iMac vs Mini

Discussion in 'iMac' started by stevenlcs, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. stevenlcs macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I was originally aiming for the 27" iMac but after doing some research, it seems that the iMac is still suffering from overheating, hard drive failure and some screen problems. At this point, it is not very encouraging for the iMac to last me several years and I don't really have the time to keep exchanging until I get a good unit. I know there are good ones out there, but I think people tend to have more problems with iMac compared to Mini.

    Then I thought I'd get a mini instead. After some more research, it seems that most people find the mini is quiet, free from heat issues, and able to leave it on 24/7 for several years, and people generally are satisfied with minis. Cool, I thought, this is what I am looking for to replace my 3 year old HP laptop. Then the 27" Cinema Display, glossy part aside, it doesn't look too bad, in comparison with the screen bleeding, backlight issue and whatnot on the 27" iMac.

    I understand that iMac gives better value but I really want to avoid plagues. I also know that I would have to get a keyboard and mouse, as well as the expensive 27" LED Cinema Display, which is a couple of hundreds more together with mini compared to iMac.

    My usage is pretty basic, and I'm going to run Windows virtually with 4GB memory added at a later stage. I know it sounds like I am biased towards the mini + LED route at this stage, but I would like to get some advise from the gurus whether it is sensible to fork out a couple of hundreds more to give me a peaceful mind.

    I would really appreciate it if I could please get some votes as to which route I should go and if I could get some comments, I am in your debt.

    Many thanks for your time
  2. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    dont need to be a guru to count together 1 + 1 that 27inch cinema display is the same display as fitted in the iMac's so you might if unlucky get the same display related issues , and only because on mini's issues are rarer does not automatically mean that there aren't any you could get , but that's the reason apple offers warranty and apple care just in case you are unlucky :confused:
  3. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    It all depends on what you're going to do as far as computer usage, really. Judging by the decision between a 27 inch iMac and a mini with the 27 inch screen, I really don't think your'e absolutely certain of what you're wanting to do.

    Before I make some recommendations, I want to get the "heat" issue out of the way.

    This is a site for mac users, and a good chunk of what you hear on the hardware forums are complains and suggestions from people with their own hardware problems with those particular machines. More often than not you won't be seeing threads from the people with good machines. So in sort, you should be expecting to see complaint threads on forums such as these, but bare in mind that are the loud minority of forum frequenters, and the forum frequenters are even the minority of the number of people who have apple products.
    Now then, that doesn't mean there is a slight chance of problem, but it just so happens the major cause concerns are within the realm of screen issues. HDD issues can be a cause for concern on any computer, most of the gripe people bring up over the HDDs in the iMac is just obsessive nitpicking over their standard seek noises-- which are only amplified by the iMac's unibody aluminum case.
    I can think of only a few overheating/fan problems with the iMac, and they're usually resolved, and that's even the extreme minority of complaints on this forum, which are already the minority of apple owners.

    The iMac has seen better and better cooling with each design release. It's no exception for the latest iMacs, which feature all aluminum casings and larger heatsinks/fans. They are in fact, the coolest running iMacs apple has produced-- and they can even get away with very low fan rpms while being cooler than their predecessors.

    So, no, heat isn't really a problem.

    About possible hassles with issues of the iMac. I say it doesn't really hurt at all to just give it one shot. If you don't like it, just return it and forget about dealing with replacements. Return it and get your mini with monitor.

    But as it stands, the iMac is a way better alternative to the mini (especially if you're going to do somewhat intensive tasks at times, or if you don't know whether you will or not, but want that extra headroom of computer power)

    There's also the fact of the 27 inch cinema display being the exact same panel and backlighting as the iMac's, so you run the risk of the exact same problems. If you're really that nervous over it, and want the 27 inch screen, dell sells the exact panel but uses their own backlighting.
  4. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I've got a mid-2010 iMac 21.5" (see signature for details) with external 1TB for automatic Time Machine backups. It was the 1st iMac we ordered and it "was a keeper" 1st shot. For my general home usage of File, Print, Email, Surfing, Downloading, iTunes, lots of photo storage and odd You-Tube video playing, it works great. NO yellow screen, no internal Hard drive sounds, no over heating. Its left ON 7/24 (while connected to APC Backup UPS) and it works great. I often call it our "turn it on and leave it" system. Meaning, it feels solid and smooth in most things that it does.

    If wondering, we went from 19" Win XP Destop and for "mandatory" Windows xx Apps (like Tax Programs), we currently have a portable HP 17.3" laptop. For us, the iMac 21.5" screen is perfect size. Especially for general home usage. And, our HP Laptop is used for "in house" portability - like doing emails while watching TV (like now - giant smile).


    Regarding mini or iMac purchase decision... If one has existing USB keyboards, USB Mice, needs very little file storage, has existing external monitor and simply wants to "try MAC OS" for a few short years, then get the Mac mini. Give it a try and if you still like it within 1-2 years, upgrade to an all-in-one iMac system. In 2 years, I'm sure USB 3.0 version with Mac OS Lion will be available. But if you need to buy USB keyboard/Mouse/WebCam and buy new external monitor with Mac mini, one might want to buy an iMac 21.5" instead. If you still love iMac platforms in 2 years, then sell current iMac 21.5" and buy "newer technology" iMac 27" system. For my family, we went with "middle of the pack" iMac 21.5" system - to try. If more RAM is needed later (to help reduce page ins/page outs), I will buy more RAM for it via OWC online store later. This approach works for my family...

    Hope this helps in your product buying decision...

  5. ProstheticHead macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I've seen no issues with my new i5 27" that I snagged the week it was released.
  6. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    I've got the 2007 Aluminum iMac and it's been running through all these years now with no problems. I have it connected to my HDTV and use the iMac as a secondary monitor when I'm working with music.

    The iMac is the best deal bar none. Unless you have already got the monitor and keyboard and such.
  7. billchase2 macrumors 68000


    Feb 28, 2006
    Ann Arbor
    I ended up purchasing the 21.5" iMac 3.06GHz yesterday after looking through many of the things you are. I was planning on the Mac Mini (since it's the cheapest), but it didn't seem worth it in the end. I would have paid $650 for the computer, another $150 for a new display (since mine needed replaced), and another $100+ for a new keyboard and mouse (also needed replaced). For a couple hundred dollars extra, I was able to get the entire iMac package, which ended up being faster, has a bigger hard drive, double the RAM, and is simply nicer overall.

Share This Page