Hackintosh vs iMac vs MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maxwelltech, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. maxwelltech macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #1
    Hello!
    I decided to switch to the Mac from Windows but I couldn't decide which is the best option for me.
    I do a lot of video editing in Final Cut Pro X, as well as the basic stuff like web browsing and email.
    Please Note: If I am going for the Hackintosh or the iMac, I am probably going for a MacBook Air as well.

    Option 1: Hackintosh
    This is going to be the most powerful of all three. It is going to have a Core i7 at 3.4 Ghz, 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon 6870 and SSD boot drive. The cost is $1075.
    Pros:
    Powerful
    Upgradibility
    Inexpensive ($1075 vs $2900 for similar spec iMac)
    Cons:
    Stability (not by much tho, Hackintosh are pretty reliable these days)
    Legal issues
    Ease of use (messing around with DSDT, kexts, and graphics vs hitting the power button and ready to go)

    Option 2: iMac 21.5
    This is the base model 21.5 inch iMac. This has the lowest spec of all three systems. 2.5 Ghz i5, 4GB RAM, AMD Radeon 6750M, and 500GB hard drive.
    Pros:
    Real Mac
    Top-notch design (something not in the Hackintosh)
    Beautiful screen (21.5 IPS)
    Included webcam, speakers and microphone
    Cons:
    Low specs
    Expensive for what you get
    No upgradibility

    Option 3: MacBook Pro 15 Retina
    This is the base model 15 MacBook Pro retina. It has specs between the iMac and the Hackintosh. 2.3 Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M.
    Pros:
    Real Mac
    Retina display (2880x1800 IPS)
    Thin and light (kind of useless if I got the MacBook Air)
    Beautiful design
    Included webcam, speakers and microphone
    Cons:
    Expensive (if I get the MacBook Air with the Hackintosh or iMac it will be roughly the same price, but I can always get the Hackintosh or iMac first and get the MacBook Air later)
    Lower specs than Hackintosh
    No upgradibility

    So that is my take on it. Thanks for helping me out!
     
  2. oddsratio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #2
    I almost went hackintosh+netbook this year, so if I had to choose, that would be it (air in your case, but I don't like them very much). My big con was that I didn't want the hassle of maintaining files across two separate machines. I went with a non-retina 15" MBP, because I use the optibay and I use my computer as a transportable workspace rather than a strictly portable one. I pretty much always have it hooked up to an external monitor at either home or office. I'd say go with the hackintosh if you truly don't need the portability and go with an air after if you need it. It might be a while before you can upgrade to Mountain Lion, though, but you do get more value out of the equipment if you can get all the components to work.
     
  3. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #3
    Sounds like you've worked out the pros and cons pretty well.

    On the hackintosh - I'd regard those as for home/hobby use only. (1) You're technically running the software in violation of the EULA. I can't see Apple going after individuals, but I'd be more cautious in a business environment (e.g. if you get hit with a software audit). If you're an independent freelance then, well, don't ask, don't tell. (2) The current system may be stable, but there's always the danger that it will be broken by the next update or new OS version.

    Expandability of "real macs" - you shouldn't totally write off Thunderbolt. Yes, currently there's a limited choice and high prices, but it does offer external expansion with "internal" performance that would not be possible with USB or FW.

    I'd say that what you really need to decide is where do you want to do your video editing:

    * On the road? That sounds like the retina MBP's strength.
    * On the desktop? Get the iMac - and look at the 27" version which, I think, is the best value and, like the retina MBP, has enough pixels to let you edit 1080p in a window. Save your pennies by getting an old model or refurb Air (there are a lot around) which is more than good enough for web/email on the move.

    (But bear in mind the rumoured new iMacs)

    Personally, I don't think the retina MBP makes much sense as a "desktop replacement" (which I interpret as: a laptop that spends most of its life sitting on a desk, or commuting between two desks, possibly hooked up to a large monitor and full-size keyboard). For that I'd go for the MBP "classic" or a MBP 17" (catch 'em where you can).
     
  4. maxwelltech thread starter macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #4
    The hackintosh is for home use but I am wondering is it OK to post something about the hackintosh on a public website such as YouTube? I actually wanted to do some sort of hackintosh tutorial.
    Btw hackintosh is also a lot more compatible for updates nowadays, but like you said there is still a chance of breaking something and you pretty much have to re-enable the audio everytime you update.
    I will be mostly editing at home. Just saw a refurb 27 iMac in the Apple Store for $1419. Pretty good deal because that 27 inch screen alone is $900.
    I also have a question. The hackintosh is obviously more powerful than the iMac or MacBook Pro but is the hackintosh overkill for Final Cut Pro X? If that is the case I might as well go with a real Mac.
     
  5. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #5
    IANAL. In my opinion, because of the EULA violation, I would say that "technically" it isn't okay. But then again, there are numerous tutorials for hackintoshes out there.

    It never hurts to have more power than needed for stuff like FCPX, IMO.
     
  6. maxwelltech thread starter macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #6
    I recently discovered that you can get a free upgrade to Mountain Lion if you buy a Mac right now. Of course, I will not get the free upgrade if I went for a hackintosh. I don't want to wait till Mountain Lion is released but I really don't want to spend $30 for something I am just going to use for a month.

    Also, kind of off topic but I am considering buying the new iPad to upgrade my iPad 1. I also wanted to take iOS programming classes over the summer, and of course I will need a MacBook for that. Should I buy a MacBook Air instead of buying the iPad?
     
  7. maxwelltech thread starter macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
  8. eric/ Guest

    eric/

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio, United States
    #8
    Well why would you need a Macbook Air for the programming classes?

    But obviously if you do, you should get the Macbook Air since you can't do programming on the iPad.

    But if you just want to get a new mobile device for general use, the iPad 3 is a great machine IMO and I like mine and think it would be great.

    Also, should go with the 27 inch iMac. I wouldn't chance a Hackintosh.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    Apple ignores hackintosh computers. So you are safe unless you do something that really annoys Apple, or you do something that Apple cannot ignore. (Psystar is a company that did both, and it ended in tears for them) On the other hand, running MacOS X on a non-Apple branded computer _is_ copyright infringement and a DMCA violation, so posting evidence on YouTube is not exactly wise.
     
  10. maxwelltech thread starter macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #10
    I think I am going for a real Mac. The hackintosh has some legal issues and it just takes too much work. I think it will be worth it if the difference is really big, but since the new MacBook Pros have plenty of power for Final Cut Pro X I am just going for a Mac that works out of the box without any tweaking whatsoever. I do miss the hackintosh though and I am going to try it once I have a stable Mac that I can rely on.
    Now I am deciding between the iMac and the MBP.
     
  11. mattkilla420 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    san diego
    #11
    first i would figure out your budget. but if i was you i would choose the macbook pro retina if you have the money because it seems you want something portable to do work on. the AMD Radeon HD 6970M in the imac (up to 2gb on the imac) is much better than the 1 gb 650m on the mbp but i believe there will be thunderbolt video cards available if you need to have a better gpu down the road. the 650m looks like it handles final cut very well. there is also an hdmi on the macbookpro so if you ever decide to need a larger screen you have that option. and of course youll probably need external hdds to store your video work.

    looking at a geekbench score, i found for the most powerful imac at 3.4 i7, 4gb ram is 12697 compared to the mbpr: i7 2.3 is 10810 or 12303 for the retina i7 2.6.
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/view/404309
    http://osxdaily.com/2012/06/12/macbook-pro-macbook-air-2012-benchmarks/

    here is a site for comparing gpu's
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html


    if you dont need a notebook for doing final cut then maybe get an air/ipad and a full blown 27imac. i do not think you can change the video card on the imac w/o being very experienced and it does not use the standard pci/e . they also have not updated the imac yet and have heard they might soon.
     
  12. maxwelltech thread starter macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #12
    Believe it or not, I went with a MacBook Pro 13 i7 2.9 with Intel HD 4000. Geekbench scores of it is even higher than the 27 base iMac. I was going to go for the rMBP but there is a very long wait on these things, and I need it very quickly.
    Just to talk about my opinion here (probably answering my own question as well), the new retina MacBook Pro beats all models of the iMacs, excluding the BTO i7 iMacs which are around the same price. For that same price, you are getting portability, a retina display, and roughly the same power. Of course you are not getting that 27" display, but the retina display on the MBP is much clearer than the 27 iMac. I don't recommend an iMac/MBA combo either, because for $2200, all you can get is the base iMac and the base MBA. The new MBPs have much more power than the base iMac. iMacs used to be the best machine you could get for the price, but because the iMacs haven't been updated in WWDC, the rMBP took that spot.
     

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