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New MBP or PC?

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June 13, 2012 11:08:26 AM

I'm attempting to decide whether or not to get a new PC, or the new Macbook Pro.

Currently, I have a 2010 MBP 13" mid-grade model, which runs games like Diablo 3 decently at a low setting. I planned on getting GW2 and wouldn't mind being able to run BF3 (idc if it has to be low setting) on this computer as well.

I've noted that the new Macbook Pro has a rather good graphics card. Possibly better than what I'd be getting in a regular 'ol PC. My dilemma is that, I can sell my current MBP for ~750$, the new one I was going to get would be 2200$ (Plan to get it for cheaper via refurb/used). Either that, or spend ~1000$ on a new PC and keep my laptop I have now.

Differences being, I'd mainly just use the PC for gaming, I don't like windows, it would be another thing I'd have to lug around rather than just having 1 laptop, less capability with "mobile" gaming, but - probably cheaper and potentially better performance.

I'm just wondering some community insight on this, I'm not really an expert on computers, I don't feel like "building my own" personally but I do want to get one with decent hardware all around.

What would be the most economical/bang for my buck/wise decision here? New PC or new MBP?

More about : mbp

June 13, 2012 1:29:03 PM

ok, first of all, you don't seem to be entirely clear whether you're looking to get a laptop or a desktop?

from economical stand point and if you're only going to use the machine for gaming, a desktop PC will have better hardware and run games better than a laptop for 3x the price.

But if you're looking for a laptop only solution, let me tell you this,
you can get a windows laptop for about half the price of the Mac laptop with the same hardware.

Here's my sentiment to you, Mac OS from the dawn of its era has not seen many video games released for it, so the fact that you want a Mac machine for gaming is a bit baffling. But to each his own, right? Ok, besides the fact that you can probably get a skin for windows to make it look and work similar to Mac os, what other features of the mac are pulling you towards MacOS over windows?

also
Quote:
Differences being, I'd mainly just use the PC for gaming, I don't like windows, it would be another thing I'd have to lug around rather than just having 1 laptop, less capability with "mobile" gaming, but - probably cheaper and potentially better performance.
that part is worded so that it's confusing to understand what you're trying to say.

TLDR;
- if only looking at hardware windows machine would be cheaper than mac with same hardware (about 2x factor)
- if you're looking for a gaming machine what features of MacOS deter you from using windows machine?
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June 13, 2012 9:00:30 PM

I meant an actual desktop PC.

I understand that I'll get more for my money just as purchase price getting a desktop PC over a new Macbook Pro. The point I'm trying to say is that I want to have a laptop regardless. So if I got a desktop PC, I'd still be keeping the Macbook Pro I have now. If I got the new Macbook Pro, in this instance, I could sell mine for ~750$ to make up the difference.

With a new PC, I'd need to get the PC + windows + a monitor + keyboard. What I meant in what you bolded was that with a desktop PC, if I wanted to "mobile" game I'd still have my current MBP to run and it can't run everything + at lower settings.

Regardless I like the Mac OS. I'm very familiar with it. I enjoy being able to click on what I want and never get viruses, I do a lot of random downloading and scouring shady sites it seems would give me viruses otherwise (or be a hassle for my antivirus program). I've had two PCs before and it was a pain dealing with them all the time, ultimately my last one's hard drive caught some gnarly virus and I ended up just having to salvage the thing for parts to put in my other PC cause I couldn't ever figure out how to fix it. So if I had PC, it would be for 90% gaming strictly. I can still run Boot Camp on my Mac to run games, so that's really not the issue there.

I suppose if you strictly want what I'm trying to say is:

- Can you critique the new MBP? Gonna run games good right? That graphics card looks good to me.

- I don't want to build my own PC by hand personally, I don't mind actually customizing one myself for a company to build via iBuypower. Is that a good website to use? Is there something better I should be looking for, a better price, bang for my buck, etc? I'm going to need a monitor, and Windows. I'm a biggie for getting my money's worth so I figured someone here could have some advice in that respect.
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June 13, 2012 10:25:05 PM

For gaming, if you want a fair graphics card, you have to get the 15-inch model or higher to have the GT 650M.
Here is an article about that:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.718...

That card can play games pretty well, save games like Metro 2033. It can play MW3 at max settings

The 13 inch models only have Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is built into the processors and a lower end card. It can play MW3 at medium settings. (I am using MW3 for comparison.)
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June 13, 2012 10:46:47 PM

jimmy_dog said:
For gaming, if you want a fair graphics card, you have to get the 15-inch model or higher to have the GT 650M.
Here is an article about that:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.718...

That card can play games pretty well, save games like Metro 2033. It can play MW3 at max settings

The 13 inch models only have Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is built into the processors and a lower end card. It can play MW3 at medium settings. (I am using MW3 for comparison.)


Gotcha, I intended to get the 15-inch with the 650M.
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June 13, 2012 10:50:10 PM

Phresh said:
Gotcha, I intended to get the 15-inch with the 650M.


Ok, then you can play most games hardware-wise. I also heard things about the mac os not supporting some games. Is this true?
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June 13, 2012 11:11:03 PM

I'll put in my $0.02 worth...

I would go with a desktop PC rather than a laptop for games. Of course being a desktop you can't simply carry it around with you to play games like at a friend's place. But it is easily upgradeable unlike a laptop.

You can get something basic like a Dell 660 Mini for $599. The only thing you would need to add is a monitor and a graphics card. A decent monitor can be purchased for $200 or less and you can connect the MBP to the monitor if you want to work with a bigger screen / higher resolution. You can add in a Radeon HD 7750 which the included 300w power supply can handle. A faster card will require you to upgrade the power supply. The Radeon HD 7750 generally sells for $110 and it's good enough for playing games at 1920x1080. You can opt to play at a lower resolution to improve performance or buy a lower resolution monitor. I opt for a 1920x1080 monitor and lower resolution.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-660/pd

A few years down the road when the Radeon HD 7750 is no longer providing you with the performance you want you can upgrade the graphics card and the power supply. If you go with a laptop, then you are looking at either lowering the resolution and graphic settings or buying a new laptop for games. Upgrading the graphics card and power supply will cost less than buying a new laptop for games.
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June 14, 2012 1:59:18 AM

jaguarskx, very informative and that sounds like an awesome recommendation.

I'd follow through with it save for two things I hope you can help me with..

- I was interested in an SSD

- I was also told if I'm going to get a computer I should get the 3rd generation Intel processor with it, which I don't believe that Dell Mini comes with.

Advice?
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June 14, 2012 2:22:21 AM

An SSD is more of a luxury than a necessity. If you are looking for the PC to boot and shut down as quickly as possible and programs to load and close as quickly as possible, then sure go for it. However, it does not improve gaming performance at all except when loading areas during gameplay. Games load areas on the fly as necessary and it usually does not take a long time; you might shave off as much as 0.5 to 1 second. Per GB SSDs are still pretty expensive compared to a 7200RPM hard drive.

Getting a PC with Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge is preferable, but the actual performance difference assuming the exact same clock speed is about 4% on average. This doesn't necessary mean games will run 4% since scaling is not 100% efficient. You might see a 2% or 3% at best performance increase. The biggest difference is the PCI-e 3.0 slot since you are concerned about gaming. It probably will not be another 2 or 3 years before a PCI-e 3.0 card will max out the PCI-e 2.0 slot, and that's assuming you will be buying a very high end graphics card that costs just a much or more money than the Dell 660 Mini.

You don't have to buy a Dell, it was only an example. There are other system builders out there. If you don't need it right away then you can just wait.
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June 14, 2012 2:38:52 AM

Also you can use bootcamp with your Macbook pro to be able to run PC games. BF3 requires Windows 7 or Vista (Get windows 7 64-bit). Everything meets the recommended system requirements for BF3, Diablo 3, and Guild Wars 2. A 7200 rpm hard drive is $150 more, but you also get 750 GB of storage vs 500 GB. So the new Macbook pro would give you a great all-around machine with no need for an extra desktop. FYI, the demand for the new MBPs is so high right now, it may take 3-4 weeks for you to receive it.
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June 14, 2012 3:09:04 AM

jaguarskx said:
An SSD is more of a luxury than a necessity. If you are looking for the PC to boot and shut down as quickly as possible and programs to load and close as quickly as possible, then sure go for it. However, it does not improve gaming performance at all except when loading areas during gameplay. Games load areas on the fly as necessary and it usually does not take a long time; you might shave off as much as 0.5 to 1 second. Per GB SSDs are still pretty expensive compared to a 7200RPM hard drive.

Getting a PC with Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge is preferable, but the actual performance difference assuming the exact same clock speed is about 4% on average. This doesn't necessary mean games will run 4% since scaling is not 100% efficient. You might see a 2% or 3% at best performance increase. The biggest difference is the PCI-e 3.0 slot since you are concerned about gaming. It probably will not be another 2 or 3 years before a PCI-e 3.0 card will max out the PCI-e 2.0 slot, and that's assuming you will be buying a very high end graphics card that costs just a much or more money than the Dell 660 Mini.

You don't have to buy a Dell, it was only an example. There are other system builders out there. If you don't need it right away then you can just wait.


I've just been hearing good things about the SSD, example being your game loading a map in BF3 before other people therefore you can get in the jets before other players. I mean hey, that's nice. Jets is my jam.

I see what you're saying with the processor difference, perhaps not worth it. Just keep in mind, I don't know much about computer talk and vocabulary - what means what. So, for this Dell Mini + 7750 + SSD + Monitor coming out to around 1000 dollars. Sound right?

Agh. I wish I knew more about this stuff, and price per performance. jimmy_dog yes I can run boot camp to run BF3/GW2 but I believe I'd need to buy a copy of Windows, and with that comes another 100 bucks. I'd like a computer ASAP, I don't mind waiting for a used MBP or a better deal on a PC.
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June 14, 2012 3:24:57 AM

A fast and relatively small 128GB SSD will probably costs around $150 so that will probably make the total cost somewhere between $1000 - $1,100.

You should post a thread in the Storage sub-forum regarding SSDs and which one(s) would best suit your needs and budget.
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