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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:17 AM   #1
SteveAbootman
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Computer Died, Considering Options

My 2008 iMac has finally succumbed to the Nvidia GeForce 8800 issue that seems to plague all these models. I guess given what I've read, 5 years is actually really good before it bites the dust so all things considered I feel pretty lucky that it's lasted this long.

Now the fun part - time for a new computer! I can think of a few options, but curious to hear other opinions I may have not considered. I'm not doing any serious computing aside from occasional photo and video work. I'm getting into development so having a good setup for Xcode is important, but not a requirement as it's just a hobby. As much as I like the iMacs, there have been times recently where I've really wanted more portability. I don't go out and buy new computers every other year, so I'd be looking to future proof a bit and get something that would hold up 3-5 years from now.

I have a work laptop and iPad to get me by right now and I can always boot iMac in safe mode to get around the GeForce issue. Apple did quote me around $200 to repair it, but there's no guarantee it isn't a problem with the logic board as well, which would be another $600. At this point I'd rather put that money into a new computer.

So - Buy new iMac? Buy a MBP now? Wait it out for the refreshed MBP? Or something else?
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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For the uses.....

you mentioned in your post, even a 2012 Mac mini can fit the bill, if you have a decent display, keyboard and mouse already. But I can see the wisdom of buying a new iMac, maybe even one with the Fusion drive, what can show you better boot up times and faster loading of programs and files. Have to consider what iMac is in your budget. IMHO, any Mac you buy right now futures proof for you for the next 5 five years, with the usual considerations. But if you want portable, maybe will be better to wait to next refresh, what comes with Haswell chips (teorethically).

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Old Apr 14, 2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by phoenixsan View Post
you mentioned in your post, even a 2012 Mac mini can fit the bill, if you have a decent display, keyboard and mouse already. But I can see the wisdom of buying a new iMac, maybe even one with the Fusion drive, what can show you better boot up times and faster loading of programs and files. Have to consider what iMac is in your budget. IMHO, any Mac you buy right now futures proof for you for the next 5 five years, with the usual considerations. But if you want portable, maybe will be better to wait to next refresh, what comes with Haswell chips (teorethically).

Mac Mini is NOT an iMac without a monitor...be advised. In my personal experience they are NOT reliable and you MUST by Apple care as U will have problems...I guarantee it.

Last edited by maflynn; Apr 15, 2013 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Removed annoying formatting
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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In my opinion, the MacMini is more reliable then an iMac and out of curiosity, for the first time int he mac lineup, the current macmini is superior in a lot of ways to the iMac. Imac can only go upt to 1Tb, while Macmini can go upt to 2TB. Better then this, only the 27"3TB model
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by phoenixsan View Post
you mentioned in your post, even a 2012 Mac mini can fit the bill, if you have a decent display, keyboard and mouse already. But I can see the wisdom of buying a new iMac, maybe even one with the Fusion drive, what can show you better boot up times and faster loading of programs and files. Have to consider what iMac is in your budget. IMHO, any Mac you buy right now futures proof for you for the next 5 five years, with the usual considerations. But if you want portable, maybe will be better to wait to next refresh, what comes with Haswell chips (teorethically).

Thanks, budget isn't really a concern, I don't mind spending a little more to get a quality machine that will last. If I could find something in the $1500-$2000 range I'd be happy, but if I could justify spending more I will. So that leaves the low end rMBP so I'm able to get a nice monitor to dock with, or the mid range imac. Decisions decisions...

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Mac Mini is NOT an iMac without a monitor...be advised. In my personal experience they are NOT reliable and you MUST by Apple care as U will have problems...I guarantee it.
What problems does the mini have that make you guarantee they're not reliable machines? The latest refresh seemed like it was good.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 06:16 AM   #6
garnerx
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How about a Hackintosh?

For your budget you can get something much higher spec than you'll get from Apple.

It's comparatively futureproof, as you can upgrade any of the components, add more hard drives, add new interfaces, etc.

If a situation arises like you've got with your iMac at the moment, you only have to replace the broken parts rather than write off the entire computer.

When you decide it's time for a complete change of computer, at the very least you can keep your monitor, your hard drives, maybe even the power supply or cpu cooler. You can rejuvenate it bit by bit.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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I have a 2009 mac mini that's been running every day and not a single problem.

If you think mobility is a factor then go for the MBP, Haswell is due out in June (maybe July if rumors of delays are true) and Apple should hopefully have a Haswell laptop out by end of the summer
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 07:23 AM   #8
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Mac Mini is NOT an iMac without a monitor...be advised. In my personal experience they are NOT reliable and you MUST by Apple care as U will have problems...I guarantee it.
What type of issues are you referring to? I have a 2011 MacMini. Its on pretty much 24/7 and its been rock solid without any issues. It was very easy to upgrade to 16gb of memory and a Samsumg Pro 512tb SSD. Again, zero problems and rock solid. Consider it a solid purchase and very much worth considering if it meets your requirements.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 10:24 AM   #9
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In my opinion, the MacMini is more reliable then an iMac and out of curiosity, for the first time int he mac lineup, the current macmini is superior in a lot of ways to the iMac. Imac can only go upt to 1Tb, while Macmini can go upt to 2TB. Better then this, only the 27"3TB model
Op don't trust drunks for tech advice.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Mac Mini is NOT an iMac without a monitor...be advised. In my personal experience they are NOT reliable and you MUST by Apple care as U will have problems...I guarantee it.
I don't agree with that statement. I have a 2010 Mac Mini server that has been totally reliable. I have swapped out one of the drives with a 256 SSD and that made it much faster. The mini is a great machine, and I would not hesitate to buy an updated one when the time comes to replace it. The new iMacs look great as well. You would probably be happy with either.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 02:22 PM   #11
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I have a 2010 mini as well 100% reliable and running since new!
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by palmharbor View Post
Mac Mini is NOT an iMac without a monitor...be advised. In my personal experience they are NOT reliable and you MUST by Apple care as U will have problems...I guarantee it.
Where do you get that from? I bought mine 2 years ago. Still runs perfectly today and I'm pretty sure it'll last for longer than I will keep it. Even a quick visit on craigslist or ebay will show older minis for sale that are still going strong today.

Plus, since the mini is not an all-in-one, if one component were to fail (which can happen with any computer), you won't have as much to carry with you if you wanted to take it to the store for repair.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 07:56 AM   #13
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Where do you get that from? I bought mine 2 years ago. Still runs perfectly today and I'm pretty sure it'll last for longer than I will keep it. Even a quick visit on craigslist or ebay will show older minis for sale that are still going strong today.

Plus, since the mini is not an all-in-one, if one component were to fail (which can happen with any computer), you won't have as much to carry with you if you wanted to take it to the store for repair.
It's still an all in one, minus the display. You break your WiFi card, you still need Apple to go through, you have HDD failed, you'd still want bring it back to ASP.

The only non all in one product from Apple is MacPro and they're dying. The rest are just a pile of aluminum plates, and glue.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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It's still an all in one, minus the display. You break your WiFi card, you still need Apple to go through, you have HDD failed, you'd still want bring it back to ASP.

The only non all in one product from Apple is MacPro and they're dying. The rest are just a pile of aluminum plates, and glue.
LOL. By that definition, every computer is an all-in-one then since they are all composed of multiple components together in one package.

There is no glue with the mini and it can be dissasembled. Of course it won't be as easy as a tower PC due to how compact and tightly packed the components are, but it can be done.

And even you're not tech savy enough to do it yourself, it's pretty easy to carry to the nearest repair center, unlike a Mac Pro and iMac.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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Thanks for the spirited discussion around the Mini. I took a look at them and wasn't really wowed. I'm sure it's a fine machine, especially if you want to run a media server off it, but I'm not sold.

Right now, I'm torn between buying a nice 27in iMac or waiting for the Haswell refresh of the rMBP later this summer and hope to see at least an upgrade of the base SSD capacity. Also, how much of a difference, if any, is there between a Dual-Core i7 rMBP, vs a Quad-Core i5 in the iMac?

Thanks
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