I'm thinking of building a PC for gaming? Is it worth it for me?

cinnabun814

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 2, 2018
111
82
Sorry not sure if i'm in the right forum section or not. I've been on Mac OS since I was like 10 and i'm 25 now. I absolutely can't take Windows but I do enjoy gaming. I currently have a PS4 and have fun with it but I was debating either building a computer or upgrading to one of the 4K consoles. I feel like i'm missing out by not being on the PC platform but i'm not really that concerned about graphics or framerates. I'm sure the Xbox One X would blow me away enough. I do love the simplicity of Macs and Consoles though. I just can't shake the feeling that the PC experience is that much better. Anyone who has any experience in this arena would be a huge help. I'm not trying to start a console pc war lol i'm just asking for advice pertaining to my situation and the experience others have had. Thanks!
 

Mac'nCheese

Suspended
Feb 9, 2010
3,732
4,967
I just built one with my son. It was fun and really enjoys playing on the PC, more than our mac or our xbox.

PS I reported thread just to have it moved to a better folder. There is a PC forum here that I used when building my son's computer, you will get better results if posted there, I think
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
643
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Sorry not sure if i'm in the right forum section or not. I've been on Mac OS since I was like 10 and i'm 25 now. I absolutely can't take Windows but I do enjoy gaming. I currently have a PS4 and have fun with it but I was debating either building a computer or upgrading to one of the 4K consoles. I feel like i'm missing out by not being on the PC platform but i'm not really that concerned about graphics or framerates. I'm sure the Xbox One X would blow me away enough. I do love the simplicity of Macs and Consoles though. I just can't shake the feeling that the PC experience is that much better. Anyone who has any experience in this arena would be a huge help. I'm not trying to start a console pc war lol i'm just asking for advice pertaining to my situation and the experience others have had. Thanks!
Unless your time is worth money, building a PC is probably the cheapest way to get high gaming performance:
I specced up a 6-core CPU, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB Samsung Pro NVMe, with RX580 graphics, and came out at almost exactly half the price of the functionally equivalent Mac mini with eGPU. On the other hand: spread out over its expected useful lifetime, the price difference between the two setups is about equal to an Apple Music family subscription...

I don't run Windows, so I have no recent experience with gaming in that environment. However, Steam on Linux recently got (beta) support for something they call Proton, which aids in running a lot of titles that used to be Windows-only.
 
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thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
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If gaming is really important to you, then just accept the fact that you should be running Windows. It's really not as bad as some folks here might make it out to be but it's the gaming OS. Building a PC isn't hard at all and Windows 10 runs just fine. You can build a really good gaming PC for a lot less than what a comparable Mac would cost.

My gaming PC is in my office. I also have a TV and recliner in there. The TV is my 3rd monitor. When I want to play a "pc game", I sit at my desk and use a keyboard/mouse. When I want a console experience (i.e. use a controller and lounge in the recliner in front of a big screen), I move the game over to the TV and play from the recliner. It gives me the best of both worlds and it's a heck of a lot more powerful than a console. I can't stand using my PS4 anymore because of how bad the load times are.

That said, I might be moving back to a Mac as my office machine. I just don't game much anymore and that was the only reason I used a Windows PC. If I did still game, then I'd just upgrade my PC and keep using that (which would cost less than half what it will cost me to buy a Mac Mini even without an eGPU).
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
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It depends a little bit on the types of games you like to play. The PC happens to be suitable to pretty much everything, and you can even use Xbox controllers with it. First-person shooters (especially ones of higher precision), strategy (such as RTS), and retro gaming are all especially well-suited to PC.

You can get/build a decent gaming rig for just about any budget. One thing to consider is some games/types really benefit from getting a fast monitor (such as 144 Hz with 1ms response), so keep that in mind when pricing it out if it's something you need.

Personally, I have an Xbox but I only really play a few games on it, like Forza, and use it as a media center for the TV. Pretty much all my gaming is on a mid-tier gaming PC that I built. Putting it together was pretty straight forward, and so far it hasn't really missed a beat. I happen to like Windows for the most part (don't get me started on their forced updates / telemetry though!) and gaming is where it shines. When you're in a game, it isn't like the OS is the focus -- it's just the platform that runs your software.

There's a ton of games you can get through Steam or GoG, including classics. I still play some pretty old games and Windows seems to be able to deal with old software very well (and there's DOSBOX if you want to go way back).
 
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cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
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Unless you're very specific about certain components, it makes more sense to buy a pre-built PC from one of the small OEM which use standard parts than assembling it yourself.

You can find better deals on games for PCs than for consoles. And you can use the PC for more than gaming.
 

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
599
1,340
I just ordered a custom Dell XPS desktop from their website. Couldn't build it much cheaper. I am hesitant to build my own even though I've heard it's fairly simple. MacOS is aesthetic but overrated/priced.
 

kamuix

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2011
198
12
california
I think having a gaming PC would be a nice option to have, especially if you're interested in 4k gaming. While the newer consoles do support 4k and HDR, there are some games where it's implemented poorly and not true 4k from reviews I've seen.
The other plus side to windows gaming is mods. Depending on the games that you want to play, i.e current titles or what not, the modding community is very large. For me, I was hooked on Skyrim and Fallout 4 where I could mod the heck out of it. It was awesome and challenging at the same time. Of course, there are also certain titles made for PC as well, such as indie games available on Steam. If the goal of owning a PC is to play the most common titles available for all platforms, then to be honest I'd stick with consoles. The only other reason, which you mentioned you had no interest in are graphics.
For me, I've been a heavy mac user, but I switched to a windows PC back in 2016 for two years. I've always wanted to play a ton of PC games I could never on mac without bootcamp and ultra graphic settings. I do own a ps4 and xbox one, but whenever a title came out for all three platforms, I'd go PC since I knew I would get the best overall experience.
My current rig is an i7 8700 k overclocked to 3.9 ghz, two nvidia 1080ti graphic cards in SLI, 32 gigs of ram, 2 ssds and 2 WD Black HDs. This is all with an Acer predator x34 monitor with g-sync and 100 hz refresh rate. I did go crazy with my build, but I've never had something that awesome and when I had the ability to afford it, I went all out.
So overall, it depends on what games you're interested in. The only reason I went back to mac os, was I sorta missed the environment. So i just got a mini for office work. :)
 

darksithpro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2016
582
4,491
Sorry not sure if i'm in the right forum section or not. I've been on Mac OS since I was like 10 and i'm 25 now. I absolutely can't take Windows but I do enjoy gaming. I currently have a PS4 and have fun with it but I was debating either building a computer or upgrading to one of the 4K consoles. I feel like i'm missing out by not being on the PC platform but i'm not really that concerned about graphics or framerates. I'm sure the Xbox One X would blow me away enough. I do love the simplicity of Macs and Consoles though. I just can't shake the feeling that the PC experience is that much better. Anyone who has any experience in this arena would be a huge help. I'm not trying to start a console pc war lol i'm just asking for advice pertaining to my situation and the experience others have had. Thanks!
I would take the advice Altis gave you, only if you play a lot of first person shooter games, where those 120+hz monitors shine. To get 4k games with everthing maxed out means you're gonna need 2080ti/high end SLI, or 2080/1080ti with settings turned down to have consistant 60+ frame rates for AAA games. That costs a lot of money. For less than half the price you can get an XBOX ONE X, where it will do 4k on a TV for 400 bucks, where as a single 2080ti is over 1,300+ dollars alone. Up to you, but you don't like Windows and you're not really missing out unless you want to play older steam games and some MMO's really. one last thing. Go on YouTube and type in "Xbox One X vs PC" Give you an idea on the difference between a 400 dollar console vs a 2k PC graphics wise. Surpisinglinly not mch difference.
 
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Jayson A

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,796
1,101
If you want really low input latency, go PC, but if you're mostly into AAA single player games and don't care about frame rates or graphics, then PS4 will do everything you're asking for.

For me, I'm currently saving for a gaming rig because my Mac Pro's CPU is seriously weak in today's games and it's holding back the potential of my RX 580. I did get a 144Hz freesync monitor and it does help, but it's hard to get that good balance between frame rate and graphics when you have to set everything yourself. Your game could be running perfect in one area, then you get to a new level and suddenly the frame rate gets cut in half and you have to fiddle around with the settings again. At least on console, the developers have already gone through the whole game and tried to optimize graphics and performance for every level.
 

PieVsCake

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2018
16
2
For me it boiled down to games available per platform and input device choice. PC tends to have more selection of games and genres. Mod support for said games and the ability to customize input preference. If your a controller fan and have a very typical taste in games the PS4 / Xbox should be fine every 4 years or so. If you want ultimate flexability and the ability to upgrade over time as budget allows then go PC.

I have an iMac 27" i7 with 16gb and a nvidia gfx card.. I used to boot camp it to play games on mid- high settings and it did just fine. I did however get tired of having to reboot between OSX and Windows to do the gaming. So I build a PC and haven't look back since. I still use the Mac via VNC for my productivity etc. My PS4 gathers dust most of the time and to be honest I never could get used to the controller interface.

People can and do use both. I suggest you decide if the PS4 will do what you need it to do and if not, build a PC with up-gradable parts. If you decide you want to pimp it out later you can. Thats the beauty of PC building. Your choice. Your parts.
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
461
PC gaming performance also far exceeds that of consoles, so that might be a consideration. Building a PC is lots of fun, and you can spec out a killer gaming rig for a very very good price.
 

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
599
1,340
I just built my own PC and it turned out great! The local computer shop helped me out with a few hiccups. I would imagine a similarly specced Mac Mini would be 3X the price.
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
461
I just built my own PC and it turned out great! The local computer shop helped me out with a few hiccups. I would imagine a similarly specced Mac Mini would be 3X the price.
With zero-times the expansion!

Congrats! Enjoy your computer.
 
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cajun67

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2011
155
215
If you are a gamer, you should absolutely have a Windows PC. I would recommend building your own using pcpartpicker.com to help you configure it. If you buy an off-the-shelf system, make sure it has at least one PCI-E expansion port that you can drop a video card into, in case you ever want to upgrade the video.

I was a longtime Mac user and built my first PC in 1999. It wasn't a very fast system, but it didn't need to be because I was playing games I had missed out on over the previous decade.
 

Diazepam

Suspended
Nov 24, 2018
77
39
Build a PC. It's not that hard ... just a matter of getting components that are compatible with each other. Not to mention, it's a lot of fun ! There is a lot of support online (forums, etc) that will help you with almost any question you might have.

I bought components from Newegg.com and Amazon.com, but I'm sure there are many more sites now.

Only downside is ... of course, you don't get free tech support if something goes wrong down the road. Esp. with gaming rigs, cooling becomes very important or you can fry your components. You are responsible for ensuring that the case is clean on the inside and that your components stay adequately cooled. That, in my opinion, is the biggest challenge with building your own rigs ... but totally doable. Cables need to be properly bound so that they don't obstruct airflow to/from fans or come in contact with circuit boards.

I built a kickass gaming PC in the past ... lasted a good 10 years before I sold it. Just had to open it every 6 months and give it a good compressed air cleaning.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
I built one few months ago. Serve as my gaming PC, video encoding machine, and my Mac Pro's backup (Hackintosh).
99%.PNG


I still play my Xbox ONE X and PS4 Pro. Yes, their graphics is good enough for most case, especially if you don't care about frame rate (e.g. Some games on Console are limited to 30FPS, even on Xbox ONE X). However, they still can't do something like this.
Ultrawide gaming_filtered.jpg


For simplicity, Consoles are unbeatable. But for actually experience, nothing can beat a properly built gaming PC (including monitor, or VR, etc)

And TBH, the initial Windows installation, download Steam, etc. Won't be much more complicated than the consoles initial setup. It may be more time consuming, but still quite straight forward.

From your original post, I really believe that you do NOT need a gaming PC. And if you love simplicity more than graphics / frame rate. You may end up keep playing the consoles even have the PC. So, unless you can justify the cost, and know that you have the extra space, and don't mind to have another PC for something else... You better really think twice before you build it.