iMac or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ranny2, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. ranny2 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hi there,

    I have a bit of a dilemma as I really cannot decide which Mac to get. I am a student, and my uses are:
    Web browsing,
    document editing,
    Photo editing (not PhotoShop, just iPhoto or Aperture)

    As I am a student, money is quite tight. Here are my options:

    iMac 21.5" Refurbished (2011)

    Mac Mini 2.3GHz, RAM upgrade, new Microsoft mouse and keyboard and use with my existing monitor (Dell 19" 1280x1024)

    I am really not sure which one to get. Part of me is towards the iMac as it is more powerful and looks amazing and comes with the Apple keyboard and mouse.

    Part of me however is towards the Mini as it is much cheaper, leaves money over to buy other tech (the new cheaper iPhone if Apple releases one) and software. Also, the Mini is cheaper to upgrade in the future. What I mean by that is if you just want a new monitor, it is cheap or if a 2012 Mini comes out, it would be a cheaper upgrade than an entire new iMac!

    Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!
  2. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    Since you already have a display, a Mac Mini is a good choice in consideration of your tight budget. Apple has made the Mac Mini a pretty powerful desktop machine.
  3. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    OK, thanks for your response. My monitor isn't great, and would be absolutely no match to the 21.5" display of the iMac, but I guess it works for me.
  4. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    If you plan to keep it for a couple years or so, the iMac.

    If the budget is really tight, the Mac Mini. Either system will work for your needs, but I like the iMac with it's great display, All-in-one profile, less hassle (except when upgrading).
  5. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    I do plan on keeping it for a couple of years until I go to university, when I will probably get a MacBook Pro, however I think the current Mini will be fine for that long. Also, as I mentioned, upgrading specific parts of the Mini setup (computer itself, monitor etc) is much cheaper with the Mini than the iMac.
  6. rogan macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2009
    i'd reccomend the iMac, you wont have any regrets then

    (and as a student id try get a uni student if ur not one to buy new iMac as its £20 more than refurb and 3 years applecare)
  7. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Just get the iMac. Sell your extra monitor/mouse/keyboard
  8. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Sep 10, 2007
    Southern California
    i just ran through the same situation. I had an existing older mac mini. 1.8 C2d that I had upgraded to a SSD and maxed the ram. I was looking for an upgrade and instantly looked at the new Mac Minis. But the quad core in the iMac caught my eye eventually.

    As others have stated the Mini works great in your budget restraints, but as time goes on and you want to do more and more with it, you will wish you got the iMac. Sell the other peripherals or keep the other monitor for a 2nd monitor if you ever move to Photoshop or anything then you have a pallet monitor. Plus dual screen set ups are just cool. lol
  9. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    My monitor, mouse and keyboard are really worth nothing. This is such a hard choice.
  10. Ironsoccerman macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2011
    Detroit, MI
    If I may..

    How about trying the MacBook pro 13?

    Buy an adapter to use with the monitor, and you cam be portable...
  11. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    I have considered that, however it would cost the same as the iMac, but doesn't have the power. As I mentioned, I have an iPad so I really don't need portability.
    I am still really stuck between the iMac and the Mac Mini, please, please - I need all your help!
    Whatever I choose to go for, I will be spending a lot of money, and don't want to get this wrong.
  12. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    If money is tight, then keep a beady eye on PCWorld/Curry's eBay outlet store. There have been some stonking deals on refurbs there within the last couple of weeks.

    MC510 for £879.00 (27" iMac i3)
    MC511 for £627.40!! (27" iMac i5)
    MC508 for £527.62 (21.5" iMac i3)
    MC207 for £417.44 (White Macbook)

    These literally go in minutes so you have to be on the ball.
  13. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    You won't regret buying the iMac. If you had a display that you loved I would say to get the mini, but as it seems that you would be happy to see the back of your display, the iMac makes sense.

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