considering going back to mac...questions.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ayjazz, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. ayjazz macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Since this is my first post, I'll talk a bit about myself. I used to use the old Macs when I was little, but started over to PCs when I got to my preteen years. Up until recently, I always regarded Macs as a system with untapped potential, but at the same time, nothing but designer computers or computers for those in graphics design.

    After hearing my cross coach talk about the things you can do with a mac, and having a go on my uncle's Imac, I'm considering getting an IMac of my own for when I go off to college. However, on my current machine, I like to game (MW2, L4D2, COD4) as well as do my school work. Macs seem like a good option because of their stability, bootcamp, ease of use, (and their sexy looks ;) ) but after doing a bit of research, I'm left with some questions.

    First off, I've always heard that even with bootcamp, the Macs can never run games in their full glory. However, these videos that I found (L4D2) (MW2) (Maybe, you can't see the screen)

    says otherwise. Unless the videos are BS, the games look nice and run quite well. I'm not the kind of person that has to have the sharpest graphics on the block, but I like to have a nice looking (and well-running) game. One question I have is(can't confirm it really with the last video) could I be able to play online with other PC players with bootcamped windows on an IMac?

    Also, while I'm aware that Imacs are not really upgradable, and Mac Pros are, I can't really justify their cost when I can do what I want with a good Imac. My question is, is the equipment in an Imac good enough to last me a few years with the upcoming games, so that I can buy a new computer when the time comes? Also, I've always heard that Macs have a good resale value. Considering that my mac is in good condition, would I be able to get a good price for a used Imac, helping out the cost with a new mac?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Glad to hear you're considering a Mac. It's a blast!

    So to answer a few of your questions... Yes, Macs have a lot of power and a lot of capability. They come with a ton of really great (and free) software for doing all sorts of cool stuff, from video editing to publishing websites. And they look good. :)

    When it comes to gaming, Boot Camp is your best friend. Basically, everyone knows that most game companies make games for Windows (because that's where the money is at). Games for Macs do come out, but often they come out at a later date (if ever). So using Boot Camp enables you to install Windows on your Mac and have the best of both worlds — it literally turns your Mac into a PC. There is no difference whatsoever.

    So, for this matter, you would just install games onto your Mac while in Windows. And then when you weren't gaming, you can just hop back over to the Mac side of the computer. Of course, in addition to all the great stuff that comes with a Mac, everyone knows that viruses aren't an issue at all (when using the Mac side of your computer). However, if you use Boot Camp, you *can* still get viruses on the PC side — but they won't affect the Mac side whatsoever. In the worst case scenario, if you got a virus on the PC side, you can just reset Boot Camp and you'll still have a working Mac the entire time. It's great.

    When it comes to the graphic power and capabilities of running games, it really all depends on how you want your settings. The newest iMacs run most games between medium and high settings without any problems at all. Sometimes (depending on the game) there could be some slowdown with anything set higher, but it all really depends on what you're playing.

    If you're playing online, you can play against anyone — regardless if they're running a Mac with Boot Camp OR if they're just using a PC. So you'll still be online with the whole world, that's one of the advantages of Boot Camp and the Mac, it's the best of both worlds.

    iMacs have some upgrade options, it just sort of depends on what you were wanting to upgrade. On average, iMacs should last several years without any problems at all. But either way, all Macs come with top-of-the-line components (Intel Core 2 Duo, i5, or i7 processors). There's nothing faster in the entire industry (with the exception of the Xeon processors, which are used in Mac Pros). So upgrading isn't something you'd have to do for a long time.

    And finally, yes, Macs have great resale value, usually depending on the age of the computer. If it's in good condition and not too old, you could probably get at least a few hundred (sometimes several hundred) dollars for it.

    Hope this helps! :)
  3. ayjazz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Sounds great, anyone else have a second opinion or anything to add?
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    any mac is going to be overpriced if you're only using it to game on. If you need stability, learn safe computing habits, as OS X will one day be just as full of viruses and trojans as Windows is.
  5. Nitro1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2009
    I do not know if OS X will ever have as many viruses but point taken. Mac's are going to be more expensive but a much safer and stable platform. BOOTCAMP is the best way to have the best of both worlds. You can game and have no worry about viruses and the great platform of OS X.
  6. ayjazz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Well, I generally protect my computer and what not, but I've always loved how mac were much more smooth, and you didn't have to babysit them. I plan to use this computer for work and general computer tasks as well, and maybe even give some of the Mac apps a go, but gaming is one of my priorities for a computer (I suck too much at FPSs on consoles to go to the 360)

    The point I want to drive home is the resale value. I know that the first reply said it was good, and I'm not doubting it, but I want to hear others opinions too. It is good enough, assuming that the computer is in good condition to help offset the price of a new Imac? A joke I once heard regarding selling used PCs is that you can only trade them in for something off the Mcdonalds Value Menu, but I've heard that with Macs you can actually get a fair deal out of it.
  7. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 9, 2007
    well my opinion on re-salability (<- word??) i also thinks they are very good.

    I've never sold one of my macs, but as a kid my parents bought me a used mac. I remember them paying around $500 for an iMac G3. At the time this computer was already easily 5 years old, so $500 was quite a bit. But I used that computer every day i grew up, for at least 2 years until i finally got a new macbook. Point is an already old imac, turned out to still be of great use for a long time. In short, an old mac is still worth money.

    I also thought to prove my point further i did a quick ebay search to see what others were selling their used iMacs at.

    i think seeing that for yourself makes things pretty clear.
  8. ayjazz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Those prices are pretty impressive.

    I asked this question on Yahoo Answers, to see if I could get other responses, and someone said that the graphics cards tend to be a generation behind, leaving players at a disadvantage. However, those videos that I linked everyone, and other that I found on youtube seem to run the games quite nicely. And this is on an Imac.

    Who is right in this case?

    Here's a link to my question;_ylv=3?qid=20091230085910AAW1U7X
  9. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 9, 2007
    Well it is true, macs generally dont come with the most advanced GPU's. That is to say they dont come with bad ones either. In the PC world you most likely could find a better GPU than what the top-o-line mac has. But what has been proven is that macs dont come with bad GPU's. At least not anymore, most imacs used to only have integrated GPU's which suck. But in newer iMacs there have been dedicated GPU's with limited upgrade options. These GPU's are pretty capable and like its already been said, you can most likely play most games on medium settings, but there can be some slow down with the highest settings depending on the game of course.
  10. grayskyz macrumors regular


    Nov 21, 2008
    Los Angeles
    When I was in college I had a great Mac to do work on, learn myself photoshop (Which turned into a full career) and use for email/socializing and web stuff.

    For playing games I had a console. Something i could borrow games on and not jeopardize my studies by downloading junk and stuff like that. Plus the games were 50 bucks max. Unlike computers that make me upgrade video cards, monthly subscriptions and upgrades.

    It doesn't work for everyone but, It worked for me awesomely.
    Good luck with your decision.

  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Videos arent BS.

    And Im assuming you are buying a 27"? The 4850 in the i5/17 are the fastest "laptop" graphics chip ATI offers.

    They are one generation behind the desktop cards, ATI now has the 5800 series cards -- which are $400... I would suspect 5800 series "laptop" ATI video is not far away...
  12. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    This is kind of a "troll mesage" ...

    Maybe that's why you go by "Jadedmonkey" in the first place? But really, stability is about much more than "safe computing habits". That's always a good place to start ... but as just one example, take the popular "all in one" printer/fax/copier/scanner units out there. In Windows, your typical HP all-in-one needs a driver CD loaded that installs upwards of 350MB of stuff! Then, you inevitably start having issues after a while where the front panel buttons on the unit quit launching the scanning or faxing applications on the PC, and the only resolution is to uninstall the whole thing, reboot the PC, and reinstall it all again. (This process can easily take over 30 minutes!)

    On the Mac, by contrast, most printers just plug into an available USB port and work ... no extra installation necessary! When they DO need a special driver, they're usually simple and to the point.

    Additionally, OS X has no system registry - which winds up a HUGE benefit. The Windows registry is usually what gets clogged up with old, obsolete entries over time from uninstalled software and causes the computer to get slower and slower, until eventually, you have to reformat and reinstall to get things back to "the way they used to work". It's also a big reason spyware infections are so prevalent in Windows. The registry has something like 18 different places someone can bury a command to auto-run an application at boot-up, and most of those are neither well documented nor easy to find.

  13. njean777 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2009
    if you want an imac, then i suggest you get an xbox and the imac. Use the xbox for gaming ant the computer for everything else.
  14. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008

    The resale value of the Macs is not as good anymore as it used to be - thanks to Apple's switch to PC hardware. In the Intel/AMD segment, the innovation cycles are much faster than they used to be during Apple's PowerPC phase, and people actually began to compare the hardware specs directly, which now is possible because it is the -same- hardware.

    The iMac is not really a good option for gaming. You cannot upgrade it where it counts for gaming - CPU, GPU - and this simply means that the next round of first person shooters won't run anymore on it in all their glory. You will have to reduce the resolution and details settings in order to play high-spec games on an iMac.

    About all the other magical things that you can do with a Mac... It's all marketing crap. There is literally nothing that a Mac can do that a PC couldn't do just as well either. And Windows 7 is giving Snow Leopard a run for its money - it's faster than Snow Leopard, it's more robust, more versatile, has more applications and is almost as user friendly as Snow Leopard.

    That being said, I prefer several Mac applications over their PC counterparts - mostly Aperture and Scrivener. But both can be substituted easily with PC software. Just don't let all that marketing and eye candy fool you.

    Hell, when I look at Ubuntu 9.10, I must say that you can also do everything that you need to do with a Linux notebook or desktop these days.

    So, yes, the Macs main selling point is the hardware design - which can easily be reason enough to buy one. End of story.
  15. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I have a canon MP640 printer/scanner/copier that I bought from an Apple store. In Windows, I had to download about 10mb of drivers to make it work. lets say that's 20mb, once installed. I configured it which took a few extra minutes as I didn't know my way around Windows 7 as well as I do OS X, but lets say 10 minutes.

    Using Snow Leopard, first I installed a few gigs of printer drivers. Then, when they didn't work, I installed the canon drivers. These too, did not allow me to print to the printer over a network, and I was forced to search for an updated version of the gutenprint drivers to get it to work. This took me easily an hour (that's twice as long as your 30 minutes worst-case scenario), used much more than 350mb's of space, and all this to get a printer to work that Apple sold to me.

    So yes, Windows is full of fail. OS X is perfect.

    All you do is make mac users such as yourself seem like blind fanbois who think that Jesus himself used an iMac. I'll agree that macs don't get as gunked up as a PC does, but when you have an Applecare rep tell you that your hard drive is failing because of how long it takes to boot OS X, well maybe you start to realize OS X isn't perfect either.
  17. RyanTheGeneral macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    I am a recent switcher. However one of the reasons I switched was for reliability. If one of the things you are conisdering is if it will last from what I have heard the macs are reliable machines.
  18. nullx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2009
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    Get an iMac 27" Core i7 with ATI Graphics. You'll have no problems running any game except maybe crysis (but what computer doesnt have issues running crysis eh?) :p

    macs are the best for photo/video editing
  19. ayjazz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I know right? Hahah.

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