Help with choosing a Mac?

NbinHD

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Ive got around $1800 to spend on a new computer, i run parallels 8 for use with word, powerpoint etc, and would also like the computer to be able to run GTA V and Call of Duty Ghosts at around 30+ fps. Other than that the computer is also used just for school work and internet browsing. I want 8gb, preferably a ssd (not sure if i really need one but would help with resale value later on) and reasonable specs. What should i get?, if i was to buy a mac mini or macbook and get a external screen, the most expensive macbook/mac mini i could buy would have to be under $1600 so i have $200 for a monitor. Thanks in advance.
 

NbinHD

macrumors 6502
Original poster
How about a iMac? Or does it have to be a macbook?
Well thats the thing, am i better off getting a iMac and living with the 21.5'' screen or buy a macbook and use a external monitor of around 23'' in size? As far as im aware and the impression im getting from reading other threads is that if your not using a laptop for portability and just using it at home, your better off getting a desktop. Why's that though?
 

The Robot Cow

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2012
300
67
Central California
I was in the same position in choosing between the iMac or Macbook. I went with the iMac since i'll just be using it at home and you get more powerful hardware. Not to mention they look great at home and a full sized keyboard is awesome. I already have an iPad and a nexus tablet so if i need something portable i'll just grab one of those two.
 

NbinHD

macrumors 6502
Original poster
I was in the same position in choosing between the iMac or Macbook. I went with the iMac since i'll just be using it at home and you get more powerful hardware. Not to mention they look great at home and a full sized keyboard is awesome. I already have an iPad and a nexus tablet so if i need something portable i'll just grab one of those two.
Yeh im thinking the same now, i saw in your sig you have a 21.5'' iMac, do you think the screen size is ok, because i can either get the 2.9ghz 21.5'' with a 256gb ssd or a baseline 27'' with the 512mb gpu.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,012
2,418
Seattle
First, GTA V hasn't been confirmed (seems possible, though) for PC. Lots of rumors abound.

Second, unless you use Boot Camp, you can probably forget about running Ghosts or GTA V, 30fps or otherwise.

FYI no current Mac mini is running those two games in Boot Camp with the GPU they pack. I own a latest-gen mini and it simply is not a gaming computer.

You'd really need a MacBook Pro or an iMac for that kind of work.
 

NbinHD

macrumors 6502
Original poster
First, GTA V hasn't been confirmed (seems possible, though) for PC. Lots of rumors abound.

Second, unless you use Boot Camp, you can probably forget about running Ghosts or GTA V, 30fps or otherwise.

FYI no current Mac mini is running those two games in Boot Camp with the GPU they pack. I own a latest-gen mini and it simply is not a gaming computer.

You'd really need a MacBook Pro or an iMac for that kind of work.
Ok, im planning on using bootcamp for the gaming anyway. Ive being looking at some of the BTO iMacs and with the education discount can get a 21.5'' iMac with a 2.9ghz i5 and 256gb ssd for the price i want, or i can buy the baseline 27'' imac. What would be better? And what would be a equally capable laptop for around $1600, because i have to buy a external monitor aswell which would be $200.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,012
2,418
Seattle
Ok, im planning on using bootcamp for the gaming anyway. Ive being looking at some of the BTO iMacs and with the education discount can get a 21.5'' iMac with a 2.9ghz i5 and 256gb ssd for the price i want, or i can buy the baseline 27'' imac. What would be better? And what would be a equally capable laptop for around $1600, because i have to buy a external monitor aswell which would be $200.
If you can spring for the GTX 675MX 27" iMac (better yet, of course the 680), that would be the best. It's quite a bit faster than the 650M in the 21.5". Note the M vs MX. MX is much faster.

Also, SSD is a must/game changer, but you can always add a Thunderbolt SSD boot drive down the line if you want to wait a bit. I run my 2012 27" iMac off a Thunderbolt Samsung SSD, and have done since December, 2012. Lots of people do, fyi, with no issues.

In any case, for gaming on these higher-res iMacs, the MX graphics cards are a must, especially for games not even out yet!
 

xSinghx

Suspended
Oct 2, 2012
308
85
If you can spring for the GTX 675MX 27" iMac (better yet, of course the 680), that would be the best. It's quite a bit faster than the 650M in the 21.5". Note the M vs MX. MX is much faster.

Also, SSD is a must/game changer, but you can always add a Thunderbolt SSD boot drive down the line if you want to wait a bit. I run my 2012 27" iMac off a Thunderbolt Samsung SSD, and have done since December, 2012. Lots of people do, fyi, with no issues.

In any case, for gaming on these higher-res iMacs, the MX graphics cards are a must, especially for games not even out yet!
I agree with the above post. If you're going to drop 1800 on a new computer what's another couple hundred to significantly bump the performance and life of your investment.

The iMac 27" with 3.4GHz CPU and 680 would get you the most traction and mileage for what you want to do and not cost considerably more than what you want to spend anyways. With a 21" you will probably not be tremendously happy with the performance off the bat and in 2yrs when something you really want to play comes out you are going to hate your computer. On the other hand by maxing your CPU and GFX now you will be in better shape 2yrs from now and able to at least throw some additional ram in to give your computer better performance & longer life. The 21" you can't.
 
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McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,530
286
Dark Castle
The 27" iMac will be better...unless you want portability.
The SSD are way less expensive nowadays and you can always add them later if you want to.
I believe the MacBooks are easier to re-sell than the desktops.
After 27" you will not want anything smaller...that's what she said...
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
34
? And what would be a equally capable laptop for around $1600, because i have to buy a external monitor aswell which would be $200.
Since it sounds like carrying it around isn't a factor, how about a Mac Mini?

A quad-core i7 would run 1,149.00 with a 1TB fusion drive, and you could max out the memory very cheaply with third party memory for will under $1600.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,012
2,418
Seattle
Since it sounds like carrying it around isn't a factor, how about a Mac Mini?

A quad-core i7 would run 1,149.00 with a 1TB fusion drive, and you could max out the memory very cheaply with third party memory for will under $1600.
Gaming is a no-no on the mini, though, otherwise it would be a consideration.
 

The Robot Cow

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2012
300
67
Central California
Yeh im thinking the same now, i saw in your sig you have a 21.5'' iMac, do you think the screen size is ok, because i can either get the 2.9ghz 21.5'' with a 256gb ssd or a baseline 27'' with the 512mb gpu.
To me my 21.5" is pretty solid. I keep it in my room along with my Samsung TV where I keep my PlayStation hooked up to. I have the 1tb Fusion Drive and standard 8gb of ram. I've had it for about 4 months now and it performers like new still. I love it.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
don't buy anything, wait to see next upgrade...i can see for the next imac some decent GPU in the 21.5"with 1Gb vRam probably 760M, and some 1T Fusion drive with 256SSD and in this case you will not need windows anymore
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,018
4,075
Bedfordshire, UK
Ive got around $1800 to spend on a new computer, i run parallels 8 for use with word, powerpoint etc, and would also like the computer to be able to run GTA V and Call of Duty Ghosts at around 30+ fps. Other than that the computer is also used just for school work and internet browsing. I want 8gb, preferably a ssd (not sure if i really need one but would help with resale value later on) and reasonable specs. What should i get?, if i was to buy a mac mini or macbook and get a external screen, the most expensive macbook/mac mini i could buy would have to be under $1600 so i have $200 for a monitor. Thanks in advance.
Save a shed load of cash and get a PC as that meets all your requirements.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
what will you need a windows for? games on imac with 770M/780M or even 780MX if they will do it again..will run perfectly on native resolution (beside if they will go 4K), so if you use bootcamp only for games..if you will wait for the next imac upgrade dont need anymore...Only if you play games are not build for MACOS. but even so..you can use VMWARE
 

NbinHD

macrumors 6502
Original poster
what will you need a windows for? games on imac with 770M/780M or even 780MX if they will do it again..will run perfectly on native resolution (beside if they will go 4K), so if you use bootcamp only for games..if you will wait for the next imac upgrade dont need anymore...Only if you play games are not build for MACOS. but even so..you can use VMWARE
Sorry, i misunderstood and thought you were talking about hardware, like a custom Windows machine, not the software in a VM/Bootcamp.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
so let us understand, and tell us what will do everyday with your new machine to help you for the best option

Serban