New iMac vs. new PC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Logos327, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Logos327 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    So I am at a point where I looking into replacing my 2008 MBP with a new computer. I have decided to go with a desktop since I use my iPad a lot, and recently my MBP has just stayed connected to my 21" monitor.

    I love my MBP and OSX; no doubt about it. However, when looking at the new iMacs, I am torn when it comes to their price vs. a PC. For example, for $20 less than the 21.5" 2.8Ghz Core i7 iMac, I can get the Dell Studio XPS 9100 and gain 8gb of RAM (total of 12gb), 1TB of hard drive space (total of 2TB), and get a better video card.

    So do I sacrifice the operating system and go with the more powerful PC? I understand the decision is ultimately personal, but any incites would be great!

  2. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Is there some goal (matching hardware to specific software) that your MBP no longer meets? Buy tools to match the job . . . a computer and software are merely tools, so examine the job you need to do and buy the hardware and software that does it.
  3. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2010
    Southeast USA
    Remember that with a Mac, you are paying for the design aesthetic, and the increased reliability that comes with having a manufacturer that is responsible for both the software and hardware they are selling you. Everything is built to work together perfectly with the OS from the ground up.

    The #1 reason I will never buy another PC (having been a die-hard PC user for decades) is I got sick and tired of running antivirus memory hogs, performing Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D malware scans on a weekly basis, and then having to reformat and reinstall everything every few months when something went wonky and my PC got all crapped up and sluggish.

    Bottom line, PC's are high maintenance (IMHO), and I'm willing to pay extra to avoid that hassle. Also bear in mind that RAM is cheap (and easy to upgrade on an iMac), and unless you require a super high-end machine for your work, the iMac video card and processor will more than likely suit your needs.
  4. Horlics, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011

    Horlics macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Here's mine...

    So you are looking around and see that you can get more power per $ if you go non-Mac.

    When buying a computer of any kind there's usually a choice of options. For x$ more you can have another .5 on the clock speed, for an extra x$ you can get double the video ram, and so on. I focus on two things:

    1. Will it perform as well as i need it to
    2. What will the upgrades to the performance do to the length of time it will satisfy me for

    The idea is to buy something that's quick enough and to pay for hikes in the specs only in cases where you think that it means you'll keep the machine for longer.

    I would ask, will the PC specs that you can afford mean the machine delivers over and above the MAC AND it's performance that you need, and it'll serve you well for longer? Judge it on that.

    The other factor is the OS. I buy MACs for the hardware package in most cases. When i got my MBP it had the best screen on the market and the only usable track pad on a laptop. The latter is still true. The iMACs have the best screen options too, i believe. I like hi-res and the MAC delivers. In return i suffer OSX which imo now lags Windows. Your big concern seems to be the amount of messing to be done with Windows compared to low-maintenance OSX.

    In my case whether it's OSX or Windows i like to keep the base OS clean. For that reason i load up either VMWare or Parallels and i run a VM to do the messy stuff in, so i don't need to run AV and malware s/ware on the base OS. This might remove the need for you to have the hassle of keeping Windows clean.

    Me, i would buy the Mac because i don't run demanding games, so the performance will do, and i want the Apple all-in-one hardware package. I think you might need the power, in which case get it cheaply and go PC.
  5. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    Studio XPS 9100
    +$200 upgrade to i7-960 (processor equivalent)
    +$280 21.5" monitor (you are getting one with the iMac yes?)
    +$40 WiFi
    +$120 Office

    Equivalent iMac
    +$200 upgrade to i7-2600S
    +$80 iWork
  6. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    And don't forget that the Dell is an ugly-as-it-gets black box eating away space and electrity as if there is was no tommorow. And it's probraly far more noisy than any iMac.
  7. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Apple will never win the price war. Is that your only criteria for picking a computer? Price?

    Is there some reason you need an i7? or 2TB of internal space? or a "faster" video card?

    I could get a 21" 2.7 i5 iMac with 1TB and 1 GB 6770M for $1400 AR delivered to my door. I could add 8 gigs of ram for $70 and a 3TB USB 2 drive for $120.

    $1600 pretty much loaded.
  8. Logos327 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Thanks for all of the responses guys! just a few questions.

    I play a fair amount of video games so I am very interested in 1gb of VRAM. I can't find that option on the 21.5" model. Where were you able to get it?

    Also, after looking at comparisons, the 2.93Ghz 2010 27" iMac seems to be second only the the 3.4Ghz 2011 iMac in CPU tests and third after the above and the 2011 3.1 Ghz 27" iMac in graphics tests. No matter what, it beats the 2011 21.5" models yet as refurb is comprably priced to them. My question is, how long can I expect the 2010 refurbished iMacs to stay around at ~30% discount until they are replaced by the 2011 model at ~15% discount?
  9. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    For what it's worth, any time I had this debate in the past I went the Mac route. Windows 7 annoys me every single time.
  10. dead flag blues macrumors member

    May 13, 2011
    Deleted. Looks like you're on the right track..
  11. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Last time I checked, a "tool" isn't defined for leisure, such as playing games, watching movies, or wasting time on Facebook.
  12. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    You might want to check again, then:

    tool |toōl|
    1 a device or implement, esp. one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function : gardening tools.
    • a thing used in an occupation or pursuit : computers are an essential tool | the ability to write clearly is a tool of the trade.​
  13. mackage macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2011
    Truthfully, if the money matters more to you than the Mac experience, then buy the PC. I would never even consider a PC ever again
  14. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Oh dear. Of course computers are tools. The question I meant to pose was if the OP intended to use it as such, or use it squarely as a consumption device, using the examples as I mentioned (gaming, movies, etc.)

    You also should have kept listing the definitions:

    But he has already mentioned that he wanted to use it for gaming, and in this case, I would question as to why consider upgrading to the i7, as hyperthreading is more important when using the computer as a tool for productivity in multi-threaded applications; something gaming doesn't really benefit at all.
  15. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I'd recommend the iMac. Is there any reason you need that model? Why can't you go the $1199 model?

    Additionally: Use external hard drives if possible, and buy the RAM from a third party. You save a lot (mostly on the RAM). It's better having a smaller drive for your "OS" drive than it is a larger one.

    Keep in mind regarding graphics, that VRAM doesn't improve performance, it just prevents it from bottlenecking which isn't likely to happen with that the 6750M/6770M 512MB at 1080p.
  16. harrymerkin macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Just my two cents here . . .

    I had an Imac for 3-4 years, and it was an awesome machine (still is). The thing that swung me over to P.C was that for $2000 (ish) I got solid state drive, 8gb of ram, 27" monitor, 2x500GB raid storage, quad core i7 3.4Ghz in a rather sexy looking case . . . and a Wacom Intuis tablet.

    As a graphic designer I needed something that I could upgrade over time.

    The issue I have with the imac is, once the 4-5 years of its lifespan is up . . .you start getting issues...what then? there is NO WAY i can afford to just go out and buy the latest $2500 whatever. At least with this machine I can pop it open and slot the latest processor in there and that's that.
  17. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Uhm the motherboard will need to be replaced as well, Motherboards first need to be compatible with the state of the art processor. Not to mention the newest ram It's not as simple as pop the case open and throw in a processor

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    In the end, better hardware specs mean a whole bunch of nothing when they're running a system with a bad OS.
  19. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    To be honest, if you have no *need* to use a Mac, I don't see why the Dell is such a bad option. Right now, I have a 13" MBP from 09 and my friend's one-year-old HP with an i7 950, 12gb RAM, GTX260 and 1TB RAID 0. I really only use my Mac now to browse the internet from the couch. If you want power, go for the PC. The iMac will not be as fast as the PC. And honestly, Windows 7 is actually better than OS X in many regards (I know I'm gonna get a lot of crap for that one here). I find it better as a power user, but for the average joe, I still think OS X is easier and better.

    If anything happens to an iMac (which in my experience, they fail often and hard), you can't replace anything yourself. Even the HDD has a proprietary connector now. The PC, just pop in a new drive using the old SATA connectors. Want another internal drive? PC, no problem. iMac, big, big problem. I saw the guy who suggested that he use a 3TB external drive. As a media drive that's not an issue, but as a boot drive, FW800 isn't even as good as SATA, and iMacs don't yet have Thunderbolt (and there really aren't any Thunderbolt drives)

    But, if all of your software is for Mac, seriously consider the iMac. It costs a ton to convert all your software licenses to PC, and if you have a lot, it could be a huge hidden cost.
  20. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2009
    Sorry this isnt just to you, but Everybody.. People who complain about having to do spyware/virus removal/ etc is due to their own fault. If you do know how to keep away from them then you are inexperienced and do not have common sense. How people get these problems is puzzling. I do not have and never had anything related to virus/malware removal on my PC and i have also never had any kind of viruses/malware. You should also watch what you install, be it random stuff you think will help your computer.
    Also, if you had alot of common sense then having a PC wouldn't be high maintenance.. Just my 2cents ;)
  21. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Windows better than Mac os x? As soon as I read that there is no need to read the rest of your post

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  22. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    It's not hard to get malware. Viruses are one thing malware is another I am extremely experienced with PCS and I end up with malware. Of course I dont use pcs anymore but I guarantee you you will have malware of some sort

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  23. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    And I wondered why I stopped posting here...
  24. pruhawk macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2008
    I live in a house that happily supports Mac & windows. Both are very good, stable platforms.

    If you just want the most power for the price - build your own. Its not all that hard, plenty of help can be found on the net or even at stores such as Micro Center and you will have money left over (just built one 9 days ago - about as hard as an old Heath Kit - yes, dating myself). Bonus - no blotware. That said, you will be running a Win 7 machine.

    If you don't want to build your own and you like the Mac OS best - buy a Mac. Quit thinking about it and do it. If you qualify for the back to school special, then wait until its announced in the next 10 days or so.

    You will be happy with which ever path you take as long as you pick the machine that meets your needs the best

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