iMac vs Custom Built PC?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macuser1232, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    Jan 20, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys I was wondering which would be better(preferably for programming) an iMac or Custom PC Desktop. On the PC I would be running windows and possibly dual boot linux. I need to know which computer would be better for surfing web, multitasking(big one), programming(also major), and picture/video editing. I also would like to say that I will NOT be gaming on the computer. Ok so with that said, which one?
     
  2. dkersten macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I'm assuming you aren't programming for iOS or OS X because if you are then you'll need a Mac.

    If you're doing other programming, its really up to personal preference and budget.
     
  3. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #3
    We'll as of now I am interested in cross-platform programming. Like Java, C, C++, etc.
     
  4. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #4
    What he said. For multitasking, media editing, and programming, neither OS has an advantage over the other. I'd think of it like this...

    If you want to save a bit of money, get a PC.

    If you want to save space on your desk, get an iMac.
     
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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  6. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #6
    We'll in that case it would be OS X :) It's just that for a long time I thought PC desktop's were always better than Mac's desktops(having i mind that macbook pro's are the dominant laptop) because of the upgradability of PC's.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    iMacs are fairly upgradable. You can upgrade their ram, hard drive, CPU, optical drive, and video card.
     
  8. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #8
    Wow guess I've been wrong all along.
     
  9. Ry. macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2011
    #9
    Oh he be trolling.

    Only the RAM and HD is upgradable, ofcourse.

    The only real reasons for getting a pc over a mac for me would be the advantage when gaming, but if you're not interested in that then i'd say get a mac.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #10
    Am I missing something here? The hard drive has custom temperature sensors making it not user serviceable. Even if you could do so, it would mean having to take off the glass with suction cups followed by detaching the display. Ram is the only practical upgrade there. You can get 16-32GB if you like. The other guy is trolling. Even if it uses socketed cpus (not sure there) they have some of the best options available in that socket type. Given the packed in nature of imacs, I wouldn't suggest even trying it.

    Most of the time with PC cpu upgrades, they involve an entirely new motherboard given that the sockets change every couple cycles at most, and so far going tock --> tick hasn't been worthwhile.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    No I'm not trolling. The CPU in all Intell based iMacs is socketed and upgradable. The video card in all but two models is a MXM slot and is upgradable. The optical drive, well there really isn't much more then a dvd burner and Blu-Ray support on Macs isn't that great. The hard drives can be upgraded with standard SATA drives on all iMacs. The fans do rev up on the newer ones, but that is fixable when shorting out two pins. And of course the ram is upgradable.
     
  12. zarf2007, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012

    zarf2007 macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #12
    although what you say is true, to be honest it isnt as straight forward as upgrading parts in a standard PC(apart from the memory).

    My take would be to go for a 27" iMac:

    1) OSX is stable and you don't have to worry about viruses and other bloatware
    2) Multiple windows on the large screen estate are very useful while you program and multitask and the iMac is practically silent which will not distract you in your thought process!
    3) The screen on 21 or 27" iMacs is far superior to most PC screeen's and is included!
    4) picture/video editing is also a task the iMac performs flawlessly...

    If you want something that is hassle free and let's you get on with your real passion (programming) go iMac.....most programmers will agree that the OSX (unix) based environment is better for coding than windows and while you could run Linux & Windows on a PC, you can also do that as a VM in OSX or dual boot windows in Bootcamp.
     
  13. unixperience macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2010
    #13
    well a p[c is indeed cheaper, usually. if you are JUST programming and doing some multi-tasking you don't need a super number crunching computer for that.

    like others said it depends on what you want to develop for. if you want to make windows applications (vb c#) then you basically need a windows comp. if you want to make ios applications you basically need a mac. Of course there are ways around this (2011 office has VBA again yay! and theres a few ways to program ios on windows)

    mac is unix, so that is nice, its got the gcc compiler and all that fun stuff, terminal, vim if you like. xcode is a very nice suite. if you plan on doing embedded programming, windows is likely the winner (though i do it on mac or linux) so it depends on what you want. one thing to keep in mind is like others said its very easy to make a windows or linux vm on a mac. but not making a mac vm on a non mac os.

    and as much as i love macs, they are hardly user upgradeable. basically you can do ram, and hdds in the imac are basically impossible, if not a huge pain anyway to remove the whole screen, besides the fw issues, and i guess shorting wires together, lol sounds risky, and I'm an electrical engineer, lol but i wouldn't dare do it. too much work, if you want upgradability go custom build. hope that helped. but really jsut think of what you want to program. but with a mac you'll be able to install windowws to, so you can get both facets.
     
  14. Rlnplehshalo, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012

    Rlnplehshalo macrumors regular

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    #14

    Programming it doesn't really matter just your personal preference for interface and certain programs.
    Most work can be achieved on both flatforms.

    A custom built PC is a must for gaming, to be able to play the next generation of games and that after.If you want to go north of Medium settings you will NEED a PC. The ability to just upgrade to a better graphics card every year for roughly $300 is a much cheaper and efficient method for a gaming machine.

    I'm not saying you can't game on a mac, you can it's just bad and it uses mobile GPUs and CPUs which arn't up to spec with a desktop equivalent. Unless you have a mac pro but again they are still not as customizable.
     
  15. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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  16. tikitommy macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #16
    Not a bad decision.

    My last two desktops were custom built and served me well. I'm waiting for the iMac to be bumped before buying but I want a desktop that i can warranty (applecare) not not have any concerns for the next 3 years. You're getting a great machine with great customer support.

    Its really weighing a slight difference in cost with peace of mind.
     
  17. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    You can upgrade the CPU and GPU.:rolleyes:
     
  18. dkersten macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Remember that you can always install Windows on a Mac either through bootcamp or a virtual machine like Parallels. I think that a Mac, especially with a 27in screen (i.e. 27 in iMac or Mac Mini with a TBD/ACD) would be a great choice
     
  19. Gaiduku macrumors member

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    Jul 3, 2012
    #19
    I'm thinking about the custom pc option too. At first it sprung out of anger over Apple's strange behaviour in regards to the 2012 (or who knows maybe 2013) iMac, yet now it's more than that.

    I want something different than what I did 5 years ago when I went to college with my shiny new MacBook. Things like upgradeability and the ability to do some powerful thing with it might be quite useful depending on how my work goes. Also 5 years ago the whole pc building thing looked a bit scary but now....not so much.

    There are still some things in favour of the iMac and if one is announced within the next fortnight I might still get one. I still love mac OSX and it will be a shame to leave it behind. Yes there is the hackintosh option but if I build a pc I think I'll just be sticking with windows. iMac screens are very nice and also apple support is pretty good too.

    Yet for 700 pounds I could get something right now that will last me for a decent amount of time.... The caveats are looking smaller and smaller the more I think about it
     
  20. zone23 macrumors 68000

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    May 10, 2012
    #20
    Actually upgrading the hard drive wasn't all that.. Taking the glass off requires nothing more then suction cups you can buy at the hardware store. I paid $10 dollars I think for them. The glass is fairly easy to remove. Its easier than some computer cases for PCs. I did not remove the display once I took the screws loose I was able to tilt it enough to get the hard drive out. It really takes two people one to hold the display while the other prepares the new hard drive. As for the thermal sensors although true that it has them you can get compatible hard drives or use HDD Fan Control. It does cost money but that is life. All that said I have not had the fan issue since upgrading to OSX 10.8. Don't know if Apple fixed it or i've just been lucky. The whole process probably takes me 15 minutes. The most delicate part is making sure the glass is clean before you put it back on. Nothing worse then a big fat finger print or worse a hair on the inside.
     
  21. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #21
    It all really depends on what you want.

    A PC will last and be supported longer, and have much better performance.

    An iMac will take up less desk space, run OSX out of the box.
     
  22. IPlayFair, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

    IPlayFair macrumors member

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    May 12, 2012
    #22
    Take a Look at HP High Performance Desktops

    HP has some pretty powerful high performance desktops HERE.

    This model with 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX680 [DVI, HDMI and VGA via adapter].
     
  23. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #23
    That sounds easier than it looked on the teardown videos, and it's nice to hear that the fan issue isn't present in Mountain Lion. I've never personally owned an imac though. They retain a few advantages, but the difference between macbook pro and imac has really been tapering off. I like larger displays, but I'm not big on Apple's options there, so I'd end up going with a third party display anyway.
     
  24. zone23 macrumors 68000

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    May 10, 2012
    #24
    I can understand that I'm also a fan of the Mac Mini love that thing.. its just awesome..

    The hardest part of replacing the hard drive is putting the screws back in the display and I have a trick for that.
     
  25. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #25
    Pretty much this^.
     

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