iMac much better deal than Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by marclondon, May 31, 2019.

  1. marclondon macrumors 6502

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    London
    #1
    I need to replace my 2012 Mini and have had three Minis and am a big fan of them but I'm just pricing up configs vs iMacs and it strikes me that the iMacs are a much better deal? One of my dual 24 inch monitors has failed so this is part of the thinking.

    Yes, you can get the i7 and a bigger SSD on the Mini for the same price but then no graphics card or retina screen...

    Any thoughts about keeping me in the Mini camp? My main concern about the iMac is my work is primarily document and design driven - need to see A4 docs (which is why Ive been running 1920x1200 monitors) and not sure if the iMac screen will scale well for this type of work. Also have to run Windows as a VM for a few apps so need power.

    I get the VAT back plus educational discount so it's not so price sensitive for me and I'm half thinking of buying both as I have two rooms I use as an office. However, I also need to buy a new MacBook as very much struggling with two MBPs from 2009 - they work but battery life is about 20 mins even though I replaced the batteries awhile ago...
     
  2. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

    Joined:
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    Location:
    VA
    #2
    Assuming you're talking about the 27", since you're trying to replace a dual monitor setup.
    When I compare the 27" offerings most similar to the Mini I got my eyes on, 3.2 i7/8GB/512GB the closest I can find on the iMac is $800 higher (3.1 i5/8GB/512GB). Of course you're getting a monitor included, so it basically comes down to if you like the 27" screen that's included in the iMac?
    I just got an ultrawide LG and really enjoy using it. That's why I'm looking forward to getting a Mini to hook up to it.
     
  3. marclondon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Yes, 27 inch. This Mini config is currently in the bag:

    • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
    • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
    • Intel UHD Graphics 630
    • 1TB SSD storage
    • 10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)
    This will cost me £1410.

    But this 27 inch iMac config:
    • 3.1GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
    • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
    • Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
    • 1TB Fusion Drive storage
    is only £1462.

    I wouldn't buy the fusion drive so adding a 512GB SSD does sadly put a whopping £243 on the price:

    £1705.

    So for £300 difference I could but a new monitor I guess. But not a 5k and I wouldn't have the discrete graphics.

    So it's not such an easy choice.
     
  4. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #4
    IIRC the i7 in the mini supports hyperthreading, while the i5 in the iMac does not. Do your programs make good use of additional cores?

    Also, I think that the 10GBit-Ethernet in the mini is overkill at this point in time, so taking that one out reduces the mini price even further.

    Next, the mini offers 4x TB3 ports, where the iMac has only two. Even with adding an eGPU to the mini, it would still have 50% more TB ports, e.g. for adding a TB->10GBit Ethernet Adapter some time down the road, when 10GBit equipment has become mainstream and thus significantly cheaper.

    For your use case you probably don’t need a dedicated GPU. And if you do, you can add it via TB at any time. Upgrading other components - such as the CPU in the iMac - is not possible at all.

    The iMac monitor is not rotatable, which might be important for viewing documents upright & fullscreen.

    tl;dr: To me the mini seems to be the better offer. :)
     
  5. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #5
    Yes, sounds like the 1TB SSD and 10 Gigabit Ethernet makes your Mini more expensive compared to the iMac.
    Another thing to keep in mind (but might not make a difference for you) is that the iMac comes with mouse and keyboard, while the Mini does not.
     
  6. marclondon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Yes I was comparing a maxed out Mini - I probably don't need all that but might just as well have the 1TB SSD (to go with my 1TB dropbox account... my current 512 SSD is pretty full) and the 10Gbit port is only a small amount. Hadn't thought of hyperthreading and think it's worth having as I run a heavy app load that's bringing my 2012 i7 to its knees (although that's partly because a memory slot has failed).

    Like the thought on adjustable monitors too. I don't really like all in one PCs and have never had an iMac.

    I think you've made my mind up - Mini it is. I will add 32GB memory myself as I like messing with these things.






     
  7. yukari macrumors 6502

    yukari

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #7
    In the long run, I think mac mini with egpu set up will cost less. You can upgrade mac mini down the road without having to replace the monitor or the egpu.

    That's is what I have as a set up. I can upgrade individual components without having to replace the entire system.

    But that's just me.
     
  8. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #8
    Adding 10GbE is a complete waste unless you have a 10GbE switch to go with it and you need that sort of performance to an equally equipped NAS or similar. Likely it will simply connect to your existing gear at 1GbE and that's that.

    The CPU is a pretty personal decision based on apps and such (and I have the i7) but most people are well served by the i5.

    Storage wise.. it's tough for me to think of any good reason to go with internal 1TB vs a smaller drive plus external Thunderbolt 3 SSD. I guess if money is no object then what the heck, but you could spend the same and have performance plus a lot of additional space with the external. I can't even see mine tucked back behind the monitor.
     
  9. marclondon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Well this spec:

    • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
    • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
    • Intel UHD Graphics 630
    • 512GB SSD storage
    • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)

    takes the price down to £1072.

    What price for an external thunderbolt SSD? I would have thought they are expensive?

     
  10. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #10
    That's exactly the one I'm specing and planning on adding 32GB to myself.
    Only it'll be $1499 for me unless I can catch a deal.

    A lot of people are talking about getting the Samsung T5 SSD.
    They are around $170 for 1 TB or $330 for 2 TB around here.
     
  11. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #11
    The T5 is only USB, though (does Trim work over USB on a Mac by now?), and is speed-limited to similar figures as Sata drives.

    For full speed you need the Samsung X5 with Thunderbolt, which costs around 2x-3x as much.
     
  12. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #12
    Sure, it's USB 3 though. Specs say 540MB/sec. that's not too bad for the money.
    The X5 is 2300MB/sec write but for $450 for 1 TB.

    But it's just like RAM, the prices will come down over time...
     
  13. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
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    #13
    The OP originally wanted to go for 1TB SSD internally, so for a proper substitute with an external drive it should be the fast variant, which is costly (i.e. OP could stick to getting the internal SSD in 1TB for more or less the same - if not lower - price and would have no SSD dongle lying around).

    Also, in the past TRIM did not work over USB on macOS. Not sure whether this is resolved in the latest macOS. If not, I’d definitely recommend TB over USB, as using an SSD without TRIM may be asking for trouble (even though garbage collection routines should have improved by now).

    Yep! I still remember the time when you’d want to limit yourself to a 120GB SSD for cost reasons - and now you can get those entry models for as low as ~20€ :-O
     
  14. mpfuchs macrumors 6502

    mpfuchs

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    #14
    True, going from 512 GB to 1TB straight from Apple is $400. vs. the $450 of the Samsung.
    What I was saying was get the T5 now, even tough it's slower, just use it for less accessed data vs. the internal volume.
    Then in a couple of years when the price comes down, get the Thunderbolt version.
     
  15. marclondon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    London
    #15
    Yes, think I'll go back up to 1TB internal. I need access to and share a large number of work files and it's much easier to back up an internal disk to Dropbox (in fact I'm not sure it's even possible to put external drives on a Dropbox account). As I'm at about 480GB on my disk now after some pruning the 1TB looks like a sensible move. It's also the case that you need to leave a reasonable amount of free space for performance.
     
  16. brentsg, May 31, 2019
    Last edited: May 31, 2019

    brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #16
    My point was for sub $500 you will have 1.5TB of fast storage instead of 1TB @$400. And if you like to tinker as you mentioned, grab the small X5 and drive swap for considerably less. You can put anything on an external, and anything to Dropbox.

    In the end it’s your money and convenience. I was just making suggestions. It would be difficult for me to give Apple $400 for 512GB of SSD. Yikes.
     
  17. richpjr macrumors 68040

    richpjr

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    #17
    The amount Apple charges for RAM and SSD space is obscene.
     
  18. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

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    Nov 24, 2009
    #18
    Tell me about it. Using a Samsung X5 on my Mac mini 8,1 and it is fast.. and $350 less than Apple but the ram is not enough so I will upgrade later on.
     
  19. OldMike, Jun 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019

    OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    Dallas, TX
    #19
    I'm not sure if the original poster has already pulled the trigger on this purchase, but this is my take.

    I have always been a big fan of the Mini, but I had to really think it out this time as far as value compared to an iMac 27" goes. It really depends what you want to use the Mac Mini for, and how you feel about the idea of an all in one. I personally have an aversion to the concept of an all in one, so that definitely pushed me back over to the Mini. Truthfully, there are not many manufacturers making 5K displays and the ones that are out there are very expensive. 5K is the perfect resolution for running the default effective resolution of 2560x1440p - which is why Apple chose it to begin with. The value of the iMac display is very high - but it can never be used as an external display for anything in the future which negates some of that value.

    I had an egpu setup that I was using with a Windows laptop that I knew I could repurpose for the Mini. The integrated graphics on the Mini are really not great, so I think you kind of have to add that to the cost of the Mini when comparing it to the iMac. I ended up paying around $300 for a Gigabyte Gaming Box with a RX580 during a black Friday deal last year. So an egpu does not have to cost a lot, but the extra cost should be kept in mind when comparing with an iMac.

    As for storage, personally I cannot see the point in paying Apple prices on storage for desktop systems that are not going to be moved around a lot. I purchased a TB3 TekQ Rapide with 256GB nvme for $145 and used it as an enclosure for a $100 Inland Premium 1TB nvme (same exact storage as the Sabrent Rocket and Corsair MP510). On the Mac Mini I am getting just about 2 GB/s read and write. Total cost for 1TB was around $245.

    As I post a link to the TekQ Rapide - it appears they have lowered the price on the 1TB drive to $299, and upped the lower model from 256GB for $145 to 480GB for $199. So instead of using it as an enclosure you can always just use it outright the way it comes.

    TekQ Rapide: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GZG3C15

    Here is a review on the TekQ Rapide. It is as nice as AnandTech describes it (looks and feels like something Apple themselves would make):

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/12443/tekq-rapide-thunderbolt-3-external-ssd-review

    Tweaktown review:

    https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8...-thunderbolt-3-portable-ssd-review/index.html

    Here is the 1TB Inland Premium nvme I threw in the TekQ Rapide. In the Mac Mini attached to TB3 I am getting just around 2,000 MB/s read and write. In a 2015 MBP 15 I am getting 2,700 MB/s read and write with the same storage.

    https://www.microcenter.com/product...80-pcie-nvme-30-x4-internal-solid-state-drive

    These have been selling out every time they come back in stock (but are replenished quickly) since they lowered the price to $105 and now $99. It uses a Phison controller and is an identical drive to many others on the market.


    Memory is easily upgraded in the Mini - it went a lot quicker than what I had thought it would, so that is another way to easily save money on upgrades. Memory is pretty cheap right now which is a big plus.

    I think the i5 is a good choice in the Mini. Mine gets right around 22K on Geekbench 4 and benches pretty close to some of the weaker i7 scores that I have looked at. The 256GB SSD that came in mine was slower on writes but quicker on reads than the TB3 TekQ Rapide with Inland Premium that I used.

    Mac Mini 2018 i5 256GB Internal SSD (FileVault On):

    MacMini2018_Internal256GB.png


    Mac Mini 2018 i5 External TB3 TekQ Rapide with Inland Premium 1TB (FileVault On):

    MacMini2018_InlandSpeed.png


    Mac Mini 2018 i5 OpenCL:

    MacMini2018OpenCL.png


    Mac Mini 2018 TB3 connected Gigabye Gaming Box RX580:

    MacMini2018_RX580.png


    Mac Mini 2018 i5 256GB Geekbench 4:

    MacMini2018i5_GB4.png

    I hope this helps you one way or the other. I don't think you can go wrong with either the Mac Mini or iMac.
     
  20. marclondon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #20
    Thanks for one of the best posts I've seen here. I have ordered the i7 Mac mini with 1TB SSD - yes I don't like Apple's prices but I get about 30% off the price with UK tax so it's not too painful and in any case my small business has bought it so it's also tax deductible. Only 8GB ram - will add my own.

    Also ordered a 13 inch Macbook Pro with 512GB SSD and 16GB ram as these have just been refreshed.

    These two replace a 2012 i7 Mini and a 2009 MBP. It was about time.

    Will give some thought to the GPU but may well also buy a refurb iMac for the kids later this year.

    I need a second monitor for the Mini - currently running 22 inch 1920x1200 and 19 inch 1280 x 1024 Eizo monitors (latter is a spare as a 24 inch Lacie VA tech recently failed). Ideally want another VA technology panel rather than IPS.

     
  21. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    #21
    Hope you enjoy your new Macs. I can assure you, your storage solution will work the best!
     
  22. Neodym, Jun 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

    Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    #22
    If you’d be willing to accept IPS, I’d recommend to try a 34” UW curved 3440x1440. “Curved” is important here, otherwise the experience would be lackluster! I do own an LG and could never go back to a “normal” monitor ...

    Edith wants to point out that there are in fact curved UW monitors with a VA panel available in the market, such as e.g. the MSI MPG341CQR, the Acer Predator Z35 or the Samsung SJ55W. So no need to begrudgingly accept IPS just to enjoy the monitor format :)
     
  23. v-i-c-, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019

    v-i-c- macrumors member

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    #23
    OldMike I also have the same problem to decide whether to buy an iMac 27“ i5 3.0 GHz 32 GB (with external TB3 SSD) or a new Mac mini i3 or i7 with 32 GB, eGPU and external TB3 SSD.
    First some simple questions, maybe you can answer them?

    Questions:

    – Do you have any issues with your external TB3 SSD like the spontaneously disconnects reported by OWC when bus powered thunderbolt drives are connected directly to the Mac mini?
    – Do you have any problems with Wi-Fi/bluetooth and connected USB devices?
    – Do you know the power consumption of the eGPU at different tasks like idle, Safari, watching movies, gaming (at maxed out settings)?
    – Is the eGPU noisy?


    Now my thoughts about the Mac mini and the iMac. It might be a long read, but I am thinking about it since weeks. So far without coming to a final result. Maybe someone of you have some ideas to share which makes my decision a little easier.

    Requirements and thoughts:

    I want to use the machine with Unity (all day), Maya (often), PS, Substance Painter and Pro Tools (sometimes) so the load on the GPU will be always comparable high which is one of the reasons why I fear the thermal stress to the GPU in the small iMac case could be a problem.

    I don’t like the concept of an all-in-one too! When one part fails the entire setup is unusable and there is no way to exchange this part quickly. Also I don’t like glossy screens. But the iMac is really can look like a better deal unless I would go with the mini i3. The i3 might be much slower but I come from a 2.6 GHz Mac mini 2014 with only 8 GB RAM, so even the i3 would be much more powerful.

    Options:

    Cheapest prices I have found here in Germany for the machines. Upgraded to 32 GB (RAM is more expensive for the Mac minis because of the fee (roughly 120 EUR) I have to pay to the authorized apple service technicians to exchange the RAM without losing the warranty):

    – iMac 27“ 3.0 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1TB FusionDrive, Pro 570X, Samsung X5 512 GB SSD: 2168 EUR
    – Mac mini i7 3.2 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Razer Core X, RX 580, Samsung X5 512 GB SSD: 2140 EUR
    – Mac mini i5 3.0 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Razer Core X, RX 580, Samsung X5 512 GB SSD: 2070 EUR
    – Mac mini i3 3.6 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Razer Core X, RX 580, Samsung X5 512 GB SSD: 1775 EUR

    So price wise (with the prices I found) it makes almost no sense to get the i5 so it is best to go with the i7. But the i3 is really much cheaper than the i7 (The i7 costs roughly 50% more than what the cheapest base price of the i3 is, which is 749 EUR here). Is the higher performance of the i7 really worth it? Especially when a lot of the burden on the system will be GPU bound? Also when the i3 ever fails I can replace it at a lower cost (I am usually low on budget).

    For the price of the i7 I could get the iMac with its nice screen and a keyboard and mouse as a gift – this makes the price difference to the i3 look more attractive than the i7. On top of that I can be certain that the iMac will work perfectly without any issues with apps like Substance Painter, while an eGPU might make some minor problems (which hopefully will be fixed within the next months and years).
    Then there are all those reports of issues with TB3 drives and the issues with USB3 and BT/WLAN. This makes the iMac look like a better decision. But as an all-in-one I should buy at least AppleCare to secure the investment because if it fails it would be a total loss due to the all-in-one concept.

    AppleCare for the iMac is available for 180 EUR (iMac price with AppleCare: 2348 EUR), for the Mac mini i7 it is much cheaper. It just costs 60 EUR (i7 plus AppleCare: 2200 EUR). The difference in price of the Mac mini i7 and the iMac grews to 148 EUR when taking AppleCare into account. The price of the iMac still seems to be OK for me unless compared to the price of the i3 (+ AppleCare 1835 EUR) which is now a difference of 513 EUR. (68% of the price of the base model i3).

    I want to use the new Mac for at least 5 years. Two of my Macs died a few weeks after the 3 years of AppleCare were over, so a 5 year warranty would be a good idea because. There is a huge company which offers an (great) on-site 5 year warranty for just 225 EUR here in Germany, unfortunately their prices for the iMac are much more expensive. The price including warranty would raise to 2629 EUR – that’s 794 EUR higher than the cost of the entire setup of the Mac mini i3 including AppleCare (794 EUR would be equal to 106% of the price of a Mac mini i3 base model). The price difference to the Mac mini i7 setup (with 3 years Apple Care) would be then 429 EUR so it looks the Mac mini i7 is back in play.

    Time to do some simple math:

    Cost per month over guaranteed life time:
    – i3: 50.97 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 61.11 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 65.22 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 43.81 EUR (5 years warranty)

    Cost per month over desired service life of 5 years:
    – i3: 30.58 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 36.66 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 37.13 EUR (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 43.81 EUR (5 years warranty)

    When I want to be certain, that the Mac will have warranty over its expected useful life then the most expensive deal is actually the best deal.


    But what about the differences in performance?

    CPU Performance (Mac mini 2,6 GHz 2014 = 100%):
    Single core:
    – i3: 4686 137%
    – i7: 5666 165%
    – iMac: 5254 153%

    Multi core:
    – i3: 215%
    – i7: 374%
    – iMac: 321%


    So what if we put this somehow in relation? To get a cost of performance:

    Cost per month over guaranteed life time / performance
    Single core
    – i3: 37.20 (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 37.03 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 42.62 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 28.63 (5 years warranty)

    Multi core
    – i3: 23.70 (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 16.33 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 20.31 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 13,64 (5 years warranty)

    Result: iMac with 5 years of warranty wins this one. Mac mini i7 comes close.


    Cost per month over desired service life of 5 years / performance
    Single core
    – i3: 22.32 (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 22.21 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 24.26 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 28.63 (5 years warranty)

    Multi core
    – i3: 14.22 (3 years warranty)
    – i7: 9.80 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 11.56 (3 years warranty)
    – iMac: 13.64 (5 years warranty)

    Result: Mac mini i7 wins it.

    So when it comes to cost of CPU-Power the i3 is really the worst choice. This makes the decision even harder.


    GPU Performance:
    This is actually hard to tell. OldMike’s benchmarks of the RX 580 show an OpenCL score of 121,158. The Pro 570x is tested with 89,388. So the RX 580 is at least 35% faster. But due to the limitations of Thunderbolt some testers showed that sometimes the Pro 580 in an iMac is clearly faster than a Vega 64 as eGPU, but this is mostly the case when it comes to off-screen work only like rendering videos.
    I’m a developer of video games so on-screen-performance is more important for me. I can upgrade the graphics card anytime for a comparable cheap price. I would say the eGPU is the winner here. Although the GPU of the iMac might be better for my power bill. (we pay roughly 30 cents per kilowatt here).
    Anyway both options are lightyears ahead of my intel integrated graphics so the difference is marginal.

    Noise:
    I can only guess it, but I think the Mac mini with eGPU will be a much louder setup than the iMac?

    At the end the iMac might be even more expensive than I thought (subjective needs and wishes):

    I already have a really good screen. A Dell U2515H. This is not a retina display but my customers will play computer games usually in HD resolution anyway, so it makes no sense to work with a better resolution. Also my eyes are too old to really benefit from the retina resolution. I don’t like glossy, I fear it could be annoying to use it all day. The Dell has a drawback too, it has a higher ppi than usual which makes text smaller and harder to read (it uses a 27“ resolution at 25“ – It would be nice to work on 27“ instead). Retina displays are a huge waste of GPU power when it comes to 3D. I possibly would switch to 2560x1440 which might look a bit blurry.

    I always wanted a UltraWide screen. A multi monitor setup might be OK too. If I buy the iMac then i would certainly use the Dell Display as a 2nd screen with it. Space on my desktop is limited. I have a 2nd Mac with a Cinema Display on it. All three screens together would be more than 160 cm wide, the desktop is 180 cm wide and I also have the Harman Kardon SoundSticks on the desk so space is very limited. Usually there is also my tomcat (which never leaves my side) laying on the desk. He often suddenly wakes up from a nightmare jumping scared to random directions, several times he almost kicked the Cinema Display from the desk. If he kicks the iMac from the table then the warranty would not help me (except the more expensive AppleCare plus which might be a solution). I would never risk to place my 2629 EUR iMac in front of a crazy cat without securing it. So I need a VESA Mount Adapter to save the iMac from the cat and to optimize the usage of space on the desktop. This makes the iMac a BTO Machine which might need several week to get delivered. :-( And it would cost an extra 49 EUR (2678 EUR), of course I would need a VESA arm which can take the heavy weight of the iMac, this would be another 100-150 EUR. In this case I would buy a VESA arm for the Dell too to get an ergonomic setup with both screens. I don’t like that the iMac stand has a fixed height anyway and I want to buy a height-adjustable desktop too so the idea of having two screens on VESA arms sounds great to me and it will be good for my health.
    So add another 50-100 EUR for the Dell arm. Lets say that are 200 EUR so the cost of buying the iMac would raise to 2878 EUR.

    This is the moment, when I start thinking of the Mac mini i3 again which would be 1043 EUR cheaper (1835 EUR) which sounds like s steal now. The price of the i7 setup is also looks attractive (2200 EUR) in comparison and it will offer the best performance. Overall the Mac mini with eGPU will be cheaper, more future proof (if the mini survives after 3 years) and in case of the i7 more powerful but there are still all those issues I have heard of. The iMac setup will be more luxurious, ergonomically, just work and the extended warranty will secure my investment over the entire lifetime of 5 years.

    I have no idea what I should buy. :confused: I wish they would have announced a cheaper Mac Pro with i7.
     
  24. yukari macrumors 6502

    yukari

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #24
    My reasons for going with i7 mini with egpu was what most of you have outlined:
    (1) ease of "individual" part replacement
    (2) I can always upgrade GPU, monitor, and SSD individually in the future without having to purchase a complete system.
    (3) I can also upgrade just the CPU (e.g., with a new mini) without having to purchase other components as a whole

    Overall, I feel this setup allows individual component upgrades and will cost a significantly less as the time goes on.
     
  25. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #25
    You have to ask yourself do I want Longevity or Speed? The mini is weaker (especially the GPU) but has the longevity over the iMac because of I/O, it is in addition less costly. The iMac you always will fear a GPU death or screen malfunction but it will be faster.

    Also the mac mini does have more TB3 ports (4 vs 2) which is in it's favor but yeah you have to add the speakers, (stock sux big time) camera, microphone and display and most likely a USB hub (only has two USB A ports!) and a eGPU later so not as cheap as you think.


    Good Kismet!
     

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