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Old Sep 13, 2013, 12:18 PM   #1
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Imac 2011 vs Mac Mini 2012

I am considering getting a mid 2011 iMac 27", 3.1GHz i5, 32gb AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1 GB or a new latest mac mini with 16gb

I will be using this system for photoshop, aperture, watching videos and other day to day uses

I have a good idea on how the mac mini will perform based on reviews. On paper the stock mini will out perform the older imac.

What do you guys think?
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Where are you getting the idea the stock mini will outperform the iMac?

An upgraded Mac Mini has,

CPU - 2.6GHz i7
This is a mobile class CPU that has a lower clock speed. It does have hyper-threading (virtual cores) and as far as I know Photoshop doesn't tend to take advantage of this and watching video certainly won't, not sure about Aperture.

While it is one generation ahead of the iMac's CPU, the iMacs has a faster clock speed (3.1GHz) and is a proper desktop class CPU.

GPU - Integrated HD Graphics 4000
This is simply no competition for the iMac's 6970m.

RAM - Well 32GB vs 16GB is obviously better, of course that's assuming you will actually use all 16GB and more.

HDD/SSD - You didn't say what the iMac has but HDD/SSDs can be upgraded on the iMac anyway so I guess it's a moot point.

On paper, the only way I could see the Mac Mini outperforming the iMac is in the few instances you might be able to actually take advantage of the hyper-threading the i7 offers. Otherwise the iMac wins with more RAM, better GPU, better CPU and room for larger capacity HDDs. (Also note: the iMac's DVD drive can be replaced with an additional HDD or SSD for a total of 3 individual drives.)

I would ask yourself these questions and base your decision on your personal answers.

Do you need the hyper-threading of the Mini's i7?
Do you need the dedicated 6970m graphics card of the iMac?
Do you (or will you in the near future) need more than 16GB of RAM.
Do you want an all-in-one iMac or a bare bones Mini and provide your own monitor, speakers, etc?
Which one is cheaper? By how much? And is it worthwhile saving that money?
27" iMac, 3.4GHz i7, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 2GB 6970
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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cool i didnt know i could install a second hard drive in the imac

im reading somewhere that I can hook up a second ssd to make it raid. Has anyone done this yet and what are the performance gains?
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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I think an imac is better value and specs. if you try and spec out a mini to compare to an imac the cost will be the same and the imac will win due to better processor and better video. the only way a mini is better is if you need the cheapest price available and already have a screen and keyboard.

I have to say though as much as I think a imac is better then a mini there is something to be said about separating the machine from the screen like a mini does. one of the best looking setups that ive seen has been a mini or a 15 inch macbook pro and 2 thunderbolt displays. its dead sexy.
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