iMac or Mac mini.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zachkowalchuk, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. zachkowalchuk macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Okay, so my grandfather has agreed to help me with a computer for school. He said apple would be better(I can't figure out how an 83 year old man knows this).

    He told me to get a final price after GST and everything.

    It's mainly for school throughout the day. Some video watching and music. I'm not a gamer.

    He said make it's it cheaper, but make sure its quality.

    Mac mini is $749 here in edmonton before GST, and the 21.5" iMac is 1,299 before taxes.

    I have a couple monitors and everything I need for the mac mini, but I can't decide what would last longer.

    I'm coming from an HP laptop running windows 7.
  2. MrXiro, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Get the iMac... it's a better bang for your buck. You get a wireless Keyboard, mouse and monitor... not to mention the latest processor (mac mini is still on C2D), a higher end video card (compared to the 320m) and it's just plain sexy. It's a better investment in the long run.
  3. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    The iMac will be better in the long run. You get an incredibly nice screen, a nice keyboard, a mouse that should be thrown in the trash as soon as you receive your package, and much better hardware than you would from the Mac Mini.
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    We have several Minis which were a "stopgap" measure when initially switching from Windows. You can use a windows keyboard with a Mac but I wound up getting Apple wired keyboards for everybody at $50 (US) each. The Mini is adequate but the iMac is a better value if you can afford it.

    The one place the Mini is the best fit is in the family room (instead of Apple TV, Boxee or Roku) as a boxee/netflix/pandora/ computer.
  5. JFerrari macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2010
    iMac all the way. The mac mini needs a desperate cpu update- still on core 2 duo. The iMac is awesome. I have the 21.5 inch 3.06 core 2 duo from Oct' 2009- it works excellent, never had an issue. You also get more for your money with the iMac than a mac mini or a macbook pro. An iMac should last you a good 5 years (at least).

    If I were you I would wait a few weeks as the iMac will be updated by the end of this month/ early May- something to keep in mind so you don't end up with buyers remorse.
  6. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Like others have said, I would suggest the iMac as well. If you already have a monitor then you can use it a second monitor with the iMac and have more screen real estate.
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
  8. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I don't hate the Magic Mouse... I don't love it either... but it's not too bad for just basic stuff... it's **** for gaming though... then again... I use a Trackman on my iMac... :p
  9. brguitarist macrumors member

    May 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    I'd say iMac as well. And since you have extra monitors, you can even set one up as a secondary one.
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    iMac. I love my mini for my htpc but my iMac is essential for heavy lifting.
  11. ewkid macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Why not a MacBook Pro? Won't you need something to lug around to class?
  12. alma111 macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Is the Mac mini Apple’s forgotten step child? It seems that way. Apple hardly discusses the mini.

    Even with a healthy speed bump, the Mac mini pales when compared to the low end iMac. But for $599 you get what you pay for.

    The Mac mini is a paradox Mac. It’s the lowest priced Mac by far. You can buy two Mac mini’s for the same price as the lowest priced iMac.

    On the surface, that sounds like a great value. As it is with the iMac, each Mac mini comes with OS X Leopard, iLife ‘08, and a compact yet attractive form factor.

    That’s the basic comparison. Inside, each Mac mini comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo that compares favorably with the basic iMac—for about $600 less.
    Macworld does a nice comparison of the new Mac mini with the new iMac. The 2 ghz models compare favorably in every way except graphics, where the iMac wins hands down in games where frame rate is important.

    What’s not to like? The new Mac mini is the same price as the old version, still comes with Airport Extreme built-in, runs about as fast as an iMac, and now has a full gigabyte of RAM.

    Is that a value, or what? The kicker, of course, is that the iMac comes with a mouse and a keyboard and a built-in display, not to mention quadruple the hard drive size, and SuperDrive (vs. the base Mac mini with a slower CPU and combo CD/DVD drive).

    If your needs are for a basic Mac and you already have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, then the Mac mini is a worthy value—it’s a Mac in and out.

    Getting the Mac mini to become a low end iMac is no mean feat, and an expensive one.

    The 2 ghz SuperDrive Mac mini starts at $799. $874 with the largest hard drive option from the Apple Store. Add another $98 for Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse.

    That gets the mini to $972. An Apple 20-inch display is somewhat comparable to the iMac 20-inch display, but costs a whopping $599 by itself.

    That’s a grand total for a tricked out, pimped up Mac mini at $1,571 vs. the iMac at $1,199. That’s almost $400 more and there’s still slower graphics, no iSight camera, and a smaller hard drive.

    So, where’s the Mac mini value now? That comparison starts to make the iMac look like Apple’s bargain of the 21st century.

    But, different strokes for different folks. One man’s hamburger is another man’s steak. Or, something like that. The new Mac mini is a rugged machine that may not have all the bells and whistles of big brother iMac, but value is still there.

    Back to Apple’s BYODKM policy. Bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse. IF you don’t need the high resolution of the Apple Cinema Display, and the iMac is overkill, then the Mac mini becomes the bargain of the decade for Mac users.

    The Mac mini makes a great server, too. It’s cool, quiet, and faster than most of the older Mac PowerPC G5s, including the early Xserve models. Those were loud, hot, powerful beasts that cost about $3,000.

    The Mac mini looks pretty good in a similar setting for a mere $599 (plus the cost of OS X Leopard Server).

    For switchers from Windows, the Mac mini is an excellent way to get into the world of Macs without the expense of an iMac—assuming the soon-to-be-former Windows user has a display, keyboard, and mouse that will work on the Mac mini.

    Dollar for dollar, feature for feature, the iMac is actually a better value than a Mac mini, even at twice the price. But if your need for feature parity are less, then the Mac mini saves you plenty of money.

    And it’s still a Mac.

    There have been rumors that “Steve Jobs hates the Mac mini.” Maybe so. There have also been rumors that Apple will drop the mini. Who knows. One thing is for sure—those of us who have added a Mac mini to our home, office, or mini-server farm, are very pleased with the value Apple provides in the mini.
  13. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    As you already have monitors, peripherals & don't play games, I'd go for a Mini.

    FWIW, my intel iMac's logic board fried recently after 2yrs 10 months. As I didn't get Apple Care (I thought I was safe, partly because of Apple's reputation + I have a heavily-used iBook still going strong after over 5 & 1/2 years & still use an 8 year old G4 iMac), I'm left with expensive junk fit only for selling cheaply for spare parts.

    I thought I was plain unlucky, but Googling about this suggests that, while the problem isn't common, it's neither extremely rare for intel iMac's to develop logic board problems. If you get an iMac, just make sure you also buy Apple Care to cover you for at least 3 years.

    PS: I like Apple products. IMO, most of them are indeed superb quality. However, in view of the expense, I'll never again buy another AOI, whether from Apple or any other company. FWIW, that sucks as I'm also a Mac gamer, so some games will also be eBayed, unless Apple update their Mini soon. - But good luck whatever you buy!
  14. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Seems like you are a few years behind the times. The basic mini is now $699, not the same price as the old version. You can't buy two minis for the price of an iMac. It comes with OS X Snow Leopard and iLife '11. It has 2 GB of RAM. It has an older Core 2 Duo instead of the i3 in the basic iMac so is slower. But it is 2.4 not 2.0 GHz. No combo drives anymore -- they are all superdrives. No Mighty Mice anymore, it's now a Magic Mouse. The 20" Apple display hasn't been around for years, and the only Apple display available is the 27" which costs $999. There are no 20" iMacs anymore. A tricked out mini system (8GB RAM, max hard drive, 2.66GHz processor, wireless keyboard, mouse, and display) now runs $2336, which puts it within $60 of a Core i7 27" iMac with a faster, larger hard drive.

    The mini server you quote at $599 + the server software ($499) is now a much better deal at $999 for the server version of the mini which has two 500GB 7200rpm hard drives.

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