Worth It to move from high end PC to iMac?

next-Jin

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I changed jobs and with my family I can basically no longer play games. All I do is surf the net, and use my HTPC for video consumption in the living room.

I am in the process of setting up a home server in the basement with 18TB of HD space and instead of buying multiple cheap PC's to all of my TVs (5) I was thinking of using Apple TVs running XBMC instead.

My main PC is in my sig, do you believe I could get enough funds to outright buy the iMac 27 with the GTX 680 MX and the larger SSD option?

My wife likes Apple products and I don't really care what I use so long as I can surf the Web and have a simple setup that works without much of any tweaking or configuration.

I believe I have become burnt out plus not having any time whatsoever.
 

three4seven

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If you sold everything piece by piece, after shipping - including the U3011 - I still think you'd be short

The issue of course - is that we don't know how much the 680mx or larger SSD upgrades will be. We only know that the base configuration that is required for the 680mx is ~$2000 + tax. On the conservative side (for apple atleast), let's say the 680mx is a $200 upgrade, and the SSD is also the same. We're looking at $2400 + tax. So we're looking at atleast $2500, probably more depending on your state tax. And this is based on estimates that are probably low for apple factory upgrades - it could run up much higher.

Is it worth it? It's certainly going to be a significant downgrade in terms of performance, but "value" is often defined by what you want/need. You pay for the design and sleekness. If your wife puts a high premium on that - then it'll be worth it. The new iMac is certainly a looker.
 

valve1138

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Fire up a Bootcamp install and you could still play your Windows based games.

As for the Apple TV's, only the ATV 2 can be Jailbroken to run XBMC. Ihave several of the and use a SQL database for the library to speed them up.
 

dr.stevil

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I changed jobs and with my family I can basically no longer play games. All I do is surf the net, and use my HTPC for video consumption in the living room.

I am in the process of setting up a home server in the basement with 18TB of HD space and instead of buying multiple cheap PC's to all of my TVs (5) I was thinking of using Apple TVs running XBMC instead.

My main PC is in my sig, do you believe I could get enough funds to outright buy the iMac 27 with the GTX 680 MX and the larger SSD option?

My wife likes Apple products and I don't really care what I use so long as I can surf the Web and have a simple setup that works without much of any tweaking or configuration.

I believe I have become burnt out plus not having any time whatsoever.

It's not a terrible idea, honestly. I've thought about this myself alot lately as well. However, you don't NEED a mac to stream content to Apple TV's, although it would be nice to have everything in the same ecosystem. Besides, I guess you can always boot into windows to do some gaming if it ever tickles your fancy.

Something else you can look into is building yourself a hackentosh and save some cash. The only downside is that it's usually problematic to some degree. Have to be careful with updates and such.

I use my Apple TV in my bedroom with XBMC and it works great. So good in fact, that I'm actually looking for another ATV2 for a living room setup. Just wish a JB was available for the ATV3
 

Snowdog

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I would just a get a bottom end Mac Mini first ($599) to get your feet wet and determine if you really like the OS/Env/Ecosystem enough to switch.

If not the Mini is a very small/quiet PC to use for HTPC use.

That is my plan if I get the urge to switch (which Windows 8 is giving me).
 

OmegaSupreme

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The Apple TV is pretty sweet. You don't need a Mac computer to run it either. Some of the cool features about the Apple TV, especially if you have an iPhone, is you can use the iPhone as the remote. And you can directly stream what you're watching on your phone to the Apple TV.
That's the cheapest solution.
 
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PointandClick

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I would tell you what I would do if you want to have a cheap Mac, but it's not allowed here. ;)
If you don't plan on playing games much anymore why upgrade to the 680?

Personally I'm not a big fan of laptop parts in a desktop. If I had money I just didn't know what to do with the iMac might make a good machine for the wife/family though.

The Apple TV is a pretty awesome deal for XBMC. It can be a little sluggish scrolling through your library and I have to restart XBMC sometimes to get videos to play right. For 100 bucks though you won't find anything else that can run XBMC and definitely not with such low power consumption.
 

dr.stevil

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I would tell you what I would do if you want to have a cheap Mac, but it's not allowed here. ;)
If you don't plan on playing games much anymore why upgrade to the 680?

Personally I'm not a big fan of laptop parts in a desktop. If I had money I just didn't know what to do with the iMac might make a good machine for the wife/family though.

The Apple TV is a pretty awesome deal for XBMC. It can be a little sluggish scrolling through your library and I have to restart XBMC sometimes to get videos to play right. For 100 bucks though you won't find anything else that can run XBMC and definitely not with such low power consumption.

Which skin are you using? I found 'quartz' to actually be pretty decent as far as performance goes (as long as its not checking for new content or downloading new show/movie info)
 

lamboman

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If all you're going to do is browse, why the need for so much power? A MacBook Air (if you want something portable) or a base Mac mini would be a better choice, along with your current monitor. Would be cheaper with no true disadvantages (provided you really aren't going to play games at all).
 

PointandClick

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Which skin are you using? I found 'quartz' to actually be pretty decent as far as performance goes (as long as its not checking for new content or downloading new show/movie info)

Confluence I believe. My biggest problem is that every once in a while when I go to play a video it will be really choppy. Like 2fps. If I restart XBMC it starts working fine but it's kind of a pita. It seems like it happens almost every time if you watch something on Netflix before firing up XBMC.

I've upgraded several times hoping it would go away, but no such luck so far.
 

dr.stevil

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Confluence I believe. My biggest problem is that every once in a while when I go to play a video it will be really choppy. Like 2fps. If I restart XBMC it starts working fine but it's kind of a pita. It seems like it happens almost every time if you watch something on Netflix before firing up XBMC.

I've upgraded several times hoping it would go away, but no such luck so far.

I did have some issues with mine before, but since restoring it and re-jailbreaking, everything seems to be working okay *knock on wood*

I don't think I've ever noticed jittery FPS like that, but I had an issue in the past that if a screen saver went on while in XBMC and then I tried playing a video/movie, it would reboot the entire device. Not sure if the restore fixed it or if it was fixed on XBMC's end (or even firecores).

What firmware are you running?
 

AndreRio

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I found that macs are cool, they look cool, they are fun. but they cost a lot! you better have lots of cash if you really want the best on a mac.
 

PointandClick

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I did have some issues with mine before, but since restoring it and re-jailbreaking, everything seems to be working okay *knock on wood*

I don't think I've ever noticed jittery FPS like that, but I had an issue in the past that if a screen saver went on while in XBMC and then I tried playing a video/movie, it would reboot the entire device. Not sure if the restore fixed it or if it was fixed on XBMC's end (or even firecores).

What firmware are you running?

4.4.4
I had to restore and re-jailbreak once when I first got it.
 

next-Jin

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The reason I wanted to opt for the 680MX was mainly because of habit tbh lol.

What are ya'll s thoughts on if next year's iMac will have the retina display?
 

Snowdog

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The reason I wanted to opt for the 680MX was mainly because of habit tbh lol.

What are ya'll s thoughts on if next year's iMac will have the retina display?

50:50, and I expect it will be at least a $1000 premium on top of a top end iMac.
 

Haiku214

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Better just stick to what you already have. Your PC can do everything you need already.
 

shansoft

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The reason I wanted to opt for the 680MX was mainly because of habit tbh lol.

What are ya'll s thoughts on if next year's iMac will have the retina display?

Highly doubt it, since none of the mobile or low consumption GPU can handle that much of pixels.
 

thelead

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Keep a lot of what you have, build yourself a nice mini itx system and buy an apple monitor.
 

ultraman7k

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Have a buyer coming to pick up my rig this weekend. More or less getting out of PC gaming now...

Ordered a 13" pro, and will add RAM, SSD, and maybe swap out the 5400RPM Drive. I figured after years of PCs, (and considering that everything else I own is Apple) I might as well make the switch and see what it's all about.
 

spencers

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The Apple TV is a pretty awesome deal for XBMC. It can be a little sluggish scrolling through your library and I have to restart XBMC sometimes to get videos to play right. For 100 bucks though you won't find anything else that can run XBMC and definitely not with such low power consumption.

Acer Revo 1600. Been running one for yeaaaars now. That little guy is a beast!
 

Tomahawk

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I had the opposite problem. After 12 years of being a daily Mac user, I wanted tons of computing power without spending tons of cash.

My advice is never spend more than $1500 for a Mac, and never spend more than $500 on an iOS device. Much more than that, and it really becomes hard to justify - unless I was using it to make money.
 

next-Jin

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I can use OSX Mountain Lion in a VM on my PC but can I use a spare HD and use my current setup as a hackintosh?

I believe my motherboard is supported, or at least I hope it is. I know the 7970 is not but if I could dual boot it would be awesome.
 

next-Jin

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I had the opposite problem. After 12 years of being a daily Mac user, I wanted tons of computing power without spending tons of cash.

My advice is never spend more than $1500 for a Mac, and never spend more than $500 on an iOS device. Much more than that, and it really becomes hard to justify - unless I was using it to make money.

Yea if I had the time I wouldn't have this problem but I just don't have the time. I used to be a hardcore gamer spending 5 hours a day playing everything from Tribes 1 to WoW. I had over 1000 days played on WoW but that had to stop the day I said "I do".

I have done phase change cooling on old P4s to water Cooling and monthly reformats of Windows 2000.

I learned a lot but I'm just worn out I guess.
 

Tomahawk

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Understandable, but your PC can still be useful without requiring much of your time.

I'm finding the combination of a high performance PC and an iPad mini to be ideal. 90% of the time my PC would be overkill, so it's now dedicated almost exclusively to various Boinc projects and I game maybe one or two nights a week. The iPad mini is what I really use, and when I need to I log into the PC using Logmein on the iPad.
 

Hanif

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I just sold my gaming rig and picked up the retina MacBook Pro 13" and regretted it
 
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dr.stevil

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I can use OSX Mountain Lion in a VM on my PC but can I use a spare HD and use my current setup as a hackintosh?

I believe my motherboard is supported, or at least I hope it is. I know the 7970 is not but if I could dual boot it would be awesome.

Yeah, it usually works better too IMO. Most Intel setups are compatable out of the box, but some features might not be supported (onboard sound, certain ports, etc). They can usually all be addressed though without too much effort with either additional hardware or hacked kexts. Just do some research.

As far as the 7970, I 'think' theres a driver avalible. Might want to double check though.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I just sold my gaming rig and picked up the retina MacBook Pro 13" and regretted it

I hate these kinds of threads because people can't form anyone else's opinion. Forums can give definitive answers on bang for the buck, or fastest part, or help with problems, but they cannot say what is going to be a better setup for your particular needs.

I'm sure there are people that have sold $3k gaming machines and bought a Mac Mini and were happy. I'm also sure that people have sold Mac Mini's and purchased $3k gaming machines and weren't happy. And any combination thereof.

Long and the short, if you want to run OSX, then having an iMac makes a lot of sense. But if you want to game a lot on Windows, then no Mac really fits the bill. Might as well stick to what's cheaper, and/or what you already own. However as I am currently using an iMac, I can bias(ly) say that it is definitely worth the money, and it has been my favorite machine that I have ever owned.

I don't think your experience is uncommon. Especially if the 13" Retina was your first Mac machine, and you've never used OSX.
 

ultraman7k

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MacBook is due to arrive today, and I've fiddled with OSX on my brother's 15 pro, and my dad's mac mini.

I have my rig that I put together a couple years ago, with aging parts (probably still really good for another 2 years really) but I'm just not gaming anymore, or really that enthusiastic these days with upgrading components etc.

I don't really have a preference as to which OS I like better, but from my current situation I feel like since I am so heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem, I might as well just make the jump.

Besides, if in the future I want to build a gaming rig, I know what to do/ what not to do this time around, heh.
 

Max9R

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I can use OSX Mountain Lion in a VM on my PC but can I use a spare HD and use my current setup as a hackintosh?

I believe my motherboard is supported, or at least I hope it is. I know the 7970 is not but if I could dual boot it would be awesome.

I'm replying on my Lion hackintosh right now. My build is a 2600K running on a Gigabyte H77-DS3H. I did have to buy a cheap NIC (I got the rev 1.1 board and the NIC wasn't supported yet), but native audio is working fine. For video I'm running a GTX550Ti, and other than that, 16GB of RAM and 3x 240GB SSD's along with a 1TB drive for storage.

I purchased a retail copy of Lion and used MultiBeast to get the system up and running fast (see tonymacx86.com). It looks like your board will work well, take a look at this post http://legacy.tonymacx86.com/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=53195 for it. As for the graphics card, I did a quick look and didn't find anything indicating there's a driver available yet. The best I think you can do is force your native resolution but you won't have any hardware acceleration which probably won't matter for what you're trying to do. Anyway there's lots of info available on that topic. Overall building a hackintosh has become a lot easier, there's tons of people doing it so there's a lot of support out there.

Personally, I haven't had any issues with doing updates and have successfully performed all but the major's using Apple's software update (not sure why but I prefer to download the major packages and do it manually). I do use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my primary drive to a secondary SSD prior to updates just to be safe of course hehe... I use my hackintosh daily for development work, among other things, it's up 24x7 and is rock solid.

That said, iMac's are nice machines, super quiet and reliable. I owned a 24" model for a couple years and a few years back I sold it to a friend (I bought a MacBook Pro to replace it). They still have it and use it daily.

As to your plan, I don't know man tough call. The cost to try Mac OS on your current machine is relatively small, so I'd probably do that to see if it meets your needs. If not go with your iMac plan with boot camp and you can still game a bit. My brother is doing that with his 27" iMac, and finds it adequate for the gaming he does.
 

ultraman7k

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So the MacBook came, and I've played with the last two days. For all intents and purposes I really like it, but at the same time it has got me thinking about my computer needs.

I still have my PC, and though the buyer is coming this weekend, I am sort of having second thoughts about selling it. Maybe I'm being sentimental? I did put a lot of money and time into it. Main reason I built it was to game, and I don't do a whole lot of that anymore. I play the odd game of League of Legends here and there, but a couple games of that is good enough to tie me over for a few days.

The lack of a Mac client isn't doing me any favours though, so I guess I could boot camp.

I recently sold my iPad 2, and not having the iPad has (and I'm not going to lie) left a sort of a hole in my life. I thought I didn't use it much, but it turns out I did use it quite a bit.

I do enjoy the MBP and the OS, and I do love the portability of having a laptop again, but at the same time I feel somewhere deep down inside that I will miss the raw power of my PC/desktop.

I suppose there are a few options.

1. Cheapest Option - Keep my PC, return the MBP and live tablet free, or pick up another iPad (likely a mini, or maybe a 4).
2. Next Cheapest option - sell my PC, and keep the MBP.
3. Ditch the previous options, buy a Mac Mini (keeping the PC) or sell the PC and buy an iMac?

I think my biggest sticking point is using integrated graphics. I know that's not something that I can get away with vs form factor, but I don't want a 15" laptop either .
 

K1tty

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The Intel 4000 integrated graphics will play LoL great - just bootcamp it up. In fact there are quite a few games that you can play well (Diablo 3, WoW).

Why not keep your desktop and the MBP :)
 

ultraman7k

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I'd like to, but sadly it's one or the other, due to $$$. Considering the fact that I could potentially be moving overseas in the next year or so, maybe going MBP is the way to go? I can't very well (or want to) lug my rig overseas.
 

Jinto

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Should try a 15 rMBP in store and see how it feels. It can cover all your needs and be portable if you can live with the size which honestly isn't that much.
 

ultraman7k

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ended up parting with with my rig on Saturday.

Upgraded the ram in the MBP to 16gb, and waiting for the optibay to come so i can add the SSD.

I have to say, i am totally enjoying the overall experience. Games (the ones that I play still) such as LoL run fine, so there aren't any complaints.

My one gripe is the lack of a dedicated GPU, but seeing as to how I don't really play graphically intense games, no big deal.
 

K1tty

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From what I've heard the 4000 is no slouch, and a lot better than the previous 3000 iGPU.
I really look forward to the day when integrated graphics are on par with mid-level dedicated cards.
 

ultraman7k

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coming from a 6970 in my gaming rig, I can say that the 4000 is actually decent, and exceeds what I thought I would get out of an integrated card.

Mind you, it's no 6970, but it gets the job done for the games I want to play, so I figure it works. I just wish it would scale as you add ram, but it maxes at 512 mb.
 

K1tty

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Awesome to hear. Any chance you play D3? I played LoL on the 3000 for a while and it was great with shadows off. I just wonder how well 4000 would do on D3. I've heard many different recounts from mbp and mba owners.
 

ultraman7k

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I have D3, haven't played it in a few months though. i

I LoL i'm getting about...50 FPS on mostly medium settings? It tends to drop to 30ish during team fights, but it doesn't seem to have any negative effects gameplay wise.

I'd play D3 but am currently locked out of my account since I forgot to transfer my authenticator app from my iphone when I switched it...
 
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