iMac vs Mac Mini

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ezy17, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. ezy17 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2013
    Time to get a new computer but which one? I am going to get a iMac or Mac Mini but I couldn't decide which one. Here a few of the things I will be doing:

    1. I'm trying to start a Minecraft Youtube channel and was going to record with Screenflow or another program. Also, I would be editing the video. Still uncertain if I am going to do it.

    2. I also would be using it about everyday for browsing the web. Occasionally I might do a school project or two.

    Money is an issue. I'm not going to be spending $2,000. My price range is from $600 to $1,800. I have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse but I was starting to think about the iMac because of the performance. I hope to find the best one for the job. Thanks!
  2. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    I am getting the iMac because everytime I think about getting the Mac Mini, it involves too much trade offs.

    - Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor.

    In addition to that, the Mini is using mobile processors which is not as powerful as the desktop processors used by the iMac.

    At the same time, the Mini is more upgradable, you can upgrade both memory and storage. The only iMac that provides upgrade options you can do yourself is the 27 inch model and those just memory. Also, you are restricted by the fact that if the monitor or an internal component dies, you have to take it back to Apple.
  3. WheelsOnDown macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2013
    I thought the same thing. I had a MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt Display attached. I already had the monitor and keyboard because near the end I was just using the MacBook as a desktop computer. If you need the speed and performance get the iMac, but if you can do without and you need to save money get the Mac Mini.
  4. Micky Do, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Early Minis were quite compromised in terms of technology and performance. They seemed almost a generation behind. However since 2009, the Mini technology has been up there with the rest, and only slightly slower in performance. For general day to day use I doubt that there would really be anything in it, though if pushed the Mini may be found wanting a little by comparison..

    If budget is a limiting factor, and you have the required peripherals, a Mini with specs to suit your needs would be the way to go. You'll have a modular system, in which you can update or upgrade the components as your needs change and funds allow...... heck, if power becomes the main criteria you can toss out the Mini and plug in a Pro.

    If you can spring for an iMac, you'll get something that looks good, and is able to perform a little better, if pushed..... and you'll get the bragging rights till the next generation comes along. However, when the time comes for an upgrade or update (as it will) you'll have to stump up for a whole new system.

    In the end, you know your situation, and needs; the choice is yours.
  5. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Some of the money you save on a Mac Mini can go towards adding RAM and SSD (adding RAM is easy, SSD doable). That will close the performance gap a lot.
  6. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I don't quite follow this. You can get the exact same keyboard and mouse for the Mini, you do lose the integrated display but you also don't have to replace the entire unit if you decide to upgrade (which I realize you mentioned).

    I was facing this same choice several months ago and went with a Mini. I upgraded to the dual i7 and Fusion drive and I have zero complaints with this machine, I do design and development as well as some 3d work and it's rock solid and very quick.

    You do have to spend a lot if you want an Apple display or something super high quality, but you can also keep that and just upgrade the Mini itself in a year or two. There's also a lot of less expensive displays out there that are very high quality, I'm currently running dual 24" displays that I'm very happy with.

    My plan is to keep the Mini for a year or two until a model comes out that looks like a significant speed increase, then I'll sell it and upgrade to a new unit while keeping the displays and everything else.
  7. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    i got the iMac because is all in one with just 1 cable. In the past i had 2xpower cable for the monitor and base, 1 cable for the monitor to the base, 2xcable for keyboard and mouse, and 1cable for the speakers.

    WIth 1800$ you can get the high end 21.5" with 1T Fusion drive or 16G Ram
  8. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I'd go with the iMac as well....The cost of buying a half decent monitor for the mini really is a game changer. With the iMac, even the 21.5" you have it all there ready to go.
  9. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    or if you can go ...base 27" iMac. I think is nice to have space. But please wait for haswell refresh maybe they fix the 27 panels
  10. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Where on earth do you get this? You realize that a mobile i7 quad is as powerful (or even slightly more so) than a desktop i5-3570 in multithreaded performance and only slightly behind in singlethread let alone the low power versions that imac uses.

    imac 27" (i7-3770) - 12800
    imac 21.5" (i7-3770S) - 12300
    mac mini (3720QM) - 11600
    mac mini (3615QM) - 10700

    imac 27" (3470) - 9466
    imac 21.5" (3470S) - 9100
    imac 21.5" (3335S) - 8200

    Clearly for tasks such as video editing the minis fall right between the i5 imacs and the i7 imacs. If apple allowed better turbo and thermals the mini would be virtually identical to the imacs.
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    The iMac is only ≈ 12 % faster:
  12. ATC macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    FWIW I was a huge iMac fan, love everything about them and still have one that's running great, except it's had its display replaced twice due to heat issues.

    For me personally, I'm definitely getting either the next mac mini or a base model new Mac Pro this fall. After owning a number of iMacs I'm finally seeing the merits of having a separate display.

    Not only from a reliability POV but also the flexibility that comes from being able to pick and choose the size and specs in a display to suit your exact needs is a huge plus. If the rumours are true that we might see an update to Apple's TBD, possibly a larger (28-30") 4K monitor to go along the new MP it would be awesome. Of course there are tons of other great choices out there to suit my needs. That's the advantage of having separate components, I'm no longer confined to whatever choice(s) someone thinks is suitable for me.
  13. ioannis2005gr, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    In my opinion, 2012 27'' iMac with i7 processor, 8GB RAM (later put some more) & 680MX graphics is a real beast of power! The only problem (sometimes) is the poor quality control in China because this LG panel appears many IR, light bleeding etc problems and they should have removed the defective panels in the industry level...anyway... the cost is high for your pocket...

    BUT...if you decide to buy (after a couple of months) the new Mac mini (i7 Haswell+IRIS PRO graphics, 4GB RAM, (PCIe?) SSD, Wi-FI ac + APPLE CARE 3y warranty) with a nice IPS 23-27'' monitor, you will gain the MAX perfomance with the lowest possible cost....maybe around your pocket size....;)

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