Shall I switch?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Objector, May 16, 2011.

  1. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    Hello Mac-fanatics,

    Three years ago I was on the verge of getting an iMac, but in the end I assembled my own gaming-pc. At that time I was still playing a lot of games, so that always convinced me of staying with a windows based system.

    Two years ago, when I hit college, I was in the market for my first laptop to accompany me during lectures. After some research I bought a 13" Macbook Pro and it has been my loyal companion ever since. I immediately fell in love with OSX and the hardware provided by Apple. At the end of the day I am still watching PowerPoint presentations, taking notes and surfing the net, while other students need to hook up their Windows laptop to a power supply after less than a one two-hour lecture... So this purchase has been one of the bests decisions I've ever made.

    Since gaming isn't one of my top priority's any more, and my system is getting old, I am feeling the urge to upgrade. Not because my system is running slow, as my system actually still feels pretty crisp, but because a change feels good every once in a while. The only game I still played, until recently, was World of Warcraft and that game actually runs better on older dualcore systems as mine. A few months ago I overhauled my system by buying a new high-end case and a SSD for my windows partition, but I simply no longer feel connected to this computer as I used to. Thus, I am considering to switch to an Apple desktop.

    I've set my mind on the new 27" iMac with following options: 3,4GHz i7, HD6970m with 2gb and another 8gb of memory from Crucial (bringing the total amount of RAM to 12gb). When I take the leap, I'd rather immediately go full out on the configuration so I won't feel limited by the system for years.

    The main tasks I will preform on the iMac are:

    • Basic web browsing and listening to music all day long
    • Recording music for my two bands, using a DAW and some VST's
    • Writing music in Guitar Pro
    • Video-editing as a volunteer for a socially active organisation
    • Editing DSLR photo's and organizing them in Lightroom
    • Playing the occasional game (starcraft 2) and maybe resubscribe to WoW
    • Writing my thesis and doing research

    What do you guys think? Is there any reason to stick with windows at this moment for me? I am hoping from some insight of you, whether I shall feel a great performance boost over my current system with: E8500 3,16 GHz, 4gb of ram, 9800GTX+ GPU with 512mb, Crucial C300 64gb SSD and a 22" Samsung SyncMaster.

    If I get convinced to buy an iMac, I have some additional questions:

    • When I sell my current system, should I include my recently purchased SSD? Or should I keep it aside to place it in the iMac or my MBP? Changing a HD in a latop is pretty easy, but I won't have the guts to take the iMac appart. Is there any easier solution to use my current SSD for my next system?
    • I like to keep my system disk's as clean as possible, so I tend to use an external drive for storage. What are good and fast solutions? I hope getting a external 2TB with firewire 800 for a reasonable price.

    My excuses for giving you so much to read, but I want to be 110% sure before I spend this amount of money. And there ain't a better way for making up your mind than writing it down and discussing with other people!

    All suggestions and remarks are more than welcome!

    Thanks for your time,

  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Recording music, video editing, photo editing, and many other tasks are all better on the Mac.
  3. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    If you need a new computer go get one. If what you have serves the purpose then keep using what you have. Computers keep getting cheaper and faster. There's no reason to buy one right now unless you really need it.
  4. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    That's a sweeping statement. And blatantly incorrect

    Recording music, I have no idea, so pass (assume mac) video editing/encoding, My PC is a clear winner, being able to encode videos in 1/2 the time of my iMac (huge difference). Photo editing, depends on your work flow, some of my photographer mates refuse to touch the mac due to the glossy screens so a tie here.

    For the average user that wants simple software to do the above I would say a Mac, for a power user, it depends on what software they are used to and if they need grunt, I for one would never pay for a Mac Pro, way too $$$ and I can build a cheap PC to encode my faster then an iMac.
  5. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    To the OP.

    The iMac will meet your needs. Just do a research on the software you would plan to get and factor that into the equation as additional cost. I have never done music encoding so not sure if you would get something like Duet by Apogee to record, they are not cheap either.

    The great thing is, you can get one for 14 days and give it a try, I say do it. If you do not like it, send it back. I think you will keep it
  6. stellardream macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    Baltimore MD
    You sound like you've already made up your mind :)

    With Thunderbolt ports, I seriously doubt there's reason to disassemble iMac to put another HDD or SSD inside. Once Thunderbolt peripherals will begin to hit the market this summer, you can just buy an external drive and be done with it.

    As far as music writing goes. You know, I can give just very simple example. I have Ableton Live installed on PC and on Mac. It took me 5 minutes to configure everything on Mac and it took me half a day to figure out goddamn stupid latency, ASIO driver issues, stupid idiotic crashes on goddamn stupid Windows :)

    Since, you mentioned VSTs, if you can help it, use AU. It is native to OSX, it is built in. VST is a proprietary Steinberg format. Steinberg is keeping hosting documentation secret to give Cubase "unfair" advantage. That's why Apple has developed AU and it's open source, so developers prefer AU over VST on OSX.
  7. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Kind of defeats the purpose of an all in one doesn't it? :rolleyes:
    If everyone is supposed to go to external devices then Apple should just sell the mini.
  8. stellardream macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    Baltimore MD
    Not really. You can boot up any Mac from external hard drive, Thunderbolt just makes it quicker. In my opinion, all in one just means, you got your monitor and your computer in one case. That's it. It would defeat the purpose of having a computer if Apple restricted use of any external devices just because you already get a solid package :p

    I'd totally get a Mac Mini if it could compare to iMac in specs. but Mini's form factor is just way to small to be able to squeeze in iMac into Mini :)
  9. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yeah maybe you´re right. Thunderbolt (when handling single device) claimed to be faster than SATA III itself, right?

    Let´s hope there will be a Thunderbolt SSD that perform better than internal SSD, and more .. *cough* .. subtle .. *cough* when you put in the table as a boot drive along with iMac
  10. Objector thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    I don't need a new pc, since I still have one that works. I don't need multiple high-end guitars, since I can only play one at a time. I don't need a new phone, since I can still text and call with mine,... :D

    Yet I'd like a new pc to increase the performance and to benefit from the user-friendliness of OSX. Buying an iMac would also save me a lot of deskspace, since I have a huge (for airflow) case.

    Thanks for the input! I wouldn't describe myself as a real power user, but it speaks for itself that I don't want a laggy pc. Since the hardware of the iMac is a lot better than the one in my current pc, I am assuming the system will run much faster?

    I just don't feel like building my own pc again, since new hardware grows "old" in a few months. I think OSX is a much lighter system, that will allow you to use one iMac for many years to come. I definitely would like a high end screen, and if you calculate the price for a high end PC + 27" ips-screen, I just can't justify myself not to buy the iMac for the small price difference.

    Thanks! If I'd buy the iMac, I'll wait for the external HD's with a thunderbolt port. I think I will keep my SSD for my MBP.

    Asio drivers really are a pain in the but on Windows. At home I use a Line 6 Pod X3 to play with headphones and record some song idea's, at rehearsal and gig's I use a tube amp. This Pod is connected with my pc over USB and this has already caused many blue screens. So I hope those issues will be sorted out when I start using an iMac as main-computer.

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