is the new cheap iMac a better value than the mac mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by adh, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. adh macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    At bestbuy, with my .edu address, the base iMac can be had for $829....which I believe is close to what the system is worth.

    The Mac Mini is $589 @ bestbuy, however

    HD 5000 > HD 4000
    monitor > no monitor
    kb, mouse, webcam, speakers > not
    haswell > ivy
    8gb > 4gb
    one week old > almost two years old

    if you put stock by benchmarks, geekbench iMac single 2820/ multiple 5435. Mac Mini dual core is 2780/5719, though I believe those are too close to call.

    Considering these, is the cheap iMac a better buy than the Mac Mini right now?
  2. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2011
    Assuming this level of performance is enough for you and this price range is where you need to stay, the Mac mini is the better choice if your work or entertainment needs demand a larger than 21.5" screen.
  3. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Yes definitely, the experience would be a lot better than a Mac mini. I don't think Apple will update their Mac mini lineup considering it has been a while now and that might be another reason why they came up with this lower cost iMac.

    Hope this help :)
  4. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    CPU wise, tha Mac mini is far ahead. Even the slowest, Dual Core 2.5 GHz version ... not to mention the Core i7 2.3 or even the 2.66 Ghz.
  5. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    Why do you say that? What metric are you basing it off of? (Comparing dual core mini only).
  6. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    The 2.3 GHz quad core i7 Mac Mini has better CPU total throughput than even the current Mac Pro base model and the 2.6 GHz quad core i7 version costs only $100 more. For less than US$200 extra, third party RAM will bring the Mini memory up to 16 GB, twice that of the Clunker iMac.

    The resale value of the Clunker iMac will surely be poor once most people find out what a bad value it is and when all the education owners dump theirs.
  7. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    But what about the GPU on the mini? Resale isn't an issue, I keep em until they die.


    also, with the mini, the peripherals are extra.
  8. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    Sooner or later, you or anyone else who buys a Clunker iMac will regret it. If you want to convince yourself otherwise, go right ahead. I won't waste any time trying to stop you and I don't think anyone else should waste their time either.
  9. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    calling it a "clunker" is not only ridiculous, but not even fair. is the air a "clunker"? there are many people I know who would be more than satisfied with this machine, so "anyone else" won't "regret it". if you can't think of any reasons or offer any constructive opinions on the actual topic of the thread, which is " is the new cheap iMac a better value than the mac mini?", then there is no reason for you to be here.

    please don't continue to clutter this thread.
  10. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    Shhhh kid, the adults are talking.
  11. photoj2754 macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2013
    I have a friend at work who has been using a mini (standard model no upgrades) for several years for some pretty intensive work (photoshop, Photomechanic and publishing a newsletter) and loves it. My sister just bought one and is enjoying it for everything she is doing with it. She especially loves the smaller footprint.
  12. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    thank you for your input! nice to see the HD 4000 can pull its weight.
  13. wickedpapercut macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2005
    Your comparison is an interesting one but I think it's very difficult to convincingly say that one is "better" than the other without knowing the buyer's unique circumstances.

    Suppose someone needs 16GB of memory. Advantage mini.
    Suppose someone wants to swap the spinner for an SSD. Advantage mini.
    Suppose someone already has monitors, keyboards, and mice available, perhaps nicer than the stock peripherals from Apple, so the included peripherals are irrelevant. Advantage mini.

    On the other hand, the low-cost iMac seems to be a decent machine and should serve the education and budget market well. Personally, I don't like it but, then again, I don't like all-in-one machines even if they're powerful and user-upgradeable.

    So, to argue that one is a "better value" than the other is truly subjective but can lead to some entertaining comments.

    You may now resume bickering. :)
  14. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    true.... :)

    people have always considered the iMac to be overpriced and the Mini to be fairly priced, so I just wanted opinions on if the iMac @ 829 was fairly priced (or even more fairly priced than the mini) due to all the goodies it comes with
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you're considering the Mini, why not spend just a little more for the 2.3ghz i7 quad core?

    Very reasonable price, particularly if you can grab an Apple refurbished...
  16. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    true, there's just none currently. i'm keeping an eye on it. i'm just a little weary plopping down money on a machine that's probably closer to its end of life than its beginning. Comparing apples to apples, the dual core mini + keyboard + mouse + 8gb ram = 807 on the higher education store, vs 829 for an iMac from best buy that also includes haswell, screen, better gpu, webcam, speakers, kb, mouse, etc etc etc
  17. cypriot macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    I think you can also decide thinking if you will ever need to carry it somewhere. Mini could be better for mobility if you have multiple monitors and such. Other than that one should see real life reviews of imac and try it somewhere for a better decision.
  18. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    Comparing the two, the iMac's screen would be the decider for me. Mac Mini - with Matte screens is the only way for me to go.
  19. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    If you have a monitor then it might be worth going for the mini. However, if you don't then the iMac would be your best bet. While they may not be upgradeable they are still fantastic machines that last a damn long time. I haven't had a mini so I couldn't vouch, but I'm sure they are just as good quality wise.
  20. adh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2014
    i've decided to go for the mini - more bang for the buck. thanks
  21. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Just saying the iMac has "a monitor" built in vs the Mac Mini having "no monitor" doesn't tell the whole story. The iMac's display is an IPS, LED backlit high quality display...not just "a monitor". So if you want to replicate that quality you'll need to pony up more than just $100-$200 for a cheapo 22" monitor from ASUS down at Best Buy. Won't be the same quality.
  22. crsh1976, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    That's actually not true anymore; while iMacs have used good displays in the past, everybody else has caught up while Apple didn't bulge.

    Find yourself a 20-21 inch LED screen on sale anytime from Dell, Asus or whoever else for about $150 and you will have something that's as good, if not better, than an iMac display.

    Bare in mind also that Apple doesn't manufacture its own LED displays, they buy them from Samsung, LG or some other OEM maker. The one and only thing this non-Apple display won't have is a visually-pleasing aluminum design that matches your Apple product.

    Apple no longer uses premium, exclusive hardware, those days are long gone.
  23. blanka, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    For the price of the entry iMac you have:
    - A mini that is twice as fast (core i7)
    - A much better screen (dell U2412M)
    - A much better mouse (5$ Logitech mouse)
    - A much better keyboard (20$ microsoft keyboard)
    - Firewire 800
    - 2x SATA 600 for maximum 1GB/s read write SSD
    - Serious user upgradability (RAM and 2 drive bays)
    - iFixit score of 8 instead of a 2
    - A much better value holding. The iMac will drop value like a brick from a bridge, the Mini will drop only 100-150 in 2 years.

    And even though Apple uses the same "in-theory" good panel as Dell, the reality is the display by Apple is much worse. It is Apple's most unreliable product: the iMac screen.

    The new iMac is ONE COMPLETE LAUGH. Only suitable as cash register* (*what a stupid word when you think about it in 2014, our word Kassa is much more universal).
  24. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    That $150 LED panel you're talking about is unlikely to be IPS and will probably be a TN panel with terrible viewing angles. They're not the same. And there is a cost worthy benefit to some people to have an all-in-one design encased in aluminum and not black plastic. I'm not saying the Mac Mini is a bad choice for the OP, but just wanted to not dismiss "a monitor" as just a monitor. It's really the visual lifeblood of your computing experience.


    - And a much uglier, convoluted, messy, black plasticy pile of clutter on a desk. Nothing screams Apple like pairing it with Dell and Microsoft accessories.

    Oh and FireWire 800 would have been a sweet selling point like 7 years ago.
  25. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    I do agree on some parts of your comment, however, like many things - there is no guarantee that your model will be faulty or even have problems. You have to remember that buying a cheap screen from where ever is not going to guarantee a long lasting screen - they can break down just as easily.

    For many people, the new iMac is all they will need. What is the point in buying the top spec iMac if you barely need any power? For people who need a simple desktop for word processing, Safari, mail and etc, the new iMac is perfect and very affordable. For many of these people they will not need to resell it as they will not have new for new power.

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