Help decide: 2012 Mini (base or mid) vs. 2011 iMac base refurb

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k.alexander

macrumors regular
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Jul 14, 2010
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Help me make up my mind. I am looking at either a new 2012 Mini (base or mid) vs the 2011 21.5 iMac (base).

2011 iMac: Quad Core i5-2400S@2.50GHz (bench score 4712), AMD 6750HD 512VRam, 500GB 7200Rpm HD, 4GB Ram. $979

2012 Mini (base): DualCore i5@2.50GHz (bench score 3995), Intel 4000HD, 500GB 5400Rpm, 4GB Ram. $717 (including KB/Touchpad which I need)
2012 Mini (mid): QuadCore i7@2.30GHz (bench score 6738), Intel 4000HD, 1TB 5400Rpm, 4GB Ram. $917 (including KB/Touchpad which I need)


This PC will be primarily used for Aperture/PS, some light-to-mid-level home video editing, plus web/office stuff, No gaming. I understand any of these machines will do what I need today, but I tend to keep PCs for a while (I can't believe but I'm about to upgrade my 1.83Ghz Core Duo MBP 15"--first Intel MBP), and so I wonder which of these will last me the longest. Also, am I correct that if I'm not gaming at all, I dont really need the dedicated graphics card, or is there a benefit to such a card for Aperture/PS?

I understand that with the mini, I will likely be able to put in an SSD in addition to the drive that's there now. From ifixit, it seems doable on the iMac but way way too much work. Both machines can have their ram easily upgraded as well. Plus hopefully the new mini can also have it's current HD more easily upgraded than the iMac due to the iMac's 7pin connect for the HD's temp/fan. So the mini actually seems like a more upgradeable machine going forward.

Advice please?!? Thanks
 
Last edited:

Godzilla71

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2009
527
396
WA state
I would go with the refurb. I actually just bought one yesterday in fact. :) the refurb will give you the faster HD 7200 rpm compared to the 5400. I personally prefer to have a dedicated gpu rather then an integrated one if possible I would think it would help if you do anything intense in ps/arpature. You would not have to worry about the mouse/keyboard. would you need to get a monitor as well with the mini?
anyways there is my $00.2 hope it helped a little. :eek: :)
 

k.alexander

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2010
248
76
I don't need a monitor immediately, but I would need to buy one eventually. Of course the look of an all-in-one iMac is nice, but I could get a larger monitor than 21.5" for not a lot of money.

The easy way to put a second drive, an SSD, into the mini is also a huge plus.

I really can't freaking decide between these options (and especially b/w the mid-range mini and the iMac refurb, which are only about $60 apart).
 

k.alexander

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2010
248
76
I'm the OP. After some more thinking, I think I've decided to get the 2011 iMac refurb.

Primary reason: the 6750M discrete graphics card. At the end of the day, this wipes the floor with the Intel HD 4000 that's in the 2012 minis.
Second reason: the all in one package.
Third reason: 4 RAM slots. I will prob buy 2x4GB (<$50), not throw any of the existing ram out and end up with 12GB, which should likely last me a very long time.
Lastly: actually ends up being same money as a less powerful 2012 mini, and less money than the mid-range 2012 mini I was looking at.

Downsides
1: the mini would be easier to upgrade with regard to HD and installing an SSD as a 2nd drive. But that's the price, I guess. The iMac is doable, but just a huge pain. Alternatively, I do have the option of connecting an external SSD via the Thunderbolt port.
2: The mid-range mini would have had a faster CPU, i7 Ivy vs. i5 Sandy.
3. The iMac has a 500GB HD compared to 1TB, but that's a minor minor thing.
 
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