Advice for a Mac Convert

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iczster, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. iczster macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I'm new to the forums, infact this is my first post. Traditionally I've been a windows user and a hardcore gamer in the past but not anymore.

    Last year I invested in a Retina MBP after having more laptops I care to remember and I was blown away. It's stunning and hands down the best laptop I've ever owned and being an IT professional is a great dev environment (why it took me so long to realise this is beyond me).

    Anyway I am really interested in the new RiMac and it's more of a culture shift to me than anything. I have a few questions if you would be so kind. This is the current spec of my gaming rig, which I don't use much for the purpose it was intended these days. Plus it's a noisy beast.

    Current System

    • Intel i7-2600K CPU @ 3.4Ghz
    • 16GB RAM
    • 256GB SSD
    • NVidia GeForce GTX 580
    • Box standard high ms response time monitor

    These days my requirements are around browsing, media, casual gaming and dev work in Coda, Shell and an IDE.

    I am looking at the following spec of RiMac

    • 4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    • AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5
    • 3TB Fusion Drive


    • I already have a 12TB NAS and have no experience of a Fusion drive. I am torn between the 512GB SSD and the FD. How is the FD for using VMWare Fusion for some legacy windows apps. Which would be the best drive?
    • How does the M295X compare to my current GeForce GTX 580?
    • I'll get a slight performance boost with the CPU but I'm not sure on the GPU side?
    • I have quite a lot of Outlook mail in PST format and also want to make a move to Apple Mail. Any free utilities people are aware of to convert to mbox format? I'm a bit loathed to pay for a utility Ill literally use once.

    I am hoping to move my current rig on and like I said its more about a complete culture move across to Mac and I realise I'll take a hit on gaming performance, which doesn't bother me in the slightest providing I can play the odd game in a decent resolution from time to time.

    Anyway, I've rambled on a bit haha. Hope people can answer the above and convince me I'm doing the right thing.
  2. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2012
    Windy City
    I can't answer all of your questions, but I can tell you one thing. If you are used to SSD and the SSD performance, do not even think about Fusion Drive. You can always add more storage to the system via external drives or NAS, but you will never be able to improve the performance of the FD. Even 3TB Fusion Drive only has 120GB SSD in it, so if you are serious about running few VMs via VMware Fusion, your VMs will perform as if they were running off the regular HDD which is crap.
  3. Tysusmed macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    The system you picked out is great, but I would recommend the 512GB SSD, as you already have lots of storage as it's very fast.

    There are some great posts regarding the M295X performance here:

    The performance is apparently better than the 780M which is about the same as a 580. I do think better drivers will help improve the 295X, and if you're concerned about gaming, I'd suggest using Bootcamp as you'll get better FPS out Windows, even Windows on an riMac, vs OSX.

    Hope that helps.
  4. iczster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Thanks for the reply guys, looks like a 512GB SSD then, this baby is getting more expensive.

    It would bet good to get a response on the outlook -> apple mail conversion and some rough benchmark comparison between my current gaming gig (which is going) and the RiMac spec.
  5. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    i took much the same plunge back in 2008. you won't regret it.

    i built my gaming rigs since 1994... when the iPhone came out it changed my outlook on Macs, so I tried one. haven't run Windows in years and have not missed a beat keeping up with my gaming fix. not all games are available on Mac, but enough of my favs are to keep me busy between kids and career.

    i enjoy OS X more than i miss having every PC title available to me.

    i also just bought a riMac and can't wait to get it. i7/295X/256/16Meg
  6. iczster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Im about to pull the trigger on this baby :) currently mid order.

    Would you recommend Apple Care with the Retina iMac or is it a waste of money?
  7. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Apple care is the only type of extended warranty I'd ever buy. I'd recommend it and it is relatively cheap.
  8. iczster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    So, I was sweating putting that order in but really pushed the boat out for my first Mac. This is the spec I've gone for on the Retina iMac:

    4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (will order another 16GB from crucial making 24GB)
    512GB Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad
    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
    LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 Series RAID Hard Drive (6TB)
    Apple Care (thanks for advice leenak)
  9. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Nice machine! I hope you intend to use the LaCie as your backup HD, also well done on ordering AppleCare. As a new Mac users don't forget it includes 3 years of telephone support, which IMHO has been good!
  10. habeebhashim macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    I would go with just the trackpad option instead of both. Adds about S$98/- here in SG for both. Money I would rather invest in a thunderbolt cable to help with data migration from your rMBP to your new iMac. Or a Thunderbolt to Ethernet cable for your rMBP which will help with the same.

    As an example, my iMac is connected via WiFi... the router is just too far away from the study. And when I tried to use Migration Assistant to transfer my login/data from my rMBP to the new machine... over WiFi it said it'll take 160 hrs to transfer 180GB. Sod that... Bought a TB cable and the job was done in 30 mins.

    Personally, I find the trackpad easier to use vs the magic mouse. And since the gestures remain the same from your rMBP to this new trackpad, better muscle memory.

    Give this app BetterTouchTool a try. Improved my productivity loads with its plethora of gestures and windows snapping (like Win 7). And when you set it up in your rMBP and use Migration Assistant to move your files to your new iMac, everything is carried over... shortcuts, app settings etc. Makes it damn easy.

    As for Outlook.pst... When I switched over in 2008... my method was to import all files using Thunderbird and afterwards get to import from there. In any case... newer mail services for me are all in IMAP so keeping them in sync isn't an issue anymore.
  11. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    WHy not just get MS 0365 for the Mac for about $10 per month. That gives you outlook. If you are used to Outlook, you will HATE Apple Mail.

    I am happy because a modern version is coming out very soon. Free upgrade of course.

    Nice machine! I ordered a similar one. Also way out on the edge of $$$ for me. I had better love the darn thing :)
  12. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    Welcome to the Mac side. For converting your .PST file(s) to a format that you can import into Apple Mail, you can try this app. I haven't used it personally, though. Another option if you have MS Office for Mac is to use Outlook, which can import .PST files directly. Outlook is not a bad e-mail client, though I prefer Apple Mail.
  13. iczster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Thanks for all the advice guys, really appreciated.
  14. Satori macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
    If you don't want to buy MS office for Mac, you can use the free 30-day trial to import pst files and then export as mbox for apple mail.
  15. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    As a fellow convert Windows user since the day the Macintosh first came out, I can tell you you will be blown away by the iMac 5k. I bought the rMBP the day it arrived (because of the specs, regardless of OS) and am now happily converted. Having owned a large computer company for many years I'm used to having the best gear and replacing it every few months. The riMac is easily as good as it gets -- it's like moving forward in time several years. Everything the rMBP did to transform the laptop market, this has done for the desktop.

    Spec it as high as you can. At least 512SSD, and more if you need it (I had 768 in the rMBP, and was always close to the limit, so have gone for the 1Tb in this). 16Gb will be fine for most things and you can always upgrade later... The i7 and 295 are mandatory unless your budget is wafer-thin.


    Re: mail, I would look around at alternatives. Apple Mail is awful. I moved from Outlook to a range of others, but settled on Thunderbird around ten years ago. It's excellent, in all sorts of ways. Not least of which is the way you can point it to the same database from several different OSs virtualised, and that it still runs very quickly even with 15 years of emails, several hundred thousand in each folder. It runs identically in Windows and OS X (simultaneously if you wish).

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