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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Switching?? Maybe...


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dwd3885
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Bare with me through this post if you can, your comments will mean a lot.

I have posted over at Macrumors.com before asking about iBooks, PowerBooks, etc. But alas, I got a laptop for Christmas--it was a widescreen Gateway 3520GZ from Best Buy. That's great and all, I have an HP desktop that's a year old. So my Mac switch will have to wait until another 2-3 years probably, unless I feel the need to buy another desktop or laptop before my current ones are done with.

Let me give you some background: I've been thinking about switching to a Mac for about 2-3 months. I'm a computer nerd, been building a few Windows desktops before. I'm a pc gamer who has the latest graphics card and all that jazz. I'm a college student who is majoring in Communication and Political Science but am wanting to get a Digital Media Certificate. That probably doesn't matter because by the time I get my next computer I'll be out of college (hopefully!)

So I'm back and forth on switching. Let me give you some concerns on each side:

Mac:
1. Gaming- I game on my pc, mostly sports games (NBA Live, Madden, MVP Baseball) with the occasional Vice City. I don't think those games are offered on the Mac. I know I could go ahead and suck it up and get an Xbox or Playstation, we'll see. Another thing is what the heck am I supposed to do with a good graphics card on the Mac if I can't game??
2. Price- I can build my own computer with great specs and have it cost less than $1000. I'm thinking a comparable Mac would be the Single Proc. G5, but even that's more expensive and comes with lousy RAM installed. And upgrading RAM imediately would add more money to the purchase.
3. Upgrades- I love upgrading my PC. My concern is if I could do that on a Mac. I think I can on the PowerMacs. iMacs are out of the question for this and just the fact that I don't want an all-in-one machine.

PC:
1. I've used Macs at work and love the OS. I can skin my Windows machine pretty nice (like I have now), but it's just not the way it's supposed to look, hogs some system resources, etc. And the Mac OS isn't just about look, but it seems to run a heck of a lot smoother than Windows XP.
2. Though I have Ad-Aware, Symantec Anti-Virus, which are both free for me since I'm a student, it would be nice not having to worry about any of that at all.

So there you have it. I'm not a HARDCORE gamer, I'm not a Digital Media NUT, I would probably classify myself as a lover of Computer hardware. I've read about as many Mac vs PC stuff as can be, I'm still as stuck as ever. It's been weighing on my mind everyday! I know, I need to get a life. I think my main concern is price above all else, maybe by the time I get my next comp, I could get a PowerMac for around $1100.

Thanks for reading my post, I'll be looking forward to your responses.

-dw
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Desolate One
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You just have to ask yourself how you will use your new computer. Will it justify the cost of a new Mac? Can you get by with the PC and save some money. I mean you say your not a hardcore gamer, which can bend you either way. Which aspect of your computer useage will make or break the switch?

Me? I did it all on impulse. And I couldn't be happier.
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awolkoff
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Why not become involved with both platforms? You can score an iBook for under $1000. There is something to be said for being able to travel freely in both worlds.
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mynameis

 
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You don't have to completely switch. Ever thought about getting an Apple laptop and a PC desktop, seems like a good combo to me.
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soulreaver99

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameis
You don't have to completely switch. Ever thought about getting an Apple laptop and a PC desktop, seems like a good combo to me.
It's the best combo. PC for games and mac on the go =)

Macbook Pro 15" 2011 | Intel Core i7 2.2ghz Quad Core | 8GB RAM | 500GB HDD | Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)
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johnnyluu

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwd3885
1. Gaming- I game on my pc, mostly sports games (NBA Live, Madden, MVP Baseball) with the occasional Vice City. I don't think those games are offered on the Mac. I know I could go ahead and suck it up and get an Xbox or Playstation, we'll see. Another thing is what the heck am I supposed to do with a good graphics card on the Mac if I can't game??
Why don't you keep your PC for gaming.? Anyways, if you're not into MMORPG's (massive multi-player online role playing games) and all you're playing is mainly sports games, just get a second hand XBOX or PS2. If you look around you'll be able to pick one up with a few games for under 100.

As for what you can do with a good graphics card? Well, run everything without fear of needing a better graphics card! Macs come with pretty good graphics card at entry level so you don't really have a choice but to have a decent graphics card in your machine. You have to remember that the biggest market for Apple are the creative industries and creative individuals, we need good graphics cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwd3885
2. Price- I can build my own computer with great specs and have it cost less than $1000. I'm thinking a comparable Mac would be the Single Proc. G5, but even that's more expensive and comes with lousy RAM installed. And upgrading RAM imediately would add more money to the purchase.
True-ish. In terms of spec, because of the Mac architecture and extras as standard, an honestly comparable PC would cost just as much if not more than an Apple machine. Yes, if you use cheap parts it will be cheaper, but thats like saying you're going to build your own car: it WILL be a car but it WONT drive like a BMW. Unfortunately, in the capitalist society that we live in today, if you want the goods, you have to cough up the cash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwd3885
3. Upgrades- I love upgrading my PC. My concern is if I could do that on a Mac. I think I can on the PowerMacs. iMacs are out of the question for this and just the fact that I don't want an all-in-one machine.
You'll find that with a Mac there isn't any real need to upgrade apart from RAM and maybe hard disk space. Macs are usually filled with the most up to date (as needed) hardware. Because of the lack of games, you won't need the latest graphics card every 3 months to play the latest games!

Macs also have a life of at least 3/4 years. By the time you're machine has really aged (pushing 5 years and over), it would be about time to get a new one anyway. I don't know anyone, using Mac or PC, that has a truly usable computer that is any older than 4 years.

I have a 5 year old G3 400 MHz iMac running the latest OS and latest Photoshop with only 512 mb of PC 100 ram. It runs, and looks, better than my mates 3 year old PC running Windows 2000. So for average use a Mac is a very sound investment in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwd3885
1. I've used Macs at work and love the OS. I can skin my Windows machine pretty nice (like I have now), but it's just not the way it's supposed to look, hogs some system resources, etc. And the Mac OS isn't just about look, but it seems to run a heck of a lot smoother than Windows XP.
OS X isn't just a pretty OS, it's an OS that is so stable and beautiful to use, the developers could afford to make it look pretty as well. Comparing PC and Mac OS's side by side, Windows XP is comparable to the first release of OS X. The current release of OS X is the equivalent of what Longhorn is going to be for PC users in about 1-2 years time. The next release of OS X will be about another 1-2 years ahead of that.

I prefer Macs and OS X, my friend prefers PCs and Windows XP. We both have a valid reasons for our preferences. Whatever you're told, in the end, it comes down to personal preference.

I sounds like you're pretty much sold on the matter anyway, so just take the leap and join us...become one with the dark side!

I say, "Unless it causes death, it's not a problem!".
http://johnny.persistentperil.net
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mynameis

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyluu
True-ish. In terms of spec, because of the Mac architecture and extras as standard, an honestly comparable PC would cost just as much if not more than an Apple machine. Yes, if you use cheap parts it will be cheaper, but thats like saying you're going to build your own car: it WILL be a car but it WONT drive like a BMW. Unfortunately, in the capitalist society that we live in today, if you want the goods, you have to cough up the cash.
I am confused as to what you mean by Mac extras that are standard, explain.

Parts for an Apple are more expensive for the same parts, same quality. A good example is a Radeon 9800 Pro video card, for a Mac it sells for $350 but a PC version sells for $250, from ATI.

I still think you can build a PC to run games well for a lot cheaper than a Mac that would run the games similarly.
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Meyvn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameis
I am confused as to what you mean by Mac extras that are standard, explain.

Parts for an Apple are more expensive for the same parts, same quality. A good example is a Radeon 9800 Pro video card, for a Mac it sells for $350 but a PC version sells for $250, from ATI.

I still think you can build a PC to run games well for a lot cheaper than a Mac that would run the games similarly.
Erm. The video cards are more expensive for the Mac, yes, but that's about it. If you're talking about processors, for instance, a 1.5 GHz Mac can outrun a 3.2 GHz PC in many cases. And we've already established taht PCs are better for gaming. Mac users aren't even getting the Sims 2 for awhile, and we probably won't get HL2 at all. I personally really enjoy some Mac games, though. American McGee's Alice takes very little graphic processing power (my video card is 32 MB and I have the settings all the way up on the game and it's still fast). I also play NWN, and it doesn't handle that as well. Obviously, though, you can buy a much better graphics card if you get a PowerMac. It may interest you to know, also, that you CAN upgrade Macs, just not to the extent that you can with PCs. Hard drives, RAM, video cards, all can be changed out fairly easily on PowerMacs. It's sometimes cheaper to not buy parts directly from Apple, too. I just put new RAM in my iBook. Spent 220 bucks on a 1 GB stick of RAM. Apple charges 600 dollars for this same amount, same speed because they have their own manufacturer. My RAM is still guaranteed for life by its manufacturer, and it cost nearly a third of the price. I also saw a Radeon 9800 Pro Mac with 256 video RAM for 260 rather than the 350 ADDITIONAL Apple will quote you (you left out the part about how it was 350 EXTRA in addition to the video card they already included). There's plenty of ways to customize your Mac. You just have to look around.

'cause when it rains, you know it pours.
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