Pro will too, the Mac Pro can be upgraded (GPU) for max settings in future games (up to a point), the iMac can't, the Mac Pro costs a lot of money vs the iMac (plus you get a high res 27" display with it).

    I used to have a Mac Pro, now I own the iMac (latest) and decided I will never need another Mac Pro since the iMac is very much a machine for professionals as well these days. If I were you I would get the iMac because even though the MP GPU can be upgraded, the parts to upgrade to rarely release, maybe one every 3 years and stay at a very high price the whole time.

    orrrr you could be like me and only game on consoles and leave your mac to do work. Consoles are very powerful for price and last a good while longer than PC gaming upgrades. PS4 will blow minds and I bet the iMac will do you max settings until then.

    ----------

    he didn't start it ;)
     
  4. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
  5. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #5
    Yes he did.:p
     

    Attached Files:

  6. wilds94 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    #6
    Yeah i did, it was a bit unnecessary. Sorry. :eek: Just want to make the right decision and get as much info as i can. I've been scrolling through google for the last few days and i think the best option for me is the iMac. Thanks for the help guys, i don't doubt that i'll be sticking around these forums and helping out with all mac stuff >:D

    Peace
     
  7. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #7
    No worries, just thought you already made up yor mind.

    It can be hard to make a division, the longer you wait, the more you think about it the more difficult it gets, I know I've been there.
     
  8. vannibombonato macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    #8
    Wilds,
    reading your posts i concluded the following:

    1- Best bang for the buck, Mac mini AND dedicated PC Gaming machine.
    2- More elegant solution, maxed out iMac knowing you'll need to replace it sooner or later if you want to always play at top level.
    3- Best overall solution regardless of the money, new MacPros when they come out: it's certainly an overkill for your MacOs needs, but you'll be very likely able to upgrade graphic cards as time goes by (although no-one can tell for sure, they're not out yet).

    Happy choosing, if i were you i'd go for option 1 or 2, they're both valid, tested, and available now.
     
  9. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #9
  10. zerotri, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    zerotri macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    #10
    For his purposes, I don't see these as bad options at all.
    I bought my iMac almost 2 years ago exactly (May 12th I believe). 3.4Ghz Sandy Bridge i7, 6970m (1GB version was all that was in store that day), 1TB hard drive, and 4GB ram (which I promptly upgraded to 16GB for $200 aftermarket).

    This machine has been quite a beast for almost everything I do. I do quite a bit of software development (some hobby game dev too) in OS X and Windows using Parallels and it handles it brilliantly. There are a few areas where it doesn't shine though:
    • Streaming to twitch while gaming. The free streaming software options are major cpu hogs and are lacking quite a bit. Commercial software should be much better but I can't justify paying $500 for Wirecast right now which is supposed to have GPU encoding support.
    • Gaming. And I say this based on your purposes, not mine. Everything I play on my iMac runs flawlessly at (mostly)top settings max resolution. I mostly play League of Legends, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, and emulated games though. My gaming needs differ heavily from yours. This is on a 2 year old model though.
    • Windows 8 in EFI mode. You may not even care about this one, but I'm really not a fan of Bootcamp and the restrictions imposed by it. It took me throwing Windows 8 on in EFI mode just to verify that my iMac is in fact a dual GPU system, whereas in Bootcamp my i7's HD 2000 is completely ignored. This is not preferred, as that hd 2000 can be used for some nice encoding/decoding while I'm doing other things. HD 2000 works great in EFI mode though, but then there is the issue of no working audio driver...which is a BIG annoyance. I'm hoping they fixed this on newer models.

    Aside from those, my iMac has aged quite well in two years. Looking at eBay listings, similarly specced iMacs are selling for about $1700 used. I should also point out here that I have had two reasons I've needed to bring into the Apple Store (did it in one instance though). The first was a backlight issue which AppleCare covered the $800 cost of. The second was a supposed hard drive issue Apple informed me of that I took advantage of while my iMac was already in for repairs. Total paid in repairs: maybe $10 in gas, two weeks without my iMac and a couple hours spent in the store. Compare all of this to the $2300 price I believe I paid (maybe $2600 with aftermarket ram) and think I've done pretty well. $600-$1000 lost in two years on a machine that I love using every day. Compare this now with the 2-3 year "update" many cycle people seem to do with their custom built gaming rigs. Being around quite a few gamers I will base these experiences off the people I know, so your experiences may differ greatly. Every 2-3 years, they upgrade their gaming rigs in one of two ways:
    1. A full upgrade. Either replacing every component with newer ones or keeping the old mobo, keyboard, 1080p monitor, mouse and upgrading all of the components in the tower. A decent rig will run you $1400+ with Intel parts, cheaper with AMD. Since we're comparing to Macs, let's stick with Intel pricing. If we also factor in that the iMac comes with a 1440p screen (I only know one other person with anything above 1200p though) then there's another $500-1000 tacked on the first time you buy it. At that point you're easily into iMac price range, just with a better GPU.
    2. A partial upgrade. Just upgrading motherboard, processor, gpu, and ram when necessary. This is the more cost effective solution but always puts you a step or two behind from current technology somewhere along the pipeline. You'll still have to do a full upgrade at least every 5-6 years anyways or you will be perpetually behind in your gaming tech, which it sounds like you're not content with. I'll throw a price point of $500-1000 on to this one.

    So looking at the price points that I obviously pulled out of thin air and have absolutely no data to back up with, upgrading the iMac every two or three years will be roughly comparable to upgrading a full gaming rig. On both ends you'll be getting the latest and greatest tech. On the iMac end you'll have a much nicer all-in-one and a comfortable OS X experience (Hackintoshes can be a pain if not built with every component in mind). On the gaming rig end you will have a more power-hungry, noisy machine with a more capable graphics card. To some, that graphics card can be a big difference; I occasionally use the GTX 680 on my work computer to play TERA online and it's more than capable of handling 3x 1200p monitors in nVidia surround on high settings, running circles around the 6970m in my iMac.

    If you really want the Mac experience and a machine that can churn through absolutely everything you throw at it, wait for the Mac Pro. With the recent announcements of the GTX 680 and Radeon 7950 Mac Editions, waiting for the next gen Mac Pro and throwing one or two(for Windows) of those into there would give you one hell of a gaming rig and would allow you to still switch back to OS X comfortably when you felt like using it. The Mac Pro may be a bit out of your price point though and unless you're looking for a workstation to handle other processor-heavy tasks I think you'd be better off with another option considering the price point. The Mac Pro is aimed more at the professional computing market and although it will handle gaming with ease, may be overkill for your needs; you may decide otherwise.

    TL;DR: iMac resale value is high enough that you can easily upgrade to the latest and greatest tech when you see fit without taking a huge hit. Mac Pro is definitely worth waiting for if you can afford it and can utilize it's processing power. A custom gaming rig may be more your thing if you need the maximum oomph from your gpu. Cost is becoming much less of an argument against Macs if you consider the big picture, which most people won't.

    Rant on my own experiences over. Enjoy whatever you end up deciding to buy,
    - Wynter Woods
     
  11. macalec macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    #11
    I would go with the iMac- just because it truly is an all in one. However the new Mac Pro should be coming out in a bit. So you can see if that new system would be a better fit for you.
     

Share This Page