Has anyone here "upgraded" from an iMac to a mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Axegrinder, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Axegrinder macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2006
    I have a mid 2006 Core Duo iMac which I'm thinking of giving to my daughter now she's started high school. To be fair it still handles everything I do with ease except re-encode dvds quickly (my 2.4 unibody macbook can do the same job about 20 minutes quicker).

    I imagine most people would get a new iMac but I'm thinking of going with an ACD 24" and a 2.53 mini though I realize it isn't particularly cost effective but if my iMac still handles my needs then surely the mini will too, right?

    Even though my iMac has been trouble free (touch wood) I've always had a nagging doubt at the back of my mind about losing a perfectly good screen etc if say, the logic board died or vice versa. I guess I'm no longer comfortable with so much money tied up in an all-in-one (especially with all the quality control stories doing the rounds these days).

    The mini of course could also be easily upgraded with an SSD drive, something I wouldn't dream of attempting with a new iMac despite the thread on here showing people that have done it.

    Has anyone else gone down this route? Am I mad/wasting money etc? Any compelling reasons to go one way or the other?
  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The SSD would be one big reason to go the Mini Route honestly.

    The cost is not worth it though for the specs, although it would enable you to upgrade the mini each time a new one comes out without having to upgrade the screen. But, the new iMac will like be more powerful than even two more upgrades to the Mini should Apple keep under powering and overpricing it.

    Factor in the keyboard and magic mouse (which is awesome) and you could have a 27" iMac with 1TB of space, 4 gigs of RAM, and a much better video card and processor (the processor alone will show an decent increase in encoding times for your dvd's). Also, the new screens are simply amazing. I strongly recommend the new iMac route.
  3. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    That always irked me about the iMac line too, but since the 27" iMacs can now be used as displays for other computers, you're no longer investing in a display that will have to be discarded when you're ready to upgrade the computer.
  4. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    the minis (to me) seem to be too expensive for what you get.. i mean £600 for a rubbish spec plus a monitor, keyboard and mouse... adding those in your looking at £1000 when you could get a base imac 21.5 which would outpower it by far for the same price [​IMG]
  5. Serif macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2008
    Thanks for an interesting question :)

    I've been thinking the same about all in solutions like the iMac for a while now; that it's a shame that in a few years you're left with a perfectly good screen thats attached to a below par computer, or worse, a broken computer that it's uneconomical to fix.

    That said, I'm a hypocrite in that my main computer is a 24" iMac and a new 27" one will be on its way as soon as I'm happy that teething issues have been resolved. I've also just taken delivery of one of the new Mac Mini Servers and am very impressed at how good it is in terms of processing power, quietness, how cool it runs and how little power it draws. Of course being a server I'm not so much bothered about graphics, but it seems perfectly adequate for general use.

    If I was being sensible and had to choose a single system with an eye on keeping running and upgrade costs down, then I'd probably come down on the side of the Mini. It's just a shame that you can't buy an Apple monitor with a built in camera.
  6. outl4nd3r macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Apple does sell a monitor with a built in camera, the 24" LED monitor has a built in iSight camera, mic and speakers. Though it does cost $999 CAD. :p

    I'm looking at getting the base Mac Mini and doing a self upgrade to 4GB of RAM and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD. I was also thinking of taking out the Superdrive and putting a second HDD in there... I noticed iFixit has a special adapter for it. :rolleyes:
  7. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    Have the new 2.54 Mini + ACD

    I bought a new 2.54 Mini that I'm using with the 24" ACD. Upgraded the Mini to 500 gb. I can still return the Mini and get a 27" iMac instead -- but so far I like the ACD, as the pixels are quite a bit larger than those on the iMac. The Mini seems quite fast for most everything -- almost as fast as the new dual-core iMac, though that can be upgraded to 8gb much more cheaply than the Mini. The ACD + Mini is a lot more svelte than the huge iMac -- and it works quite well. The fact that you can't change the hard drive on the iMac is a big negative, I think. And, while it looks impressive and beautiful in the store, the 27" machine is REALLY big.
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    then get applecare?

    and take all that worry away?
  9. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't do work with specs. I do work with computers. The mini is more than enough for me. And like a lot of people, I already have monitors, mice, and keyboards.
  10. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    I'm in the camp who likes separate components. I can choose any mouse, keyboard, or display and upgrade/replace them one at a time. To me, there's nothing to like about iMacs.

    I'm getting ready to downgrade to a mini from a Mac Pro. The Pro is more than I need, kinda noisy, too big, and consumes too much power. The mini will run cool and quiet, and will do everything I need it to do. I'll have cash in my pocket and more floor space.
  11. OldMike macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks Axegrinder for posting this. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who thinks this way.

    Currently I have a 24" iMac 2.8 Core2. I've been very happy with it and have the 3 year AppleCare warranty on it. I agree with your statement above, and personally will be a little worried about keeping mine past warranty. On the PCs that I have owned it was never an issue, because it was a simple matter to repair anything that might have gone wrong - but the All in one iMacs are an entirely different beast and I would imagine replacement parts would probably be pretty expensive.

    I'm planning on selling my iMac next year some time. I like the new iMacs, but I think, like yourself, I'd feel better going with a separate monitor and computer. So although the new 27" iMacs look real nice, I think I am probably going to go a different route when I replace my iMac.

    I have always been interested in the Mac Minis, and have been close to pulling the trigger multiple times. Right now we have a newer HP tower in the bedroom working as an HTPC that a friend is interested in buying off of me. It will be replaced with a Mac Mini, that will be hooked up to a smaller 37" LCD TV (which is a great size for our bedroom). Our kids PC is getting long in the tooth (its actually an old Dell server that sounds like a jet engine when its running - but they are young right now and just happy to have a computer), and it also will definitely be replaced with a $749 Mac Mini.

    As for a replacement for my iMac, I thought the Mini would be it. However, last week we purchased a 13" MacBook Pro for my wife - and I really like it. We got it for $999 as a refurb, which is $250 more than the mid level Mac Mini (although it is about .25GHZ slower - which is no big deal in my opinion). It comes with a small screen and a 7 hour battery backup UPS - which is a huge plus as we do experience random momentary power outages from time to time. It also has a user replaceable hard drive and memory, which is another huge plus. I guess I am strange, but I refuse to use my internal drive (other then for storing some test Virtual Machines), because I am worried that the iMac will fail at some point - leaving me with having to send my iMac in for repair with a drive containing all of my data :eek: Right now I boot and work off of all external FW800 drives - which actually works really nicely, but it would be nice to use the internal drive.

    So, although, I was originally planning on replacing my iMac with a Mac Mini, I am actually thinking about replacing it with a 13" MacBook Pro and another 37" 1080P LCD (which I have seen Toshibas going for around $550 now). I think this would be a nice inexpensive setup, as I enjoy working at 1920x1080P on a 37" because it allows me to sit further back from the monitor while text is really nice and large, making it easy to read.

    I would recommend throwing the 13" MacBook Pro into the list of potential replacements - because in comparison to the Mac Mini, for certain uses, it also has a lot going for it.
  12. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    That's not a bad idea, especially if you fit the Macbook Pro with an SSD. Very fast.
  13. c.s. macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    I went the exact route the OP described. Had an original aluminum iMac, and the 2.53 mini is actually quite a bit faster. I like how easy it is to switch the display between the mini and my MBP. I thought about the iMac, but I prefer having separate pieces. Someone also mentioned that the pixel density is much more readable on the 24 ACD. Since I work on it all day, and I'm not just watching movies or gaming, I like it being easier on the eyes to navigate menus, etc. It's plenty big.
  14. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    Chin, portability

    Another issue is the chin on the iMac. Yes' it's smaller than on the older iMacs, but it's still there and is, I think, rather ugly. It's somehow more pleasing (for me, at least) to have a separate monitor without a hard disk whirring inside. Also, the Mini is easy to move and can be hooked up to any monitor keyboard/mouse combination.
  15. Axegrinder thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2006
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    It's good to know I'm not alone in thinking this way. The fact that I already own a macbook makes the decision a little easier as I could use the screen with it as well as with a mini. I haven't completely decided yet but I am leaning towards the mini the more I think about it.

Share This Page