what can an iMac do that a Mini can't?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by roland.g, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #1
    Hook up a keyboard, mouse, internet, and of course the display (that the iMac already has) to a Mac Mini and what can the iMac really do that much better. And please don't talk to me about gaming. Sorry, but I'm just not interested. An Xbox or PS2 can handle that realm.

    I understand that the iMac is available with a faster chip, but the benchmarks show than a Mini can beat a dual G5 with 2.5 gigs of RAM. Don't talk about the 64(80)mb of RAM taken by the integrated graphics, cause whether it's the Mini or the iMac, you should throw 2 gigs in there anyway.

    So that leaves you with the performance hit of a 5400 RPM drive versus 7200 RPM and the integrated graphics versus dedicated. Sure I'd like to see up to 224 mb of shared graphics available to me, but will the graphics be an issue in iMovie or Final Cut Express...

    And when CS3 goes universal, the graphics aren't the issue in 2D, it's more the drive speed. What's better an internal SATA at 5400 RPM or an external ATA firewire/usb 2.0 at 7200 RPM for images and DV.

    I guess I just don't like the iMac's fixed screen size, as opposed to hooking up a CRT, a 20" or 23" ACD, or my HDTV to the Mini. The only downside I see in that area is that you can't go dual display with the Mini.
     
  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    The bench mark about a Mini beating a PM , was with a Core 2 chip, not Core chip which the Mini currently have. The iMac is faster over all, the Mini has the any display thing going for it.
     
  3. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #3
    No, actually MacWorld ran benchmarks with a Mini at 512mb and at 2 gigs, beating a PM in some, but not all tests, and being very close in most others. But it was a stock chip. Not a merom hack.
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #4

    What PowerMac? How much RAM did the powermac have? I doubt a Mac Mini with 512mb beat a PowerMac G5 with 512mb, as i haad a Mini, and i got to many beach balls, but with 1,25Gb it very fast

    Do you have the link?

    I'm not saying the Mini is slow, it plenty fast for the home users, who does not play games
     
  5. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    #5
    The iMac can play any current 3D game

    The mini can't
     
  6. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #6
    3d graphics software, my macbook is a little stuttery rearranging large scenes in vue despirit.
     
  7. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #7
    It seems you have convinced yourself.

    You don't like the iMac
    You don't play games
    Performance difference really isn't an issue (You can upgrade the processor on both though)

    Get the mini
     
  8. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I guess I'm in the unique position of having had an Intel iMac for two weeks before returning it for a Core Solo Mini. The Mini is definitely slower than the iMac, though I am running a Solo instead of a Duo, but the Mini is great for regular tasks. I put 1GB of RAM in it, and it never hangs on me, unless I'm really pushing it (encoding in Handbrake, folding, and using ffmpegx - and then trying to open Safari). With a little more RAM, the Mini is great for most uses. The iMac is better for those with no extra monitor who could use the extra performance. It also has a lot more storage, better video card, and a superdrive.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and I also got the Mini since I figured I'd end up upgrading it in the future - which you can also do with the iMac - but since it's pretty much as expandable as the iMac, I saw no need to go for the pricier one now.
     
  9. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #9
    The SuperDrive is possible on a Mini, if you go Core Duo

    Really what the iMac gets you is


    Faster and Bigger Hard Drive
    Better GPU
    Faster
    Built in Display(many consider this a bad thing, but its really only about each buyer()
     
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Oh yeah, and you can't run two displays on the Mini, unless you buy an expensive splitter, and then you can only mirror the main display, not span. Not a problem for most, but you know. Something I actually kinda wish I could do at times.

    Ah, and I forgot the Duo Mini has the Superdrive, I was thinking of my Solo.
     
  11. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #11
    and the imac has a built-in isight, stereo speakers vs the mini's single speaker, a built-in microphone, and more usb and firewire ports.............if any of that is of use to you


    the mini is more bring-your-own-stuff while the imac has more packaged with the computer
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #12
    I have a 17" iMac and a mini core duo. The iMac is appreciably faster in many tasks but not all. Bigger and faster disk, no 80MB integrated graphics hit, more ports, better graphics, iSight, mic, smaller footprint (because you'd have mini + display).
     
  13. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #13
    when you factor in the cost of display, keyboard and mouse, the costs can be very similar. Sometimes, too similar to beat the value of the iMac. As long as you dont do much in the way of GPU-intesive tasks, the Mini is a great machine for most people.

    A mini with 512MB RAM, 120GB 5400RPM HDD, wired KB+M, and a 20" display cost $2800. A 20" iMac with 512MB RAM, 250GB 7200RPM HDD, wired KB+M costs $2600, and has a faster chip (2GHz to 1.66GHz), dedicated graphics, iSight and mic, more ports, and less cables everywhere.
     
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #14
    Here's how I see it. What can a intel mac- any intel mac- do that a G4 Mini can't do?

    I have a nice G4 with Panther, and 512mb RAM. I use it for iTunes, Mail, Camino, Adium, iCal, Cashbox, and Stickies. Occasionally, I'll use the iLife suit, and lets face it. Already it's more power than I need* If you have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, the core duo mini's probably a better deal than the iMac, where as if you need to buy the mouse, keyboard, and monitor, you'll probably be better off with an iMac, as it comes with it all already. It'll also be slightly faster due to the graphics card having its own memory (not having to share the bus with the system) and um..

    I would have gone for a G5 iMac over the G4 Mini if I could have afforded it... Now I don't really know. I wouldn't be surprised to see the mini keep the core chips while the iMac gets a core 2 in the future...


    *You can never have too much power when it comes to rendering in iMovie and iDVD
     
  15. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #15
    Everyone here has made some really great points, and I would like to thank everybody for the input. I do see the Mini drawbacks as far as lacking dual display as well as the drive speed and the major issue of the graphics card.

    Newertech makes the v2 Ministack available through OWC and they have an empty case for $80. I have a 120 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital with and 8MB Cache that I can slap in there. It's the same footprint and adds ports. I have an iSight already, though I do like the it intergrated into the screen - better angle. I could go for a new ACD if they add the iSight to it, though I currently have a 19" LaCie electron blue which is a great flat aperture grill CRT and I have no desk space issue. It's a corner L and anything flat will have dead space behind it. Not to mention I can also hook up the Mini to my 42" Samsung DLP. I would like to do a lot with iMovie and FCE and am worried how the Mini would handle that. The dual display would be nice for playback and the graphics is the big issue for me that keeps this decision really difficult. The iMac would have to be a 20". I don't want to step down in size. But the Mini is appealing in that I have had my G4 for 6 1/2 years and don't want to wait that long again to upgrade. I see the Mini as a great stop-gap that I can set up as a DVD player/media server-streamer to my TV in the next 18-24 when it gets replaced. But I would also seriously consider a mid-size tower at WWDC, since there is speculation Apple may release an expandable machine in between the Mini and the full Pro towers. Doubtful though. I would really like to see the Mini get at the minimum, a speed bump, since I doubt it will go Merom this summer, and more importantly the much improved GMA 965. But while I'm wishing for things, how bout control over the integrated ceiling, since the 950 has the ability to go 224 and can in Windows. With 2 gig RAM, let it siphon a bit more.
     

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