2011 Mac Mini vs 2009 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by littlepooch21, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. littlepooch21 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    I am trying to which computer is better.

    2011 Low End Mac Mini with upgraded 8gb ram

    2009 3.06 Core 2 Duo with 12 gb ram
  2. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    Go for the Mac Mini if you already have or would like to buy a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  3. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    The i5 chip is far superior to the core2duo. Multi threaded cores, don't forget for 64 bit processing on 4 virtual cores. Added ram would do you good in either situation; 8GB never leaves me lacking memory in anything I've done yet. Of course if you get the mini you'll have to factor in the price of a decent display, and the lack of a dedicated graphics card (again I do not miss this and am not a computer gamer)... but your original question refers to the better "computer." That is the 2011 mini hands down.;)
  4. littlepooch21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    so the 2011 Mini is way better than the 2009 iMac?
  5. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    Yes, in terms of processing power and technology.
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I owned a 2009 iMac the exact one you are asking about. I also own a 2011 macmini.

    A) if you need to run snow leopard the iMac is better
    B) if you have the hi end graphics card the iMac has better graphics
    C) any cpu work the mini is faster. handbrake is more then 2x faster on the 2011 mac mini
    D) the mac mini uses less power
    E) if you run Lion the mac mini is better
    F) i sold the iMac for 1200 on ebay amazing price due to 16gb ram and the better graphics card
    G) I bought the mini and a 32 inch jvc tv cost 950 for the 2

    this was my iMac


    ps the buyer loves it because he need to run snow leopard as an Os.

    Note to mods. The ebay item was sold last month. I only linked it to show info. I have no other iMac to sell and I am not trying to sell an iMac.
  7. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    If it was up to me I would go with the 2011 Mac Mini
  8. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    It really depends what you're doing with it, but really for the home user, either machine will be fine (and both are 64-bit; they may have meant that the virtual cores are 64-bit in the above quote, but it can definitely be read as saying the iMac isn't--also, I heartily agree with the 8gb comment, I've never needed more other than in my workstation editing HD video). The pros and cons:

    • slightly more upgradeable (larger/more HDD options, mostly, though you can hack in a second drive or eSata port; not sure is RAM is maxed for that model but 12gb is plenty)
    • All in one means less wasted space and is very good if you don't already have a monitor
    • Optical drive for dvds/cds
    • Prettier
    • FAR superior GPU, but really only relevant to video editing, powering super large displays, or high end gaming

    Mac Mini:
    • FAR more energy efficient
    • Newer technology/more "future proof"
    • Thunderbolt, which is currently still all but useless, but is allegedly going to be like SCSI on steroids and coke at the same time
    • Small, lightweight, non-obtrusive, and kind of cool looking
    • Also in the "future proof" realm, a mini will make a great home media server when you eventually replace it (13W at idle, it's kind of ideal for the task), the iMac will likely collect dust at that point (unless you have kids)
    • HDD Is upgradeable, and you CAN add a second with a cable (sold separately), but you are limited to 2.5" form factor, which is fine if you want SSDs but annoying in every other way, as 2.5" platter drives have a much higher failure rate than 3.5" and anything about 500-600gb is prohibitively expensive currently, so not great if you have an extensive media library.

    For uses, if you are using it for web surfing/netflix watching/email/light photo and such, both will work perfectly well. For processor intensive tasks, I'd likely go with the mini, but ONLY if the apps make use of virtual cores. The Core 2 duo will actually handle single threaded apps a bit better. If you're going to be running processor-heavy tasks in the background while using, go with the mini. If you're likely to be doing one thing at a time, go with the iMac. Either one should meet all your needs (personally I'd go with the mini as I already have all the peripherals I need, but if I didn't I'd probably buy the iMac...).

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