iMac G5 20" or Mac Mini 1.42Ghz?

Apple!Freak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 11, 2005
545
0
East Coast
I am making the switch!

Now I'm not sure which to get. I think I will go with the iMac G5 but I'm not sure. It's between the iMac G5 20" and the Mac Mini 1.42Ghz.


iMac G5 20" 1.8GHz SuperDrive
Part Number: Z096
SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
512MB DDR400 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
Bluetooth Module + Apple Wireless Keyboard & Mouse + Mac OS X - U.S. English
Accessory kit
Power Supply
None - Bluetooth Module
160GB Serial ATA drive

$1,955 - Free Shipping W/Student Discount

OR

Mac mini 1.42GHz
Part Number: Z0B8
Accessory kit
Internal Bluetooth
80GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo Drive
56K v.92 Modem
512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Set
Mac OS X - U.S. English

$1,789 - Free Shipping W/Student Discount


What do you guys think? I will end up using the Apple Credit Account so I can afford a new Mac. I'm very happy to finally be giving up the PC. I know the Mac will suit me much better as I have used them a lot just never owned one due to the price but now I'm biting the bullet on the price as my PC has pissed me off one too many times. :)

(Full) Heeellloooooooo to the Apple world! (I had an iPod since Christmas so it's a Full hello now, heh.)
 

barthrh

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2005
55
31
I'm having the same dilemma

Pros for Cinema + Mini
- Cinema display somewhat better than iMac display (250 cd/m2 vs. 230, 400:1 vs. 350:1)
- Cinema display is more lasting
- I'll probably get a Powerbook G5 or dual-core Power Mac when available.
- This will be my first, but NOT my last Mac... it will be mostly on "spouse-duty" once I get my beefy one.

Pros for iMac
- 64-bit ready for Tiger
- Will have the juice for cool stuff like Dashboard
- Resale value... display not reusable, but can always sell for a decent price.
- I can always get a Cinema display when I get the PB or PM, and it'll probably be cheaper at that time.

So... what does everyone think? Would the 1.42 Mini be enough for day-to-day use, Tiger features, iPhoto, Photoshop, etc?

I don't care about games... I have a PC for that, and then I'll just move to PS3 when I turf the PC.
 

mauly

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2003
333
0
Manchester, England
barthrh said:
Cinema display somewhat better than iMac display (250 cd/m2 vs. 230, 400:1 vs. 350:1)
what exactly is the difference between the 20" cinema display and the imac 20" display? I have no idea what cd/m2 means!!!! is there a noticable difference between the 2 to the human eye!!!!!!?
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
0
somewhere between here and there.
mauly said:
what exactly is the difference between the 20" cinema display and the imac 20" display? I have no idea what cd/m2 means!!!! is there a noticable difference between the 2 to the human eye!!!!!!?
It's the contrast, brightness, viewing angle and response time rating. :)


Those are the 4 things that are important to an LCD. :)
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Argh, I have the samd dilemma as you guys, except the display... and except I'm including the PowerMacs in there. Well, maybe not the quite same dilemma, but similar :p

Basically I can afford up to a 2.5 GHz dual G5 PowerMac, but what my dilemma is: what I actually need for practicality's sake. The only thing I really do is iChat, Safari, Mail, occasionally Final Cut Express (read: once a year or less :D, light and medium-duty Photoshop, and some games (nothing serious, I play mostly on the consoles). And guess what? An iMac 17" 800 MHz serves all those needs PERFECTLY. So I definitely don't need the extreme top-end 2.5 GHz dual G5s. Now, the iMac G5's pro is simply put, the G5. But I'm iffy on the display - I prefer to use my own. I know an Mac mini 1.42 GHz will basically blow me away with it's speed (see sig :D).

Ok, that talk was good. It's now down to the Mac mini 1.42 GHz and the PowerMac 1.8 SP or DP. Can any of you guys help out with the pro/cons with the actual applications? That'll help me and the guys above alot I think.

(and yeah, I'm suggesting you guys up above to check out the 1.8 GHz Powermac)
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
0
somewhere between here and there.
barthrh said:
So... what does everyone think? Would the 1.42 Mini be enough for day-to-day use, Tiger features, iPhoto, Photoshop, etc?
If a G4 at 1Ghz or higher is not enough for day to day use, I have no clue what people with sub 1GHz G4 and G3 chips are doing twiddling they thumbs while on they systems. :)

If you want 100% Tiger compliant I would buy the iMac, if you do not care for 100% Tiger compliant and want to save some money I would go with the Mac mini. :)
 

oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
Raven VII said:
Now, the iMac G5's pro is simply put, the G5.
Not quite. Remember that in addition to a G5 processor, the iMac G5 has:

- A 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive, available in larger capacities. The Mac mini is probably using a slower 5400rpm 2.5" ATA laptop hard drive. The hard drive in the iMac G5 is also user upgradable.

- A 64MB nVidia FX 5200 Ultra. This is a faster GPU than the Mac mini's ATI Radeon 9200, and has twice the VRAM. The nVidia GPU also supports Core Image hardware acceleration, while as far as anyone knows to date, the Radeon 9200 does not.

- 2 RAM slots, both of which are user accessible. The Mac mini has only one RAM slot, and which is not user accessible (without voiding the warranty). The iMac G5 has twice the maximum RAM capacity, and you can save money by not being forced to buy RAM direct from Apple.

- 3 USB 2.0 ports and 2 FireWire 400 ports. The Mac mini has only 2 USB ports and a single FireWire port. A closed-off system means more reliance on USB and FireWire devices; the iMac G5 has an advantage here.

- Optical audio out. The Mac mini does not support optical audio out.

- Audio in. The Mac mini does not have an audio-in port. Aspiring GarageBand users will need to purchase a USB audio in device or something like the rumoured upcoming 'Asteroid' device from Apple.

I'm not trying to say that the iMac is better than the Mac mini...it totally depends on your personal preferences on price, upgradability, looks, display flexibility, etc etc. But don't just look at the CPU differences and the iMac's built-in monitor and think that's all there is to it.


But I'm iffy on the display - I prefer to use my own. I know an Mac mini 1.42 GHz will basically blow me away with it's speed (see sig :D).[/QUOTE[

Ok, that talk was good. It's now down to the Mac mini 1.42 GHz and the PowerMac 1.8 SP or DP. Can any of you guys help out with the pro/cons with the actual applications? That'll help me and the guys above alot I think.

(and yeah, I'm suggesting you guys up above to check out the 1.8 GHz Powermac)
There's a world of difference between the Mac mini and any of the PowerMacs. Expandability aside (PowerMac has lots, obviously the Mac mini has almost none), even a SP 1.8GHz PowerMac is going to be quite a bit faster in practically any type of application you are going to run. Apart from a faster CPU, the G5 will offer up faster hard drive speeds and faster graphics speeds (even with the stock FX 5200 Ultra card).

You're really comparing 3 very different systems in my opinion. The Mac mini, iMac G5 and PowerMacs all have quite different strengths and weaknesses. Personally, if you have the space at home and the budget can stretch (and you don't want a built-in display), get the PowerMac. Apart from the size (and obviously the cost), it's superior in every way.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
Buying RAM from Apple skews the results. I don't buy RAM from Apple, if I had for my iMac G5 20" the price would have been ridiculous. The price the Apple Store charges to upgrade the new Mini Mac to 1Gig of RAM is $425, a faux pas on Apples part in my opinion. Thankfully, installing RAM on my iMac was basic. I imagine it is with the Mini Mac too.

The iMac seems to have evolved though, I would say that the new ones have reached a higher level of capability while retaining a better price. The Mini Mac is a bargain and great for students, who seem to be the targetted market. Especially since most probably already have a Keyboard and Monitor, or would not have to try very hard to get those items for next to nothing. I know people who can't give away old monitors that could probably benefit someone who just wanted to have something.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Great post, thanks!

Just so you know, I'm quite computer literate, so I know there's many differences other than the processor, but that's how it is to me.

- A 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive, available in larger capacities. The Mac mini is probably using a slower 5400rpm 2.5" ATA laptop hard drive. The hard drive in the iMac G5 is also user upgradable.

This is very true, no agrument here. But my iBook only has a 4800 RPM 40 GB drive, and I didn't feel the slowness of the drive at all. And the 40 GB is like, infinite space to me. I don't even use up 10 GB of it... Except when I'm making movies, which typically takes up 20 GB. But I remove it from the HD as soon as I'm done. I never use any more than that.

- A 64MB nVidia FX 5200 Ultra. This is a faster GPU than the Mac mini's ATI Radeon 9200, and has twice the VRAM. The nVidia GPU also supports Core Image hardware acceleration, while as far as anyone knows to date, the Radeon 9200 does not.

Also true, and a rather large point that I should've considered. But first, my iBook only has a Radeon 7500 32 MB. And frankly, I'm quite shocked at how well it performs. So a 9200 should be quite impressive comparatively. And that's actually one of the reasons why I brought up the PowerMac G5's: expandability. I admit that I have a slight addiction to hot-rod video cards (my self-built PC can attest to that :) )

- 2 RAM slots, both of which are user accessible. The Mac mini has only one RAM slot, and which is not user accessible (without voiding the warranty). The iMac G5 has twice the maximum RAM capacity, and you can save money by not being forced to buy RAM direct from Apple.

Well, as much as voiding warranty sucks, I'm still going to install my own 1 GB stick. And I'll probably never need more than 1 GB.

- 3 USB 2.0 ports and 2 FireWire 400 ports. The Mac mini has only 2 USB ports and a single FireWire port. A closed-off system means more reliance on USB and FireWire devices; the iMac G5 has an advantage here.

Doesn't really bother me, my iBook has the same, and I never felt the constraint much. And I use a USB mouse and keyboard with it at all times.

- Optical audio out. The Mac mini does not support optical audio out.

I don't really care about audio, so thos point doesn't make a difference to me.

- Audio in. The Mac mini does not have an audio-in port. Aspiring GarageBand users will need to purchase a USB audio in device or something like the rumoured upcoming 'Asteroid' device from Apple.

Again, see above.

I'm not trying to say that the iMac is better than the Mac mini...it totally depends on your personal preferences on price, upgradability, looks, display flexibility, etc etc. But don't just look at the CPU differences and the iMac's built-in monitor and think that's all there is to it.




There's a world of difference between the Mac mini and any of the PowerMacs. Expandability aside (PowerMac has lots, obviously the Mac mini has almost none), even a SP 1.8GHz PowerMac is going to be quite a bit faster in practically any type of application you are going to run. Apart from a faster CPU, the G5 will offer up faster hard drive speeds and faster graphics speeds (even with the stock FX 5200 Ultra card).

I agree, and that's why I'm unsure. I'll absolutely be fine within the Mac mini's power limits, but sometimes the voice in my head says "power... power... I want power!" :D

You're really comparing 3 very different systems in my opinion. The Mac mini, iMac G5 and PowerMacs all have quite different strengths and weaknesses. Personally, if you have the space at home and the budget can stretch (and you don't want a built-in display), get the PowerMac. Apart from the size (and obviously the cost), it's superior in every way.

Yup, and that's what makes it hard. My budget is very flexible (to a reasonable level - I'm not looking to get a 30" LCD or anything for example :p) and I want a desktop. Which one is basically the question. The PowerMac is superior in every way yes, but the funny thing is, maybe it's too powerful for what I use my Mac for? Keep in mind that I've never used a G5 computer before, so I wouldn't really know.
 

oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
Raven VII said:
Great post, thanks!
No problems, thanks for your interesting reply.

Given your usage patterns and needs, then yeah, there's not really a lot in the iMac G5 for you (apart from the CPU as you mentioned). That said, I'd still go for the PowerMac if you can afford it and you don't mind the extra room it will take up. While you may not need the power now, you never know which direction your computing needs may evolve in, or what software requirements you will need to meet. There's no such thing as 'too much power', so long as your budget comfortably accommodates it. New software will always take advantage of faster hardware as it is released, and newer software and faster hardware has a habit of shaping your usage patterns simply because you can now do things that you couldn't do (or were impractical) before.

Or at least that's what I've found :) Good luck with your choice. You're in an enviable position :)
 

McMakMac

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2004
15
0
I have an iMac G5 and I absolutly love it. It's my entertainment system and I have no complains so far. It is a G5 after all.

but if you want a mac for the fact that it's a mac, and not to use as your primary computer, then i would say the Mac mini. It's cheaper, and you don't have to use the Mac display/keyboard/mouse (not 100% sure rgd the display, but I use a 2 button PC mouse with scroller on my iMac). Which means you can end up saving a lot there.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,589
1,142
it seems to me that the mini mac is for people who want to keep their total cost down in the $800 to $900 range.......if you are willing to spend as much as $1800 then you should be looking at the iMac......it's a "bang for the bucks" issue IMO
 

Sir_Giggles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
507
0
The mini doesnt come with audio inputs. I would have liked to see more of a push towards a media center, but currently how it looks, it will be welcome in any livingroom. Now it just needs a remote, and built in HMDI or SVHS connectors.
 

Dredog

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2005
9
0
Raven VII said:
Great post, thanks!

- A 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive, available in larger capacities. The Mac mini is probably using a slower 5400rpm 2.5" ATA laptop hard drive. The hard drive in the iMac G5 is also user upgradable.

This is very true, no agrument here. But my iBook only has a 4800 RPM 40 GB drive, and I didn't feel the slowness of the drive at all. And the 40 GB is like, infinite space to me. I don't even use up 10 GB of it... Except when I'm making movies, which typically takes up 20 GB. But I remove it from the HD as soon as I'm done. I never use any more than that.
Are you kidding? You can't tell the difference between a 4800 RPM laptop HD and 7200 desktop harddrive. I'm a recent switcher and got an iMac but believe me when i say that harddrive speed MAKES a big difference in windows and i don't see why it wouldn't be the same on a make; unless of course you are used to slow computers :)
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
I thought I posted something else on this thread, regardless I'll try again. Hopefully it didn't end up somewhere else.

Considering the price, don't expect any hardware miracles. Consider the added value of the quality software bundled though.
 

liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,167
23
Lincoln,UK
get the Mac Mini with 20" display - that way you when you upgrade to the next big thing next yeah you can take the display with you !

guess what i bought lol
 

Platform

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2004
2,881
0
Now that we know all the fact about the new Mac mini

1.
How would a
1.42Ghz
80GB
1GB/512 Ram
SuperDrive
Ati 9200 32MB VRAM

Do performance wise and what can it be used for

2.

Since it comes with the 9200 with 32MB VRAM, and apple has said that the lowest card supported for core image is the gfx5200, will this be able to run Tiger with core image(apple will make some sort of a tweak to enable the 9200 for core image)

3.

I have a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz
512MB RAM
80GB
Gfx 5200
Combo drive

Could the Mac mini replace/be on the same level of computing as it(OK slower cpu but less ram so would it compensate for that, and it would offcourse run OS X and i really hope Tiger too )

Thank you :D
 

corywoolf

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2004
1,352
3
Raven VII said:
Great post, thanks!


Yup, and that's what makes it hard. My budget is very flexible (to a reasonable level - I'm not looking to get a 30" LCD or anything for example :p) and I want a desktop. Which one is basically the question. The PowerMac is superior in every way yes, but the funny thing is, maybe it's too powerful for what I use my Mac for? Keep in mind that I've never used a G5 computer before, so I wouldn't really know.
get the mini, its all you need. i have a 800 mhz 15" imac and it is fine for my photoshopping and fcp 3. get a superdrive though. i am just waiting for the pb's, when????? i really hope they don't update it now. if its a minor bump that means g5's will be pushed to august or sept. and if they pull a "wait til june and release minor bumps" on me, i will freak out. i want to finance that sony hd camera and a 17" pb. only thing is i will need to get a hd tv and a hd dvd player.... i am stunned that the hd cam records onto standard dv tapes though. huge plus for me, i purchased a $1,200 dv deck combo with vhs last year and have got a bit of use out of it. i mostly use the colleges comp's for any heavy stuff.

anyways.... get the mini mac and if you want to take advantage of imovie hd. don't get the superdrive, wait til sony releases the blu-ray dvd-r's and then get an external one for say $300- $400 hopefully. it is hard to think that my $500 ipod photo could be worth the mini mac. i WISH i could trade now!!!!
 

dferigmu

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2004
265
0
Washington, DC
oingoboingo said:
Not quite. Remember that in addition to a G5 processor, the iMac G5 has:

- Optical audio out. The Mac mini does not support optical audio out.

- Audio in. The Mac mini does not have an audio-in port. Aspiring GarageBand users will need to purchase a USB audio in device or something like the rumoured upcoming 'Asteroid' device from Apple.
What does this exactly mean if I want to plug external speakers into my Mac? Like a set of Logitech or Klipsch speakers. Is it possible on the mini? If not, how do you plug in speakers?
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Dredog said:
Are you kidding? You can't tell the difference between a 4800 RPM laptop HD and 7200 desktop harddrive. I'm a recent switcher and got an iMac but believe me when i say that harddrive speed MAKES a big difference in windows and i don't see why it wouldn't be the same on a make; unless of course you are used to slow computers :)
Oh yes I do see the difference - my PC has a 7200 RPM HD that I intend to take out and put in an external enclosure. But my point is, I don't mind the 4800 RPM HD. I do see the difference, but that difference doesn't really bother me. I rarely ever really push my iBook hard, and when I do push it, I don't expect much, so I have alot of patience :)

The Mac is my main computer, I've switched fully over a year ago and never looked back :) The PC I built basically sits next to my desk collecting dust :rolleyes:

Thanks all for your thoughts. I still have some time to make my decision. I won't want to buy the Mac mini on the first day - I'll wait for you guys to get it and post impressions. It's a rev. A after all :)
 

oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
dferigmu said:
What does this exactly mean if I want to plug external speakers into my Mac? Like a set of Logitech or Klipsch speakers. Is it possible on the mini? If not, how do you plug in speakers?
The Mac mini definitely has a standard 3.5mm audio out jack (the standard headphone-style jack), so you can plug in headphones or analog speakers without a problem. I was referring to the Mac mini's lack of optical audio out ports. You will not be able to use newer high-end speakers which have an optical connection with the Mac mini. The PowerMac G5, iMac G5 and Airport Express all support this feature in comparison.
 

oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
Raven VII said:
Thanks all for your thoughts. I still have some time to make my decision. I won't want to buy the Mac mini on the first day - I'll wait for you guys to get it and post impressions. It's a rev. A after all :)
I think you've offered the best piece of advice in this forum so far ;)