Can someone help me with a question?

maxfieldwm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
6
0
I have a 27" iMac, and I am thinking of replacing it with a new Mac Mini + cinema display.

According to the specs below, can I expect this Mac Mini to outperform my current iMac? If so, by how much?

My 27" iMac Specs:
Processor: 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory: 4 GB
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850

Mac Mini Specs:
Processor: 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Memory: 4 GB
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6630M

Is the 2.5 dual core faster than my current 2.66 i5?

Will the newer graphics card perform a lot better/faster? I will be using it mostly for photoshop, and maybe some iMovie stuff.

Can I upgrade the mini to 8GB or 16GB after I buy it?

Thanks All!!

Max-
 

Ddyracer

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2009
1,783
31
I have a 27" iMac, and I am thinking of replacing it with a new Mac Mini + cinema display.

According to the specs below, can I expect this Mac Mini to outperform my current iMac? If so, by how much?

My 27" iMac Specs:
Processor: 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory: 4 GB
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850

Mac Mini Specs:
Processor: 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Memory: 4 GB
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6630M

Is the 2.5 dual core faster than my current 2.66 i5?

Will the newer graphics card perform a lot better/faster? I will be using it mostly for photoshop, and maybe some iMovie stuff.

Can I upgrade the mini to 8GB or 16GB after I buy it?

Thanks All!!

Max-
Wait for the new Mac Mini or iMac. The MM doesn't beat your iMac specs anyway except maybe in the GPU department but i doubt it.
 

ivoruest

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
398
28
Guatemala
I really don't think the Mini will beat your iMac. Plus having a Cinema display requires some horsepower in your Mac in order to run it decently. I recommend you wait a couple of weeks until the upcoming Apple event. iMacs are overdue to refresh and Mac Mini also.
 

MacManiac76

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2007
1,558
355
White Mntns, Arizona
You should be able to upgrade to 8 or 16 GB of RAM just fine yourself. The main difference I have noticed between the Mini and the iMac is the video card. The new Minis max out at 256 MB of video ram and the new iMacs can go all the way up to 1 GB of video ram. Depends on the specs of those two systems in that regard as to which will perform better. The CPU is going to be such a minimal difference you won't even notice it.
 

maxfieldwm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
6
0
You should be able to upgrade to 8 or 16 GB of RAM just fine yourself. The main difference I have noticed between the Mini and the iMac is the video card. The new Minis max out at 256 MB of video ram and the new iMacs can go all the way up to 1 GB of video ram. Depends on the specs of those two systems in that regard as to which will perform better. The CPU is going to be such a minimal difference you won't even notice it.
Thank you for the reply!
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Thank you for the reply!
At best it would be a push. At worst it will run slower. I assume that is a late 2009 iMac 27" (I had the same one). Frankly, the iMac has a quad core processor and while ghz for ghz the iMac would be slower; however, the iMac has 2 more cores and more "ghz", so the iMac should be faster. Second, the GPU in the iMac is probably still comparable if not faster than the 6630M especially if you need more virtual RAM (the 4850m has 512MB compared to only 256MB on the 6630M). Also, the iMac uses a desktop hard drive at 7200RPM where as the Mac Mini comes with a slow 5400RPM laptop hard drive. I believe the iMac also came with a 1TB drive instead of the 500GB drive in the Mac Mini (I haven't owned that iMac for about a year now). The iMac can also be outfitted with up to 32GB of RAM whereas the Mac Mini can only do 16GB.

Basically if you think you are "upgrading" you would not be. The only advantage the Mac Mini has is the Thunderbolt port which makes adding SSD's and other fast storage easier and faster than the 2009 iMac and it is compatible with the new Apple Thunderbolt Display whereas you can only use the older Apple Cinema Display with the iMac.
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
34
If you're not in a rush, most likely the next generation of Mac Minis will slightly outperform your iMac... but I honestly don't see what you'd be gaining by making this switch... You've got a desktop computer with a 27 inch display and you'll still have a desktop computer with no greater capabilities with a 27 inch display and you'll have spent some serious coin getting it.
 

MacManiac76

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2007
1,558
355
White Mntns, Arizona
For 32bit apps that is. For 64bit they flip flot positions with the Mini getting 7110 and the iMac 7442
Again those numbers have such a small variation that you are never going to notice any perceivable difference in actual usage. You can save a lot of money by just going with a few GHz less on the processor and staying away from the highest GHz available. No reason to virtually be wasting money on bragging rights.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Again those numbers have such a small variation that you are never going to notice any perceivable difference in actual usage. You can save a lot of money by just going with a few GHz less on the processor and staying away from the highest GHz available. No reason to virtually be wasting money on bragging rights.
Agreed. In the end, my opinion is that this would not be an upgrade for the OP and s/he would have to shell out 1800 to pull it off (or 1500 if s/he goes refurb). That's really what matters most here.
 

obrien234

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2005
146
0
Brighton, MI
Upgrade the iMac

I think you'll basically be at an equivalent (at best). Save your money and update the RAM in the server (8 GB is ~$45 at crucial, 16GB is more), and if you're adventurous thrown in an SSD. That will be a lot less expensive and provide more of a speedboost anyways.
 

dotcomet

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2011
31
0
If you are replacing the system, I would just go with the new iMac 27" base model. In then end you will saving $200-$400.
 

Unhyper

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2010
159
5
Finland
Your iMac has a better processor and about three times as powerful graphics card as the lousy 6630 Mobility chip. If you're looking for better performance, you're not going to get it with that Mini.
 

MacManiac76

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2007
1,558
355
White Mntns, Arizona
If you are replacing the system, I would just go with the new iMac 27" base model. In then end you will saving $200-$400.
Unless you are really set on the Cinema Display I would go with another brand. I just bought my 23" LG IPS 1080p display at Best Buy for $190 last week. It is just as nice as Apple's and doesn't have that stupid glass on it.
 

dotcomet

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2011
31
0
Unless you are really set on the Cinema Display I would go with another brand. I just bought my 23" LG IPS 1080p display at Best Buy for $190 last week. It is just as nice as Apple's and doesn't have that stupid glass on it.
True, but the the display is no longer the Cinema display. It is now a Thunderbolt Display, and its 27" not 23".
 

MacManiac76

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2007
1,558
355
White Mntns, Arizona
True, but the the display is no longer the Cinema display. It is now a Thunderbolt Display, and its 27" not 23".
It is still a Cinema Display, it just uses a Thunderbolt connection instead of DisplayPort. They just call it that to avoid confusion since they still sell both.

I know the specs of the Apple displays, I was just giving the LG I bought as an example of the ridiculous markup on Apple's display. LG has a 27" version too that I think is like $50 more than what I paid for my 23".
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,228
348
It is still a Cinema Display, it just uses a Thunderbolt connection instead of DisplayPort. They just call it that to avoid confusion since they still sell both.

I know the specs of the Apple displays, I was just giving the LG I bought as an example of the ridiculous markup on Apple's display. LG has a 27" version too that I think is like $50 more than what I paid for my 23".
Or you can get something like Dell U2711 to match whatever 27" iMac has. Same size, resolution, but better gamut, response time and contrast ratio. It has anti glare though, which can be useful or annoying to some. But the good news is it comes with 3 years warranty by standard and costs something around $700 instead of $1000.
 

dotcomet

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2011
31
0
There are other things that the Apple display have that most other monitors don't, such as 3 USB ports, HD Webcam, mic, firewire port, ethernet port, speakers... Now grant it, does this warrant the extra cost, probably not, but you have to consider that it is an aluminum frame versus plastic.
 

MacManiac76

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2007
1,558
355
White Mntns, Arizona
Keep your iMac. Put more ram in and an SSD!
I would do this instead for sure. An SSD is going to give you the greatest overall performance increase hands down. Upgrading the RAM is always a cheap and easy way to gain performance if you use memory intensive programs or have lots of programs open at one time.

Now that I started taking computer programming courses my 4 GB really is not enough anymore, but my old MacBook can only use 6 GB max. I'm hoping to go up to 16 GB on the Mac Mini that I will hopefully get sometime early next year.