Mac mini or iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by x704, Sep 11, 2006.

?

Mac mini or iMac?

  1. Mac mini

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. iMac 17"

    27 vote(s)
    90.0%
  1. x704 macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #1
    I can't decide which to get, the iMac or Mac mini. I am taking one class this term and will be working full time. I plan on taking collage full time for a computer science degree and/or a degree in mechanical engineering so money will be tight for those years... On the plus side I was planning on buying a more costly car (in the $2000-$4000 range) and ended up with a $1350 car :)

    Now which shall I get? I will probably will not need the extra storage of the iMac and already have a external HD. But the iMac has the better graphic option. I do plan on playing a tiny bit of games between assignments like Heroes of might and magic V, Civ IV, Freespace 2, and other older ones. I know everybody will say iMac because of the games but I don't care that much as long as they are playable and it looks like the Mac mini will barley pull them along. On my trash PC windows box I have a AMD 2400 with a GeForce 4 Ti4200 with 64mb and civ4 is playable.. not enough to extract an extreme amount of fun but playable (I didn't say anything about fun did I? :p )

    Now I could wait for a refurbished Mac mini so the cost would be even less... but I am thinking of the iMac partly because of the graphic card and the fact that with the student discount you get a $160 rebate? that is not included in the Mac mini I think for a iPod.

    Also if I went for the Mac mini I would need to buy a screen. What is the iMac screen comparable to? $200-$300 screen? Or am I not looking at it the right way? (I compare things to about how much they cost). Is the "core 2 duo" 64 bit and "core duo" 32 bit? And other them memory capacity, what is the difference? (besides the slight 10%-20% speed increase)

    Now what I would use it for... besides the very occasional game I would like to host my website on it. I would test my programs I will write on it :) I would use it for internet research for school stuff I anticipate. I will use a CAD program of some sort but if my iBook can handle it (I have CSI Concepts Unlimited) then I don't think that is an issue.

    I have been drooling over the mac pro but I will not use half of it ~90% of the time, but I can still drool over it :D lol

    I plan on keeping this thing running up through collage so perhaps something slightly better that cost more $ will be better in the long run.

    Right now I'm in no rush to get one, I will not start collage till after fall, shoot it could be next year fall for all I know, but I doubt it will be any longer then that. I think I am more likely to start in the winter.
     
  2. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    NZ
    #2
    Since you don't have a screen, I would say get the 17" or 20" iMac. Its superior performance over the Mac Mini is well worth the small price increase.
     
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #3
    If you are heading into engineering, I'd say go for the iMac.

    You're getting a Core 2 Duo processor, faster 7200 RPM HD, with enough space to store years of work and enough room to run a good sized Windows partition if
    you're running any P/C software. Vastly improved dedicated GPU vs memory sharing. The displays are beautiful, crisp and clear and you have much greater connectivity to external devices with the iMac.
     
  4. Voltes V macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #4
    sounds like an iMac 17" will suffice. add extra ram down the road, or right away. as for storage, you can always get an external hard drive later if additional storage is needed. and you can always save some more $ and wait for the refurb to show up. its gonna serve your college years adequately.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    I like the size and flexibility of the mini but I like the value and power of the 17 inch iMac with Radeon x1600 better for a machine with a lot of tasks.
     
  6. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #6
    Only 1 vote for the Mini for far. Up yours Apple! :mad:
     
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #7
    One thing a lot of people overlook when comparing the mini to the iMac is
    desk clutter.

    The iMac's clean design with a wireless mouse and keyboard, make for a
    fantastic workspace.

    While the mini is affordable, you still end up with display cables, the BIG power brick and anything else you might want to add, like an external back-up.
    It's way smaller than your average desktop, but you still get most of the typical clutter.
     
  8. Neonguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    #8
    You will not be dissapointed with the iMac. Since it come with a screen already. You even speak of games so definitely go with the iMac. The mini I think of it only for works, and a little bit of games. In the long run, the iMac last you a lot longer and better resale value.
     
  9. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #10
    Go with the 17" iMac x704- it is well worth the price difference. :)
     
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #11
    iMac - if you don't have an LCD you love already. Personally, I will PROBABLY end up with a refurb mini, but I have a 19" LCD and external 120gb FW drive (miniStack) already, so it makes a little bit of sense for me. (The mini is a nice machine, I love the form factor, they just priced it all wrong).

    Still, the 20" iMac is tempting me, so I am holding out a bit longer. :)
     
  12. x704 thread starter macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #12
    Lol, ok I know what you guys think... I will probably go for the iMac.

    Now how does the free nano cupon work? And I will get the same thing at an Apple store? I will need to get it before the 19th right?

    EDIT: I was just thinking I could get the older "core duo" refurbished model for something like $950 and the newer one is not refurb yet... Are the screens any different?
     
  13. nightelf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    #13
    The new iMacs do not apply for the free iPod promo. The promo ends Sept 16.
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #14
    You're better off just getting the Core Duo 2 iMac.

    If you want the Nano deal, you would have to fork over the extra money for the nano and or printer in advance,
    then send in the rebate forms within I think 30 days from when you get your order.

    Since, we'll probably see new iPods anyway, just get your main machine and stop worrying about toys.
     
  15. x704 thread starter macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #15
    Hmm, the offer ends this saterday, I was planning on going to a Apple store to get it this comming saterday. Does the offer end at the end of saterday? Or does it ends at 11:59pm on Friday?
     
  16. x704 thread starter macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #16
    Hellooo, everybody left because of the new Apple excitment :)
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    I pretty much figured this was going to be an iPod event.

    I think all of us stayed up too late anticipating what might happen today in
    Paris.

    The Expo isn't over, but the rebate deal does end this week.

    I recommended the iMac, because I really think you'll be happier in the long run.

    While the minis are amazing for what they are, most users outgrow them quickly
    handing them down to another family member so they can upgrade.
     
  18. x704 thread starter macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #18
    " Notes
    The iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo is not eligible for this offer. The entry iMac 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo with Combo Drive (part number MA406LL/A) and any configure-to-order version of this product also are not eligible for this offer.

    The second-generation iPod nano (aluminum) and the 30GB and 80GB iPod with brighter display, both announced on Sept. 12, 2006, are not eligible for this offer. Only the original iPod nano and iPod with video models are eligible. See below for part numbers.
    Product Family"

    Nooo, I guess that answers my question. Now what if I goto an Apple store, would they have qualifing things still in leftover stock?
     
  19. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #19
    Get the updated CoreDuo 2 with the 2 GB RAM upgrade.

    You'll have a GREAT computer and I'm reasonably sure you'll end up with
    an iPod as soon as you can afford it anyway.
     
  20. n-abounds macrumors 6502a

    n-abounds

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #20
    Hey, I was wondering...is a 250GB HD significantly quieter than a 500GB HD?
     
  21. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #21
    I have my 250 GB Seagate Barracuda SATA and after more than a year with lots
    of applications, I've used 47.69 GB.

    I burn back-ups to CD's and my secondary drive.

    A 500 GB drive is great until it fails.

    I'm not sure if Apple is still using Maxtors or not, anyone know?

    Anyway, even the best hard drives fail.

    That 5 year warranty doesn't mean diddly squat if your data is stuck on a failed drive.

    Personally, I would stay with the 250 GB and get a premium quality external
    backup drive for storage.
     
  22. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #22
    Actually I'd recommend the Mac Mini instead. The $599 model is a lot more bang for the $ compared to the $999 iMac.
     
  23. n-abounds macrumors 6502a

    n-abounds

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #23
    Now I'm confused...which is quieter?

    And do 500GB HDs tend to fail mroe often?
     
  24. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #24
    The capacity usually don't make any difference to its noise levels. If you are after quiet drives go for either the Seagates or the Samsung spinpoints. Avoid WD and Hitachi.
     

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