Torn between iMac 24" and Mac Mini +24" LCD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Killroy™, May 5, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #1
    I am looking for a replacement for my G4 MDD (Dual 1GHZ) and I have looked at the 2.8GHZ 24" iMac and I really like it. But then I look at the Mac Mini 2.0GHZ and I realize that I can add a really nice 24" LCD for less than the price of the iMac.

    I was thinking about adding a Firewire drive for the Mac Mini so I can boot OS X from it to speed up the slow 5400rpm internal drive and then use the internal drive for the Bootcamp drive with XP Pro.

    I am going to use my new Mac for mostly web surfing, email, and minor Photoshop work. No games, no video editing, no hard CPU work or graphics stuff.

    So, should I get the iMac or will the Mac Mini + 24" LCD be a better fit. I am so torn. Any suggestions?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    forafireescape

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    I think you should go with the iMac just because it's nicer if money's not an issue. They're just so pretty :) And it's faster.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #3
    The 24" iMac is serious overkill for what you are saying you are going to do. The mini and LCD will cost less, and perform for your needs flawlessly. So get the mini.

    My two cents.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    For one, I would go with the iMac. But, maybe your needs are met by the mini for a cheaper price. It looks like they are, but I would still go iMac. Better deal for the money. Secondly, don't boot OS X off an external firewire drive. It will NOT be faster than the internal drive. It will be much slower.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #5
    Yeah, the iMac is much faster but do I really need the speed? OK, we all need the speed. lol

    I agree that the iMac may be overkill. Upgrading the Mini to 3GB and adding a 750GB FW drive and a 24" LCD for the same $$$ as the iMac, sure is tempting.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #6
    How so???... My G4 is just as fast from FW than the internal 7200rpm drive and that is the same speed as the internal 7200rpm drive. I figured that the 5400rpm drive would be slower than a 7200rpm via FW.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #7
    It wont be slower because the mechanics in conventional hard drives are not fast enough to push out the full speed of sata or even FW800. Enter SSD/IBM's new tech.

    The hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in most systems.
     
  8. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    I'd get the iMac, myself. With the recent update it will offer better longevity then a Mac Mini will so the extra cost will likely be repaid with extra value and longer "usable life".
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #9
    The upgraded RAM from Apple in the mini is a rip off. Plus the mini does not have a dedicated graphics card, and it will show its age much faster. You can upgrade the iMac to 4 GB for under $100 with 3rd party RAM. I would consider a refurbed, slower 24" iMac, perhaps even previous generation (white). There is a white refurb 24" in the Apple store right now for $1199. It will still be plenty fast, far cheaper, and a great iMac, and then you get the best of both worlds.

    (If you want the refurb, you might want to act fast - I have seen these things disappear quickly and that one is a great deal).
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #10
    I would never pay Apple to upgrade my Ram on any computer. I can upgrade the Mini to 3GB from Newegg for $60.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    canucks-17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #11
    If you really want the iMac 24'', I would suggest getting a refurbished one from Apple for $1399. It fits between your needs nicely.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #12
    Man do I feel like a traitor. After looking at the iMac 24" and a 30" HP bundle at Costco for less than $1600 I ended up going with the HP and upgrading my G4 to Leopard and using that for any Mac specific needs.

    I just could not pass up that gorgeous 30" LCD that I can later use with a Mac Pro when its time to upgrade again. As much as I dislike Vista, the transition has not been all that painful. The E6750 and the Nvidia 8500GT make the HP very usable for Photoshop.

    So now I go hang my head in shame as an official PC owner. But hey, I still have my MDD G4 totally maxed out with goodies to keep my Mac card.
     
  13. D4F
    Guest

    D4F

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #13
    At this point most 24" monitors on the market use cheap 6bit TFT panels.
    Of course you can get good but It will run you close to $1000. Add mini to that (slower and less possible RAM) and that $$ value stops shining.

    iMac has a great 8bit display and if the glossy issue doesn't bother you, you'll love every bit of it.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #14
    I ended up up with this monitor and a HP Multimedia PC. The monitor has 92% color gamut and is the highest rated 30" LCD on the market.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    DeuceDeuce

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    San Dimas, CA
    #15
    What ratings are you looking at?
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #16
    Google the reviews for the LP3065 and you will see that among all three 30" LCD's (HP, Dell, and Apple) the LP3065 had better gamut and uniformity among all three. I think the Apple has 88% gamut while the Dell has 90-92%.
     
  17. D4F
    Guest

    D4F

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #17
    Is the mini even able to handle 30"??
    Personally I don't like screens that big. Way too much area too close from me.
    I don't do print so would be a waste anyway.

    Eizo are good too by the way. ACD are great too but you might need some luck to get the perfect panel. I needed 3 approaches (all within 1 week) to finally get a perfect screen. I love it.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #18
    The Mini can't do 30" since you need a Dual-link DVI for them if you want to do 2550x1600.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #19
    Not quite true. Modern 3.5" hard drives (100-120 MByte/s, sustained)
    are a bit faster than FW800 -- and much faster than the Mini's FW400.

    The practical upper limit for a FW400 external drive is 35-40 MByte/s,
    and that's probably a little faster than the Mini's 2.5" notebook drives.
    (There are faster 2.5" drives, but you're not gonna find one in a Mini.)

    I'm not a big fan of the Mini (overpriced and underpowered, IMO), but
    with the poor/uneven quality of ALU iMac displays, the Mini+monitor
    has some advantages. You can get a high-quality 24" display from DELL
    ($600-ish) or a fantastic 24" NEC ($1100-ish), and live with the Mini
    for a while. When/if Apple upgrades/replaces the Mini, you can sell
    it and move the monitor to the next machine.

    Yup. And dog-slow, low-capacity, expensive notebook drives are the
    Mini's #1 weakness -- especially since there's no FW800 port.

    ...tough choice,

    LK
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #20
    Don't expect a Mac Mini to lug big photoshop files around a 24" screen very well will you!!

    Go for a 24" iMac I say...upgrade the card to a 8800GS + upgrade to 4G ram - cover yourself for the practical 4-5 year usable lifespan of this major investment. Basically your 'cheaping out' a few hundred dollars and compromising, and whilst money maybe tight ( I don't know?) your going to have this piece of kit a LONG TIME so invest wisely.

    Maybe even consider a copy of the fantastic pixelmator ($60) which uses core GL to apply real-time filter manipulation - that only uses the graphics card and is a dream after using the 'press apply - wait and see' - nature of photoshop. Being able to just alter and see filter changes in real-time is soooo good for your creativity - it's like 'image-jamming'

    My view is you'll become very disappointed with the graphics card performance of the Mini pretty quickly + the iMac 24" screen is a real beauty.
     
  21. Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #21
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #22
    With regard to this - you can always send it back within the 14 days if it's bad for a full refund...Don't let 'what if' stop you from trying what IMO is arguably the finest personal computer solution ever made - and certainly the most powerful and economically accessible iMac ever made...
     
  23. Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #23
    i'm on my second, and it's far from perfect, although a bit better than the first... others are on their 16th!!! majority are bad, some worse than others... i would wait to buy an iMac until Apple fixes this issue.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #24
    wait? With a 14 day return policy -why wait ? Try, if it's not ok send it back. I once knew a man who wanted to buy a Ferrari in 1976. - but wondered if he should wait till they sorted out the electrics - today he still has no Ferrari. Not exactly the same, but you get my drift.
    Once again, try it - you seriously 100% have nothing to loose - Apple don't even charge for return collection if it's 'bad on arrival'. Go for it!
     

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