20" iMac or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by devincco, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. devincco macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    So I'm looking for my 1st Mac and looking into buying either a 20" iMac or a Mac Mini. I mainly do office stuff, internet surfing, itunes, some home movie stuff with iMovie, and some Photoshop. I don’t do any gaming or 3D stuff. I will also be booting into XP and/or using parallels and XP. I’d like the machine to last at least 3-4yrs. Which one would suit my needs the best?

    With the iMac, I am debating on either upgrading to a 500GB drive and keeping with 1GB of RAM until I can afford to upgrade the RAM within 6 months or so. Or, Upgrade to 2GB of RAM and keep the 250GB drive for the time being and add some external fire wire drives when I can afford to. With the education discount, both are pretty close in price, but I can only afford to do 1 right now. The 250GB drive would be fine for now, but I'm sure I would fill it up within a year or so since I already have close to 180GB of data. And I’ve heard that upgrading the HD in the Intel iMac is not very easy. That’s why the 500GB drive is appealing.

    With the mini setup, I would get the 1.8GHz and 2GB of RAM. Since the largest HD for the mini is 160GB, I was just going to keep the stock 80GB drive and add a pair of external Fire wire drives 300GB or larger. Along with that, I would get a 19” Standard LCD or 20” widescreen LCD. Now a question I have with the mini is, with the older PPC models, the performance could be increased by using a external FW drive as the main drive since they were using ATA laptop drives. With the newer models having laptop SATA drives, will you see a performance increase with using External FW drive as the main drive instead of the SATA drive?
  2. iVersa macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    London, UK
    I would definitely suggest getting the iMac with 250gb hd and 2gb of ram. External HD's are getting smaller, cheaper and nicer looking all the time. The ram is so important and that extra gig will make such an enjoyable difference.
  3. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    I agree
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    if you're looking to get 3-4 years out of it, the iMac is a much better decision. The mini is a nice computer, but fairly low-end even by today's standards. The core 2 duo and dedicated GPU in the iMac will make it much more likely to be compatible with any software (and future OS X releases) for years to come.
  5. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Unless you already have a screen Mac mini does not make much sense to me. If it is going to cost about the same, I'd go with iMac.
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    That is exactly what I would do as well. Put junk you never use on an external and go with the iMac. Trust me it is worth it. (especially with 2GB of ram).

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