Which should I buy? PC or iMac for Blender

Hi everyone,

I took a look here, and on the net, it left me conflicted.

Friends and some net stuff says Mac stability is amazing, which is worth extra cash to me, but some of the same information suggested that iMac sucks when it comes to 3d modeling, rendering and animation.

I finally have the cash together to buy a really decent desk top computer so which should I buy given the following criteria.

I will be using the computer for everything, but graphics, 3d modeling, animation and rendering of using Blender will be the primary focus.

I will be working by myself so it has to do everything well, ideally fantastically.

I’m thinking specifically of either a standard iMac ( for it’s stability ) with upgrades IFF necessary to make it kick ass for Blender stuff. Will the extra cost and reported stability worth it?

Or a P/C built around the suggestions made on Blender Guru.

I have enough money saved to buy basically ANY computer I want, but I am a newbie looking for a serious computer I can grow into that will serve me well for a long time to come.


buy what feels good to you.

personally I think for a desktop system it is better value for money to go pc with linux. it’s easier to upgrade parts (and I’d go for the whole homebuild thing.

The only advantage to getting a desktop mac system is if you are working with other video professionals and need pro res codec.

for a laptop (if you can afford it) I’m loving macbook pro… lightweight, quiet, powerful, long battery life, slick design… twice the price of competitors, but I got sick of 20 minute battery life if you want to do anything but browse the web and a fan that sounds like someone using a hairdryer…

Blender works best on Linux as far as I know.
PC is twice as cheap for the same specs.
So a pc is the way to go.

Get a PC…
build it yourself or go to CyberpowerPC, Ibuypower, AVADirect, etc… (boutique systems, not Dell and HP)

I think blender works just fine on Windows 7( easier actually)
I have Linux and Windows on my machine, and if you dont compile your own builds…
then finding a Linux build that work with your system is kinda hunt and peck(hit or miss)
sometimes they work, sometimes they dont… (dont know why… )

With windows all the build at least when you click the blender.exe start the program. LOL!
No so much with Linux…

I think blender works fine on Windows 7

yeh take your time with buying and do as much research as you can,for your specific needs.

I would go for a desktop pc because you’ll get more value for your money,and its easier to upgrade.macs are nice,but you are paying for a brand name essentially (sometimes over twice as much,its ridiculous)

what is your budget?

I’m not saying Apple products suck, but you must pay a lot premium for them.
Unless you are a huge fan boy get a PC :slight_smile:

The budget would be interesting to know… are you gonna get a 2 4 or 6core intel machine with 2 690’s? and 32/64GB RAM? I’ve always dreamed of something like that :stuck_out_tongue:

I try a lot of different software across all areas: Graphics, sound fx, gaming, utilities, etc. The thing that stands out to me is lack of Mac support in a lot of cases. So for instance, if I need a plug-in or script for the software that I use on a regular basis, you’ll sometimes be hard-pressed to find an OS version. Vary rarely do you find a script that is Mac-only (but it does happen). IMO the PC is the way to go due to the tremendous script support for Blender.

Friends and some net stuff says Mac stability is amazing,
As a mac user this statement is rubbish, don’t believe the hype.
I would not recommend an iMac (I use one by the way), get a desktop with either Win/Linux, depending on your other software requirements, so you have upgrade options and get better hardware for less money. With the iMac you are stuck with its crappy graphics cards.

Hi there, I agree with what has been said above, go for a custom PC. This way you can purchase a PC with your requirements. Additionally, IMacs have a horrible tendency to use mobile (laptop) components. For example the GPU and CPU in the newest IMacs are both laptop models. Not necessarily bad ones, but still much slower than their desktop counterpart.

As for specific parts I would recommend an Intel CPU, Quad-Core (preferably with Hyperthreading) or even a Hexa-Core. for GPU opt for a Nvidia GTX card, or an Nvidia Quadro card. RAM is also quite important, the faster and more the better, but don’t go overkill. Other parts are pretty much up to you, although an SSD (Solid State Drive) would be sweet for the OS (I use Blender on Windows 7, and it works great. Also give Linux a shot like mentioned above).

I hope my advice maybe helps you a little :slight_smile: Cheers

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

The iMac is NOT a 3d workstation period. I know from experience. I love my imac for photoshop, premiere and aftereffects, but I am looking for a new computer for blender.

PC. If you want it to look like a Mac, install Pear Linux…Job done :slight_smile:

You’ll get a lot more computer for your money if you get a PC. The Mac Tax is a little bit outrageous, and the claims of reliability are more of a cult of personality Apple has worked hard to foster over the past decade than it is any actual advantage. Apple laptops die just as often as PC laptops, Apple has viruses, and Apple customer support is no better than you’d get from any higher end vendor, aside from the fact that they have a physical store. If you want a pretty computer, get an iMac. If you want a functional computer, either buy from a boutique vendor or build your own. You’ll be happy to have the added hardware options in the long run.

I got a MacBook Pro about a year ago after using a Dell laptop and I would never go back, every thing seems to run more smoothly and the laptop is really well built, being thinner, lighter and quieter.

Requirements of a laptop are very different to the requirements of a desktop which the OP is asking about.

If you have enough money for any computer, there’s really only one choice - buy the best. A top of the range Mac Pro. You won’t regret it.

submit a budget.

From the Mac Pro page:

Give your graphics a turbo boost.
For even more graphics horsepower, upgrade to the ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. An ideal choice for the most demanding applications, this card features a wider memory bus and higher-performance GPU, resulting in up to 70 percent faster performance compared with the ATI Radeon HD 5770.[SUP]2


Buy the best? Well, I call that outdated and useless for Cycles as it is now.