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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:18 PM   #1
7enderbender
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: North East US
Mac Mini vs iMac

So, I'm going through another round of sorting through my next purchase in the upcoming weeks. I'm leaning towards the Mini but I want to make sure I'm not missing something. So if was to spend about $1800 before any upgrades (which I'd like to make later and incrementally starting with 16GB memory from OWC) I get two options (give or take). Which is better for what I want to do?

Goal: very good home studio capabilities (Pro Tools and/or Logic); pro level photo editing (Lightroom and Photoshop, not too heavy on layers)

i5 iMac 27"
Advantages: better GPU, desktop processor, mouse & keyboard included, 2 TB ports
Disadvantages: only one screen choice, shiny, no wide color gamut, more difficult to open and upgrade drive(s), no designated FW port, camera, microphone and speakers included (don't need that), all-in-one design

i7 Mac Mini 2.6 with good 27" screen in the $800 class
Advantages: easier to upgrade drives, FW port, I get to chose my monitor(s), cheaper to replace once screen(s) are purchased, potential upgrade path to used or refurbished Mac Pro with screens in place, I get to chose keyboard and mouse, i7 processor
Disadvantages: Intel GPU, mobile processor, only one TB port (used by non-Apple display)

So, that's my assessment so far. None seems ideal, but that's how it is on a budget. So which is really "faster" and/or "better" for my applications? And why?

And also: I know that either will be a vast improvement over my current setup with an older Thinkpad for CS5 and LR3 (nice screen on that thing though) and an old Dell Pentium 4 franken-PC that I use with Cubase.
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iPhone 5, iPod classic 160gb
Mac Mini i7 256GB SSD 8GB RAM; NEC 27" monitor; IBM ThinkPad T60 laptop
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