What are the advantages and disadvantages of an iMac vs. a custom-built PC for gaming?
18 July 2023
When it comes to gaming, having the right equipment is essential. Desktop computers are the preferred choice for gamers due to their power and customisation options. However, when it comes to choosing between an iMac and a custom-built gaming Pcs, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.
iMac vs. Gaming PC
iMacs are usually high-end devices used for performing fast-paced activities like programming, graphic design, and illustration. Gaming PCs, on the other hand, are expected to handle excessive wear and tear, which is why they are mostly preferred by serious gamers.
If you are already an Apple user, getting an iMac will give you the benefit of enjoying the Apple ecosystem. Sharing data and files via Airdrop and copying and pasting images from your iPhone to your iMac via the “Universal Keyboard” are just some of the perks of getting an “iPhone & iMac” pair.
Ports and Connectivity
In terms of portability, custom-built PCs are much better than iMacs. For instance, the iMac comes with a magnetic power connector and Thunderbolt ports, but there is only one HDMI port, which can be a huge issue for a gamer who wants to connect multiple external devices to their PC. On a custom gaming PCs, you can get a few extra ports, depending on how you are building your device.
The iMac is extremely compact, and despite being a little heavier, you can carry it around easily. If you are someone who often faces electricity cuts, then an iMac can get you places. You can easily fit your PC in your car without facing much hassle.
The custom PCs are usually huge. They are heavy and also take up a lot of space. You cannot move them much, and even if you do, you need to stay extremely careful. For instance, if you accidentally drop your PC, there is no telling what harm it may impose on the internal components. Therefore, a custom PC restricts your gaming experience to your own gaming den.
The primary difference between an iMac and a desktop PC is the processing chip. Apple uses its signature M1 and M2 processors in iMacs and Mac Studios, while gaming PCs usually have Intel or AMD processors.
The M2 is developed using TSMC’s 5nm fabrication process. The processor offers up to an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU support. Plus, the neural engine of M2 is 40% faster than its predecessor, i.e., M1.
The launch of M2 Pro levelled up the Mac experience significantly. The M2 Pro can work 80% faster than Intel Core i9 processors in Photoshop. When it comes to programming, the M2 Pro again wins against the Intel Core i9 by offering a 2.5x faster coding speed.
However, in terms of gaming, the Intel Core i9 beats the M2 in every single aspect. The 12th generation i9 processors have a 2.15x faster CPU speed, a 2GHz higher clock speed, and a 104GB greater memory amount. All of this makes Intel a better choice for dedicated gamers.
The next big name is AMD. Comparing the M2 to the AMD Ryzen 9, we get some pretty interesting insights for a gaming PCs. In single-core performance, the M2 gets a score of 81 and the Ryzen 9-5900HX gets 68. For multi-core performance, AMD beats M2 by getting a score of 40 against 32.
Power efficiency is much better on the M2 chipsets. It means there are fewer chances of system overheating or sluggish performance on a Mac Studio. The AMD Ryzen processors can generate excessive heat, creating a serious issue for extensive users who are always on their PCs.
All in all, Intel is the best choice for a desktop PC. These dedicated processors are much better than both the M1 and M2 chipsets. However, Apple’s signature processors still outperform their AMD counterparts. To put that in sequence,
The 24-inch iMac comes with the Apple M1 processor, offering up to an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU Support. It’s better than getting an i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor, but it can still be a little low for a fast-paced gamer.
One of the most amazing aspects of an iMac is its sharp and glorious display, which truly makes you a part of what’s happening on the screen. The 4.5K retina display combined with the P3’s wide colour gamut gives life to your gaming sessions. You can experience even the slightest changes and variations thanks to the iMac’s capacity to display over one billion colours.
The anti-reflective coating delivers great comfort to users. You can sit in front of your iMac for long hours without getting any eyestrain. Plus, the true tone technology automatically adjusts the tone of your display to the background environment. From sitting under direct sunlight to gaming in a dark room, your iMac has got you covered!
For custom gaming PCs, of course, you can connect to any monitor of your choice, but it’s not easy to compete against Apple. Some brand-leading names, such as ASUS, have done a great job manufacturing high-end gaming monitors. The ASUS ROG Swift (PG259QNR) and ASUS TUF Gaming (VG32VQR) are both excellent picks for gaming enthusiasts.
The iMac’s 4.5K resolution makes it impossible for other monitors to compete with it. No matter how expensive or high-end a monitor you get, the viewing experience on an iMac is unforgettable. From streaming movies to playing your favourite games to working on graphic-intensive applications, once you get hooked on an iMac, there is no going back!
Appearance and Design
There is a major difference in the appearance and design of iMacs and custom desktop PCs. If you have not seen a custom gaming PC yet, just go on YouTube and have a look. There is no doubt about the fact that these PCs look really cool, but they give off a rough appearance.
Of course, the final result depends on how well you manufacture your device. If you connect liquid coolant, neon lighting, and big fans, you will be known as the “gaming guru” in no time.
The iMac is more high-end and looks extremely sophisticated. To make it fun for its users, the PC comes in multiple colour gradients that have never been seen before in the tech industry. For instance, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver Additionally, the 24-inch iMac is only 11.5m thick, which makes it one of the sleekest PC that you can get in 2023.
Both of these devices have their own charm. It ultimately depends on your preferences to decide which one better suit your needs.
Gaming has become a full-fledged sport now. The participants talk to each other, viewers comment on their gaming, and in some cases, there are also empires interpreting the whole scenario for gauge viewer interest.
That’s why having microphones on your Desktop Computer is really important. Without speaking or sharing your instant voice, gaming is just half as fun. Luckily, the iMac comes with studio-quality mics, which enable you to communicate loud and clear.
The background noise-cancelling technology lets you play at your maximum pace even when you are sitting in a rushy environment.
For custom build PCs, the most common complaint that we get from users is that “the microphone is not working”. This may be due to multiple reasons. You may have downloaded an outdated driver, or the Mic that you got may not have the latest AI features for enhancing the audio quality.
All in all, iMacs are definitely recommended if you are concerned about audio and video quality. As this all-in-one PC comes with everything attached, both the hardware and the software are optimised to give you the best experience ever.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an iMac
The iMac is a sleek and stylish all-in-one desktop computer that is popular among creative professionals. It has a high-resolution display that is great for gaming, as well as a powerful processor and graphics card. Some advantages of choosing an iMac for gaming include:
Easy setup: The iMac is an all-in-one computer, which means that it is easy to set up and doesn’t require any additional components like speakers or a monitor.
High-quality display: The iMac has a high-resolution display that is great for gaming. It has a 4K or 5K Retina display that is bright and vibrant.
Good performance: The iMac comes equipped with a powerful processor and graphics card, which means that it can handle most games with ease.
While the iMac is a great computer for creative professionals, it does have some disadvantages when it comes to gaming. Some of these include:
Limited customization options: The iMac is a closed system, which means that you cannot upgrade the components inside. This can be a disadvantage if you want to upgrade your computer for better gaming performance in the future.
Expensive: The iMac is a premium computer, which means that it is more expensive than a custom build PC with similar specifications.
Limited game library: While the iMac can handle most games, it has a limited game library compared to Windows-based computers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Custom build PC
Custom build PCs are a popular choice among gamers due to their customisation options. Some advantages of choosing a custom-built PC for gaming include:
Customisation options: With a custom-built PC, you can choose the components that best suit your needs and budget. This means that you can upgrade your computer in the future for better gaming performance.
Cost-effective: A custom-built PC can be more cost-effective than an iMac with similar specifications.
Large game library: Windows-based computers have a larger game library compared to iMacs.
While custom build PCs have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages. These include:
Time-consuming setup: Building a custom PC can be time-consuming, especially if you are not experienced in building computers.
Compatibility issues: With a custom-built PC, there is a risk of compatibility issues between components.
No all-in-one solution: Unlike the iMac, a custom-built PC requires additional components like a monitor and speakers.
Customised Gaming Desktop
Magnetic power connector, Thunderbolt Ports, Restricted HDMI connectivity
Can be customised or upgraded to how many ports you need for your setup.
Easier to move around
Bulky; can’t be moved often.
4.5K display with up to 1 billion colours and only a 0.006 delta score
ASUS and AOC monitors can be attached for a high-end gaming experience, but the iMac is still the best in terms of visual quality in the industry.
High-end, sophisticated, and fun colours to play with give a fresh and vibrant look.
Rough and tumble, limited colour portfolio, usually dim and dark.
Studio-quality mics with noise-cancellation features
Can have trouble with effective voice communication. It is best to download the latest drivers.
Being an all-in-one PC, the components of an iMac cannot be upgraded.
Can be easily upgraded.
Starting at a whopping price of £3000.
Budget friendly as compared to iMacs. It is better to purchase your required components during sale periods.
A Custom Build PC and an iMac greatly differ from each other. From appearance to processors to display quality, both of these devices have pros and cons in every aspect.
My opinion is that an iMac is best suited for users who want a reliable and stylish PC for work, study, or casual gaming. Features like Airdrop, studio-quality Mics, a Magic keyboard, a 4.5K display, and excessive apps make the iMac an all-round choice for its users.
Also, as the display quality on an iMac is simply the best in the tech industry, it’s amazing to use this desktop PC for Adobe illustrations, coding, 3D rendering, or photo or video editing.
When it comes to gaming, having a more customisable and upgradeable option is better. You can get a processor, GPU, storage, and even ports of your choice in a customised gaming desktop. Also, the processing power of an Intel Core i9 is much better than its M1 counterpart, making the former a better choice for fast-paced users.