Is the iMac for me? ...from a current PC user

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gooter, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Gooter macrumors member


    Jan 3, 2008
    This is my first ever post regarding a Mac :eek:.

    Since a wee lad, I have been and still currently am a Windows PC user. HOWEVER, I may have finally seen the light and am thinking about converting to an iMac thanks to my buddy who is a recent convert as well.

    Now that I am older and with a family, my computer needs have changed. I find myself doing more tasks associated with the family photos (organizing, storing, editing, uploading to Snapfish, etc.) and definitely need to start doing the same for the family home movies. I have stacks and stacks of Mini-DV's in my closet. I find myself gaming less and less on the PC as my time is more limited and my hardware is aging to the point where the latest and greatest simply is not playable. I also have an Xbox 360 to which I focus my limited playing time. Finally, I do a lot of web surfing and office work (Excel and Word) on my PC as well.

    Having said that, my buddy seems to think an iMac would be a great choice since I told him I was thinking about building a new PC. He has a Mac Mini with Leopard and I will soon be going to his house to give it a test drive. But, I am still on the fence about converting.

    From the little research I've been able to do so far, it seems the consenus is that Windows based PC's are still the king if you want to game. Does this mean the iMac does everything else better? (Games I would still want to play on a computer.... Rise of Nations, SW Empire at War, Civ4, LOTR BFME2, KOTOR, Puzzle Quest, LOTRO, Starcraft 2 and a few other classics).

    I'm also a little concerned about giving up the ability to upgrade. It seems that other than memory and a hard drive, I can't really upgrade anything else on an iMac, eg. video card.

    So, is an iMac for me?

    Oh, one more question that I didn't know where to put, does the 20" or 24" iMac support 1:1 pixel mapping or scaling? By this I mean, if you run a game in a lower res than the native res of the LCD, will the LCD stretch the image to fit its native res and thus making the image more pixelated or will you get the black bars on each side to preserve the quality of the image? I know Nvidia's drivers support pixel mapping if your LCD does not but I'm pretty sure ATI's do not have this feature so hoping the LCD supports it.

  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Fixed it for you, Windows PC's do come second though, with Macs being a very poor third. The Mac does a lot of things better, but if you do heavy duty MS Office work you may prefer Windows.
  3. Gaelic1 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2006
    Mountains of No. California
    I'd suggest the 20" iMac, add a larger HD and 1Gb more of memory. You can run Windows on it through Boot Camp, which comes with the Os for your Microsoft programs. You can burn DVD's as single or double layer easily and surf all you want quite well on the Mac. Once you use it, you'll love it. I don't think you will want to tinker with a Mac as much as a Wintel machine. It is pretty awesome right out of the box.
  4. MrT8064 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    I say get a mac;

    i am not going to talk about all of the software uses, because you can run windows on a mac anyway... (even though i think mac is much better)

    I think that a person in your position may benefit from having an iMac because;
    the iMac is tidy, i mean really really tidy, you don't need wires trailing everywhere, its all in one unit, meaning its fairly portable if you want to move it round the house...

    The screen is covered in glass, this is a BIG yes when it comes to family use, because small children seem to have a tendency to put finger prints all over screens, or even push them; the glass finish is very family friendly, as you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth.

    another brilliant feature, which, perhaps excited me most is just how quite the iMac is, its far far less noisy than my old MacBook Pro, and ANY windows desktop... This is great, as you can leave it on when you are having supper, or even sleeping, and its not going to bother you.

    finally; front row, (the remote media interface) if your starting to use your computer for family photos and videos, this could be a great feature for you; i do know that there are similar systems available for windows computers, but apple manages to do it in an extremely user friendly way, and a way which isn't 'tacky' or 'cheap' but it is very stylish.

    I went mac almost 2 years ago, and i did miss windows for gaming a little (i started with an iBook (which couldn't natively run windows) but once i got an intel mac, my monthly gaming fix was fulfilled and i was totally happy with mac! but seeing as you have a xbox, and you can run windows on the iMac anyway... i say BUY BUY BUY!

  5. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    You would love the iMac for all the family needs. iPhoto is so great at organizing your photos, iMovie and iDVD are great at turning your home movies into amazing DVD's.

    You can get Microsoft Office for a Mac or you can boot up into Windows and use it there. You should be able to play those games fine on Windows if they aren't the latest and greatest.

    I would also suggest that you wait until after MacWorld (January 15th) before you make your final descision to see what comes out or is upgraded.
  6. Rustman macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2007
    If you have a young family as well, the parental controls in Leopard are fantastically detailed, meaning you get to truly control what kids get up to when you're not around and you don't have to install crippling software to achieve it, like you do in Windows.

    I make another vote for a 20" iMac, and possibly even for a Mac Mini with a monitor you may already have lying around.

    And I've not touched my PC for gaming since I bought a 360. Although you can't beat a keyboard and mouse for those FPS games. :)
  7. Phormic macrumors regular

    May 24, 2007
    For family orientated computing, nothing holds a candle to Apple's iLife software suite. For basic Photo sorting, home movies, family websites and blogs, it's unmatched.

    Yes, gaming is still far superior on the PC platform but these days, but that is the only area where they shine. With Macs being better looking, more stable, more virus proof and just overall a more enjoyable user experience, there is really no comparison. Besides, with Macs being able to natively run XP or Vista through Boot Camp or other third party applications, you can still play all your old games on your new Mac with no trouble at all.

    Expandability is however limited on an iMac. Memory upgrades are a cinch but everything else requires an expert and may be expensive.

    Take the plunge. You won't regret it. Nobody ever does.
  8. collinsra macrumors member


    Sep 24, 2007
    Oceanside, Ca
    I used to be a hard core PC fan boy as well until recently. My gaming experence has actually improved with my new iMac. I have the most base system and I can play games like WoW and GW on full and be just fine. I still can't believe it took me so long to switch.
  9. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Macs are a weird beast with upgrades. You can't upgrade them as much, but because of the types of apps you tend to use on a Mac and the way the New Mac OS's tends to not make old stuff obsolete as fast, there does not seem to be the same thirst for upgrade.

    The challenge is that this is not the kind of thing you get a feeling for until you have used them for a few generations, and can indeed appear daunting for a switcher like you.
  10. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Hey Gooter, I was in your exact same situation a couple of years ago. That is, I always grew up with PCs, and as a teenager, I would play PC games 24/7. Back then, I remember asking myself "why would anybody buy such a closed system? Can't upgrage it? What a piece of junk." Now that I'm a family man, I have very few hours per week to play games and my family computer needs are now general web surfing and media type stuff. A few coworkers were pushing Macs on me and I liked them right away. First I got a macbook, since I was traveling a lot (I still played games on that). Then came an iMac. Since I still wanted to game once in a while, I got an XBox 360. Couldn't be happier.

    IMO, gaming is the primary reason to stick with a PC. Ask yourself this, do you really need to play Call of Duty 9 at max everything at some crazy ass resolution? You already have an XBox 360. What games can that not satisfy you with that a PC would, considering you probably have about as much time as I do to play them? Don't forget that a Mac can play games, just not the latest and greatest and not at crazy resolutions and detail. Not to mention for the price of upgrading an old PC to play the latest games, you could have bought the latest and greatest gaming console.

    As others have said, you won't really every find a need to upgrade, say a graphics card, in a Mac. They tend to last a long time and remain as fast as the day you got it.

    Do it, switch! You won't regret it. My wife loves our iMac, mainly because it looks good in a room and simply works. I won't tell you that Macs are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Do they do things much better than a PC? Maybe, but that's not the reason I use them. It's kind of like driving a sporty, higher end car, rather than a ford focus. It's just a more enjoyable experience for me.
  11. Gooter thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 3, 2008
    Thanks for the replies all! I had some other questions/concerns as I'm getting myself all confused regarding Mac vs Windows.

    1a. My current printer is an Epson RX500 All in One with built in media card reader. Epson's site has Mac OS drivers so I assume everything including the media card reader will work with the iMac?

    1b. Currently, I have my printer shared with all of the other computers in my house via Windows File and Print Sharing and my wireless network (Linksys WRT54G router). It works as long as I leave the computer the printer is directly conneced to powered on. How will I be able to do this with an iMac? Have to get a wireless network printer and/or printer server?

    2. I can connect external speakers to the iMac?

    3. I don't think I will have enough free ports (USB/Firewire) once I connect everything that I use. Can I use pretty much any brand of external USB/Firewire hub with it?

    4. Same with an external hard drive for back up purposes, I can use what I want or does it have to be Apple branded?

    Sorry for the remedial questions. Am I making myself confused over things that are no different from a Windows PC?

  12. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    2. Yes. I'm using external speakers with my iMac. There's a stereo headphone jack on the back.

    3. Any USB hub should work. I'm using a USB hub that is built into my gateway monitor, that I'm using as a 2nd monitor.

    4. Any external HD should also work. I have an old laptop HD inside a cheap USB enclosure that I use. Works fine.

    For the most part, an external peripheral that works on a PC will work on a Mac as well. That includes hubs, hard drives, microsoft keyboards and mice, digital cameras, most printers, etc. Yes, a lot of these things are no different on a mac than on a PC, but better to be safe than sorry. Some people might not like to here me say this, but a Mac is just a PC that comes in a fancy case and can run OSX. Apple's done a good job making sure that a Mac can live in a Windows PC world.

    I can't answer your question about your Epson, but I have used printers that were connected to windows PCs, from my Mac, before.
  13. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Don't forget that the iMac essentially comes with a 2-port USB hub in the keyboard. Not good for connecting things to permanently, but perfect for the occasional thumb drive, camera download, or iPod sync. Go with the wireless mouse to free up another port ($30). The built in camera and Mic will eliminate the need for a couple of ports to be used up. The ports on the iMac will go further than you think at first. Actually, that is just generally true of the Mac in general. There is less stuff there, but they have designed it in a way so that you need less stuff.

    Again, a hard concept to believe until you see it work out yourself. Once you do, if you try to explain it to someone else, you will be accused of "drinking the kool-aid" or being a "fan boy". Ahhhh, isn't it fun...... :D :D

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