The iMac Dilemma

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by andMore, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. andMore macrumors newbie

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    Dec 27, 2011
    #1
    I am in the market for a new desktop computer. I have been using Mac for years and love them. However, lately I have been getting more and more into PC gaming. At first my plan was to wait for the next update of iMacs, upgrade the graphics, maybe add an SSD and use that with a windows partition. (I have the opportunity to use a family members employee discount for this as well!) But now, many friends have been encouraging me to simply buy or build a PC to use for my gaming and stick to my MBP for my mac fix.

    Getting a PC makes sense to me, but the flip side is that I do use my computer for a lot of photo editing/organizing and some design work. I would still want to do this and it is also part of why I was considering an iMac.

    Any thoughts? In your opinion is a mid/high-end iMac "good enough" for a lot of PC gaming? Is there some middle-ground option I am overlooking? My new computer budget is about $2K right now.
     
  2. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #2
    iMac 27" as a referb from Apple. About $1600 to $1800 depending on options. Buy memory from 3rd party.
     
  3. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #3
    There isn't much a high-end iMac won't run. I've got the high-end one now and I play games on it (via bootcamp) every day. All of my Source and UE3 engine games run at max settings, full res at 60fps - it's a great machine.

    It cost a lot more than a gaming PC but I also need a powerful mac for work+media. IMO it's better to get the best Mac you can than a Mac and a PC, because then you have a powerful Mac and PC... you just can't run both at the same time!
     
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #4
    Total waste of money if you've got the space and are willing to get a proper gaming PC. Mine cost $600 and can outperform the top end iMac, as far as games go. My advice: get a cheaper iMac and use the money you save on a gaming PC with a quad core CPU and a Radeon 6770 or faster (that'll give you equal or better performance than the 6970M that the top end iMac has (it's a laptop part in the iMac.)
     
  5. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

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    #5
    To be fair, the HD6970m is a slower version of a HD6850 desktop part, some parts of it's underlying architecture are not overcomeable by simply clocking the HD6770 desktop GPU faster (though it still should be slightly faster, overall).
     
  6. luke.mac1 macrumors member

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    #6
    I love your username.. Dark Place is one of my favourite shows!!!

    I'm with you... if you do loads of media work, high end iMac is fantastic. I have one and it does everything! I can't think of a game that won't run at almost if not full resolution and ultra settings.

    If you're just playing games and doing a bit of media editing on the side though, PC would save you a fortune and for the same price of one iMac, you could upgrade to a completely new PC in 2 or 3 years time to ensure you're still able to play the newest games at the highest settings.

    On the flip-side, iMacs don't depreciate nearly as much as PCs do, and if you wait for the newest revision, it will depreciate even less...

    Only you can decide which will suit you best... I'm sure you'll enjoy whichever you choose.
     
  7. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #7
    Yeah that's true and I wasn't sure myself, but I remember Googling benchmarks a while back and they were pretty close to being on par. Thing is, he could just choose to add another $200 to his gaming PC and slip in a desktop 6970 and have a whole other world of performance.
     
  8. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    #8
    But he'd still be on a PC, and would have to go to his Mac for that experience.
     
  9. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Are the Adobe CS Windows variants just awful or am I always missing something when someone mentions needing a Mac for anything design/creative? Especially since you omitted 'video', where one might be able to pull a Final Cut argument (whether that's a defensible argument or not, whatever).

    Get the custom PC rig. There's even some smaller towers out there that do the trick if you want to save some space. An average rig is going to have the same/better quality CPU as the iMac, much better GPU, and be half the price. Also, once your rig is complete, all you'd have to do is swap out certain parts you want to upgrade for years down the road. The iMac you're going to have to re-sell and upgrade the entire computer.

    The iMac could certainly work - and work well. I'm just a cheapo who wouldn't be able to justify the price gap based on specs and user experience and am looking into my own custom PC gaming rig finally as well.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #10
    Buying computers based on residual value is pointless. I mean really pointless. Imacs depreciate pretty hard anyway, and their used value is dependent on the condition of the display.

    They were long ago. It's become a self perpetuating standard in some industries. There are guys that have used them for many years. They continue to suggest them. Apple doesn't really care though. Look at what they did to Shake. It was still a great piece of software when it went away.
     
  11. Dagless, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

    Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #11
    That's true. But I recently sold one of my 2006 iMacs for half the price I paid for it initially (which did have a student discount applied). All it had was a new HDD and was in an immaculate condition. Bought at £900 sold for £500.

    Edit: Also 2 year old Macbook, bought for £930 sold for £650. Great way of paying for a bit of your new computer.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #12
    Pointless to you perhaps, but there certainly is nothing wrong with factoring this in as part of the purchase equation. One of the things I like about Macs is the good resale value. I have been able to buy a new iMac every 18-24 months and recoup over half the cost of the new machine each time by selling my old one.
     
  13. andMore thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 27, 2011
    #13
    Thanks for all the input, everyone. It has been quite helpful.

    While I can't fully come to a decision until the iMac is updated, I think at the moment I am comfortable going ahead and getting a upper-mid-level iMac. The nerd in me knows that I will be sacrificing some long-term gaming performance, but the rest of me is happy to be upgrading to a fine Mac machine.

    I figure that if 6 months after I get the iMac I am not satisfied with the gaming performance, I will start budgeting for a gaming PC. If they can be had for the prices I am seeing here, I should be able to afford one in a not unseemly amount of time. This will start setting me up for an upgrade cycle where I can leapfrog Macs and PCs without one's performance lagging too far behind the other.

    Thanks again, and while I have posted a kind of decision, like I said, the next iMac hasn't come out, so I am more than open to continuing this discussion or listening to more opinions. I love opinions.
     

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