New Computer, Need Help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VeganHipster, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    I will be getting a new computer soon after using my Del XPS 510 since 7th grade (thing is a piece of junk). I am going into a program called APA (Academy for Performing Arts) for music and video editing and I will be taking advantage of programs like the iLife suite, so I thought I should get a Mac to further my knowledge. I really need help with deciding on what mac to get.

    I like to play video games. If a game is available for 360 or PS3 though, I will buy it, so on my PC I will only be playing PC exclusive games. Some games I play on my computer now include Starcraft II, KOTOR I and II, Killing Floor, Valve games. I want a computer with decent gaming capabilities. I do not play much, but I want to be able to play these games on high and I want to be able to play some newer games if I ever buy some. There is one game I want to play in Windows called The Old Republic, and all the new Macs with Dedicated GPUs pass the mnimum requirements, so I am not too worried about that.

    My last computer was good for games when it came out, but after my siblings broke the family computer they all had to use mine. This computer is filled with viruses that don't seem to go away and all 500gb of hard drive is filled up from their music and pictures. I am hoping for a lot of storage, fast storage too. I see most Macs have 5400RPM drives, can I upgrade to a faster drive?

    I am not sure if I need a quad-core or a dual-core as I am a noob to all of these programs. I know a quad-core would be nice but it may be out of my budget as I am only 15.

    So, which Mac should I get? The $800 Mac Mini seems like it will do what I need for a good price, but that is without factoring in the mouse, keyboard, trackpad, and Super Drive. Macbook Air would be great if it had some better graphics. iMac is cool too, but 21.5" screen is too small for what I am used too and 27" is out of my range. Should I go Hackintosh? I need ideas people! lol. Another thought of mine is to just wait until my game comes out and just keep saving money until then to get a mac. But I am not sure if I can wait, school is next week and so is my birthday!

    Boy did I wish Apple made a mid-range tower :/
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  3. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    The refurbished high-end model is $1800 last time I checked, still a bit pricey for a 15 year old, haha.
  4. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    You have a lot of questions I can't help with. Yes you can get a faster HDD or SDD. You can put whatever drive in there that you want. If you want to play games then get something with a dedicated GPU. Do not go Hackintosh. It's more trouble than it's worth and a lot of times they never work just right. It will probably cost more than you'd expect.
  5. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Personally I think the 21.5" iMac would suit you fine (Its screen runs at 1920*1080, which is exactly the same as or higher than what most larger (22-26") PC Monitors run at (well, either 1920*1080 or 1920*1200 - the extra vertical pixels dont make that much difference generally). Remember its the resolution that matters over the physical screen size. And if the 21.5" iMacs screen isnt high-enough resolution for you and you have a better screen you can always hookup your current monitor as a secondary screen for the cost of an adapter, make it your main monitor, and play games on the external display.
  6. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    MBP 13 and MBA have integrated graphics that are next to crap, they are out of option. MBP 15 / Mac Mini server is the minimum you require for gaming. PCs are THE BEST for gaming, so consider them if you're going to game on it. Or extend your budget and get the iMac 27 / MBP 15".
  7. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    I remember being 15 and my friends that were gamers then. They had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time in their games. It's possible that a PC is absolutely right for the OP. It seems like he/she has a limited budget and is focused on gaming. At 15, I wouldn't have appreciated a Mac very much.

    MacBooks and Mac Pros are wonderful machines but I don't really have much lust for the Mac Mini. I'm against Mac this time around.
  8. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    I kind of agree with you. I think that the OP would be better off with a PC at this point especially after seeing what he wants to do. Macs are good, but they are still not serious gaming rigs (getting there) and the cost is still a lot more then what he can probably get in a PC.
  9. andrewlgm macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2011
    I think you may want to buy a PC. You're only 15. For the money you'll be paying for the cheapest mac, you can buy a PC tower with an i7, up to 6GB of ram or more, and a dedicated graphics card. If you're an adequate windows user you can keep your system running well for a very long time and enjoy all the latest games. If you don't have the money to spend on a mac tower or a 15 inch macbook pro, I think you'll end up disappointed with the gaming experience. You said yourself that all the current Macs pass the minimum requirements - they will be outdated with newer games.
  10. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    I really don't want to bother with Windows. It's clunky, gets viruses (I know Macs can get viruses too, but how many stories have you heard about that?), and is just a pain to keep using. I have been using a Powerbook G4 more and more over than my dell with a Core 2 Duo and 4gb of ram. There are Macbook Pros on the same hardware that I have seen simply just run faster and better because they are on OS X. OS X is definitely superior, and I need access to programs only available on OS X. I will be learning how to use the iLife suite of programs and eventually Logic and FCP.

    So it seems hackintosh is pretty much my only bet. Or I could just save my $800, get some money for Christmas, and then buy an Ivy Bridge mac at the beginning of the year? I don't think the wait will be too bad as I have only seriously considered a Mac since July, I was already tardy to the party and not sure if I want to buy Sandy Bridge if in 4 months there will already be a new chip set.

    Thoughts? So right now it is Hackintosh vs. Ivy Bridge Wait
  11. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    Then you are simply misinformed. My Windows 7 box has been running for over 6 months with 0 issues and is as fast as the day that I built it. The hardware in that machine alone is better than anything Apple offers and Windows 7 is a lot better than any version that I have ever used. OSX is nice, but it is still lacking in the serious gaming department. There are currently no viruses for Mac, but I have MS Essentials loaded and have yet to get a virus on my windows machine. Stay off the sites that feed them up and you are less likely to even get one.

    I really think that you are going to be disappointed with a Mac on the gaming side of the house but the choice is yours.
  12. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    i think you underestimate windows. yes it does get slow, clunky, virus, etc. but if you know how to properly manage a PC chances are it will keep you happy.
    But that's a whole different point :)

    As for your question, Ivy Bridge will be released during the first half of 2012 that means anywhere from January to July [not including unexpected delays, etc].

    You can go for a whole different area and maybe come to some conclusion with your parents and have them pay for the remaining $$$ and pay them back gradually? But for 800 bucks you can most definitely buy a PC that is amazing in hardware [once again a whole different point, but something to keep in the back of your mind :)]

    You can go the Hackintosh route but i have heard there are glitches, etc to be aware of [i dont use a hackintosh so i can't say for sure, but from the videos i have watched..]

    however in case you do go the hackintosh route here is some help:

    currently however there is:

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 processor

    Originally released July 2010
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics with 512MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera


    about a 500 dollar difference. if your parents can pay for it awesome, if not trust me and settle for a PC an for future advise dont let your siblings use it, and make sure you have anti malware detectors like MalwareBytes Anti Malware, and some Security program [i run avast and im happily happy :D]
    Like i mentioned above, as long as you know how to maintain a PC you can make it fast and snappy
  13. Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I wouldn't mess with a Hackintosh. The Macs that would be best fitted for gaming are very expensive.

    If you want a good gaming machine then build a Windows desktop.

    If you really want a Mac, you are going to have to either

    A. Spend a lot more for gaming capabilities @ the results you want (highest settings)
    B. Compromise and run the games at lower settings/resolution

    It sucks but that's the truth.
  14. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    And Life
  15. Captain Pyro, Sep 1, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    Captain Pyro macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2008
    The Sunny NE of England

    I love my Macs, but I love my w7 PC's too. They are both great at different things.

    Get a good antivirus program, be careful of websites that seem to be giving something for nothing, don't open emails without knowing the sender unless you knew they were coming, and *don't run an administrative account for daily use!*

    Give your kid sisters/brothers your old PC (reinstall windows for them if you feel kind) and don't let them anywhere near your new rig if they can't help hitting theirs with a baseball bat or whatever... :)

    Final thought noone else seems to have weighed in with yet:

    What about buying that new mid tower pc and springing for a spare HDD and dual booting a hackintosh there so that you have a reliable PC for gaming (and when/if the Hack ain't playing nice) and OsX for iLife anything else you want? Best of both worlds for the cost of an extra HDD... :D Note that i'm saying extra drive not a partition. I would never ever install different OS's on the same drive ever again for any reason. It's a world of hurt, pain and data loss *WHEN* it goes wrong... At least with seperate physical drives you have more recovery options and less chance of losing everything at once...
  16. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    That is what I am going to do most likely. I dont game enough tto buy a Mac and build a gaming rig, the games I play are older so I don't have much to worry about. Will take os x over gaming performance as starcraft 2 runs fine enough on my friends white Intel imac
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    They can (since no OS is immune to viruses), but they don't. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
  18. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    My Windows install is over a year and a half old on my old HP, yet its still as fast as the day I set it up. My secret: Windows 7 (with all updates installed), AVG Free antivirus (kept up-to-date), and SMART browsing (i.e., no torrents from questionable sites, especially illegal music downloads).

    I really think a nice Windows 7 PC would suit you better; you'd save a ton of money AND be able to get the horsepower to play your games the way you want - I guarantee that I could build a system to do all you want for less than $800 (though high hard drive prices make it tougher right now). You talk about Windows problems on your old Dell - I bet its running XP, am I right? I was so glad when the day came that my school (I'm a teacher/tech guy) finally ditched XP for 7; this has been the smoothest tech year of school yet!

    And besides, do you REALLY have to have EVERY game out there? Its OK to miss some, I promise... and I'm a gamer. :D But I made my choice (PS3) and stick to it. I don't use my PC for gaming at all... well, my wife plays Solitaire on it. ;)
  19. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    That kid bought his computer over 5 months ago. A spammy looking post woke up this old thread so chances are the OP will never notice what you wrote. At this point I'm curious to see what he got, but it's rather unusual for these old re-awakened threads to attract the OP after so many months.
  20. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Now I feel dumb... read an entire thread and never looked at the dates. Just saw it as a "new" post, but oh well... que será, será.

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