iMAC G5 Or Mini With 20 Inch cinema.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by marKz1, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. marKz1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2005
    Hi guys,

    I have been debating on selling my amd pc(just built) for a mac g5 dual. the more I thought about it the more I saw that having both a fast pc and pretty fast mac would be benfiical to my music produciton.

    I think I am going to stick with my pc and buy either the following two set ups. I will be using it for web surfing, email, itunes, and light music production. For the heavier music production tasks i will be using my pc just because I can't afford logic yet.

    So I have two options as I see it. Buy a maxed out mini with a 20inch cinema display. This way i could ditch my dual monitor setup and use my pc and mini on the cinema display.

    Or I could buy a 1.8 g5 iMac at about the same price as a mini with cinema display. I would like to know if I could use the screen from the iMac together with my monitor at home for a dual monitor setup on my pc?? Will it work as a display for windows or is it only a display for the iMac?

    what is the best option for me? Are there any other options I should consider? I would love a dual g5 but they are really expensive.


  2. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I would retire the P/C offline for gaming and buy an 12" PowerBook with a good 20-24" display.

    This gives you a great 'lil machine, portability that you'll really appreciate and a great way to view both platforms.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Well, with the mini and the iMac you get one thing: limited expandability.

    I'd definitely get the iMac over the mini and display, though. A lot more machine.
  4. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
  5. marKz1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2005
    Can the display on the iMac be used for other computers as well?
  6. Chasealicious macrumors member


    May 6, 2005
    Fayetteville, AR
    iMac, iMac, iMac, iMac. Did I mention that you should get the iMac? The mini is NOTHING compared to the current iMacs, and the 17" display is plenty big for video editing and music prodution. If you're stuck on a 20", just get a refurb Rev. A 20" iMac straight from Apple for $1,399.

    I have a 17" iMac and a 12" PowerBook with an external LCD, but I still prefer just using the iMac for screen space.

    And no, the iMac can only mirror its display, not drive a second or be used as a display for any other machine.

    iMac, iMac, iMac.
  7. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    You should try and find a used or refurb'ed Single G5 Power Mac.
  8. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Just an FYI the iMac doesn't have a dual G5. The iMac is a Rev. B so it's a very stable machine and should last you for years. The software compatibility will be there also. The Mac mini is still Rev. A. The only advantage to the mini would be being able to share a monitor. Just be sure to get more RAM and AppleCare.
  9. marKz1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2005
    i didn't know that apple sold refurbs. There's a lot of good stuff there. Has anyone had bad expierences with Refurbished stock?
  10. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    I bought my iMac for these reasons, although I disagree that the iMac can't be expanded to at least some limited extent. The RAM can be currently upped to 2GB, and if 2GB sticks of PC3200 are ever released into the mainstream, it might be able to handle these as well. The HDD can be replaced with a different one, the CD/DVD can be replaced - Apple has a FAQ on what is user servicable in an iMac somewhere on its Web site.

    The big thing that you lose with an iMac (and a Mini, for that matter), is the ability to add PCI cards, change the VRAM, and add a processor upgrade. IIRC, the G5, VRAM, BT and AE are all on the Midplane on the iMac.
  11. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    Not really, but you can use VNC. Which over a fairly fast connection, may actually let you do most of what you want. (So long as you are not doing something like gaming). But for most activities over a relatively local and fast ethernet connection, you will be able to drive your PC quite well, from your Imac.
  12. PretzeLogic macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2004
    I wanted to reply because I was trying to decide between the exact same choices, and come out thinking the mac mini and 20" ACD is the better choice.

    1. Most of what I do is web browsing, word processing, etc., and the mac mini should be fine for that. It's about the same processor as the one in my 12" 1.5 PBook, which is great for those things.

    2. The iMac has a much better processor, but the problem with any all-in-one design is that the CPU is married to the monitor. I love my iLamp, but at 800Mhz, it's nearly obselete at the young age of 3.

    3. The obselence of the CPU is even more important with the switch to Intel processors. New programs released in 2006-07 written for the Intel may run on the G5 through the Rosetta emulator, but at a significant hit on performance.

    4. Finally, having a separate monitor, particularly one as nice and solidly constructed as Apple's 20" ACD, is that it can last for 6-8 years, and that you can hook it up to multiple CPUs, including a mac mini, a PBook, and a PC, rather than having a bunch of different monitors taking up space and adding clutter to your desk.

    I know there are valid counterpoints to each of these, but overall they carry the day for me.
  13. marKz1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2005
    I will be doing some audio production on it. How does vnc work for this?
  14. Azurael macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2005
    I'd agree with that - Especially if the transition from PPC > x86 is anything like the transition from 68k > PPC - I had just bought a 68k Mac when the PPCs first came out and within 18 months it was effectively a doorstop because I needed to use the latest versions of software but nobody bothered to make the necessary changes to code and compile FAT binaries anymore. As much as Jobs claims it won't be the same today because it's easy to cross-compile with XCode, the increasing use of vector processing intensive code used in modern softwae probably means that the smaller software houses won't bother back-porting to PPC with future versions of their software a year or so after the whole Apple lineup is x86-based. Remember that there was a period when Apple was selling both 680x0 and PPC machines at the same time and about the best remission they could give to people who bought the late 68k machines was a very stodgy PPC 601-based upgrade card.

    The Mac mini is effectively a throwaway at £350 - I'd have no issues replacing mine with a new x86-based Mac in a year's time which will be much faster, not to mention the fact that I still have a sound investment in my TFT panel. It woud be harder to accept that consequence with a recently purchased iMac. And actually, the 1.42GHz Mac mini isn't really that much worse than the base iMac when the drive is upgraded. The graphics chip is obviously inferior, but overall performance vs. the iMac isn't that bad, especially if the iMac is set to automatic processor performance (did I mention that the mini is much quieter than the iMac otherwise, which might be a significant advantage when working with music.)
  15. newton213 macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2004
    If youre watching the budget and gonna keep your pc for a while, i say start out with a mini thats maxed out, and buy one of apples displays, 20 or 23, keyboard and mouse. This way you can learn OS X and still keep your PC for that audio stuff youve gotta do, and then 6-8 months down the road when you can afford it, swap the mini out of your system for a Power Mac. This way you'll be jumping into a beast of a system and will actually know how to fully take control of it. If you were to go with an iMac now, you'd be stuck with it. Its a much larger investment, considering its an all in one. Dont get me wrong, the iMac really rocks, but for what it sounds you want your system to do down the road, you'd be much better saving up and getting a Power Mac. At least with the mini, youre getting a head start on your dream system with the display. Sell your PC display and use a display switch so that both systems can share the apple display.
  16. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    As someone considering 'switching' soon I'd recommend the mini. Your PC has all the oomph and power that you need but the mini will be the cool miniture mac that will let you get to know and fall in love with OSX so that when the Intel based powermacs come out you can get one of those, install Windows on it as well and be able to do all of the stuff you did on your PC on that whilst being able to have all that power in your Mac environment. Have a look on ebay btw to see how much LCDs, in particular apple displays go for second hand - its still a lot - they hold their value better than iMacs do.
    Although it might be worth considering a Dell display - same internals but more connections and cheaper.
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    With the spanning hack you can drive two monitors independently...
  18. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you want this Mac as a "time filler" (before Intel macs come out), get mini and 20" ACD. This will let you sell mini later and keep the display. Otherwise get iMac

Share This Page