Mac Mini or iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by moneymike510, May 2, 2011.

  1. moneymike510 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    #1
    I can't decide on getting the mac mini with the 27" led cinema display or the iMac 27". Its looks like the final price will be about just about the same. Mainly using the comp for internet and adventually pro tools. Which would be the better way to go?
     
  2. Scuby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #2
    When I bought my iMac 6 months ago I was trying to decide between that and the Mac Mini too. But iMac easily wins on value, unless you need the small size of the Mac Mini (which it sounds like you don't). iMacs are more powerful, include the keyboard, mouse and of course the screen, and personally I like having it as an all-in-one unit - less wires and less space needed. Plus the price premium of an iMac over the Mac Mini really isn't a lot, considering all the extras.

    David
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    Wait until later this week to make your decision ;)
     
  4. lvlarkkoenen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Utrecht, NL
    #4
    Agreed. If I hadn't had screen/mouse/keyboard already I'd go for an iMac as well. As it stands though, I'm more than happy to keep using my old monitor in spite of it's small size to save a few hundred bucks. Too bad it's a tad slower though.
     
  5. Vassius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    One benefit of getting a Mini + ACD is that it's cheaper to upgrade when needed. When you need faster hardware, you just need to by a new Mini and not replace the whole package.

    But you really should wait, since the iMac is expected to be updated tomorrow, and the Mini is also overdue for a refresh. When the Mini gets sandy bridge CPUs, it will be a more serious contender than it is today.
     
  6. lvlarkkoenen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Utrecht, NL
    #6
    Totally, current C2D's in the Mac Mini's are seriously too outdated for any company to sell in brand-new machines. Considering the 2010 refresh wasn't a big jump performance-wise the impending refresh should make up for that.
     
  7. aicul macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    no cars, only boats
    #7
    A question I am pondering. And I cannot settle for a choice. I actually already have one of each (2~3 years old) and even with that experience, none of the 2 options really stands out as better, or worst.
     
  8. FWRLCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    #8
    My employer bought us 27" iMacs for our new Seattle office since we didn't already have displays/keyboards/etc up here. I couldn't be happier with them.
     
  9. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #9
    The next Mini may be a bridge to my next iMac. I'm not buying another iMac until they stop making yellow screens. (I don't care what the return policy is, and I don't want the pressure of opening it in the store...)
     
  10. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #10
    Having a 2010 Mini and 27 CD...

    iMac. You get a lot more hardware for the money. If you do any CPU intensive tasks, the iMac will absolutely blow the doors off the mini (my Thunderbolt MBP15 certainly does). The stock GPUs are also a noticeable boost (whereas the 6970M will play games at very high settings at native res). Plus the footprint of the iMac is smaller, as there's no external computer. No extra cables. Thunderbolt.

    I ordered a fully decked out iMac 27 and had to cancel for now (probably reconsider in 60 to 90 days), but to say I was looking forward to it was an understatement. Especially since I would've kept my cinema display for dual display goodness.
     
  11. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #11
    After following this forum for quite some time I decided to register. First post for me then on this particular forum though do post on other forums.

    I will come at this question for the poster from a slightly different point of view. I have a two year old iMac C2D model though I have never quite come to grips with the glossy screen. I was really excited by the new Mini when it was released last summer and purchased one from my nearest Apple store straightaway. However, the excitement soon turned to disappointment when turning the mini on for the first time as the graphics card failed within minutes. To be fair to Apple they replaced it immediatley and even paid my mileage as it was quite a trip to my nearest store. The replacement seemed fine for the first couple of days then started to get very hot indeed. So much so that it started to discolour.

    I made yet another trip to the Apple store where they were very apologetic and offered to change this one. However, at the counter was another customer and he too was returning a brand new mini as that too had failed. At this point I declined the offer of a replacement and got my money back. I still like the mini but thought I would wait until the next refresh.

    I know there is lot's of speculation about a mini refresh though I remain to be convinced there will be one this time around. I have read various articles over the years about the mini and the fact that SJ is not keen on the product and would like to see it discontinued but the Apple board wanted a product that would attract "switchers". Maybe SJ will get his way, we will have to wait and see.
     
  12. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #12
    Imac all the way.

    Much better value for money really. More powerful CPU and GPU, IPS screen, mouse (or trackpad) and wireless keyboard.

    This and you'll presumably be able to plug the next-next-next thunderbolt-equipped generation of mini into the iMac's husk once it becomes too slow or outdated, which will be far longer into the future than the mini.
     
  13. hsj2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #13
    I can kinda see both sides of the arguement here. On one hand, you could get the mini and the 27" ACD and when you want new hardware, just change the mini, but on the other hand, the base 27" iMac is far better specs and works out cheaper than the Mini+ACD option.

    However, no-one knows for sure what the specs of the 2011 Mini will be. They could very well reduce the gap between the Mini and the iMac and many believe the new Mini will have a Sandybridge processor (likely the 2.3GHz i5 that the 13" MBP uses) and the money you could get from selling one Mini would make upgrading very cheap indeed.
     
  14. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #14
    The thing is -- and this is coming from someone who is on Mini #3 (had the first C2D and the original G4) -- the Mini will NEVER compare to the iMac in terms of performance.

    The main appeal of the 27" iMac is going to be if you want the highest-end hardware Apple can give you. If you do, there's no question left to ask. If you don't want the highest-end hardware, then it's a different story

    Is there a ease of upgrade? Yes, that's hard to argue. However odds are you're going to get more mileage out of the iMac between replacements. Upgrades are more expensive, but also further apart (unless you want to always have the best you can get). Mac Minis are always analogous to a MacBook Pro 13. iMac 27s always offer the highest-end non-workstation hardware Apple offers. The performance delta between a max specced Mini and a max-specced iMac is always greater than 100% (CPU performance, GPU performance, memory capacity, internal storage capacity/performance).

    Right now a 27" iMac can give you 300% better CPU performance, 300% more memory (100% more if you don't want to spend $3K on 32GB), 300-400% better GPU performance and at least 100% more disk space (and a considerably quicker configuration) than a 2.66GHz non-server Mini... if you go for the top-end SKU. Not cheap, but the option is there. It's never there with the Mini.
     
  15. lvlarkkoenen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Utrecht, NL
    #15
    True, but it's not completely fair to compare a refreshed iMac with old Mini's. If GeekbenchScore/PriceTag is any measurement for bang for buck*, the most efficient 2010 Mini beats the most efficient 2010 iMac with about a 20% margin. As I said before, since I already own peripherals, expect the new Mini to be a big performance increase AND am on a tight budget, my choice would be obvious.

    Oh and if you're going to max out, there's still the option of a Mac Pro. They beat the 2010 iMacs in my bang-for-buck score and they're extremely flexible for BTO-purposes.

    But why are we still posting here, OP's question is answered I guess. iMac is the way to go if the alternative is a Mini combined with an ACD.

    *I'm aware that cheaper/slower machines are overvalued as there's a threshold to what it should be able to do to even be considered worthy of buying. I'm also aware that iMacs are undervalued as they include a display.
     
  16. hsj2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #16
    I see where you're coming from and that's why I said I can see it from both sides of the arguement. However, I strongly believe that if Apple do indeed use Sandybridge Core i5's in the gap between the Mini and the iMac will be much smaller. I know that it still won't have the same GPU performance, etc, but still.

    For me, I do web developement and graphic design so GPU performance isn't a big issue as I don't play games.

    I was originally going to go for a used 24" iMac over a Mac Mini but with the rumoured updates, the mini would likely outperform it so going to wait it out.
     
  17. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #17
    Don't touch the mini till it gets SB. Go the iMac if u cannot wait for a refresh
     
  18. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #18
    To be honest if you're set on getting an Apple display then just get the 27" iMac - one of the reasons to get a MacMini is so you aren't stuck with a glass/glossy display.

    If Apple did iMacs with a Matte option I doubt my next Mac would be a mini. But they don't and won't so the next Mac for me will be a Mini.
     
  19. henry72 macrumors 65816

    henry72

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand

Share This Page