iMac or Macbook?

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#1 Edited by Hizang (8532 posts) -

This weekend I'm hoping to upgrade in the computer life cycle at last, the laptop I have niow is about 2-3 years old, and when I bought it the man said I'd be lucky if I'd be able to run The Sims 2. This didn't bother me as much back then because all I really wanted was the internet, but now with the rise of Steam I'm missing the games. So I'm going to go and buy either an iMac or a Macbook, In the future I do hope to own both an iMac and a Macbook, but due to money issues and I can't afford both. So which one do I get? 
To help narrow it down I will be using it for games and internet and basic media management (Music/Films on my iPhone) and I may attempt some photoshop. I'm will be going on a financhal plan which would be £47 a month for the Macbook or £100-£120 for the iMac as I hope to get the 27inch model. Although I may end up getting the 21inch, depending on my mood. I have had a laptop for two years, it has never left my house apart from once, I don't really have any oppterunitys to use its portablity outside of bringing it downstairs, and my laptop is big and heavy.  
What do you think, do you have either of theese? 
 
Also does a Mac play WOW, cause I would love to play that!

#2 Posted by TooWalrus (13159 posts) -

Dude, it all depends on whether you want a laptop or desktop. Both are fine products, it all depends on what you want.

#3 Posted by Stonyman65 (2669 posts) -

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?

#4 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Well, I would go for the 27 imac if you feel like you are not going to take the laptop out, although it is good to have the possibility. I have a 13 inch macbook pro and love it, fantstic laptop, good size, light.

What you have said kinda leans more to a imac.

#5 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -
@Stonyman65 said:

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?


All of my friends have them and are able to run the games I want to play so it seems ok for me. And because the Macbook is 50% cheaper.
#6 Posted by Khann (2830 posts) -

Why are you dead set on a Mac? Any particular reason?

#7 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Don't give apple money. It feeds the cancer that is Steve Jobs. 

#8 Posted by norenewalfee (108 posts) -

All I can tell you is if you go iMac get the 27" over 21". Personally I´d get the iMac because I don´t have a need to carry my computer around. Especially since I have an iPad

#9 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

It really just depends on whether you want a laptop or a desktop. You can always use Bootcamp later on if you want to run other PC games.

And yes, WoW is also available for Mac.

#10 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -

I always wondered why people think so highly of Macs. I mean, they're pretty damn expensive, and in exchange they are... pretty.

#11 Posted by MonetaryDread (2015 posts) -
@imsh_pl said:
I always wondered why people think so highly of Macs. I mean, they're pretty damn expensive, and in exchange they are... pretty.
I hate to be this guy but, if money is an issue, you can build an equivalent PC for a third of the price of a mac.
#12 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

Buy a PC.

#13 Edited by Claude (16255 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba said:

Buy a PC.

Why do feel like I've seen you write this before?

#14 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

Seems like a waste of money for your needs. I own both macbook and imac. I use my macbook for day to day stuff like surfing the web and banking and I use my 27" i7 imac for video and sound production. I have to use final cut studio and logic for work which are mac programs. I use my ps3 and 360 for gaming because leisure time is living room. If you are using it for gaming and photoshop...you should just buy a cheap $500 PC.

Unless you are some sort of brand whore.

#15 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

MacBook Pro or iMac. Since you are using any pro-apps (photoshop) i'd go with either of the two. A PC is a viable option as well. 
 
And Yes you can play WoW with a Mac.

#16 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

@Claude said:

@NekuSakuraba said:

Buy a PC.

Why do feel like I've seen you write this before?

:D

#17 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Either way you will want to use Windows for games so use boot camp so you can dual boot.
 
OS X is terrible for games compared to Windows. You get like half the FPS you would in Windows.
 
One example is I can run StarCraft II super smooth on a mix of medium and high settings at 1280x800 on my MacBook when in Windows. When in OS X running the same game I can barely run it on low/medium.
 
Also I find OS X has weird mouse acceleration in Source games but I didn't spend much time changing the settings!
 
Edit: By the way the new MacBook Air and MacBooks are out soon (this month I bet, as soon as Lion releases) so don't go out and get one yet. They will be getting a considerable upgrade. (Sandy Bridge is pretty much guaranteed)

#18 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

Don't worry too much about the naysayers, the majority have never owned a Mac.

The choice is entirely based on how portable you want really; but a few points to help you mac your decision:

  • The latest iMacs (only a couple of months old) are pretty damn fast. The sandy bridge i5/i7s are really speedy, and with the OS optimised for them, it'll probably be quicker than anything you've seen. Games run pretty well too, Source games, WoW, Starcraft, etc.
  • MacBooks are due for a refresh soon (with sandy bridge CPUs I assume) - they're not as powerful as the iMacs and generally have poorer graphics cards (unless you go for the more expensive models with the dual cards).

Seeing as you say you won't use it as a portable device very much, and you have a smartphone, I'd go with the iMac - you get a powerful computer with a great screen at a pretty decent price.

#19 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@TheBeast said:

Don't worry too much about the naysayers, the majority have never owned a Mac.

The choice is entirely based on how portable you want really; but a few points to help you mac your decision:

  • The latest iMacs (only a couple of months old) are pretty damn fast. The sandy bridge i5/i7s are really speedy, and with the OS optimised for them, it'll probably be quicker than anything you've seen. Games run pretty well too, Source games, WoW, Starcraft, etc.
  • MacBooks are due for a refresh soon (with sandy bridge CPUs I assume) - they're not as powerful as the iMacs and generally have poorer graphics cards (unless you go for the more expensive models with the dual cards).

Seeing as you say you won't use it as a portable device very much, and you have a smartphone, I'd go with the iMac - you get a powerful computer with a great screen at a pretty decent price.

The base iMac does come with a 512mb graphics card though which is a little bit worrying these days especially for a 1920x1080 screen.
 
http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/780310-how-much-vram-do-you-need.html
 
Quite a lot of games go over that limit there, but I do doubt the 6750 will be able to max any of them games out so it probably won't be an issue if you don't mind playing at lower settings and at worst having to drop the resolution down a notch.
#20 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I don't hate Macs by any stretch - they do what they do very well...it's just that you pay a premium for what they do, and what they do isn't really all that cost effective if you want something to dick around and play games with.

Mac fans gets very defensive when you say that, but the fact is you can buy a PC that will run games far better for a fraction of the cost of any of the Mac variants....so why do you want a Mac?

#21 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@Tim_the_Corsair said:

I don't hate Macs by any stretch - they do what they do very well...it's just that you pay a premium for what they do, and what they do isn't really all that cost effective if you want something to dick around and play games with. Mac fans gets very defensive when you say that, but the fact is you can buy a PC that will run games far better for a fraction of the cost of any of the Mac variants....so why do you want a Mac?

Pretty much this. I like my MacBook it's a nice product. I feel Apple have a big edge when it comes to the quality of their laptops so I can understand the price premium a little bit more with those but I completely disagree with the pricing of iMacs. They are costly for what they are.
 
£1000 for a machine with a 512Mb graphics card in 2011 is pretty hilarious. For that price you could build a complete PC with a Sandy Bridge quad, double the ram, a decent 24" LED monitor and a high end graphics card. (GTX 470/HD6870+ easily)
 
They'd be a more rounded deal if the graphics card was a bit better. They're still around £300 too expensive, though and the screen is only 21".
 
This is what my cousin bought for £930...I woulda cut some corners and got it down to £850 ish but it was still a decent deal
#22 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

I like iMacs, they look cooler than Macbooks.

Also this is a worthless answer, all depends on what you need.

I had the same problem and went with a laptop. I don't regret it, but I also didn't pay for a Macbook, but a PC. I don't have the money to pay a premium on... idk, something I obviously don't care enough about to acknowledge.

#23 Posted by l4wd0g (1933 posts) -

I use a Macbook Pro with a dual boot to Windows 7. A word of advice, get the warranty, my battery was bad and they are damn expensive.

You're also paying a huge Apple "tax." If you're OK with that, then enjoy your computer.

#24 Posted by OppressiveStink (356 posts) -

@Hizang said:

This weekend I'm hoping to upgrade in the computer life cycle at last, the laptop I have niow is about 2-3 years old, and when I bought it the man said I'd be lucky if I'd be able to run The Sims 2. This didn't bother me as much back then because all I really wanted was the internet, but now with the rise of Steam I'm missing the games. So I'm going to go and buy either an iMac or a Macbook, In the future I do hope to own both an iMac and a Macbook, but due to money issues and I can't afford both. So which one do I get?
To help narrow it down I will be using it for games and internet and basic media management (Music/Films on my iPhone) and I may attempt some photoshop. I'm will be going on a financhal plan which would be £47 a month for the Macbook or £100-£120 for the iMac as I hope to get the 27inch model. Although I may end up getting the 21inch, depending on my mood. I have had a laptop for two years, it has never left my house apart from once, I don't really have any oppterunitys to use its portablity outside of bringing it downstairs, and my laptop is big and heavy.
What do you think, do you have either of theese?

Also does a Mac play WOW, cause I would love to play that!

As someone who went to art school, I know how the pull of a Mac can be. Nice exterior design, nice walled garden approach to software, but don't do it. Don't buy a mac.

There is literally no reason to buy a Mac in today's world. They use the EXACT same hardware as a PC, they run the EXACT same production apps (save a few) and a PC is about 2/3s cheaper than a Mac.

There is 1, and only 1 reason to own a Mac, and that is for Audio editing. Because the MacOS is based on a version of Linux, it allows programs to have direct access to the processor and RAM, which allows for a higher bitrate when encoding music. Otherwise, Mac is at a severe disadvantage in just sheer number of software titles that run on the machine.

Do yourself a favor. Buy a PC. Save yourself a grand and invest it in buying a bunch of games, or buying a camera. You can still play with the people who own macs.

#25 Posted by MB (12251 posts) -

I went a bit of a different route....I built myself a desktop gaming PC and also bought a 13" macbook pro around the same time last year. Both great investments, and I use the macbook way more. It's a great machine, albeit expensive, and I'm totally in love with OS X.

Moderator
#26 Edited by TMThomsen (2071 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

I don't hate Macs by any stretch - they do what they do very well...it's just that you pay a premium for what they do, and what they do isn't really all that cost effective if you want something to dick around and play games with. Mac fans gets very defensive when you say that, but the fact is you can buy a PC that will run games far better for a fraction of the cost of any of the Mac variants....so why do you want a Mac?

I think that they think that people think more highly of them if they get a one. Either that or they've had terrible experiences with some PCs in the past.

#27 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -

playing games with your macbook (pro) will set your knees on fire. Those things heat up real quickly

#28 Posted by ericdrum (404 posts) -

I'm currently sporting a MacBook and iPhone4. They are both great products, in a vacuum. I love the form factor of the MacBook. As far as laptops go, it's the best one I've ever owned. Having said that, if I were you, I'd stay as far away from Apple as you can and just get a PC. Everything that Apple does is about locking you into their products for life. OSX is no Xanadu of operating systems. I have many more frustrations with it than I do with Windows. It works good and does what you need most of the time, but if you need to get into the nether regions of your OS, it can be very irritating. Plus some of the software I use for development is just frustrating with a Mac. A PC is cheaper and you can do so much more with it. When I get around to it, I'm just going to install Windows on my MacBook as I really do like the hardware.

#29 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

How about an actual computer?

#30 Posted by iGaboru (215 posts) -

I have the 27" iMac and for gaming I recommend the 21" model as it will be easier on the graphics card to play games at the monitor resolution. Both the MacBook Pro or iMac are fine gaming machines and both can run WoW flawlessly.

#31 Posted by cartvader (142 posts) -

probably the best option - get a windows PC 
next best is macbook. 
 
I'm not a fan of IMacs.  They are too difficult to repair when they break... and they break.

#32 Posted by Badhands (399 posts) -

Get. A. PC. I have owned an Imac and for anything other then maybe video editing (which is kind of botched now because final cut X) but anything beside that you will get FAR better performance from a PC that cost less.

#33 Posted by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

Get a Mac Mini and a gaming PC...and a KVM switch.

#34 Posted by blueaniman93 (604 posts) -

Seriously, if you are playing games, a Mac will not be good enough. It also sounds like you don't need it to be portable so get a desktop.

#35 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3963 posts) -
@Hizang said:

Also does a Mac play WOW, cause I would love to play that!

If you're not moving around much, get an iMac.  I usually inhabit two different
locations each week so I like having a Macbook Pro.  But I also have a PC at
both locations for PC-based games (& an Xbox 360), although one PC currently
needs repairs.  I still use the Mac extensively because I enjoy it but I like to have
one system that I carry with me that has all the stuff I want to use.  Before the 
Mac, it wasn't that much fun copying stuff on two PCs to keep them current
with any data or installing games, or whatever.
 
When I look/use the Windows OS, it just  looks archaic by comparison.  Mac
goes for taking the technical elements in their software & moving it behind
the scenes as best as they can.  It lets you be more productive & focus on
content, research, or whatever it is you're trying to accomplish; rather than
be bogged down with oddball error messages & google searches to find
out what is wrong with Windows this time around.
#36 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I've decided on an iMac, I think I'll be getting the 27 inch version.

#37 Posted by amir90 (2154 posts) -

Are you a student? 
Then get the macbook. 
If not, you decide :D

#38 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

If you're concerned about playing games, you shouldn't even think about getting a Mac. Unless you work on media a lot, there aren't too many reasons to throw out the massive cash required for an iMac.

#39 Posted by ShaunassNZ (2128 posts) -
@Stonyman65 said:

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?

Yo Boot Camp
#40 Posted by ShaunassNZ (2128 posts) -

It's kinda tough, Mac OSX Lion has mainly been crafted for Macbooks because they're the most popular. Things like multitouch gestures etc. will work better on the laptop. The only real reason you'll want a 27" is for PS etc. otherwise with playing games and the lot, the resolution will be a burden.  
 
Also, don't listen to people who say to get a PC. Obviously they don't get that Macs aren't "You pay a premium" and are actually "You get what you pay for". Apple support is incredible! And the hardware you are getting is reliable and actually pleasant to look at. Also, Mac OSX takes advantage of it's hardware. Put a Macbook next to a PC Laptop with the same specs and the Macbook will perform tasks a lot faster.  
 
Also there is Boot Camp for your Windows needs.

#41 Posted by Emperor_Jimmu (249 posts) -

My set-up is a little odd at the moment. I have a 5 year old iMac that I use primarily for uni, internet and media. On the other hand I have a high-end Asus gaming laptop that I use almost exclusively for gaming. I would recommend running an OSX and Windows machine concurrently. Next time I upgrade I will be getting a Mac Book and a gaming desktop though, as being able to upgrade my gaming machine would be nice. 

Online
#42 Edited by cjmabry (485 posts) -

Whatever you buy, just make sure it's not due for a refresh, like the MacBook is. MacBook Pro on the other hand is about halfway through it's usual update cycle, and the iMac's were just updated.

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

I, personally, would go for the MacBook Pro. The things are great to carry around and use anywhere like on the couch or in bed. You'd be sacrificing some power for portability but if the games you want to run aren't super resource intensive you should be fine. And you can always hook it up to an external monitor if you need to.

EDIT: And I will echo what @Tim_the_Corsair said.

#43 Posted by Amilmitt (237 posts) -

Get a PC you'll always get more for your money.
My $700 PC laptop has equivilant hardware as the 17" macbook pro.  
This picture proves how overpriced apple hardware is.

http://www.randompics.net/wp-content/main/2010_08/1282847851602.jpg

i dont care if their supports better or what ever you say, i get fine support with my computer and im able to do more than you can with a mac.
Typing this while i get annoyed at our schools mac computers.

#44 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@Hizang: @TheBeast: You get Blizzard products and Source games... everything else like 80% of tittles even steam ones doesn't run on MAC (or run poorly).. why limit yourself?

I work in Macs at the office they fine machines but I strongly prefer PC for Gaming - Mods - Tittles - Drivers - Cards - Upgredability even price is better for a Windows based Gaming machine.

#45 Edited by bitcloud (646 posts) -

The MacBook Pro has just been refreshed and so has the iMac. If you want to play games, go with the iMac unless you grab the 15 MacBook Pro which will still perform worse. Even if you aren't going to be playing at max resolution, the screen will be fine at 27 inch. Also love the asshat and clueless comments about Macs, fantastic job guys.

Personally I switched to a PS3 for all my gaming, so I'm not bothered by the gaming aspect. If you are getting a Mac, you need to know if it's mainly for the system and hardware and not solely for gaming. The only point most of these people have right is, a custom built computer(nothing to do with Windows), is much better for gaming.

#46 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I say iMac. I've had my iMac for six years with zero problems.

#47 Posted by Stonyman65 (2669 posts) -

@ShaunassNZ said:

@Stonyman65 said:

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?

Yo Boot Camp

Yo Boot Camp doesn't work.

well, technically, it does, but it is laggy, and not the experience you want for playing games.

and all of the people defending Macs... Linux dude, Linux. It can do the same thing and it is FREE. After all, OSX is just Unix with a shell over it..

#48 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@Stonyman65 said:

@ShaunassNZ said:

@Stonyman65 said:

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?

Yo Boot Camp

Yo Boot Camp doesn't work.

well, technically, it does, but it is laggy, and not the experience you want for playing games.

and all of the people defending Macs... Linux dude, Linux. It can do the same thing and it is FREE. After all, OSX is just Unix with a shell over it..

Erm. I'm a PC guy and I run Windows 7 on my MacBook for gaming purposes, it is not laggy at all so I don't know where you're getting that from. It works fantastic for playing games.
 
The only problem with boot camped Windows 7 is the differences between the Mac and Windows keyboard layout. Well it's more of an annoyance than anything else. 
 
You know Boot Camp is just a dual booted OS, right? It's nothing different to a standard Windows install. Mac hardware is now just Intel processors and chipsets so it's obvious there's not going to be any glaring differences. 
 
Only thing Boot Camp does is make it easy to install the OS and set it up with the Mac boot loader. Oh yeah it comes with some drivers too which are all replaceable.
#49 Posted by bitcloud (646 posts) -

@Stonyman65 said:

@ShaunassNZ said:

@Stonyman65 said:

if you are using it for games, get a windows machine. Macs are bad for gaming, even with emulation and steam. The drivers just aren't there.

always go with a desktop too, if you are taking it with you then I would say laptop, but since you said you never take it out of the house then what is the point?

Yo Boot Camp

Yo Boot Camp doesn't work.

well, technically, it does, but it is laggy, and not the experience you want for playing games.

and all of the people defending Macs... Linux dude, Linux. It can do the same thing and it is FREE. After all, OSX is just Unix with a shell over it..

Yes, that is all OS X is and nothing else and it does all the exact same "thing" as OS X. It's really hard to get anywhere when people are this dense.

#50 Posted by mnzy (2914 posts) -
@Stonyman65 said:

and all of the people defending Macs... Linux dude, Linux. It can do the same thing and it is FREE. After all, OSX is just Unix with a shell over it..

I'm a Linux user and I disagree. Unlike OSX, Linux lacks a broad support of drivers, games and professional software and those are some of the main reasons people use computers.
I don't care because I like the concept behind it and know my stuff by now but if you ever had to setup a printer in Linux that was not fully supported, you know what I'm talking about.

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