Mac mini or 20" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jjo, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. jjo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #1
    I plan on getting a new Mac next month--along with countless others, I'm sure, when Leopard comes out. It would replace my Gateway Pentium D Processor 820 tower, and become my "main" machine.

    Now, I have a very nice 20" Dell widescreen monitor that I'm fond of, and because of that, I'm leaning towards a 2.0 Core 2 Duo mini, as opposed to the 20" iMac.

    I'm not a gamer, nor do I ever need or want to run dual displays, so I think the mini (even with it's Intel GMA 950 video card everyone seems to hate) would do me fine (after I upgrade to 2 GB RAM and throw on an external 500 GB hard drive, since the minis only max out at 160 GB).

    What do you think?

    I have a MacBook Core 2 Duo with 2 GB RAM, and quite frankly, in Parallels, it runs circles around my Gateway desktop. This is another reason I'm leaning towards the mini as opposed to the iMac.

    I just can't seem to make myself "buy" another 20" widescreen LCD (as on the iMac) with a computer when I already have a nice one. So, the mini just seems like a better option for me.

    And, with the mini, I'd be able to upgrade my monitor to a 24" later if I find a good deal, whereas with the iMac, it's 20" forever.

    But, it does feel odd buying a machine that's so small, but I really think it'll out-perform my Gateway, and let me do everything I need to with it.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Ireland
    #2
    The Mac Mini is very underrated. I have 1.66 Core duo Mini + 23" ACD as a back-up system and it can handle anything from simple word processing to digital video editing. A great little machine.
     
  3. NEiMac macrumors regular

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    Aug 13, 2007
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    #3
    Well if you have a macbook and it does everything you need, a Mini would do you just fine. Great little computers. The only down side I can see to it is, the mini is basicly the same computer as your macbook, just isnt portable.
     
  4. Stetwin macrumors 6502

    Stetwin

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    Jul 8, 2007
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    #4
    I would say sell the Dell monitor and get the iMac, no real reason why, I just wanted to spice things up a little,
     
  5. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #5
    The Mac mini is a great little computer, i have used it and still do in my 2nd office. The one thing the imac has is that it is cleaner and has less wires and looks nicer on a desk, not saying that the mac mini looks bad.

    If you do decide to buy a mac mini i recommend you get one of those that fits right under the mac mini and comes with extra usb and firewire ports.

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=10764
     
  6. jjo thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2007
  7. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #7
    I don't understand why you'd want a mini when you have a MacBook already.
     
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #8
    In your case, it sounds like the 2GHz C2D Mac Mini is the way to go. :)
     
  9. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #9
    Yea, I wonder too :confused:

    Core2 mini is basically a core 2 MacBook in non-portable case and without a monitor.
     
  10. jjo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #10
    Valid question, but I've always been a desktop/laptop kind of person. I can't bring myself to have my laptop be my "main" machine. My laptops are for when I'm on the road, at a friend's house, or need a spare machine at work, etc. My desktop is for the "real" work.

    I'd like/need a desktop with a larger monitor, real keyboard, and a mouse. I realize I can "adapt" a laptop to be a desktop by adding a mouse, keyboard, ext. drives, etc., but I don't want to deal with the hassle. I just want to sit down at my desk and have the machine ready to go when I am.

    Anyone else like this?

    My quandary is that if I were to get a high-end Mac mini--or an equivalently-priced, entry-level iMac--that this would be the first time my laptop and my desktop would be of equal processing power. In the past, my laptop was always a "budget" machine, and my desktop was the "powerhorse."

    And as I mentioned in the original post, my MacBook appears to be much faster than my Gateway desktop. And I just can't have that...
     
  11. faust macrumors regular

    faust

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    I used to be a desktop person, but wow, I finally bought a Macbook Pro this past summer and I haven't missed a real keyboard or mouse, although I bought a Razer DeathAdder mouse in order to work better with Logic, World of Warcraft, and any other game I may play. I'm planning on getting a monitor for when I'm at home, so I'll just plug that into my Macbook Pro, get a keyboard and use my laptop as a desktop while I'm at home.

    Perhaps you should just hook your Macbook to your monitor and peripherals? If you're still not up for that, and god knows why you wouldn't be, go for a Mac Mini, I actually wanna get one of those for myself.
     
  12. Stetwin macrumors 6502

    Stetwin

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    #12
    If your looking for your desktop to be the more powerful of the two then I wouldn’t even consider the Mac Mini, you should be at least looking at the 2.4GHz iMac
     
  13. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Torontoland
    #13
    Yep. I had a MacBook Pro. I would use it as my main machine. It would stay hooked up to my LCD monitor in the office when I was at work.

    It was practical that way, but for some reason I felt I needed a dedicated desktop. I couldn't even tell you why but I just needed it. When the new iMacs came out, it was a no-brainer.

    I now use my MBP for for working outside the home office or when at Starbucks, etc. I also have peace of mind knowing that I have a backup of most of my stuff on another machine.
     
  14. GeorgeTheMonkey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #14
    The desktop/laptop work setup is definitely a good one, and I imagine will be infinitely more-so with Leopard's added abilities. (I'm looking at you, "E.T. Phone Home" feature.)

    I was about to just buy a dedicated NAS so I could finally have a decent storage space solution (I do a ton of video editing and photography on my aging 17" PowerBook), but as I was looking at them, I realized for the amount of money I'd pay for a "good" NAS, I could just buy a new Mac mini – or even an iMac – and have a spare computer with my storage space too! (Have your Apple pie and eat it too.)

    I'm now planning on trading in my old PowerMac G4 and buying a Mac mini when Leopard comes out.

    Sure, anybody crunched for storage space could easily buy a bunch of external Firewire harddrives, but if you've ever had a laptop and dealt with that, you know it's a huge hassle. Plus if you have OCD, it'll eventually drive you nuts – you're always wondering which drive that thingy is on, where's your iTunes library, bla bla bla.

    Anyway, chalk me up to another desktop/laptop dual user. It's tremendously freeing...
     
  15. Agent Smith macrumors 6502

    Agent Smith

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #15
    I was in your exact same position yesterday, only with an older Apple ADC 20" monitor. I wnt to the Apple Store and picked up a C2D 2.0 mini. I threw 3 gigs of RAM and a 160 gig 7200 RPM HD into it (they asked me if I wanted apple care...I told the guy I was cracking it open, so we both had a bit of a laugh). I love it and I don't regret my decision one bit. Later today, I'm going to do the Windows partition so I can play some older Windows games (Baldur's Gate :D).
     
  16. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    Sep 9, 2007
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    Athens, Ohio
    #16
    Since the mini is made of notebook parts u should get an iMac. It will also last you longer than the mini ever will.
     
  17. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #17
    Hate to tell you this but, apart from the hard disk, the iMac is also made from notebook parts.
     
  18. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    Sep 9, 2007
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    Athens, Ohio
    #18
    The hard drive is one reason to get the iMac and another is the VRAM in the iMac isn't shared with the main RAM so it will be faster.
     
  19. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #19
    The OP doesn't game so the video card is a moot point. The hard disk will make a big difference in performance.
     
  20. jjo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #20
    This may be a stupid question, but is accidental breakage due to customer "fiddling" with the equipment (i.e., opening the mini and breaking something) covered by AppleCare, or is AppleCare only for equipment failure due to malfunction?
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #21
    It does not cover breakage due to user "fiddling".
     
  22. Agent Smith macrumors 6502

    Agent Smith

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    Mar 21, 2004
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    Toronto, ON
    #22
    Ergo, no Apple Care. No worries either, as the machine is running nice and smooth :)...famous last words, of course. :p
     
  23. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #23
    Get the mini unless you find you need more horsepower.
     
  24. ctsport1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #24
    You can't go wrong with either but imo the entry level iMac is a very good buy. :D
     

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