Upload & Sell: Off
Can you post some actual numbers where you benchmarked the same process on your MBP and compared it with the PC or Hackintosh? The i7 Ivy Bridge quad in your hack is the fastest quad core CPU you can buy today, bar none. A MBP running a mobile Intel i7 quad is not even close in terms of raw compute ability.
If I still had my notes I'd gladly share them, but they were binned several months ago. My recollection was that on a render of a 30 min (approx) multicam video (4 cameras) and 2 external stereo audio tracks, the MBP beat the hackintosh by some 4 minutes and the MacPro by around 7 minutes, but without my notes I'd have to re-run the tests which is not something I can do in the next day or two. De-Noising (Neat Video) was a LOT slower on the MBP, something like 60% slower.
The quad i7 hackintosh IS marginally faster than my 8 core MacPro (2009 DDR2 ram) for some things and slower on others, but my MacPro hasn't missed a beat since the day it was purchased while the hackintosh has lost it's BIOS settings twice in 8 months and refuses to properly shut down, even with al the 'hacks' installed, which may or may not have something to do with it. It's also running the latest BIOS version too.
An iMac uses the same hardware as a PC. While it may hold its resale value better over 3 years, it can cost much more to purchase than a home built PC, and it is severely handicapped with regard to upgrades.
Correct, it costs more to buy, but typically costs less to run and has a higher resale value. BTW - the iMac uses a lot more mobile technology than a home built PC does, so an iMac will typically not be as powerful as a home built PC where cost was no issue and only the highest grade components are used. Alas that's not your typical home build PC with most people buying one or two revs down from the latest in order to save money.
I rarely find the need to "upgrade" a computer as such, I simply replace it after a few years with a newer model. That's why my 2009 8 core MacPro is still sitting under my desk happily crunching things. While it's starting to get a little long in the tooth it was a beast when I first bought it and it can still do a great job even today. We only sold our 27" i7 iMac because it was a pre-thunderbolt model and wanted faster external HDD throughput. It was purchased from the refurb store (which is where I source most of my apple products saving 15% or more) for £1325 (free carriage) and was later sold for either £1275 or £1295 (I'd have to find the invoice) around 15 or 16 months later. I've never been able to get those sorts of resale percentages from a PC, commercial or home built.
The Ivy Bridge i7 3770K uses about 77W with all 8 logical processors fully loaded running Prime or IntelBurn, and less than 10W at idle. For most routine tasks in PS/LR you would be hard pressed to push it beyond 40 to 50W. Are you sure you have the power saving modes set up right in your hack?
Yes, it's all optimised. It burns more than 280 watts in full flow!
Yes the CPU is fairly efficient, but the MOBO has lots of other components that take power, the HDDs take power, the GPU takes LOTS of power, the fans take power and there is some loss within the PSU itself (may be 10%-15% IIRC). I was measuring at the wall socket, not just the CPU. This is actual watts used by the system, not just one component.
Now compare your 77W (cpu only?) to the MacMini which has a 2.3Ghz i7, 16GB 1600Mhz RAM and TWO HDDs in it drawing only 13W idle and 22W in full flow (four cores at close to 100% and the hyper-threading cores at 50%+) - again measured at the wall so everything is included, and totally in line with the official specs.
Anyway, we'e getting a little off topic here. Sorry to the OP. Computers can be very engaging subjects. There is no single right or wrong answer, be it PC, Mac, hackintosh, Windows or OSX or even Linux. Everyone has their own little variation on requirements
For the record, I voted iMac, but a MacBookPro + Monitor would be my second choice. The retina screen is totally worth it IF your eyes are good enough to run it in the 2880x1600 resolution rather than the 1440x800. The menus can become a little small Having two thunderbolt ports also allows you more flexibility with monitors and external HDDs.
Comparing TB to USB3, my combo TB/USB3 Lacie 1TB drive transfers at around 120MB/s over thunderbolt but only 95MB/s over USB3.