Mac mini + 20" ACD vs. iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maninthemoon, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. maninthemoon macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2007

    I currently have a 1.42 mac mini superdrive with 512MB and a 20" ACD that I bought almost 3 years ago. I originally bought a 20" imac G5 but after having so many problems with it and growing tired of the white plastic Apple agreed to exhange it for the mini and ACD.

    I was going to purchase 1GB of ram to upgrade the mini then realised that by the time I upgrade the memory, buy leapord and possibly iLife08 I could trade-in or sell the mini for 375-425 and use the upgrade money to buy a new mini. If I go that route I would also buy a new apple wireless keyboard and probably get a vesa mount kit and arm to mount my ACD.

    If I also sell the or trade-in the ACD for 350-450 and use the money from the new keyboard,vesa mount and arm I would be very close to getting a 20" imac.

    I'm torn on which way to go. The imac is obviously the better perfmoring machine but my needs a not that great. I usually have open mail, itunes, safari, ical, dictionary. I also use pages to make posters for local events. I play guitar and would like to get into garage band but currently don't use it. I have some photos in iphoto, not much. I manage finances with moneydance and we do use a weather program that is graphically (2D) intense and sometimes alone maxes out the mini cpu and memory. I'm also going to be importing a hundred or so tapes into itunes and have noticed encoding (is that the right word?) of the tapes after importation in pretty slow on this machine and uses alot of memory.

    My concern with the 20" is the screen. The 20" ACD I have is very nice. Very little color shift, great viewing angles. I don't now if it makes sense to get more computing power and a worse screen when my needs are not that great and I look at the screen everytime I use the computer. Also by mounting the screen I can rotate into portratit mode which I think would be great for making larger 11x17 posters and viewing some websites. But not being able to rotate now I don't know I big a deal it would be. I do love the new design of the imac and generally prefer and all in one machine for neatness but also I think in a couple years they will be signifitly more awsome, better screens, LED backlinght possibly solid state memory etc.

    So I could just upgrade the mini and mount my ACD, see I how great I think rotating my screen is and in a couple years or whenever I think the imac has improved enough get one. Or just figure that I've lived without rotating my screen all these years and If Im going to be spending the same amount of money get the better computer. I will be going to apple reseller soon I checking out the 20" screen more closely. I did see them once and thought the glossy screen was cool I just didn't get a feel for the angles or compare to an 20" ACD. thanks.
  2. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    Well, I think only you can make the decision in the end.

    If it were me, I would save my pennies, cash in the mini, and get the 24" iMac. I played with them in the store, and pretty impressive. I think it would serve you well for years to come, and powerful enough for you to grow into some audio/video/photo editing.

    Enjoy it either way you go!
  3. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    If upgrade to a current mac mini will be more than enough for you over your current mini if your looking for a little performance boost. Imac will over you nothing over it other than game support but since you dont mention games im guessing you dont care much about that.
    The 3.5 inch hard drive in the imac dosnt really mater as you have been using a slower drive in your mini than the shipping current mini, and you can upgrade to up-to 300GB after market currently.
    I have just upgraded to a dual 2.0 core2duo macbook form a coreduo 1.66 mac mini and the difference is night and day in speed, so i highly recommend the 2.0 Core2duo mini base spec for you as a upgrade it will fare pretty well ageist the current imac.
  4. Channard macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm in a similar position. I have a G4 Mac Mini, and I was thinking of getting an Aluminium iMac. In the end, I decided to wait to see if they come out with a matte screen option for the Alu 20.

    The option of getting a Mac Mini to use with a current display was appealing, but the lack of a good graphics card put me off. I really do want to play games - not new ones, but older ones - so I decided not to for the Mac Mini. If you can forgo playing games, the Mac Mini is a decent option.
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    If it were me, I think I'd sell your current Mini and get one of the new ones. If you can swing it, the new 2.0 C2D Mini looks very, it would come with iLife 08 and, if you wait a bit, Leopard as well. And I say that as an iMac fan.

    If I remember correctly, the ACD is SWOPS certified and is noticeably better than the screen in the alu iMac. So I'd be more inclined to keep the ACD (also, it's worth more to you than anyone else) and replace the Mini.

    Hope that helps!

  6. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Does the mini you have do everything you want? Can you wait? I also have a G4 mini - 1.5GHz. I'm staying with it. In fact, I'm not getting rid of it. There is still a lot of older software that works only on PPC. It serves me well. Why get rid of it? I'll keep it around. When the time comes, I'll simply buy a new mac. What's the hurry to buy a new one now? IMHO, the intel macs are still not fully native. Leopard is the first OS that's written with actual intel macs shipping (Tiger was developed when only PPC macs were shipping).

    So, I'd wait until Leopard is out. There's plenty of time to wait out the current offerings. LED is nice. So is a new chipset - personally, I think I'll wait for Nehalem. That's 2008... not so long from now. I think I can hang on for another year or so, your timeframe may be different. I think I'll give Leopard plenty of time to reach at least version 10.5.5 before even thinking of getting it, unless they come up with some spectacular must-have-now Leopard-only apps. I don't find Leopard such a huge leap over Tiger from what I've seen personally. Here's what I'm gonna do: hold onto the G4 mini for PPC apps, evaluate whether to stay on Tiger for it, or if it's worth upgrading to Leopard. Then, still keep the G4 around (it's always a good idea, IMHO to have another 'puter around), but eventually get another mac, this time intel... by then macs should become really intel-native, with most bugs worked out, new chipsets, totally stable Leopard with most bugs worked out, new LED screens - and I'd go for a new iMac.. sometime in 2008 with Nehalem chipsets and fantastic new screens and other improvements. Until then, I'll run my totally great G4 mini. All IMHO. YMMV.

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