Moppie wrote in post #15331911
Here in NZ, the cost works out the same, sort of.
You can get a better spec monitor that uses the same panel (Dell 2711) and you can get more RAM and more HDD space over multiple discs, which also improves performance.
A single spinning disc can not read and write fast enough to run an i7 at 100% capacity for sustained processing.
You do have to choose some higher end parts to get to the cost of an iMac, but then why aim for this level of performance and cheap out on reliability.
I looked at buying an iMac or building my own when the Core 2 Quads came out.
The iMac at the time was still only Core 2 Duo (Apple stays behind the curve on CPU releases) and I when I worked it all out it was going to cost the same as a custom build, but that build would perform more than twice as well.
I went through that process again when the i7 iMacs came out, and again build cost was very similar, but this time performance would be closer.
Of course now I was also able to carry over my monitors from the last build along with much of my HDD set up, as well as the case and graphics card.
This meant the cost for a similar spec machine was MUCH less as I was basically just buying a board, CPU, RAM and PSU.
I have since also been able to upgrade both monitors, something you can't do with an iMac, and I've also upgraded all my storage drives and added 2 SSD's, again not possible on an iMac.
I currently run 6 internal discs, this means my photos are kept physically separated from my other data, which is separated from my OS and programs.
I also run an internal back up in order to minimize any downtime if one disc does fail, along with several external back ups.
This all means moving data between computers is also easier (encase of failure or upgrade) and I'm able to run the CPU at 100%.
The whole thing also runs very quietly, I have a nice case with good airflow.
I did a large batch the other day and it ran at 95-100% for 3 hours, yet none of the fans ramped up in speed and the CPU was never throttled back because it never got hot. Again, something an iMac is not capable of.
But, all of that is why this thread exists, because there are plenty of people who understand the advantages of a custom built computer, or who enjoy doing so as a hobby.
Even if the iMac was cheaper, I know I would still custom build. Cost isn't really the deciding factor.