tight budget Gaming Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Muncher, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #1
    If you could buy one mac as a tight budget gaming mac, what would it be? Any mac goes! (although, of course, the Mac Pro 17K isn't exactly tight budget:p )
     
  2. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #2
    I think the tight budget gaming machine is called the PC.

    Honestly, since I'm not a gamer, I don't have much interest in this.

    Question 1. What does your gaming need. Dedicated graphics.
    Yes rules out Mini, low end iMac, and MacBook.

    Then consider a 20" iMac with an upgrade graphics option. Not sure that the higher end 17" iMac offers that but it may.

    You can get a 17" iMac x1600 128MB VRAM for $1,199 new, $1,049 refurb
    or a 20" iMac same card for $1,499 new, $1,299 refurb, or up the video on the new to 256 for $1,574. All those machines come with 1GB RAM.

    If that doesn't fit your budget, and dedicated graphics is an option, a refurb MacBook or Mini or a new Mini.
     
  3. Muncher thread starter macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Yeah, I guess "tight budget" doesn't really apply to Macs. But you get what I mean, right?

    I personally would go with a 17" imac (the one with the video card):)
     
  4. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
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    #4
    The thing is if you can swing the $1,299 for the refurb 20" you may get lucky and get the 256 card or maybe more RAM. On the 17" you'd only have a chance a the RAM.
     
  5. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    I never really new a Mac could be a gaming unit.. then again bootcamp has been introduced to the community.
     
  6. itsme92 Guest

    #6
    Get a console or a PC. Macs aren't gaming machines. (I know you *can* play games on them, but if that's what your primarily doing you're better off with something else.)
     
  7. MacClueless macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #7
    That's two words that aren't often said together. ;)
     
  8. ronni3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    I beg to differ! I use my Mac Pro for lots of gaming fun. As you well know, OSX doesn't have a huge selection of games at its disposal, but games like Prey for the Mac can be played at full settings without a stutter.

    Now if you use BootCamp to install WinXP, then you have a full fledge gaming Mac. I have run Oblivion on full settings without a problem. I have the ATI X1900 XT card and was running the game on a 24" Dell 2407FWP @ 1920x1200. This game alone is a great reason to install WinXP. Also C&C 3 looks amazing and is plenty fun to play on a Mac.

    Yes, Macs can be gaming machines too. :apple:
     
  9. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #9
    I doubt it was budget :p

    You can't really game on a Mac untill you get into the probably the 2nd model of the iMac (forgot the processer speed) with the 128mb dedicated card, and even then you might want to get the 20 inch imac with the option for 256.. So it really adds up.
     
  10. mason.kramer macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #10
    Yea...don't get a mac for gaming. You'll end up paying more for a box that can do less. You could slap together a PC with

    $500 Quad-Core 2.4ghz C2D (Wait until the price drops - it's dropping on 4/22 from $890 to $500) -or- $220 Dual-Core E6600 C2D (stock 2.6ghz, stock cooler you can OC it to 3.1 easy)
    $210 nForce 680i chipset (It has SLI, so room to get a second vid. card if you ever get a 30" LCD and need big resolution)
    $600 8800GTX 640mb vid card
    $300 2x2gb DDR2 ram @ 800mhz
    $200 Case/PSU
    --------
    $1830 for a system that could beat the pants off of the 8-core mac pro w/ radeon 1900xt for gaming applications, simply because of the video card. And the system has a logical upgrade path in the second video card slot.

    Edit: this is not to say that I don't heart apple big time, cuz I do.
     
  11. ronni3 macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    Forgot it needed to be "budget". :p :rolleyes:

    If its of any help, I purchased a Student ADC and got around $700 :eek: discounted from the final price. :cool: This may be your best bet to a very good gaming Mac. :apple:
     
  12. ronni3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #12
    I agree this would be the best option for a gaming machine, but then again you won't have OSX on this machine. I like my Mac more because of BootCamp, not too mention the big Apple on the side of my tower.

    But in all seriousness, the above setup would be a better option and it is much more futureproof, i.e. upgradability.
     
  13. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #13
    Duct-tape a mac mini to a $500 pc with a good video card. It'll still perform better for gaming than a mid-range iMac for less money. If you don't need a monitor and games are important, this is, unfortunately, the way to go.
     
  14. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #14
    Quite honestly, you can get a killer gaming rig for 1/2 the cost it would cost you if you bought a Mac. Macs simply aren't gaming machines, period. Sure, there is the "OH! But you can game on a Mac Pro just awesome!" Yeah, but at over double the cost it should.

    Bottom line, if you really are a gamer, get a PC gaming rig and use it just for that. That's what I do, and my PC rig is in my sig. Suits me just fine.
     
  15. Muncher thread starter macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #15
    Hee hee. I'm seriously considering that. I do think that it is about time for :apple: to upgrade the video cards (maybe at the release of SR), but I hope they don't wait until Leopard because I can't wait that long :) :) .

    I'm not a serious gamer, but I like to play games like RollerCoaster Tycoon and SimCity. I'm 14, cut me some slack! :p
     
  16. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #16
    Get a Mac then, those games aren't demanding. Even the Mac mini (don't buy it) can handle it. If you don't need portability get an iMac you can afford.
     
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #17
    Console gaming? Cheaper I think!


    However the game you talked would run on any Mac(the Mini with 512Mb RAM might have trouble)


    I'd try to pick up an iMac if I were you(not the 999 one)
     
  18. Muncher thread starter macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Alright then... between these two imacs:

    17" w/ everything equal to the higher 20" (except the screen size) for $1257
    or:
    20" (refurb.) w/o any additions for $1299

    I have a 15" monitor (generously donated by parents because they don't need it anymore), so I can see myself hooking that up to the iMac later...

    Is it worth the 42 bucks?
     
  19. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    Aug 27, 2006
  20. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #20
    late model iMac g5....low budget and mac dont go together just like gaming and mac dont go together...
     
  21. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #21
    Don't forget a hard drive, optical drive, and an OS. Otherwise you have a great motherboard, with a kick butt CPU and video card, as well as enough RAM to handle anything, just no OS, no optical drive to load the discs from, and no hard drive to copy anything to.:D
     
  22. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #22
    "tight budget Gaming Mac"

    I am so going to enjoy saying it here:

    Mac Pro.

    Too expensive? Well Macs are not computers for "the rest of us" :rolleyes:
     

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