Mini or iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Macclone, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2012
    I need to replace my 2006 iMac as is is having issues. My debate is to get the next iMac or to just get a mini and nice monitor.

    My wife does the basics - email, online shopping and banking, etc. I use my iPad for those things. However, I want to get back to using iMovie and IPhoto.

    I have read a lot about the lack of discrete graphics in the mini. Will that be an issue for iMovie editing? I am not a gamer.

    Any advice?
  2. macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2012
    I have wait 1 year on imac 27. I have buy a mini i7 and refurb acd27 after see my friend use that combo. I use it for photoshop ans light video editing, solidworks, cad,internet.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    editing of video and photos depends in some factors: CPU power, RAM quantity and good graphic management (GPU or graphic card). Having said the latter, I would say a mac Mini base config with an aftermarket RAM upgrade can suffice, if the editing of photos/videos is not too complex or requires many manipulations/effects/filters

  4. benwiggy, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Any computer these days is easily good enough for home use -- including using iMovie. Most user tasks have remained at the same level of sophistication for a while, but technology continues to advance. Web browsing, manipulating encoded video, audio: these are not tasks that cause any problem to a modern machine.

    Like you, I had a 2006 iMac, and I was using that for iMovie, Photoshop, InDesign, Logic, etc, etc. It coped very well. It may have been slow at demanding tasks, but it could do everything.
    The new Mini is over four times faster, according to Geekbench. (It's even faster than a 2009 MacPro!!) Even the Intel 4000 is going to be a much better GPU than the separate card that's in the 2006 iMac.

    I've bought the 2.6 Ghz i7 mini with the Fusion drive. I put in 16Gb of RAM myself. I've yet to find a task that gets the CPU busy.
  5. macrumors 68030

    May 3, 2010
    I was in the same position. My wife's 2006 iMac was getting a bit long in the tooth (still fine for emails, browsing, word processing). I ended up adding a new Mini to our 55" TV in the bedroom. It's fine for iPhoto/iMovie work and then some.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Handbrake puts a major toll on my CPU. I have a 2.3 i7 with 16gb RAM and SSD.

    If I'm converting something the computer is a bit touchy and gets pinwheels a once in a while. But Handbrake is really pushing those 4-cores hitting up to 700% at moments.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    Was in the exact same position as you over the summer. My iMac was from 2005 I believe.

    I'm a graphic designer who occasionally brings work home, so I needed something that could do some after-hours photoshopping if needed. I went with the Mini and love it. I do freelance projects on it and edit photos (nothing too intense & mostly jpgs) and am definitely happy with this configuration. The main reasons I went with this over the iMac was price and upgradeability. I can always invest in a better monitor later but the Dell one I got for under $200 is great!

    I purchased the base mini and did upgrade the RAM immediately myself to 8gb, so I have no clue how it would run on 4 gb.
  8. macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    BASED on your needs in the first post. Buy a refurbished iMac.

    this one is a bit short in graphics

    this machine which is out of stock is pretty much perfect for your needs.

    this machine has an easy upgrade path

    use t-bolt for a boot drive.

    under 2k and really powerful setup. no mini will beat this in graphics but if you are crazy into handbrake the quad mini is very fast.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    I would get the mini. Why lock yourself into one monitor? The mini offers more flexibility down the road.
  10. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    I couldn't wait for the iMac and went with the mid-range Mini and sold off my 2007 iMac. Now that iMac pricing is released, my setup (23" IPS monitor, 16GB RAM, external CD/DVD, external speakers) cost under $1100. That's hundreds of dollars less than the 21.5" iMac with the BTO 16GB RAM).

    There's tons of cords hanging behind my desk, and my surge protector has a few extra plugs now, but I think it's well worth the price savings!

    This Mac is zippy compared to that dinosaur 2007 iMac. I'm stalking the internet for a good SSD deal, even though I know I don't really need it right now. :D
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2011
    The mini should do the job. You do need to settle on a monitor. You can use your input devices from before.

    Isn't there a way to use your iMac screen as a monitor for the mini using a minidisplayport cord?
  12. macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    I went the same way: 2.6 GHz and fusion, and yesterday I installed 16GB of RAM. I am not a gamer, but I often need to use several apps at the same time and I keep switching between them. The machine is very responsive, everything opens, closes, moves in a snap. My previous machine was 2008 Mac Pro, and the new Mini just runs circles around it.

    For me the ability to have a monitor that is separate from the computer was a big plus. Often, when I am done, I give my old machines to my son or my wife. That way I just buy the base computer, but the monitors stay with me for a long time.
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2012
    So, now I have to read the hundreds of posts on monitors.:)

    Thanks for all the responses!

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