Entry level iMac or higher-end Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by carrollf, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. carrollf macrumors regular

    carrollf

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    I am trying to decide between the entry level 24" 2.66GHz iMac and the 320Gb Mac Mini (including the 24" Apple cinema display). They price out roughly the same for the configs I looked at.

    Question is, would the Mac Mini with the 24" Cinema display leave me in a better position to upgrade later on to a mac pro/MacBook Pro or whatever and continue to use my monitor?
    Would the performance difference be very noticable between the iMac and the Mac Mini (I am not that into games by the way)?
     
  2. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #2
    Depends on whether the apps you will use are sufficiently processor and RAM bound to make a difference (2.0 vs 2.66).

    You will spend $1700 on the mini and the display, however, as you say, you are looking at a MacPro in the future so the display is probably a good purchase if you want the Apple LED display. There are plenty of non-Apple, non-LED monitors that are a lot less expensive.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    Well the processor is slower on the mini, but that may not be an issue if you don't do anything intensive. You also get more space on the iMac since 640GB seems to be the standard now.

    There are a few sacrifices, but yeah, if you get a MacBook/MacBookPro/Mac Pro then you are in a better position not to have to spend more money on a big monitor. You are also in a better position to build a gaming rig and use a KVM switch to switch between them (assuming you can somehow convert the video port).

    I'd go with the iMac personally, but at minimum the $1799 model. Yeah, a couple extra hundred but it would be worth it. If possible I'd even squeeze a bit more money into it and get the best video card possible to future proof it. The 9400m is a crappy card now (barely acceptable), imagine what it will be like in a year or two (most likely on the same level as a Intel 950GMA is today).

    Over 24 months of ownership that comes out to be roughly $80-$85 a month. If you keep it for 3 years, that's around $60-$65 per month.

    In either case, if you plan to keep it for a while its best to just get the best spec you can get now since you can't really upgrade the video card yourself on an iMac and even though today the 9400m may be acceptable for your needs it may not be the case in a year or two.

    I wouldn't count on selling Apple products without taking a big hit either. With Apple becoming more popular I have found it is harder and harder to get a lot of salvage value. It used to be the case that if you bought a $1500 Apple computer today you can sell it the following year for maybe $1200 or $1300 -- barely taking a hit -- especially if it was in good condition.

    Now with everyone and their momma going to Apple, you'd be lucky to get 60%-65% of the value after a year. I had to sell my less than year old MacBook Air with SSD for about half of what it was "worth" when it was new, and I got lucky too because there were other cheaper sellers too.
     
  4. HyperSnake macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    What the heck are you talking about? The 9400M is the best integrated graphic card you can find. It beats any Intel integrated graphics and will be a great card for any non-gamer or hardcore video/picture editor. I do agree it should not be in the iMac but it is absolutely not a "crappy card".

    To the OP: If you are seious about buying a Mac Pro later then definately go for the Mini with the 24'' LED, however only if you are sure you need the Mac Pro, else I would look at a higher-end iMac with a good video card and use that machine as you would use a Mac Pro. Only few people truly need the power of the Mac Pro and for many, the iMac would suffice.

    - Ben
     
  5. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #5
    I think for many, the thought of integrated gpu=bad. We can blame Intel for that. :)

    The 9400 is fine for most uses and even the occasional game but on anything other than the low end iMac or the mini (nice addition here), it's just a disappointment.

    Cheers,
     

Share This Page