Help deciding between Mini and iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by philipcolett, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. philipcolett macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #1
    I am going off to college next month and I am trying to decide on a desktop mac for myself. I currently have a Macbook, which I am very happy with, however I need a desktop as well for backup purposes, and if my macbook ever crashes.

    My decision is between a Mini and an iMac.

    I have used a mini in the past, and have been happy with it. My main question is will I notice much of a performance difference between a 20" iMac Intel and a Core Duo Mini with a 20" or 24" Dell monitor?

    I would like to get a Mini and a 20" Dell simply becuase it is much less money. I can get the mini and the 20" for about 1000, and with a 24" for about 1400. I will mainly be using firefox, itunes, iphoto. Once in a while I will use Photoshop and garageband, but not more than once a month. I know that ram is the most important, I have 2gb in my macbook, and have and extra 1gb chip for whichever one I get.

    I do not want to spend the money on a powermac, as it is way past my needs.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #2
    the mini sounds like it'll suit your needs just fine - i'd opt for that.
     
  3. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

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    Mar 22, 2005
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    NZ
  4. Tamer Brad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #4
    What's the point of getting a Mini if you have a Macbook? Isn't the Macbook just as good - if not better?
     
  5. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #5
    he says right here:

     
  6. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #6
    What about getting the 20" monitor and an external hd for backup and using the macbook?

    You could keep the money to run out to get a mini if you ever desperately need one (broken down macbook with a project due etc). Or even better, drink the money and keep ongoing projects on a usb flash drive so you can use the college computers if your macbook gives up.

    If you don't fancy that, get the post update iMac. There's no urgency on you buying as you have the macbook already, so you could save for a while and get a more up to date one when you have the money.

    Getting a less powerful computer as a desktop doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You'll most likely find you'll never use it.
     
  7. philipcolett thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #7
    What do you mean "post update imac"? Do you mean when they revise it, which I expect soon, as it has been almost 7 months. And money is not really the issue, I just dont want to throw it away on the 20" imac if I dont need it.
     
  8. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #8
    There are always better computers in the pipeline. The iMac (an the Mini btw) will most likely be updated soon, and in 6 months who knows? Maybe another significant update. If the iMac gets Merom, it may also get Santa Rosa when it comes out. It's possible that the mini will overtake the macbook by then, and it could be worth getting one at that point.

    You don't actually need another computer now. Why not try out with your macbook and see if you can get by without a second. If you do find in November that you need a second computer, at that stage you could surely hang on until the New Year and get something even better (with Leopard and iLife '07 thrown in).

    It's just if money is an issue (even a minor one) getting a mini at the moment is a bit of a waste.
     
  9. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #9
    Well, the smartest would be to just buy a stock Core Duo Mini, a 20" screen (Dell, Samsung, Apple, whatever...). Then putting your 1 GB stick into it. Just use Photoshop on the MacBook (hooked up to 20"), since it already has 2 GB RAM. The Mini is a great computer.;)
     
  10. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #10
    You're a college student. Just get yourself a decent external hard drive and save your money! You don't need to buy another mac as a backup solution and from what it sounds like (generally just web browsing, using iTunes, etc) you probably don't need a larger display. See how it goes and maybe buy something next semester if you really need to.
     
  11. Greebazoid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #11
    a college student with no shortage of cash by the sounds of it.

    iMacs rock if you want an all singing, all dancing but fixed-ish option.

    Mini's - to my way of thinking, anyway, give you a lot more options.
     
  12. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Little grey, chilly island.
    #12
    I guess I'm the only one thinking you should go with the iMac....

    Only because it's what I did:

    1) Space saver and clutter saver

    Even with a Mac Mini You'll still have some clutter from cables - not from an iMac!

    2) Screen Built in
    Why buy a separate display when you can have it built right into one unit?

    3) Faster Computer:
    The Harddrive, Graphics and everything else in the iMac is much faster. Remember the Mini is a laptop in a box. You can't play games on it - you cant run many audio channels off it if you dabble in Garageband - the ram is annoying to upgrade etc etc. With an Imac, none of this is an issue - plus you can play games with ease
     

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