Base 21" iMac or Mac Mini with 2.6ghz + Fusion

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tassam380, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. tassam380, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #1
    Hello MacRumors Community, I hope to be "seeing" a lot more of you soon.
    I have been a long anti-mac being but I am now tired of the Blue Screens etc. and it is time to get a Mac. My Budget is around $1200 (Give or Take) and it's main use will be photo importing/editing with some video editing on the side. I use Adobe CS6 and have Creative Cloud so I can easily just download the OSX version. I'm only in high school so the editing I am doing is not in any way intensive but I still want everything to run smoothly.

    I currently have a HP Laptop with a i7-3610qm and a GT630M and it performs all these tasks (mostly) to a good standard. Although the portability of having a macbook would be nice it is out of my budget to get one that fits my needs, so I am happy to go with a desktop option. Although with a Mini I am able to take it to school and plug it in to one of their monitors. Through my work I get a discount at CompNow and that is where I will be most likely buying it. I would be going with the mid-spec model upgraded to the 2.6ghz processor and probably the fusion drive. I would then get 16GB of RAM from somewhere like PCCaseGear. This config costs $1206. I have recently purchased a 23" Samsung Full HD Monitor and have keyboards/mice etc. so this part isn't a factor in my purchase.

    With the iMac, because of the budget it would have to be the base model with the 2.7ghz i5 @$1310.

    In my opinion the Mac Mini is going to be more suitable but i would like to check over this with more experienced mac users before making the big-ticket purchase.

    Thankyou in advance for all your help.

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #2
    Do you have a good monitor to use with your Mac mini? Don't forget you have just the integrated graphics and HDMI still is a bit of an issue.

    The iMac on the other hand has 512 MB of the GeForce GT 640M and it has the faster GDDR5 memory.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #3
    I have the 2.6 ghz with 16gb of RAM and a Fusion Drive, and this thing never skips a beat. I've used Final Cut X and the like on it with absolutely no problems. Go for the Mini. It's so awesome. I'm in high school too, haha.

    Check out my review on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECqib74z-lc
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #4
    What model Samsung SSD are you using?
     
  5. Ferr, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #5
    I reccomend to buy mini with external monitor, it could be dell. Also add to mini SSD + RAM this will increase perfomance.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #6
    Did you mean to say increase performance instead of reduce.:confused:
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #7
    yeah, sorry :D
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #8
    The iMac has no FireWire, no audio in, no Infrared for Mac remote. You have to buy RAM at Apple's prices as you can't [easily] fit it yourself.

    The mini 2.6Ghz with Fusion runs CS6 effortlessly.

    If you're a student, you may be able to get Apple Education Discount.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #9
    Thankyou for all your replies.
    @IceDragon - I have a Full HD Samsung Monitor. The colour accuracy etc. is probably not brilliant but it is enough for what I do.

    @NicholasEB - Thanks! I will watch the review just after I've finished typing this.

    @Benwiggy - I have thought about most of those, the Firewire will be handy connecting my 1D, as it only has USB 1.1 and I forgot about the Audio Input, that will be another issue. I knew the previous model iMac you could fit RAM yourself, but I didn't think that they changed it with the new design. I will definitely go with the Mini then, I refuse to pay apple RAM prices. =D
    I've also looked at the education discount but the price-cut through my work makes it cheaper than Education, although going through CompNow, a reselller. They still let you choose upgrades though.

    Thanks for all your help everyone, and I am pretty much made up with the Mini. Hopefully in a week or to I'll be joining the.... Realm..?? :p

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #10
    It's a 128 GB 830 Series
     
  11. tassam380, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #11
    Errg. Just had another option float into the mix. On Gumtree here in Hobart there is a Mac Pro advertised. Unsure if I am allowed to post links so I will just list the specs. How will it compare to the proposed mac mini. One good thing is that I can then buy locally rather than having to get something sent from the mainland. Disadvantage is that its used.

    2 x 3ghz Quad Core Xeon Processors.
    9GB Ram.
    120GB SSD + 3 x 500GB HDDs
    ATI HD 3870
    Blu-Ray Reader/DVD Burner Combo Drive.
    USB 3.0 Card.
    Wifi/Bluetooth

    This is advertised at $1300, although has been up since mid-december. I haven't investigated it any more so it could be dodgy, but it doesnt seem that unrealistic.

    EDIT
    Now theres something else. D: - 27" iMac Mid '11. 2.7ghz Quad i5 + 6770m for $1200

    Thankyou Again.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Nate392

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #12

    Yeah, those are some really good looking specs. And a price like that it seems it would be a steal, BUT, you said it's used, which raises the question, how was it used? Is it fried to kingdom come?

    The iMac looks pretty nice as well, but that raises the "How was it used?" question.

    I was bouncing between a similar iMac setup and my mini as well. What brought me to the mini is: USB 3, I was able to to get an SSD, and I can put another drive in technically whenever I want if I feel the need, I really don't photo edit, and the i7 in the mini supports multithreading, which an i5 iMac doesn't.

    In your case, if you're planning on getting deeper into photo/video editing, I'd definitely recommend the iMac with it's discrete GPU. But if you aren't going in for heavy photo editing, the mini is a really viable choice. And as you had said before, it's nice since it's a portable desktop.
     
  13. tassam380, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #13
    Thanks.
    On the ad for the 27" it says that it has only had about 100 hours usage and comes with packaging, magic mouse and keyboard. I'm somewhat tempted to inquire further about this one. The 2 Thunderbolt Ports would probably make up for the USB as the only use I would have is storage, which I can get with thunderbolt as I don't already have any drives. It also has the built-in disc drives. It already has the 7200rpm drive which as having never used an SSD will suffice.

    I'm not all that concerned about the relative portability any more. I may buy an Air or 13" MBP down the track to cover school etc.

    If anyone has any video/photo editing experience with these two machines (iMac 27" + Mac Mini) it would be greatly appreciated. (Being able to Run Saints Row 3 in Bootcamp would be an added bonus... :p)

    EDIT - I've just looked on CPU Benchmark... THe i5-2500s in the 27" gets a score of 4,964 while the 3720qm in the Mini gets 8,602. On Geekbench the iMac gets 7735 points whereas the Mini gets 11607. To put that in perspective, the current topspec 27" gets 12859. (They were all on 32bit before I found the button for 64bit. But the gaps are pretty much the same) Now I know this is just some benchmarks... But this ain't golf. It seems to be a bit better. The Hyper-Threading would probably make a difference too. I think I need to screw my head back on and realise that I'm not going to get a pretty screen with the best up-to date tech for the money I have.

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  14. macrumors member

    Nate392

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #14
    Yeah, you can replace the monitor on the mini no problem as well, while you can replace the monitor on the iMac, it's not exactly easy.

    I knew the i7 was better on mini compared to the iMac, but I din't know it was so much better! As long as you don't need the discrete GPU, the mini is far and away the best choice, especially since you're on a budget, and already have a monitor.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    #15
    I bet if you asked the same question on the iMac forum, everyone would say get an iMac. :)

    Personally, I chose the mac mini because the lack of easy upgradability of the iMac scared me. Technically the iMac is higher performance, but so far my mini has been able to handle everything I throw at it. I got the 2.6 i7 version w/ Fusion drive.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Nate392

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #16
    You're absolutely right that the mini is a better choice if you ever plan to upgrade the computer itself, but you're missing that the mini's CPU is actually better than the iMac's. http://www.barefeats.com/imac12b.html
    It's really exciting that the mini though not nearly as strong in the GPU, the CPU kicks the i5's in the iMacs.
     
  17. tejota1911, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #17
    In order to get a similarly equipped 21.5" iMac, you would have to spend $2149(i7, 16GB, Fusion). It you opt for the Mac mini, that leaves you roughly $1000 to spend on a monitor. You could go with the 27" TBD and have a much larger screen than the 21.5" iMac, or purchase another brand monitor and save hundreds of dollars. The advantage the iMac has is its graphics card. The HD 4000 in the mini is working great for me(At 1920x1200), but it depends on your intended use, and how many pixels you are trying to drive with it. The advantage of the mini is its bang-for-the-buck, the ability to customize/upgrade yourself, and lower cost to upgrade to the next model. I had planned to upgrade from my late 2009 iMac to the new iMac, but decided on the mini this time. I have no regrets.

    BTW- I have less than $1500 in my entire setup, including the Apple BT Keyboard & Trackpad and my 1920x1200 24" IPS monitor. My 32-Bit GeekBench score is 11087, and I'm running the 2.3Ghz i7 processor. Count on another 1000 points if you opt for the 2.6Ghz i7.

    New Mac Mini
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l53/tgianotti/ScreenShot2012-12-28at11741PM_zps0bdaf143-1_zps0927718e.jpg
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #18
    Thanks for all your replies. I'm just using a 1920x1080 monitor at the moment, and don't see myself spending big money on a monitor, I plan on keeping this one for a while. Im pretty much waiting on money now and then I will order the mini. I have my laptop on Gumtree at the moment, and will get paid from work tonight. Getting excited =D Down the track I will probably get an air or a 13" MBP for on the go stuff. Probably even wait for a decent used one to pop up.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    #19
    So Just Now, As I have pretty much everything ready to place my order, I am confronted with a 2-3 week wait from any of the resellers. With my configuration options on Apple it is showing up at 1-3 business days. I guess I'll have to pay a bit extra to get it direct from Apple as I have to sell my current laptop first before buying a new one. I can go a few days without it but two weeks isn't quite going to happen. I will call Apple tomorrow and check on this wait period, it seems weird that while Apple can have it done in a couple of days, it is going to take any of their "Premium Resellers" Weeks for exactly the same thing. I have a Next Byte and a Mac1 here in Hobart, so I might contact them tomorrow too to see if I can get a custom-built model from either of them.

    I'll Stop ranting now. XD
     

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