Mac Mini or iMac 21.5"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Moccasin, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Have been tying myself up in knots recently trying to decide what to buy.

    My original intention was to buy a base or mid-range Mac Mini to allow me to move iTunes and/or iPhoto libraries off my MBA, attach a couple of external hard drives and retire my ReadyNAS which has been a pain to run since I bought it. I want to be able to do more with my photos and maybe start blogging/growing my website again.

    Problem is that I only have a cheap Viewsonic monitor (VGA) and that would need replacing before long and having got used to my MBA trackpad, would probably want one for my Mac Mini. Already the cost is getting close to an iMac... especially with a refurb in the store now (though that only comes with a mouse - you can't seem to swap mouse for trackpad when buying refurb?)

    In the Apple store yesterday, even the mid-range Mac Mini seemed slow to open the stock iPhoto library (a very scientific test: took about 7 bounces of the icon), although I assume that this is largely due to the lack of installed RAM as the iMacs with 8GB were much quicker.

    Of course, getting a refurb iMac 21.5" means I can't upgrade RAM past 8GB, whereas I can get 16GB RAM for the Mini for £90.

    Costs are:
    £500 for base mac mini +£60 trackpad+£25 VGA adapter (initially)+£25 DVI Adapter + £160 Dell UltraSharp U2312HM Monitor +£90 RAM upgrade = £860
    (£1040 for mid range mac mini)
    £930 refurb base iMac + £60 trackpad = £990
    or £1300 for iMac from store with 16GB RAM

    Will the base mac mini serve me well enough or should I get the mid range? If mid-range is better, would an iMac be a better bet and if so, do I need the extra RAM? (don't even get me started on Fusion!)

    PS Checked my emails earlier... no email about my National Lottery ticket sadly!
  2. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I think your original instinct to buy the Mini is correct. This will allow you to add both RAM and peripherals later once you've got the cash. Though you may not like your current monitor, it will do for now.

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