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Thinking of getting an Apple 27' iMac?


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#1 +bomberh

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:51

I have been toying with the idea of getting a 27' iMac and selling my PC. As you will see from my signature my PC is well specified as I like to play games now and again. However, I like the idea of the all in one.

I have looked at PC all in ones and they do not come anywhere near the spec I can have with the new iMac.

I am thinking of having the following:
  • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB
  • 3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)
  • Accessory Kit
I still enjoy my games and would want to install Windows via BootCamp so I can play my games. I already have a MacBook Pro which has Windows 8 via BootCamp and I do not have any issues with this as it works quite well.

The one thing I am concerned about is being able to play games with this all in one.The spec above looks meaty enough to play all the latest games at high settings on the games and I see no reason why my games experience should suffer.

I know it will be expensive and I know I could try and build a better PC with this money incorporating the parts I already have, but like I said I do like the idea of the all in one. I also like the idea of having the Mac OS available to me like I have with my Pro.

Anyone got any thoughts about me getting the iMac in place of my PC?


#2 +Chicane-UK

Chicane-UK

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:03

As a former iMac owner, and as someone for who gaming and building a PC is something I enjoyed, then I think you'll enjoy the novelty for a while but will eventually come to miss the PC.

I sold my PC because I liked the thought of a decluttering exercise and wanted to use OSX for a bit.. and it was fine for 12 months or so. Problem is requirements for the current games continued to push on, and it quickly became clear that the graphics card wasn't up to the job and obviously there was no way to upgrade it. This would be even more of an issue for you in this case with that iMac's massive resolution on that 27" display!

That, combined with the fact that the amount I spent on the Mac could have given me a far more substantial PC for the money and I ended up selling it and building a PC again and have been much happier.

Honestly I think the iMac is a stunning machine, and totally understand your thoughts on switching to an all-in-one - but if you're a PC builder and gamer, I just don't think the iMac is for you and you will eventually get bored. Apple just doesn't do enough for people who want to game on their hardware currently IMHO. On the flip side of course, residual values are good for iMacs so if you do decide to move on or keep upgrading iMac's every 12/24 months you should always get good money back to enable you to move onto the next version of the model.

#3 ajua

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:16

Chicane-UK already summed up what I was going to write and did it quite well.

If you end up buying that iMac, I would suggest going for an SSD instead of that much RAM (8GB is plenty enough IMHO). You can store files on an external drive and the speed gains of an SSD are huge.

The only thing that will be a problem in a year or so is the graphics card, specially at that resolution.

For gaming, custom building with a Windows PC is the way to go but you have the last word on that. Keep us posted.

#4 threetonesun

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:24

The 680MX is loosely equivalent to a GTX580, which puts it somewhere between a 660 and a 660Ti. Not a bad card for such a thin design, just somewhat underwhelming for that fantastic 27'' display.

That's always been my complaint with the iMac though, you're buying a $1000 display and then hamstringing it with components that are nearly impossible to replace.

#5 guitmz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:42

dear lord.. why 32GB? donate some money to a charity instituition and get something like 8gb (you'll still have 3gb free even if you use xcode)

#6 Elsie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 13:02

Hello forum - this is my first post on here and I only came across this thread while searching for something about Steam installation locations but I saw this and had to respond.

I've just bought a brand new 27in iMac which is pretty much the spec you've posted except:

a) Only the standard 8gb RAM - The price Apple wanted for upgrade was ridiculous. I'll upgrade that later
b) The 1TB Fusion drive - believe me, this thing is FAST. I really wish I had gone for the 3TB drive though
c) I have the wired keyboard with number pad as this has 2 extra USB ports - ideal for plugging in a gaming mouse
d) I use the Magic Pad

With regard to c) and d), I cannot get on with the Apple mouse and this is especially true when gaming. If I want to game via Steam on CS:GO or TF2, both of which play really well on this iMac, I plug my Logitech G500 into the keyboard and use this. For everyday desktop work the Magic Pad with its gesture / multiple finger control is so much nicer to use than the mouse.

Although I do play the occasional game (and I'm going to epic.TEN http://www.epiclan.c...epic10 this weekend!), gaming is not the main reason I use any computer. I'm lucky enough to be in a position to have been able to buy the iMac AND keep my old PC for LAN gaming. I wanted the iMac as my main computer for family stuff stuff such as photo and video processing, web browsing and other general activities. If I can play the occasional game on it I will but I don't think it will ever replace my gaming PC. I might be wrong but that remains to be seen. I certainly do not see myself taking a £2,200 iMac to a gaming LAN!

Although I've only had the iMac for 2 weeks, I have to say it's an absolute joy to use. It is taking me a while to get used to some of the things that I can do in Windows (at least before the awful Windows 8 came along) easily but it's an enjoyable learning curve. I've got Steam installed on it and added TF2 and CS:GO as they're games I enjoy and after I'd done some tweaking both look and play very well. I don't think I will boot camp the drive as with only 1TB I don't want to lose a big chunk of that to a Windows 7 installation but if you do decide to try an iMac, I would try and get the 3TB drive to give you more options. Next week, i.e. after this weekends LAN, I am going to install the trial version of Parallels 8, Windows 7 as a virtual machine and then Steam. I love racing games such as Trackmania, Grid, F1 2011 etc and I am very keen to see how these run on the iMac in a virtual environment. If these are playable through Parallels then I would have thought they'd be pretty good in Boot Camp.

However, as I mentioned earlier I didn't buy this as a replacement games machine. If I can play them on the iMac then I will - the 27in screen is simply gorgeous - and it's a shame that Apple don't let users run other kit through it to use as a monitor. If I could have hooked up my gaming PC to the iMac this would have been the ultimate "best of both worlds" solution for me. Ah well.

I'll try and remember to post again when I've installed and tested Parallels.

Good luck with your decision!

Elsie

#7 threetonesun

threetonesun

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 13:18

Next week, i.e. after this weekends LAN, I am going to install the trial version of Parallels 8, Windows 7 as a virtual machine and then Steam. I love racing games such as Trackmania, Grid, F1 2011 etc and I am very keen to see how these run on the iMac in a virtual environment. If these are playable through Parallels then I would have thought they'd be pretty good in Boot Camp.


Let me save you the trouble and tell you that they'll all run poorly, if at all. If you want to run 3D applications, just use Boot Camp.



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