Buy a new iMac, or update my Hack?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by knewsom, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    (I already posted this on insanelymac, but you guys seem to be more opinionated as a rule, so I thought I'd have the same discussion here too) :D

    So, I've had my hack for more than a year and a half now, and it's been a pretty solid computer - mostly. I've recently had trouble installing Snow Leopard, and am stuck at 10.5.5. I'm also not getting my drive sizes to be accurately recognized anymore (1TB drive only recognizing 698GB). Other than that, I've gotten everything working except sleep and shutdown, and the beast fairly well screams...

    Except that it's just been bested by the new core i7 iMac geekbenching 9638. That's more than a thousand better than mine, when it's OC'd to 3.33gHz. Anyhow, this obviously represents a major step up in the iMac world, and logistically speaking, I'm certain a new iMac could meet all my computing needs (mainly editing and color correction), even with only FW800 as a high-speed I/O. I've also been stuck with a 22" Sceptre display, which doesn't hold a candle to the 27" iMac's incredible monitor.

    I want to buy one, but I'm having trouble justifying spending the money, but at the same time, I'm pretty much done tweaking with my hack - it was fun, and I did it when I had less money, because I managed to sell my g5 for enough to build a good hackintosh. Obviously, it doesn't work the other way around! Here's the question though - do I spend more money and more time on my machine to get Snow Leopard up and running right (probably about 300 bux for a new power supply, more RAM, and a SATA optical drive, and probably a weekend or two), or take advantage of the Friday Sale to get myself a real Mac again?

    Hackintosh Pros:
    Lots of internal/external storage options - including eSATA.
    Cheaper than buying a new machine.
    Kinda fun.

    Hackintosh Cons:
    Needs upgrading - a better PSU and some other components, to begin with.
    No FW800.
    Needs work.
    Kindof a pain.
    Not so fast anymore.

    iMac Pros:
    FW800 - usably fast external IO solution.
    Guaranteed to work, and for years to come with AppleCare.
    INCREDIBLE display.
    Small form factor - no tower.

    iMac Cons:
    no eSATA
    no expandability

    What am I leaving out? What would you guys do?


  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    If your time is worth money, then getting a Mac might save you money in terms of total cost of ownership.

    Instead of spending your time to get things to function, you can actually be producing something (making money).
  3. knewsom thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Now, that's a complicated question. Two months ago, I would've answered that my time is EXTREMELY expensive. Since then, I've moved from LA to DC for an incredible opportunity for my wife. Now, I'm mainly a stay at home Dad, so my time is still valuable, it's just not... expensive.

    But that's certainly a valid point in terms of total cost of ownership. Though my time isn't expensive now, it certainly has potential to be, and yeah, I'd far rather be making money with my investment than constantly tinkering with it.
  4. jayjohnson macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2009
    Definitely go the real imac. You'll probably have to spend more money to upgrade your hackintosh anyway to get it to similar specs to the imac. Then there's all the time you'll spend tinkering and searching forums just to get basic things such as the sound working. I went down the hackintosh path myself recently and it was a big mistake. I wanted an i7 mac before the new i7 imacs came out. I ended up spending only a few hundred dollars less than the i7 imacs and I spent countless hours tinkering to get it working. If I had just waited a few more months I could have had the i7 imac with much less headaches.

    If your time is valuable to you and you want something that 'just works' get the imac. Otherwise you may as well just get windows if you want to save money. I've had both and even windows was less hassle than the hackintosh.

    If you're stuck for cash you could always sell your old hackintosh.
  5. knewsom thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Well, I went for it! 27" i7 iMac on its way! Drobo on its way too, for external redundant storage. May eventually replace the optical drive with another HD, and add an SSD for boot.

    ...anyone want to buy a hackintosh? :D
  6. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Good call....:cool:
  7. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    For me, being able to mindlessly click the software update button with no worries justified every penny :rolleyes:
  8. aumnevergiveup macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2009
    that's the good choice!! :D
    i wish i could buy it next year :rolleyes:
  9. knewsom thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Thanks guys...

    Now to bite my nails to nubs waiting for it to get here... :rolleyes:

    The real question now to me is, what am I going to do with my Hack? Craigslist? I could try and repurpose it for something, but I just don't know what for. :(
  10. timothevs macrumors 6502


    Nov 17, 2007
    I was in the very same boat. My Hackintosh, built way back in 2007, has indeed seen a lot. I am currently running 10.6.2, quite fine and stable.

    However, what gets me is the time I waste every time Apple releases a new version, getting my system back to working order. I have wasted just too many hours, trolling the forums, and reading through poorly written release information/guides by well meaning individuals. I literally have had to sift through hundreds of tips etc, through forums and search to get a working DSDT file, and the hours wasted tweaking this, retouching that. Repeat ad nauseum. The number of hours I have spent trying to get my Hackie to work, have far outweighed the number of hours I have gotten work out of the machine.

    And at the end of the day, there are always incompatible devices and system components, and just so many hacks to put into place to make the system work without hitches. Hacks, that naturally fall apart with subsequent :apple: releases.

    So, it was keeping all this in mind, that I decided that once my system failed or showed signs of failing (which it is now - the MB is shot), I would go for an Apple Computer. This Black Friday I bought a new iMac 21.5" and a Mac Mini (to replace my Hackintosh Media Center). They will be delivered on Tuesday, and I can finally get back to doing work on my system, rather than worry about new releases borking my rig.
  11. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    definately get an imac, overall it will be cheaper, and you'll feel, i don't know how to put it, cleaner? being on a proper apple device [​IMG]
  12. maccompaq macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    I have built two Hackintosh computers, both built using 10.5.2. They work extremely well and do everything I want them to do. I have never attempted to install OS upgrades, because I could never find a reason to do so.

    So, I am wondering why everyone rushes to install the newest OS upgrades such as 10.5.3, .4, .5, .6 etc. This is not a trick question, I am really curious.
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Media centre? Home server? Lots of uses for an extra computer, depending on your needs... :)
  14. panthro macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2009
    Be or not to be...

    IMHO, Hackintoshes are a cost effective solution to have Mac OS X in a computer originally intended to run it. Too much tinkering and hassle (sound, network drivers, etc). If you are a person with lots of time, go for it, if not, forget it. I don´t think this kind of computers can go on sale, because the hacked/piracy issues...Also any possible problem!:cool:

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