Keep iMac or buy a Mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macgaijin, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. macgaijin macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011

    I'm deciding whether to change my iMac to a mini or not!

    I currently have a mid 2009 (i think) 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo 2 GB / 500GB iMac which I have seen many happy days on!!

    It has been sat happily in our spare room for a few years. However we have a baby due in march and now the spare room is being changed into the baby's room. We no longer have a permanent place for our iMac. its being kept in the closet upstairs and brought downstairs to use. I'm wondering if changing it to a mac mini (got the keyboard and mouse already, use the tv as the monitor) would be a better idea? what do you think?

    Points to take in!!

    I only use Safari, pages, numbers, iPhoto, mail, ical and iTunes. I don't play games or any powerhouse stuff!! (I do want FAST internet though!!)

    To reduce the space in our apartment all cpu stuff will go through our tv. (we would also be watching internet tv, Hulu and movies through the mini) Im not bothered about the optical drive or the camera.

    I only have the cash for the cheapest mini.

    My mac family is 2x iPhone 4`s, iPhone 3 hooked up to a speaker (our main music hub) an iPad (used for quick internet activity and watching tv) ATV2 (I use airplay but this diesnt utilise the whole tv screen)

    So what do you think? Keep the iMac (which i think has better specs) and find a better storage solution? or go for the ultra minimalist mini and use the tv as the monitor?

    Your feedback would be most helpful!!

    P.S. I'm a Brit living Japan if that makes any difference!!
  2. Gleestacy, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    Gleestacy macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    It depends

    Having bought an entry level 2011 Mac Mini I can tell you that for light tasks the Mac Mini works perfectly fine, although 2gigs of ram can be limiting. But even bigger programs like iMovie and Garage Band have run pretty smoothly when I use them by themselves.

    The downside, future proofness. This may not be a big deal but if you're looking for a computer that will last you for years, the $1,199 iMac is a great deal. The lifespan of a Mac Mini is not quite as long.

    If you decided to go with the Mini I would suggest that you avoid paying full price. Go to Apple's online refurbished store and hopefully you'll be able to find a rebfurbed model for $519. They regularly take this option down and then put it back up every couple of days, so if it's not there the first time check back over the next couple of days.

    Specs comparison:
    The entry level Mac Mini has a faster proccessor then the 2009 iMac. Core 2 Duo vs. Core i5
    But the hard drive is slower. 7,200 rpm vs. 5,400 rpm.
    The storage and the ram are equal. Both have 500gigs of storage and 2gigs of ram.
    But (I think) the graphics on the 2009 iMac maybe slightly better.

    I've found my Mac Mini to support all screen sizes, but with TV's I've had to adjust for overscan. (But that adjustment takes all of 10 seconds)
  3. Spike88, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Selection criteria:
    - Light weight usage.
    - Need for "portability" (from room to room or put on your lap when watching TV)
    - Can be connected to external large size monitor (say, at the kitchen table).
    - Wireless - NO need for eithernet wire.
    - Cableless - no need for power cable (while using on one's lap)
    - Size of screen doesn't matter. But, connecting to external larger screen is a need.
    - Large RAM isn't a need. re: No need to play games.
    - Large video card isn't needed. re: No need to play games.
    - Large disk space isn't a need.
    - Low amount of monies.

    IMO, one might want to buy a refurb portable. For example, Mac Air. Or, perhaps a Macbook Pro. Something with 4 GB ram - for future Lion upgrade.

    Hope this helps...
  4. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I agree with Spike88. I couldn't imagine having to get a computer out of a closet, and plug everything in every time I wanted to use it. Sounds like what you really need is a laptop.
  5. sandimacd macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2010
    I own both

    I would not count on replacement as saving any valuable room. I have both- iMac first and added MacMini (souped up RAM and HD) to save space down in basement. Can tell you that hooked up to a 54" TV it is a bear to use mouse and keyboard on lap, on TV tray, side table, ect. From 4-6 feet away, seeing docs on a TV screen gives headache. And you still incur the same problems needing keyboard and mouse space. Then tried hooking it to the 32" screen upstairs. Actually put the small TV on a desk and use the Mac Mini and much easier to handle keyboard, mouse and read on screen. But that defeats the purpose of saving space- less is used by the iMac.
    Then got a MBA refurbished. I agree with the person who suggested a portable device. That is the way to go! I moved the Mac Mini back to the basement and leave it turned on. I can use the MBA to access everything on the MINI and iMac. Would strongly consider you go for either a MacBook for everything, or use the MB to access the iMAc which you could turn on anywhere in your home via an extension cord when needed and never actually have to set it up in order to use it.

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