Mac mini 2010 vs Mac desktop !

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bionica8, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. bionica8 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hello All,

    So I need your advice as I'm not really sure what's the best deal. So I'm currently using a mac tower and a sony screen with these specs:

    Mac OS X
    Version 10.5.8

    Processor: Dual 1.25 Ghz PowerPC G4
    2 MB L3 cache per processor

    Memory: 1 GB DDR SDRAM

    So it's dying and I need a replacement but trying to see what is the best machine for the amount of $$. I'm trying to decide between the mac mini and just getting a new mac desktop. Obviously if money weren't a factor I'd just get the prettiest new machine they have but I've got to be mindful of money here as I'm ordering this for my office.

    SO Mac mini 2010 vs Mac 21.5 inch ??

    Appreciate your feedback! ;)
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    What are your needs and what do you plan to do with your Mac?
  3. bionica8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Photoshop, Safari, etc...

    I definitely use photoshop and do web design/programming. I always have music playing, surfing the web, writing emails, etc simultaneously. That sounds really generic but does that answer your question?
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    The iMac will be better all around. It has a significantly faster processor, dedicated and significantly faster graphics, a larger hard drive, double the stock RAM and a super 21.5" display built in. Of course, it's also $500 more but you get a lot of value for that extra money.

    The biggest obvious difference is the built in high quality screen. The iMac will also likely last a bit longer due to having a faster processor that has two physical and two virtual cores (likely to help more as more software becomes heavily multithreaded).

    Another thing to consider is that the iMac has just been pretty heavily upgraded. All they'll likely do in the next two years internal hardware wise are minor processor and graphics card bumps whereas the mac mini will probably be updated in the next six months or so to an i3 processor (the same as is in the iMac) which will be quite a significant performance bump.
  5. MikieMcBikie macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2009
    I vote imac as well. Much more bang for the buck. If you are coming from a Dual G4, either will be a major upgrade. I just bought the newest mini and it is a fine machine, because I already had a decent 22'' monitor and sound system.

    To spanky, They won't go to the i3 in the mini, it needs a dedicated video card(or use the intel integrated, which are very bad i have read).
  6. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    if you're primary needs are for productivity and work-related usage (where time = money), and you can afford it, get the imac. if you're doing heavy photoshop or building a lot of coding projects, you'll be waiting less for things to get done with a faster cpu and hdd.

    on the other hand, if money is a factor, and you already have a monitor, you would save several hundred dollars up front with the mini as well as more money from the resale value of a mini. over a 3 year period, the imac will end up costing you about $10-$15 more per month than a mini. however, if the faster performance of the imac translates to you making more income to cover the difference in cost, then obviously go with the imac.

    either way, both will be worlds faster than your current dual-G4. maybe you should get the base mini and see if that is fast enough for you. seeing as you only have 1GB of ram in your current mac, 2GB of ram in the mini may be enough for you. if after a week you feel it's too slow, return it or sell it without too much of a loss in value and get the imac.

    i have to disagree with Spanky Deluxe as well. i don't think the mini will be getting the i3 in the forseeable future. as it stands right now with the C2D in the low end, core i3/i5 in the middle, and core i7/quads in the high end, apple's got all their bases covered. but you never know with apple, so i could be eating my words this time next year.
  7. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    Remember not only can you bump the RAM p on the Mini all the way up to 8GB, but when and if you need more speed in a Mini throw in an SSD and use an external for files and it could beat an iMac I3, etc. IMHO.

    Also should you decide you want a larger screen with the Mini you can upgrade at any time instead of changing out the entire computer.

    I've done that it it really gives one a lot of flexibility.
  8. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    I would say iMac as well BUT I would get a Mini haha

    The above points are all valid. The iMac is the "Bang for buck" computer for Apple and it does present very good value.

    However, the nice thing about the mac mini, apart from its obvious size differential is that you can choose which screen you want to use (i.e. you dont need to use the glossy iMac screen) and not only that u can take it around and connect it to TVs etc with the HDMI.

    The Mac mini does not present good value however and I think it is slightly overpriced but it is that kind of computer, a hobby computer if you will :)
  9. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    Other threads have had discussions on the resale value of Minis vs. iMacs and Minis have won the contest if I remember by around $15-20/month owned. This is a US basis.
  10. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2010
    Lawton, OK
    • Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse is included ($140 value)
    • 4GB of memory standard, which is fine for most anything. The Mini's 2GB really needs to be a minimum of 4GB. ($100 BTO value, $75 DIY value)
    • Larger HDD standard. ($130 DIY value, $150 DIY value)
    • 50% minimum better 3D performance, twice the texture memory (which is dedicated, not using system memory).
    • Decent stereo speakers, compared to the Mini's meh monaural single driver.
    • iSight camera.
    • CPU runs on slightly less power, with slightly more computing power.
    • Faster memory.
    • Eliminate the need to plug in a display -- Just 1 cable (power) is a beautiful thing. The Mini's footprint is small, but it is a footprint nonetheless.

    Don't get me wrong, the Mini is a sharp piece of kit considering the form factor, but the iMac has a lot more headroom and additional design wins. In January I'll be selling my decked out Mini for a decked out 27" i7 iMac with the SSD+HDD, Radeon 5750, and 12GB of memory. ;)
  11. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Get a Mac Mini. It's $699 compared to $1199. You could almost get two minis for the price of one iMac. If you were getting along fine with the computer you had, the Mini will be an unbelievable upgrade. No need to spend the extra cash. Think of what else $500 bucks could get ya.
  12. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    I would like to buy a Mac mini for 700 $ :(
  13. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Sounds like what you really need to buy is the type of computer Apple refuses to make. Something between the mini and the Pro where you can still use the monitor you already have. Something like a modern versions of your G4. I'm looking for that same computer that Apple refuses to make to replace my G4 too.
    And like some of the suggestions here I'll likely have to go with a mini and have external things laying around wired up to it instead of internal like it ought to be. But Apple just made the mini thinner instead of taller like they should have.
  14. montom macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    If you are happy with your existing LCD monitor, then save some cash and get the Mini with 4GB RAM upgrade. That's $799 total. Mac Minis also have better resale value than iMacs, and are cheaper to replace with a new model since you get to use the same monitor. So the benefit is using same monitor and saving money, downside is not being a speed demon.

    The iMac comes with a mirror-glossy screen. Some love it, some hate it. It's a deal break for some people ... they love the specs, but can't stand the reflections especially when it comes to graphic design and photography. Benefit there is faster system, downside is more expensive overall and risk of screen glare driving you nuts and possibly giving eyestrain and headaches if you're among the unlucky few sensitive to that.

    Edit: I should add, that I have a 2010 Mac Mini Server with 10.6.4 client installed, dual hard drives in RAID0 configuration. It's quite a bit faster than the base Mini, but still a small size, and I get to use any monitor of my choice. It's the most powerful small system that Apple currently offers. More hassle to setup than the base mini, but if you're worried about the base model being too slow (should be fine though for what you're doing, with 4 GB RAM), then what I've done is another option for you.
  15. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'd get the Mini. It's way better than what you're using and doesn't have any of the all-in-one disadvantages of the iMac. As others are pointing out, the iMac is faster, but I question whether you need the extra speed. Can you visit an Apple store and test out both with your work? If comparing, be cognizant of how much installed RAM is in each machine, especially when photoshop testing.

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