Mini vs iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ael719, May 20, 2006.

  1. ael719 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2006
    here is my situation

    My current desktop is falling apart and I'm looking at getting a new computer. I would choose the MacBook Pro, but all the overheating and whine issues are enough to scare me away. So now I'm looking at a Mac Mini or a 20' iMac.

    I plan on using my computer to dual boot windows to play some games, CS, Half Life 2, and Guild Wars. Can the Mac Mini handle this?

    Do the Mac Mini and iMac both use Intel Centrino Mobile chips? Meaning if I want to wait for a 64bit processor it'll be the Merom in August and not the Conroe which comes out this summer? :(
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    The iMac and the higher end Mac mini both use Intel's new dual-core Core Duo processor. I'm not too clear on whether they use the Centrino chipset, but the processor is a generation further on than the Pentium M that most Centrino machines come with. The processor is only 32-bit. To get the most from games, you need to go with the iMac as it has a dedicated Radeon X1600 card with 256MB RAM. The Mini only has an integrated graphics chipset, which will handle those titles, but not at the frame rates you'll be wanting.
  3. colinp macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2004
    If you want to use it for gaming you best go with the iMac. My understanding is the Mini has an integrated graphics card, like the new MacBooks, which deliver underwhelming graphics performance.

    Not sure about the chip question.

    Definitely get the iMac. It's the whole machine and it should run beautifully. I plan on (eventually) picking one up when I have the cash to spare.

    edit: beat by dynamicv! Well played ;)
  4. _Matt macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2005
    Go for the iMac. I'm not a gamer so I wouldn't know the requirements for the games you want to play, but I think you'd be better off with the iMac, especially since it's a better value than the Mac mini. Intel Macs use Intel Core Duo/Solo processors. And if I remember correctly, Boot Camp isn't so great graphics wise yet so I'd wait it out for a bit and see how it develops. I hope someone else can answer your gaming question.
  5. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Only by seconds though I think. Better luck next time :D
  6. d_and_n5000 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Chances are, you'll want the iMac. If you're playing games, you'll definetly want the iMac, due to the better video card. Those gam

    Besides, the high-end Mac mini has a slower clock speed. The biggest hard drive you can get from Apple on the mini is no where near as large(120GB vs. 250) as the standard on the 20" iMac. Plus, you don't get a keyboard, mouse, or display with the mini. Let's do a price comparison:
    iMac - 20" built in display, Mighty Mouse and keyboard, 250GB hard drive, ATI X1600 graphics card, 512 MB RAM(1x512)all in one design: $1,699USD.
    Mac mini: 120GB hard drive(BTO), keyboard and Mighty Mouse(extra), 20" ACD, Intel Integrated GMA950(uses up to 80MB system RAM) 512 MB RAM(2x256): $1,801USD.

    Winner: iMac, in price and specifications.
  7. ael719 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2006
    another thing

    whats the fastest way to transfer your PC files into an iMac? I have crossover cables to transfer my desktop pc files to my laptop pc. Do iMac's have built in plugs that i can connect to.
  8. colinp macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2004
  9. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    iMacs have built in autosensing Gigabit ethernet. It will automatically do the crossover bit for you if you only had a straight through cable, but your crossover will also work. Turn on file sharing on the PC once they're connected and the Mac should find it automatically. To connect to it, make sure you're in the Finder, select Network from the Go menu and you will see your PC appear as an icon.
  10. knackroller macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2006
    If u can afford it, get the MacBook or MB pro.... unless you plan to run it continuously for it to overheat.........
  11. ael719 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2006
    I plan on running it continuously as my main computer.

    I also looooove the way macs look on a large LCD screen. They are absolutely gorgeous.

    I like the power of the iMac, but it kinda sucks the biggest screen it has is 20'. I saw the Power Mac G5 hooked up to a 30' screen, but I think it would be waste if I were to buy a Power Mac because I'd never use it to the best of its abilities.

    I assume the only ways to make use of a 30' screen is to buy a Mac Mini or to use it as a second screen with the iMac.

    Finally, do I want to wait for iMac's with 64bit chips or will I be ok? I plan to keep the computer for a minimum of 2.5 to 3 years.
  12. blitzydog macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    You can't use the Mini or iMac w/ the 30inch screen. Need stronger GPU + dual link DVI :d Sorry! 23inch is cool though.
  13. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    I believe the largest screen that either computer will drive is a 23". The iMac is a better value for what you what to do and has much better graphics. You could attach a second 20" screen to the iMac, which would give you a lot of screen space.

    Unless you are prepared to wait a while, I would not wait for a 64 bit iMac. When those chips become available they will go into the towers first.

    Best wishes
  14. ael719 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2006
    You just ruined all of my summer plans.

    Any idea how long I'd have to wait for a 64bit? Or is this only speculation?
  15. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    I have no special knowledge. It seems reasonable, though, that Apple will not let its expensive, pro machines be outclassed by the iMac. I expect processor type will be one of the ways that the Mac Pro will be differentiated from the iMac. It also depends on when the pro app.s become universal and what Intel has down the road. We will know more after the WWDC, which is in August.

    Have a good summer.

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