21" iMac vs Mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by OSXavier9, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. OSXavier9 macrumors newbie

    OSXavier9

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    #1
    Hi guys, android dev here who is moving over to iOS soon. I'm looking to replace an aging linux desktop and 22" monitor setup, preferably with a 21" iMac, but I am not sure if OS X has workspaces or similar ways I've used to get around not having space for a multi-monitor or ultra-wide screen setup. I've got a rather small apartment nook to work with as an office so 27" is out of the question. I might be able to go up to a 23-24" monitor with a mini, but above that would be really pushing it.

    I don't estimate needing more horsepower than either machine could provide since my current work goes just fine with a first gen i5, 6gb of ram. Just wondering if anyone, particularly another dev, has strong opinion about either model this year.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
  3. OSXavier9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    OSXavier9

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    #3
    4k would be nice, but lower res is not a deal-breaker.
     
  4. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #4
    The Mini gets SO much less love from Apple, I'd be hard pressed to recommend one honestly. It's perpetually ignored and given very meager updates even when the sun does shine on it.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    IMO the 4K iMac is worth the extra for your usage. It better matches the devices you develop for, will help reduce eye strain when looking at code, and you can switch to a scaled resolution to get more screen space if you need it.

    Whichever you choose, anticipate upgrading to at least a Fusion drive or SSD. A 5400 RPM HDD is a sad thing to use as a boot drive in 2016.
     
  6. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #6
    So true....it's almost offensive that they put one in a 4k/5k device at all...

    (I know...it's to drive upgrades...still just ridiculous)
     
  7. OSXavier9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    OSXavier9

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    #7
    Yes I'll definitely be going for a 256GB SSD in either case. I have minimal local storage needs, but I know SSD speed is worth every penny, particularly the apple PCIE variety.
     
  8. tyche macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #8
    I do XCode / iOS development on a 21.5" 2010 iMac just fine. The 1080p screen is workable, it can get a little cramped sometimes if you have all the views open but not bad. Since OS X has multiple virtual windows built in, I have certain programs running in each and no clutter. So yes, you can run like you have 6+ monitors if you want and jump and move things easily.

    So certainly a modern 21.5" iMac 1080p or 4k would be more than workable with one caveat - Get a SSD or at least the 2TB Fusion because it comes with 128gb SSD. If you go the iMac route, 8gb is probably fine but you can't upgrade later so mull over your option. It's pretty hard to go past 8gb, you'd need to be running multiple large programs at the same time (XCode, PhotoShop, a virtual machine or two, some other stuff, etc) to get there. SSD is a must though on the newer models it is blistering fast compared to the default 5400 rpm drive.
     

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