Looking at iMac (PC owner)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kitcho9, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. kitcho9 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2012
    Ok, I KNOW this is the wrong place to be asking this (in a Mac forum lol), but I'm hoping you guys can provide me with some honest and decent feedback.

    Basically I've been a PC user my whole life but am looking to buy an iMac soon (probably wait until the new one is released). I'm looking at a mac for a few reasons:

    1. wouldn't mind getting into app development (xcode/objective c)
    2. my wife and I like how their is no "box", not only does the iMac take up less space but its also very easy on the eye
    3. I am a heavy iPad user and i like how the iMac talks with this (iCloud etc)

    That's really it! So it's not a very big list at all! I've spoken to a few of my "tech" friends and they ALL say the same thing:

    "Mac isn't too bad but you're basically paying top-dollar when you could get a MUCH better PC for the same price".

    So, firstly is this true? Secondly, is there anything you can share with me which will perhaps sway us into making a decision?

    Really appreciate it!! :)
  2. Heinous macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    The so-called Apple Tax is largely a myth from bygone days, and is not at all true right now. You do pay top dollar for a Mac, but that's because you're getting a high-end machine: quality material, quality components and lots of extras. The thing that makes it look like Macs cost more than PCs is that Apple does not offer a low-end machine at all. They're not interested in that market.

    Sure, you can get a PC for less money, but any time you actually compare like-for-like, the Mac comes out looking very competitive price-wise. Provided PC makers even offer a machine of that caliber.
  3. russofris macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2012
    @Price versus PC: Dollar for dollar, you can piece together a PC which will outperform an iMac.

    I recommend spending some time with a 27" iMac at your nearest Apple store. As an owner, I can tell you that they're really nice.

  4. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    In short, if you're looking at computers in terms of pure specs, yes, you can get a PC or build a PC for cheaper than an iMac. The iMac (27 inch) does include a high resolution, very high quality IPS display that retails for around $1000 or so by itself from any manufacturer--Dell, Apple, etc. It's unrivaled in performance in the all-in-one category, and actually quite competitive in price as compared to all-in one's from other companies, especially with that display.

    I, and probably a lot of people around here will agree that there's something sort of unquantifiable about using an iMac, or a Mac and OS X in general. I wholly believe that it's a much cleaner and smoother experience, an experience that cannot be matched on Windows. I've done my research and found that for the same price as a top end iMac, I can build an 8-core, extremely high end graphics card Windows box for around the same price, but I'm still set on getting the iMac (my second Mac, by the way). I would advise you to go into your local Apple store, or a store that carries iMacs and use the 27 incher for 5 minutes. If the crisp display and smooth experience doesn't have you convinced after then, it might not be right for you.

    Need more convincing? Resale value. Macs retain their value extraordinarily well. My 4 year old MacBook Pro still sells for around $600 ($1800 new) in moderately beat up condition. ANY PC, no matter how much it cost new, would be worth essentially nothing at this point.

    There's also the service thing. Not to say that my Mac hasn't been extremely reliable, which it has, but if and when something goes wrong with it, there's a close place to bring it with experts on my specific type of computer. It took about an hour to get a new fan put in my machine, compared to shipping it off to God-knows-where and waiting a few weeks, as you have to do with most PC manufacturers. Apple has exceptional customer service that is largely unrivaled in the technology industry.

    Other tips: Buy RAM separately for your potential iMac and put it in yourself. Apple price gouges for it, and it's very easy to install. OWC and Crucial have memory that's approved for installation in iMacs, and it's good quality.
  5. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    iMac is the best Mac money can buy, power wise. It offers you a competitive product overall. It beats quad MacPro in some tasks, for much much cheaper. And it also competes reasonably well with PC counterparts.

    For $2000 (assuming you get 27" high end) you get a lot. And compared to PC with the same money, actually it won't get you much further.

    What can you get really with $1000 PC box + $1000 display? It would be just a tad better or the same as an iMac gets you.

    Unless you go with $1800 PC tower + $200 crappy display, iMac has a really good value. It is slightly outdated .. not by much, but still, so you might wanna look for discount or special offers instead of paying the full price.
  6. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    People often compare just the hardware and as has been pointed out above, the Macs are very high quality machines. You tend to get what you pay for as usual.

    The thing that really distinguishes the Mac though besides the high quality components and build designs is the operating system and tons of available apps.

    I am a recent Mac convert myself. I bought a 27" iMac recently and for under $50. added another 8 gigs of RAM to it, which was a very simple affair. I also bought into Apple Care which I would highly recommend. I don't expect to have problems with my iMac but the peace of mind is worth it in my opinion when spending this much money for a computer. The 3 years of telephone support is very nice too. I called support for a couple issues and they were excellent. That is something else you get with Apple - first class service and support.

    OS X is a joy to use and it didn't take long before I had assembled a group of apps that suited my needs perfectly and did so elegantly. They were not expensive either. So what I am trying to say is that very often PC users completely discount the very high value of the software a Mac includes, software that in my opinion is far better than Windows and a lot of what is available for that platform.

    The Mac user experience is something special. It is deluxe computing. The hardware and software design is elegant. Apple sells state of the art. Naturally, this costs more than a home built PC with parts from New Egg running Windows. Speaking of Windows, Windows 8 appears to be a disaster in the making at least so far as Windows desktop computing goes. OS X blows it away completely.

    If you can afford a computer system this nice and would use it often, why settle for less than the best for yourself? There is no two thousand dollar PC that can match my iMac because they do not run OS X and all the cool apps I have for OS X.
  7. kitcho9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2012
    Thanks all for the replies! Some really useful information there.

    I really like the resale value for Macs...something I forgot to think about.

    I did use a Mac for a few minutes at my local Apple store and DID enjoy it. We're in no rush so I think I'll just wait for the new iMac and then make a purchase (27" of course) :)

  8. G51989, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    I've owned tons of macs, the newest ( and last mac I'll ever buy. Apple no longer makes serious machines ) being a 27in 2011 iMac, good machine, but before you dump yourself into the Apple system, you need to be aware of a few things before you buy.

    1: Your buying a machine that it not user upgradeable besides the ram, unless your warranty is already up. Otherwise it voids your warranty.

    2: You cannot upgrade your GPU, at all

    3: Your stuck with Apple hard drives

    4: Your stuck with a machine that will get very loud ( at least mine does ), and runs hot when its under load

    5: its also a machine that will not be supported for very long compared to a Nix/Windows machine.

    7: You also need to be aware that if anything goes wrong, your stuck with apple customer service, which is not good. And as far as in store support, your pretty much with the " genius ( retard ) " bar. Some people think PC vendors have bad customer service, but that has not been my experience, ever. Then again, I've only ever had 1 major failure on my PCs. ( PSU )

    8: Im not saying its not a good machine, it is. But you need to try out out to see if its right for you, the only reason I say that is because macs are very niche market, they arent for everyone, so thats why you should try it out before you buy it.

    And as best all in one performance? Try again.


    Right from the mothership.
  9. JohnGrey macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2012
    Cincinnati Metro
    I've been a software engineer for a long time and used Apple, Windows, various Linux distros, even Reno a long time ago. When militant anti-Apple computer users fail to find anything glaringly wrong with Apple's product substantially (at least that can't be found in all consumer computing hardware), it always devolves to decrying the higher cost. The question I always pose to them is: is a computer merely the sum of its constituent components? I, and most other Mac users I believe, would argue that they aren't.

    What has always set Apple apart is that their products are about the collision of the technological and aesthetic. Each of its products is engineered to complement the prevailing design of its generation. The harmony of form and function between the various devices is, to me, worth the extra cost that they require. When I decided what computer I wanted in my home, I asked myself if I wanted a sleek, beautiful machine or a bulbous, black, steel and plastic monstrosity with all the homogeny of Frankenstein's monster. What I chose should be clear.
  10. kitcho9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2012
  11. GLS macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    You should really get rid of your iMac, and everything else you own with an Apple logo. You would obviously be happier with fewer worries and less stress.
  12. mixel macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    Can't reiterate the info above any better really. They're just nicer to work in some weird intangible way. As others have said though if you add up the component parts they're usually good value - even little things like the webcams are of a much higher than average quality. The screen, even on the 21" is the killer feature though.

    As for the naysayer: You aren't stuck with Apple hard disks, and iMacs in my experience are very quiet indeed. Apples support of old models depends on shifts in the underlying hardware - in most cases you have latest OS support way exceeding the usual usage span of a Mac, but some models have less luck. There's no reason to think the 2011 imac won't be supported for 5+ years providing apple don't make another big architectural transition.

    Apple customer support is widely regarded as best in the industry. obviously with stuff like this there is a bit of a gamble, but the only hardware failures in my family have been dealt with very quickly. in the case of one catastrophic failure (macbook pretty much spontaneously combusted!) They replaced it years outside of warranty. Probably to avoid litigation, but it was still nice after a quite traumatic experience.

    (excuse typos, on iphone)
  13. Lancer, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    While the iMac is not as upgradeable as many PC towers it is an all-in-one computer so the same would apply for any PC AIO. You can in fact upgrade things like the CPU and GPU but the cost is high so not really worth it and lets face it RAM/HDD aside most PC users rarely upgrade their PC over it's life. They are more likely to sell it and buy new in 3-5 years.

    I agree don't buy the Apple RAM, upgrading it is easy and far cheaper, I suggest get more RAM later in a year or so depending on what you're using it for.

    Also upgrades are hopefully just around the corner so unless you're desperate don't by now, wait until October, with luck the updates with USB3 and faster CPUs will be out by then. Maybe with better pricing or more (RAM/HDD) for your money.

    My current 2005 G5 PowerMac may no longer support the latest Mac OS X but it's still happily running Leopard. My old PC is still running XP with no plans on updating it, even if it met the specs for Win7, which it doesn't.

    ETA - HP Z1 - it is ugly! While upgrading and service is easier it's not a pretty thing to look at and price is no better than the iMac 27". Give me the Mac any day!
  14. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Okay, I will try again. This has a similar processor and worse graphics than the next iMac is expected to have, and with that configuration, costs $5200. The only things upgraded at that price are the GPU and processor to the top options, no RAM, etc. I also did the HDD to 1TB to match the iMac. If we're arguing about the current generation, then you got me. In all fairness, this is a professional machine, and the iMac a consumer machine. This won't appeal to many consumers (and honestly probably not many professionals either).
  15. panda777 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2012
    I am also about to switch from PC to Apple, and just joined this forum. Reading this thread, I just said to my partner, "Hey, did you know that the iMac doesn't come with a box?"

    To which he replied, "Oh! How are you supposed to carry it home then?"

    ROFL :)
  16. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    I agree, saw the HP youtube video and on the surface it makes a lot of sense, easy to access internals, more compact than the traditional tower+LCD and upgradeable in the future. But the price is the killer and for the pro what happens in 3 years when 30" is the norm, you're stuck with 27".

    It has limited appeal to most consumers purely on design and price, most agree the current iMac is still one of the best looking AIO desktop computers on the market.
  17. panda777 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2012
    I'm also switching from PC to Apple and was just about to buy a new iMac 27" (3.4 GHz, 8GB) when I see that the iMac's going to be refreshed in a few months time after more than a year!

    Excuse my ignorance, but does this mean that the current model will go down in price by much, when the new range is released?

    Will the refreshed iMac be more expensive than currently?

    I don't know whether to wait another few months now, seeing as I'm a PC user, the iMac looks fantastic as it currently stands!
  18. Fester1952 macrumors member


    Jul 22, 2012
    Adelaide, Australia
    Hi all, first post on this forum. I have been a passionate PC user for a long time. I have always built my own rigs and up until recently have had no interest in Apple products at all. I now have an iPhone, iPad 3, Apple TV and for the last three weeks a 27" iMac. Initially I found it hard to break away from the Windows world. I kept jumping back to my Bootcamp Windows to get my mail and other Windows applications that I didn't think were available on OSX. But eventually I did find those application equivalent in the Mac world. I am now finding I rarely go into Bootcamp now, and I am really liking this environment. The iPhone, iPad, iMac connectivity is just fantastic and I am loving it. I am definitely an Apple convert!
  19. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    When comparing the "apple tax" take into account:

    - the quality of the enclosure, screen, etc
    - a copy of Windows 7 ULTIMATE (to get the same/similar feature set as OS X)
    - applications equivalent to iLife on the Windows box

    An imac is not really that expensive. Yes, you can build a PC with similar components inside for cheaper, but it isn't the same.

    I've been a PC user since 1992, and I'm not buying PCs any more.

    There is so much you can do with the included software, too. I've had to buy a lot less software for the mac than I would have on the PC to do the same tasks.
  20. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    That's a pretty cool looking HP. I like how it opens up without tools. Kind of expensive, though.

    As for PC tech support, I've dealt with HP's tech support once (as a consumer) and they are the most clueless bunch of idiots you could ever hope to run into. At the very least Apple's tech support speaks english. There is also something to be said about being able to talk with a tech support person face to face if you want.
  21. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    Yeah I know what you mean there.
  22. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    a lot of people forget that an iMac is not made of plastic like PCs are. Aluminium doesn't come cheap and neither does glass. Also the whole years R&D put into the design doesn't come for free either compared to the overnight slap dash pc churning out brands. OS X comes with it compared to buying windows separately for $300. Keyboard is also made out of aluminium and once again design is not cheap. Basically the apple haters don't include the price it costs to build and design because they slap it together themselves with a plastic front case and cheap ass plastic screen haha.
  23. JohnGrey macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2012
    Cincinnati Metro
    If there are Windows-based apps that you just can't do with out, just invest in a copy of VMware Fusion. It's $50 for the ESD and, running in Unity, your Mac desktop and the desktop of your Windows virtual machine are integrated.
  24. radiohed macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Portland, ME
    You really can't go wrong with the iMac. :D Since you are new to macs, when you buy, you should consider a One to One membership for each of you. This is only 99 bucks per membership and you get a great amount of value for that. You get in store one on one training (provided you live close to a store) for applications you want to learn to use proficiently. You also get on-line training. It's good for one year after which you can renew if you like.
  25. jmpage2, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    I switched over from 20 years of PC use to an iMac about five years ago and I've never looked back. Currently I am on a 2009 i7 27" iMac. As to the comment that you can't upgrade iMacs, that's funny, because I have taken mine to 16GB and also put a 320GB Crucial SSD drive in, in place of the regular hard drive. While I had to exercise some care, it was not that hard.

    Oh yeah, it's blazing fast and at three years old I am feeling no reason to upgrade yet. Maybe with the next mid-year model refresh in 2013 I would think about it. How many people with 3-4 year old PCs do you know who still rave about the performance? Right. None do.

    And when you do want to upgrade to a new Mac? What could be easier than plugging your new Mac in, restoring your time machine backup and having everything (and I mean everything) come back to exactly how it was on your last Mac in a matter of an hour or two? No annoying license registrations, hardware errors, etc, after you move from one machine to the next.

    With a Mac, the primary two things you are "buying" that make it more expensive than a comparably equipped PC are;

    1. OS X. This is, hands down, the best desktop OS out there. Even Windows 8 can't get it right in comparison.

    2. Quality. They are designed by people who actually give a crap about the overall computing experience. My 27" iMac can be encoding video while I simultaneously flip through several web sessions, check my email, maybe look at a photo or two... it does all of this without having loud fans blasting at me, doesn't get sluggish or laggy.... and of course it looks gorgeous.

    Just get a Mac, you will be happy. They are very well worth the premium price.

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