New PC: OS X vs. Windows

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kurrosh, Aug 13, 2016.


MBP, PC Laptop or PC Desktop?

  1. MBP

    17 vote(s)
  2. PC Laptop

    2 vote(s)
  3. PC Desktop

    7 vote(s)
  1. Kurrosh macrumors member

    May 29, 2008
    Hi all,

    Sorry if this is in the wrong area, I was somewhat unsure where to post.

    So I have a MBP 2012 which is beginning to slow down majorly (battery issues, hdd issues etc.) and I expect to get a new one within a year. Thing is, Apple have been slowly doing less and less to keep me loyal. I've pretty much always been a Mac user, but seeing as how nowadays in particular I expect to use the computer for games a lot I am leaning away.

    Essentially I am looking for advice. I currently use a laptop and when I replace it I am tempted to get a big PC desktop although the lack of portability hurts. So, does anyone have any input as to what are great PC laptops, whether or not I really ought to just accept the lack of portability and build a PC desktop, or if they think Apple is gonna release some new MBP specs soon (the issue with apple is always the same though: can't upgrade and even highest-spec macs are below PC price-comparisons).

    I have recently been going through a somewhat difficult time in life, and after busting my chops for a good few months I have set aside a fair amount of money and so I would like to treat myself (budget of up to 2.5 grand if it really seems worth it, otherwise significantly less is preferred).

    For what it's worth as to what I am thinking of, I looked at Alienware and drooled a bit (although I have been warned they charge too much for the name and chassis appearence).

    Finally, I also read someone somewhere indicate that they believed that GPU's were on the verge of a massive overhaul in the next year or two and it would be worth waiting until that happens.

    Any help, advice or opinions to prevent me wasting all my $$ requested!

  2. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    So, it sounds like you're used to a laptop. Going the laptop route will always mean serious compromises with performance. It's what you give up to get the portability. (It's also what you give up to go the iMac route, as they use laptop parts to fit inside the uberthin chassis). You know this.

    That said, if you don't want to deal with those compromises anymore, I'd suggest going this route:

    At just under a grand, it will leave you with a serious upgrade budget. If it were me, I'd consider spending it this way:

    1. Asus 24" 144Hz Monitor currently at $280 here

    2. Samsung 1TB 850 Evo SSD currently at $309 here

    3. nVidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GPU currently at $259 here

    4. This PC Gamer's choice for best overall gaming keyboard Logitech G810 mechanical here currently for $129

    5. I love the Razer DeathAdder, but you haven't specified what kinds of games you want to be able to play. The DeathAdder is a phenomenal FPS mouse. If you play a lot of MOBAs or RPGs, you might want something better suited for them. This one is on sale for $63 here

    6. A copy of Windows 10 if you don't have it for $80 here

    Don't wait for GPU refreshes. Both nVidia and AMD have announced their newest parts, and the GTX 1060 I suggested above IS this year's part.

    The reason I recommended an older Mac Pro tower is because it can run macOS right out of the gate, and you can install Windows 10 if you want to run Windows-only games. Also, you haven't mentioned either 4K or VR, so I'm guessing that neither of them is important to you.

    Hope this helps give you a starting point, at about $2069.

  3. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Depends on what you are using them for.

    Though PC's are a great value now you can build a half decent gaming desktop with monitor and get a nice budget laptop for the price of just a MBP... :eek:

    The cheap Asus sub-note I'm on right now I got 2 holidays ago was on sale at the MS Store for $160 (which plays a bunch of older games and indie games from Steam just fine). I just build a reasonably priced Console Gaming PC for $350 (with tax and extended warranties on parts - no monitor).

    So for around $800 you can get a decent laptop and desktop... :)
  4. Kurrosh thread starter macrumors member

    May 29, 2008
    Wow, thanks for the quick response Brian.

    I hadn't even considered the Mac Pro route due to price concerns and what have you. Yet it does seem a logical route to go down for someone who's so used to using a mac but refusing laptops/imac. I'm currently browsing the cheaper PC's and salivating at the more expensive ones. I worry that I made this thread to convince myself it's okay to switch to PC hahah.

    If I did obtain a mac pro like the one you linked, would I suffer from any upgrade issues in future due to e.g. size/power supply problems? As in it can't supply enough power to the GPU I buy in 4 years time - I was warned to be careful with that should I build my own PC and so..

    I think I am ready to leave laptops behind though. Now I just need to make up my mind on if that extends to Mac too...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 13, 2016 ---
    and gkarris, that's a very interesting option. At home, I would mainly use the computer for games as I tend to work out so.. Having a gaming PC + a worse-off laptop may be the solution.

    Edit: i tend to work outside* - as in away from home, not exercise. I don't exercise.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Since you mainly want to game, I say build your own gaming desktop PC, and then buy a new battery for the MBP. Portability and gaming, done the cheapest and best way.
  6. iMi macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2014
    Always had a mac and that won't chance anytime soon, but I have picked up Surface Pro 4 recently and overall really like it. Windows 10 takes time to get used to but its a solid operating system. If gaming is the main objective though, then I would recommend a solid all-in-one PC or perhaps building one yourself.
  7. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    If you're OK with having multiple computers, build yourself a gaming desktop for around $1000, then get a refurbished MacBook Air or Pro, and save whatever money you have leftover toward future upgrades for the desktop.

    Sticking with a single solution, the best way to get a Mac-like form factor with actual gaming chops is the Razer Blade. It's extremely powerful on its own, but the latest model will also allow you to use the Core external GPU box so you'll have the possibility for expansion, provided you'll be using it in a desktop environment. I personally have a monster 17" gaming laptop, and while it's exceptionally powerful, I do occasionally long for the portability of my old 15" MacBook Pro. Though it'll be a couple years down the road, my next computer purchase will be a Blade plus whatever future generation eGPU is on offer.

    Should you decide to go with the Blade, I would recommend purchasing one from a third-party reseller, rather than Razer itself. HIDEvolution comes very highly recommended by people in the enthusiast notebook community. I've not purchased anything from them, nor am I affiliated with them in any way, but buying from a third-party vendor will allow them to go to bat for you on any technical issues that come up. Razer's tech support can be hit or miss, so I think it's worth it for the peace of mind.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  8. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    There just isn't any worthwhile viable OSX support for gaming to make it your dedicated gaming OS. A Macbook Pro will have its strengths and weaknesses, but gaming will still be about average in terms of the hardware-to-price ratio.

    Does it absolutely have to be a laptop? If you can get away with a non-battery powered desktop, you could easily build a more portable-friendly desktop with smaller-form parts. mATX is exactly for that sort of thing.
  9. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006

    C'mon. I showed him yesterday how he can make macOS more than viable in gaming (read my SSD, monitor, GPU, etc recommendations above. I even included $80 in the budget for a Windows 10 license, for games he can't run in macOS. For good or for ill, Bootcamping Windows exists, and runs very well on Apple hardware).
  10. loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    PC Desktop for the gaming and put an SSD for the Macbook, including maxing out the RAM and get a battery. It will seem like a new laptop and can have the best of both worlds.
  11. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Dec 1, 2013
    Houston, TX USA
    Seems like you aren't in a rush. Google eGPU on Macintosh. Bare feats, Bizon, Akitio, TechInferno, Netkas, and MacVidCards all have good information.

    eGPU is external graphics - basically a regular PC graphics card is installed in a metal chassis which connects to your thunderbolt equipped computer.

    Now a macbook pro with iGPU + eGPU may be an option for you.
  12. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    I used to run a Mac Pro exactly for the reason it's upgradeable. But unless there's a really good reason to need OSX, you might as well just build something with more modern parts. I also personally moved on from an 08 Pro, which heated up so much it made a great space heater in the winter, but summers were unbearable.

    The biggest problem I would anticipate for will be the motherboard, and eventually those Mac Pros are going to bottleneck performance too hard for them to be worth it anymore, if not already. Then the only upgrade solution would be to figure out a way to hook a regular motherboard into the case if you want to keep it (which people have figured out how to do,) since Apple refuses to support tower-form computing anymore.
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If it's mainly for gaming a Windows desktop is the only way to go.

    As others said an SSD and new battery in your MBP will give you years more of mobile computing, and a desktop PC for gaming, is cheaper and upgradeable.
  14. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    Why not just get a new battery and SSD for your MacBook on Amazon (both are easy to install). That'll give you performance similar to newer MacBooks, then use the remainder of the money you have put aside for a gaming PC so you still have a portable that can do 90% of what you throw at it, and a dedicated gaming PC.
  15. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you want portability and gaming. Laptops now have some decent options with the GeForce GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080 as they are close to their desktop counterparts.

    This MSI 14" GS43VR has a GTX 1060, 61Whr battery and only weighs 3.75lbs. You could drop it a 1TB SSD and ditch the hard drive altogether. While still being well within your budget. Heck you could even add an external monitor, gaming keyboard and gaming mouse. So that you will have a superior gaming experience at home. Then take the computer with you. The 6th generation i7 and 1920x1080 screen with the 61Whr battery should get pretty good battery life. 4K screens suck up battery life.

    The laptop GTX 1060 is about the same as a desktop GTX 970 in gaming performance. The GTX 970 is about 10% faster and the Desktop GTX 1060 is about 20% faster. You can see more detail in the individual game benchmarks.

    If you want premium portability and gaming. I would look at something like a Macbook Air, iPad Pro, or Dell XPS 13. Then pair it with a good custom built gaming computer. For the gaming computer unless you are going to 2560x1440 or 144hz 1080p. There isn't much point in going above a GTX 1060 and Core i5 6600K. The pair may push you a little over budget but it will get you the best of both worlds.

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