I've always been a mac person... I've owned a 2011 iMac for quite awhile and when the new Apple 5K iMac came out, that was the machine I had planned on buying. However, after speaking with a few friends, and doing some research on the web, I found out that I could build a more powerful (and upgradeable system for about the same or lower cost as the Mac). I realize that I won't be able to get the 5K resolution that the iMac promises, but what I give up in resolution, I gain in versatility. I'm currently running the system as Windows 8 only, but I plan on trying a Hackintosh at a future date.
Overall, the build went extremely well. I read a lot of articles on Tom's Hardware and used PC Picker to find the best prices (Decided to stay with Amazon for the entire build). It took me about two weeks to gather all the parts and about 8 hours to put everything together.
A few notes:
- The Gigabyte Gaming GT motherboard initially gave me a few problems when paired with my ASUS 4k Monitor. No matter what I tried I could only see a black screen (with a blinking cursor). Eventually I hooked my system up to my tv using an HDMI cable. Once I installed windows and the necessary drivers, I was able to use the monitor (but could never get to BIOS). Not until I installed my two GTX 970's was I able to see the BIOS screen. Not sure if this an ASUS or Gigabyte problem? If you only plan on using discrete graphics, this may present a problem for you.
I have yet to fully benchmark my system. However, I was able to get 60 FPS+ with Ultra setting on Tomb Raider (@2560x1400) and 44 FPS at 3840x2160. I ran Bioshock Infinite with everything turned up at Ultra and played at 4K and my system didn't even break a sweat (Temps were around 52 degrees).
Overall, I am extremely happy that I chose to build this system versus buying the mac. My system does take up a lot more space, and I don't quite have the 5k resolution. However, this system is much more powerful, and I can always upgrade my components as needed.
Let me know what you think....