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Well...I'm back to Windows for gaming...and I bought a pre-built from Best Buy! (1 Viewer)

Carlo Medina

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Good to know! My advice is, if you want a good Mac because you do a lot of Mac type stuff, and want to game, then yes get the iMac top build. But if you want a primarily gaming machine, especially FPS at maxed out settings, then save money and build your own (or buy a similar one to the one I did).
 

Gary Seven

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I build my PC's but I did buy a high end Dell once ( I was under a time crunch and needed a new PC). And that was the last one. What I found with pre-built (at least Dell), they use OEM parts which often do not have all the features as their off the shelf counterparts. I had that issue with the video card. Memory is another you need to watch out for. In specifying memory, you have to be specific in configuration to allow upgrading. For example when I ordered 2 GB of memory (this was some years ago), they spread the memory out among four banks instead of minimizing to one or two. This meant I had to buy all new memory to later increase it to 4 rather than being able to just add two more to what I had. This of course added quite a bit of unnecessary expense and left me with 2 GB of memory that I could do nothing with.
 

deltamind

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So that's a bit of a tricky question. First, when you say the config is pretty good, I'm assuming you're talking about a maxed out iMac Pro or a Mac Pro, right? Because the iMacs and MBPs run mobile versions of the graphics card and are not "pretty good" in terms of PC gaming.

Second, even with a Mac Pro with two graphics cards, you're already well into the $4K+ range for a gaming PC performance that can be had for nearly half the price.

What I'm saying is that as a Mac fan, they have their uses. PC gaming isn't really one of them. Unless it's basic PC gaming that doesn't push your graphics card hard. Modern first person shooters running at 4K with all effects set to maximum? You're going to need a top of the line Mac Pro or iMac Pro. So you're already pushing $5000.

Yes I meant to say max, but do the base models allow us to game at low settings if someone is not a hardcore gamer?
 

Carlo Medina

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Yes I meant to say max, but do the base models allow us to game at low settings if someone is not a hardcore gamer?
21" iMac I'm tempted to say no. I mean it would be really low settings and pretty low framerate, because the base version has an integrated GPU. Even the higher level 21" iMac with the Radeon 560 4GB would not be considered good for games, but will be a marked improvement over the iGPU base model.

27" iMac with base Radeon Pro 570 GPU 4GB would on the surface be better, but remember it's also pushing more pixels in the display. The Radeon Pro 580 8GB would be "decent" at low--and maybe even mid--settings depending on the game.

Remember that those are AMD GPUs and some games are optimized for AMD and some are optimized for nVidia.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I started building my own PCs in the mid 1980s. IIRC it was in the 1990s that it became less advantageous to put them together yourself. Much of this may have been the bundling price MS sells Windows to people like Acer, HP, and Dell. Since I don't do gaming, I even took a step back and now buy refurbished commercial units.

Support is also another issue. Dell provided Spectre/Meltdown BIOS updates as far back as Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge processors (about 5 years back).
 

Carlo Medina

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I built PCs for myself and others in the late 90s through mid-00s, and I still found a significant price savings...but only for higher end gaming builds. If you were just trying to build a productivity/office PC, you definitely saved very little. And of course having control of the parts you put in your machine.

This was the first time that I couldn't find significant savings on what is a high end gaming machine. It's high-end for 90% of gamers, anyway. The other 10% who spring $800 for a graphics card will disagree. ;)
 

John Dirk

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I'm not a gamer and so my needs are probably simple by those standards. For the moment anyway, HTPC builds are still pretty basic. I build my own PC's simply because I can and as @Carlo Medina stated, "I can control the parts that go into them" [to some extent]. If i can't custom build a MAC I doubt I'll ever own one. It's been that way for many years.
 

sidburyjr

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I've been considering buying/building a gaming rig. From looking at the specs on the best buy site, it's not clear what if any input-storage devices this unit has. Most of my collection of games is on CD/DVD. I even have some on floppy. I'm pretty sure this unit doesn't have a 3.5 or 5.25 floppy but from the pictures it doesn't appear to have an optical drive either. Do current games not come on disk? And does this unit have space to install drives?
 

Carlo Medina

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I've been considering buying/building a gaming rig. From looking at the specs on the best buy site, it's not clear what if any input-storage devices this unit has. Most of my collection of games is on CD/DVD. I even have some on floppy. I'm pretty sure this unit doesn't have a 3.5 or 5.25 floppy but from the pictures it doesn't appear to have an optical drive either. Do current games not come on disk? And does this unit have space to install drives?
A lot of gaming PCs don't include an optical drive, and many cases today don't even have a spot for it. That's because most games are now downloaded versus available on-disc. And also these gaming PC cases are trying to optimize airflow to keep CPUs and GPUs cool (especially if they're overclocked). If you look at the inside of my case it appears nearly empty.

You'll have to make sure either that the PC you buy still has optical bays for you to add one later, or just buy an external USB 3.0 optical drive.
 

Carlo Medina

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So I've now been full-bore into my Windows 10 machine and have been growing to...dare I say...really like the experience? I even put in a new Samsung 500GB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD, which I just benchmarked to have 3400 MBps read speed and 2400 MBps write speed (sequential). It reduced my bootup time from around 14-15 seconds to about 11. ;)

The original SSD that came with the IBP was a 250GB AData SATA 3 interface, so that one peaked at around 500MBps read/write. For gaming (which hits the hard drive very little) the upgrade will make no difference. But I'm about to start subscriptions to both Pro Tools and Creative Cloud, and that added speed will be welcome.

The Samsung cloning software (free, but only works with the authorized Samsung drive) took less than 5 minutes to clone and verify the roughly 70GB of system data from the AData to the Sammy. Also, it copied my authorizations for both Windows 10, all games and Office Suite, so I didn't have to reauthorize them like I feared. It's been a while since I was on the PC side but I remember around the time of Win XP/7 MS was so DRM heavy that if you changed a certain amount on your computer you had to re-authorize everything.
 

Carlo Medina

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I'm not a gamer and so my needs are probably simple by those standards. For the moment anyway, HTPC builds are still pretty basic. I build my own PC's simply because I can and as @Carlo Medina stated, "I can control the parts that go into them" [to some extent]. If i can't custom build a MAC I doubt I'll ever own one. It's been that way for many years.
Yes if control over parts is important, the Mac platform won’t accommodate that. It’s part of the reason I built my PCs years ago. I was willing to give up hardware control in 2006 because the MacOS was really starting to hit its stride and Windows was in a bad place then.

But with Win10 MS has really upped its game so I’m finding I’m making the reverse decision. Giving up a little bit of the MacOS experience (I really miss iMessage integration when I’m on PC) for control of my hardware.

I can’t wait until the new Nvidia 11 series GPUs come out!
 

Sam Posten

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Don't want to hijack your thread but I wanted to follow up on what I said last week. The wake from sleep is waaaay better on PC than it used to be, but it still isn't perfect. The nVME helps I'm sure.

One other thing I will add. Dam thing came with the cage for the 2.5" drive installed, but not the ribbon connector. I spent a half hour trying to figure out why it wouldnt snap in. THEN I saw the lever in the back. wrrrraaaa. PCs!
 

Carlo Medina

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I never put my machines to sleep if I can avoid it. I'm trying to be as eco-friendly as possible and with the super fast bootup time, I don't mind waiting the 11 seconds for my desktop at home to boot up. It's better than leaving it on sleep all day.
 

Carlo Medina

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Sure. But I got confused because 1) I only have NVMe on a Windows desktop, not a laptop, and 2) my original point about Windows closing the gap was the quick way it booted up from a cold start, versus the minutes-long ordeal that my old work PC on W7 took. I really hadn't ever had experience with putting Windows to sleep and waking it up on a laptop, so I didn't really comment from there, and since I won't be getting a Windows laptop anytime soon (the workplace should replace my PC with another PC desktop), I'm not overly concerned about that for now.
 

Patrick Sun

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Having built my last home-brew PC back in 2012, I've been getting the itch to get another new PC going, but it's tempting to just go pre-built this time since I don't really keep up with all the of the PC hardware news/landscape anymore, and researching for MB, RAM, CPU, PS, etc. just doesn't sound as fun as it used to be in the past for this ol' fart. :D
 

Carlo Medina

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Having built my last home-brew PC back in 2012, I've been getting the itch to get another new PC going, but it's tempting to just go pre-built this time since I don't really keep up with all the of the PC hardware news/landscape anymore, and researching for MB, RAM, CPU, PS, etc. just doesn't sound as fun as it used to be in the past for this ol' fart. :D
I was in exactly the same place, Patrick! I guess we're both old farts. :laugh:

For the record, this is a fantastic resource: https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-pc-build-comparison-page

Not only for building a PC, but if you look at the some of the builds, the top option will be a pre-built with an Amazon link. Not all of them have this, but some do, if they find a pre-built that is competitive with their recommended DIY build. And to go one step further, you can use those pre-builts and look them up at your local brick and mortar to see if they're available locally (in case you don't want to order from Amazon).
 

Patrick Sun

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I will say that when I build my PC's, they tend to last a long time, though. LOL! Thanks for the link/info!
 

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