Twitch streamer/music professional in the market for a new computer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tjbrownmusic, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. tjbrownmusic macrumors newbie


    Mar 19, 2018
    Hello! So i'm a full-time musician (singer/songwriter/producer)...I work out of Pro-Tools and I make music/videos in my home studio. I've recently also started streaming music/gaming on Twitch. I do play a healthy amount of games (mostly mobile) and gaming helps to take the weight off of having to sing for several hours during a stream. So far i've just been streaming Hearthstone, but in the future I could see myself playing more desktop games like League of Legends, Fortnite, etc.

    I love Macs. Been using Mac since 2008 and I love the ecosystem. I don't miss viruses, adware, etc...but i know Macs aren't awesome in the gaming space (a bit frustrating to me really...the industry is expanding so rapidly. Why not do more for gamers?). I have a 2012 MBP with a 23" Apple cinema display that I've been using for the past 6 years, and I'm really due for an upgrade. The laptop has been giving me issues and creating problems during my streams (dropping frames, freezing, etc).

    Because of this i've been debating on whether to go PC or Mac for my next computer. I lean Mac, but there doesn't really seem to be any perfect options for me at the moment. The iMac Pro would be ideal, but the 5k starting price isn't really something I can stomach. I'm trying to stay at around the 2k or less mark, and I would rather have an iMac than a laptop. The current iMacs haven't had a major update since like 2012 however, and the basic model doesn't come with a SSD, so I have to pay the Apple premium just to get a SSD. Desk space is also a bit of an issue, and I need a dual-screen setup, so I probably couldn't go for the 27" and would need to get the 21.5" iMac to go along my 23" Apple cinema display (would these look terrible next to each other?).

    So...basically I'd like to get you guys' thoughts on:

    - Mac vs PC for my situation
    - Is the 21.5" iMac worth it or is the 27" THAT much better

    This computer is going to be a workhorse for me for the next 5+ years so I want to make the right decision. Worst case I can save more money if I need to but let me know your thoughts! Thank you! :)
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    The iMac Pro sounds like it is overkill for your uses pro uses. Gaming wise it is under powered for the price. Considering the additional cost of the iMac Pro over the iMac. If you want to game and want a Mac. The best outcome would be to buy a regular iMac and build a gaming PC.

    An i7 iMac with SSD would be a huge upgrade to your workflow.

    If you take the difference of the iMac Pro and the iMac. The gaming PC you build would likely outperform the iMac Pro in games. It would be upgrade-able. You could pair it with a sane display. 5K is overkill for gaming.

    Also when it comes to SSD size. I wouldn't go huge. There isn't much which will benefit from the NVMe SSD used. I'd use external USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSD for scratch disks and projects you're working on. Perhaps even place your user folder in it. Use a Large HDD for your archives and media storage.

    If you think you'd still want portability. I would urge you to consider pairing the 15" MacBook Pro with a gaming PC. You can dock it with a 4K monitor at home. Perhaps even share a monitor between the gaming PC and MacBook.
  3. mroy16 macrumors regular

    May 28, 2017
    The top 21" 4K iMac with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD comes in at $2000. You can drop down to a 256 GB SSD and save $200, which could go into a large external SSD or HDD. If you want a desktop on a slimmer budget, this is what I'd recommend. Thew 21" isn't very upgrade-friendly, so I would definitely go with the 16 GB RAM (32 is robbery, unfortunately) and at least 256 GB SSD.

    You can probably get comparable and most personalized specs for less money if you go PC. I'm not really able to comment on whether that would be better for you. Consider whether any software you use if platform specific?
  4. tjbrownmusic thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 19, 2018
    Two computers is not what i want and is out of my price range. I'm going to be streaming, gaming, and doing music all at once on this machine, so it needs to be able to do all three.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2018 ---
    Thanks for the input. Is the 27" iMac more upgradeable than the 21"? I don't think I have any software that I use that is mac specific. Definitely nothing that I use super regularly.
  5. mroy16 macrumors regular

    May 28, 2017
    The 27" has user-upgradeable RAM accessed through a slot in the rear of the machine. You can buy the minimum RAM configuration and add your own on top of the default for much less than Apple charges. That's the only significant difference in upgradeability, unless you'd want to pull the screen off and start messing around with other internals.
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    What is your budget and country of purchase?

    The 27" iMac with Radeon Pro 580 has a huge advantage in gaming over the 21" with a Radeon Pro 560. Besides having more VRAM. The 580 has a lot more processing power. Which will make a huge difference in gaming and at some tasks in your multimedia production software. As mentioned the RAM is upgradeable.

    As for Mac vs PC. You have to decide how important it is for you to run macOS X. Personally, I could care less about the OS. Both are quite capable, stable, reliable and easy to use. Windows reliability comes down to the operator and quality of hardware components used.

    If you go the Windows route. You will likely get a far more powerful system for your money. You could build it yourself to maximize your budget and choice of parts. You can order the parts and pay someone to come to your house and build it. The next best option is using a custom builder. In which case I like CyberPowerPC. Not their prebuilt units. On their website you can choose the components for excellent build quality. Their prebuilt units in stores and default "cheap" options aren't that great.

    As far as Video and Music production goes. There are plenty of professional options for Windows. You can also use high end PCIe sound cards. Which simply aren't an option for an iMac.

    The only reasons to choose an iMac over Windows.
    - macOS is personally a must for you
    - Some program you use is OS X only and you can't use an alternative
    - Cost of replacement of Pro software.

    I think either platform would work fine for you. You just need to decide which is more important to you. Price and performance or OS.

    If you do get the iMac. I would suggest installing Windows on an external SSD. Use that for gaming in Bootcamp.
  7. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    27" iMac. They really are amazing as a work computer. Not so much for high end gaming. It can certainly handle any casual game out there.

    Have a look at a ZenBook Pro by Asus. We purchased one for the office ( mac environment ) to run IE specific and windows10 application testing. The ZenBook is a very impressive piece of kit for the price. I haven't done any gaming on it, but it may be the perfect 'mix' you are looking for.

    This is what we picked up:
  8. Alaska_guy macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2018
    Hopefully this isn't against the terms... I would suggest an i7 7700k or 8700k based PC. I would then get two SSD's.... 860 EVO drives. I would install windows 10 on one drive for gaming and use the other drive for hackintish. That way you get best of both worlds. Grab 32gb of ram and you should be on your way!

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