iMac (refurbished) for office vs Mac Mini vs back to Windows 10

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
The old ThinkPad I was using at the office is retired: with Windows 7 support ending, our IT department said old Win7 computers would be taken off the network. I use a Mac at home, and used to use a Mac at work too, but ended up using Windows at the office for the last 5 years. I prefer Apple still, but Windows 10 is acceptable.

I'm looking at the best value for the money over the next 4 to 6 years in an office setting (lots of documents, email, web, office apps, some analysis). Note that I have an older ACER 32" monitor QHD. Not the best for photos, but good for the office to easily align side by side documents, etc.
  1. A preferably refurbished iMac, 27 inch, 8 GB of RAM (prefer 16 GB), and 1 TB fusion drive (assuming an SSD is out of price range). Back to Apple OS, nice and stable. But can no longer use my 32" monitor. Not sure about the fusion drive either.
  2. A refurbished iMac, 21 inch, with better specs than (1) above such as an SSD, but still not sure can justify extra cost for an SSD - might still end up with a fusion drive. However, it occurred to me I could then still attach my 32" monitor for the extra real estate given that the 21 inch iMac is a bit smaller. However, mght still be cumbersome to work with given I basically have two monitor screens.
  3. A current Mac mini. I could then use my 32" monitor. Pretty pricey for what you get though. I have an older Mac mini at home and I wish it was little bigger sometimes.
  4. Back to Windows 10. Given I already have the monitor, a nicely spec'd out Dell packs 16 GB ram, 256 SSD boot, 1 TB storage, etc. for far less money than either iMac above. Windows is of course easily supported at work. I'm typing this out on a Win10 "newish" laptop. No problems to date.
Appreciate any insights into the above Mac-centric choices. Thanks.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,541
4,481
A preferably refurbished iMac, 27 inch, 8 GB of RAM (prefer 16 GB), and 1 TB fusion drive (assuming an SSD is out of price range). Back to Apple OS, nice and stable. But can no longer use my 32" monitor. Not sure about the fusion drive either.
I use an extra monitor with my imac. It just requires a wide desk.

I hear the Ryzen cpus are pretty nice, if you want to go back to windows.
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
I use an extra monitor with my imac. It just requires a wide desk.

I hear the Ryzen cpus are pretty nice, if you want to go back to windows.
Yes, I've been wondering if I can put an iMac AND my 32" monitor on my desk. I'm thinking it's not going to work very well. Desk doesn't have that much room unfortunately.
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,454
841
I'd go with Windows 10 on the Dell out of those choices unless for some reason you prefer MacOS using Microsoft apps with that type of workflow.
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
I'd go with Windows 10 on the Dell out of those choices unless for some reason you prefer MacOS using Microsoft apps with that type of workflow.
You know... I was mostly decided to just get an iMac... but I have read that the Fusion drive is okay (but not the best) and the cost of purchasing a Mac - even a refurbished one - is really rather eye watering. I oh so wish Apple would come out with a mid-sized desktop form factor: something bigger and more versatile than the MacMini and far less extravagent than the desktop Pro. I prefer not to go with an all-in-one form factor so that I can swap monitors or install an extra SSD or hard drive for more storage, etc.

Our institution has gone all in with Office 365 and the reality is that it works just a little bit smoother on my Windows machine than Mac.

The only real reason why I've been thinking about Mac at work is because: 1) iMessage (not a great reason); 2) I use an iPad for teaching (but when I export my work it's almost always in PDF); and 3) I prefer Mac OS. Mind you, I've been using Windows at work for almost 6 years now with few issues. And with cloud computing accessible by just about every device, things have pretty much evened out.

Well, maybe Dell it is then...
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,221
6,086
Current Mini is quite powerful for being in "a little box".
If you already have a display, keyboard, mouse... the Mini might be worth consideration.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CPL593H

Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
75
24
The issue of comfort in space should be evaluated by you.
Regarding performance, you should specify exactly the Imac models to consider.
Imac models since 2017 offer:
  • A very similar performance in CPU against Mac Mini 2018 models.
  • The rams are already DDR4 type, although of different speeds, there is not much difference between 2133, 2400 and 2666 mhz.
  • Mac mini only has configurations with SSDs, iMacs offers from HDD (very bad), Fusion (bad) and SSD (expensive), although this can be updated by oneself.
  • In the graphic section the iMac offers Radeon GPU that is better than the Mac Mini UHD 630, however, the iMacs screens only offer up to 60hz refresh rate, the Mac Mini with an eGPU depends on the refresh rates of the chosen monitor.
    This is to take into account if for any reason you want more than 60hz refresh rate, although it is possible to connect an eGPU in an iMac would be a lot of problem in terms of physical space.
Any option I see viable and safe, just be careful with HDD and Fusion Drive, do not worry about the processor, the type of RAM and the graphic section is better in the iMacs if you do not need more than 60hz of refresh rate .
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
Current Mini is quite powerful for being in "a little box".
If you already have a display, keyboard, mouse... the Mini might be worth consideration.
The issue of comfort in space should be evaluated by you.
Regarding performance, you should specify exactly the Imac models to consider.
Imac models since 2017 offer:
  • A very similar performance in CPU against Mac Mini 2018 models.
  • The rams are already DDR4 type, although of different speeds, there is not much difference between 2133, 2400 and 2666 mhz.
  • Mac mini only has configurations with SSDs, iMacs offers from HDD (very bad), Fusion (bad) and SSD (expensive), although this can be updated by oneself.
  • In the graphic section the iMac offers Radeon GPU that is better than the Mac Mini UHD 630, however, the iMacs screens only offer up to 60hz refresh rate, the Mac Mini with an eGPU depends on the refresh rates of the chosen monitor.
    This is to take into account if for any reason you want more than 60hz refresh rate, although it is possible to connect an eGPU in an iMac would be a lot of problem in terms of physical space.
Any option I see viable and safe, just be careful with HDD and Fusion Drive, do not worry about the processor, the type of RAM and the graphic section is better in the iMacs if you do not need more than 60hz of refresh rate .
Thanks... these are helpful. Give the general aversion to the Fusion Drive, I'll probably go with a MacMini with an SSD if I choose the Apple route. A bit cheaper overall than say an iMac; plus I have the flexibility to upgrade my screen in the future.

However, the Windows 10 still might have the edge given the office environment.

I'm sort of holding out to see if Apple makes any announcements in the next while. I can afford to wait a bit, but preferably not too long. (Tuesday! LOL)
 

Lankyman

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2011
1,993
737
U.K.
Thanks... these are helpful. Give the general aversion to the Fusion Drive, I'll probably go with a MacMini with an SSD if I choose the Apple route. A bit cheaper overall than say an iMac; plus I have the flexibility to upgrade my screen in the future.

However, the Windows 10 still might have the edge given the office environment.

I'm sort of holding out to see if Apple makes any announcements in the next while. I can afford to wait a bit, but preferably not too long. (Tuesday! LOL)
Given your comments on the FD perhaps you should take a look at this.
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
Given your comments on the FD perhaps you should take a look at this.
Thanks! I'll take a look.

UPDATE: That was a very helpful video link you sent. So, basically, for my needs, a Fusion Drive should be more than sufficient. I guess it comes down to what sort of form factor I want (desktop plus monitor; all in one; etc.).

The ridiculous bit is that when the works stations for our desks were installed in our then new offices, they only planned for a perhaps 21" monitor size at best. As a result, there is a low shelf height and anything larger than that won't fit, even if it is not an integrated all-in-one unit. So, you have to then shift your workstation set up beyond the original designated workspot.
 
Last edited:

Lankyman

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2011
1,993
737
U.K.
Thanks! I'll take a look.

UPDATE: That was a very helpful video link you sent. So, basically, for my needs, a Fusion Drive should be more than sufficient. I guess it comes down to what sort of form factor I want (desktop plus monitor; all in one; etc.).

The ridiculous bit is that when the works stations for our desks were installed in our then new offices, they only planned for a perhaps 21" monitor size at best. As a result, there is a low shelf height and anything larger than that won't fit, even if it is not an integrated all-in-one unit. So, you have to then shift your workstation set up beyond the original designated workspot.
It is an excellent video from a serious user. There’s so much anti-FD sentiment on this forum, much of which is repeating what others claim/say. The Internet is full of half truths and misinformation. For most users a FD is a great option.
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2004
455
31
Ontario, Canada
It is an excellent video from a serious user. There’s so much anti-FD sentiment on this forum, much of which is repeating what others claim/say. The Internet is full of half truths and misinformation. For most users a FD is a great option.
I thank you then for the balanced perspective!

I'm familiar with internet sensationalism. I used to think Mac users were rabid fans... until I signed onto photography forums. Wow. Another level altogether.