I am a developer and work on a variety of platforms from Java to Flex to PHP/HTML/CSS to Photoshop for work, for fun and as a hobby to try things out (soon planning to discover Android and iOS platforms as well).
I am planning to buy a computer which runs Mac OS X - primarily because I want to build cross platform applications and running OS X on a VM isn't as efficient and is time consuming - with all the fixes and patches that I have to do when an update comes along. Can't use XCode at all times as things break with every update apple sends across
Now my budget is tight - If I can get a mac mini - a new 22" monitor, RAM upgraded to 8Gb, wired keyboard and mouse for about $200 more. So the Mac Mini setup would costs me about $800 inclusive of everything.
iMac on the other hand costs $1200 with wireless keyboard and mouse. I am not too keen about Apple display either (somehow don't like Gloss on monitors).
What I am really confused about is the processing power and if the Mac Mini will be able to handle multiple memory and process intensive applications that I plan to run in parallel. iMac comes with Quad core i5 whereas Mini comes with Dual core i5. I don't even know the processor marketing names to check their CPU benchmark to have an idea.
Really need some help with this. I can't risk spending $800 on something which won't be able to run my applications in parallel at all times.
Alternatively, I can buy an Intel i5 quad core 3570K, a gigabyte motherboard, 16Gb of Memory, 500Gb HDD, a monitor and dual boot Windows and OS X ( native - hackintosh ) for $750. Not sure if there will be a hit in the performance and if I will continue to face problems and spend time fixing them with every OS update.
^Ditto.Noone meantioned also that it is cheaper to upgrade as needed.iMac is full of c**p!They make very nice systems but charge twice their worth.Only 'i' thing I recommend is an i5 and the iPod160gb( expensive but worth every $)
@Montosaurous, its not that I am set on Mac - I just want to develop cross platform applications, so I would need a system running OS X to run and test them.
Given your feedback, it all boils down to building a system and then dual booting windows with hackintosh.
This is the system configuration that I suppose should work fine:-
Intel Quad Core i5 3570K or 2500K processor, Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H board, 16Gb of memory, 500 GB WD Hard drive, 22" Dell HD monitor.
I don't play games at all, so a processor that has overclocking abilities (like the 2 mentioned above) I believe are of not much use to me. If overclocking helps with running my programs faster, then yes, I would be interested; but if it lowers the life on my computer, then no overclocking at all for me.
Alternatively, if overclocking is not a big deal for my requirements, to cut costs should I opt for Ivy bridge i5 3450 or 3550. However, one noticeable difference between 3570 and 3450/3550 is the graphics. The latter comes with Intel 2500 whereas the earlier one has Intel 4000 HD!