Talk me out of building pc...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 28Fiend, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. 28Fiend macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2009
    Our iMac is slowing considerably. I don't mind waiting for Apple to announce the new Imac line up, though I'm just weighing my options.

    Runs only the software I want
    Able to run the programs I need for my Software Engineering degree
    Rebuildable as technology changes

    Doesn't need Windows
    Runs Apple OS
    Smooth UI
    Compadible with all my Apple toys
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Have you ever built a PC? It's fun and educational once. Mainly, though, it's a pain in the arse.
  3. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    It's great to have done several years ago in college. Would only recommend it as a good memory, not as something to actually do.
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    yup I agree with that. though the one I built in jan 08 is still pulling higher geekbench scores than some of the new mbps lol and it was sub 1000!

    I built it as a irritated with tweaks I had to do to keep it current so tried windows after a irritated with windows and am back to using real macs again...ahhhhhh so much better:)

    I am so used to OSX. That is what keeps me. I gave that windows pc to my younger brother


    not as rebuildable as you might think. Intel swaps sockets so fast it's not even fun. But yea, you can add hdds and gpus though with outdated cpu sockets, even a top of the line gpu wont help much when the game is bogged down cpu wise
  5. 28Fiend thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2009
    A pain to build, or maintain? I haven't built one personally, there are a few classmates that have and have offered to help, overclockers and gamers.

    I love Apple, but since I've been in school I'm really starting to wonder what I'm paying for when I pay more for Apple.

    Ease of use
    No Windows
    Relatively safe against viruses
  6. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have built many, wouldn't have it any other way for a long time.

    Now I'm of the age where I can't be bothered and I'll pay more for something I don't have to mess with.

    Either option is perfectly valid!
  7. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    If I used windows, I would only ever build my own computers.

    It's not too bad to maintain them - just make sure you use a legitimate build with components that have been tested with each other before.

    I believe anandtech maintains a list of computer builds every year - just use one of those.
  8. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    I'm not a software engineer (I do a lot of programming though), but I've found working in a Unix-like environment is a huge advantage over Windows. I would never want a Windows PC as my main computer after having used Macs for that past several years for that reason alone.

    That said, I have a home-built gaming PC and haven't had nearly the bad experiences that other posters are suggesting here. Sure, buying a Mac is a marginally easier process, but the fun and experience of building a PC is also worth considering (as others have also mentioned).

    I think your list of pros is relatively accurate for buying a Mac. Although, the "Relatively safe against viruses" shouldn't be an issue either way as long as you're not entirely hapless with what you download and use. I'd suggest to price out the PC you would build and compare with the iMac you want. Don't forget to consider the substantial resale value Macs carry. You can sell back some of the more central components of a PC, but not everything, and likely for a greater loss than a Mac.
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I agree. Putty and cygwin arent really a match for terminal in my experience

    I use CLI alot so unix based systems are nice
  10. 28Fiend thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2009
    Quite true, we're actually diving into operating systems and Unix is on the list for this class. I'm not going for an engineering degree, just the name, basically programming degree. Though just about everything we've been using has needed to use Windows.

    Which unfortunately is why I have a Windows 7 partition on my MBP.
  11. MegaSignal, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    MegaSignal macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Now I have a Memory/Storage Leak!

    Hey, it was something on my bucket list, I did it, spent about $800, and it worked well.

    For a while.

    Built with a motherboard for the new AMD architecture, I installed a fanless power supply, SSD 64GB for the Windows7 OS, and a standard 1TB HDD for my data.

    Installed the OS (OEM Windows7, for builders, as it was cheaper), and found that it required 50GB! Deleted, uninstalled, re-installed, and found the same thing again - only 15GB remaining after a clean install.

    "No problem", I thought, as I would only install a few apps...WRONG!

    I am now down to my last 2GB, anticipating my Day of Doom to be about three months from now. (Even though I haven't installed any software for many months, my OS SSD loses some memory every day - and, yes, I have completely disabled the System Restore feature!)

    Fortunately, I still have my Mac Pro (2006) which I've diligently kept a backup of my data on.

    Be careful! Or you could end up like me, with a computer with a built-in doomsday!

    P.S.: If anyone out there has any idea where all of this memory has gone, please let me know, as I'm all ears!
  12. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Do you not have any Mac apps that you care about losing? I've considered going the build-your-own-PC route, but I've got a ton of Mac software that I would either have to rebuy or go through a huge hastle of getting a Windows license transfer for. I also figure that something that I use every single day should be more than a black box on my desk.
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I second this. As a programmer myself I'd never have only a Win machine. Its far too limited.

    That being said OP building a computer is as other stated, educational but not only do you have to do a lot of research (not all components are created equal) but expect to dump more money in it after you built it, especially if you start overclocking and the like.
  14. 28Fiend thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2009
    True, I've considered this as well. Just drives me nuts I buy an Apple and within x number of years its practically a paperweight, too slow to run the basics, no room to change the internals. I'll wait to see what has got going for a new iMac for now.
  15. Caromsoft macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2012
    Windows Updates probably.
  16. G51989, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

    G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Not telling you what to do.

    But an iMac is an low powered all in one. Its a cool machine.

    A custom built PC depending on how you build it is a great project.

    I've built all my own PC's expect for the most recent one ( lazy ).

    Its a very fun experience. You can pick every single part yourself.

    1: You pick your case, any case you want.
    2: You pick your own processor, as long as it fits in the motherboard you pick, you can have any processor you want.
    3: You can pick your own motherboard, as long as it fits the processor you pick, you can have a small Mobo, a large one, full ATX, Mini ATX, MicroATX, ITX, you name it. Tons of different options.
    4: You get to pick ANY video card you want, assuming it fits in a PCIE16X slot. you can pick ANY video card you want that will fit in your case, you can even have 2 or 4 video cards if you pick the right case/mobo.
    5: Any hard drive you want, any size, any type. Any interface ( unless you'd randomly want an ole IDE HDD ).

    The beauty of building your own PC, as long as you research the parts your buying. Is that you'll know everything about your machine. You'll know where everything came from. And its fun to put together.

    Windows 7? Give it a chance. Its a great OS, its fast, stable, secure and super compatible. Don't want Windows? Go linux.

    Its all up to you.

    Having a PC around is always a good thing. Its fun to research, its fun to buy all the parts. Its fun to put it together yourself, and its REALLY run to boot it up and install your OS after you spend all that time researching, putting it together, ziptying your cables and wires and make it look all pretty.

    That's why I love PC's so much more than Macs, I like my Macs and all. But when I build/buy a PC. I can do ANYTHING I want with it.

    I would say, give it a shot. Try a barebone kit or something.

    Anyone who has all these OS/Hardware Issues, needs to stop building PC's, and start buying iMacs or low end Dells.

    If you have any questions. Feel more than free to PM me. I've built 7 for myself, and a couple dozen over the years for friends.

    The old one I listed, I'm typing on it right now, I put it in a plexiglass case, filled it with distilled water, installed a heat pipe cooler, and its awesome. 7 years old, still works great. Yes, its an underwater computer now. Been so for about a year, the best part is. All the fans still work lol. Currently watching a Hall and Oates Video on YouTube in 1080P, not to shabby eh?

    No offense, but from this post. You don't seem to know enough to be building your own reliable PC.

    I've built about 7 for myself over the years. I've never had close to the issues your having.

    My oldest/crappyest PC ( that isn't a Pentium Pro/486 )I have consists of an offbrand motherboard ( Biostar ), sempron 1.8gzh 3100+, old ATI 2600HD, 4gb of Ram, and an ole ass 5400RPM 500gb hard drive with an IDE interface.

    I installed Windows 7 on it, and its not super fast. But its totally useable with no problems.
  17. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    I don't think that Windows is a bad operating system, I just grew up with Macs and like the system better.
    That's why I'd consider building a Hackintosh before going with Windows.

    Hackintoshing has come a long way over the last few years.

    Have a look at The process of picking compatible components and making them work under OS X has really been simplified.
    Have a look around the forums there and at the recommended builds. It's a piece of cake.

    I built my Hackintosh (see sig) exactly two years ago. It was a piece of cake and is still running strong without any maintenance to talk of.

    And with a Hackintosh, just like with a Mac, you can have the best of both worlds by making a dual-boot system with Windows (or using it as a VM).
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, just yesterday I looked up how much a Ivy Bridge Hackintosh with a decent screen (IPS or Samsung PLS 1440p) and reasonable form-factor (mini-ITX SirverStone case) will cost me. With an i5 CPU, 256Gb SSD and a Radeon 6850 (more or less comparable to current top iMac) the price is around 1700 CHF. A refurbished iMac (save SSD) can be had for around 1900 CHF. If I want faster GPU (Kepler), add another 300 CHF to the mix. For an i7 IB CPU, add 100 CHF. I don't think one can really talk about saving here, given that a Hackintosh is high-maintenance work (if you want perfect compatibility, basic installation is simple enough)... For similar money I could get a retina MBP :/
  19. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Build a PC if you want, why ask Apple enthusiasts to talk you out of it? Personally the only way i will go back to a PC is for gaming or when Apple stop building the Mac Pro's. When and if this happens i will know Apple is no longer interested in its pro customers and i will go back to PC.
  20. bugbear99 macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2009
    just go for mbp
    u need that for attending your class right?
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I built one and I'm running OSX on it as well, i.e., a hackintosh. Its a great project to do, you save a lot of money and you get to choose the exact components. Rather then talking you out, I'd say its a fun project and go for it.
  22. Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    Yep, it costs more to build a comparable Hackintosh. And the problem is, that at the moment, you cannot build an IvyBridge. It may not run.

    The best bet for Hackintosh is wait until the Ivy Bridge tech is sorted out. That way you get US-B 3.

    A good reason to do it, is to build Mac Pro equivalent. But that costs even more. Xeon processors cost heaps.

    Incidentally, the days of it being difficult, or even having to know anything to build a PC, are gone. Its a piece of cake. Just be careful not to bend the pins on your CPU when installing. Otherwise, you loose $250. Bingo. And check the pins before installing.

    The best thing about building one, is the cost of an OEM Windows. Its unbelievable how expensive it is to buy Windoze, but the OEM versions cost so much less. And all the versions of Windoze - how come Apple does it all with just one? What a rip-off Windoze is.
  23. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    The hardest part is the initial build. As already mentioned, you need to find a list of known working component combinations or it's a crap shoot. Everything claims to use a standard interface, but that doesn't count for much.

    Mostly it's screwdriver work. But you also need to find the proper cable layout through the case, get the proper cooling system (and make sure it fits in your case), go through manuals written in Google translated Korean to figure out the correct jumper settings, etc. etc. etc. Pick out the power supply last - you need to know the total draw of all your other components, and then add a little headroom.

    Whether it's a pain down the road depends on how much you tinker. As mentioned if you Hackintosh it, the OS updates are fidgety and may completely hose you. If you swap out other components, you need to recheck the power. In two years if you want to swap out the CPU, it's 50/50 you'll find out it's incompatible with your motherboard, and then you're basically disassembling the whole thing and rebuilding. If you decide to overclock the video card, the RAM, the CPU, whatever, there's always a chance of component failure or overheating. And if anything does go wrong, your only help is your friends and the Internet.

    If you've never done a build before and it interests you at all, do it so you at least know what it's all about. But keep your Mac so you can always post for help....
  24. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    Perhaps you should address why your iMac is slowing down?
    Try reverting back to prior o/s or try loading the o/s on a FW hard drive, to see if the internal HD is dying.
  25. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, the new MBP update contains an IB-enabled kernel with USB3 support, so I think building an IB-Hackintosh is a more or less straitforward task now. People who know what they are doing reported success.

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