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Seriously considering making the switch.

What Mac Should I buy...   94 votes

  1. 1. What Mac Should I Buy?

    • MacBook Pro
      24
    • iMac 27"
      24
    • Build a Hackintosh
      46

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122 posts in this topic

Posted

Okay so I borrowed my friends brand new Mac Mini for a few weeks and I have been using it on and off along with my windows machine and I am seriously considering buying a Mac because I want something that can do light video editing (Making software guides etc) but using the Mac Mini it didn't have enough power and my Windows PC certainty does not either, it has a AMD Dual Core, 6GB DDR2 Ram and an 8600GT and it is really time for an upgrade X-x.

so I have a few questions and I do not know what model to pick..,

1) The MacBook Pro (Non Retina)

OK so my first choice is the MacBook Pro without the Retina display because of a few reasons.
  1. I can change the ram in the machine, in the Retina model it is all soldered in so it can't be changed.
  2. The DVD Drive,I can buy a bracket that will allow me to replace the DVD Drive with a Laptop HDD such as a 1TB Drive for storage and a 256GB SSD as the Boot drive.
  3. Their are a bunch of stands out there that will allow me to have it standing up and use it as a desktop machine which is what I want but it has the added advantage of being able to be used in bed or something which is something the other 2 in the list do not have...

2) The iMac 27" 2560x1440

The reason the iMac is on the list is because it has an Amazing screen and I have heard they make an amazing Workstation PC (Nothing like a Mac Pro but they are WAY to expensive for me) and I heard that they use Laptop CPUs and Laptop Ram and for a desktop I am a little concerned if that will make any noticeable difference, I know the MacBook pro does to but, well it's a laptop so yeah. Also I am a little concerned because I read that the new models you have to take the screen off to upgrade RAM and changed the HDD and that you can not add a Second HDD to the iMac and I really want at least a 256GB SSD OS Drive and a 1TB + Storage drive. So that is why I am a bit weary of picking this one.

3) Building a Hackintosh (Yeah I know ><)

OK so the reason that this on this list is because, with how easy it is to Install Mountain Lion (Buying it from Apple of course) on a Compatible PC you can have pretty much everything working and have it running just as good as a Legitimate Mac computer. But if I go down this route it can be a lot of hassle etc especially with updates and I like how Legit apple products feel construction wise (like the iPhone and Mac Mini) so I want that But the Hackintosh is way cheaper, I can add a bunch more storage to it etc so yeah.

So those are my 3 options for moving to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion which is something I am 100% set on but I would also like to know if anyone has any experience with their performance in Windows 8 as I will be running that in Boot Camp too and I only play like 2 games, World of Warcraft and Minecraft which are both OS X Compatible anyway so that is a non issue but I would like to know about their performance with those 2 games as well. And finally, Life span I don't want to have to get the newest Mac every time they are released id like to skip a generation without feeling like my system is going to die if I don't buy a new one so comments about their life span is also welcome.

I look forward to reading the responses about what Mac I should buy and what you guys think I should do because I am ready to make the switch to OS X from Windows : )

Thank you...

- Fractal

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Posted

I'd probably say iMac but they are due for a refresh if I recall. I use a MBP for my music stuff since it's portable but all my video and photo editing is done on my 27" iMac. Both are i7's so speed-wise they are pretty similar.

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Posted

I'd probably say iMac but they are due for a refresh if I recall. I use a MBP for my music stuff since it's portable but all my video and photo editing is done on my 27" iMac. Both are i7's so speed-wise they are pretty similar.

I know their due for a re-fresh so I didn't list things like CPU speed Etc so I can wait but still because of the iMac and the MacBook Pro have laptop components is the iMac really any faster than the MacBook Pro?

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Posted

Light video editing? The Mini (assuming it's new) should have plenty of power for that.

Anyway, they're all basically the same in a different form factor. An SSD + at least 4GBs of RAM and you're good, just pick the processor you want. You can find Macbook Pros cheap(er) now that the Retina is out, but the resolution on the 13'' kind of sucks for full time use, so you're going to definitely want to be able to plug it in .

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Posted

Light video editing? The Mini (assuming it's new) should have plenty of power for that.

Anyway, they're all basically the same in a different form factor. An SSD + at least 4GBs of RAM and you're good, just pick the processor you want. You can find Macbook Pros cheap(er) now that the Retina is out, but the resolution on the 13'' kind of sucks for full time use, so you're going to definitely want to be able to plug it in .

The Mini could do it but it was just not quick enough for me and I want to be able to play a couple of games on it, I tried WoW on the mini and with the HD4000 graphics it was icky at best for me.

If I drop to 4GB of ram that is less than in my windows PC I was hoping to buy myself a 16GB kit and use that so I have tons of head room.

Also if I do go for the MacBook Pro I will be using it as a "desktop" so a monitor will be plugged into it.

The iMac does look good but I doubt I am going to be able to add 1SSD and a 1HDD to it myself and 16GB of RAM X_x.

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Posted

The Mini could do it but it was just not quick enough for me and I want to be able to play a couple of games on it, I tried WoW on the mini and with the HD4000 graphics it was icky at best for me.

If I drop to 4GB of ram that is less than in my windows PC I was hoping to buy myself a 16GB kit and use that so I have tons of head room.

Also if I do go for the MacBook Pro I will be using it as a "desktop" so a monitor will be plugged into it.

The iMac does look good but I doubt I am going to be able to add 1SSD and a 1HDD to it myself and 16GB of RAM X_x.

If you didn't like the Mac Mini, you want an iMac then. The current laptop-based Macs only take up to 8GBs of RAM, and honestly that's all you need. You'd have to go up to a 15'' Macbook to get a decent video card.

And yeah, the 27'' iMac with an SSD + HD + 16 GBs of RAM + a decent GPU is going to cost you mint.

Did you try gaming in OSX, or Windows? The performance can be vastly different for most Mac games. A lot of things that are unplayable on my Macbook (320M) run fine at native resolution in Windows.

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Posted

If you didn't like the Mac Mini, you want an iMac then. The current laptop-based Macs only take up to 8GBs of RAM, and honestly that's all you need. You'd have to go up to a 15'' Macbook to get a decent video card.

And yeah, the 27'' iMac with an SSD + HD + 16 GBs of RAM + a decent GPU is going to cost you mint.

Did you try gaming in OSX, or Windows? The performance can be vastly different for most Mac games. A lot of things that are unplayable on my Macbook (320M) run fine at native resolution in Windows.

I tried the Intel HD4000 on OS X because I don't own Boot Camp.

Also I plan on adding the RAM and SSD myself to either of them (also didn't know the MBP only supported 8gb) because I am not paying an extra

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Posted

I tried the Intel HD4000 on OS X because I don't own Boot Camp.

Also I plan on adding the RAM and SSD myself to either of them (also didn't know the MBP only supported 8gb) because I am not paying an extra

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Posted

I know their due for a re-fresh so I didn't list things like CPU speed Etc so I can wait but still because of the iMac and the MacBook Pro have laptop components is the iMac really any faster than the MacBook Pro?

No, in fact even thought the specs are nearly the same, my MBP is a bit faster. I'd still lean towards the iMac for your uses because of the large screen. Just my personal preference,

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Posted

No, in fact even thought the specs are nearly the same, my MBP is a bit faster. I'd still lean towards the iMac for your uses because of the large screen. Just my personal preference,

See that is what I don't get. If the iMac is meant to be a desktop computer (and they say it is) why in gods name is the MacBook pro faster. To be honest right now, all the iMac seems to be is a laptop on a stick : /.

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Posted

Will Hakintosh run on your current "AMD Dual Core, 6GB DDR2 Ram and an 8600GT" system? Idk what you mean by "light video editing". Light video editing could be done on a computer 10 years ago and will probably work just fine on your current computer.

I'm such an Apple fanboy and hate to say this, but have you tried Sony Vegas at all on your current Windows machine? Its a pretty awesome video editing program. I'd say it is as good as iMovie.

Of course, better hardware will also yield a better experience. If you want to get good performance for cheaper than Apple hardware go with Hakintosh. You will have a few issues here-and-there and need to avoid updates until you do a little research to make sure that the updates won't break anything (if you research your hardware I don't think they will).

If you really want a Mac (it really sounds like that is what you want), then the question is do you need something portable? Having a portable has its advantages, and you can always add on a nice 27" thunderbolt display where you can attach all kinds of storage goodness.

If it were me, I'd probably want the Retina MacBook Pro and just get it with 8GB of ram, an SSD, and buy a nice external thunderbolt hard drive for mass storage and probably an external optical drive. I have a 2009 MacBook Pro and did what you were thinking: SSD as main drive, larger HDD where my optical drive use to be. Its OK. I have had issues with the HDD and it might be related to the adapter that came with the kit or it might just be that the HDD is going bad. Haven't really looked into it much yet.

Hmmm...I'm not sure my post was helpful at all. Anyway, good luck!

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Posted

If you really want to do video editing, there are lots of amazing editors available for Windows like Premier pro, Edius, Sony Vegas pro, Powerdirector ( for basic editing ). I have hackintosh setup, i use FCP on my hackintosh machine ( because i work as a part time video editor and have to deal with FCP projects ), but i dont see much difference in FCP and other editors. So i recommend you to stay with windows if video editing is the reason behind switch. Plus your hardware is good for video editing, it can handle it without upgrade. :)

Or if you really want to use OSX, building hackintosh is best solution than. I have hackintosh setup from leopard days, and there are tons of guides, kexts, drivers etc available on tonymac forum for almost every piece of hardware.

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Posted

Why exactly do you need a Mac in the first place to do video editing?

Also, you can build an insane PC for the price of either of those Macs.

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Posted

Why exactly do you need a Mac in the first place to do video editing?

Also, you can build an insane PC for the price of either of those Macs.

Why exactly do you need to tell everyone who want to have a mac otherwise?

Back on topic: The iMac is insanely great for media editing. That screen + industrial design is fantastic if your studio is opened for your clients.

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Posted

If you didn't like the Mac Mini, you want an iMac then. The current laptop-based Macs only take up to 8GBs of RAM, and honestly that's all you need. You'd have to go up to a 15'' Macbook to get a decent video card.

I have the Retina Macbook Pro ... with 16gb Ram. I don't know where you get the information about the current Macbook Pro's only taking 8gb. My Macbook Pro retina has a blisteringly fast SSD, 16GB Ram etc. I do very high intensity audio and graphics work on it beautifully. On the retina screen and into my Thunderbolt display (27 inch) :)

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Posted

Will Hakintosh run on your current "AMD Dual Core, 6GB DDR2 Ram and an 8600GT" system? Idk what you mean by "light video editing". Light video editing could be done on a computer 10 years ago and will probably work just fine on your current computer.

I'm such an Apple fanboy and hate to say this, but have you tried Sony Vegas at all on your current Windows machine? Its a pretty awesome video editing program. I'd say it is as good as iMovie.

Of course, better hardware will also yield a better experience. If you want to get good performance for cheaper than Apple hardware go with Hakintosh. You will have a few issues here-and-there and need to avoid updates until you do a little research to make sure that the updates won't break anything (if you research your hardware I don't think they will).

If you really want a Mac (it really sounds like that is what you want), then the question is do you need something portable? Having a portable has its advantages, and you can always add on a nice 27" thunderbolt display where you can attach all kinds of storage goodness.

If it were me, I'd probably want the Retina MacBook Pro and just get it with 8GB of ram, an SSD, and buy a nice external thunderbolt hard drive for mass storage and probably an external optical drive. I have a 2009 MacBook Pro and did what you were thinking: SSD as main drive, larger HDD where my optical drive use to be. Its OK. I have had issues with the HDD and it might be related to the adapter that came with the kit or it might just be that the HDD is going bad. Haven't really looked into it much yet.

Hmmm...I'm not sure my post was helpful at all. Anyway, good luck!

No it wont run on this system which is why I said build one...

and by light video editing I mean things like cutting together a lot of video etc with minimal effect adding or doing fancy stuff with it, i have tried video editing on this system but it took me 4 hours to render a 15 minute video at 720p with Sony Vegas and yeah it was slow as hell and I didn't like vegas.

My concern with a hackintosh is well, it's a hackintosh so **** will go wrong and as much as I enjoy tinkering around with stuff I don't wanna spend really hours fixing it after an update because something broke.

The reason I decided against the Retina is because, well... The amount apple charges for SSDs is damn unread. I could probably install it myself, voiding the warranty and pay to have them fix it and it will still be cheaper. Also the Retina display is a non factor because it will be permanently closed, in a stand hooked up to an external monitor if I do buy one.

If you really want to do video editing, there are lots of amazing editors available for Windows like Premier pro, Edius, Sony Vegas pro, Powerdirector ( for basic editing ). I have hackintosh setup, i use FCP on my hackintosh machine ( because i work as a part time video editor and have to deal with FCP projects ), but i dont see much difference in FCP and other editors. So i recommend you to stay with windows if video editing is the reason behind switch. Plus your hardware is good for video editing, it can handle it without upgrade. :)

My hardware isn't good for video editing. a Athlon x2 4000 dual core, 6gb of 800Mhz of DDR 2 ram, and I can't even render a video longer than an hour without it taking 12 so yeah. Also I tried Final cut pro on the Mac Mini when I had it, and I used Premier and Vegas on Windows and honestly, Final Cut Pro was better IMO.

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Posted

Why exactly do you need a Mac in the first place to do video editing?

Also, you can build an insane PC for the price of either of those Macs.

Maybe he wants to use a Mac. The PC argument is invalid in every respect when someone has decided they want a Mac. It's not just about the s**t inside the box you know :)

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My hardware isn't good for video editing. a Athlon x2 4000 dual core, 6gb of 800Mhz of DDR 2 ram, and I can't even render a video longer than an hour without it taking 12 so yeah. Also I tried Final cut pro on the Mac Mini when I had it, and I used Premier and Vegas on Windows and honestly, Final Cut Pro was better IMO.

Well of course it will take time to render. Rendering will be faster in new machines. Be it Mac or Windows based PC. About the FCP part, i disagree, I use premier pro + after effects for most of my work, and i see no difference. Both have Community support, wide variety of plugins and presets and templates. FCP was better in old time when there was no serious competitor. Now its different story. I have even seen studios who entirely work on "Edius".

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Posted

Why exactly do you need a Mac in the first place to do video editing?

Also, you can build an insane PC for the price of either of those Macs.

Don't really want a PC anymore, I didn't come here to ask what was better or PC or a Mac I came here to help me make a Choice between what Mac Model to get.

Why exactly do you need to tell everyone who want to have a mac otherwise?

Back on topic: The iMac is insanely great for media editing. That screen + industrial design is fantastic if your studio is opened for your clients.

I do like the look of the screen, It's just I want a mass storage drive with the system that is internal so that is going to be a pain.

I have the Retina Macbook Pro ... with 16gb Ram. I don't know where you get the information about the current Macbook Pro's only taking 8gb. My Macbook Pro retina has a blisteringly fast SSD, 16GB Ram etc. I do very high intensity audio and graphics work on it beautifully. On the retina screen and into my Thunderbolt display (27 inch) :)

The screen on those is nice but the lack of being able to add my own RAM and SSD is annoying.

Maybe he wants to use a Mac. The PC argument is invalid in every respect when someone has decided they want a Mac. It's not just about the s**t inside the box you know :)

True Facts yo.

Well of course it will take time to render. Rendering will be faster in new machines. Be it Mac or Windows based PC. About the FCP part, i disagree, I use premier pro + after effects for most of my work, and i see no difference. Both have Community support, wide variety of plugins and presets and templates. FCP was better in old time when there was no serious competitor. Now its different story. I have even seen studios who entirely work on "Edius".

I dunno, I just liked Final Cut better. *Shrug.

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Posted

I have the Retina Macbook Pro ... with 16gb Ram. I don't know where you get the information about the current Macbook Pro's only taking 8gb. My Macbook Pro retina has a blisteringly fast SSD, 16GB Ram etc. I do very high intensity audio and graphics work on it beautifully. On the retina screen and into my Thunderbolt display (27 inch) :)

Non-retina, on the tech page it says they can be configured up to 8. I assume the retina has a newer motherboard.

Also, based on what you've said, the 15'' Pro is probably the way to go. SSD swap is easy, getting a case to replace the optical drive for another hard drive is easy, GPU is decent compared to the 13'', especially if you don't mind running Boot Camp.

FWIW, I have a Macbook Pro, and I married into an iMac (which I'm using at the moment!). Coming from a BYO PC background, I think iMacs are insanely overpriced. But nice looking.

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Posted

I dunno, I just liked Final Cut better. *Shrug.

Well if you have made your mind, and dont want to setup hackintosh, i suggest get an iMac, its beautiful plus pleasure to work with.

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Well hmm... The last gen of MacBook Pro were easier to upgrade (I upgraded mine w/o any problems) but I think you will be limited to 8GB of ram.

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP619

The current gen iMacs will support 16GB of ram though. Sounds like that is what you want. I think that there are issues with replacing the SSD in an iMac where the fans go full blast because of a missing temperature sensor pin or something like that.

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Non-retina, on the tech page it says they can be configured up to 8. I assume the retina has a newer motherboard.

Also, based on what you've said, the 15'' Pro is probably the way to go. SSD swap is easy, getting a case to replace the optical drive for another hard drive is easy, GPU is decent compared to the 13'', especially if you don't mind running Boot Camp.

FWIW, I have a Macbook Pro, and I married into an iMac (which I'm using at the moment!). Coming from a BYO PC background, I think iMacs are insanely overpriced. But nice looking.

Coming from a BYO PC background, I don't think Mac's are overpriced. I think they're perfectly priced.

A friend of mine has an old Austin Mini ... it has been modded to destroy a Ferrari off the line.

But I'd much rather have the Ferrari ;) Sometimes, the speed at which something runs isn't the only factor. A cheap PC instead of a Mac is the equivalent of buying a Vauxhall Corsa instead of a BMW M3. I'd rather work in comfort, on the best screens, the best trackpads, the best keyboards, the best build quality etc, and still smokin' fast.

But to each their own.

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Non-retina, on the tech page it says they can be configured up to 8. I assume the retina has a newer motherboard.

Also, based on what you've said, the 15'' Pro is probably the way to go. SSD swap is easy, getting a case to replace the optical drive for another hard drive is easy, GPU is decent compared to the 13'', especially if you don't mind running Boot Camp.

FWIW, I have a Macbook Pro, and I married into an iMac (which I'm using at the moment!). Coming from a BYO PC background, I think iMacs are insanely overpriced. But nice looking.

I just read online that the new Ivy Bridge MacBook Pro non retina can take 16GB of RAM and now I am confused because I'm hearing that it can only take 8 or it can take 16 ><.

Well hmm... The last gen of MacBook Pro were easier to upgrade (I upgraded mine w/o any problems) but I think you will be limited to 8GB of ram.

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP619

The current gen iMacs will support 16GB of ram though. Sounds like that is what you want. I think that there are issues with replacing the SSD in an iMac where the fans go full blast because of a missing temperature sensor pin or something like that.

So if I do add an SSD to the iMac the fans will be going full whack X_x. Those fans are small so they wont be quiet either X-x.

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Posted

you can do video editing with windows easily. I'm running windows 7 on my lenovo y430 pentium dual-core laptop and both sony vegas pro and windows movie maker work flawlessly and smoothly.

this laptop cost me just $399 btw.

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