I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dh2005, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    ... is it just me, or do Apple deliberately make the specs of their desktop machines depressingly inflexible?

    I have a certain computing need in mind - it's nothing outrageous or particularly complicated, I promise you - and I just can't find it in a Mac without having to pay through the nose for additional things that I don't want.

    Illustration: I want to buy a medium-spec computer with solid gaming capability.


    I have a 32" LCD TV, so my first thought was to look at the Mac Mini range. Compact, pleasant to look at, not too expensive, great... but try getting a Mac Mini with a half-decent graphics card.

    So I look at the iMacs, and I figure that 21.5" will be a big enough display when I'm sat right up against it... but again, nothing but rotten onboard graphics available.

    Which has driven me into the arms of the 27" iMac, and yeah, it's a lovely machine; but it's more machine than I really need, and even then, the graphics card that comes with it is nothing to wet your pants over. I'd say there's a serious power mismatch between an i5 CPU, 4GB of DDR3, and that 18-month old ATI card.

    Does anyone else agree with me, or am I just a moaning Minnie who's grown too used to building his own PCs...?!

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    have you thought about the mini where you can use the display size you want

    on the other hand as far as i know ,never looked inside a imac 21.5 or 27 but they have a pci slot ..
    as i read following spec for the 21.5 on a website

    Video Card ATI Radeon HD 4670
    Video Card Type 16-lane PCI Express 2.0

    see if there is a pci slot inside just fit another card and if the case is in your way just cut it , its alloy , thats soft and easy to cut and weld

    easier option is still to build your own system with the spec you like , there is
    a chinese manufacturer called optronix they offer a 27 inch screen as a barebone system , ok not as pretty from the back but you mainly look at the front anyway i guess
  3. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2009
    I agree with everything you said about Macs, coming from someone who is in the IT industry and who used to build their own PCs.

    Apple products have always marketed themselves as 'Premium Products' so it's expected they have priced higher. As for lackluster graphics cards, I have no idea why they always go with second tier cards even in their top models.

    Having said that, I love my 27" i7 despite all the complaints about yellowing LCD. It's expensive but the design and osx is really something that stands out from an average "PC":D

    BTW I also own a Hackintosh Dell mini running snow leopard, it's the perfect low cost netbook and certainly more useful than the iDouche, err iPad.:rolleyes:
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    There's often 'always something'. I waited a LONG time for my MacBook Pro (2006) as prior models had pretty naff graphics cards. Graphics do seem to be a consistent let-down with Apple, they're just not prepared to go to the high end - even as an option.

    I know the 27" iMac doesn't have mind-blowing graphics power. I've quickly hopped on WoW, though, and it does seem to be enough for me. Quite impressive that it can drive such a high resolution screen.

    Despite Apple now filling almost every gap from tiny screenless MP3 player to MacBook, I think MacBook through to Mac Pro is going to remain a very patchy lineup. Which is a shame, because for many of us it's Mac computers that change the way we live and work, not all of the pocketable stuff.
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i dont think that the graphics in the macs are low end , macs always have been good working computers for movie- , photo-editing and graphical work in general
    and its the gaming industry that forces gamers to more and more expensive graphic cards which makes gaming a expensive hobby , as with nearly every new game you need to upgrade your rig or get a new one and start upgrading again
    a intel iMac is simply no gaming rig , and it was never the intention of apple to produce a gaming rig when they introduced the intel iMacs ..at least to my knowledge
  6. hakr macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Western shore, Chesapeake Bay. Maryland
    In terms of Apple's computer offerings, there are only three areas in which they are somewhat superior to similarly priced Windows machines:

    1. ergonomics

    2. the operating system

    3. customer support

    All the innards are standard computer pieces and parts. The Macs, especially the desktop machines, are far less flexible than Windows machines. There are also certain categories of software that simply are not available on Mac.

    I like my two Macs, but not a day goes by without my wondering why accomplishing certain tasks seems more difficult on them than it was on my old desktop and laptop Windows PCs.
  7. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    I would also add

    4:build quality.

    5: better Panels than most for the price.

    A 27 inch panel from dell that is even comparable to the 27inch imac costs 1050, just for the panel.
  8. hakr macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Western shore, Chesapeake Bay. Maryland
    I've seen nothing in the three Macs I've owned that indicate a better "build" quality than, say, the old built-by-IBM thinkpad I owned.

    My iMac 27" model retailed for $2000 or so. Let's assume the screen in the iMac has a retail "value" of about $1000. If that were the case, there's nothing else in the machine that adds up to the other $1000 -

    1. A terabyte hard drive is under $100 these days
    2. top of the line motherboards, certain MBs more capable than the iMac's,.
    are about $150
    3. Four gigs of RAM? $100
    4. Modest video card? $125
    5. "Case"? Under $100
    6. CPU? Under 200

    Again, I'm not knocking the Apple product...I'm just saying there's really nothing that special about them, hardware-wise.

    Oh...and that 27" iMac screen? For $1000, I can buy all manner of computer screens that will outperform it in many ways, without the yellowstains and flickering. :D
  9. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Perhaps the OP should look into a Hackintosh. There are some very good guides for building i7 comparable machines. You can then select your own graphics card and use your existing LCD.
  10. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    From your mention of the 32" LCD I might deduce that you're looking at an HTPC role for your PC. The Mini is more than up to the task including some pretty strenuous 1080 content. If it is HTPC + gaming - I cannot comment.
  11. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007


    Are you serious?
  12. hakr macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Western shore, Chesapeake Bay. Maryland
    i've glanced at some of the "directions" for doing just that, and have determined there are too many variables and choices that lead to uncertain results. Over the years, I have assembled at least a dozen desktop PCs for myself, and all of them were put together in a much more straightforward manner than the Hackintosh computer directions I've seen.

    Now, if you are aware of a Hackintosh whose assembly directions are specific and complete...
  13. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    Case under a $100.

    The Aluminum itself, just Aluminum would cost that much. What are you smoking?

    The block of Aluminum itself would cost a $100, let alone the design. Here is a Aluminum 20lb "canister' for $104. Add the design and the manufacturing cost for such a design and the tempered glass and you are well over a $100. Closer to $200 is more like it.


    I have never owned a thinkpad that was all Aluminum unibody and tempered glass. How is Plastic better than Aluminum in terms of build quality?

    Everything you just mentioned, every part added up is around $850. Say the panel costs $1000 and the internals are worth $850 that is still $1850 and how much you think the Aluminum and glass enclosure costs? Add that up to and the design. How about adding the Magic Mouse while your add it. I guarantee it costs twice as much as the cheapo mice out on the market. But there is nothing special about a multi-touch mouse. Right?

    The 27 inch imac is a bargain for what you get. Expensive yes, but the fact of the matter is that there is not a PC All in one on the market with the Specs of the imac. Not one. The only way Apple is getting a profit is that they are not paying retail for the imacs parts, if they were they would most likely not make a profit on the machine.

    So yes, build quality and quality of components are superior to most, if not all of Apples' competitors.

    Nothing special about a 27inch beyond HD all in one computer with a all aluminum unibody glass body and multi-touch mouse. No nothing special at all.

    There are tons of similar All in ones on the market right now. :rolleyes:
  14. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i keep my emac , you cant convince me here to spend the money i spend on holidays , and cigarettes and my car for a a new iMac 27" instead:D
    cant buy a iMac 27 " not even the 21.5
    ..they would not fit as my desk is under a sloping roof and the max hight i just can get comfortable under it is exact the hight of the emac, as i need space in front of the computer to place a keyboard and mouse , and the streamlined shape of the emac follows exact the roofline , same for the iMac g3 there is just enough clearance to allow for the convection cooling to work
  15. hakr macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Western shore, Chesapeake Bay. Maryland
    I wouldn't argue against the merits of spending bucks on holidays, cars, babes and brews, but cigarettes? Yuck. :D
  16. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    someone has to support the poor tobacco industrie ;)
  17. JimKirk macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2009
    Using those figures which are not unreasonable

    The total is about 1760 with superdrive



    Wireless Keyboard & Mouse ~100

    So I think paying the 200 premium for an apple branded product is worth the money for me.

    I also got $150 off and a free memory upgrade for my problems.
  18. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    God. This has kicked-off since I left the house, this morning...!

    As for building my own machine - I appreciate the suggestion, but no f***ing way! I want something that's going to work, out of the box. Many years ago, I built a PC - it was largely fine, but it threw up intermittent problems that I didn't have the knowledge to resolve. Depressed me something terrible. Cobbling the parts together isn't difficult, but making them work reliably is more so.

    This will be my first Mac, and my first new desktop computer in eleven years. I don't mind that it's gonna cost me a chunk of money (I enjoy a 12% student discount, which helps...). I just want to make sure that I don't buy something mediocre.

    To address some of the comments above...

    I don't have HTPC ambitions in mind, no. I have a Popcorn Hour C-200, which serves all of my media needs. And if the Mac Mini can't have its video system tarted-up, it's no good to me. Which is a shame.

    I'm not the kinda guy who cuts and welds computer cases. Again, thanks for the input... but no.

    And I forget who it was who said that Macs aren't designed for gaming; but for me, no offence intended, this is a poor excuse. That may've been true in the Motorola days, but since the Intel changeover, there's no reason at all why Macs can't be built with gaming mind. If Apple want to continue to steal market-share, I think they could do a lot worse than to add a dedicated gaming rig to their iMac range. I mean, look at me! Here I am, pissed at Windows PCs and looking for alternatives, and gaming is among my needs. Do Apple want my business, or don't they...?

    What does everyone else think?

    As a related point... does anyone know where I can buy Halo for the Mac?

    It's available from torrent sites (one of the top Google hits...!), but I don't like stealing software. I'd much rather pay for it. If it still exists, that is.
  19. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009

    first of all there is no gaming without windows ,there are just no games for mac's any more and installing windows cost money too , apple offers only bootcamp you have to buy windows and install it which transforms the mac into a pc ,with all the same problems a pc has
  20. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Sure, I understand that. But I'm a newbie, so it's fair that you explained.

    My view is that, in buying a Mac, I am buying something that is a PC and more. I already own a copy of Windows 7, so installing that won't cost me anything. I'll use it as a PC for games, and as a Mac for most other things. At least, that's my forecast.

    My point being... I don't think I'm the only person who'll want to do this. And I think Apple could do more to legislate for someone like me. Even if they offered a decent gaming card purely as an upgrade on the iMac range; that's not asking a lot, is it...?
  21. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hmm...umm no the iMac is not a "bargain" for the parts inside. The previous poster was exactly correct. Who cares about an aluminum case, if the box is sitting on the ground (and you can get very nice cases anyway). I don't think he is talking about an all in one, just a box that is as powerful, or more so.

    You are going to be able to get a Dell u2711 for under 1000 street price, and it's the same panel as used in the iMac 27". When you add up the parts for the 1156 based cpu's and p55 motherboards...it's WAY cheaper to do it on your own, and you'll get higher quality parts. Very easy to do. Of course if you want OSX none of that matters anyway. It would be nice if Apple gave us a choice however.
  22. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008

    1. ergonomics?? you can set any workstation as you want.

    2. OS.. maybe, but having used 7 for 3 months, going back to OSX is like going back in time. Much more software as well.

    3. UK customer support for Apple is dreadful..

    build quality, are you taking the p!ss??:eek::eek:
  23. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    sure and not only gamers would like to see the imac with a graphic card that matches the potential of the i7 processor , but at the moment it does not look like that , but i guess that is company policy as the imac despite being a desktop it has more in common with a laptop , only missing the battery ,and its a bit more bulky and slightly to big for the average backpack
    if you want the true potential of a mac's abilities there is the macpro , which apple wants to sell too , and there you got a wider choice of cards as it has pci slots which are accessible ,so you can fit two graphic cards of your choice ,not only the one apple is offering there are others which fit too and the 2 quad core xeon option each with 2.93ghz and up to 32gb ram and up to 8tb storage should please you and all your gaming needs
  24. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    The trouble is that although the graphics cards they're offering may be decent (although not brilliant: if you had other options would you really want to be editing HD video on a 9600M?) for this year's files and Adobe suite, they may not be much use for the suite that comes out in 2 years or the files we're building then. And if you're spending $2K for a computer, you really don't want to have to replace it every 18 months. Better graphics cards -- at least as *option* -- would make it easier to future-proof your purchase and make it a better value for your dollar.
  25. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2008
    Why would you think you were being "ungrateful" (to Apple?) if you find the iMac lacking?

    Unless Apple is giving you an iMac-- no charge, you have every right to complain and criticize their offerings.

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