Windows, Mac OS, Gaming & Hardware - my thoughts

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Razorhog, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. Razorhog macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #1
    Lately, I've started to question what my future holds for Mac hardware. Especially as it pertains to Windows and gaming. I'm going to just post some of my thoughts and would love comments.

    I currently use a late 2012 iMac. It has the GTX 680 with 2GB so it held up for games for a bit. I'm not the type to always need to run games on the highest settings, but it is starting to struggle. I spent $3,200 on it and it is a great machine. The wife is using my previous iMac, a mid-2010 model that is starting to show its age in day-to-day use. I was thinking I might get a new iMac and give her the hand-me-down again but who knows when Apple will release a new iMac. And let's face it - it will probably be a lot thinner and terrible for gaming. (enough with the thinner, thinner, thinner, Apple!)

    So then I started toying with the idea of building a Windows machine that would be good for games. It can be done for half the price of an iMac, but I really enjoy using Mac OS. That brought up ideas of building a hackintosh but I really don't want to deal with loss of functionality and having to "fiddle" with it to get things to work. I could do it, I've built many PCs, but I just don't have the time like I used to.

    So then I started thinking about getting a gaming console and just keeping the Macs we have. I haven't bought a console since the original Wii came out and it just died, so I'm in the market anyway. I'll probably get the Nintendo Switch (love Zelda and Mario games). I have twin boys and I can see many fights over using it as a portable, but that is another story. So maybe the Nintendo Switch for kids/family gaming, and a different console for my "manly gaming" needs. Another issue here is whether to go with the new Xbox Scorpio coming out next year or a PS4 Pro. I lean towards the Xbox due to their lineup of exclusive games. I've been out of console gaming for a long time though and have no idea what each console can do for my living room as far as non-gaming entertainment, which might play a factor in my decision.

    Getting a console doesn't address the aging 2010 iMac. Considered a Mac Mini but will it ever be updated? Meh. Maybe I'll just get the wife a reasonably priced Windows machine.

    Well there you have it - anyone else in a similar boat?
     
  2. zone23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #2
    I just got the VR for my PlayStation and it is awesome. I used to build computers to play games but it just isn't worth it, I don't have the time to fiddle with it.
     
  3. Razorhog thread starter macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #3
    Good point bringing up VR. I feel like VR with a console will be affordable as opposed to building/buying a beast of a machine to run Occulus Rift. I'm hoping more details will be released about the new Xbox soon. Maybe VR that will be a mixture of VR and Augmented Reality ala Hololens. Wish Scorpio was due out for this holiday season and not next.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Might want to try VR before you buy. I did a simple 6 minute demo at PAX--afterward I was feeling a little bit dizzy and nauseous.

    It was fun, but it also felt a bit...off. I don't know how to explain it.
     
  5. Number-Six macrumors 6502

    Number-Six

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #5
    I was in that situation in August. With the launch of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, my mid-2011 iMac just wasn't up to the task anymore (well not unless I was willing to play on the lowest settings.

    I had switched to Macs at home in 2008, first with a white Macbook, then the 2009 unibody and finally the 2011 iMac and loved them all. But in the last year or so, I started missing the fact that a PC can be upgraded much more easily than a Mac and it only got worst in later Mac models which is a downside (for me) when looking to buy anything new.

    So I started listing the things I'd miss if I wasn't using a Mac as a main computer and it was a surprisingly short list, with the point that bugged me the most being iMessage. I figured I would just stop being lazy and pickup my iPhone instead :)

    So I did some research and made a list of parts. It took me roughly 90 minutes to assemble the parts because I made a few mistakes and had to start over - it had been 10 years since I built a PC. Once I finished building it, I was extremely impressed at the fact that it took me just under 15 minutes to fully install Windows 10, plus just a few minutes to install additional drivers (video mostly).

    I fiddled a tiny bit in the following weeks but it amounts to less than 2 hours total over the course of 3 weeks, mostly because there are some things I'm re-learning.

    Overall, I'm very pleased at the result and will likely not return to Mac hardware. I may explore the Hackintosh possibilities eventually, but am in no hurry at this time.

    I would list 2 negative things however: First, a PC is incredibly loud when compared to an iMac.

    Second, I already have a list of parts I'd like to replace eventually with better ones :D Just to get my dream PC I guess (although one part on that list is a case that would bring down the noise by a lot)
     
  6. Razorhog thread starter macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #6
    Some excellent things to consider. I too would miss iMessage but it wouldn't be a total deal breaker. Another for me would be Mac OS itself - I love the way it handles multiple desktops, swipe gestures, time machine. I have a Windows 10 virtual machine on my Mac Pro at work and it works well but I haven't used Windows as my main OS for 10 years. I suppose I could install Windows 10 on this iMac and use it exclusively for a while to figure out how Windows handles those things.
     
  7. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    Look at getting a 2012 Mac Pro. There is a limit on the upgradability (1333MHz RAM and Dual 6-core Xeon 3.46GHz) but you have PCIe Slots which can take graphics cards, and I am pretty sure that you can cross-fire them under Windows.

    The Mac Pro will happily run windows with plenty of power to spare as a gaming machine. The 2009, 2010 and 2012 models have Xeons that support hyper-threading.

    I am not a big gamer, but I did install Windows 7 onto a separate drive (love the four drive sleds in the classic Mac Pro) and using a couple of utilities such as "Boot-Champ" which gives me a menu bar to reboot into Windows (My GPU is a PC one so I don't get a boot screen) and after installing all the drivers and so forth it runs just like a nice high-spec PC. You will want to go with something like Windows7 Professional 64-bit. Not everything works properly under Windows 10, though I am pretty sure that Windows 8.1 will also work (I had an installer disc and a license key for Win7 Pro anyway).

    This also has the advantage that you can get yourself a graphics card that will support multiple 4K displays if you wish. I'm only using a 1080p though.
     
  8. Razorhog thread starter macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    I have an early 2009 Mac Pro that I thought about transforming but apparently it's not ATX and it would be difficult to put a motherboard in. Maybe there is some sort of adapter plate that could be used. It's a great looking case and it would be cool to build a Windows PC out of it.
     
  9. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    If the 2009 Mac Pro is still working, sell it on. It is still worth a bit second-hand, especially if you flash the firmware up to 5,1 - which basically makes it the same as a 2010 or 2012 Mac Pro.

    If you want to go ahead and convert it to an ATX case, there are conversion kits, but this does involved a certain amount of cutting and filing metal to make it happen:

    http://www.thelaserhive.com/product/mac-pro-matx-120-kit/
     
  10. Razorhog thread starter macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #10
    Well I bought a 65" TV (Samsung KS8000) and Gears of War 4 Xbox bundle last weekend. That takes care of gaming needs, as well as improving my man cave substantially. Now I won't need to max out the next Mac I get.
     
  11. AppleCommander macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #11
    No need to completely abandon Macs. Build yourself a nice gaming PC and purchase a Macbook to use for everything else. That would still be cheaper than buying an iMac or Mac Pro- both of which are overpriced for inferior hardware.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    I've found a couple of issues, but is there a list somewhere?
     
  13. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    Certain Macs do not have official support for Windows 10, but it would be largely a case of hunting down suitable drivers. At one stage I did have a Windows7 Professional 64-bit running on a 2006 Mac Pro, despite official support only for 32-bit versions, but it would cause all sorts of random problems for OSX. I got rid of it on that particular Mac and now dual-boot OSX 10.11.6 and 10.7.5 (the latter is the last officially-supported version for the 2006/2007 Mac Pro, but you just need to change the boot.efi files and then everything else works.)

    I believe that the main problem has been bluetooth and Wifi drivers, as well as problems with sleep mode, though I do not know of a list of issues since I have no interest in moving to Windows 10 for the time being.
     

Share This Page