iMac or Mini for my first mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigpaulc, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. bigpaulc macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010

    My current PC is needing upgrading and I've been so impressed with my iPhone that I'm really thinking of changing over to macs after too many years using PCs.

    Right now I'm trying to decide between the 21.5-inch 3.06GHz iMac or the 2.53GHz Mini.

    I use my PC for light video editing work, such as creating clips, adding watermarks and re-encoding to different formats. I also use it for light Photoshop use, such as using actions to resize images and slight changes to the image itself.

    My PC is an amd dual core 2.4GHz, 2 gigs ram, amd 1900xt graphics card. I also have a monitor I really like - 20" NEC 20WGX2 which cost quite a lot 4 years ago.

    So, should I ditch it altogether and go for the iMac, or keep the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, external hard drive etc and go for the much cheaper Mini?

    Would I really notice the difference between CPU's and hard drive speeds when doing light video editing or photo work?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    go for the mini.

    Firstly, its your first steps into os x. You may not want to progress further and so a larger outlay may not be the wisest thing first off.

    Although the mini is no power house its no slough either! The system is fast enough for light work. Hard drives speeds now are basically not an issue of you go to an SSD.

    Go down the mini route, they hold their value well so you could always sell on and upgrade for a minimal loss.

    Best of luck :)
  3. Captain Planet macrumors 6502a

    Captain Planet

    Mar 24, 2007
    Depends on how much you're willing to pay I suppose... but if I had the option of buying one or the other, I'd most probably go with an iMac. Besides... if you go with a Mini, you'll need to put in a few bucks for a monitor if you don't have one already.
  4. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    go for the mini...its a great machine and will do perfectly fine for your needs. You already have a monitor so you would save a lot of money. If you want to save more money then look at the refurb store on the apple's website...refurbs are great and you save money too!

    if you find the mini slow you can always upgrade the ram and the hdd...or sell it (macs have very good resale value) and buy the imac.

  5. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    When I first switched, I had the same question, but the answer was more clear-cut. The mini at the time only had a single-core CPU, and I needed the extra core for music production (virtual synthesizers and effects). The mini's specs have changed considerably for the better since then.

    Since you have most everything you'll need as far as peripherals and monitor is concerned, the mini is a great fit for your computing needs and will be much easier on your budget. Even a beefed-up one from Apple's online store will cost less than a base iMac.
  6. polotska macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2007
  7. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    A mini is a good idea, but for heavy encoding an imac would be much better.

    drummerlondonw3 is however right though that unless your certain osx is the way to go, an imac represents a much larger outlay.

    Finally, I think that the imacs are great machines, however I will not buy one until they offer one with a screen that is matte. This is a personal preference, but it is one not often relayed by MR members to potential buyers.

    My advice in this regard would be to spend some time with one in a store before purchasing an imac, as there is a chance that you won't like the screen
  8. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I'd go for the iMac. You automatically get a magic mouse/keyboard. It also depends which 21" you're going for, $200 difference. I just think getting an iMac would be a better bet in the long run.
  9. bigpaulc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    My current 20" monitor has a glossy glass screen which seems very similar to the iMac screen so that won't be an issue if that's the route I go down.
  10. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Yes, you would. In your case, go for the iMac. The Mini wasn't made for your purposes and it would really disappoint you. You can still keep your display - the iMac supports dual display modes - and your mouse and keyboard.
  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I like the idea of the mini -- but Im a fan of the iMac instead.

    $1099 after rebate + free shipping (and depending on which state you are in, no tax)

    You get a Mac thats got more features and more "ooomph" that keeps it more future proof in the long run. Larger drive, more ram, iSight camera, sweet screen and a single power cable makes it nice to setup anywhere.

    Its a nice clean setup that will last for many, many years to come, an overall better investment for the long run.
  12. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    If you can afford an iMac, Id say go for it. I've had a macbook for 4 years, but my parents bought the low end iMac last week and I went home this weekend, had a play on it and was blown away. Its just amazing and the complete package - the iMac is the definitive mac experience, OS X 'just works' and from the beginning the iMac was designed to 'just work' out the box and give you everything you need, but nothing you don't.

    But of cause, you say you have lots of peripherals already so the mini would be the cheapest option for you!
  13. tod macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
    I replaced a MacBook with a Mac Mini. Sure, an iMac would be faster, but considering the price I paid, this is awesome. I occasionally edit video and sound, and often use Adobe apps, and I have absolutely no speed issues. I think that having 4 GB of RAM helps.
  14. bigpaulc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies! In the end I spent a bit more and went for the base model 27". Really loving it so far!
  15. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    Congrats on the new machine!

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