iMac or Win?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sanjanov, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Sanjanov macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010

    I'm currently running on a 4 years old mac mini with 37GB HDD, 1.25 GHz PPC and 512MB RAM. Yesterday I had it overfilled so much that I couldn't put a "space" between my text in MS Word, it also barely launches Safari and runs games such as WoW at 0-11fps. All of that has been so frustrating in the past few years that I'm considering of buying a new comp.
    I'm currently thinking about purchasing 21.5" iMac with: 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 processor with 4MB level 3 cache, 1TB HDD, ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory. I'll be using most of its potential with Final Cut Pro, World of Warcraft and MS Office.
    Now the question I'm struggling with is wether to buy this iMac or a Windows computer for several reasons:
    1) After 2 month of buy my mac mini, it basically got old because new graph cards, processors and the mini itself went out (don't want this to happen again with iMac)
    2) I've heard Win comps are way better for the price of an iMac, You can "equip" it with highest performance graph cards, processors and HD drives.

    I'll be grateful for any response regarding this issue, maybe you could tell me your own experience with those programs in case your running that particular iMac.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    There is no Final Cut for Windows. If you need and want it, then Mac is your only choice.
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    1) Any computer is going to get "old" shortly after you buy it, that is the nature of technology moving extremely fast. I think you are referring to buying a PPC based machine shortly before the Intel based machines were released though. If that is the case I think a current iMac has a better chance at being more future proof. Like a Windows box a more powerful machine to begin with should provide more longevity for future innovations because it has the reserve power already there.

    2) This is a common myth from Windows fans. For those that have done their due diligence when they calculate the costs of similar components they find Apple machines are slightly more expensive. However what the Windows pundits don't mention is the costs of maintenance and the total time doing so. As you know with a Mac for most it's a good user experience. While Windows 7 is reported by many to be a much better operating system than it's predecessors it's still vulnerable to virus's. At this writing there are still zero, none, nada virus's for OS X.

    And as a the previous poster mentioned there is no Final Cut Pro for MS Windows.

    My recommendation is if you are interested in a 21.5" iMac to get one of the i5 based machines or if you can afford it get the 27" i7 Machine for the fastest computing experience.
  4. beerglass007 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2008
    Why the i5 in the 21.5" its only 2 core and just a speed bump over the i3 ?
  5. viets7ylez macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    I use a Windows rig as my main with Windows 7 and I've never had a virus or any "maintenance" issues. I only run MSE for antivirus. I don't know what you do with your computers that requires such maintenance. Also, there are viruses for OSX but not many.

    Custom built rigs in general will always be cheaper than Apple equivalents. You pay the premium for the aesthetics, name brand, and OS not the components.

    To the TS, get a Mac since you need Final Cut and other software that is Mac only. Some might suggest you to build a hackintosh for cheaper than a real Mac so you can use that software but the maintenance and issues with that is not worth the trouble.
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    The i5 is a more powerful chip and will render your work in Final Cut faster.
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I'm glad you have good luck with Windows, that is very good news. However there are NO, NONE, ZERO virus's for OS X. That may change over time of course.

    This may be true but the average computer user doesn't want to build their own computer. If that were the case Dell, HP, Acer, Sony etc wouldn't be building PC's. As for the premium for the aesthetics, name brand and OS there is some truth to that and frankly I think this is why Apple is overcoming it's PC competitors in overall growth of it's Mac business. As a US customer I'm more than willing to pay that also knowing that the support I get (and I do from time to time) is the best in the industry. Not to throw rocks at people in India or other Eastern countries but I much prefer to deal with someone that is in my local market (US or Canada) so we can communicate better and actually find solutions where I can't.
  8. Circleof05ths macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Yes, there ARE viruses for OS X. Just do a Google search and several lists pop up. That being said, there are a lot less viruses out there because MACs aren't as common as PCs. As Apple gets more of a share in the market, you'll see more viruses. If you get a PC you will have to be more careful and do virus checks. I've been on PC boxes for about 20 years now and only have had 3 viruses.

    It's not like people have to actually build the computer themselves. They just go on to the websites choose what they want and have it shipped to them. People like choice and PCs definitely have that. I've used rather than Dell or HP and had awesome support and got a great machine which has lasted me 5 years.

    However, like Sanjanov, I am currently thinking about getting an Apple machine, but am hesitating for the same reasons. I like switching out my hardware if I need to upgrade. It's easy to do in a PC. Most of it is plug and play at this point. Also, PCs are cheaper because there's a ton of competition out there. If you go to a PC site and build a machine with the same specs as a MAC Pro, you'll save about $400-500. The iMAC is a better deal since it includes the monitor. You'd only save around $200 on a PC.

    Sanjanov, if you are planing on having the machine for about 2-3 years then you'll probably be fine with the iMAC. Technology is changing so fast at this point that even if you had a PC you'd probably want to get a new one after 3 years anyway. Once you have to change out the motherboard to upgrade you might as well get a new machine. So, unless you are planning on switching out your graphics card every year, you'll probably be fine.

    Just my 2 cents.
  9. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I hate to say it but the Google information you are getting about virus's on OS X is just plain wrong. The are zero virus's on OS X, it really that simple. Most users that have Mac's (myself included) don't even bother to load anti virus software because there are none. As you mentioned that may change in the future however for now there are zero. Sorry to be so adamant but with all due respect your information is wrong.

    Sorry I missed your point, I'm in Silicon Valley where a lot of techies like to hand build their own PC's and that's what I thought you meant.

    Apple does exactly the same thing with the iMac and Mac Pro lines. You can choose processors, graphics, RAM, HD etc... Even with the Mac Mini you can do the same to a limited extent.

    Well yeah but do yourself a favor and go to a store that has Mac Pro's on display and ask to see inside, you will be more than impressed. They're really beautiful to look at if you appreciate fine engineering. It's difficult to communicate in writing. It's kind of like trying to describe a fine diamond or fine watch, you really can't appreciate them until you see them in the flesh. Yes Timex will give you accurate time but look at the build quality of a Timex compared to Patek Philippe, Omega or Rolex.
  10. Circleof05ths macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Sorry to be as insistent, but there are viruses. Check out There are a ton of articles about several, virus/trojans/worms, etc. While not prevalent they are there, which is why Apple recommends getting some anti-virus software.

    I would not call the iMac something you can really configure. Once you choose which cpu, you can only pick RAM and limited choices on the hds. The original poster wanted to know about graphic cards. No dice on the iMac. Also, once you make your choices you're pretty much stuck with them. It's not a bad thing if you don't upgrade, which many people don't. That's why I'm considering an iMac, in the past I've always upgrade and loved swapping hardware around. I haven't been doing it for the past 2 years so, now I'm considering a iMac.

    I've been to the Apple stores and while I find the Mac pros nice, to me, they aren't worth the extra money. I can get an equally as nice PC for less. If you love the look of a Mac pro and it's worth the extra money, that's fine. I don't find them that much better then some of the higher end PC cases. It depends on what you are looking for. I wouldn't put the Mac Pro on a Rolex level and a PC as a Timex. Maybe a Volkswagen vs. Toyota. :)
  11. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    If one is comfortable with Mac OS (re: its structure, its views, its fonts, its control boxes, etc. etc.), then stay with Mac OS. If one is comfortable with Windows, then stay with Windows systems. Sounds like you are already comfortable with Mac OS - especially with your 3 year old Mac Mini. Thus, it might be best to go with iMac platforms. The next question is answer is iMac screen re: 21.5" or larger 27"? Some folks love 21.5" and some folks love the 27". Some folks say that 27" is too large and it give them "too much" eye strain. Screen size is the 2nd question. Next, its the processor base. re: i3 or i5 processor. If iMac 27" is your target, then is i7 processor much better (for your current and future needs)? Disk space and memory is other underlying questions. Brand new or re-fab (to save some purchase dollars)?

    Very tough questions that only you can decide.

    Good luck...

  12. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    rkaufmann87 is quite correct! I'm afraid you are slipping into the usual Windows v Mac misunderstanding regarding viruses.

    The so-called trojan you referred to is unlike the majority of Windows viruses. The majority of Winows "infections" are self-installing - the user nearly always doesn't know his machine has become infected until strange things begin to happen! On the contrary, trojans or viruses on a Mac have to be activated by the user (a file opened or a button clicked). Therefore, if it's not activated it is harmless.

    The golden rule (or should it be "The obvious Rule!"?) for all PC users is that suspicious files from an unknown source, should never be opened and immediately deleted.

    PS. Personally, I'm not aware of the "ton of articles about several virus/trojans/worms you refer to - references? ;) Also, where does Apple recommend getting anti-virus software?
  13. Circleof05ths macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Um, no it not a misunderstanding between Windows and Mac use, especially since I don't use Windows, unless under threats of death ;). It doesn't matter if it's unlike Windows malware, it's still malware. It can get on an OS X machine and users need to be aware of that so they don't go and click on something they shouldn't. It's malware regardless of how it's activated.

    Go on Google or Yahoo, type OS X virus, hit search, and enjoy. I simply choose the security site to link to because it's a nice condensed version of what is going on. Although, there are some pretty good debates going on on various tech forums.

    As for anti-virus software and Apple's policy. For about 2 years, their customer support policy is to recommend it. Their own website now has this:
    Security Advice
    The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.

    This is actually a bit watered down from a year ago when they flat out recommended it.

    As you and others have pointed, OS X is not like Windows where there's a constant threat of poissible malware,. However, there is a threat, however small, that users should be aware of and take precautions.
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you need to use Final Cut to edit videos, you need to use OS X, there are no if-ands-or-buts.

    However, if you just mean an editing suite, you can use Live Movie Maker, or buy Adobe Primer Elements for $80.

    WoW and Office are both much much better in Windows, and you can get a larger hard drive and faster CPU for less than you can in an iMac (if you can configure the iMac with that large of a HDD/CPU at all!)

    I have a Macbook Pro, and a PC. I prefer using my PC, especially with Windows 7's Aero Snap feature. It's a pretty amazing. It's faster, and it cost me about 1/3 as much as my MBP.
  15. JayX macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2007
    You're changing your tune though, malware covers a lot more than 'viruses' which is what people have been talking about. Yes, there are pieces of malicious software out there, but nothing that can self replicate which is what separates a virus out. You don't need antivirus or antimalware software under OSX because nothing can self execute and infect your computer without your knowledge. If you're not familiar with computers, then it can add some piece of mind but most of it is smoke and mirrors designed to sell you software.

    There's no such thing as security through obscurity, which completely obliterates the 'OSX doesn't get viruses because it's not as popular' argument. Being the first to write and spread such a thing would be a very big thing indeed, but it hasn't happened due to OSX requiring root access to get entangled within the system. There are plenty of *nix based machines in the world running servers online, and are a very big target. While nothing can possibly be 100% secure, hence Apples recommendations in order to cover their asses, there simply isn't the scale of risk on OSX like there is on Win32 and that's all there is to it.
  16. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    Hardly "Apple recommends getting some anti-virus software admittance!" Sounds more like a protection against future attacks from members of the "Litigation society"!

    Wow! What a come-down! You said "Sorry to be as insistent, but there are viruses."
  17. Sanjanov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Thank you all for your replies.

    Ive gathered some information from all the posted statements and would like to comment on few things.
    The point I started leaning towards Windows computers was mainly because of the price and computer configuration which in many cases are better then iMacs for the same price. As to FC Pro, Ive never worked with it, but I really wanted to start doing that. I'm aware there is a similar program on Windows called "Sony Vegas" which also makes me look towards Win comps. As for the viruses, I know about Mac invulnerability to them, but Ive also questioned my friends with Win comps and they've all said that theyr 5 year old comps have had around 2-3 viruses up to now which barely affected any computer performance.
    I guess the main point Im still on a Mac side is because of the large iMac screen which is somewhat affordable, way faster computer and the amazing OS comparing to Win, oh and the quiet workplace compared to the loud Win comps.

    Ive taken tech specs of the iMac im interested in and going to check out some Win computer stores to see what can I afford for the same price. I'll keep you updated on my decision. :)
  18. borcanm macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    Check out Newegg to compare Win vs Mac parts.

    On Newegg you can buy an AMD Phenom 6 core & 2 ATI 6870 cards for under 900$. Thats amazing considering a system with those specs can last you for 5 years and more. The rest of the parts (ie. ram, motherboard, case, PSU) would bring your total cost to around 1400-1500$ if you went for top quality components.

    Thats if you want a monster gaming machine. Otherwise, look at the Apple refurbish page, they usually have great deals, and all refurbs come with a 1 year warranty and ability to extend to 3 years with apple care.

    BTW, if you look around at PC parts you'll realize that almost all manufacturers offer 3 year warranties or more. Compared that to Apple's one year and its clear win.

    And Win 7 is pretty good. All you'll need is an antivirus like AVG (its free) and your set. Remember virus don't just appear out of no where on your computer, the user brings them on, therefore be careful and what porn sites you browse.
  19. JayX macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Just before I put my order through for my 27" i7, I checked my usual components place to see what the price would be to buy a PC of equivalent specs.

    For the same cost, I can get a 27" screen, the i7 processor, the graphics card, the RAM and a Win 7 OS. So no motherboard, no case, no hard disk, no keyboard, no mouse. Also I don't have to build it, and it will undoubtedly not look as nice as the iMac form factor. Now, I'm not paying full retail on my Mac but even if I was it would be pretty similar in cost. If you compare other AIO form factor machines to what you can get from Apple too, you'll be surprised. Dell don't seem to offer a high quality machine anymore, but last years iMac absolutely trounced their equivalent model at around the same price.
  20. Circleof05ths macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Yeah, I know there's a difference between viruses, trojans, worms, etc. Although, they all qualify as malware. Most of the time when I get asked by people about viruses, especially people who don't work as computer techies, they are actually asking about all sorts of malware which is sort of the tone I got from the original poster. I do stand by what I said, Macs can get viruses.
    I also stand by my statement about lack of popularity as a reason that Macs don't have the threat of viruses. Most people releasing viruses want to hit as many people as possible and find the easiest way to do it. That would be writing something for Windows.
    I do agree and have said so several times, to quote you:

    While nothing can possibly be 100% secure, hence Apples recommendations in order to cover their asses, there simply isn't the scale of risk on OSX like there is on Win32 and that's all there is to it.

    So, I'm not sure why anyone is having an issue with me pointing out that Macs can get viruses. I mean, it's very possible to hack into linux based machines so if someone really wanted to they could write something that could get root access of a machine. It's not like I'm claiming it's like owning a Windows machine. I merely stated that people shouldn't think they are immune.
    Since this is now way off the topic of the thread, I'll shut up now. :)
  21. JayX macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2007
    That's the key, OSX isn't protected due to 'security through obscurity'. For a start, it's not even obscure anymore... it's an OS that is entering it's 9th year and takes up close to 10% of the market share. It might not sound like a lot, but when you consider group licenses for businesses and the amount of dumb terminals running XP/2K not on public networks you realise it's not a bad figure. It's definitely viable for attack.

    Approaching virus creation from a "there's not as many people using this system, so I won't bother" approach is completely the wrong angle. That's not the mindset of someone who writes this kind of code. Pioneering an OSX virus is a huge deal and would make the news the world over, while a mildly sporadic Win32 infection is just another entry in a definitions list. When you have people compiling code from 3 separate 0day exploits to attack a single system that exists in the Middle East, 'obscurity' simply isn't a factor. The challenge in writing a virus is to hit something new, not to simply rehash what others have done before you.

    Right now, my mother has an XP machine that had to be completely rebuilt due to an infection that I simply couldn't get rid of after hours of trying. Insanely deep into the system so it could take control over the major anti-virus/malware kits and got to the stage where it threw it into a reboot loop before it even hit the OS. Utterly hideous. She's currently left without virus protection because in AVG Free's last update it started freaking out that it didn't have Admin rights (naturally, because she isn't the admin on the system) and then refused to kick back in at all. Next year, she's getting a second hand iMac and I won't have to worry about anything again for the forseeable future. We've all got friends/relatives who have this problem through no fault of their own, and my God if OSX isn't a damn good solution to their (and therefore, our) problems!

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