Mac Mini or iMac? A Money Problem

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jcbhammond, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. jcbhammond macrumors member

    May 3, 2010
    Hello everybody, this is my first time posting to the forums but I have been following the site and the forums for a number of years.

    I have been wanting to purchase a Mac now for about 1 1/2 years but every time something has stopped me. I've been borrowing a family members several times and really like it, but I can't figure out which one I really want. Finally, I think I've narrowed it down to either a Mac Mini with dual Dell displays or the base line 27" iMac.

    With the Mac Mini I seem to spend a little less money for more stuff. I also have the added benefit of portability if I ever needed to take it anywhere(not a huge issue I don't think).

    With the iMac I get a lot more computing power and the price step up is very minimal and I can add on more as I get more money(ram, etc). However there seem to be some issues like the glossy screen, my desk is situated right over a diffused skylight, and I was playing with it it seemed that the back got really warm under even light loads. This really bothers me because the last time I put a large screen in my room, it raised the temperature considerably.

    I'm not a real power user all your basic stuff, web, photos, email, docs. I would like to get into IOS Development as well.

    Any help would be great. Thanks.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    iMac's enclosure is made out of aluminum which is a conductor. That means it will feel hot even thought the innards are within safe temperatures. The only way to determine the temperatures is to use for example iStat, touching the iMac is subjective and very inaccurate. I wouldn't worry about the heating, iMac has been designed to handle it.

    iMac gives you more bang for the buck IMO. Unless the glossy is a big issue, I would go with the iMac. Remember that you have 14 days to return it so I would give the iMac a try anyway.
  3. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    Sounds like you're in for a Mini. iMacs are great, but if you have all the peripherals (keyboard, mouse, ..) then the Mini is a better price. It's also portable, of course, if you mention you'd like that. Unfortunately there are no matte options for the iMac so glossiness could be an issue depending on where you are going to place it at.

    If you're not a power user, the Mini once again trumps the iMac, you'll have more than enough.

    If you are to buy a Mini though, I'd wait till August for the refresh. The current one is outdated specs-speaking, and we could very well see a Sandy Bridge i processor on it.
  4. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Mac Mini is great. I absolutely love mine. I got the previous generation last year and it has been a great experience. It's quiet, small, runs everything I need it to run without choking (had the guts of the then base MBP!). I have had zero issues.

    If you already have a nice monitor, KB and mouse, the mac mini is a great cost-effective way to go mac. I would do it again. In fact, I might choose the mini over the iMac even if I had the cash because I can always hook it up to a TV to get an even better screen etc
  5. jcbhammond, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

    jcbhammond thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2010
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I don't really have a nice keyboard or mouse, but I do have the :apple: wireless keyboard for using with my iPad. Probably would use that.

    Two additional questions, does the heat from the back of the aluminum iMac cause the temperature of a room to increase, I have seen some forum topics on this but it seems as there is no real definitive answer, and doesn't Apples return policy have a restocking fee?

    I'm really quite wary of choosing Mini when it seems like only a couple hundred more dollars, but I don't want to spend more money on something I will not get the use out of.

    Forgot to mention. I have an older HP 15" notebook that I bought last summer for school. Eventually within a year or two, I'll be looking at an Apple notebook to replace it, which I would be able to plug into my iMac screen were I to go that route. I suppose it really makes no difference seeing as I could just plug it into one of my external screens for the Mini.

    I guess the biggest question is, is the iMac worth the extra couple hundred dollars?
  6. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The iMac doesn't do a whole lot in the way of warming up the room. It feels physically hot, but it doesn't actually put off a lot of heat. The mini puts off even less due to its lower wattage components, but the noticeable difference would be small.

    I believe apple got rid of the restocking fee, but don't quote me on that.
  7. sn0wman72 macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    My iMac certainly does not add any appreciable level of heat to the room. In fact the iMac is basically never more than warm to the touch.

    Apples return policy is 14 days and you will pay a 10% re-stocking fee if the box has been opened

    If you are considering a mini then I would certainly suggest that you also look at a refurbished iMac...the 2009 21.5 and 27 pop up regularly and the price is quite competitive with a mini after you add in monitor/keyboard/mouse
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Apple removed the restocking fee.
  9. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    You'll be paying for a screen and (from what I see) higher spec'd internals AND you're getting a keyboard and mouse with it. If you don't need to move it around (I guess you could move the Mini if you had another place with a keyboard/monitor) the iMac would be "better" seeing as you have to buy the peripherals and a monitor to use it with.

Share This Page