Do I really need an iMac? Advice needed.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Novus John, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Novus John macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #1
    I'm considering getting myself an iMac once the upgraded versions come out this year. However, when I consider the reasons why I would want a Mac I can only come up a single one -- being comfortable with macos. I don't work with anything that would specifically require me to use a mac, although I do own a MBP13 and an iPhone 6s, so I understand that staying within the ecosystem has its own advantages.

    My experience with iMacs has also not been a positive one; at work almost two out of three iMacs fail within three years and have to get replaced. When you consider the price such failure rates terrify me, but that's my anecdotal example so it's possible that I'm not seeing the actual failure rates.

    There is also the fact that I could build myself a very powerful system for close to half the price. Some things would have to go like 5k, but there are some really great 4k screens with which I am fine. I would also be able to choose the components myself which can be very satisfying. This is something that I have done in the past and I do have the time for it.

    I will use the machine mostly for office tasks, some work, and some light gaming. I really like games from Paradox Interactive like Stellaris, EU4, etc. I'm not a huge addict though.

    So, your thoughts? I am torn between rolling the dice with a mediocre iMac and going down the custom path and win10.
     
  2. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #2
    You use the word "need" in your subject title and frankly it sounds like you are confusing that term with the word "want." Nothing in your post indicates that you NEED a Mac.

    Based on your nebulous usage case description, I suggest you strongly consider a Wintel PC if you need it right now or possibly a Mac mini if a new model is released in the near future. But don't wait for Apple.

    (Disclaimer: I am an AAPL shareholder.)

    Good luck with your purchase decision.
     
  3. Novus John thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #3
    The title says "need" but I use "want" in the text. Screw ups happen. :)

    I didn't go into detail about my usage because I can do my work from any machine as long I can install an SSH client on it, other software that I need is available on both platforms. Also I avoid bringing my work into bed, I prefer when it stays at the office.
     
  4. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    We can't really tell you what you need or want honestly.

    I can only tell you I've got a 5 year old Windows laptop that's running 10 just fine. I got it for about $520 with taxes.

    For me a Mac is out of my budget for how little I'd use it.

    For you, that is probably different.
     
  5. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #5
    Adding "SSH client access" to your nebulous usage description doesn't say much, pretty much any personal computer in the past 20+ years has been able to run an SSH client of some sort.

    I suggest you buy whatever cheap Wintel PC you want and run whatever version of Windows 7/8/10 you want on that system.

    You are basically operating the 2017 version of a VT100 terminal, not so sure why you'd even consider buying a Mac for the aforementioned tasks.

    Anyhow, good luck with your purchase decision.
     
  6. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #6
    If you are having this many problems with Macs at work, then you either need to replace the IT staff or the users that are abusing these Macs. Every Mac that I have ever owned or supported (over a hundred) has lasted until it was no longer supported by the latest macOS version. That means typically they are replaced after 7 or 8 years and are still physically working fine at the time.

    Secondly, you have not stated a single valid reason that you should consider a Mac. If, you want solid hardware, exceptionally secure and reliable OS, then get a Mac. If you want to build a PC yourself for less, then do so, but put Linux Mint or Ubuntu on it instead the evil that is Win 10. Just do some research and see if your games will run on Linux before taking that path.
     
  7. MacStu09 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    #7
    As much as I would almost blame the IT staff as well, my experiences are so similar it makes me question it. My personal Macs have (for the most part) lasted the life of the OS updates, but every single mac that I am not the exclusive user of has had at least one hardware failure within the first two years. I don't know if I'm just lucky, or if everyone else is abusing them, but hearing how similar the OP's account is to mine is almost uncanny.
     
  8. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
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    San Francisco
    #8
    Well macOS is better, so yes it is worth it. It is absolutely worth it.

    There's no reason to buy a Mac apart from an OS, you get less spec for your money.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Given your track record, I'd say go with that, unless you hate Windows. A home built Pc will have the advantage with components, upgradability, performance.

    I love my iMac is a beautiful machine, but to be honest Tim Cook's idea of MacOS is not a very good one. The latest issue is that he's gutted the PDF frameworks to make it more unified with iOS. I'd rather not see a company remove functionality in their OS but add functionality. If this was but a single instance, I'd probably gripe about it but that's about it, but Apple as a history of doing this. For instance Photos still is not near the flexibility, functions or power of Aperture. It may be finally nearing iPhotos but it took years.
     
  10. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
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    San Francisco
    #10
    I agree with this, I am usually against any type of loss of functionality, and I agree macOS seems to be moving in the wrong direction in many respects. The move to make it more like iOS is a big mistake and who knows, may ultimately result in the destruction of macOS. I wouldn't be surprised with the current Apple.

    I'd raise there wasn't even any need to remove/replace iPhoto, terrible move there was no reason to get rid of iPhoto. I've been using Apple since OS 9, so the last thing I want to see is the baby-fication and idiot-ification of the OS.
     
  11. deany, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #11
    We bought two iMacs in May 2015.
    In September '16 the logic board went on iMac one.
    Both have AppleCare.
    I would buy another iMac in a heart beat it would be retina but AppleCare would always be included and 100% SSD.
    Hoping for minimum 5 years use.
    (all 21.5")
    ps
    You mention W10 we have W7 running daily and it works like a dream on the i7 3.1 16GB RAM 500 SSD
    We also have XP and W10 although I haven't really tested W10 as I'm not won over - yet.
    All Parallels 12.
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    My inclination is to hold out until spring/summer and see what the new iMacs are like, whether anything happens on the Mac Mini/Mac Pro front, if the price of MBPs gets dropped etc.

    Any new iMac is going to be one of 4 things:

    (A) something completely new and unexpected and good.
    (B) the current iMac upgraded to the best available CPU & GPU, TB3 replacing the TB2 ports but keeping the other ports
    (C) 20% thinner, CPU/GPU crippled by thermal throttling, 4xTB3 and nothing else, loss of upgradeable RAM and socketed SSD, 20% higher price.
    (D) something completely new, unexpected and stupid.

    Then, I think, we'll all have our answer.

    Also, there is nothing that completely blows my socks off in the PC world at the moment - the closest thing is the MS Surface Studio but, at that price, spinning rust & no fast i/o (USB 3.1g2 or TB) are deal-breakers. The Surface Book and the Dell XPS15 sound like "wait for version 2". The new Dell XPS 27 iMac-allike sounds interesting.

    That's Apple's big problem: lack of choice, especially with the Mac Mini and Mac Pro ranges hopelessly out of date.

    Unless of you're editing 4k video and want to play it unscaled in a window, 5k is a bit of a Mac thing - 2560x1440 with pixel-doubling @ 27" is kinda the optimum resolution for MacOS. Windows is a bit more flexible - I don't hear people with 4k displays on Windows complaining. Anyhow, there are 5k displays that work on PC, and may be more in the future. If you build a custom PC, it may just be a case of choosing the right graphics card now or, maybe, just uprgrading in the future to one with DP1.3 support.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    a mac mini should do the job just fine.
    no imac needed
     
  14. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #14
    In my experience Macs and all Apple hardware for that matter has been very reliable. That will be the case with the majority of Mac users since a company with a 51% product failure rate wouldn't last long, even 15% for that matter.

    A Mac is just a PC using PC components from Intel, Samsung, nVidia, Western Digital, SanDisk, etc etc etc.

    The problem is the lack of replaceable parts. So if the GPU fails you could be looking at an entire new logic board. Not only does this make it difficult to diagnose but nearly impossible for the user to replace. Plus more expensive.

    I typically get AppleCare+ and buy a new Mac when it expires in 3 years although I've never needed to use it, for any reason.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    I agree, there are instances where improper design has led to failures but by and large I think Macs are incredibly reliable. That's one reason why I am willing to pay a premium for them. I have an expectation that it will last longer then a PC
     
  16. jerm13 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    #16
    I'm planning to get an imac sometime this year. Not for design, but casual use. Leaning towards the 21.5" model. Is it worth the extra $200 for the 4k display on this version?
     
  17. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #17
    oh sure. The display on the non-4K 21.5s is not a modern display anymore, and thus, a bad buy. It shouldn't be sold

    The 4K display itself is nice but the crux of the 4K is it has a little weak little iGPU. We're talking about a seriously weak GPU.

    It is for that reason that I recommend the 5K iMac given the price is comparable to the 4K iMac.
     
  18. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #18
    Do you mean the 21.5 inch Retina display? I guess it depends what you mean by casual use. I myself wouldn't worry about the integrated GPU, because it's plenty good enough for web browsing and email and watching videos. (I can do all that on an ancient nvidia GT120, or the GPU in an early 2009 iMac, both of which are slower than the Iris Pro 6200. You don't need fancy GPU power for most things.)

    I do however think that you might miss the large screen space available with the 27 inch.

    If you want to stick with the smaller screen for whatever reason, I'd definitely go with the retina display. It's worth the price premium. The only reason to buy the non-retina 21.5 inchers is if you absolutely must save every penny.
     

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