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View Full Version : iMac or Mac Mini: opinions please




Skilargo
Oct 1, 2006, 09:34 AM
Sorry for the long post. Looking for opinions...

I have a 867 Quicksilver (my fourth Mac) and a 22" Cinema Display I bought second hand a few years ago, expecting to eventually update the tower. I dearly love the display. Love the concept of the mini...thought it would be a great replacement, and cheap enough it could (almost) be considered throwaway.

We use our Mac for games in a common room so I want reasonable graphics performance. upgrades to the mini are much more expensive than the iMac. (going to 2GB/160GB-$450 on mini, 2GB/500GB-$375 on imac). End result: $1348 for 1.83GHz/2GB/160GB mini (and I'll need to buy a separate external drive-couple hundred more) versus $2009 for a 2.16GHz/2GB/500GB 20-inch iMac versus $2559 for a 2.16GHz/2GB/500GB 24-inch iMac.

So my choices are: Buy an iMac, put the tower and the cinema display in the back room (gasp, that beautiful cinema display in a back room seems like such a waste, but I would have another computer for when we are fighting over who gets to use it) or, buy a mini, sell the tower (worried that I won't be happy with game performance-get around 15-20 fps right now on WoW outside. Definitely want better).

Related questions:
1. Are iMac owners happy with how their computers look say, compared to a cinema display?
2. Would I be satisfied buying a 20-inch iMac for our main computer since we've been used to a 22-inch cinema?

Thank you for your insights.



kondspi
Oct 1, 2006, 09:37 AM
Buy a second hand G5 Power Mac and keep the monitor/display...
use CL/eBay.

xlosltove777
Oct 1, 2006, 09:55 AM
You could always use the 22'' as a secondary monitor for the iMac(which I would recomend going for the 24'' if you can pay for it). Or like kondspi said buy something used. Even from Apple refurbished or Compusa still has some deals on their old G5's.

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 12:09 PM
The fact that Apple doesnt throw its iMac parts into a sweet little box is a travesty. Mini's graphics are a joke,All in ones are kind of joke if you have a nice display and millions do that means either workstation overkill plus $$$ or Mini. Apple should stop competing with itself and start selling to the consumer customer. You are stuck if you own a decent monitor with Apple because of the iMac game they play. In the PC world you have tons of options, In Apples world its Apples way or nothing. Pretty sad. If you didnt have such a nice Monitor the iMac would do but. Apple really needs a headless iMac if they are going to give Mini the cheapist graphics on the planet.

Skilargo
Oct 1, 2006, 02:17 PM
Regarding buying a used G5 tower, I had liked the tower upgrade capabilities but I'm so tired of the whine this thing puts out and wanted a smaller footprint...another reason I was interested in a whisper quiet mini or imac. Plus the cheaper they get, the less need for upgradeability. So I will not buy another tower. I might wait a little tho if there was any hope for a future mini or other headless with better graphics.

Oh, and of course, a Windoze PC will never be an option...

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 02:48 PM
My guess is Mini will get a Core2 duo , gma 3000, In early 2007. Im waiting for that machine because of the current handicap. What would be better is to offer the Mini with GPU options from Nvidia or ATI. You mate even current Mini's cpu with just half decent graphics and you have a gaming machine & a powerful computer. I also have a monitor I love and it needs better then the gma950;)

zap2
Oct 1, 2006, 03:00 PM
Get a iMac..either use the Old Mac is the back room, or use the Apple Cinema Display with the iMac..the Mini is a very nice computer, but not for games

Hummin
Oct 1, 2006, 05:40 PM
yes, a headless iMac would be a fantastic solution, but listening some rumors I think will not be an Apple move at the moment.

By the way the graphic card of the MacMini is the first bad thing noticed on the small MacMini , but at my point a replace with a more powerful graphic chip is not a solution to the limits of the mini.

I work with photography and the main bad key on the mini from my point is the 5400 rpm harddrive that is the real bottle neck working with lots of files.
a mini with a regular 7200rpm HD will be great.

nightelf
Oct 1, 2006, 05:51 PM
The iMac 20" is really nice.

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 05:57 PM
iMac 24" is nicer and the 7600Gt gives it something. All iMacs should have a 7600GT option.

dmw007
Oct 1, 2006, 08:44 PM
iMac 24" is nicer and the 7600Gt gives it something. All iMacs should have a 7600GT option.

I agree, the ability to add the 7600GT to the 20" iMac would be a very nice option. :)


Skilargo, for your needs I think that I would say for you to go with the 20" iMac, it will offer improved gaming performance and you can still use your Power Mac G4 as a secondary machine. :)

0010101
Oct 1, 2006, 10:34 PM
I've never been a big fan of the 'all in one' computer in general.. I remember when the first Mac came out in '84 I was showing one of their ads to my father who grunted and said, "And what do you do when the monitor barfs? Throw it out?"

"Hey!", my dads friend said, overhearing the conversation, "I'd bet that would make a pretty neat fish tank!"

Well kids, 22 years and many incarnations of the 'all in one' Mac later, it seems they both were right.. except nowadays, they don't even make decent fish tanks.

Maybe an Ant Farm?

Todays iMac is a pretty sweet machine.. if you got the itch (and the scratch) for a new Mac, i'd say go for the biggest display iMac you can afford, and run a two monitor system.

The Mini, from what i've seen and heard, is a little on the weak side regarding graphics.. probably not the kind of machine worthy of driving a 22" Cinema display.. unless all you're using it for is to browse the web and watch DVD's.

If the iMac display ever goes south, lay it flat, paint it black, and write NeXT on it.. then slap your 22" Cinema display on top and run it like a Mini.

That would make Steve Jobs proud.

Skilargo
Oct 1, 2006, 11:48 PM
thanx for the opinions....

For the ones that indicated I should buy a 20-inch imac, will I feel like I'm stepping down from my 22-inch cinema?

Does anyone who owns a 24-inch imac feel like is too big?

The imacs look somewhat boxy compared to a cinema display (well, I guess they actually are boxier with the chin). But do they feel boxy in person? The cinema display feels like a widescreen, which is nice. Hate to sound "shallow", but are you happy with the looks of the imacs? Since our main computer is in a common room, my wife would want something that looks nice (cant blame her for that). My cinema display has received many "wow, look at that monitor" comments over the years, even from the back. Again, not the reason I bought it, but it is a welcome perk.

Thanx again.

MacinDoc
Oct 2, 2006, 12:27 AM
thanx for the opinions....

For the ones that indicated I should by a 20-inch imac, will I feel like I'm stepping down from my 22-inch cinema?

Does anyone who owns a 24-inch imac feel like is too big?

The imacs look somewhat boxy compared to a cinema display (well, I guess they actually are boxier with the chin). But do they feel boxy in person? The cinema display feels like a widescreen, which is nice. Hate to sound "shallow", but are you happy with the looks of the imacs? Since our main computer is in a common room, my wife would want something that looks nice (cant blame her for that). My cinema display has received many "wow, look at that monitor" comments over te years, even from the back. Again, not the reason I bought it, but it is a welcome perk.

Thanx again.
There's so much screen real estate on my 20" iMac that I never even notice the chin when I'm working on it. The 24" would be even sweeter. If I were you, I'd probably go for the 24", because it's harder to step down a screen size. On the other hand, the maximum resolution is probably the same.

nightelf
Oct 2, 2006, 01:31 AM
thanx for the opinions....

For the ones that indicated I should by a 20-inch imac, will I feel like I'm stepping down from my 22-inch cinema?

Does anyone who owns a 24-inch imac feel like is too big?

The imacs look somewhat boxy compared to a cinema display (well, I guess they actually are boxier with the chin). But do they feel boxy in person? The cinema display feels like a widescreen, which is nice. Hate to sound "shallow", but are you happy with the looks of the imacs? Since our main computer is in a common room, my wife would want something that looks nice (cant blame her for that). My cinema display has received many "wow, look at that monitor" comments over te years, even from the back. Again, not the reason I bought it, but it is a welcome perk.

Thanx again.

What is the resolution in your Cinema 22? My iMac 20 has 1680x1050. I checked online and resolution i found was lower than the iMac so you would have a bit more space.

I love the look of the iMac. People gets really surprised when they find out that the CPU is integrated behind the screen.

Skilargo
Oct 2, 2006, 07:58 AM
What is the resolution in your Cinema 22? My iMac 20 has 1680x1050. I checked online and resolution i found was lower than the iMac so you would have a bit more space.

I love the look of the iMac. People gets really surprised when they find out that the CPU is integrated behind the screen.

Resolution of 22 is essentially the same as the 20-inch imac (1600x1024).

Thanx for the comments.