$600 Budget: 2006-2007 iMac versus New Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bob11, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Bob11 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    With about a $600 budget, I was considering the purchase of a refurbed Mac Mini to replace my old G4-based tower. My G4 has a 1 GHz CPU upgrade but it's really showing its age.

    But I noticed that I can buy a used 2006-2007 iMac for about the same price as the Mini and I'm wondering if that might be an option to consider.

    I'd like to be able to run Snow Leopard and to run iMovie more smoothly. I might use beginner level Photoshop work down the road but nothing too serious.

    Notionally I'm looking at a 2006-2007 "polycarbonate" iMac with a 20" screen and a T7200 2.0 GHz CPU. These seem to run about $600 used.

    I already have an LCD display with my G4 so I wouldn't need to budget for that if I got an Mac Mini.

    I understand that the used iMac would not be covered by a warranty.

    Any thoughts on the pros and cons of either choice, given a $600 budget?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd definitely go with the mini, however, I'd consider waiting for the potentially upcoming refresh. As it stands, the mini will still beat up any of the iMacs from 06-07. It's got a faster and somewhat newer CPU, and can accept much more memory for later on.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    I have the slightly faster 2.16GHz iMac from that range.

    I use it as my daily computer along with a MacBook from 2007, while it isn't the fastest right now for my use (photos, music, web and some occassional video editing) it is plenty fast enough. If you go down the iMac route you can have a dual screen setup with your monitor which may be a bonus for you over what you'd get with the mini.

    Note these iMac only support 3 GB ram, you can put 4 in but it won't know about the extra 1.

    The newer Mini will be faster and will come with warranty. Although if you have a look at the buyers guide it suggests that there might be a newer mini to be released soon. That said you never know with apple.

    Either of the machines will be a large step up in terms of performance from your G4.
  4. room271 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    If you can, wait. The Mac Mini will hopefully be updated soon as will the iMac.

    This will reduce the price of the old models (from ebay etc.). And if you want a new model you will get more power/features etc.

    But it is impossible to give a firm date for the updates so if you really can't wait then just go for it. (New Mac Mini would be my preference).
  5. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    FWIW, I've seen refurb iMacs go for $699. I think that was when they were liquidating the last of the 17" units, but to me, the iMac is a great value, whether new, refurb, or presumably, used. From the workload you're describing, it sounds like the 'extra' you'd be paying for a built-in screen would be worth while - add your existing screen as a second monitor and your work efficiency goes up - assuming you have the physical desktop space.

    I'm biased toward multiple screens, but that seems like a good option to me. Have you checked craigslist? I vote iMac.
  6. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    I was going to check the present supply of Apple refurbs.. but we're 1h out from the iPad 2 Event so i can't.
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    A new mini, particularly if they update them soon to Sandy Bridge tech, will be vastly superior in every way to an older iMac. It's even easier to swap the hard drive. Don't pay money for a screen you don't need and can't swap out.
  8. flipster macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    You'd be totally screwed if you went with a 2006 or 2007 iMac.

    If the logic board goes, your looking at $1,000 for a repair. Get the Mac Mini, Same performance, and a warranty.
  9. Bob11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    Thanks for all the very helpful replies! I've decided to wait until the next generation of the Mac Mini is released. The warranty ended up being a big player.

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