iMac vs cMp advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Polarmutex, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Polarmutex macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2014
    I currently have a Hackintosh that is causing me and my wife more trouble than it is worth. So I am looking to get a mac this holiday season.

    Option 1: retina iMac (i7,GPU upgrade) ~3K
    Option 2: refurb 2013 iMac (i7,GPU upgrade) ~2.4K
    Option 3: used 2010-12 mac pro (from OWC) < 2K

    I primarily use the computer to web and other general tasks, gaming (only blizzard titles), and video encoding.

    I really would like to spend under 2.5K. Although nice, I really do not need the retina screen. Also on these forums I see potential hardware defects and I would like to use the computer for the next 4-5 years. So I am leaning on the last 2 options.

    I like the upgrade ability of the old mac pros. I do game some and to have the ability to upgrade the GPU is nice. I also like to have all my backup drives with in the computer and I have a nice 27in IPS monitor already.

    My main question will the 2010-12 mac pro be able to hold up another 4-5 years with some upgraded parts? Or is it better to just get last years non retina iMac and hope the GPU is good enough?

    Thanks for your input
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I just went from a hackintosh to an riMac. Really happy with that.

    My hack' was a 4770, and the new riMac is a bit faster. And the screen, well it's revolutionary. I wouldn't shy away because of hardware issues by a few here unless there's something very specific to you. And besides, you've got a warranty. Mine has been flawless, and a lot of noise here is the usual noise that can be discounted.

    The base riMac is a really good deal compared to a top of the line non riMac, in part because you can get it with flash or Fusion included without having to pay the tacked on price that Apple makes you add for the non riMac. So when compare a comparable iMac to the base riMac the diff is more like $300 US. WELL worth it for that screen.

    Perhaps you can either freeze that hackintosh in some basic state, and use it for the video encoding only. Maybe even Linux. It could just chug away at that, freeing up your everyday riMac for more fun things. It could also serve files and you'd have those bays for backups, etc.

    I also use my hack's IPS monitor with the riMac. It requires a bit of ergonomic finesse, since I put my face closer to the riMac. It looks like an old Pong console by comparison now, but it's still useful.

    Gaming is an issue for sure. From reviews I've seen lots of folks are doing just fine with riMac and many games. Macs have always kinda lagged in that area, but OTOH that 5K may inspire some interesting graphics itself. I also hate the fact I can't mod the riMac easily, if at all, but that's pretty true with most Macs. The nMP isn't exactly as modifiable as my hackintosh either, and is WAY more expensive. If I was still into gaming, I might just install Windows on the hack and use it for gaming instead of the Mac.

    For me, the better screen is everything. I didn't think it would be as important to me as it is now. Personally, I'd sacrifice some vid performance for the amazing clarity in most everything else.
  3. sebseb macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2014
    I would go with option 2 since you are getting a good deal and apple's warranty with the device and a 27" display for 2.4K and it's plenty of power for what you need.

    Mac Pros usually have low clock speed, therefore they will perform really low when it comes to singlecore applications. The stock graphics card is ok but not the best for gaming. You would also need to purchase a monitor for it which will increase the price.

    Both machine will last 4-5 years! This model of iMac has a good graphics card.
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I can't see why anyone would buy that refurb. For the same price you can get a riMac. Same processor, and either 256 Flash or 1TB Fusion, so only very slightly less flash storage. Slightly more RAM, but aftermarket that's probably a very small cost. Graphics card is different but I don't think it would make a huge diff. The 5K screen, however, WOULD be a huge difference.
  5. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
  6. sebseb macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2014
    Have you used the 5K iMac?? The stock model lags when you swipe between full screen apps and he doesn't need retina iMac! So for the same price, he can get an i7, an nvidia graphics card which is better than any card amd makes and 512Gb SSD.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have a retina iMac. I wouldn't trade that screen for the old Mac one even if I sacrificed some performance in other areas. I don't suppose anyone every "needed" retina on their iPhone, iPad, or MBP either. But it sure you sure do get a better experience with it.
  8. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I would also put a plug in for the riMac. I have the i7 with upgraded graphics. I went with 8GB of RAM and bought 8GB cheap and added it (super easy). I went with the 256GB SSD. Fusion would be OK, but USB 3.0 is fast enough for external drives.

    I made a Boot Camp partition of about 40GB for Windows. I hooked up an external drive in a USB 3.0 enclosure and games go on there. It is quite capable for gaming. My gaming PC had a GTX 760 in it and the iMac gives me better performance.

    I also had a Hackintosh prior to this. It had an i7 2600K with an SSD. I liked the tinkering but sometimes hours were waisted trying to fix some problem.

    I will say that in my opinion, if you want a machine that is going to last for a while, it is really worth it to get the riMac. Super HD screens are the future and when you start running into them on a regular basis and then have to look at your non-retina iMac, you'll regret it.

    If you haven't seen one, you really need to, it is quite breathtaking and when I look at my standard external monitors next to the iMac, I end up browsing for 4K monitors, which I can't afford right now.

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