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Old Jan 8, 2010, 05:34 PM   #1
bluetooth
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Mac Mini for Graphic Design? Thoughts?

Hi all, I was in another thread and had someone mention a Mac Mini to me for design work so thought I would come to the best place for opinions.

I was considering a MacBook Pro but looking at the Mini, it is close to being par with the 15" 2.53Ghz MBP except it has a bigger HD (320GB compared to the 250GB in the 15" 2.53 Ghz MBP).

So I am considering the Mac Mini with the following specs:

Mac Mini 2.66GHz : 320GB

2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB memory
320GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Mac OS X Snow Leopard

With the upgraded 2.66GHz processor, the cost will be approx $1200 CDN (tax in) compared to $2,400 CDN (tax in) for the 2.66GHz 15" MacBook Pro which has the following specs:

15" Mac Book Pro 2.66GHz : 320GB

2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB memory
320GB hard drive
SD Card Slot
Built in 7 hour Battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB


So basically, the Mini will cost me half of what the MacBook Pro would cost although you obviously do not get the display and keyboard or laptop option with the Mini.

Nontheless, I have a high end external display, keyboard etc. so I am really just focusing on performance and function and it would seem the Mini comes darn close to the MacBook Pro, would you agree?

I will be running the usual Apps, Adobe CS3 (which I have read does work with Snow Leopard, correct me if anyone has heard otherwise...), Flash, Final Cut Pro, Quark iTunes et. et. So I am pretty sure that the specs I have outlined for the Mini will be ample for the Apps I intend on running, correct? Any concerns, experiences?

Money is a bit tight at the moment, so this could be a very viable option for me, plus I like that it is so small and portable and can be taken just about anywhere. I am looking for some opinions and reassurance that the Mini and specs I have chosen will support my needs for design work.

I will perhaps look into a MacPro or MBP in another year or two....

Cheers,
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 07:01 PM   #2
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I had a similar situation you were in.

I've ran both the CS3 and CS4 suite on here and have not had a problem with it. Even when multi-tasking and jumping between programs or mulitple adobe programs, it still is able to manage up to speed, and I have yet to even hear the fans (even when playing flash, remains quiet).

I'm also in my 3rd year for a BFA in GRDS.

I run a mid-2009 Mini, upgraded the drive to 320GB and RAM to 4GB myself to save some cash.
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Good to hear, thanks for the words. I also learned that the Mini I am purchasing has a maximum 8GB memory so I can eventually double the 4GB it will come with if I should so desire at some point down the road.

What processor do you have?
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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What processor do you have?
2GHz C2D. Yeah, my moneys tighter as well but its better than nothing (very grateful, should I say).
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 10:27 PM   #5
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The Mac Mini is nothing to really laugh at and can be a darn good graphic design system. As you already pointed out the specs are pretty much a match so you know it will perform just as good as any Mac Book Pro. A lot of high end designers use Mac Book Pros so if the processing power is good enough for them then a Mac Mini will be great.

Let me ask you this however. Do you really need the 2.66 Ghz cpu? You pay an arm and a leg for a cpu that at best will run programs 5% faster. For most design applications you will never really notice this. The only time you may see a difference is rendering 3D or projects in After Effects. Even then you are only talking about shaving off a fraction of time. Hardly anything you would really notice.

Save the extra money and buy a good external FW800 drive like a G-Raid.
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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Hey, thanks for the words. I am opting for the 2.66Ghz because it is only an extra $150 from the 2.53Ghz. My budget is around 1k and this setup puts me right around there. My thoughts are that things progress rather quickly these days and in a few years the 2.53Ghz or lower will likely be somewhat dated, just as the Mini's from a few years back that are under
2Ghz are today. So if I am planning on this machine for a good handful of years, I thought I may as well pay the extra $150 for the faster processor.

I remember when I purchased my G4 PowerMac and thought the 733Mhz was more then ample, which it was for the fist couple of years, then I was kicking myself for not spending the extra little more and getting a 1.25 Dual. Somewhat apples and oranges I know but it was something I did regret that I didn't think I would.

It is encouraging to hear that the 2Ghz is doing Krafty just fine, that more than puts my mind at ease.

The other thing I should mention is that I can still upgrade the HD down the road. Now perhaps you can clarify if you are in the know, but I have read that if you buy a new Mac and put a different drive in it that you could have problems with the warranty should you need it within the first year because you have "altered" the Hardware from what Apple supplies/offers in their machines. So unless it is an optional upgrade from the point of purchase with Apple, you could be potenitally voiding your warranty. I read this on a review as well as another forum. Not sure how much truth it holds exactly but it does sort of make sense from a business standpoint with Apple.

The memory can also be maxed out to 8GB, so I will still have lots of room to grow over the coming years and with a faster Processor, I won't be caught saying, "I should of...".

If things work out I could very well end up putting the MBP or MP off for a while
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 02:39 AM   #7
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I am in the same boat as you, guys. I'm looking at the base 2,26 GHz Mac mini, since my budget is very tight.

Will be using Adobe CS3 Design Standard on it.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 03:53 AM   #8
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I run CS4 (Photoshop and Premier Pro) on my Mini. It was 2GHz, 4GB, 120GB and really it was a dead loss when using the standard 5400rpm disc. Upgrading to a WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm, and then on to a Crucial 128GB SSD made a huge difference.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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From a Graphic Designer

Hello,

I am a graphic designer and bought a Mac mini several years ago as a family machine that would also act as a supplemental design machine on occasion.

Here are my thoughts on the mini: While the speed at the time was fine, I was surprised how little price advantage there was over a desktop system, once extra RAM and a bigger hard disk was added from Apple. You already have your own keyboard and monitor. That's the same situation I was in. If I were to consider this today, I think I would get an iMac instead: the price is nearly the same, and you get a brand new monitor, too.

So, I think you should really consider if you want a desktop system or a notebook portable? As an old hand, I feel more comfortable designing on a large desktop. Consider, you will probably want to be able to display a two-page spread once in a while. You can do that with a large monitor, like an iMac. The iMac monitor is bright and color accurate. If you have a CRT, you will need to calibrate it with some type of device. I haven't had to calibrate my iMac. A 21.5 inch iMac can be had for $1200--cheaper as a student.

You also asked about CS3 in Snow Leopard. I have an Epson printer and found that the Epson color profiles were no longer available. The printer also would not print full-bleed at Super-B size. The bleed problem has been corrected with a System Update; however, in order to get the color profiles back, you will probably have to go to the Epson file in your library and open the package. You will find the profiles there. You can them make an alias or copy them to other placed in the Library so CS3 will recognize them. Frankly, I don't see why we have to choose a color profile in the first place. The System knows what printer we are using and we choose what paper we are printing on in the Print dialog box. CS3 and the System should then choose the proper profile. Well, maybe in CS5. Maybe that's why the profiles were tucked away in a package that we normally wouldn't know was there.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 08:09 AM   #10
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another option....

Hi Blue, I have my own design studio and use Imacs for workstations, and have done so since the 24" came out. At the time I was about to drop almost 7k to buy another Pro tower. I took a chance and spent about half that on a fully equipped iMac. Expandability is way overrated, as most workstations are good for about 4 years until you will want/need to replace them.

Not sure exactly what the exchange rate is, but I think the Mini is about $799 US. My first recommendation would be to get a desktop for your primary workstation. If you are using Quark, InDesign, pshop, Aperture, etc. you will need lots of screen real estate to work with. It is amazing how much space is taken up with all of the tool/palettes most of the programs have. It is not unusual to be work in 3-4-5 programs at the same time, and you will appreciate the extra space quite quickly. The thought of trying to do all of that on a 15" makes me shudder, lol. Yes, it can be done... but it will not be efficient.

Also, if money is tight I would suggest you look at the Apple clearance section or their refurbs. I have bought a bunch of refurbed equipment and found it to be a great deal. Downside, you don't get the white Apple boxes, as they are packed in generic brown apple boxes. Upside you save a lot, I bought two macbooks, and they were as pristine as out-of-the-box new ones. The refurb stock changes by the minute, and desired models can sell before you can click "buy". So, if you want to go that route decide what you want, and then don't hesitate. Look for previous gen models and save a bit more.

While the mini is almost $800, if you spent a bit more... you could gain a LOT. For $1099 you can get a refurb 24" iMac with almost the identical specs. But you get a hard drive twice as large (good thing), Screen is larger than the laptop (not sure what monitor you have for use with the mini), plus a new keyboard and mouse.


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

I would recommend spending the extra $300, you will not regret it down the road. Put off the buy for a bit to gather up the dough. IF you need to move now, the 20" iMac refurbs are only around $50 more than the Mini's. I would take an iMac over the mini in a heartbeat, and would definitely choose the iMac over the laptop...

Lastly, you mentioned the Pro, and the Pro laptop. Word of advice, don't waste your money on a name. You will spend a lot more, but in most instances not get your moneys worth for the extra cash. There are some exceptions. If you plan on working extensively in video it might make sense, but beyond that I would not go that route. I have argued for awhile that the iMacs straddle the line and qualify as prosumer models, and now the newest versions specs belay that point. I am buying a new 27" in the next few months for my studio...

cheers,
michael
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 08:53 PM   #11
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Hey, thanks a lot for the words and advice everyone. I should mention that I have a high end 24" LCD display that is not even 2 years old so I am not concerned about buying a display.

I also have a brand new Apple keyboard and Logitech mouse which were recently purchased.

So an iMac would render my display obselete and I am very comfortable and pleased with the quality of my 24" LCD and would likely prefer this to the 21.5" iMac display.

With the MBP, I would have used it an a hub with my external LCD and keyboard/mouse at home but it would have given me the option to take it anywhere and still be able to setup and work or present etc.

The 21.5" iMac does come with a 3.06 Ghz Processor and 500GB HD. Memory at 4GB and graohics card are the same in the mini at the iMac. I could upgrade the HD on the Mini from 320GB to 500GB for an extra $110 which would bring the Mini to $1,115.00 before taxes compared to the iMac $1,299.00 before taxes. Specs would be identical with the exception of a 2.66Ghz Processor compared to a 3.06Ghz with the imac.

So I am thinking, while the iMac does sound like a good deal, I would much prefer my current 24" display to a 21.5" as I am used to working with the 24" and again, I have been really pleased with the quality/resolution etc. of my LCD. I have a new keyboard and mouse so that is a non issue.

One advantage to the Mini is its ability to be portable and take places if so desired.

I geuss my questions now are;

1. Do any of you feel it would be worth upgrading the 320GB HD to 500GB on the MacMini for an extra $110? Or would I be better off to stick with the base 320GB HD and then upgrade down the road, perhaps later this year to a FW800 drive like a G-Raid, WD Scorpio Black or Crucial 128GB SSD (as mentioned in this thread).

2. Do any of you feel there would be a BIG difference between the 2.6Ghz Processor in the Mini and the 3.06Ghz Processor in the iMac? I have been told by several people that the 2.66Ghz in the mini will be more than enough to run the design Apps (Apple sales people included). With my existing larger display and keyboard/mouse the iMac option is not really viable but I am curious anyways...

Overall, I could get the Mini with the 320GB HD, 2.66Ghz Processor for $1,000.00 with option to upgarde the HD and memory to 8GB anytime down the road. Would work well with my current 24" LCD display.

The iMac with a 500GB HD and 3.0 Ghz Processor would be $1,300.00 BUT it would only be a 21.5" glossy display (which I am not a fan of) compared to my current 24" LCD (which I am currently pleased with, graphically speaking).

The MBP with the same specs as the Mini (same Processor at 2.66Ghz, HD at 320GB etc.) would be $2,100.. It would give me the flexibility to be used as a hub at home so I can still use my 24" LCD and also the ability to be used on its own and take anywhere I go, giving me a 15" portable display. With a tight budget and the MBP being DOUBLE the cost as the Mini, it seems like a lot more to spend for an extra 15" display and laptop function.

I am not particularly interested in buying refurbished (just personal choice). The refurbished iMac listed above has an attractive price BUT it has a glossy screen (which I am not a fan of), I already have a 24" LCD and it is refurbished which you take somewhat of a chance on.

I think the Mini is the best option, both performance and cost/budget wise given my current 24" display and keyboard/mouse etc. Thanks again for all the input and advice it helped me to look at and explore other options.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 09:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bluetooth View Post
Hey, thanks for the words. I am opting for the 2.66Ghz because it is only an extra $150 from the 2.53Ghz. My budget is around 1k and this setup puts me right around there. My thoughts are that things progress rather quickly these days and in a few years the 2.53Ghz or lower will likely be somewhat dated, just as the Mini's from a few years back that are under
2Ghz are today. So if I am planning on this machine for a good handful of years, I thought I may as well pay the extra $150 for the faster processor.

I remember when I purchased my G4 PowerMac and thought the 733Mhz was more then ample, which it was for the fist couple of years, then I was kicking myself for not spending the extra little more and getting a 1.25 Dual. Somewhat apples and oranges I know but it was something I did regret that I didn't think I would.

It is encouraging to hear that the 2Ghz is doing Krafty just fine, that more than puts my mind at ease.

The other thing I should mention is that I can still upgrade the HD down the road. Now perhaps you can clarify if you are in the know, but I have read that if you buy a new Mac and put a different drive in it that you could have problems with the warranty should you need it within the first year because you have "altered" the Hardware from what Apple supplies/offers in their machines. So unless it is an optional upgrade from the point of purchase with Apple, you could be potenitally voiding your warranty. I read this on a review as well as another forum. Not sure how much truth it holds exactly but it does sort of make sense from a business standpoint with Apple.

The memory can also be maxed out to 8GB, so I will still have lots of room to grow over the coming years and with a faster Processor, I won't be caught saying, "I should of...".

If things work out I could very well end up putting the MBP or MP off for a while
Well yes there was a pretty huge difference between a single 733 Mhz system and a dual 1.25 GHz. That was a massive difference. Here we are talking at best 5%. A few years from now a 5% faster process is not going to seem any faster at all. That is the difference between a render taking 60 seconds or 63 seconds.

I am a full time multimedia designer and motion graphics designer as well as a part time teacher at a college and I can tell you that a 5% faster cpu is going to do nothing for you at all except give you bragging rights over people with slower Mac Minis.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 11:20 PM   #13
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Hey, thanks a lot for the words and advice everyone. I should mention that I have a high end 24" LCD display that is not even 2 years old so I am not concerned about buying a display.

I think the Mini is the best option, both performance and cost/budget wise given my current 24" display and keyboard/mouse etc. Thanks again for all the input and advice it helped me to look at and explore other options.
I think you should explore with the iMac option. You can setup dual display which is extremely useful for graphic design.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:22 AM   #14
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So an iMac would render my display obselete and I am very comfortable and pleased with the quality of my 24" LCD and would likely prefer this to the 21.5" iMac display.

So I am thinking, while the iMac does sound like a good deal, I would much prefer my current 24" display to a 21.5" as I am used to working with the 24" and again, I have been really pleased with the quality/resolution etc. of my LCD. I have a new keyboard and mouse so that is a non issue.
Unless budget is an issue. why not both?

Quote:
One advantage to the Mini is its ability to be portable and take places if so desired.
I am looking at getting a laptop for just that reason. but I am also undecided as of now. and may get a mini or imac, if the cost can be justified ,and I can find a cheap portable alternative for similar cost.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:26 AM   #15
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Well yes there was a pretty huge difference between a single 733 Mhz system and a dual 1.25 GHz. That was a massive difference. Here we are talking at best 5%. A few years from now a 5% faster process is not going to seem any faster at all. That is the difference between a render taking 60 seconds or 63 seconds.

I am a full time multimedia designer and motion graphics designer as well as a part time teacher at a college and I can tell you that a 5% faster cpu is going to do nothing for you at all except give you bragging rights over people with slower Mac Minis.
Thanks for the first hand experience I may reconsider the options.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:37 AM   #16
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Upgrading the HDD to 7200RPM will make a capable machine. You will see the beachball though.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:38 AM   #17
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I think you should explore with the iMac option. You can setup dual display which is extremely useful for graphic design.
Personaly, I would prefer a separate monitor...better pixel warranties in some cases, height adjustable with tilt, additional USB ports on side etc.

With the display and speakers separate from the main processor, if something goes wrong with the one or the other, I still have my main system versus losing everything if something needed to be repaired, upgraded etc. on the iMac.

I think having everything built into one unit can have both its pros and cons, just depends on personal preference and intended use I gather.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 05:31 AM   #18
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Personaly, I would prefer a separate monitor...better pixel warranties in some cases, height adjustable with tilt, additional USB ports on side etc.

With the display and speakers separate from the main processor, if something goes wrong with the one or the other, I still have my main system versus losing everything if something needed to be repaired, upgraded etc. on the iMac.

I think having everything built into one unit can have both its pros and cons, just depends on personal preference and intended use I gather.
Just use your existing 24" display TOGETHER with the iMacs 21,5" one. You can even make the 24" one the main display (with menu and dock etc.) and use the iMacs display for mail, palettes, another design program. Dual displays are extremely useful.

Again: You can connect a second display to an iMac and even make it the main monitor.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:20 PM   #19
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I would still consider the iMac...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetooth View Post
Hey, thanks a lot for the words and advice everyone. I should mention that I have a high end 24" LCD display that is not even 2 years old so I am not concerned about buying a display. I also have a brand new Apple keyboard and Logitech mouse which were recently purchased. So an iMac would render my display obselete and I am very comfortable and pleased with the quality of my 24" LCD and would likely prefer this to the 21.5" iMac display... I am not particularly interested in buying refurbished (just personal choice). The refurbished iMac listed above has an attractive price BUT it has a glossy screen (which I am not a fan of), I already have a 24" LCD and it is refurbished which you take somewhat of a chance on.
First off, only buy something you are completely comfortable with. I do not think any of your options are bad ones. I am not sure of what the exchange is currently, but the 24" iMac seemed not to be too much more. If the 24" was out of reach, I agree a 24" is preferable to a 20" display. However, there is another issue, calibration. My personal experience is that the Apple displays are always a LOT easier to bring into calibration, than other third party screens. I have a higher-end HD Samsung monitor, which I love... but never can get it quite right when I try to calibrate it. It just it always just a bit off, enough so I can't quite trust what I see onscreen as accurate. My iMac on the other hand was brought into calibration on the first try using a Spyder2pro. My press proofs are virtually identical to my screen. I do a LOT of retouching and imaging, so calibration is a big deal for me. If you are happy with your existing 24" this may not apply, but it is worth throwing out there. A few folks talked about mirroring, and the advantages to having a second monitor... this is handy. My screens are side by side, and my 2nd monitor can also display TV and HD cable... which is a nice, but not essential benefit. As for the existing keyboard and mouse, I go through those left and right, and replace them all the time. The glossy screen is a personal thing, but most folks make way to big of a deal about this, honestly. I agonized over my large screen HD Samsung trying to choose between the older matte, or the new glossy screen. When off, or black... reflections can be an issue... but when on, the reflections largely recede, and are not as noticeable as one might think. If a window is directly behind you, and close, it might be an issue. If you are viewing your screen from an angle (which most folks don't do) it might be an issue... but straight on, notsomuch. In the olden days, ALL high-end monitors where glossy, as they were CRTs, and we survived OK. I would probably choose matte (if given a choice), but Apple has not asked me, so it is what it is. On refurbs.... I agree that there might be some additional risk purchasing a refurb. I was cautious as well. However if you search the boards you will find most folks have pretty good luck with the refurbs from Apple. It's not like buying on Ebay, the equipment is essentially "new", and has the SAME warranty as the new stuff. Applecare would give the same coverage & peace of mind as for the new stuff (I would put AppleCare on your "buy" list. Buy it on Amazon and save a bit over the retail cost.). Not sure if this changes your mind at all, but I really think that iMacs are great, but underrated, choices as design workstations.
cheers, michael
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 01:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mlblacy View Post
First off, only buy something you are completely comfortable with. I do not think any of your options are bad ones. I am not sure of what the exchange is currently, but the 24" iMac seemed not to be too much more. If the 24" was out of reach, I agree a 24" is preferable to a 20" display. However, there is another issue, calibration. My personal experience is that the Apple displays are always a LOT easier to bring into calibration, than other third party screens. I have a higher-end HD Samsung monitor, which I love... but never can get it quite right when I try to calibrate it. It just it always just a bit off, enough so I can't quite trust what I see onscreen as accurate. My iMac on the other hand was brought into calibration on the first try using a Spyder2pro. My press proofs are virtually identical to my screen. I do a LOT of retouching and imaging, so calibration is a big deal for me. If you are happy with your existing 24" this may not apply, but it is worth throwing out there. A few folks talked about mirroring, and the advantages to having a second monitor... this is handy. My screens are side by side, and my 2nd monitor can also display TV and HD cable... which is a nice, but not essential benefit. As for the existing keyboard and mouse, I go through those left and right, and replace them all the time. The glossy screen is a personal thing, but most folks make way to big of a deal about this, honestly. I agonized over my large screen HD Samsung trying to choose between the older matte, or the new glossy screen. When off, or black... reflections can be an issue... but when on, the reflections largely recede, and are not as noticeable as one might think. If a window is directly behind you, and close, it might be an issue. If you are viewing your screen from an angle (which most folks don't do) it might be an issue... but straight on, notsomuch. In the olden days, ALL high-end monitors where glossy, as they were CRTs, and we survived OK. I would probably choose matte (if given a choice), but Apple has not asked me, so it is what it is. On refurbs.... I agree that there might be some additional risk purchasing a refurb. I was cautious as well. However if you search the boards you will find most folks have pretty good luck with the refurbs from Apple. It's not like buying on Ebay, the equipment is essentially "new", and has the SAME warranty as the new stuff. Applecare would give the same coverage & peace of mind as for the new stuff (I would put AppleCare on your "buy" list. Buy it on Amazon and save a bit over the retail cost.). Not sure if this changes your mind at all, but I really think that iMacs are great, but underrated, choices as design workstations.
cheers, michael
Cheers for the experience and insight, the 24" iMac is actually not available here in Canada anymore, just the 21.5" and 27" which is $1,799.00 (a bit too much atm). The 24" is still available as a refurb but as discussed I would prefer that to be a road less traveled.

The iMac is a nice, powerful machine. You're right, it is very underated as prior to my research and being a designer, I thought my only options were a MBP or a MP. I wonder why they discontinued that 24", perhaps it was too big a cost for the non graphic enthusiast so they went with a 21.5" for that demographic and then the 27" for the designers.

Nice to see that Apple is now running the majority of their machines fully equipped to handle the majority of software and apps, design apps included.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 02:34 PM   #21
mlblacy
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Originally Posted by bluetooth View Post
Cheers for the experience and insight, the 24" iMac is actually not available here in Canada anymore, just the 21.5" and 27" which is $1,799.00 (a bit too much atm). The 24" is still available as a refurb but as discussed I would prefer that to be a road less traveled. The iMac is a nice, powerful machine. You're right, it is very underated as prior to my research and being a designer, I thought my only options were a MBP or a MP. I wonder why they discontinued that 24", perhaps it was too big a cost for the non graphic enthusiast so they went with a 21.5" for that demographic and then the 27" for the designers. .
I understand the caution on the refurbs, I was wary as well. However having the same 1-year warranty, and being able to get the same level of protection with AppleCare, it took a lot of the risk-aversion away for me. I bought two refurb macbooks and they were as pristine as new, I am not even sure how they could qualify as "used". Beyond the packaging there were no clues or evidence they were refurbed. A few friends and clients have also gone down that route with little regret. Despite what you might read in the forums & boards, my experience with Apple has always been one of stellar service. My current iMac has had a number of things fixed/replaced with no questions (including the logic board). Mine was bought new, but things happen given enough time, even on "new" machines down the line. I never buy extended contracts on anything, but AppleCare is the exception. When spec'ing out equipment for friends and clients I ALWAYS include it. If they don't want to spend the $150-200, I cut something else out of the buy. Not sure why the 24" was discontinued, but given a choice I would always buy the biggest screen available (which always translates into increased productivity for designers & artists). Personally I was hoping and predicting they would come out with a 30" version. They already had a 30" display, so it made sense. My hunch is they intentionally hobbled/downgraded to a 27" to avoid cannibalizing their professional market. As it stands the top of the line 27" iMac has some pretty impressive specs... the ability to pack in 16gb of RAM was a pleasant surprise. I am betting a LOT of professionals are finally starting to look at the iMacs as a viable professional workstation. I was holding off replacing my white 24" until a larger screen came, I am slightly disappointed the screen is not 30", but not enough to hesitate on making a purchase. I noticed there are some 27's creeping into the refurb section of the Apple store now, if a fully loaded one appears when I am ready to buy, I will probably do that. Saving $250-400 is great, especially when I can put the money out for more ram (third party of course), maybe another external hard drive, or something else I need to add in. Lastly, always buy as much power, speed, capacity as you can afford... as it will help extend the usable life of your purchase down the line. regards, michael

Last edited by mlblacy; Jan 11, 2010 at 06:26 AM. Reason: typo
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