iMac 2.66 or Mac Mini with ssd hd

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MadsMads, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. MadsMads macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    Hi, im currently looking for my next mac.

    I have a 20 inch Cinema display, mouse, keyboard and external firewire hds and dont play 3d games. This makes me a perfect mac mini candidate.

    I do, however, spend alot of time at the computer and wouldnt mind spending more money if this would make this time more pleasant og "smooth". My options are therefore: a mac mini (waiting for the update..) or a imac 2.66.

    The iMac is clearly faster but I would be buying a faster gpu,screen, etc: things i dont need. I could for less than this get a mini + Mtron 32gb ssd hd for my System/apps/frameworks. Which solution do you think would give me the most "snappiess" for the buck? With the current mini lineup (imac gives me +0.66ghz more) and with a "projected" updated mini with a2.2-2.4 ghz cpu?

    I mainly use my mac for "iLife-stuff":mail,web,music/videos (not editing) and coding in xcode. The last item: xcode performance is the one im mostly concerned about. I would expect that it would be very hd read dependent but the only ssd test i have found wasnt pretty:

    See application benchmarks:

    The webkit project is perhaps very "write-intensive", but I just cant figure out why the ssd macbook air cant compete with the macbook if you take mhz difference into account?

    Any wisdom and help would be much appriciated! :)
  2. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2006
    Suburb of Chicago
    Sounds like the a plain Jane mini is all you need. I wouldn't even get an SSD. If IO performance is really a concern, get a 7200rpm drive.

    Now for a flame war: if you are interested in "'snappiess' for the buck," I wouldn't be looking at macs in the first place.
  3. MadsMads thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    Its not a question of what I "need". I could (as could most people) get by with a old emac. People did just that in the past. I use macs, well first of all because that is what i know how to use (very important!), but also because i dont mind paying for quality. And comfort, if that is the right word. Silent operation and less waiting is comfort. So is a faster cpu. Which solution would you chose if you couldnt be cheap and .. plain Jane .. wallmart pc-userlike :p?
  4. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2006
    Suburb of Chicago
    I think you sold yourself on your first post. Your second post only reinforces it. You won't be happy with anything less than an iMac.

    I think you've fallen through a gap... a gap the size of a midsize tower. PC world has it covered pretty well. Apple, not so much... let me demonstrate:

    For less than the price of a Mini, I can go to Best Buy and pick up a tower with a quad core and 6gb of memory. That's over double the compute power and 6 times the memory for less money. The catch, it comes with Vista. And there's nothing wrong with that. People frequent sites like macrumors which are extremely anti-microsoft and assume the worst.

    Terribly sorry if I wasn't any help.
  5. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Fully agreed. If you need power, expandability and cannot afford a Mac Pro, you're only way is to go for a PC desktop.
  6. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    If you're not afraid of messing around with computers (and not afraid of voiding your warranty) you could do a "Mac mini external SATA mod" (just search for this phrase you'll find plenty of people who have done this).
  7. maccompaq macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    Actually, there is very little software that will take advantage of a quad core, and that which does is very expensive. I have found that 2GB RAM is sufficient for my Macs running Leopard and my PCs running Windows XP Pro. I use Photoshop, Aperture and MS Office 2008.
  8. MadsMads thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    Installing a ssd would properly be faster for my purposes (i.e. i dont edit video and it would be my boot drive). Plus it would be silent.

    I have seen the mac mini / sdd combination and now prices have come down and its looks like an very effective mod. Noone here have done it?
  9. MadsMads thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    I agree. I have been looking at the Mac Pro and the benchmarks show very little improvement over the standard consumer systems in standard use. For us, normal users, the only factors relevant is clockspeed and hd speed (and suffiecent ram.. and perhaps gpu for you). What im asking here is: which of theese two: clockspeed and hd speed would you rather improve? Which update is the most worthwhile?

    And I don't consider switching to a pc or hackintosh an upgrade. Formfactor and design comes before clockspeed and hd for me.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Just get a Mini with a 7200RPM drive. And SSD is way too expensive for way too little space. At affordable prices, I find it only good for secondary computers you only plan to do some work or browse internet on. Of course I also only buy SLC, so affordable is more restricted.

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