BTO Mac Mini vs iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MrMJS, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. MrMJS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    I've been kicking around the idea of getting a mini instead of a new iMac (this fall). I'd be using it for graphic and web design. How do the BTO mini's compare to a 27" iMac? Yes, I would wait for a refresh... I mostly run Adobe software.

    I currently have a 27" iMac (2009) with 16gb memory and 2.8 quad core i5.
     
  2. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #2
    If you're waiting for a refresh (which no one here knows when it will happen) to purchase, wouldn't it make more sense to wait until the refresh to make comparisons? The configurations are going to change between now and the refresh making this discussion somewhat moot.

    In reference to current models, you can trick out a Mac Mini pretty well - likely good enough for your purposes, though it doesn't offer a great value when maxed out, IMO.

    If you had some specific questions, that might solicit some specific replies.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MrMJS thread starter macrumors member

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    Ohio
    #3
    Well, how would a BTO mini compare to my current iMac? That would help me gauge which was to go
     
  4. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    A tricked out Mac Mini 2.6GHz (TB to 3.6GHz) quad core i7; 16GB RAM; 256GB SSD is a sweet little computer.

    I don't think the current integrated Intel graphics is as good as what's on your iMac, and it's certainly the weakest link in the current model, but it's okay for typical graphics & web design. The RAM is obviously the same. The CPU will be significantly faster. The best upgrade though is the SSD.

    However, unless you really need a new Mac Mini, or your requirements are super basic, I'd hold off to see what comes down the pipeline. If they don't update it in the next 6 months or so, it's hard to imagine they won't drop it altogether (or keep it in legacy mode for another year or two like they've done with the classic MBP).
     
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #5
    For your work, the 2.6 quad will outperform all non BTO iMac models. So as long as you don't get the i7 quad iMac BTO, the Mini is faster.
    You can also install double SSD's for MacPro like disk performance.
    Off course the GPU falls short big time compared to a 27 inch iMac, but for Adobe CC it is pretty irrelevant.
     
  6. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #6
    I just went through the same decision for photography and video. By the time I got done with a BTO 2.6, a 480 gb ssd, a second internal hdd and an Asus PB278Q display, I was less than $500 from the highest spec iMac available with the 3tb Fusion. And I'm left with a modded new Mac that Apple can easily claim was damaged during the install.

    I love the mini's, both I and my son have one, as well as an iMac. But I found trying to compete with an iMac spec left me with a lot less CPU, less gpu (which many graphics and video apps can use), SATA instead of PCIe for the ssd (SATA is already max'd out for ssd's), half the internal storage, one less T-Bolt port, more wiring, and potentially dicking around with display settings and cables.

    Something to consider if you expect to push the mini. I have a friend with a 2.6 mini and doing post processing, the fans kick in a lot more often than he or I would expect. Our older 2.53 ghz mini's certainly kick in at the mere thought of offloading some video rendering over to them. Which means less than 2.6 ghz during the times you need it. Our 2.8 ghz iMac can hang in there a lot longer before the fans kick in. Not to mention a small fan directed at the large aluminum back panel cools it down very effectively. Not possible with a mini.
     
  7. MrMJS thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I ended up getting a new 27" iMac.. i7, fusion drive and 24gb memory
     
  8. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #8
    Agree with most points. The last iMac here was a topped out late 2012 27 with factory 512 SSD (no spinners) 32 Ram. It was a fast machine in it's time. I have a 2012 Mini with SSD and 16 ram now, and it runs Adobe PS, Lightroom, Ill just fine, but any video editing will really drag it down. The GPU is the obvious hit on these. It will never get close to a top spec iMac.

    Yes, you can boost a Mini but once it gets in the price range of an iMac, what's the point? I think most people start with a small investment and build the Mini over time and eventually have iMac money in it.
     
  9. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #9
    It's not just the GPU, the iMac has a desktop processor and the Mini uses a notebook processor; there's another major hit right there when it comes to horsepower.

    (note: unless we're considering the new baseline iMac that uses a MBA-grade processor)
     
  10. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #10
    Not true. The only iMac processors that benchmark faster than the mac mini's 2.6 processor are the BTO models equipped with i7 processors. Every single processor that comes standard in the iMac line is slower than the mac mini's 2.6 processor.
     
  11. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #11
    Most consider it a notebook processor equal to the MacBook Pro across the BTO options.
     

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