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

Wirbowsky

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2010
92
0
Belgium
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.

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

Ram
This is a tie with 8 GB Ram.

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

GPU
-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.

:(
 

Ddyracer

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2009
1,786
31
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.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,244
888
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.

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

Ram
This is a tie with 8 GB Ram.

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

GPU
-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.

:(
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:

I have heard and read a lot about people saying iMac's are more expensive over Windows PC's and wanted to make a thread here to show the real colours of this argument; making it more clear for buyers. I have below several price and spec comparisons between the iMac and a Windows PC in several different terms (like All In Ones, Desktops, Build Your Own, Light Users and Heavy Users). For each comparison I have added the price of both the compared iMac and PC's price after 1,3 and 5 years. So I hope you enjoy the read, and hope that it allows for people to see the real difference in price between an iMac and a Windows based PC. Enjoy.


First Comparison - iMac Vs. All In One Windows PC

For this comparison, I have chosen to compare the entry level iMac to the best (similarly priced) Windows 8 All In One I could find; the HP Envy.


iMac @ £1,149/$1,299/€1,299

Processor - Intel Core i5-4570S | 4th Gen Haswell | Turboboost's from 2.7GHz > 3.2GHz | 4Mb L3 Cache
Cores - 4 Cores | 4 Threads
RAM - 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
GPU - Intel Iris Pro 5200 | 128Mb eDRAM
Storage - 1Tb 5400 RPM Hard Drive
Display - 21.5 Inch IPS Fully Calibrated | 1920 x 1080
I/O - 4 USB 3.0 | 2 Thunderbolt | SD Card Reader | Gigabit Ethernet | Bluetooth 4.0 | Headphone Jack | No Optical Drive
Wi-Fi - 802.11ac
Camera - HD
In the Box - iMac | Wireless Keyboard | Magic Mouse/Trackpad
Operating System - Mountain Lion (with free upgrade to Mavericks)


HP ENVY Recline @ £1,049.99/$1,199/€1,199

Processor - Intel Core i5-4570T | 4th Gen Haswell | Turboboost's from 2.9Ghz > 3.6Ghz | 4Mb L3 Cache
Cores - 4 Cores | 4 Threads
RAM - 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GT 730A | 1Gb
Storage - 1Tb 5400RPM Hard Drive
Display - 23 Inch | Multi-point Touchscreen | 1920 x 1080
I/O - 2 USB 3.0 | 2 USB 2.0 | SD Card Reader | Gigabit Ethernet | Bluetooth 4.0 | Headphone Jack | No Optical Drive
Wi-Fi - 802.11 b/g/n
Camera - HD
In the Box - HP Envy | Wireless Keyboard | Wireless Mouse
Operating System - Windows 8

The higher end 21" iMac has spec's more similar to the HP Envy but I chose to compare the entry level iMac with it to keep the prices similar. The iMac costs £100 ($100/€100) more than the Envy and at an initial look (at least in terms of the processor and screen); the HP Envy seems like the better deal. The Envy features a processor more similar to the high-end 21" iMac (with an initial clock of 2.9Ghz, that Turboboost's to 3.6Ghz as well as a dedicated graphics card with 1Gb of video memory.) compared to the above iMac that only features a 2.7Ghz i5 with Turboboost to 3.2Ghz. Both All In Ones feature 4th Gen Quad-Core i5 processors with 4 threads (i.e no hyperthreading). Both All In Ones also feature a 1Tb 5400 RPM Hard Drive, which may not be the fastest, but offers great storage at cheep prices.

But that is about it for the similarities as from here on, both computers are configured differently. The Envy features a discrete graphics card with 1Gb of video memory compared to the iMac's integrated GPU that comes with 128Mb of eDRAM. This is a big plus for the Envy as more graphically demanding tasks should perform better with a dedicated GPU. It should be noted that the Intel Iris Pro GPU featured in the iMac is no slouch, as tests have shown it can hold it's own weight. The iMac features better I/O and Wi-Fi connectivity than the Envy. The iMac has 4 USB 3.0 slots (fast data transfer speeds), where as the Envy only features 2 USB 3.0, then 2 USB 2.0 (slower data transfer speeds). What does this mean, transferring data (be it photographs, video, music...) from a USB to the computer will take longer on the Envy if the 2 USB 3.0 slots are taken up. The iMac also features 2 Thunderbolt ports allowing for 2 external Thunderbolt monitors to be connected. Another difference with the connectivity is the Wi-Fi. The iMac features the new 802.11ac, where as the Envy features the older 802.11 b/g/n. This means that with a 802.11ac router, the iMac will perform much faster in wireless activity compared to the iMac. I have also noticed the 802.11ac helped when the computer was placed further away from the router, which could be a very important factor for a buyer.

Up until now, all that has been stated is slight changes; the following is where these two computers differentiate more.

The iMac features a 21.5 Inch IPS screen at the resolution of 1920 x 1080. The Envy features a larger 23" touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. First off, the increase in screen size can be seen as a positive and a negative as it is (obviously) larger, but due to the Envy featuring the same resolution as the iMac, the iMac has a greater pixel destiny. This will make everything on screen appear sharper that the Envy. The Envy does however feature a touchscreen, something the iMac does not. This makes the Windows 8 experience much better as without touch it feels in-intuitive. Another thing to note is how well the screens are calibrated when taken out the box. Most users won't calibrate their computer monitors to perfection so it is important that the "Out the Box" quality is good. Both screens are IPS (allowing for wide viewing angles as well as high response times). The Envy features a well calibrated monitor, but it can't touch the perfection of the iMac's calibrated monitor. In all tests, the iMacs monitor is so close to perfection (in terms of saturation, colour accuracy, brightness, Gamut average and white point average). The screen is so well calibrated out of the box, professional should be happy to use this machine without even re-calibrating it. In the end, the Envy's screen is very good but the iMac is on top.

Now onto Pricing. In the initial prices, the iMac comes out more expensive by £100 ($100/€100), now lets look beyond that.

The iMac (along with all new Macs) come with the following software:
iMovie
iPhoto
Pages
Numbers
Keynote
App Store
As well as others

And the Envy comes with:
Windows Store
Beats Audio Console
A few games

Looking above, I have only noted a small amount of software that comes preinstalled on each computer. It should be noted that the Envy (look most Windows PC's) comes with Crapware. This is software that has been installed on the computer taking up lots of space as well as slowing the computer down and is made hard (if not almost impossible) to remove. This can be removed if the user is willing to reinstall the OS but this can take several hours and can be very troublesome if the user struggles to get drivers for the PC (a good example is the drivers are on the internet, but you can't connect to the internet because you don't have the ethernet or wireless drivers). The Envy doesn't appear to bad with the crap ware installed, most of it is games that should be easy to uninstall.

Moving on, the iMac comes with Pages, Numbers and Keynote for free (also known collectively as iWork). These are a the Word, Exel and Powerpoint of the Apple world. I have used them extensively and have had no problems with them and never had something I can do on Microsoft Office that I can't do on iWork. For the Envy side of things, it does not come with Microsoft Office, that will set you back £79.99 ($99.99/€99.99) a year for Office 365 or a one off fee of £190 (£229, €229) for the 2013 edition (that will not be up to date when a new one comes out, where as iWork gets free updates).

I have also taken into account electricity costs. The iMac uses only 15W at idle. The average cost to run an iMac for a year is £8.06 The Envy on the other hand uses around £20-30 to run per year. This is on average usage.

There is also Anti Virus Software to be taken into account. It is still a fact that you are less likely to get a virus on a Mac with out Anti-Virus than you are on a PC with Anti-Virus. So I'm not saying it is impossible to get a virus on a Mac, I just saying that you are still less likely than if using a PC with. You can still get AntiVirus for Mac, and is usually free compared to being on average £19.99
for a PC.

So here are the figures:

iMac
Initial Price - £1,149
iWork - £0
iLife (for Movie Editing) - £0
Running cost per year - £8.06
Anti-Virus - £0


HP Envy
Initial Price - £1,049
Office(per year) - £79.99
Office (One Off) - £199
Movie Edit Pro - £39.99 (was £59.99)
Running cost per year - £25
Anti-Virus - £19.99

Now, instead of just adding that up, I am going to add up different values depending on the user.

Basic User

Wants to web browse, check emails, do social networking

1 Year
iMac : £1,157.06
Hp Envy: £1,093.99
3 Year's
iMac : £1,173.18
HP Envy: £1,183.97
5 Year's
iMac : £1,189.30
HP Envy: £1,273.95

Contains - Computer, running costs and Anti-Virus.

As you can see, for the Basic User keeping it for 3+ years, the iMac is cheaper than the Windows All in One Alliterative. I would say though that if you come under the Basic user, a cheaper Mac (like a Mac Mini or Macbook Air) or a cheaper Windows PC/Laptop would suit you better.

Average User

Wants to do everything a Basic User does but also Work related things like documents...

1 Year
iMac : £1,157.06
Hp Envy: £1,153.99
3 Year's
iMac : £1,173.18
HP Envy: £1,314.00
5 Year's
iMac : £1,189.30
HP Envy: £1,364.00

Contains - Computer, running costs, Anti-Virus and iWork/Office(365 for the one year user, One Off payment for the 3 and 5 year user).

For the Average User planning to keep the computer for one year, both computer are similarly priced. For the average user that want's to keep longer than that, the iMac is much cheaper (with a difference of around £200).

Heavy User

Wants to do everything an Average User does but also uses the system more and edits Video

1 Year
iMac : £1,161.00
Hp Envy: £1,218.97
3 Year's
iMac : £1,185.00
HP Envy: £1,479.66
5 Year's
iMac : £1,209.00
HP Envy: £1,738.89

Contains - Computer, running costs(£30 instead of £25 as user is on more, £12 for iMac instead of £8.06), Anti-Virus, iWork/Office(365 per year), iMovie/Movie Edit Pro.

For the Heavy User, the iMac is considerable cheap than the Windows based All in One.

iMac vs Custom Build


For this comparison, I will compare the high end 27"(with upgrade to i7) iMac against a Custom Built Window's PC I configured at PC Specialist. I will also add the software from above as it is the Windows alliterative to the Mac's software.

iMac @ £1,939.00/£2,199/€2,199

Processor - Intel Core i7-4771 | 4th Gen Haswell | Turboboost's from 3.5GHz > 3.9GHz | 8Mb L3 Cache
Cores - 4 Cores | 8 Threads
RAM - 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M | 2Gb Video Memory
Storage - 1Tb 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Display - 27 Inch IPS Fully Calibrated | 2560 x 1440
I/O - 4 USB 3.0 | 2 Thunderbolt | SD Card Reader | Gigabit Ethernet | Bluetooth 4.0 | Headphone Jack | No Optical Drive
Wi-Fi - 802.11ac
Camera - HD
In the Box - iMac | Wireless Keyboard | Magic Mouse/Trackpad
Operating System - Mountain Lion (with free upgrade to Mavericks)

Custom Built PC using PCSpecialist @ £2,058

Processor - Intel Core i7-4771 | 4th Gen Haswell | Turboboost's from 3.5GHz > 3.9GHz | 8Mb L3 Cache
Cores - 4 Cores | 8 Threads
RAM - 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M | 2Gb Video Memory
Storage - 1Tb 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Display - 27 Inch IPS Fully Calibrated | 2560 x 1440
I/O - 2 USB 3.0 | 4 USB 2.0 | SD Card Reader | Headphone Jack | No Optical Drive
Wi-Fi - 802.11n
Camera - Microsoft WebCam 720p
Contents - £80 tower, Microsoft Office Professional, Norton Anti-Virus 1 Year, Movie Edit Pro, Microsoft Touch Mouse, Arc Keyboard, HDMI, Asus 27" IPS Monitor
Operating System - Windows 8.1 Professional
Added better power supply and cooling which added around £130 to the price to make the computer quieter and cooler.

And all of that would cost £1,729 with no software, no anti-virus...

So in the end you get an uglier looking build PC for more money. The only way the Custom PC will be cheaper than the iMac is if you downgrade things or built it yourself.

So here you have reached the end. And the question I now ask myself is "Are iMacs expensive?". Yes, they are. "Are iMac's expensive compared to similar PC's? No. Defianatly not. Remember that you don't just by the computer and sit it somewhere, you use it and using it costs money as well as the software you use. So now I better go; I don't want to find this year has cost me more than £8.06 for running my iMac :p
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.
 
Last edited:

lJoSquaredl

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
321
97
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.
 
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david2

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2014
9
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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
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.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a7851809

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!
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
1,591
797
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.
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.
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
997
445
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.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a7851809

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!
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.
 
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tears2040

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2010
401
1
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.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a7851809

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!
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.
 

lJoSquaredl

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
321
97
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.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a7851809

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!
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.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,986
4,480
.......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:
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.
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
997
445
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).
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.
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,571
1,062
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.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,986
4,480
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.
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.
 

Ddyracer

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2009
1,786
31
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.

Does Apple though really? Sources?
 

airjay75

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2014
199
162
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 :)
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,893
1,954
Canada
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.
 

26139

Suspended
Dec 27, 2003
4,315
371
Okay...

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.

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

Ram
This is a tie with 8 GB Ram.

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

GPU
-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.

:(
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).
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
997
445
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.
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.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,435
720
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.

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

hellomisterjedi

macrumors newbie
Oct 4, 2014
22
0
SoCal
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.
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.
 
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