OS X Gaming machine or New iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by PolloLoco32, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. PolloLoco32 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    I've miss playing games at their highest settings on PC. My last gaming machine is 7 years old. I'm also a serious hobbiest photographer (some income, not my primary source).

    This 2009 iMac I have is nice for photography, and I have a hard time imaging myself without a mac, But I love my gaming. I do realize I can build a great gaming machine for less than an iMac, but I am also trying to take into the resale value of an iMac vs PC.

    I figure I can sell my current iMac, and offset $1000+ cost of a new imac. For gaming of course I'd want it upgraded with an i7 and geforce 780, 256 gb SSD (I got plenty of HDD's lying around for external storage) and 16GB of ram to last. I'm looking at about $2800 ($1800'ish after I sell my mac). Or I can use that 1800 to go all out on a gaming machine.

    So with apples resale value, I guess I'm trying to decide, should I go all out on another gaming machine and not upgrade for another 5-7 years? Or should I go like a subscription route and buy / sell an imac every year or 2 to stay current with games?
  2. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    If you used bootcamp, how good would the gaming be on your proposed iMac purchase? Anyone know?
  3. PolloLoco32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    Has worked good, but on my current imac I don't meet the specs for Saints Row 4, Probably not Guild wars 2, and other AAA titles. I'd love to be playing Battlefield 4 / Crysis 2 and 3 as well. The one benchmark that I did see for crysis 3 on a 780m does 29 FPS, at 1080p.

    That was not done on a mac though. I would think similiar performance on a bootcamped imac.

    The top of the line iMacs are just within the range of hitting today's games at the highest settings, but it won't be very long before you gotta start turning down settings on newer games. With a PC, I could build a much more powerful one that'll last longer on the highest settings.
  4. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    The best thing I can recommend to you rather than listen to me tell you what I would do, because I am not you so who cares what I would do really, is to make two lists: pros and cons of each choice.

    Seriously. Sit down and write down what exactly for you are the plusses and minuses of each choice and then study the two lists. That should help you determine the best choice for you. There may some compromise no matter which way you go which is what makes this difficult but relying on other people to tell you which way to go isn't really the best way to go in my opinion. I see people do that a lot here, rather than sit down and carefully analyze the choice at hand and make their own decision. A classic case of this around here is the eternal question that comes up over and over and over: "should I buy an iMac now?" My answer would almost always be yes. But would that be correct for everybody else in the world? Nope.

    In this case by the way, my personal choice would be for a new top end iMac. However, I am not you. I have different requirements in terms of space, longevity, performance, other uses of the machine, etc.

    So anyway, that's my advice. Pros and cons, compare them and figure out what is the best option for you personally. Everybody else is going to tell you what they think is good (for them usually) and that really doesn't help you too much. I would expect to see people who own separate gaming rigs for example, telling you do what they do. People who share my preference for one system doing it all, telling you to do what they do, etc. You need to do what you want to do.
  5. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    You should not have to sell your Mac every year or two to keep it current with games. What I have done is get an extended warranty, and then just prior to the 3 year point, I can sell it with a warranty. The last MBP I sold went for about $900. That's a nice return from the $2100 I paid for it new. Now this is no guarantee what used Macs are going for these days. If gaming is your only interest in a PC these days, I'd say build or buy a gaming PC for about $1000. Then you can keep your Macs longer between purchases.
  6. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    What about you consider the Mac Mini?
    If you use it for photography I assume Lightroom/Aperture, some Photoshop here and there, nothing the HD4000 (or upcoming HD5000) cannot do? That's about 850 bucks right there, then use the rest and assemble a nice PC gaming lil' beast for about 1200 (or even more considering you'd sell the iMac).

    Of course the Mac Mini doesn't come with peripherals and so on… so.. just a thought. My perspective is that, if you intend to be upgrading every now and then… the Mac Mini is a good contender for not "wasting" so much money, and whatever monitor you end up buying etc can last for a while.
  7. Davejprince macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Go for the gaming machine, bootcamp OSX for whenever you need and enjoy ultra settings at the games you want to play for less than the iMac would've cost.
  8. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
  9. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    To each his own, but you need to remember that the 780m in the top iMac has the same power as a normal 660 ti, and that card is roughly good for playing games like Battlefield 4 at medium settings at a smooth 60 frames per second. That is also with compromises to the resolution.

    Side story; Games like Watch_Dogs are coming out early next year. It will bump the system requirements considerable. For example they recommend a 6-core CPU with a 670 GTX; http://www.vg247.com/2013/10/03/watch-dogs-pc-specs-revealed-in-full-get-the-list-here/

    That is going to be the case with a lot of games being ported from the powerful next gen system. Call it lazy optimization, but it's the case here.

    780m is a mid range card. Decent but nothing more. It's naming confuses a lot of people, even on this forum. You need to remember that high class cards like 780 desktop costs over 400 dollars by itself. A Titan is 800. That's just for a graphics cards that can run everything you throw at it. And even then, you have games like BF4 that was made to be future proof for the future.

    It's completely understandable wanting the iMac. Buying a dedicated gaming monster will run you a lot. And I assume you want a comparable panel to the iMacs display? Like a Dell u2711. That will run you up further as well. You can buy a 27 gaming monitor for half the price with decent colors thoughs and a fast refreshrate if thats your thing. Pictures won't look as nice as IPS/PLS.

    Alternative idea;

    PS4 is just coming out soon. It's a very powerful console that has games now that looks stellar. Have you thought about sucking it up and buying a new Imac and 400 dollars on the playstation + with games + PSN subscription?

    I'm mainly a PC gamer myself, but even I can see the value in these new consoles. A graphics card needed to run Battlefield 4 at highest settings will cost you as much as an entire PS4. Then you need the CPU, Ram, Mobo, Display and so on.
    If you don't like gaming with a controller consider that the ps4 controller has gotten rave reviews from a lot of places(the old PS controllers were terrible for first person shooters).

    Anyway. You will get a great gaming machine, and you can get a splendid Imac with not even a 780m as photos will be done nicely with lower configurations.
    If you really want your steam experiences or play pc-only titles, it's best if you build your own system. Origin PC, falcon, ibuypower, alienware and those other pre-build PC manufacturing companies are charging a lot for gaming machines.
    The imac is not a bad deal when you think about the display. It's just a bad deal if you expect a medium range graphics card build for fat notebooks can do anything remotely close to the high end pc graphics needed to play the latest games at native settings smoothly.

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