Want to buy new mac(s) for... everything...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jon889, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. jon889 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #1
    Hey! Looking for a little buying advice! Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I currently have a mid 2012 13" MBA (base), and while I love how portable it is, it's simply not powerful enough for my current needs. I'd like to do some video editing, software development and gaming (nothing major), but this machine can't quite handle editing and gaming the way I would like it to.

    I'd like a more powerful machine that can handle my demands with ease. Re: gaming: I'm not looking for a dedicated gaming rig, but rather I'm looking for something that won't choke on most new releases. I don't want to sacrifice portability. This is why I am considering a buying a desktop to complement my air (not to mention, the screen real estate is certainly alluring). It looks like Apple will be updating their lineup toward the release of Broadwell. I'm fine with waiting.

    My questions for you: are the current mid-range iMacs really powerful enough for my needs? Does the future of iMac even look promising, cost/performance wise, being that there are rumors that the iMac will transition to retina (surely taxing on GPU)? Desktop-wise, I just want a machine I can throw anything at - I could care less about how thin it is. Laptop wise, portability is my number one priority. What should I be waiting for? An updated iMac, an updated MBA or retina Pro with external display? Some combination of these?
     
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #2
    If you are planning on getting a mid-level iMac, it will often do you better to get a high-end 2012 refurb model instead. There is a large premium for the computer itself, and the upgrades are relatively inexpensive. If you already have a MBA, you might as well get an iMac.
     
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #3
    Broadly speaking, laptops are going to cost more, for lower specs, as compared to desktops. Since you have the MBA, in your shoes I'd go for an iMac; and since you like the screen real estate, and want to do gaming, a 27" with upgraded graphics is what I would nudge you toward.

    Personally, I'm not convinced the next gen iMacs are going to be retina, but I could be wrong. There has been some evidence uncovered of display scaling resolution options in the OS X Yosemite developer preview released at WWDC, but my best guess is, r-iMacs won't happen till next year alongside Broadwell processors.

    As nice as the Air is for everyday computing, it can't even come close to the performance of a nicely equipped iMac. The current 27" iMacs are gorgeous powerhouses, and rumors are they may be spec-bumped next week with the latest Haswell chips, possibly Thunderbolt2, and perhaps a modest price cut.

    Based on your needs, I'd urge you to take a good long hard look at a 27" iMac, with at a minimum a Fusion drive, GTX775M or GTX780M graphics, and at least 16GB of memory, if your budget allows. A nicely upgraded 15" rMBP with discrete graphics and an external display would also be a good option, but my advice for the iMac is based on the fact you already own a pretty nice laptop, and also on the aforementioned cost/performance considerations.

    You could save hundreds by shopping the refurb store, but after new models are released, it takes some months for those newer models to filter down there. Best of luck!
     
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #4
    The best bang for your buck is the 2012 i7/gtx 680mx/8 GB/1 TB Fusion. It costs 1949$, and the gtx 680mx benchmarks are exactly the same as the 780m. Can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  5. jon889 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #5
    Thanks so much! I'm going to keep an eye on 27" iMac in that case. I was considering the 21.5" model - I guess the 27" is where I'd get the best bang for my buck?
     
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #6
    If you're doing gaming, then a laptop with external screen isn't really an option. You won't be satisfied with the framerates on current games and even past years' games. Not to mention the laptop might have smoke coming off of it if you use it for that. As others have suggested the spec-ed up 2012 iMac will be a solid gaming machine. Otherwise I would wait for upgraded iMacs (Read) and then pick up either a new one, maxed out for gaming, or a current today gen which soon will be previous gen.

    The difference between the 21.5" and 27" has more to do with the GPU than anything else, you will get a much more tame GPU in any of the 21.5" models. Sure, it has less pixels to push, but it won't be great for gaming even then. 27" has powerful mobile class graphics.
     
  7. jon889 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #7
    Thanks, really appreciate that info.
     
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #8
    Waiting for Broadwell takes till the end of the year.
     

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