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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 28, 2004
Hi Everyone,

I'm in a bit of a predicament and really could use some advice here.
Firstly let me start by saying I love apple computers and have been using them now for 20+ years now!

I also happen to love PC gaming with my ageing 2008 MacPro (via BootCamp) but it just can't cope anymore so my plan is to either buy or build a dedicated gaming PC to use in my study.

The issue is under no circumstances do I want to be without a 'Mac environment' for the benefit of all my other Apple peripherals.

If I explain how my system is currently set up perhaps you guys can help me with the best way to move forward?

I should mention that all I use my mac for these days is for some photo retouching, web browsing and streaming my music and photos to the Apple TV's I have in my lounge and kitchen.

In my MacPro I have 2 x 500Gb SSD's with 1 purely for the Mac OS and Home folder and another for Windows 10.
There are also 2 internal HD's for Backup.
All my photos and music are stored on an external HD.

So the problem is do I get a Mac Mini, MacBook or the latest iPad considering the above and the fact that I only plan to have just the one monitor on my desk?

I should also mention that what I know about NAS drives and networks you could write on the back of a postage stamp so it makes me a little reluctant go down that route...having said that I might possibly be persuaded it its a straight forward affair.

Many thanks in advance and hoping you can help.


macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2018

the good news is you've got lots of excellent options. i think a lot of it comes down to use category and how intense the gaming you're going to be doing is. if you like console games, a little fortnite and aren't planning to run the most intense brand new game on Ultra-High settings, then i think you're in great shape sticking with a Mac especially since you're so committed to the ecosystem. plus, Macs have really come a long way in the last 3 years in the GPU department. the Radeon Vega Pro 20 available in the 2018 MacBook Pro gives performance somewhere between an nVidia 1050 Ti and 1070 (which is great).

i would not recommend a Mac Mini for you even though it fits 90% of what you're looking for, unless you're going to pair it with an external GPU like one of the Black Magic ones. friends don't let friends game on Intel Iris graphics.

if you already have an amazing monitor, or want to output to a 55" or bigger TV, then consider the MacBook Pro, which has an excellent graphics card and can easily drive 1-2 monitors. if you don't, then the best bang for your buck (within Apple's ecosystem) is going to be the iMac 27" which can get you a Radeon Pro 580 with 8gb RAM (on the GPU) and the system RAM can be upgraded easily by you up to 64gb in about 5 minutes. since you're familiar with bootcamp, you can probably deactivate your Windows 10 Pro install on one of your existing devices and install it on the iMac.

here's what i would do. make a quick list of the types of games you want to play most and check their frame rates on various builds you're considering. a lot of the pro-fanboy/sponsored youtube mac reviews can blur together and get boring, but they're usually at least good for showing frames-per-second and other performance numbers. then get the Mac with the best video card that matches your needs and install Windows 10 Pro on it.

if you truly want a powerhouse gaming rig, there's tons of customizable 'gaming' sites that have those. the problem is they usually put the color scheme like you're in a chuck e. cheese laser show and give you 57,000 options for OVERCLOCKING HYPERTHREAEDEAD OMGZ BRO things that you don't really need. one PC maker i highly recommend due to their experience and quality control is Puget Systems. they're kind of pricey compared to a shelf Dell/Lenovo/HP, but i've never bought a system from them that lasted less than 8 years. more important, you can email them for a recommended quote and advice based on your current and future needs, and they will not try to upsell you to a $5,000 computer. disclaimer: i am not affiliated or sponsored by them in any way.

hope this helps, happy holidays and good luck


macrumors 68030
Aug 29, 2009
So the problem is do I get a Mac Mini, MacBook or the latest iPad considering the above and the fact that I only plan to have just the one monitor on my desk?
If your monitor has multiple inputs, you could just leave it as is and plug the new PC into a port your old Mac isn't using. So get the new PC for gaming, keep the old Mac for your Macing, and switch inputs on your monitor whenever you need to. So now it just depends on if you can fit a second PC in or not.


Nov 5, 2010
Which games are you playing? That might help to narrow it down a bit.

I think keeping it simple, you may be best of with an iMac and bootcamp for the games. It's not got the best gaming performance, but if it's casual gaming you should be good, and the Mac experience will be great and give you the single monitor set up you are wanting.

If you are planning on playing more demanding games then go for a mini, just put it under the monitor and get a PC for the games and share the keyboard and mouse between them. Or use an xbox controller for the PC gaming. Or get a Mini and use a console for the games. Both options would allow you to use a single monitor and keep a Mac.
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