27 inch imac or mac mini and thunderbolt display

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by utl768, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. utl768 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #1
    will be using the machine to edit high definition video and rencode my entire video library

    i have a 2010 mac mini currently and while its great for browsing the net when i go to use handbrake the thing heats up like a hot plate
     
  2. Liquinn Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #2
    I'd get the Mini with the Thunderbolt Display, as if you want to connect any future Macs to a 27" screen, you can do so. :p But the 27" iMac is cheaper than the Mini/TBD combo though. :p
     
  3. SiriusFlash macrumors newbie

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    Jun 4, 2012
    #3
    If you are encoding videos and editing HD footage, I would say the iMac. It has a better processor to handle what you're throwing at it.
     
  4. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #4
    I have a quad-core i7 27" iMac, which gracefully handles everything I throw at it. I'd highly recommend the higher-end models.

    Remember that the Mac mini - which I think is a wonderful product - uses 2.5" HDD. Activity within that beautifully-designed "closed space" generates heat.

    I have a 27" Thunderbolt Display that I use with a MacBook Pro. I love the display, but if I found myself without the MBP tomorrow, I'd sell the TBD and buy another 27" iMac to take its place.

    There's much to be said for the mini's painless (or relatively painless) upgrades; you can't do anything easily with an iMac except add RAM. But the iMac is simply a more capable machine. If you're looking for something for the longer term, I think it's the better bet.
     
  5. bt22 macrumors 6502

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    Alabama
    #5
    I have the current entry level Mac Mini with thunderbolt display. I feel like I can upgrade to a new mac mini and pass down the older one to my daughter or make an HTPC out of an older one, where I can't do that with an iMac. My neighbor has a current 21.5" iMac and agree the iMac's are a lot more powerful machines, but the Mac Mini serves my current needs. I wish Apple would make a tower like the Mac Pro, but not on the Professional level. I would love to be able to add internal hard drives like you can on the Mac Pro.
     
  6. utl768 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #6
    other option is a macbook pro and a tb display

    how radical a difference is a dual i7 over a quad core i5 for my needs like video encoding

    is the ivy bridge in the recent mbp refresh that big of an upgrade over the 2011 sandy bridge processors in the 2011 imac

    ive always gone cheap with my computers and i really wanna go all out and grab a machine i wont hate in a year this time
     
  7. utl768 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    also how do the graphics compare on a 2010 mbp compared to a 2011 imac
     
  8. OwenMeasures macrumors 6502

    OwenMeasures

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    London
    #8
    I know it a bit different but i am currently doing the same thing and i am currently looking at selling my MBA & iMac to replace with a rMBP and Thunderbolt Display... for 1 reason really, although i like to have to Mac's i would just like to take my rMBP to work as a laptop then come Home plug it into the Display and use it as a desktop... no need to Sync files or have multiple iTunes Librarys.

    I had a Mac Mini when i first switched to Apple, and i did the same sort of thing, although it is a Desktop Computer... you can still take it out and about and plug in into any monitor, where as an iMac is a bit difficult to carry about :)
     
  9. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

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    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #9
    If you're buying tomorrow, I would get the server mini and let it run against your encodes until the models models come out. Get a refurb or ebay so your sunk cost is lowest for resale.

    (Over the last couple of months I have run a bit over a hundred bluray MKVs through a mid 2011 mini.)
     
  10. utl768 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #10
    the thing im running into is i have an ipad 3 so im trying to figure out how everything is gonna work cause i cant imagine the mbp ever leaving the house but it seems like mbp has alot more features then the imac currently has and that thunderbolt display is stupid nice

    ----------

    how does the ps3 3d display compare to the thunderbolt display as i have that and a samsung monitor currently for my 2010 mini
     
  11. OwenMeasures macrumors 6502

    OwenMeasures

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    #11
    my MBA Replaced my iPad... i would say get the Mini and the Thunderbolt Display... it is a cheaper combination than a MBP & Thunderbolt Display.

    Not saying that the Apple Monitors are any better but i would just get the Thunderbolt Display purely because it will go with your whole set-up...


    What are you trying to figure out exactly?
     
  12. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a

    LeandrodaFL

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #12
    Defentelty MacMin + External monitor. The MacMini is easilly upgradble, so you can simply upgrade it for the next 10 years and keep the same display.

    You may get a display other then the thunderbolt, there are cheaper displays out there.
     
  13. utl768 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #13
    so ive basically decided on getting a macbook pro and a thunderbolt display or just a retina display macbook pro outright with no display (will use ps3 3d display)

    any opinions on the better rig?

    ill be using this machine to rencode about 1200 videos and to edit hd video with imovie/final cut pro/ toast 11

    ----------

    id get the 1499 mbp if i go with the non retina one or the base retina if i go with that
     
  14. utl768 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  15. musique macrumors regular

    musique

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    Apr 10, 2009
    #15
    display issue

    As great as the rMBP display is, for video editing you'll probably want as much screen real estate as you can get. That's where a large display (like the Apple TBD) will shine.
     
  16. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    Are you talking about replacing your current mini with one of these two things, or are you talking about whether or not to buy a 27" iMac to replace your mini vs. a Thunderbolt Display to add to it?

    If the former debate, then it's one of specs vs. upgradability and reliability. The iMac is a cheaper option as well as a faster option, but it's not as easily upgradable as a Mac mini + Thunderbolt combo, nor is it as reliable.

    If it's the latter and you're debating as to whether to append a Thunderbolt display to your 2010 Mac mini or just buy an iMac, two things: One, the 2010 Mac mini doesn't have a Thunderbolt port, so you have to just get the older 27" LED Cinema Display and two, as a result, if that's what you're torn between, the iMac is much better of a deal in terms of price/specs, but I'd still probably go with upgrading your mini because the iMacs are horribly designed and unreliable by comparison to either the 2010 or 2011 minis.
     
  17. ATC macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    Canada
    #17
    I've never owned a mac mini, only an iMac and here's my view on this.

    I've owned my 24" early 09' iMac for just over 3 years and while I love this thing and handled everything I've thrown at it so far with ease, on my next desktop purchase I'm going with the mini+TB display.

    My iMac screen started developing a defect in the bottom left quadrant due to heat from CPU/GPU whereby after an hour of intensive use (media editing and other things) that part of the screen became visibly darker and began to retain text and images akin to image burn-in. AppleStore knew of the issue right away and thankfully replaced the LCD panel but reading on the boards it seems many users who have experienced this issue (and had their LCD replaced) seem to have it come back over time.

    As much as I love the AIO concept, I think there are serious design drawbacks that affect some users.

    I'm now convinced that at least for my needs I now prefer the separate screen and PC concept, and I'm really liking the idea of having a fully loaded mini with a nice display where I can keep the display and just upgrade or fully replace the mini ever 12-24 months. To me that's something that's financially achievable whereas replacing an iMac every 12-24 months might be a bit much.
     
  18. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

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    Mar 7, 2010
    #18
    While I have had a mini, now own an iMac and a retina MBP, I would say go with the mini if the only intensive things you are going to be doing is video encoding as you can let that run overnight.

    For my needs I am going to give the iMac to my in-laws and and buy my wife a MBA and grab a thunderbolt display to allow us to have the screen real estate when we need it and portability anytime.

    While I do love my iMac I find that I rarely use it as my time is spent between the iPad and now the rMBP. In addition, for me the spec bump in the MBP is enough to satisfy my computer needs for a while.
     
  19. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    2010 and 2011 Mac minis will do that; thank Apple's illogical quest for thinness in everything, including things that really don't need it. Still though, just because it gets hot doesn't mean that it won't still do the work without causing damage to the machine. They don't get THAT hot without first becoming super slow.

    From the standpoint of machine longevity and upgradability, a non-retina MacBook Pro beats both the Mac mini and the iMac. It will definitely be faster than the Mac mini (though the higher-end Mac mini's graphics will probably still beat the graphics of the current 13" MacBook Pro). That's not a bad idea; though it is costly.

    If you're talking the dual-core i7 in the Mac mini versus the quad-core i5 in the iMac, remember that the mini's dual-core i7 is a mobile CPU and the i5 in the iMac is a desktop CPU; the i5 will be faster by far. There's no question, the iMac is definitely faster than the Mac mini; but the Mac mini is more reliable. As far as running Handbrake, you can do that just fine on the Mac mini you currently have. Hell, I was doing it just fine on an Early 2006 (first gen Intel Core Duo) iMac. Really, unless your needs are super-demanding, both machines will be more than adequate.

    Again, you're comparing desktop CPUs to laptop CPUs, but otherwise, I'd say, yes, it's certainly a good improvement. We obviously want those chips in an iMac, assuming Apple doesn't just wait until Haswell to update the iMac.

    You won't hate anything currently being sold in a year. I don't hate the Mac mini I'm using now, which is also a 2010 model. :p It's just not the right Mac given my needs which is why I'll sell it or repurpose it back into a Server.

    2011 iMac's graphics are way better.

    The MBP I end up getting to replace my Mac mini probably won't be doing all that much traveling, but honestly, just having the ability to take my computer from room to room within the house is really nice.

    Go Non-retina. Retina is not worth it as a majority of the apps and content you use won't be optimized until you are getting ready to upgrade/replace that machine anyway.

    Replacing any Mac 12-24 months is extreme, mini or otherwise. They're made to last a good 4-5 years until they can't run the latest OS X and even beyond then they still have anywhere from 3-5 years beyond that point. Regardless, you hit the hammer on the head regarding the iMac and All-in-ones. They're just not reliable, especially when they're as thin as the current design of iMacs are.
     

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