Help me decide. iMac 5k middle model, base iMac pro, almost maxed out i9 mbp, or maxed out mini's x2

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by IdentityCrisis, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. IdentityCrisis macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2018
    My mind is wondering trying to figure this out. I have a powerful gaming rig that I just don’t play often enough and it heats up the office to 85 degrees easily. So it makes it unbearable after a few hours of use. Then I have to take my 2015 mbp 13 out of the office and continue to use it because it’s so hot.

    Thinking about selling it, can probably get around $3k for that built system, i9-9900k, and all the top of the line parts.

    What would be my best way to go to get the best performance with the least money spent? I do video rendering as well. I may play some bops4 but on rare occasions.

    My thoughts on two minis would be to replace our old 2009 Mac mini that is limping. She uses it only for email and browsing. But I could possibly get two minis for that price. On maxed out or close to it and the other close to base to replace hers. Would that mini do me justice that I would get for what I need and run a 4-5k screen?

    Biggest part is, will it perform and keep the room cool.
  2. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I'd sell the gaming rig first and see how much (or how little) money you actually get for it. The sooner you sell it, the better.

    Gaming rigs are like engagement-rings: they cost a lot to buy but their resale-value is mediocre, at best.
  3. Justin L Franks macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2013
    With eGPU support, I'm seriously considering a new Mac Mini over a new 5K iMac to replace my old late 2012 iMac (i7-3770, GTX 680MX) when it finally kicks the bucket. It all depends on whether the iMac is refreshed by that time, and what its specs are. But if I had to buy today, I would almost definitely go with a 6-core Mini.

    For your situation, the 2x Mini (one base for your wife, one better-equipped for you) definitely sounds like a good option. Get an eGPU enclosure and something along the lines of an RX580 or 6 GB GTX 1060 and you should be fine with your occasional gaming. Or something a bit more powerful depending on how well your existing gaming rigs sells for. There's also the option of selling your gaming rig sans GPU and just use that in the eGPU enclosure, which may or may not end up costing less overall (again, depending on what it actually sells for).
  4. ruka.snow macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2017
    The weakest link of the iMac is the GPU which has a direct connection to the screen. Since eGPU's can't feed back into an internal display I have a strong aversion to the iMac now. Given that in the usable life of the CPU we could have 2-3 GPU releases, I would go with a mini and eGPU I can upgrade. Not to mention the ability to get a screen that best fits your requirements for the highest options are not open to the 21.5 inch iMac(which I prefer the size off). Or if you want multiple screens, nothing will 'sit nice' next to the iMac.
  5. IdentityCrisis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2018
    Thank you to those that have responded. Anyone else have advice?

    Actually the gaming rig if broken down and sell the parts doesn't do to bad. I've done it before last year and got 80% of what I put into it back. Since this one is actually a little newer, I could get more.

    I am just having a hard time deciding which direction to go here. Part of me thinks MBP docked again like I had my 2017, or keep using my 2015 MBP 13", and do the Mac Mini's, or get a IMAC Pro or top model IMAC 5k. So hard to decide now.
  6. louisitou macrumors newbie


    Jun 27, 2016
    i have the same problem right now, cant decide if i should buy the base imac pro or the mac mini maxed out... im pretty sure that we will see new redesigned imacs in some months, i would be really pissed to life with a power machine in a old design then.. but the specs are still amazing... i cant decide.
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    If you want a powerful gaming rig for the future, don't get the iMac or the MBP. Get the Mac mini with an upgradeable eGPU. That being said, I haven't read any articles on how the new Mac Mini handles prolonged CPU usage, from a thermal point of view. It may throttle after some time, after all, it has 6 cores in a small box.

    If you want portability, get a MBP.

    If you want a cheap but awesome screen, get the 5K iMac. It will be thermally constrained though.

    If you want fast video rendering (And the cheap and awesome screen), get an iMac Pro.

    If you have the patience, and want the most optimal model for video rendering and gaming, wait for Apple to announce the modular Mac Pro at WWDC in May/June/July.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...don't get a Mac (or get a Mac and a gaming console).

    Seriously - that's not being a hater - high-end gaming just isn't a strength of the Mac platform. Never has been, probably never will be (Apple has a gaming platform - its called the iPhone - but maybe not offering the sort of games a "gamer" wants). Even the higher-end GPU options available for the Mac are skewed towards graphics pros and offloading processing to the GPU rather than 3D gaming.

    That's not to say you can't play any decent/A-list games on a Mac, but choosing Mac specifically as a "powerful gaming rig" is like picking Linux for desktop publishing (and, yes, you can do that...) For one thing, although an eGPU housing lets you choose your GPU the NVIDA drivers always lag several months behind the release of new MacOS versions, and Apple is moving to depreciate OpenGL in favour of Metal (which might discourage the porting of games).
  9. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    During the Keynote Apple mentioned connecting two or more Mac mini's for a render farm. When you are wanting render video can you combine the two Mac mini's instead of buying an EGPU? Or in addition to the EGPU? This might give you the performance you are looking for.
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Since OP currently plays on a Windows machine, I think it is safe to assume that he will game in Windows on his Mac.

    That being said, I've been a Mac powergamer for 30 years, and quite happy at that. Arguing that getting a gaming console is better, is beyond me, as the game selection is miniscule in comparison. Gaming is not == AAA games.
  11. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    No but "powerful gaming rig" - which was how the thread started described what they were migrating from - does rather imply that type of gaming, and usually means a 3D gaming-optimised (often NVIDIA) GPU. There's a difference between "can you game on a Mac?" and "would you buy a Mac primarily for gaming?"
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It's not quite clear - do you want a computer for gaming at all? As I read it, you are using your gaming rig for non-gaming stuff, and it heats the room up, so you continue using a 13" MacBook - so apparently no gaming is involved.

    It all depends on what you want. I won't discuss a Mac for gaming. For non-gaming, the 5K iMac is a powerful machine with a beautiful monitor. You decide what storage you want - small SSD if you don't need much, large Fusion drive if you want lots of storage cheap, large SSD if you want lots of fast storage and money doesn't matter. Make sure you have space for the 5K monitor :)

    You may consider a new 6 core MacMini, upgrade the storage yourself, and replace the 2009 Mac mini with a newer one from eBay. For a monitor, it's entirely up to you how much you spend, anything between £100 and £1200.
  13. Lioness~ macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2017
    Wild and Free
    With so many choices, you’ll have to figure out what’s most important to you.
    Find your focus.
  14. IdentityCrisis, Nov 13, 2018 at 7:50 AM
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018 at 7:55 AM

    IdentityCrisis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2018
    Agreed. I can't stand consoles honestly. I own a Xbox 1 and it has been my blu-ray player only and I never play games on it.

    The only game I currently play is BOPS 4. And I may play it once a week. But yes, I will be utilizing Windows to play it when I feel like it, but most of the time, I am reading articles, emails, browsing, facebook, etc on my machine and doing some video renderings.

    I had a MBP 2017 15", and honestly with it's 560, it had issues playing games. I would probably need a EGPU to make it work better though if I went the MBP route again. With the iMac, most likely it will do it just fine on it's own.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2018 at 7:53 AM ---
    Yes, here is the rig I have now below. I don't hardly game any more and that is why I am honestly switching, and rather have something that can play when I want. I use to be serious into gaming, but with family and work, I noticed it was just taking up too much of my time, and decided to stop with it.

    1. Acer Predator XB271HU 27" WQHD IPS NVIDIA G-Sync Black/Red Gaming Monitor, 2560 x 1440 (2K)

    2. ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING GeForce 11GB OC Edition VR Ready 5K HD Gaming HDMI DisplayPort DVI Overclocked PC GDDR5X Graphics Card

    3. NZXT S340VR Elite Computer Case , Matte White (CA-S340W-W2) -

    4. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X CODE S LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard

    5. EVGA G2/G3/P2/T2 100-CW-1300-B9 Power Supply Cable Set (Individually Sleeved), White -

    6. 24 Pieces Set = 24-pin x 4, 8-pin x 12, 6-pin x 8 Cable Comb for 3 mm Cable Gesleeved Up To 3.4 mm/0.13inch) black

    7. NZXT RF-AR140-C1 HUE+ & Aer RGB140 Fans Bundle Pack RGB 2x 140mm Aer Fans Included

    8. NZXT Internal USB Hub Controller, Black (AC-IUSBH-M1)

    9. NZXT HUE+ Extension Kit (AC-HPL03-10)

    10. NZXT Aer RGB120 Single Pack RF-AR120-B1 120mm Digitally Controlled RGB LED Fans for HUE+

    11. EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3, 80 Plus Gold 750W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 10 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G3-0750-X1

    12. Intel Core i9-9900K

    13. NZXT Kraken X62 AIO 280mm cooler

    14. G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Memory F4-3200C16D-16GTZR

    15. Samsung 970 EVO Series – 1 TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal

    16. Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 inch SATA III SSD

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