2018 Mac mini vs 2019 iMac

F-Train

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Original poster
Apr 22, 2015
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I have a 2014 5K iMac and planned to purchase whatever was coming up until I checked out, and purchased, a mini.

Any doubts about the wisdom of this decision were removed by today's announcement. The 27" iMac, with the specifications that I want, would cost at least US$3500, probably more.

I've really come to appreciate the mini's footprint/portability, I'm not stuck with a DCI P3 display and I think that the mini has saved me a few hundred dollars.

I'd really like to see new Apple displays, provided that they support Adobe RGB, but in light of the iMacs I'm not holding my breath on the latter.

I'm now running 2018 and 2014 minis and the combination is really working out well.
 
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tpivette89

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2018
413
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Newark, DE
I can't believe they upped the CPU to a i9 in the "new" iMac but kept the same thermal system. Read lots of reviews/reports that the outgoing 2017 i7s had thermal issues, and now they doubled the cores on the same heat management system? Guess I will wait for the first reviews to come in before passing final judgement, but my initial reaction isn't good.

On a different note, I am hoping for an amazing new Apple display to go with the new Mac Pro. Fingers crossed for an announcement at WWDC.
 

Maccotto

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
262
20
I think that mac mini 2018 is better than Imac 2019.
You have a good processor into mini and you can install every external radeon in this world.

The monitor for me wasn’t a problem because the Dell 27” srgb/rgb (it is old and the max resolution is 2550x1440) .
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
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Michigan
I had a iMac for years, 1st Late 2007 20" then 27" late 2015. The beauty of the screen is incredible. But I hated the stand, No swivel No height adjustment. I guess that could be solved with a Vesa mount, but I don't see that as a build option.

Even though the screen is superior I would not even consider it given its the same form factor as 2012. Now if they would have went 32"-34" and got rid of the chin. Add some swivel and height adjustment. That would be tempting.

Edit: I guess you can purchase the iMac with the vesa mount, you just have to search it on the Apple site. Appears same price but you have to purchase the mount separate which is not that big a deal. So I am just down to bigger screen, get rid of the chin, better thermals would be a bonus. It will be interesting how the top end performs. I expect it will do very well.
 
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adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
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I'm in the same boat. I'd have to spend $3500. I'm on a 2017 iMac 4.2Ghz and Xcode always feels sluggish. And some of my projects take a while to compile and I'm often wishing for more cores.

I'm entertaining the idea of picking up a 42" 4K TV and using it at its full 4K resolution for some extra real estate with a Mac Mini instead, but I'm concerned whether the integrated GPU on the Mac Mini is able to push around all those pixels smoothly.

I'm really going to miss iMac's 5K display though :(
 

dimme

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Feb 14, 2007
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I too am looking at a min vs imac. I would be replacing a 2015 27" 5K iMac. So I would also need to purchase a screen. The BenQ 27" 4K PhotoVue would work So that's about $1100 for the monitor and about $2100 for the mini total $3200 and no GPU. The iMac I would get is about $3600 with a Vega GPU. I like the fact that the mini is separate units, it will give me flexibly in the future. Also heat may be a issue on the iMac, what about the mini is heat a problem? Will I miss the GPU with that 4K screen? I use Lightroom and Photoshop and X-plane once in a while.
Decisions Decisions...

The iMac seems like a better value, but with the transition to arm in the future who knows how long it will be viable.
 
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opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
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Slovenia, EU
So, now the Mac mini and the 21.5" 4K iMac has the same CPUs... the difference is the GPU and the included monitor.

Oh and the base 4k iMac has a 5400 rpm hard drive. :)
 

Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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I’m in the same boat. My biggest issue with the mini is that I can’t find a display that has ppi that is as high as the iMac ones (and I hate the LG ultra fine because they are unreliable and look like ass)
fwiw my 4K has worked reliably so far, and the look is clean and unintrusive. i can't say i have an issue with it at all.

I do wonder, how come they omitted the T2 chip from the 2019 iMac...
I also wonder how the SSD fares since the speed increase was mostly due to the T2 handling the SSD.
 

dimme

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Feb 14, 2007
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I do wonder how come they omitted the T2 chip from the 2019 iMac... I also wonder how the SSD fares since the speed increase was mostly due to the T2 handling the SSD. said:
I believe they did not include the T2 chip because they still offer fusion drives.For me the lack of the T2 is not an issue. I am wrestling with the fact the mini does not have a GPU. When I add in a eGPU to my setup the iMac seems like a better value. I am also concerned a eGPU may not give me the same performance as a built in GPU in the iMac
 

Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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I believe they did not include the T2 chip because they still offer fusion drives.For me the lack of the T2 is not an issue. I am wrestling with the fact the mini does not have a GPU. When I add in a eGPU to my setup the iMac seems like a better value. I am also concerned a eGPU may not give me the same performance as a built in GPU in the iMac.
Lack of T2 is not an issue at all imo, however: the built in gpu that's based on practically obsolete polaris architecture (580X), in conjuction with 6-core or 8-core CPU will produce a ****-ton of heat. On paper it might provide better performance, in practice i'm pretty sure it'll be constricted by heat.

The fact that they ship it with 5400rpm drives and fusion drives as base models is insane. What use is a 8th or 9th gen 6/8core CPU with a 5400rpm spinning disk drive.
Even the 2016 models were hampered by the 5k4 drives...

That would be hilarious if it weren't true.
 

stillcrazyman

macrumors 68020
Oct 10, 2014
2,499
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In Exile
I replaced a Late 2012 27" iMac with a 2018 Mini. I was also waiting to see what, if any, updates were coming out for the iMac. Nothing came along for 2018. It didn't even look like there would be an update at all...

I really do like my MM18. Attached to a 32" 4K display off of a Vega 56 eGPU, I have no complaints at all.
 
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twalk

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Apr 22, 2009
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Lack of T2 is not an issue at all imo, however: the built in gpu that's based on practically obsolete polaris architecture (580X), in conjuction with 6-core or 8-core CPU will produce a ****-ton of heat. On paper it might provide better performance, in practice i'm pretty sure it'll be constricted by heat.

The fact that they ship it with 5400rpm drives and fusion drives as base models is insane. What use is a 8th or 9th gen 6/8core CPU with a 5400rpm spinning disk drive.
Even the 2016 models were hampered by the 5k4 drives...

That would be hilarious if it weren't true.
And the punch line is that 480G sata SSDs are selling for a mere $50 retail, but it's about too dangerous to open up a current iMac to install one...
 
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dimme

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The fact that they ship it with 5400rpm drives and fusion drives as base models is insane. What use is a 8th or 9th gen 6/8core CPU with a 5400rpm spinning disk drive. Even the 2016 models were hampered by the 5k4 drives... That would be hilarious if it weren't true.[/QUOTE said:
You guys have a great argument for the mini, I like my 2015 iMac but I do not like the all in one, hard to open design. I have always had open systems. So I am attracted to the mini. The lack of GPU and added cost of a eGPU is holding me back. So I'm still on the fence.
Thanks for the opinions!
 
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dimme

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If I went with a mini setup I need to attach 5 USB 3 drives, 3 are SSD. I also have a walcom tablet, wired Keyboard, UPS CD writer etc on a USB 2 hub. Right now on my I mac I get transfer rates in the 400's with the SSD pluged into the I mac. Everything else runs of a TB2 hub from OWC. With only 2 USB ports will need a TB3 hub for the extra USB ports? Or will apples TB3 to TB2 Adapter work? Or am I missing something?
 

GizmoDVD

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Oct 11, 2008
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I replaced a Late 2012 27" iMac with a 2018 Mini. I was also waiting to see what, if any, updates were coming out for the iMac. Nothing came along for 2018. It didn't even look like there would be an update at all...

I really do like my MM18. Attached to a 32" 4K display off of a Vega 56 eGPU, I have no complaints at all.
How is it the difference? I have a fully speced 2012 27 (i7, 32GB ETC)
 

purduealum91

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2018
20
22
Here's my 2018 Mac Mini vs. 2019 21.5" iMac vs. 2019 27" iMac cost comparison (configured as I would want):

upload_2019-3-21_12-51-55.png


To me, a 21.5" iMac is not a good value proposition vs. the Mac Mini. A 21.5" iMac vs. a 27" iMac is not a good value proposition - 27" wins. Regarding a Mac Mini vs. a 27" iMac, I still think the Mac Mini comes out ahead by a lot.

Your thoughts?
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
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SF, CA
Here's my 2018 Mac Mini vs. 2019 21.5" iMac vs. 2019 27" iMac cost comparison (configured as I would want):

View attachment 827491

To me, a 21.5" iMac is not a good value proposition vs. the Mac Mini. A 21.5" iMac vs. a 27" iMac is not a good value proposition - 27" wins. Regarding a Mac Mini vs. a 27" iMac, I still think the Mac Mini comes out ahead by a lot.

Your thoughts?
I doing the same cost estmate but to match the iMac I put in the BenQ 4K 27" photovue monitor @ $1,100 and a eGPU and that another $400 to $800. I keep coming up with the iMac being a better value. However with the mini I can change the Computer in a few years and the monitor will still be viable.
 

purduealum91

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2018
20
22
True, I didnt include an eGPU for the mini. Here's my updated comparison:

upload_2019-3-21_13-39-12.png


For me, if I can live with the on-board Intel video card, I can save a significant amount of money. The primary software I use is Autocad Civil 3D. If I feel the need to upgrade the mini to an eGPU, the 27" iMac becomes the value leader. If the 21.5" iMac's memory was user upgradable, I would probably go that route.