Can't decide on either 21.5" iMac or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gregpod9, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. gregpod9 macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I just recently sold my early 2011 13" Base MBP, because it always stays on my desk. I'm think of getting a desktop. I just can't make my mind on the 21.5" iMac and the Mac Mini. I don't play computer games. I just do the basic stuff and using VM for Window 7.

    The iMac that I'm looking at is the 21.5" base model with the 16 GB Ram with the fusion drive.

    The Mac Mini that I'm looking is the base model with the i7 and fusion drive, I will be upgrading the ram to 16 GB, I will be buying the Apple magic trackpad, Apple Wireless keyboard, and the 21.5" monitor.

    Which one should I purchase?
  2. PinoyAko macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2012
    I'd go with the iMac because of the quality of the screen. What monitor are you planning to get if you opted to buy a Mac Mini?
  3. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Whatever you do DO NOT go look at an iMac 27". You'll end up cutting grass on the weekends to make up the extra $500US because it is SO beautiful.

    Go with the 21.5" it is exactly what you need.
  4. turaco macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    I would go with the imac, it is a nice all in one machine, plus you get keyboard and magic mouse included in the price and it doesn't hurt that it is beautiful to look at. The mac mini, well it is just a mac mini, I believe the iMac is a more capable machine. For me it would be an easy choice.....
  5. buysp macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    I'd pony up for the iMac because you have specced it up to 16GB RAM and Fusion. The iMac is quad core and the Mini is dual core with integrated graphics.
  6. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    The mini he was looking at is the i7 - quad.

    With a mini you can buy the base i7 and add your own (better, bigger or cheaper) ssd to make your own Fusion Drive. Adding 3rd party RAM is cheaper too.

    That said, the iMac is a much simpler solution.
  7. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    If it was me I would go with the Mini and use the savings towards a cheap 27" QHD monitor.
  8. afd macrumors 65816

    Apr 12, 2005
    Being able to easily and cheaply upgrade the Mini's HD and RAM would tempt me towards not getting another iMac.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "The Mac Mini that I'm looking is the base model with the i7 and fusion drive, I will be upgrading the ram to 16 GB, I will be buying the Apple magic trackpad, Apple Wireless keyboard, and the 21.5" monitor."

    I'd suggest the i7 Mini. If you plan on keeping it a while, it's worth spending the extra $$$$ for the 2.6ghz CPU.

    DON'T buy any extra RAM with it, buy that yourself and add it on your own.

    The fusion drive is worth buying if you know you want it. I'm not a fan of fusion, myself.

    My suggestion is DO NOT buy a wireless keyboard of ANY kind. Buy a wired keyboard instead. For the keyboard, wired is better. Wireless keyboards often have problems with command sequences during the bootup process.

    I'm not a fan of the Apple Magic Trackpad, either. Do you have a USB mouse now? If so, keep using it. For mice, I recommend a Logitech product.

    21.5" monitor, from whom?
    For a dandy display to go with the Mini for not a lot of money, I'd suggest one of the new 27" IPS (mid-rez) displays that are springing up, all based on a new LG panel. Here's one at Best Buy (AOC version, read the reviews):
    NOTE: The AOC display from bestbuy goes on sale every other week or so (price is $269), may be worth holding out for the savings.

    Dell, HP, Viewsonic, ASUS all have similar models using the same panel (Dell and HP versions have Apple-style "glossy" screens, others are matte).
  10. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    @gregpod9. If you are fine with a glossy display the iMac would be good. I think for price comparison, both Macs are almost the same considering with the Mac Mini you'll be adding the cost of ram, monitor, keyboard.
  11. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I ended up buying the base model 15" non-retina MBP. I did not like the idea of the non-user upgrade 21.5" iMac with no dvd burner. For the mac mini I would have to purchase a monitor, keyboard, and mouse separately. I prefer to have a true ssd over a fusion drive.

    The reasons why I bought the base 15" MBP over the Retina MBP are:
    1. I still use optical discs. Call me old fashioned, I still buy music cds and rip them to lossless audio.
    2. I see no value in the Retina display, because most software do not take advantage of the retina display yet and that the best for retina mode is scaled to 1440x900.
    3. I still hear stories of image retention on the rmbp.
    4. I still use Windows for some work and the Retina display will look awful in Windows at lower res, and the text will be too small at native res. Along with terrible scaling Windows 7 has.
    5. I prefer to to my own upgrades. Sometime this coming week, I will be purchasing a 256 SSD and 8 GB of memory.
  12. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I returned the 15" MBP a few days ago at Best Buy, because it had a dead pixel on the center of the screen, the screen res was too low for me, and a desktop pc is more suited for me.

    Today I ordered a refurbished 21.5" iMac i5 2.9 GHz/16 GB/1 TB FD. I know that this iMac is not user upgradeable, but with the specs on it I'm happy with it.

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