iMac or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cbcl, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. cbcl macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011

    I currently own a 2009 macbook, however it isn't fast enough for running the tasks I now require.

    I am thinking of purchasing a mac desktop as a replacement as I no longer require the portability.

    I use the machine for web development, office work and general browsing. Not any heavy games or video editing.

    I can't decide between the two models: a Mac Mini with 27" Cinema Display or a 27" iMac.

    Mac Mini

    2.3ghz quad-core i7
    4GB ram (Would purchase 8gb from Crucial Memory UK)
    1TB fusion drive
    Intel graphics 4000
    27" thunderbolt display

    Total: £1,578

    27" iMac

    2.9ghz quad-core i5
    8GB ram
    1TB fusion drive
    512mb GDDR5 graphics

    Total: £1,669

    Or as a third option...

    21.5" iMac

    2.7ghz quad-core i5
    8GB ram
    1TB fusion drive
    512mb GDDR5 graphics

    Total: £1,299

    Is the 21.5" iMac screen big enough for day-to-day use and web development, or is the 27" more beneficial?

    Is there a noticeable difference between the quad-core i5 and the quad-core i7?

    I haven't bought a new machine in a few years, so have been out of the loop when it comes to hardware!
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    The screen size is totally a personal preference. I have a 27" iMac and don't want to go to a smaller size.

    As for the CPU, based on what you plan to do with, I'd recommend the i5 to save some money. You won't see a difference between the i5 and i7 unless you do a lot of heavy video and photo editing.
  3. cbcl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    Thanks for your responses. I've read the threads you linked to.

    I think I'm going to go for the spec'd out Mac Mini and the Thunderbolt Display.

    One final query:

    Can the Mac Mini reach the full resolution of the Thunderbolt Display? The numbers I have found on the Internet suggest not.

    Also, will the Intel HD 4000 be able to cope with the big screen?
  4. GGJstudios, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can find specs on all Apple products:
    How limiting is HD4000? (Mac Mini vs. iMac decision)
  5. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    I would go for the iMac. The performance alone is worth it. And apple is going to update the thunderbolt display's this year, so you might regret the mini when those come out.
  6. BlueEagle macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2012
    Newton NJ
    I think the iMac is the better buy all around. You practically get more bang for your buck compared to if you were to go with the mini and thunderbolt display. Plus everything is together. if you are a stickler like me about wires then you will love the iMac for that reason alone. I have one wire on my desk now and it never gets seen. Also the screen size is a personal preference more than anything. Lets just say I will never get anything smaller than a 27in screen ever again. ;)
  7. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I'm facing a similar decision and am leaning toward the Mac mini you mention, and a 27" Dell UltraSharp monitor. It uses the same monitor panel as the Apple Thunderbolt Display and can be had for $650 when Dell puts it on sale, as opposed to $999 for Apple's TBD (which is $829 refurbished). Each has its advantages, but the Dell has the edge for me because I frequently need to hook up my work laptop PC, and the Dell has multiple inputs, whereas the TBD doesn't, and can't take a conventional DVI output in any case. The TBD can act as a hub, but with the Mac mini, that isn't as much of as advantage as it is with an Apple laptop. I also have an old 21" Samsung LCD monitor that still works just fine, so I wouldn't need to purchase a 27" until I felt I could afford it.
  8. mcbarre macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    Number of Cables consideration.

    With an iMac you would need just one A/C cable. I'm very happy with my iMac and I hope to replace with one of the latest iMac models soon.
  9. Flyswater macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013
    I'm also in the market for a new Mac. I was thinking for a while about a similar setup as you mentioned above. But when I looked at cost of a mini + a nice monitor to go with it, it was similar in price to the 27" iMac. So I figured the iMac was the better option. Seems like the mini is good bargain if you already have a decent monitor laying around, otherwise I think the iMac is a better choice. Just sayin....

Share This Page