Switching back to PC

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Hellhammer, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #1
    To get this straight right in the beginning, this isn't one of those "Macs suck, I'm going back to PC" threads.

    Lets see my situation. Right now I have an early 2009 24" iMac (2.93GHz C2D, 4GB, GT 130) and 2010 13" MBA (1.86GHz, 128GB, 4GB). For quite awhile, I've been thinking of switching my iMac for a tower PC. Why? Because my needs have changed since early 2009.

    Some of you may know that I work for AnandTech. At some point, I may get the chance of doing SSD and other hardware reviews, but obviously this requires that I have a decent tower PC. This is one of the main reasons I'm doing the switch. Getting deeper knowledge of Windows would also be a plus in terms of my career. Yes, I know I can install Windows on my Macs but to be honest, it just doesn't feel the same - and I rather get myself a real thing if I plan on using Windows most of the time.

    This leads to my next thing: I plan on running Windows on it. Windows 7 is really a decent OS and I haven't had any issues with it. Yeah, it's still Windows and has its own issues, but so does OS X. Windows 8 is also looking very promising, whereas I think OS X has been the same since I switched (Leopard).

    I will be keeping my MBA of course, I wouldn't switch it for anything. I think in laptops, especially ultraportables, Apple currently has the crown. As for desktops, iMac is a nice gadget but it's AIO and hence not suitable for my needs anymore.

    So what I'll be getting then? Well, a pretty standard Sandy Bridge build to be honest:

    Motherboard: AsRock Z68 Pro3
    Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K
    Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
    Memory: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws-X DDR3 1333MHz CL9
    Storage: 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 7200rpm + 64GB Samsung 470 Series SSD
    Power supply: 520W Seasonic S12II
    Optical: Some cheap LG DVD thingy
    Case: Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl

    Display: 2x Dell UltraSharp U2311H (23", 1080p, IPS)

    Still a bit open on keyboard and mouse though. Don't want to spend a ton. I don't have much time for gaming anymore so I have no need for the highest end GPU. I would like to get back into some PC gaming though.

    I'm really looking forward to having two 23" 1080p monitors. Even though my iMacs screen is fairly big and pixely, I really need more. Usually when I'm working, I have plenty of windows open and two screens will definitely help me with them. I also plan on connecting my 32" Sony via HDMI as well.

    I still have a wireless  KB and Magic Mouse so I may also connect my MBA to one of the monitors when I feel like going back to OS X (two computers simultaneously = win!).

    I don't know why I made this thread but I just felt like it. This is by no means a flaming thread, and I won't be leaving MR because I'm no longer "100% Apple". I'll be updating this with photos and other stuff when I get that far.
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #2
    This Is Quite Ironic

    As I went in exactly the opposite direction, for very similar reasons. I agree with your comments about Windows 8, I think there is some very interesting feature mods going on in the mS camp at present.

    I spent 20 years building, teaching, repairing Windows based machines and the Switch was almost an accident although I'm very glad I did it now.

    I needed systems that were lower maintenance, and frankly got a little sick of the constant updates etc.

    A physiologist friend informed me that I was simple "Burned out" from the Windows and DOS years, and that the change to MAC was simply a logical progression.

    From a developers point of view, I think you are going to get to test some very interesting new kit.

    Good luck with it too, and keep us posted!

    Me? Im waiting for my MBA delivered on the 28th of the month..:)
     
  3. foidulus macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Well I guess the question is, Linux or the evil empire :p
     
  4. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #4
    I understand your reasoning. As a moderate gamer i was hoping Steam would improve things on the Mac side of things but a year on im still not impressed. The top games from the Mac App Store (pc ports) are overpriced and dont tend to run as well on OS X. Borderlands being an example.

    I came to OS X because Vista made me want to go out and punch a cow, but i havent been impressed by Lion. Lion is a good OS if you are new to mac but i have been an Apple user for 4 years now and i dont feel its moved along all that far. I was thinking the other night that i dont see why we couldn't have skipped SL and had Lion include all the features from SL.

    I understand that when you buy a mac that the hardware is superior in design and quality and build but the lack of options are killing me. I want a 13" MBP with a high res screen and matte option. I want an iMac that isn't a mirror. I dont feel i should have to pay nearly £1900 to get a mac laptop with a decent graphics card in. In-fact you can add £80 on top of that because i need to run windows too.

    Will the next OS X update be the big one that i was hoping that Lion would be? I still might pick up a refurb Air and a 360 but im undecided as of now.
     
  5. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #5
    That looks like a pretty solid build, I'm jealous :)
     
  6. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    I guess it might boil down to age and experience. You have already gotten tired of playing around with computers, and prefer a computer that "just works". I'm still relatively newbie when it comes to computers in terms of experience in years (I'm 3 months short of 18).

    I don't mind some maintenance as I like to play around with computers - and I always have my MBA around in case I need something less troublesome.

    It's exactly the same for me. I switched because of Vista and have been pleased with OS X so far. It's just that OS X hasn't really made any major progress during my 2.5 years of using it. I can't say there is a specific feature that is needed but Windows has narrowed the gap during that time.
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #7
    In Nutshell


    Thats exactly it! I used to love building configuring and all the tricks that go with the nuts and bolts of a PC. Your comment about things "Just Working" Is spot on:)
     
  8. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #8
    I've got to say that I have tremendous respect for what your doing. I think some folks on here forget that computers are tools and not a life statement. If your work at Anandtech (my favorite tech site, even more so than MR) is going to require you to have access to PCs than you need to have the right tool for the job. Apple products are really lovely and in many ways do represent the best answer to a lot of questions. But not all questions.

    Good for you and please, keep us updated. And tell Anand he's a lucky SOB.
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #9
    Makes sense to me, Hellhammer.

    I got my first Mac in '91 - and switched to the PC when Steve Jobs returned to Apple. That may seem an odd move - but his first decision was to cancel Apple's clone licensing program - and I thought that would lead to an increase in Mac prices. System 8 pretty much sucked, PPC wasn't that fast compared to Intel, and at that time it looked like Windows NT was going to start taking over from Unix as a corporate server OS (it didn't in the end - Linux came along and gave Unix a shot in the arm). Seemed like a good move to me, and an essential for my career.

    I like PC hacking, and had some fun years building different machines. I did start to tire of it though... it just became annoying to spend all day at work dealing with computer issues, then have to maintain my computer at home (and W2K needed maintenance). Since I was (and still am) a Unix guy, Apple's choice of NextStep/OSX, and the launch of the Aluminium PowerBook persuaded me to change back - and I've been on Mac ever since.

    It used to be a big deal to change from Mac to PC and back, but with the Mac's renewed popularity most big software is available on both.

    The situation now is so much different to 10 years ago too... the 'killer app' today is the web, and media authoring/playback. There's a lot more agreement on file standards and interoperability; I think it's easier now for a new OS to enter the market (like iOS or Android) since as long as it has good browser and media support, it will be fine for most folks.

    Most computer based productivity is app based anyway, not OS based. As long as the OS provides the right set of services and stability, most folks pretty much spend their whole time inside of a browser or other authoring apps. If you're flipping between Firefox, Photoshop and Word, you shouldn't notice much difference.

    The positive points I see from your move definitely include the lower cost of desktop hardware (and I understand the point that MacPros aren't expensive, given their use of server grade components - but new people need a server grade desktop), and a much greater choice of different configurations.

    Downsides are still about maintainability for me. The ability to make easy bootable clones of your drive (using SuperDuper or CCC) and for that to contain all the drivers necessary to boot up on any current Mac help me to sleep easily at night. Is it any easier to do this on the PC now? Norton Ghost was a PITA.

    Windows is also looking like a more expensive environment for software at the moment too. Apple seems to have really nailed the high volume/low cost model with their app store. It'll be interesting to see what cost MS pitch Windows 8 at when it comes out.

    I'll be interested to see what your experience is as you do this.
     
  10. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #10
    It's funny that people say they like Lion because it needs no configuration. But what about turning of all the iOS junk that is on by default? (stupid reverse scrolling, autocorrecting text, etc?)
     
  11. rowley macrumors 6502

    rowley

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    #11
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I was in the windows business for 15 years then swapped at work and at home fir mac. Had enough of trying to make things work. It's a well told story. The spec of machine is impressive, even for win7. Should work a treat.
     
  12. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Durham, UK
    #12
    Hellhammer, your posts on Macrumours are always helpful you always seem to know what you're talking about. If you wanna go "Windows" all i can say is Good Luck and Happy Computing :) :apple:
     
  13. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Quebec, Canada
    #13
    I don't even know why you feel the need to point this out. Being 100% Apple is not a requirement for MR, it shouldn't and anyone who thinks it is is obviously very closed minded.

    No one can ever be 100% for a blind corporation. Loyalty and faith in corporation is misguided and dangerous to individuals.

    ----------

    And I worked my butt off to learn and thinker enough so that today, running a full Linux desktop and dropping down to the CLI to run a couple of piped together commands with some awk/sed sprinkled in there is now as easy and intuitive to me as clicking through windows and finding hidden checkboxes. ;)

    That way, I don't ever have to "thinker" with a computer. It all just works for me, no matter what it is. And that my friend, is true computer freedom. :D

    I have close to 15 years of experience in "fixing" computers now. I've of course moved on from low-level desktop grunt work quite a while ago and am now into the big-Iron stuff.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #14
    I built my own PC last year, with some long term vision of turning it into a hackintosh. I do confess that I prefer OSX over windows and so the long term plan quickly turned into a a short term plan.

    Building a PC was a fun project, which I had not done since back in the intel 486 days.

    After using my desktop, I do miss what apple provides with the seamless integration. My wife is inheriting the desktop because her dell is dying. I've been on my MBP full time for the last few months and I don't miss it

    I understand where you're coming from HH and I've always proposed getting the best tool for the job. Sometimes that will be Apple, sometimes that will be a different product.
     
  15. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    Canada
    #15
    Consider the masses of people who *do not* turn off all the "iOS junk." There's a point to all the "iOS junk" actually being there.

    What you find stupid, the bulk of Apple's market has no problem with.
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    Windows 7 is excellent. I wasn't keen on Vista at all, but I've been very pleased with my W7 desktop I built a month or two ago. Looking forward to W8 as well... the preview looks pretty good.
     
  17. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #17
    How do you sync your iPhone with Linux?
     
  18. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #18
    Both Windows XP and 7 were truly world class operating systems. Stable, reliable, fast and at least 7 has been pretty secure.

    But, Windows 8 is such a huge change for Microsoft. And, frankly, its about a decade late. Users haven't seen much real changes in the desktop UI since the 1990's. Still, I'm not sure Windows 8 will be the dream everyone is expecting. Just look back at the responses to the ribbon UI introduced in Office 2007. There are still people complaining about that. In my opinion, it takes Microsoft 3 tries to get a new product right. I wouldn't get your hopes up that Windows 8 is going to change that old axiom.
     
  19. pollaxe macrumors 6502

    pollaxe

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    #19
    I'm a fairly recent convert to OS X and Macs generally. I'm nearly forty years old, I've been mainly on Windows self-built systems since I came up from an Amiga some time in the early 1990s; I can still remember the 'ugh' factor of going to Windows 3.1 after AmigaOS, but I digress. I was extremely anti-Apple for many years, I regarded them as overpriced and gimmicky until I got seduced by a Gen 1 iPad in August of last year and that began to tip me towards trying OS X and it's gradually winning me over as my OS of choice.

    Initially, I went down the Hackintosh route and I still have one foot firmly rooted there. Currently, I run a full tower Sandy Bridge system (a HAF-X with an ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe) with Windows 7 and Lion installed on two SSDs - I have dual GTX 580s (I have a 30" HP monitor) and they run under SLI in Windows and as standalone cards in Lion. Doing this, I feel that in many ways, I get the best of both worlds; I have e-sata and USB3 working under both operating systems. No Thunderbolt yet of course, though I'm sure once it's out on PC mainboards, then the Hackintosh community will be on that too. Lion is the default boot option and I'm typing this reply on this very system.

    I do own a new (2011) MacBook Air 13" and I love it. I never thought I would buy a Mac but I'm sure that I will buy more in the future, though whether that will be more laptops/mobile configurations, I don't know. My feeling is that I'll probably continue down the hybrid Windows/Hackintosh desktop route for as long as it's possible and for as long as I can be bothered to faff around setting it up. Who knows where the tech will go in the next few years though?

    I'm not really sure what the point of this rambling, discursive post was; I suppose it was to say that Hackintoshing may be an option for you but I also think it's also to say, enjoy what you use or what you have. I'm a tinkerer, I find I like messing around with computery stuff and enjoy a challenge but, paradoxically, like others in this thread I also appreciate the contained 'it just works' principle offered by my MacBook Air and iPad. I also like using Debian-based Linux so between that, Windows 7 and OS X, I suppose it just means I'm a geek. But a happy geek. :D
     
  20. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    It's an option but I'm not selecting the parts for the best compatibility though. Might try it as an experiment at some point but I'm fairly certain that Windows will be the main OS in this PC.

    I guess I'm the same. I like playing around with stuff but OTOH, I also appreciate moments when I can just sit down and use the computer. I don't expect the PC to have that much maintenance though, so it's not like it's 24/7 work to get it working.
     
  21. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    This thread should be retitled 'Getting a PC for my job'
     
  22. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #22
    It's not just because of the job. I would most likely get the PC regardless of my job.
     
  23. applefan289 macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I think the solution is balance. Have the best of both worlds.
     
  24. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

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    #24
    I still build and use PC's all the time. I like that I can easily clean the cooling fans, change hard drives, swap out motherboards and power supplies cheaply. Macs are not easily maintained. Try cleaning the cooling fans on an iMac. It's a pain in the ass.. I'm thinking about building a Hackintosh. How easy is it to install Snow Leopard on a PC?
     
  25. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #25

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