iMac or Mac mini?!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cornchild, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2007
    So I'm dreadfully confused here!

    I'm a garageband, Photoshop, after effects user who needs to pick a new computer. My 2007 iMac bit the dust on me so I have to pick a new setup. The thing is I need to buy new versions of my adobe products as well so I'm trying to figure out if a Mac mini would be the better route to save money.

    I'm afraid it may be too underpowered though. The choices are 27' iMac or Mac mini.:confused::confused:

    What are your experiences? Any help is greatly appreciated!


  2. macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
  3. macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2012
    The Mac mini is a great little machine. I love mine. As far as CPU power, both of the i7 minis can multithread, which puts it ahead of the i5 iMacs. Interesting thing to note: Though the top line i7 in the mini has a lower base clock than the i5s in the iMacs, the i7 will turbo boost faster than or as fast as any of the i5 equipped iMacs.

    What would make the definite decision really though is how much you render or if you're willing to sacrifice a little time for rendering if you by the mini.
    The GPUs on either computer are supported to aid rendering in Adobe CS6.
    An interesting side note: from what I've read, the GPU aided rendering in CS6 only supports little used and random seeming filters, etc. I'm not sure what the extent of that is.

    I guess I am a bit biased, but I really don't think there is a need to spend the extra on an iMac, as the mini pack quite a little punch.

    As far as my experiences, I'm by no means a professional, but I do play around in Photoshop, and a few other CS6 programs on my mini, and I've had no issues at all.

    I hope this helps some.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    You have one more choice - used Mac Pro.

    If you go for a Mini (2.6 preferably) - you might consider it a stop gap until something new comes along in 2013. Just remember to buy some 3rd party RAM (16 gigs) and consider SSD and Thunderbolt external drives. The fusion drive and standard 5400 drives are kind of slow for working with Photoshop etc.

    I don't know how serious you are about Photoshop, but the iMac screens are a pain to calibrate. What you get with horsepower so to speak (27" iMac) you lose in cost to get a 2nd monitor that can be calibrated properly (such as an Eiso, NEC etc.)

    I think a good deal is a 6 core M P, 24 megs of RAM and 2-3 drives. That would let you use CS products and more with breathing room.
  5. macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2012
    This sounds like a good plan too, (But I recommend the RAM in Gigs :D)
    You may want to wait for the new 2013 pro, so at the very least, the what then would be 2 gen old pros, you could be finding cheaper prices, possibly more for sale.

    That is, if you can wait.

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