17" iMac G5 or 20" Cinema + Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by volcomjerk, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. volcomjerk macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #1
    Title says it all... I basically was thinking that I might get sick of the iMac later seeing that everything is attached to it already and theres no flexibility with anything new I may want later. The G5 iMac comes with a lot of stuff for the price (education discount) for the 17". I was wondering if iMac's retain their value even when the new generation ones come out. I'm one of those people who always likes to have the latest. If they retain their value then I have no problem selling it later and getting another one.

    Or...

    I an go with a 20" Cinema Display and well... something else... as you can see I'm trying to stay within a certain price. I was considering this because of the larger screen real estate and the flexibility to hook it up to a different computer. If only them PowerMac G5's were uhh cheaper... =|

    What do you guys think?

    * I'm also going to get an iBook 12" no matter what for portability but I'd like the computing power of a desktop at home and avoid using my iBook at home.
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

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    #2
    You don't say what you want the system for, so it is hard to give you advice.

    Also, something to note - the iBook has a better graphics processor, so it's technically a better system than the mini. So if a mini will work, so should an iBook.
     
  3. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #3
    Sorry about that. The system is basically going to be used for Garageband and having a MIDI keyboard hooked up to it and my Acoustic-Electric Guitar (These are hobbies). Casual computing and of course for my desktop publishing work, Photoshop, InDesign etc.

    I do not play games and I do a little bit of Web Development here and there. I will be starting school soon and I'll be getting into ICS (Information Computer Sciences) so I'll be do a lot of programming and compiling.
     
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #4
    The specs for the iBook and Mac mini are so incredibly similar. (With the advent of the new versions recently). If, as you say, you want "I'd like the computing power of a desktop at home and avoid using my iBook at home" then I would FOR SURE go for ATY LEAST a G5 processor.
    The iMacs are great right now, in terms of value esp. look at the better of the two 17"ers or have a serious look at the 20". If you can, get to an Applestore and check them all out, the 20" is a sight to behold.

    If you are seriously going to use a desktop machine over a laptop at home, you will need it to be significantly faster (look into my profile to see i know what I'm saying). The G5 processor will give you a much more noticeable speed increase over the G4 in the iBook.

    Enjoy. I can't wait to be able to afford some new gear!
     
  5. jkandell macrumors member

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    Sep 6, 2005
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    Tucson AZ
    #5
    It depends what you care about. If you need a higher processor--as it sounds you might with garageband--the imac 17" is better. But the 17" imac monitor is noticably inferior to a 20" cinema display or imac display, even beyond its smaller size. I compared side by side a mini hooked up to a 20" cinema with a 17" imac. You could tell the mini's processor was slower, everything took a snap longer; but the mini plus 20" cinema screen scrolled smoother (without text "flashing" or "wobbling") believe it or not. And you also have a screen with 33% more area. I bought a 17" imac anyway because I wanted simplicity and couldn't see spending $1700 for a computer when I could spend $1200, so it all depends on context.
     
  6. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #6
    Oh yes, how do the displays compare to the displays on the Cinemas? Is it the same LCD panel on the iMacs? Last I heard they use LG for their panels on the Cinemas.

    Oh and is it easy to sell an iMac on eBay should I find that I get sick of it :rolleyes: .
     
  7. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 9, 2005
    #7
    why dont you go for 20inch imac G% if you spring for the edu discount right now then your looking at about 1,550 if you sell the ipod mini. Plus you get a ton of stuff that you cant dream of with the mini and the price wont be that far from an mac mini and a 20inch.

    stuff you get with imac vs mini.

    Less wires
    Faster Processor
    Far better graphics card
    250 gig HD
    DVD burner
    probly more but this is off the top of my head
     
  8. ibook30 macrumors 6502a

    ibook30

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    #8
    I have been asking myself the same question for over a month now - mini or imac - I am going with the 20" imac - I want the larger hard drive, G5 processor, etc. The G5 being a major factor. I'd like to get the best Power PC I can before it goes away. Good luck with your decision!
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

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    #9
    Due to the widescreen aspect ration, Apple is pretty much stuck with one manufatcurer (or was). The screens are the same.
     
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #10
    You really do need at least a G5 single processor to do anything worthwhile in audio recording and the iMac also has a standard 7200 RPM HD with double the memory. The 128Mb VRAM is a definite plus too.

    Otherwise, save up just a bit longer and hold out for a dual G5 tower and get by with your current display
    or buy a Dell 20" for about $400.

    I would try to catch a refurb Rev B 2.0 G5 dual
    for $1649 .

    Watch your specs though because Apple is also starting to sell the newer 2.0 Rev C refurbs
    and those have the prosumer motherboard.

    THe easiest way to spot a Rev B is that they have the 8X superdrive while the newer Rev C has the 16X dual layer burner.

    THe D/L burner sounds attractive but you sacrifice
    the Rev B's Pro 8 DIMM motherboard and PCI-X expansion slots.
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #11
    I just went through a similar decision process, and wound up with the 20" iMac. I thought about the 1.42 GHz Mini, but with a 20" screen it was way too close pricewise (I forget the exact figures). I was replacing a 15" Powerbook 1.5 GHz, and the idea of going to a slower machine was not one I could stomach. So then I looked at the 17" iMac vs. the 20" iMac.

    I went with the 20" iMac because it had the bigger hard drive, bigger screen, and better resolution on that screen. The iMac is notably faster then the Powerbook at running the same apps.

    Best,

    Bob
     
  12. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #12
    I would try to go for the PowerMac but thats a little too expensive and I need the extra money for the iBook 12".

    So I'm going with an iMac 20" I believe, I'll just have to check out the screen size difference on a 17" and 20" and see if its going to really make a difference in how I work. Getting the 20" just sounds like a luxury rather than something I really need unless the extra screen real estate is really going to effect how I work.

    I'll be going today to increase my debt!
     
  13. Arnaud macrumors 6502

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    The Moon
    #13
    - 20" is to be seriously considered, if you plan to use the machine for Garageband and picture/publishing apps.

    Several tracks of Garageband and a detailled time line do need a lot of screen, and the same with apps with lots of floating windows.

    - I think the iMac (G5 2.0 GHz) is a much better solution than the Mini (G4), as Garageband is quite hungry for CPU ressources. Mini+20" sounds cute, but I really wonder about the performances, esp. with such a big screen.

    - Regarding the screen, I thought the Studio was of higher quality (and contrast ratio) than the iMac, maybe I was wrong (I thought it was respectively 400 and 250 or something).
     
  14. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #14
    I would ask Mac employees if there is a difference between screens but they usually just say no and say all their screens are the same. Can anyone help me confirm the difference in the screens I can't seem to find spec sheets.
     
  15. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #15
    If you look at the specs for the iMac (http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html) and scroll down a bit, you'll see that the resolution for the iMac screen is the same as for the 20" ACD, the contrast is the same (400:1), and the 20" ACD is slightly brighter--250 vs. 230. I'd have to say that is pretty damn close!

    Best,

    Bob
     
  16. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #16
    Great thanks a bunch I never did ever find that spec page until now.
     
  17. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #17
    If a Apple Store is near, please check it out. I went recently, and drooled over the 20 inch iMac. I would recomend the 2.0 ghz 17 inch iMac, because it has a superdrive, and its faster than the low end iMac. I wouldn't get a Mini, guessing it will be about 600 dollars, add 700-800 dollars for a cinema display = 1300-1400 bucks. Just give the Apple Store a look. I would consider a powermac g5, but it appears you aren't doing HEAVY DUTY stuff, so an iMac G5 would suffice for a long time.
     
  18. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #18
    Completely agree - the limiting factor on the Mini also is the missing line-in, so you'd need to go with a USB device for audio in. I love my iMac for mixing and sampling - consider this: the G4 is already outmoded by the G5, and the G5 will soon be outmoded by Intel. I'd say if you're worried about resale value, get the iMac - at least it won't be two generations behind when Intel hits.
     
  19. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #19
    I'm getting the 20"!!! I'm so excited... I just made a visit during my lunch break and I wanted to rip off all my clothes and bring it to bed with me it was so hot... :cool: just kidding...

    But seriously... that thing was really quite a sight and I can't wait to get home and grab my credit card and walk in and just bring her home as one complete package. I better not get a faulty display... boy how that would make me mad to find several dead pixels on the screen =(.

    My heart beats with anticipation of my new succulent 20" iMac :D

    Thanks to all who offered advice.
     
  20. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #20
    Just so you know... the demo models at the Apple store aren't that good of a factor in deciding. Some of the computers there are messed up. I was there and saw the PowerBook G4 1.5 GHZ beat the Dual G5 2.7 GHz PowerMac in speed. It took the PowerMac twice as long to open up some iLife programs and it was noticeable slower in scrolling through iPhoto.

    Also, higher resolution can slow down the computer. Bigger monitors take more processor power to drive, and bigger monitors have higher resolution.

    I personally would reccommed buying the iMac 17". It's a great value. My friend has one and he loves it.
     
  21. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #21
    Ahhh!!! Noooo... don't say that... LOL *sigh* too late!

    Looks like I'll be re-evaluating when I enter the store to purchase!
     
  22. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #22
    As long as you add a Gig or 2 of ( 3rd party) RAM to your iMac, the screen size shouldn't make much of a difference in performance.

    The deciding factor for me on budget would be much more related to how much extra stuff you might need
    like a good M-Audio A/D interface, Logic, ProTools
    and so on. It sure adds up fast.
     
  23. Arnaud macrumors 6502

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    #23

    No worries, Volcomjerk: what Mike63737 says is that machines can be slower than real in the shops, not that the machines in the shop are actually pimped-up and more powerful. So, as long as you didn't compare perfs, no bad surprises...

    Thanks for the additional info on the screens. Maybe there was a difference on the first iMac screens, or maybe I just dreamed it all...

    And the iMac 20" is a comfortable machine, big screen and powerful.

    One advice though (without wanting to spoil the fun): the iMac can be kinda noisy, especially under a lot of CPU work (because of the fans), as you'll read in some threads - but especially the first revision -; if it comes to troubles, you can reduce that, I'd advise use not to set your computer in a room corner (as you'd reverb all the noise back to you); avoid also hollow desks (ie, cheap thick desk table, with lots of room inside the table); because I had to set it in a corner, I tried some sound insulation foam (with the peaks) against the walls, and it did a rather good job (but then my wife started screaming, because she never saw a nice office room with sound insulation foam in Homes & Gardens...)

    Noise of the iMac is a topic on forums, but I recently asked about a quieter machine at my Apple store. The assistant I talked to told me the iMac was rather quiet, and that the PM wouldn't be quieter (without 3rd party items). She proposed the Mini, iBook or Powerbook, but I wouldn't go back to G4.

    All-in-all, the G5 is a nice machine :)
    I guess the noise issue has been reduced with the last series, and it's possible mine (1st revision) is also faulty. (It's being checked right now).

    A.
     
  24. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #24
    AFAIK, the fan issue was confined to the Rev A's
     
  25. volcomjerk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #25
    I got my 20"... all I can say is...

    WOW! I've been so into it that I didn't even want to come back to the forums last night to tell you guys what a wonderful night I had with it!

    I couldn't stand looking at the 17" the screen really is just not... enough for me.

    I want to say more but I'm late for work! Damned machine kept me up all night!!!
     

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