My choices

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lopez.T.H., Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Lopez.T.H. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #1
    Well, since the release of the new Mac Mini I have a few choices to make. Its either between a loaded Mac Mini or a 17" iMac. Now... Im gonna put down the pros and cons of each;

    Mac Mini - Pros
    Small form factor - Protable
    Can hook up to the TV
    FrontRow
    Mac Mini - Cons
    Intergrated Graphics (I really dont mind but...)
    Smaller Hard Drive

    iMac - Pros
    Built in monitor
    Big Hard Drive
    FrontRow
    Screen Spanning, I can hook it up to my other 17" Monitor
    128MB ATI X1600
    iMac - Cons
    Big (i dont have much space on my desk)
    No screen spanning. (or it can but Im not sure)

    And for both of the systems I added some BTO options to them.
     
  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #2
    Well, as for your iMac cons, the footprint of the iMac isn't any more than the Mac mini, so unless there are vertical clearance concerns, you're in the clear. Also, the Intel iMacs seem to support display spanning natively.

    Then the mini's specs...integrated graphics...meh. It's probably not going to impact you. I guess it comes down to whether you want the portability or the built-in display.

    Seems like you're sold on the iMac, though.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    id go iMac. its overall a better deal than the mac Mini in my opinion.
     
  4. Maxwell Smart macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    #4
    I'd personally go iMac, but thats just my personal opinion ;)
     
  5. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    the states for now
    #5
    Well if you dont have much room go the Imac. Mini is small but with a screen it still takes up more space than Imac.
     
  6. Lopez.T.H. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #6
    Oh! And dont forget the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. And I decided that I will post the specs for each machine.

    Mac Mini- $1,048.00
    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512
    100GB Serial ATA drive
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Set
    1.66GHz Intel Core Duo

    iMac- $1,534.00
    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB
    250GB Serial ATA drive
    ATI Radeon X1600/128MB VRAM
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD+RW/CD-RW)
    Wireless Keyboard & Mouse + Mac OS X - U.S. English
    17-inch widescreen LCD
    1.83GHz Intel Core Duo
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

    Just copied from the side bar on the customization screen.
     
  7. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    I think that i would go for the iMac if I were in your situation. Good luck, mate!:)
     
  8. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    Interestingly enough, the mini is remarkably competitive with those figures. An external hard drive and a 19" LCD will still come out less than the iMac. The iMac has vastly superior graphics and a faster CPU (but the mini has a socket). What do you hope to do with this computer?

    I think the iMac is pretty clearly preferable, but skip the 250GB upgrade and save the $75. You can buy it later and add it as an external drive for ~$110 and have 410GB of storage.
     
  9. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #9

    Im going to go with iMac too. For a little less than $500 more you get a 17 inch monitor, a hard drive thats 2.5 times the size, a dedicated graphics card with WAY more power, builtin iSight, and a slightly faster CPU. To me this would be worth the extra $500, its just a better computer that you proably would be happier with for a longer period of time
     
  10. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #10
    Personally, I think that the mini would make a great replacement, or secondary computer (for quick or simple tasks ie. worp processing, browsing) and were less customization is needed. I say this because if you want to add drive space, more ram upgrade graphics etc. it will either cost you more than usual,not be feasable or it is unsupported/tricky, and not because it has a slower CPU. Out of the box the mini is great, but not really intended for power users' main machine.

    When it comes to the iMac, you really do get a great deal on features and such, and even on the hardware as far as macs go. I don't think you can go wrong with it, unless you happen to be the sort of guy who likes to carry around their computer (see mini, laptops, and paranoid cube owners).

    A little off topic here but does anyone know if a new mac mini would be faster than my power mac G4 (MMD server)?
     
  11. Lopez.T.H. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #11
    To answer some of the asked questions...

    What do I plan on doing on the Mac? - Well Ive been a PC user since I was 9. And I wanna get "outside the box." Basically learn OSX. Do some light photo and movie editing. And a new place to keep all of my music, photos, and movies. I have a whole hard drive on my PC for that.

    Oh, and I already have a 17" monitor for my PC. Ive hear people saying when they get a new Mac they dont turn on their PC for weeks. So Im ok with unplugging my PC monitor to do a screen span.

    And the hard drive upgrade... im gonna keep that in there. I made the mistake with my PC by not having enough space. As I easily filled up 80 GB in 4 months.
     
  12. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #12
    In that case, there's no reason a Mac mini wouldn't suit your needs if you didn't need the built-in display. But if you don't mind the added expense, the iMac is really the way to go.

    I would seriously consider skipping the hard drive upgrade. You're paying $75 for roughly 84GB more usable storage (more than double the price per gigabyte of a second drive). A quick glance at current prices shows that you can get a 160 or 200GB hard drive for that amount. An additional $25 on that for a case and you've AT LEAST doubled the iMac's storage space. $92 will get you a 250GB drive. If you anticipate running out of room in the very near future, it makes little sense to pay a premium for a larger drive. On top of that, if you get into any serious video editing work, you're going to want a second drive for scratch.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    I am in the relatively rare position of having both, so let me throw in my 2 cents - and $2K+.

    The mini I have is exactly the one you described - 1GB/100GB duo. Picked it up at the Apple Store in NH today after returning a stock duo I'd bought but not opened Wednesday.

    The 17" Intellimac I have is the stock 17" which I've upgraded to 2GB.

    I have many, many hours of Intellimac experience, but only a couple so far with the mini.

    The Intellimac I have because I'd gotten one of the Developer Transition Kits that Apple allowed us to return early for a "free" iMac (well, we paid $999 to loan out the DTK and $500 or more to be in the developer program, but still...).

    The mini I purchased for use in my family room, soon to be accompanied - hopefully - by a 37" Westinghouse 1920x1080 TV (the perfect size for my small family room). I hope to share video with it, check email at times, etc. Also, I will bring it to work occasionally - my company buys only PCs and the mini is a relatively inexpensive and small option to bring in with me.

    After a few hours with the mini, my strong recommendation to you is to buy the iMac unless you need the size of the mini. I love the mini - I love the mini - but primarily because of its size and because - for the family room - the monitor is not only unnecessary but would be distracting.

    My reasons to recommend the iMac are the following:
    • The graphics on the iMac are clearly superior. That's not to say the mini is bad - it is much better than I had expected given all the whining. The mini does fine with graphics, not so much 3D, but generally it is quite good. The iMac is just simply a lot better.
    • I have a 20" Dell connected to the iMac - it spans natively, works great, and gives you a 2-monitor option which the mini simply won't allow.
    • The iMac is a bit faster. Overall, not really noticeably so, but a wee bit.
    • The iMac, sans 2nd monitor, looks a lot better than the mini connected to a black 3rd party monitor (very minor point).

    I love both of them, but they clearly serve different needs and have different plusses and minuses. If you are not certain, I can assure you that you'll love either choice, and you should just pick one with no backward glances. But, if it were me and if I could afford either and if space were not an issue, I'd pick the iMac.

    FWIW, I bought an iLugger case, making the iMac effectively portable, but it'll never be as easy to lug as a mini.
     
  14. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #14
    The iMac is a better deal but more of an up-sale technique. If you don't have anything and need a whole computer the iMac is defiantly the way to go but the modularity of the Mac mini set up has more potential in regards to the maintained value of components that can be used with later computer purchases. That being said if you think an iMac will last you long enough with out major upgrades then go for it but if you are getting your feet wet I would recommend the mini for its slight savings and future upgrade flexibility.
     
  15. Lopez.T.H. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #15
    Well, I guess the iMac is the way to go! i would like the screen spanning. I dont mind the added price for the iMac. I would also like to try out some games on it. But then I would have to wait for universal versions.
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    Depends on the game. Some already have UBs out, and some (like WarCraft III) play phenomenally well as is.
     
  17. Lopez.T.H. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #17
    Jsw, could you reccomend the Mini in any way?
     
  18. Lopez.T.H. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #18
    Dang it. Ive reald so many MacBook Pro love stories that now I want one of those! It can do all the same stuff as the iMac? right? screen spanning?
     
  19. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #19
    I'd wait for the first revision. I don't think that apple is happy with it yet. We might see some upgrades, like in firmware, to help the batery last longer. Maybe by that time we'll have our burning speeds back too. :)

    I'm still mad that there's no FW 800, which is quite useful for ext. drives.
     

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