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Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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2013: Mac Mini vs. 27" iMac ? Dell Display

First, to give a benchmark of where I am on performance, I have a July 2012 MBP (non-retina) 2.3 core i7 with 4GB of RAM and it's fine with what I'm doing (CS6).

Now, on to the questions:

1) I was ready to buy a 27" iMac but after reading some of the horror stories here (dirt behind the screen, etc), I've become a little hesitant. And yes, I DO understand that there is selection bias here, as more people with problems will understandably post.

-Is the $799 mini the same 2.3 QC i7 that's in my July 2012 MBP?

-Would the entry level 27" iMac be a more powerful machine than this mini and/or my MBP? Or would it be overkill for what I need considering my MBP?

2) I don't have an extra keyboard or magic mouse (which would add to my price). But as I was thinking of going with the TB Display, I now am considering going with a Dell 27" that was mentioned many times on this forum that is less expensive.

- Are there ANY monitors out there that can matchup with an Apple monitor (external or iMac)? I have a 21" iMac (2010) and the screen is incredible. I purchased Dell u2211h's at the time to try to "match" the iMac screen quality for a PC of mine, but the iMac still came out on top -- even though the Dells are IPS panels.

3) Since I rarely ever would turn the mini off, would it be worth it to get the fusion drive, or the ssd? Most of what I do is CS6.

Thank you SO much for any advice.
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Reg88 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:39 PM   #2
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The 2.3 Quad in the mini is the same as the one in your macbook. The mini uses laptop components like SODIMM RAM and 2.5 hard drives. Considering the similarities the Mini will probably run very similar to your macbook. If you are happy with the macbooks performance, then you will probably be OK getting a Mini.

The iMac is slightly faster and does have a dedicated GPU. It's your call if these features are worth the cost. From what I've read, the TBD is nice, but not untouchable by other manufacturers. If I were you, I'd go with the Mini and a Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM.

I've also heard good things about the fusion drive, it does speed up the boot and application launch times significantly. If your budget/space constraints allow, a pure SSD would be the best solution.
2012 Mac Mini - i7 Quad Core 2.3 GHz - 16GB RAM - 128 GB SSD - (2) Dell S2340M
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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If you get a Mini, you might consider spending a little more for the 2.6ghz CPU upgrade. Install any additional RAM yourself. You can also save money by just getting the "base" hard drive (1tb), and adding an SSD yourself. If you don't feel comfortable opening the case (some say it's easy, but there have been numerous reports here on MR of folks starting the job and getting into trouble mid-way), you can get excellent performance by placing the SSD in an external USB3 enclosure or dock (make sure you get the RIGHT ONE).

I would not reccomend the Thunderbolt display, at least not the currently-available one. Consider that all you get from it is USB2 -- a serious letdown with the speed that USB3 offers.

You could do just as well for less money with one of the Dell 27" displays (if you want one with the high resolution).

Be aware that there are now appearing "mid-resolution" 27" displays with non-glossy screens for VERY reasonable prices. Two examples:

A couple of reviews:
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