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View Full Version : Torn between iMac 24" and Mac Mini +24" LCD




Killroy™
May 5, 2008, 06:55 PM
I am looking for a replacement for my G4 MDD (Dual 1GHZ) and I have looked at the 2.8GHZ 24" iMac and I really like it. But then I look at the Mac Mini 2.0GHZ and I realize that I can add a really nice 24" LCD for less than the price of the iMac.

I was thinking about adding a Firewire drive for the Mac Mini so I can boot OS X from it to speed up the slow 5400rpm internal drive and then use the internal drive for the Bootcamp drive with XP Pro.

I am going to use my new Mac for mostly web surfing, email, and minor Photoshop work. No games, no video editing, no hard CPU work or graphics stuff.

So, should I get the iMac or will the Mac Mini + 24" LCD be a better fit. I am so torn. Any suggestions?



forafireescape
May 5, 2008, 06:57 PM
I think you should go with the iMac just because it's nicer if money's not an issue. They're just so pretty :) And it's faster.

SkyBell
May 5, 2008, 06:59 PM
The 24" iMac is serious overkill for what you are saying you are going to do. The mini and LCD will cost less, and perform for your needs flawlessly. So get the mini.

My two cents.

Adokimus
May 5, 2008, 07:01 PM
I am looking for a replacement for my G4 MDD (Dual 1GHZ) and I have looked at the 2.8GHZ 24" iMac and I really like it. But then I look at the Mac Mini 2.0GHZ and I realize that I can add a really nice 24" LCD for less than the price of the iMac.

I was thinking about adding a Firewire drive for the Mac Mini so I can boot OS X from it to speed up the slow 5400rpm internal drive and then use the internal drive for the Bootcamp drive with XP Pro.

I am going to use my new Mac for mostly web surfing, email, and minor Photoshop work. No games, no video editing, no hard CPU work or graphics stuff.

So, should I get the iMac or will the Mac Mini + 24" LCD be a better fit. I am so torn. Any suggestions?

For one, I would go with the iMac. But, maybe your needs are met by the mini for a cheaper price. It looks like they are, but I would still go iMac. Better deal for the money. Secondly, don't boot OS X off an external firewire drive. It will NOT be faster than the internal drive. It will be much slower.

Killroy™
May 5, 2008, 07:03 PM
I think you should go with the iMac just because it's nicer if money's not an issue. They're just so pretty :) And it's faster.

The 24" iMac is serious overkill for what you are saying you are going to do. The mini and LCD will cost less, and perform for your needs flawlessly. So get the mini.

Yeah, the iMac is much faster but do I really need the speed? OK, we all need the speed. lol

I agree that the iMac may be overkill. Upgrading the Mini to 3GB and adding a 750GB FW drive and a 24" LCD for the same $$$ as the iMac, sure is tempting.

Killroy™
May 5, 2008, 07:05 PM
Secondly, don't boot OS X off an external firewire drive. It will NOT be faster than the internal drive. It will be much slower.

How so???... My G4 is just as fast from FW than the internal 7200rpm drive and that is the same speed as the internal 7200rpm drive. I figured that the 5400rpm drive would be slower than a 7200rpm via FW.

nick9191
May 5, 2008, 07:13 PM
It wont be slower because the mechanics in conventional hard drives are not fast enough to push out the full speed of sata or even FW800. Enter SSD/IBM's new tech.

The hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in most systems.

CWallace
May 5, 2008, 08:02 PM
I'd get the iMac, myself. With the recent update it will offer better longevity then a Mac Mini will so the extra cost will likely be repaid with extra value and longer "usable life".

czachorski
May 5, 2008, 09:31 PM
Yeah, the iMac is much faster but do I really need the speed? OK, we all need the speed. lol

I agree that the iMac may be overkill. Upgrading the Mini to 3GB and adding a 750GB FW drive and a 24" LCD for the same $$$ as the iMac, sure is tempting.

The upgraded RAM from Apple in the mini is a rip off. Plus the mini does not have a dedicated graphics card, and it will show its age much faster. You can upgrade the iMac to 4 GB for under $100 with 3rd party RAM. I would consider a refurbed, slower 24" iMac, perhaps even previous generation (white). There is a white refurb 24" in the Apple store right now for $1199. It will still be plenty fast, far cheaper, and a great iMac, and then you get the best of both worlds.

(If you want the refurb, you might want to act fast - I have seen these things disappear quickly and that one is a great deal).

Killroy™
May 5, 2008, 11:10 PM
The upgraded RAM from Apple in the mini is a rip off. Plus the mini does not have a dedicated graphics card, and it will show its age much faster.

I would never pay Apple to upgrade my Ram on any computer. I can upgrade the Mini to 3GB from Newegg for $60.

canucks-17
May 5, 2008, 11:23 PM
If you really want the iMac 24'', I would suggest getting a refurbished one from Apple for $1399. It fits between your needs nicely.

Killroy™
May 17, 2008, 09:47 PM
Man do I feel like a traitor. After looking at the iMac 24" and a 30" HP bundle at Costco for less than $1600 I ended up going with the HP and upgrading my G4 to Leopard and using that for any Mac specific needs.

I just could not pass up that gorgeous 30" LCD that I can later use with a Mac Pro when its time to upgrade again. As much as I dislike Vista, the transition has not been all that painful. The E6750 and the Nvidia 8500GT make the HP very usable for Photoshop.

So now I go hang my head in shame as an official PC owner. But hey, I still have my MDD G4 totally maxed out with goodies to keep my Mac card.

D4F
May 17, 2008, 10:13 PM
At this point most 24" monitors on the market use cheap 6bit TFT panels.
Of course you can get good but It will run you close to $1000. Add mini to that (slower and less possible RAM) and that $$ value stops shining.

iMac has a great 8bit display and if the glossy issue doesn't bother you, you'll love every bit of it.

Killroy™
May 17, 2008, 10:47 PM
iMac has a great 8bit display and if the glossy issue doesn't bother you, you'll love every bit of it.

I ended up up with this monitor (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01125225&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3446890&lang=en) and a HP Multimedia PC. The monitor has 92% color gamut and is the highest rated 30" LCD on the market.

DeuceDeuce
May 17, 2008, 10:58 PM
I ended up up with this monitor (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01125225&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3446890&lang=en) and a HP Multimedia PC. The monitor has 92% color gamut and is the highest rated 30" LCD on the market.

What ratings are you looking at?

Killroy™
May 17, 2008, 11:15 PM
What ratings are you looking at?

Google the reviews for the LP3065 and you will see that among all three 30" LCD's (HP, Dell, and Apple) the LP3065 had better gamut and uniformity among all three. I think the Apple has 88% gamut while the Dell has 90-92%.

D4F
May 18, 2008, 12:12 AM
I ended up up with this monitor (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01125225&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3446890&lang=en) and a HP Multimedia PC. The monitor has 92% color gamut and is the highest rated 30" LCD on the market.

Is the mini even able to handle 30"??
Personally I don't like screens that big. Way too much area too close from me.
I don't do print so would be a waste anyway.

Eizo are good too by the way. ACD are great too but you might need some luck to get the perfect panel. I needed 3 approaches (all within 1 week) to finally get a perfect screen. I love it.

Killroy™
May 18, 2008, 12:27 AM
Is the mini even able to handle 30"??
Personally I don't like screens that big. Way too much area too close from me.
I don't do print so would be a waste anyway.

Eizo are good too by the way. ACD are great too but you might need some luck to get the perfect panel. I needed 3 approaches (all within 1 week) to finally get a perfect screen. I love it.

The Mini can't do 30" since you need a Dual-link DVI for them if you want to do 2550x1600.

Leon Kowalski
May 18, 2008, 01:08 AM
It wont be slower because the mechanics in conventional hard drives
are not fast enough to push out the full speed of sata or even FW800.

Not quite true. Modern 3.5" hard drives (100-120 MByte/s, sustained)
are a bit faster than FW800 -- and much faster than the Mini's FW400.

The practical upper limit for a FW400 external drive is 35-40 MByte/s,
and that's probably a little faster than the Mini's 2.5" notebook drives.
(There are faster 2.5" drives, but you're not gonna find one in a Mini.)

I'm not a big fan of the Mini (overpriced and underpowered, IMO), but
with the poor/uneven quality of ALU iMac displays, the Mini+monitor
has some advantages. You can get a high-quality 24" display from DELL
($600-ish) or a fantastic 24" NEC ($1100-ish), and live with the Mini
for a while. When/if Apple upgrades/replaces the Mini, you can sell
it and move the monitor to the next machine.

The hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in most systems.
Yup. And dog-slow, low-capacity, expensive notebook drives are the
Mini's #1 weakness -- especially since there's no FW800 port.

...tough choice,

LK

surferfromuk
May 18, 2008, 02:44 AM
Don't expect a Mac Mini to lug big photoshop files around a 24" screen very well will you!!

Go for a 24" iMac I say...upgrade the card to a 8800GS + upgrade to 4G ram - cover yourself for the practical 4-5 year usable lifespan of this major investment. Basically your 'cheaping out' a few hundred dollars and compromising, and whilst money maybe tight ( I don't know?) your going to have this piece of kit a LONG TIME so invest wisely.

Maybe even consider a copy of the fantastic pixelmator ($60) which uses core GL to apply real-time filter manipulation - that only uses the graphics card and is a dream after using the 'press apply - wait and see' - nature of photoshop. Being able to just alter and see filter changes in real-time is soooo good for your creativity - it's like 'image-jamming'

My view is you'll become very disappointed with the graphics card performance of the Mini pretty quickly + the iMac 24" screen is a real beauty.

Darkroom
May 18, 2008, 03:16 AM
iMac has a great 8bit display and if the glossy issue doesn't bother you, you'll love every bit of it.

are you kidding? http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=477160

surferfromuk
May 18, 2008, 03:45 AM
are you kidding? http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=477160

With regard to this - you can always send it back within the 14 days if it's bad for a full refund...Don't let 'what if' stop you from trying what IMO is arguably the finest personal computer solution ever made - and certainly the most powerful and economically accessible iMac ever made...

Darkroom
May 18, 2008, 04:04 AM
With regard to this - you can always send it back within the 14 days if it's bad for a full refund...Don't let 'what if' stop you from trying what IMO is arguably the finest personal computer solution ever made - and certainly the most powerful and economically accessible iMac ever made...

i'm on my second, and it's far from perfect, although a bit better than the first... others are on their 16th!!! majority are bad, some worse than others... i would wait to buy an iMac until Apple fixes this issue.

surferfromuk
May 18, 2008, 04:23 AM
i'm on my second, and it's far from perfect, although a bit better than the first... others are on their 16th!!! majority are bad, some worse than others... i would wait to buy an iMac until Apple fixes this issue.

wait? With a 14 day return policy -why wait ? Try, if it's not ok send it back. I once knew a man who wanted to buy a Ferrari in 1976. - but wondered if he should wait till they sorted out the electrics - today he still has no Ferrari. Not exactly the same, but you get my drift.
Once again, try it - you seriously 100% have nothing to loose - Apple don't even charge for return collection if it's 'bad on arrival'. Go for it!