Need help deciding what to get

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Muttster, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Muttster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    #1
    Need your help and advice as to what I should probably do. I currently have a 2011 i7 Mac Mini server that is getting old in the tooth. Now normally, I would throw in an SSD and call it a day, however I want to use boot camp to play strategy and war-games and the integrated graphics on the mini suck, especially under Windows/boot camp. Our family is mac everything including AppleTV so switching over to a PC would be quite an undertaking. I also want to stay under $1000 as I plan on putting a SSD in whatever I end up getting.

    I toyed with the idea of getting a 27" iMac but I have a nice monitor that would go to waste and ironically, it seems in the used market for the price that I want to play, the Mac Pro's are quite a bit more powerful. My question though is what should I be looking at? I know a bit about the Mac Pro's because I still have my old 2006 1.1 sitting under my desk but what should I be looking for in this price range? I saw this on Craigslist today

    Apple Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core (5,1) 32GB RAM 1TB,OS X EL CAPITAN - $870

    This looks to be an upgraded pro as he says that this is the original specs - 2,66 Ghz 3 GB 640 GB GeForce GT 120 512 . Does this appear to be a good deal and will it sever my purposes?

    I also saw a 2011 27" iMac 2.7 GHz I5 with 4 gb ram with an AMD Radeon HD 6770M gnu for $550. I know that this is an old card but will it run games like Panzer General and Civilization IV?

    In either case, I would put an SSD drive in for a boot drive. What are your thoughts - any and all suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    I'm not familiar with Panzer General, but the card is plenty capable on Civ IV. I haven't played Civ IV for several years (Civ V has been around for a while now), but I remember that there was a graphics issue with diplomats heads on my 2009 iMac. I think the issue was related to all ATI cards and was a driver issue rather than a lack of power. I have no issues with Civ V.

    If you are interested in doing your own upgrades, I would stay away from the iMac. I just think the whole removing the screen to access the drive thing is more trouble than it's worth. Many others will chime in and say it's easy - look up the how-to videos before you decide.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    I'm still not entirely sure what your goal is here - are you really looking for a Mac to install Windows on and then use it to play games?

    if that's the case, and gaming is really your #1 goal for this computer, why not just buy a Windows PC for gaming? I mean, you're going to be running Windows either way, right?
     
  4. Muttster thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2007
    #4
    I was hoping to stay with Mac because all of our files are tied to the Mac and I have an Apple TV - it would be a hassle to switch but I might have to if I can't find a better alternative.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    When you use Boot Camp to run Windows your Mac is no longer running Mac OS X and is just a Windows PC. It's just a very expensive game-box. It can't read or write Mac files when it is running Windows.

    Now you could run Windows inside a virtual machine. Then the Mac is still a Mac and Windows runs inside a window. (notice the capital and small "w".) But then game performance suffers. Best open is to buy a $400 PC or get a more creative non-game hobby like film making, graphics or photography that makes use of a powerful Mac Pro.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #6
    What kinds of files? And how does the Apple TV make a difference?
     
  7. Muttster thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2007
    #7
    If I sold my mini and got a PC, Apple TV wouldn't be very seemless or practical.
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #8
    Why not? It connects to your iTunes library or to the Internet for streaming.
     
  9. Muttster, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    Muttster thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    #9

    And that's what I did - for the money that I paid for a custom built PC, I would get a 5 year old iMac or a 6 year old Mac Pro. Maybe if Apple starts building mid-level upgradable computers instead of forcing desktop users to pay almost $2,000 for a 27" computer that is difficult to upgrade, I might switch back. I'm not holding my breath though. And this is from someone who owner numerous Apple products from the Apple IIC to the Mac Plus, Mac Pro and my current Mac Mini.
     

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