Looking for Opinions: iMac vs. Mac Mini w/ ACD

nodabs

macrumors regular
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Sep 11, 2006
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So i've decided to hold off on getting my MBP until the next major revision (which if it happens to be when the upgrade to Merom finally happens, Great!) and instead get a desktop as my first Mac.

Here's my dilemma... Using my educational discount i can get one of two desktops for around $2k. Either the 2' iMac or a Mac Mini (nicely upgraded with 2GB RAM and the such) along with a 23" Cinema Display. I realize that the iMac is a MUCH more powerful machine, but i'm not sold on the whole "computer built right in to the monitor thing" since i usually like to run various computers off of the same monitor.

Now that i've rambled here's a quick summary of MY pros/cons for each:

Pros of iMac...
- Core2Duo
- NVidia Graphics
- iSight built in

Cons of iMac...
- Can't use the display with my MBP when i get it (BIG CON... as i'll need the additional real estate for graphics processing and most likely have to spring for another display)
- Doesn't fit the color scheme of the rest of my equipment (very minor)

Pros of Mac Mini w/ ACD...
- Cheaper
- Can use the dispaly with my MBP (or any other computer)
- Small and unobtrusive

Cons of Mac Mini w/ ACD...
- Intel graphics
- no iSight
- CoreDuo
- Not sure if it can handle a Adobe CS2 workload

So sorry this thread (my first thread i've ever started here) was so lengthly, but i'm just really torn. Any suggestions?
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
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American Riviera
RPP said:
Wouldn't it be great if apple came out with a mid-range tower ... :rolleyes:
Wouldn't it be great if people didn't make useless off-topic posts that contribute nothing to the discussion at hand? :rolleyes:

To the OP, I guess it depends what you'll be doing on your machine. If you'll be doing processor-intensive stuff, you'll need the iMac. The only real problem, as you said, is that you won't be able to use it as an external display for the MBP. IMO the plusses for the iMac outweigh this one negative.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
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A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
http://www.railheaddesign.com/

Since your goal is to have a setup allowing you to work with your future MBP,
you should be able to get by with a maxed out mini and the 23" ACD.

If this set-up is unsatisfactory for production workflow, then your only other option is a Mac Pro or going for the 24" iMac and then transferring your big project files to your iMac from your MBP.

The drawback to the mini is storage.

The much larger and faster 7200 RPM HD in the 24" iMac would be better suited
for heavy use.

Right now the big headache is waiting for CS3 UB.

It really all depends on how much work you plan to do on a daily basis.

Obviously your best option would be a Mac Pro with 2 GB RAM and the 23" ACD,
but that's quite an upgrade.
 

RPP

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2006
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Melbourne, Australia
gauchogolfer said:
Wouldn't it be great if people didn't make useless off-topic posts that contribute nothing to the discussion at hand? :rolleyes:
Chill out man. My post, while useless, wasn't even irrelevant. It's not like I'm wasting significant space or cluttering up the thread. And the OP didn't care, so why should you ? Don't be so uptight.
 

ziwi

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
1,087
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Right back where I started...
The iMac is a much better value for the $$$ and in your post was it the 20 or the 24 inch you wanted? I would bet that you could also get better resale value from the iMac. The mini is overpriced for what it delivers at this point so price/performance should lead you to the iMac.

Disclaimer: No I do not own an iMac - I have a PowerMac...;)
 

nodabs

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2006
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FFTT said:
Nice article for some insight on the Mini's performance in relation to the older computers, thanks.

FFTT said:
It really all depends on how much work you plan to do on a daily basis. Obviously your best option would be a Mac Pro with 2 GB RAM and the 23" ACD,
but that's quite an upgrade.
Right now my workload COULD be overbearing for the Mini, but i think the Mac Pro is overkill (especially because i do a lot of my work while away from home... hence the reason for getting the MBP).

Thanks, you were very helpful.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
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A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
If you plan to work with an MBP later, then it's not THAT much effort to transfer
your MBP files to your iMac or the other way around.

In fact because of the iMacs better storage capabilties, that may be your best option.

You just need an ethernet transfer cable. Fire Wire or burn the project to disk.
 

nodabs

macrumors regular
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Sep 11, 2006
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ziwi said:
The iMac is a much better value for the $$$ and in your post was it the 20 or the 24 inch you wanted? I would bet that you could also get better resale value from the iMac. The mini is overpriced for what it delivers at this point so price/performance should lead you to the iMac.
I originally posted it was the 2' (24" iMac i was looking at).
I definitely agree with you that the iMac is a better value, but if i am forced to buy an alternate display for use on my MBP i go out of my price range. Even getting a 20" iMac, 23" ACD, and 17" MBP... that's more $$$ than i can afford.
 

nodabs

macrumors regular
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Sep 11, 2006
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FFTT said:
If you plan to work with an MBP later, then it's not THAT much effort to transfer
your MBP files to your iMac or the other way around.

In fact because of the iMacs better storage capabilties, that may be your best option.

You just need an ethernet transfer cable. Fire Wire or burn the project to disk.
Actually, the more i think about this... i am coming into agreement with you. Assuming that my home computer (the iMac) has just as much power (or close to it) i could just do my work on the larger screen using the iMac instead of using my MBP.

This thread is turning out to be a really good idea, it's making me consider a lot of different aspects.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
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A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Another option is to work from a good 7200 RPM 250GB external drive with a mini, but I still think you'll be much happier in the long run with the iMac.

There's really not that much difference between hooking up a DVI cable from the MBP and simply transferring your portable files over to your desktop workhorse.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
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Colorado Springs, CO
FFTT said:
Another option is to work from a good 7200 RPM 250GB external drive with a mini, but I still think you'll be much happier in the long run with the iMac.

There's really not that much difference between hooking up a DVI cable from the MBP and simply transferring your portable files over to your desktop workhorse.
I completely agree. Wait for the MBP and get the 23" ACD. If you need more storage simply buy a firewire, usb2 external drive or network drive. Otherwise your just wasting money.

Is there any reason you need a Mac at this moment?