I like iMacs... but not enough to buy one

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Wirbowsky, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Wirbowsky macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    I bought my first Mac a few years ago (if we forget about the Mac+ I bought second hand a long long time ago).

    It was a Macbook Pro 13" mid 2010. I still use it today, almost every day.
    I like the machine and I like Mac OS.
    At the time, I made a comparison between the Macbook and similar hardware from Dell, Asus... Price and performances were almost identical. So I thought, why not try Apple.

    Now, I would like to buy a desktop and be able to play recent games at good resolutions.

    I like the design of the iMacs. I can imagine one sitting in my home, that would be great.

    The cheapest iMac starts at 1129€. I have checked what PC + screen I could buy for 1200€. The hardware comparison is disastrous.

    -Mac: Intel i5 dual core 2.7 Ghz. 3 MB cache
    -PC: Intel i7 quad core 4.4 Ghz. 8 MB cache

    This is a tie with 8 GB Ram.

    -Mac: 500 GB HD. 5400 rpm
    - PC: 120 Gb SSD + 1 terra HD 7400 rpm

    -Mac: Intel HD Graphics 5000
    - PC: Radeon R9 280 3 Go

    The comparison is so bad for the iMac that I think my next purchase will get me back in the PC world. Of course I will not have OS X but that is not an issue for me. I can do what I want with both OS and stability is similar.

    Imac looks great, OS X is nice, bootcamp is available, iTunes runs better but that is not enough for me. I will wait for the October refresh announcement but I would be surprised if Apple will put back the price/power ratio of iMacs in line with PC.

  2. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Which PC?

    Mac's do not excel at this.
  3. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    If OS X doesn't have a firm grip upon you then frankly there's next to no non-emotional justification for buying a iMac.
  4. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Just a bit of info here (don't worry very common mistake) it is OS X not Mac OS. The hardware = Macintosh/Mac. Software = OS X since Mountain Lion 10.8. (2012 official) Lion was Mac OS X although in documentation OS X I think.
  5. MartinAppleGuy, Oct 2, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

    MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    If you want to game on a Mac, you will need one with an Nvidia GPU. My iMac can runs almost all games at 1080p the very high settings. I would recommend saving up. That model that you are looking at is the budget model and will not be good at all for your needs. My model is the highest 21.5" model for reference and comes with a Quad Core i5 (2.9Ghz to 3.6Ghz), 8GB of RAM (in OSX, RAM compression allows 8GB of RAM to use 18.5GB in total before heavy swap), 1TB HDD, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 750m (1GB GDDR5 VRAM).

    Bellow is a right up in which after buying the iMac, it can work out cheaper in the long run (due to electricity costs, all of the software, free updates...), here it is:

    So I would recommend at least look at the Intel Iris Pro model with a quad core i5, if not my model (which I can say that games very well) with the 2.9-3.6Ghz quad core i5, and the Nvidia GeForce GT 750m 1Gb GDDR5 VRAM.
  6. lJoSquaredl macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    You definitely don't wanna look at the low end stuff. When it comes to the entry level model yes, a PC would be better. Everytime someone says iMacs are over priced tho, I spec out a model a high end model with i7, SSD, whatever else on both Apples site and another site like Alienware, Dell, iBuyPower, etc. They're always dead even or pretty close, without even adding the cost of a decent monitor to match the one that comes installed on the iMac itself. On top of that, you don't get a beautiful design, possible energy efficiency, added software, even just the operating system itself which you may like better. (with free updates) :)

    This myth that PCs are less expensive is usually predicated upon cheaper builds with cheap parts too. I believe Apple uses Samsung SSDs, or at least they did in their Macbook Pros. The difference in price between a Samsung SSD and a cheap 3rd party brand SSD on iBuyPower can be well over $100 at times.
  7. david2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    No offense, lJoSquaredl, but you must be the world's worst shopper.

    Let me guess. When you compared prices, it probably went like this:

    1. You upgraded parts (e.g., storage) at Dell.com rather than quickly check the prices at Newegg, Amazon, etc.
    2. You didn't take a minute to find a deal at Dell Outlet.
    3. You didn't take a few seconds to get one of the many readily-available Dell Outlet coupons.
    4. You didn't wait for Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend like many hardware enthusiasts do.
    I own an iMac and it's my primary computer, but it's overpriced hardware. Period. The Precision workstations with Xeon processors that I bought last Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend from Dell Outlet cost me under $600 after discounts. My iMac is a blatant rip-off in comparison.

    To give you an idea of the kind of deals that are available to people who know what they're doing, I recently bought the following TV from Dell for around $40 after discounts and rebates. Seriously.


    That being said, I wish to express my gratitude to all the people who pay retail price at Apple.com and Dell.com. You guys subsidize people like me. Thank you!

    OP, don't bother with an iMac for gaming. Use a PC for gaming and maybe get a Mac mini for everything else. You can use the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor for multiple computers using a KVM switch.

    Also, you can diversify you computer portfolio further by getting a single-board computer (e.g., Raspberry Pi), installing a hardened Linux distro, and using it as a dedicated banking computer. Gotta protect those brokerage accounts!
  8. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    You are probably referring to Apple supposedly renaming Mac OS X to OS X in 2012: http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/16/2802281/apple-officially-renames-mac-os-x-to-os-x-drops-the-mac

    I say supposedly because Apple still uses the term Mac Operating System (IOW Mac OS) -- even on current web pages. Wikipedia and countless other contemporary references use the term Mac OS or Mac OS X.

    Since the term "Mac OS" can be *either* a brand name *or* an abbreviated form of "Mac Operating System", Apple would have to expunge all usage of both.

    I think their intent is to emphasize OS X as a brand name over Mac OS X, *not* to eradicate all popular usage of the phrase "Mac Operating System" or its abbreviated forms.
  9. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    You can't rely on sales, or whitebox stores as the argument that "PCs are cheaper".

    Apple make turnkey systems, so you need to compare them with other turnkey systems to have a fair comparison.

    It's unsurprising that using coupons, novelty shopping discount days designed to clear out old stock and whitebox parts result in an ultimately cheaper-in-monetary-terms price.
  10. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    Who woke this Pc guy out from his basement..........

    Let me know how much you can sell that machine to anyone after 6 months, let alone a year. Top of the line iMac can play any game, period. A very good PC will cost you a lot of money, period.

    The lack of support, warranty value and more importantly operating system is the reason most Apple users stay away from Windows.

    To the OP, wait for the new iMac Retinas or get the top of the line iMac right now with 4GB graphics card and 3TB fusion drive.
  11. lJoSquaredl macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    Comparing an everyday iMac purchase to a very detailed plan using coupons, sales and special days of the year to get the cheapest deal possible isn't really a fair comparison. This is on top of the fact that Macs have higher resale value. Trying to resell a used PC after a year or two is honestly hard to do, and you don't get much back. It's nice being able to upgrade my Apple computer for around $500 or less every year or two tho. I basically get a full system upgrade for the price most would pay to update just one or two parts, but without any of the hassle of installing and what not. Either way different strokes different folks, I'm fine just paying a small increase to not have to deal with Windows, finding compatible parts, etc.

    Also I prolly shouldn't compare Dell to Apple. Besides their monitors idk how decent their parts are. Least with iBuyPower you can pick better or worse stuff to build with.
  12. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    That write-up only proves that you can justify about anything if you choose to. People do this often, it is only natural (I know I'm guilty!)

    The comparison doesn't really make much sense as they are comparing two all-in-ones, whereas OP mentions PC + monitor.

    A PC box and monitor will far exceed an iMac at a significant discount, while offering endless flexibility and choices (such as a 23/24" monitor).

    For example, we picked my dad up a new machine last Xmas. i7 4770, 12GB RAM, 2GB NVIDIA graphics (I can't remember which one), 2TB 7200 RPM HDD, and a Dell U2713HM 27" IPS 1440p monitor for all in around $1300 Canadian. That's less than all but the base iMac.

    Try seeing how much a similar spec'd iMac costs, and even then, they use laptop-class CPUs and GPUs, are not easily modifiable/fixable. I came up with $2450 CAD (granted that has 16 GB of RAM, but 1TB HDD).

    Same goes for low-end... you can get a very decent Intel i5 machine with 23/24" 1080p IPS monitor for within $750 CAD, even less if you buy on sale. The first reasonable (non-base 1.4) iMac 21.5 is $1350 CAD.

    The points about the office suites and anti-virus are empty, too. The Apple works products aren't much better than Google Drive or MS One Drive apps, both of which are free. Since Windows 7, Windows Defender/ Security Essentials has been more than enough for virus protection.

    It really comes down to the OS. You pay a heavy premium to use OS X and to have the very well crafted and sleek hardware. Most people choose their computers for the experience (as well as the applications available), where specs don't matter as much. For this reason, I completely understand people willing to pay for Apple products as they are truly a joy to use.

    It is by no means though even remotely close to the performance/$ that you get out of a PC.

    One last thought: Resale value is far better on Macs, but PCs are pretty much endlessly upgrade-able. Combine this with the fact that you are effectively paying for a new monitor every time you upgrade, and have to buy a new machine just to get a better processor, and I'd say that long-term, the PC becomes even more reasonably priced.
  13. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    iMacs do not use laptop class CPUs *except* for the new "baseline" minimal iMac (the one introduced with the ULV). Every other iMac in the current and Late 2012 lineup uses a desktop CPU - in fact it's the same socketed CPU that you'd be putting into a PC. You can even swap them if you like.
  14. Roller macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2003
    I don't think that it's news that iMacs, particularly the higher-end versions, aren't the way to go if you're very budget-conscious, claims of total cost of ownership and resale value notwithstanding. But I buy them because I greatly prefer OS X, like the way they look and function, and can afford them. I know that I could get a lot more for my money by putting together a Hackintosh, but I don't have the inclination to do that.
  15. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    My mistake. I was thinking of the Mac Mini which uses laptop CPUs. Thank you for pointing it out.

    So it's just the GPU that is mobile class. Although, from what I have read, the CPU will have to throttle down much sooner due to heat in the iMac enclosure. A PC could be equipped with much more effective cooling, allowing the same CPU to run at full bore for extended periods.
  16. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009

    Does Apple though really? Sources?
  17. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2014
    I think this is a pretty interesting thread. I do like the arguments that over the long run, an iMac is cheaper or at least as cheap as a comparable PC, but I also think that for many people, the alternative to an iMac is not another all-in-one, but a regular desktop PC. In that respect, I know I've been comparing a mid-level Dell Inspiron 3000 series PC that is currently on sale for $499 to the $1299 21.5" iMac (which can be had for $1199 at several authorized resellers). To me, each of these computers have pretty similar specs - Intel i5 quad core processors, 8GB RAM, 1 TB hard drives, Intel graphics cards. Dell comes with wired keyboard and mouse and iMac comes with wireless keyboard and mouse. Of course, the Dell doesn't come with a monitor, but I already own a 21.5" HD monitor that would work well enough.

    I'm not a gamer and I'm just looking for a quality computer that will be good for everyday general purpose use. I'm nearly certain I'm going with the iMac despite the significant price difference because, quite frankly, I'm bored and tired of PCs. My household has iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and I'm hopeful that the integration with an iMac will be much better. Moreover, I really like the streamlined design of the iMac. It is just a beautiful product and one I will be excited to use. But, these are all non-economic reasons, in my opinion, for going with the iMac. If I were purely concerned about the bottom line, I think I'd have to go with the PC. Of course, I'd be delighted to have someone tell me why the PC would end up costing me just as much as the iMac over the long run :)
  18. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    It's on the front page of apple.com/osx: "The Mac operating system". Mac OS is simply a shortened version of this.
  19. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I would probably buy an iMac in the future when my tech specs drop a little bit. It simply looks nicer on a desk. Right now I still need Windows though so dual booting Windows 7 and OS X on my hackintosh is an absolute dream. My desktop is a powerhouse and I can upgrade any component at any time. And my hackintosh is actually the best performing Mac I have ever used although it doesn't look as good as the Mac Pro's or an iMac.

    I think that OS X is the best desktop operating system (right-now) and that's always user-subjective but part of Apple's delivery is also in the hardware. It's all enjoyable to use. For that reason I prefer doing work on my MBA but when I need the performance, the desktop provides it at a fraction of the cost.
  20. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    If you're buying solely based on comparable hardware cost, then a Mac will almost never work for you (maybe a Mini, especially used or refurbished).
  21. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    There are threads on these forums showing that's not the case - you can run an iMac at full chat for hours without throttling. The thermal design is more than sufficient to handle it.
  22. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Gross generalization that renders your commentary useless.
  23. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012

    I have the 27 imac with the 775. U think it would run the new battlefield ok
  24. hellomisterjedi macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2014
    On another note, mind helping me find a nice TV deal similar to this? Some nice monitor that could double as an external screen for my dorm PC.
  25. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    You will be perfectly fine :)

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