The noble pursuit of a suitable Mac gaming machine
It was a good Black Friday. Normally, I do little to no shopping on that day. I write about it, and I’ve been known to buy some hockey tickets, but I otherwise lay low. It’s Friday, after all; who wants to spend a Friday shopping?
This year, however, I bought a new iMac. I had to. My current machine—a mid-2010 27″ iMac—has been having trouble keeping up with the latest releases. With only 512MB of graphics power and a 3.2GHz Intel Core i3, it didn’t take much to choke it. My lovely and most-understanding wife gave me the go-ahead for an upgrade back in October, but what kind of fool wouldn’t wait a month to see what type of deals he could get by waiting a month or so for the Black Friday specials?
First, though, I had to determine which iMac I wanted. I narrowed it down to a 27″ and a 21.5″ model, thinking I may be willing to sacrifice the larger screen and power in order to save a few hundred bucks with the smaller machine. I then sent the two models to one of my contacts at Aspyr Media, and he wasted no time directing me to the 27″ 5k iMac. And honestly, that’s what I was hoping he’d say.
It then became a waiting game. Of course, this year’s Black Friday was more of a Black Week, with deals being announced early. I still hung tight to see what Apple would do…and they did nothing. Apple traditionally doesn’t lower their hardware prices by much, but they give away generous iTunes gift cards and such that I could regift for the holidays. It seems, however, that Apple decided to sit this one out.
The typical department stores had some okay deals, but I ultimately sent my business back to PowerMax. I’ve purchased from them for both personal and business Macs, and was wise to do so again. In addition to the nice offer they made for my current iMac (warts and all), their Black Friday deal dropped around $100 from the standard price of a 3.2Ghz 27″ Retina iMac, which I promptly turned into an additional 8GB RAM (Apple charges twice as much, as you well know). They also swapped out the Apple Wireless Keyboard (horrible for gaming, which you also well know) for a full wired keyboard, and included a free 4GB USB drive (their standard policy).
The order was placed on Friday, shipped today, and will arrive…well, I’ll need to wait for UPS to catch up with the tracking number before I’ll know that. I’m happy to wait since shipping was free, and considering the delivery distance, I’m also paying no tax (until it comes time to claim it, anyway).
The real benefit to going with PowerMax, however, is that they’re good people. The sales rep was quite personable, and pleasant to work with over the phone. You don’t need to order by phone—you can pay online or even visit their new retail store if you’re in or around Oregon—but they’re worth the call.
So now, the big question is what game(s) I use to break in the new system. I have a few I’ve downloaded but put on hold because the old iMac—bless its heart—wasn’t able to do them justice. But there are also a few new games I haven’t yet grabbed that deserve my attention. I guess you’ll find out soon enough, since reviews will surely follow.
In the meantime, I’ll take the current iMac around the block a few more times for old-time’s sake. We had a lot of fun together, after all, and it warms my heart to know PowerMax will fix it up and find a good home for it.