iMac: What would be an example of iMac alternative

Discussion in 'iMac' started by galaksy, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. galaksy macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I want to buy a desktop because I heard that it is much more powerful than a laptop, and hence is a better deal, since you barely use laptop outside the home, so that portability is not needed.

    iMac sounds like a good deal because of the nice screen, but I heard the components are laptop so that it is not as powerful as desktops.

    I was also thinking of buying a 4k laptop (Toshiba) because I like high pixel density. It comes with 12GB or 16GB but I like to do run a lot of heavy stuff so I want 32GB. Also it would be easier when moving to a new place, whether on the plane or on the bus.

    If I went to Best Buy to buy a desktop, which might be the best? I can't decide on a computer and wasting time and so I thought one option might be to go to Best Buy and buy one since I can get one without interest...
     
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    The iMac has mostly desktop class components, and a mobile class GPU. The high end graphics card, the gtx 780m, performs better than the gtx 770 in some tasks, which is one of the top 10 desktop graphics cards. You can also upgrade the RAM yourself to 32GB.

    The laptop you are looking at, maxed out, has about 1/3 the graphics performance of the high end iMac. The iMac may technically have a "mobile" GPU, but no laptop weighing under 10 pounds would reasonably be able to heat sink the 780m. Certainly, you could build a powerful desktop for about $500 less than a comparable iMac, but that would require your own maintenance, no warranty on your machine (you would have to deal with the individual component manufacturers), and it would weigh about 70 pounds. This is coming from a guy who currently has a hackintosh and loves it. A comparable iMac would have cost me about $600 more, and every once and a while the hassle is not worth it. If you get a Dell/HP desktop, the iMac will cost about the same on a performance/dollar ratio.

    This one right here is the best you can get for your money:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0MS5LL/A/refurbished-27-inch-imac-34ghz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i7

    You really can't find a better desktop for the money unless you build your own.

    Matt
     
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #3
    mad3inch1na is talking about the 27" iMacs, though.

    The 21.5" models are much lower specced -- 5400 2.5" drives, for example.

    OP, you should talk about which part of the iMac line interests you, and what your budget is.
     
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Yeah, I agree with you that if we are comparing 21" desktops, the PC market has much better competitors. The 27" iMac is very reasonably priced for what it offers though, especially if he is looking to get 32GB of RAM. He is looking to get an $1800 laptop (with a 5400 rpm drive), so a $1950 iMac with a gtx 680mx/Quad-core i7/1TB Fusion Drive/8 GB of RAM seems around his budget.

    I was also wondering what his work was.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #5
    If you are looking for other computers that have a similar form factor to an iMac (all-in-one), then I think the brands that BestBuy sells each have something to look at.
    HP has several, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, etc. Each of those sell some kind of all-in-one. None will run OS X (not natively, anyway), so it would be up to your needs to see if any are what you might call "iMac alternatives".
    Only you can decide if some other system (running Windows, or maybe Linux) will fit your needs.
    And, you can compare directly to the iMac at BestBuy, so good place to look around. (Be careful who you talk to in there :D )
     
  6. galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    @mad3inch1na I see that the one you linked to is October 2012 refurbished version. How does that compare to the latest version of iMac?
     
  7. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    #7
    From what I have seen, I cannot find a Windows all-in-one as powerful as the iMac.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    If you can hold off, Apple may release a 4K iMac this fall probably with some variant of the 880M gpu (880MX?). If you want to play with 4K now, you really need to go with a Mac Pro or a PC built from separate components. If you do gaming or heavy video work and want a good experience, a 780M won't cut it at 4K. You will need at least one Titan or 780 desktop card, maybe two in SLI depending on your idea of "good". A Titan will bring you up to the level of a Mac Pro.

    Its difficult to say unless you post your budget and your intended uses.
     
  9. galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    What does 780m won't cut it at 4k mean? What is a 780m?

    ----------

    Budget: maybe up to $2500?

    I want to do music and video editing.

    ----------

    Is this refurbished 2012 iMac as thin as the current iMac?
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
    The 780m is the graphics processor in the iMac. Its a slower version than those used in desktop PCs in order to keep the power consumption (and thus heat) down. If you were playing video games at 4K, the 780m would be unsatisfactory. Its simply too slow for that. For your needs, its should be OK. For 4K video editing, the amount of memory on the graphics card is the most important thing.
    A top-end refurb 27" will fit your budget.
    Its the same as the current iMac. These are usually returns from customers who tried and didn't like or there was a hardware problem that Apple then corrected but can not sell the system as new anymore.
     
  11. Muldert macrumors member

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    Apr 1, 2012
    #11
    How serious will this editing be? Slightly above budget stands the Mac Pro. With educational discount and a 100$ giftcard you'll pay 2799$
    A high-end 27" 16GB 512GB SSD iMac will set you back 2,399$

    And yes, they are both as thin ;-)
     
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #12
    He will still need a screen.
     
  13. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Hi Galaksy,

    The only significant differences between the 2012 iMac and the 2013 iMac are the type of wifi and SATA vs PCIE flash (if you are getting an SSD). The CPU and GPU are within a 5% margin from the highest end options on the 2013 version as Haswell was mostly about energy conservation.

    Other than that, the computer is literally exactly the same as the 2013 model. There is a very similar 2013 model that is not currently available, but it has about 15% worse processing power for 80$ less. It comes with AC wifi and PCIE flash, so if you are interested in getting the newest model, that is the one to wait for.

    The Apple Refurbished store is a great place to purchase computers. They are all like brand new, come in new packaging, and have full warranty coverage. I haven't personally used the refurbished store, but many forum members have used it and I haven't seen a negative comment about the refurb store. They have the same return and warranty policy, so if you aren't satisfied with your computer, you have the same privileges as if it were brand new.

    Matt
     
  14. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    The desktop Broadwell-class GPUs may not release until as late as Q2 2015, but you do have a good point that the iMac may be getting a significant refresh soon. We really do not know for sure though, and any display leaks may be for a new TBD instead.

    The 780M can handle 4K just fine, obviously not at the level of a 780 or a Titan Black, but it has 4GB of VRAM, so for many professional tasks it will perform very well. The 780m wouldn't be able to handle AAA games at max settings, but it would be good for most graphics work. If he is editing 4k video on a weekly basis, then we should probably start talking about building a 4.1 MP. He was looking at a Toshiba Satellite though, so I don't think his work is that demanding. Just my two cents.

    Matt
     
  15. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #15
    New Macs could be using Haswell refresh. Broadwell is probably some way off and Apple may just skip it for Skylake if they do use Haswell refresh. I was assuming he wanted a 4K monitor as well as working with 4K video. If he does, he is best off waiting for the new iMacs or going the PC/Mac Pro route now.
     
  16. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I would be really surprised if Apple overhauled the iMac without updating the processor (more than a 0.1 GHz bump). To each his own opinion though, it is not impossible. I can't imagine Apple waiting until a month or so before the Broadwell release and just using Haswell processors. Just on a side note, I don't understand how Skylake could be ready within a few months of the Broadwell release, as many tech sites are claiming. It is based on the same fabrication technique as Broadwell, so it won't be any easier to efficiently produce.

    I see your point about the 4k monitor. I saw it more as something he wanted, not something he needed. If he did need the 4k setup, then the current lineup definitely would not work. If he really needs to do 4k editing though, I doubt the new iMac lineup will cut it.
     
  17. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #17
    Its happened before (early 2008/early 2009) with minimal CPU bumps. Could happen again if it enables new tech to be added like 4K. They will definitely need a new GPU however. Most likely a custom, overclocked 880M which now has 8GB of DDR5.

    Intel has basically no reason to come out with anything early as AMD still lags far behind. Intel wants to concentrate on the low-power market right now and that means desktop Broadwell will come late. Skylake desktop may also come late so who knows. It would be a shame if there were no new desktop Macs until next year but then again the new Maxwell GPU's should be out by then and probably in 20nm so that will definitely be worth the wait.
     
  18. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    You do bring up some really interesting points, and the 900-series release in January is something I was thinking about as well. The largest issue is that we really have no idea when Broadwell and Skylake will be released. Until we know that, it is near impossible to know what Apple will do.

    I may disagree with your conclusion, but you do make a strong argument. If we knew Broadwell was Q1-2/2015 and Skylake was Q3/2015 then I would have to agree with you. At this point though, I would like to think that Apple will maintain some continuity in its lineup, as long as the CPU market provides some leniency.

    Matt
     

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