Gamer and aspiring Programmer: which Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by martychang, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. martychang macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    Obviously, being a gamer in my free time limits me to only the 3 models with dedicated graphics.

    I already have a Macbook 2.2 SR Superdrive. It satisfies my mobile needs, but not my gaming ones. If I were to look at a Macbook Pro I could sell this(I know my sister wants one, obviously she'd get a discount :p). But even looking at the cheapest 15" that's in the middle in terms of expense, and the least powerful.

    That, and I really like desktops. The Macbook is my first laptop, so maybe it's just the small screen that makes it feel so uncomfortable, perhaps a 15" MBP would feel better in that regard. It's not that the small screen gives me eyestrain or looks bad, it just feels cumbersome to use for some reason and other than the incomplete keyboard I can't think of any other differences between it and a Desktop.

    All that said, the real battle would probably be between the 24" iMac and the Mac Pro. I save (at least)a few hundred dollars taking the 2.8 GHz iMac and adding the 8800GS graphics, and I get a much larger screen. If I got the Mac Pro I'd be using a 19" 1440 x 900 HP LCD currently attached to my Linux desktop, but I get single or dual quad cores, potentially better graphics(8800GT or possibly HD 3870 if that rumor is true), and potentially massive memory and storage expansion(I don't use a ton of storage, but I could RAID on a whim if I felt like it! :cool:).

    The tough part here is if I look at the Single-Quad Mac Pro, with aftermarket RAM, it's only about $200-$400 more than the iMac, depending on if I get the 8800GT. Also, with my current screen I could get better game performance while staying at native resolution, thanks to having a lower native resolution(though this screen has felt cramped at times while doing tasks with lots of terminal windows/text editor windows).

    There's plenty of people here who talk about how overkill Mac Pros are, I'd like to hear why. Can any 24" iMac owners, particularly gamers/CS students share why they picked it over the Single-Quad Mac Pro? Or any people who felt the same about laptops have a story about the MBP?
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    I have a Mac Pro, and its overkill. You can use really any computer for programming. Your best bet is to buy a console or Windows desktop for gaming.
  3. martychang thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    I have consoles, most of the games I play don't come out on consoles though, that or the console versions are vastly inferior. If you've ever wondered why consoles don't take over, it's people like me, and the developers who make the games I enjoy :p

    As for a Windows Desktop, I really don't want to bother with that ever again, I'll work on/fix them if paid, but that's it. Not to mention that's another $800 dollars or so, assuming I can bum a copy of Windows(I'm not a pirate). Buying Windows would make it about as expensive as selling the Macbook and buying a MBP. I'd probably get by on games without Mac versions with Crossover, I have my experience with Wine troubleshooting for friends who use Ubuntu.

    In case it wasn't clear, I'm looking for one machine that will do pretty much everything but the few new console games I'd like, and mobility(since I may keep the Macbook). Only a Mac will cover it for me.
  4. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008

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