mac mini & cinema display or imac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by smarter, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. smarter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Since january 2006 I'm a happy 17" imac g5 1.9 user.

    I wasn't that happy at first when the dual core was introduced just a few days after buying my imac. After all my imac has served me very well without any problems.

    I use my mac for internet, e-mail, MS office and very important to me; digital photography (I have a DSLR and Aperture 2).

    I think this might be a great moment for replacing my imac: I can sell mine for a decent price because it's not too old and still working great.

    I really want a larger screen (20" or larger). I don't really like the new glossy screen on the current imac. The Apple Cinema Display looks much nicer to me.

    So what should I buy?

    1. A mac mini (and wait for the newer version for a month or so) and a (probably also updated by then) Cinema display (20" or 23").


    2. A new Imac 20" 2.4

    Please advice considering my photographic interest.

  2. jroller macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    Here's what I would do:

    Get the mini with the C. display. The display is important for your photography needs. Max out the RAM in your mini (note... it only goes to 2gigs at this point!) and get the higher end model. Get external storage for your aperture library with a drive speed of at least 7200.

    The display on the 20" is not the greatest and pales in comparison to the CD. Now, if you would consider the 24", well, then I would push you in that direction, as the machine you would get with it is more capable than the mini AND the display is much better on the 24.

    My .02...
  3. smarter thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The Netherlands
    An imac 24" is also a possibility, but it looks so huge compared to a sleek 23" Cinema Display. And I really prefer a matte display instead of a glossy one.

    Too bad a mac mini with slower and older specs costs more than a faster, better equipped imac. (Why is this?)

    20" is really enough for me, but the display specs are unfortunately not as good as the bigger screens (why?).

    My other problem is that I'm a real design freak, I know I can buy a mac mini and a 3rd party display for a lot less, but I really love the Apple look and feel...

    What I need is an upgrade for at least 3 years, considering my photographic interest.

    Video and games are really not an issue for me, It's just photo's and internet for me.
  4. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    If you don't mind waiting, a Mac Mini update is imminent. I'd too get the Mac Mini + ACD combo, just not at these price points and features.
  5. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    Wait for the update like everybody else said. Depending on whats updated, the iMac is still the better buy. The ACD will cost between $600-$1000. The MacMini will be say $600. Add on the sales tax, you could buy a much faster and nicer iMac. Remember that you also need your own keyboard and mouse. If you are doing anything GPU intensive, that Mini will not hold. If I was in your situation I would buy the iMac.
  6. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2003
    You kind of answered your own question. If you don't like the glossy screen, then don't buy the iMac, because you're not going to be happy. So I'd go with option #1.
  7. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    Gee, is the mini REALLY going to update soon?

    I've been waiting for awhile for it to happen.....

    Oh wait, of course it will, i just bought a refurb! LOL!! Well, if it updates Tuesday - it's going back, but really, considering i was going to pay $399 for a used G4, the $499 i paid for the C2D mini isn't bad. It will suit the kids well afterwards for school stuff (when i'm done with it that is next May).

    But, i have to laugh because i've been reading about the Mini getting a major overhaul for oh, at least a year???

    To the OP - for Aperture i'd go with the 24" with the better GPU. Aperture uses it, and even though you will see a boost, you won't see as much of a jump from the G5 to the Mini with the onboard video.

    But i can relate on the glossy screen...... yuck! (and before everyone jumps on me - yes i've tried, and i have some funky vision issues that make it just not work for me).
  8. SimD macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    I know this isn't on the list and it's a lot more expensive.. but still..

    Buy an iMac (cheapest or however you like it - 20 or 24 inch) and put in the extra $$ for either a 20 or 23" ACD. This way you get the benefits of dedicated graphics processing and the wonders of a proper IPS monitor to view/edit/print your photos.

    The Mini, despite being a FANTASTIC machine, just isn't made to cope with intense photo editing... and is definitely a step back from your G5 in this situation (GPU-wise).

    My two cents.

  9. smarter thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Right now I'm considering a 3rd party screen combined with a (maybe revised next month) mac mini.

    I'm planning on purchasing my new mac early september.

    I've read raving reviews on the Eizo FlexScan S2231WH-BK 22,1" . This seems a very nice screen for € 549,- ( € 350,- less than a 23" Apple Cinema Screen over here in The Netherlands).

    Is this screen a good idea or am I overlooking important issues (besides the obvious design difference)?

    Remember my photographic interest in your replies.

  10. Cory5412 macrumors member

    May 14, 2004
    The Eizo display will probably be fine for photography.

    Any modern display, even the 20" iMac's glossy display will be just fine for photography, the biggest thing is that you will want to buy a display calibration device, even for an Apple Cinema display. This way you can be sure the display has accurate color.

    I also recommend looking at Dell's displays.

    For the price of Apple's 20-inch display in the US, you can buy a Dell UltraSharp 2408wfp, which has a 4-port usb hub, two DVI inputs, a VGA input, HDMI, Component, Composite and S-Video inputs, and you can rotate the whole thing if you need to do work with a portrait-orientation image, or if you need to work on writing a long document.

    Just a thought or two.

    Intel-based Macs are so fast, that (especially) compared to a G5/1.9 (not that those are bad at all for everyday tasks) you will probably be very happy with any modern Intel mac available today.
  11. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    The current mini supports 3.3 GB of RAM.

    Many, many complaints on the 20" iMac screen. It uses the cheaper IPS screen and you must use one in person if you are picky on screens.

    I personally use a $299 24" Acer IPS screen and I like it, but it is not quite as nice as the better glass on my wife's 20" Dell.

    The mini is officially supported by Aperture 2.
  12. Jon.Stewart87 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2008
    United States of America
    Mini's are truly designed for people who have existing monitors/keyboards/mice etc and want a new(er) machine.

    that being said.. why the love affair with cinema displays? yeah they're sleek, but save a bunch of money and get a different brand.
  13. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I think you are confused. TN screens are the low quality ones. IPS or S-IPS screens are the good ones, where the colors don't shift when you change your angle of viewing (up/down, right/left.) 24'' uses S-IPS screen which is very good in term of colors, but of course glossy might not be appealing to you.

    It is almost impossible to find a good 20'' widescreen IPS or PVA screen. Among those, Apple is the cheapest I could find. If you are OK with 4:3 squarish screen, then NEC has a 20'' one at around the same price.
  14. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    Why not buy a White Core 2 Duo Refurb? Matte screens, and still fast by todays standards. You also get a better display and a graphics card for cheaper.

    Plus, Apple's prices for the Cinema Display and Mac Mini are pretty much illegal. Don't support that by buying them.:p
  15. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007

    You are correct. 20" = TN, 24" = S-IPS (and my cheapy Acer is TN and wife's dell is S-IPS)
  16. smarter thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The Netherlands
    I might change my mind on the glossy iMac screen.

    Yesterday I played around at the local Apple store with an iMac 24". The screen really looks stunning (to be honest It looked even better than the 23" ACD they hooked up for me on the same iMac).

    In my study room (this is where my Mac is) there are no windows or light sources behind me, only on the ceiling right above me. I think the glossy screen might tun out being not such a great deal than I thought it was at first.

    The difference in screen quality between the iMac 20" and the 24" was huge, so the 20" iMac is not an option anymore.

    Right now I'm leaning towards an iMac 24" 2.8 GHZ.

    My only worries are the complaints about Apple Quality control and all the screen issues I read about.

    Are the chances of getting a good one the first time really that small?
  17. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    1st off, do not buy a mac mini unless it sees an update first.

    2nd, the cinema displays are also due few an update, but it may not happen until January.

    3rd, the iMac is a much better computer for the money, unless you really hate the glossy finish.

    I personally would buy one of the stock iMacs from a nearby apple store, since you have the option to return it first for a full refund should you really not like the screen.

    The iMac also has just been updated, so you don't have to worry about a new model coming anytime soon (spring 2009 based on trends).

    Sorry, didn't read your last post. Buy the 24" iMac now that you are considering it. It is the best computer I have used and as you saw, the screen is beautiful. much more powerful than the mini as well.

    As for quality, most iMacs sold are completely fine. Remember you are on a dedicated mac forum where there are many posts about complaints versus good machines. should there be an issue, Apple will exchange it without problem.
  18. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    iMac is the better value, especially with the current state of the Mini.

    Personally, you could buy an iMac, *And* a competitor matte monitor, have a double screen setup and be-a-rocking.

    That is a little more expensive then a Mini+ACD, but not much.
  19. fleshman03 macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    You'll be happy with the 24inch iMac, so I'd say go with that.

    Screen issues are a pain, but it'll have a year warranty with it and you can always upgrade that to a 3 year. (+2 sometime in the first year)

    Mini has no where near the features and specs it should for the price and ACD is long overdue also for an update.

    iMac seems to be the best choice for you.
  20. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2003
    First you say "I don't really like the new glossy screen on the current imac." Now you say that you do like. it What did you base your original opinion on? Just imagining what it would be like?

    I wonder if the people who crab about the glossy screen in other threads/forums have ever seen one in person. I mean, personally, I still prefer my old, matte Cinema Display. And if they had offered a matte option, I would have taken it. But the glossy seems very nice to me, and I even have a window in my office.
  21. smarter thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Every time I have seen the glossy screen was in my local Apple store with store windows on the side and very bright lighting from all sides.

    In this place the glossy screen really is a no go for me.

    Right now I realize the Apple store doesn't resemble my home situation. Probably I have no Issues at all at home.

    But I still don't get the point choosing a glossy screen over a matte version. You can choose glossy or matte when buying a Macbook pro, so why not offer the choice to iMac buyers?

    Besides the screen issues I still prefer a separate computer and screen. This way I can decide which part I want to upgrade first instead of upgrading my entire system. And when my logic board or something else breaks down I also have to throw away my screen.

    Too bad Apple doesn't offer a decent solution somewhere between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. I would buy one of those immediately.
  22. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    You and everyone else. God Apple is ignorant!
  23. Cymbal macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2008
    I would go with the iMac. It has a faster processor then the current Mac mini (and most likely faster than an updated one), plus is has a dedicated graphics chip, as well as a larger hard drive. You get the best bang for your buck with the iMac IMO.

Share This Page