Why buy a Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UglyLittleSpud, May 31, 2009.

  1. UglyLittleSpud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #1
    I'm sure this has been discussed many times before, but right now I'm torn between two systems -

    Refurb 24'' iMac, 2.8, 2GB Ram, 320GB, Superdrive, 2600 Pro - £949

    Self-build PC, Q6600, 8GB Ram, Radeon 4850, 1TB Hard Drive, Blu-Ray writer, 23'' Full HD monitor - £949


    My question is...faced with these specs, why on earth choose the iMac? I know a lot of people on here mention design as one of the main reasons they prefer Macs, but let's be blunt - design doesn't get the job done, the specs do.

    My main reasons for buying a new computer is for 3D rendering, compositing, and HD video editing (including AVCHD).

    Does OSX really justify the cost of such an outdated system in terms of technology?

    I'm not looking to troll at all, I'm just questioning which would really be best and would like honest, impartial opinions. Please no fanboy rants.....?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    I use Macs more for OS X than for the hardware specs. Given your situation you're right though- absolutely no reason to by the iMac over your machine if you are comfortable with Windows.
     
  3. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a

    u49aa2

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Location:
    Between Heaven and Hell
    #3
    looking at what you intend to use the computer for, i will defintely go for the windows and forget about the imac. Though, this is only if you have limited cash. However if you have the money, then obviously a mac pro with similar specifications will be much better (and i think it is worth it).
     
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #4
    I don't know who Apple hired a few years ago to do design but they seem to have been on a crusade to destroy some of their iconic computer designs for good. They've got an infatuation with adding black plastic to everything and to me it looks hideous. The only two machines left in Apple's lineup which look any good at all to me are the Mac mini and Mac Pro. No doubt they'll be getting a lick of black paint soon too :mad:.

    Anyway, there's little doubting that the construction is good, although that doesn't mean it's free of problems. My first generation MacBook had to be returned three times for discolouration of plastic and each time the computer was away for several weeks while they did it. So it's definitely not customer service that makes Apple good...

    The OS is good, I don't doubt that, but there was a time when the competition was much, much worse. Back in 2004/5 when I made the "switch" Windows was awful and it was like a breath of fresh air to get a machine which doesn't crash all the time. However, in 2007 Apple decided to undo a lot of their own hard work when they release an abomination of an update which they called Leopard.

    People here continually criticise Vista for having early problems but Leopard was just as bad. They've solved many of the problems, but I still get program hangs, crashes and the odd kernel panic. For some reason my machine frequently takes literally one or two minutes to shut down. Just like Windows there are also a bunch of useless "services" enabled by default, like Time Machine, Dashboard, Spaces and Back to My Mac/Bonjour, which can cause absolute havoc with your network and with your computer's performance.

    When Apple was making its OS worse, Microsoft was quietly making everything better and more stable. Now I think that Leopard and Vista are almost equal. There is the odd feature better on OS X and the odd feature better on Vista. Of course, there's much better hardware support under Windows and a lot more software available.

    Anyone who cares at all about 3D rendering performance should not buy a Mac. The drivers for both ATi and nVidia GPUs are absolutely awful under OS X compared to Windows.

    To me the time for spending extra just to get OS X is well and truly over.
     
  5. timsutcliffe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #5
    I agree with miles01110, if you're happy with how Windows performs then there's no real reason to get the iMac.

    OS X is great, but if you don't have any problems with Windows then go for the better machine for the money.
     
  6. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #7
    Apple work by giving you the full package. For example, add bluetooth, Wifi N, Firewire 400 + 800, webcam, microphone, remote control, keyboard and mouse, speakers and a optical audio in/out sound card, which all comes standard with the iMac. Also add a copy of Vista Ultimate. I'd also like to see that screen you mention, as I bet it's not anywhere near on terms of quality as the iMacs H-IPS screen. A decent IPS 24" screen that compares to the iMacs screen will easily set you back £400. Cheap screens use cheap panels.

    So you see you need to look at the full package before comparing specs. That £949 has just increased quite a few hundred I'll bet.

    Now of course if you don't need any of the above, fair enough, the PC certainly would work out cheaper. That is one of the benefits of a custom build of course, buying exactly what you need and leaving out what you don't need. But it's completely unfair to compare the two systems just on CPU, RAM, HDD, GFX. If you leave out everything I've mentioned, then this is not a fair comparison.
     
  8. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #8
    This is the sort of attitude that is not helpful in a topic like this and which gives this community a bad name. If you had backed up your attack with some examples, people might take you a little more seriously.

    And remember, Windows and OS X aren't the only two operating systems out there.
     
  9. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #9
    Leopard is slower than Tiger due to it's 32 bit/64 bit hybridity.

    Microsoft and Apple chose two different models to incorporate 64 bit into their OS's. Microsoft chose to release two versions of their OS, one 32 bit and one 64 bit. Apple chose to slowly incorporate 64 bit into their OS over time. It's this constant 32/64 translation within Leopard that has slowed it down somewhat. That's why I can almost guarantee Snow Leopard, which is fully 64 bit will be considerably better in regards to speed. Although in my own endeavours I've always found Leopard to be faster than Tiger on similar hardware.

    Leopard, just like Vista had to be the whipping boy to pave the way for future generations of OS X. There is nothing that Microsoft or Apple could have done differently to their respective OS's (at least in terms of underlying architecture), because these hiccups and problems that we have seen is the abandonment of old technology and the inclusion of new.

    Personally I can't stand using Tiger, Leopard all the way. Tiger's GUI just kills me.
     
  10. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #10
    Why Vista Ultimate? There's nothing in there that Home Premium doesn't have that will help him to perform the tasks he mentioned better.
     
  11. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #11
    No but for a fair comparison to Leopard, IMO Vista Ultimate is the only version that comes close to Leopard. For starters Vista Home Premium 64 bit tops out at 8gb RAM max.
     
  12. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    #12
    OS X and, if you're buying a MacBook, the Trackpad are the main selling points for me.These two factors make Windows and any PC laptop running it seem lethargic.

    I jump on my girlfriend's Vista-running Sony Vaio every now and then and the difference is night and day. My workflow is impeded by her multi-touchless trackpad and the general sluggishness of Vista.

    Most importantly, her 3 month-old Vaio has similar specs to my 3 year-old MacBook; 2 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM, and 250 GB HDD, yet Vista somehow utilizes these specs so much less efficiently than OS X.

    I'm pretty sure I can run OS X using 1 GB of RAM if I needed to, and not experience any hiccups whatsoever (I know because Activity Monitor tells me so). I can't say the same thing about Vista.
     
  13. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
    That's why Windows is the only reason. If you're needs are covered by non-commercial apps, build a PC and put Linux, OpenSolaris, or BSD on it.

    My attitude vis-a-vis M$ trash is perfect.
     
  14. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I agree the trackpad is a major selling point. Once you get used to using, you don't even notice that it is anything special, however when you go on to a Dell laptop for example is takes so much longer to do anything.

    If I was you I would save your money for a bit longer, wait and see what comes out at WWDC if anything then get a macpro.
     
  15. iSaygoodbye macrumors 6502a

    iSaygoodbye

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    a boat
    #15
    if you really want to use osx you could hackintosh the custom built pc
     
  16. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    #16
    That's not a violation of EULA.:rolleyes:
     
  17. UglyLittleSpud thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #17
    Some really great responses, thanks everyone. In all honesty, I'm not seeing much argument in favour of the iMac, so it looks like the self-built PC wins on this occasion.

    I have to echo a previous posters comments though on Apple's design choices. All you need to do is go watch the YouTube video of Steve Jobs introducing the Alu iMac, and you can sense the letdown when the design is 'revealed'. I'd also have to agree in saying that Windows has improved a lot since 04/05, and although it takes a bashing, my experiences with Vista haven't been anything to complain about - and 7 looks like a definite improvement.

    There's no question that Apple is a great company...just maybe not for making computers these days. In the end, I think Apple will be remembered for the iPod/iPhone more than anything else.

    Then again, if they bring out a blu-ray enabled, upgradeable tower asap this could all change! :)
     
  18. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #18
    For OS X. And hardware that "just works". Windows needs epic specs to work well, OS X is better with resources.

    You are paying a lot for the design. I don't mind. They use laptop parts instead of desktop so you're getting more expensive parts.

    Specs aren't all that matter to me personally. Apple isn't a bargain brand. Deal with it.

    I know I'd be MUCH happier with the iMac than the octo tank thing you have there. Do you even need it so highly specced? The iMac chews up any game I play (COD4, Combat Arms, etc.).

    And no, OS X and Windows aren't the only OSes, but they're the only ones worth looking at for frequent personal use.
     
  19. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #19
    I buy Macs because I want an easy, hassle free computing experience. If you are happy with Windows and there are no OSX only apps you want like Final Cut, Aperture, iLife, Logic Pro, etc. then just stick with Windows.
     
  20. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #20
    personally, i would not even consider the imac (or any non-customizable all-in-one computers [mac or windows]) compared to a well built desktop.

    for the same price (in your example) look at how much better the hardware is between systems. if you're happy with Windows stick with the PC - your only disadvantage will be relying on yourself for support - but if you're savvy enough to built it yourself it's really not an issue.

    so if i was in your shoes, i take the PC, load WinXP x64, and call it a day.
     
  21. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #21
    Hardware isn't all that matters.
     
  22. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #22
    no it isn't - but in this case i would not take the imac and OSX over Windows setup.
     
  23. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #23
    *Because Windows is unstable, unsecure, and ugly (if you're gonna use Windows and you really want to get the full performance out of it, you're gonna have to remove all the special effects, which leaves you with the Windows Classic themes with no effects at all. Ugly).

    *OS X looks better, is more stable and you don't really have to worry about malware.

    *Usually OS X native programs work as well as Windows ones, but have a nicer interface and are easier to use.

    *Linux. Linux is fine, pretty much as stable and secure as OS X. You might want to customize it to match your preference. The cons are that a lot of things require the terminal usage and the lack of professional applications.
     
  24. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #24
    OP, I think it all comes down to what OS, you want to use? If you want to use OS X, you're better off with the iMac; if you don't care about what OS you're using (ie: Windows), then the DIY desktop is the far superior choice.

    I can name dozens on things that Windows does that OS X hasn't, and one of them is Windows has never crashed on me... The funny part is we all laugh at the BSOD, but at least that thing tells us what went wrong. On OS X, all we get is this grey thing that says "Restart" or the computer just locks up. All confusion, no error messages.
     
  25. BenEndeem macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #25
    Reasons for choosing an iMac over a custom build:

    -Much better resale value.

    But if you're using the computer to make money then this would be negligible in the bigger picture.

    -Warranty covers everything from the hardware to the OS.

    But that isn't a problem if your confident in your PC-building ability and use parts with good warranties.

    -If you don't like Windows.

    But that isn't a problem in this case.

    No, it looks like you've made the right decision.
     

Share This Page