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Author Topic: Mac or PC  (Read 1019 times)
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rickfc
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« on: November 23, 2011, 04:38:29 PM »

So, after having my current PC for about 5 years now, it looks like we will be upgrading on Black Friday. While a few months ago this wouldn't have been a question, I am now trying to decide whether I should get an iMac or a Dell tower. I have become a fan of the iMac form factor, OSX Lion, and working on it in general. That being said, I still run everything on a PC save a few iOS devices in my house, and I can get a much more powerful machine for $200 less.

27" iMac
  • 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5

Wife's education discount: $100
Black Friday discount: $101
Final Price: $1498

Dell XPS 830
  • Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor
  • 12GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM
  • DELL UltraSharp™ U2412M 24" Monitor
  • Nvidia® Geforce® GT530 1GB
  • 1.5 TB Performance RAID 0

Price after discounts: $1299.99 (This does not include any Black Friday discounts should there be any)

So, apples to apples, I get much more machine going with a Dell, but I'm still torn. Thoughts?
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th'FOOL
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 05:36:30 PM »

You know my answer on this one slywink
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Mike Dunn
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rickfc
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 06:23:00 PM »

Quote from: th'FOOL on November 23, 2011, 05:36:30 PM

You know my answer on this one slywink

LOL, I knew you wouldn't be able to resist.
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gellar
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 07:07:03 PM »

One thing to consider is the quality of the iMac display is leaps and bounds over the quality of that Dell display you are speccing out.  I think the Dell XX11 series monitors use the same displays as the iMacs, but anything other than those are inferior.  Now whether that matters to you (or whether you would even be able to tell the difference) is really a personal choice.  Likely though, that's the majority of the price difference you would be seeing.

Outside of display quality, here's the key difference:

If you care about games and running the newest/prettiest game at it's highest resolution, you'd be a fool not to get a PC.  First, you are going to get more machine for your money right now.  Second, the components you care about (memory/video/processor) are upgradeable without specialized tools and lack of fear.  In some cases, the Mac component is not upgradeable at all.

If you care more about the operating system and applications, with games as a secondary concern, the Mac is the likely choice.  Most users who've spent a decent amount of time with each operating system will find that OSX is superior, unless they come from a decided PC bias.  Also Macs can run both OS, so that renders that point moot even if you have some application that is Windows only.

Personally I've already decided my next PC refresh will be an iMac.  It's just a matter of waiting for their next hardware refresh or Diablo 3 to come out, whichever comes first.
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rickfc
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 07:25:55 PM »

Quote from: gellar on November 23, 2011, 07:07:03 PM

One thing to consider is the quality of the iMac display is leaps and bounds over the quality of that Dell display you are speccing out.  I think the Dell XX11 series monitors use the same displays as the iMacs, but anything other than those are inferior.  Now whether that matters to you (or whether you would even be able to tell the difference) is really a personal choice.  Likely though, that's the majority of the price difference you would be seeing.

Outside of display quality, here's the key difference:

If you care about games and running the newest/prettiest game at it's highest resolution, you'd be a fool not to get a PC.  First, you are going to get more machine for your money right now.  Second, the components you care about (memory/video/processor) are upgradeable without specialized tools and lack of fear.  In some cases, the Mac component is not upgradeable at all.

If you care more about the operating system and applications, with games as a secondary concern, the Mac is the likely choice.  Most users who've spent a decent amount of time with each operating system will find that OSX is superior, unless they come from a decided PC bias.  Also Macs can run both OS, so that renders that point moot even if you have some application that is Windows only.

Personally I've already decided my next PC refresh will be an iMac.  It's just a matter of waiting for their next hardware refresh or Diablo 3 to come out, whichever comes first.

Thanks gellar. This is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. It'll go a long way to making my decision.
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rittchard
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 07:44:24 PM »

Yeah you need to reconfigure the Dell if you want "apples to apples".  The 27" iMac monitor is absolutely fantastic as gellar mentioned, one of the biggest factors for me.  Of course you could just buy their monitor on its own but if you like iMac form factor I think it's a better deal this way.

This is the thing that sells it for me, though: you can always run Bootcamp on your iMac and you get the best of both worlds.  It's so easy to do these days.  Since I bought my iMac I've used it about 99% as a PC with absolutely no issues.  I run Skyrim on Ultra-High without a hiccup, and the fan doesn't even come on.

The other day for the first time in a long while I switched back to Mac mode and updated everything, I had almost forgotten it was a Mac lol.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 08:26:20 PM »

My thoughts mirror gellar's.  I'm coming up on a full year of having a MacBook as my primary personal use computer, and while there are some things (aside from games) that my PC does better, there are far more things that my MacBook does better.

As for games, I've mostly moved fully console for gaming, that draw for the PC is almost eliminated for me.  Most of the few games I have still purchased on the PC this year have console or Mac versions, too.

As each of my household's computers comes due for replacement, I'll be migrating to Apple for all of them.
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rickfc
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 08:36:17 PM »

Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. I've been leaning towards the Mac and I think at this point I'm just trying to justify the expense. smile
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wonderpug
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on November 23, 2011, 08:36:17 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. I've been leaning towards the Mac and I think at this point I'm just trying to justify the expense. smile

I have no idea if it's true that Apple computers keep a better resale value, but let's go with that.  Any lingering difference in expense will be more than made up by the better resale value.  When it's time to replace the Dell you're just going to toss it in a garbage can.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 09:08:00 PM »

If you were looking to build your own pc you might be able to get a better setup for less than the Dell, but if your looking for something out of the box then I'd say go with the Mac.

I don't think I've ever heard of a gts530.
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gellar
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 09:53:20 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on November 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM

Quote from: rickfc on November 23, 2011, 08:36:17 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. I've been leaning towards the Mac and I think at this point I'm just trying to justify the expense. smile

I have no idea if it's true that Apple computers keep a better resale value, but let's go with that.  Any lingering difference in expense will be more than made up by the better resale value.  When it's time to replace the Dell you're just going to toss it in a garbage can.

It's absolutely true.  A 1 year old Mac is worth something like 60% of it's value (perhaps more) while a 1 year old PC is worthless.  If you plan on reselling, the Mac is actually the cheaper investment.

Personally for me, I'm justifying the move by the fact that the iMac has a top of the line 27" monitor that I want pretty badly.  Adding that monitor onto a PC purchase adds at least $800 to a comparable PC purchase.
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Laner
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2011, 05:18:47 PM »

Quote from: gellar on November 23, 2011, 07:07:03 PM

One thing to consider is the quality of the iMac display is leaps and bounds over the quality of that Dell display you are speccing out.  I think the Dell XX11 series monitors use the same displays as the iMacs, but anything other than those are inferior.

Not sure I agree with this.  The U2412M is an LED IPS panel, which is pretty dang good.  The iMac monitor is larger and higher resolution, obviously.    But as far as image quality goes?  If it's inferior, it's only inferior by a marginal amount.  And the Dell isn't glossy, which I personally hate.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 05:20:55 PM by Laner » Logged
gellar
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2011, 05:40:07 PM »

Quote from: Laner on November 24, 2011, 05:18:47 PM

Quote from: gellar on November 23, 2011, 07:07:03 PM

One thing to consider is the quality of the iMac display is leaps and bounds over the quality of that Dell display you are speccing out.  I think the Dell XX11 series monitors use the same displays as the iMacs, but anything other than those are inferior.

Not sure I agree with this.  The U2412M is an LED IPS panel, which is pretty dang good.  The iMac monitor is larger and higher resolution, obviously.    But as far as image quality goes?  If it's inferior, it's only inferior by a marginal amount.  And the Dell isn't glossy, which I personally hate.

Specifications != quality.  It's a generally accepted truth that the Apple and Dell 2X11 series are very similar in back end technology, but anything under those lines are inferior.  Both the iMac and the Dell 2711 use very similar LG IPS panels.  The Dell 2412M does not, I don't think.  It's worse.

There's a reason the 2711 costs $600+ more than the 2412M... and it's not just 3" of screen real estate.

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gellar
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2011, 05:41:41 PM »

I should again restate my original point though - whether or not the user appreciates or cares about this level of quality is entirely subjective.  Technically better may not be noticeably better to you.
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leo8877
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2011, 06:19:53 PM »

I've been a Mac guy for a few years now, since I got a white Macbook in 2007.  I just upgraded to a Macbook Air and it's friggen amazing.  However, I don't game on them.  I still have an old, custom PC that I built awhile ago to play some games and to use for work.  I've been trying to get family members to switch to Macs since they are so much easier to use.  My wife will be getting a new MBP when they refresh next spring.  I kind of like gellar's idea of a new iMac when Diablo 3 comes out...  ninja
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gellar
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2011, 06:24:47 PM »

Part of the appeal of an iMac is that it's eerily silent.  My current (albeit 5 year old) gaming desktop sounds like a fucking F-18 trying to take off every time I play anything that is remotely close to taxing.
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Biyobi
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 07:18:08 AM »

If you're even a moderate gamer and it's still in the budget, I'd consider upgrading the video card to the next highest that Apple offers.  I think the 512MB of video RAM will be a bottleneck on that beautiful, gigantic monitor.  Skyrim just came out and it already sets 512 as the minimum and recommends 1GB.  You don't want to spend all that cash on a non-upgradeable system that's only hitting the bottom edge, video-wise.

Also, get yourself a gaming mouse.  The trackpad is impossible to use for certain types of gaming (though fantastic for near everything else) and the mouse is garbage for gaming (and inferior to the trackpad on the desktop, IMO).
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rickfc
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 06:18:53 PM »

It's settled - I'm going to get the iMac, though I'm going to wait a couple of months. Unfortunately, Apple won't let you double-dip discounts (I can dream, can't I?), so I'm going to pick up a refurbished one once my HOA fees are paid in January.

Again, thanks for all the advice guys. I really appreciate it.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 10:27:18 PM »

Don't forget to keep an eye on the Macrumors buyer's guide to keep an eye on when the next version might be coming out.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2011, 11:25:56 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on November 23, 2011, 07:44:24 PM

Yeah you need to reconfigure the Dell if you want "apples to apples".  The 27" iMac monitor is absolutely fantastic as gellar mentioned, one of the biggest factors for me.  Of course you could just buy their monitor on its own but if you like iMac form factor I think it's a better deal this way.

This is the thing that sells it for me, though: you can always run Bootcamp on your iMac and you get the best of both worlds.  It's so easy to do these days.  Since I bought my iMac I've used it about 99% as a PC with absolutely no issues.  I run Skyrim on Ultra-High without a hiccup, and the fan doesn't even come on.

The other day for the first time in a long while I switched back to Mac mode and updated everything, I had almost forgotten it was a Mac lol.
What are the specs on your Mac?
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Harpua3
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2011, 11:27:32 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on November 23, 2011, 04:38:29 PM

So, after having my current PC for about 5 years now, it looks like we will be upgrading on Black Friday. While a few months ago this wouldn't have been a question, I am now trying to decide whether I should get an iMac or a Dell tower. I have become a fan of the iMac form factor, OSX Lion, and working on it in general. That being said, I still run everything on a PC save a few iOS devices in my house, and I can get a much more powerful machine for $200 less.

27" iMac
  • 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive



Just picked that same machine up last night, awesome!!!!
  • AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5

Wife's education discount: $100
Black Friday discount: $101
Final Price: $1498

Dell XPS 830
  • Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor
  • 12GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM
  • DELL UltraSharp™ U2412M 24" Monitor
  • Nvidia® Geforce® GT530 1GB
  • 1.5 TB Performance RAID 0

Price after discounts: $1299.99 (This does not include any Black Friday discounts should there be any)

So, apples to apples, I get much more machine going with a Dell, but I'm still torn. Thoughts?
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 12:29:06 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on November 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM

I have no idea if it's true that Apple computers keep a better resale value, but let's go with that.

i just sold an 8-year old iBook G3 for a modest sum. any laptop that shipped with Windows from that time won't fetch nearly as much.
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Laner
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2011, 07:50:16 PM »

How much, if I may

Quote from: hitbyambulance on December 09, 2011, 12:29:06 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on November 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM

I have no idea if it's true that Apple computers keep a better resale value, but let's go with that.

i just sold an 8-year old iBook G3 for a modest sum. any laptop that shipped with Windows from that time won't fetch nearly as much.

How much, if I may ask?  I have a 2006 MacBook I'm looking to sell soon.
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hitbyambulance
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« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2011, 10:51:12 PM »

Quote from: Laner on December 12, 2011, 07:50:16 PM

How much, if I may

Quote from: hitbyambulance on December 09, 2011, 12:29:06 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on November 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM

I have no idea if it's true that Apple computers keep a better resale value, but let's go with that.

i just sold an 8-year old iBook G3 for a modest sum. any laptop that shipped with Windows from that time won't fetch nearly as much.

How much, if I may ask?  I have a 2006 MacBook I'm looking to sell soon.

i could have sold it for around $90-100, but it went to a friend for $60. i think the power cable itself was worth almost half of that... those things sell for crazy prices.
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