Mac Mini or iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iMas70, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. iMas70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    MA
    #1
    I've been going back and forth with this for awhile. First I was going to get a Mini then after looking at how I speced it, I went over to the iMac section and saw for a little bit more, I could get all that plus a nice 27" monitor, Facetime HD camera, slightly faster processor, bigger hard drive ect...

    Mini -
    2.5GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    Magic Trackpad
    $1018.00 (adds up fast from the base!)

    27" iMac -
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5
    Magic Trackpad
    Apple Wireless Keyboard
    $1699.99

    Ok, maybe close to $700.00 isn't a little bit more but you get the idea. I guess I'm looking at it as if I spend that much, I should just go a little further. I'm currently using a 30" Dell W3000 LCD TV monitor. It's about 6-7 years old, it works but I'd want something nicer, crisp and clear to go along with my new computer. I can probably get a couple hundred for the Dell. So that would probably push the Mini up to about $1350. or so.

    I know I'm in the Mini section so a lot of people here probably favor this one. I'm just weighing my options and trying to figure out what is the best one to go with. I don't need big power. I just use it for e-mail, web surfing, basic photo editing and things of that nature so the machine wouldn't get a through workout but... I like things to be fast. Don't like waiting so RAM would be upgraded to at least 8GB in either of them.

    Cover your kid's eyes and don't cringe when you read this. I looked at the Dell site (ooohhh). I've used them for years and wanted to see what they offer. I can get a pretty nice machine with monitor for about $1k (ducking now). I'd like to fully come over to the Apple camp though. I really like my current Apple products (iPhone 5, iPad 3 and Apple TV) and think the Mini or iMac would be a great addition.

    Thanks for reading all of this and for your suggestions!
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    If you really examine your wants, needs, what you already have, etc., the answer will be obvious, give or take some second guessing which is natural.

    Some observations:

    You don't need the more expensive Mini for what you do (e-mail, web surfing, basic photo editing and things of that nature).

    You don't need a new monitor.

    The least expensive Mini can be purchased for $565-$580. A keyboard and mouse trackpad adds $100-110. Add $80 for 16 GB of RAM. So for $745-770, you're done, and the Mini can do double duty in a TV or audio setup when the need arises.

    I'd wait for the next Mini to be released in the next few months before I bought though.
     
  3. stuffradio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #3
    If you wanted the Mini, wait for them to list the 2.5 on the refurbished section. If you wanted to go all out, you could upgrade it to the i7 for less than what you have listed there. I would wait for Black Friday to buy extra RAM and the keyboard/mouse. I have never had an iMac, so my experience is only good for the mini.
     
  4. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    MA
    #4
    That's the thing, sometimes my wants and needs are spread very far apart. My current hard drive only has about 14GB of space left. This thing is starting to slooowwww down. I can clear about 50GB out by moving pictures to an older computer and portable hard drive and not need a computer but it's time. As for the other upgrades, that's where one thing leads to another. The screen is the main thing. Using my old monitor is like putting a Corvette ZR1's 638hp engine into a Caprice. It will run pretty good but it's not much to look at. I happened to be in the mall where my local Apple store is tonight and talked to one of the guys there for awhile to see what he'd say too. He agreed that what I'm currently using isn't close to as good as the monitor that the iMac has. Either way I'm going to hang on until Apple updates everything then go from there. Doing research and planning now. I usually only replace computers every 5-6 years so whatever I get will be around for awhile.
     
  5. Micky Do, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #5
    What are your criteria?

    I wanted a transportable computer, not a portable.

    My tech/computing needs were fairly basic, and still are. Tablets, MP3 players, smart phones and the like are neither needed, nor desired, in my humble life. I don't want computing to go..... It is good to turn my back when I leave my desk, and leave the machine behind.

    I have moved around a bit over the years, and tend to travel light. If something can't be a carried easily on a motorcycle, I don't own it. When the Mac Mini came on to the market it fitted my criteria, so it became the first computer I ever owned.

    Now I am on to my second Mini (recently upgraded with more RAM and Mountain Lion), but I am still using the monitor and speakers I bought back in May 2005. I have replaced the keyboard (with a small wired Apple one) and the mouse (now Logitech wired, but will probably go for a Magic Mouse at some stage).

    Therein lies the joy of the Mac Mini. It is part of a modular system, in which components can be upgraded as needs change or they wear out.

    Perchance I have not moved since 2003, but when I do shift camp I can easily take the guts of the system (with all my files) and acquire the bulky bits as required.
     
  6. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #6
    I'd go for a Mac Mini. The best part about it is, you can essential get TWO computers. The iMac includes a new screen, but what I like about the Mini is this:
    I have an Early '09 Mac Mini. When it's no longer able to run the most recent OS, I'll buy a new Mini for $599. I already have a monitor, so I only need to spend $599 to get a whole new computer, versus the $1000+ cost of getting a new iMac in a few years. What I'm saying is when you already have the screen and peripherals, the Mini is the way to go because it's basically half the price, meaning you can get two upgrades for the price of one iMac. This isn't even including the money you get back if you resell the computer a few years down the road. I'd recommend the base Mini for you unless the upgraded graphics card of the more expensive model is a selling point.
     
  7. SpinalTap macrumors regular

    SpinalTap

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bournville, UK
    #7
    In 2005 I purchased a Mac Mini and Apple Cinema Display.

    in 2009 my original Mac Mini was replaced by the latest version, and a year later by a Mac Mini Server. When the next version of the Mac Mini appears I will probably buy that model.

    The constant variable in all my Mac Mini purchases has been my Apple Cinema Display. That has made each Mac Mini purchase an economical transition.

    Had I bought an iMac instead, I wouldn't have been so willing to 'upgrade' to the latest model as I would have to ditch the whole computer and start over.

    My Mac Mini is no slouch: I run Office 2011, Adobe CS, VirtualBox (inc Office 2010), Logic Express, Final Cut Express, Sibelius etc.
     
  8. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    #8
    If you don't need the extra power of the iMac & want to choose your own monitor (anti-glare or another glossy), the Mini seems a viable choice.

    As gaming isn't a consideration for you, though the HD6630 Mini is good enough to run most older games at full settings & new ones at medium, more reason to consider the Mini. Even the less expensive one with integrated video should serve your needs.

    It's plenty fast enough. Though I'd upgrade the RAM yourself, not from Apple. It'll be far cheaper!

    That's what I did last year after having an iMac previously. FWIW, I got the higher-priced Mini with HD6630 video to go with my 24" anti-glare screen & I've no regrets. GL!
     
  9. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    The thick of it
    #9
    As long as you don't have heavy graphics requirements (the iMacs have far superior graphic chipsets), then the Mini can work just fine. The best part about them, IMO, is that you can have a huge hi-res monitor for relatively little money; just use an HDTV.
     
  10. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #10
    I'm in similar situation. For months I've been wanting Mac mini. However from the get go I knew I needed quad-core CPU and lots of RAM.
    MAc mini server was my only option, I already have a very decent display and all the peripherals. However it's only few hundred bucks from base iMac that already has quad-core, its own GPU and I bet it'll have better cooling than Mac mini too.
    I know I don't need the display but I know that with iMac I'd be better in the long run. Only thing I'm concerned with is serviceability. It is still easier to swap HDDs in Mac mini (or adding a second one for that matter) than iMac. If iMac had more accessible guts, it'd be no brainer.

    I will wait for the desktops to be updated and then I'll decide. Now, it's not definitely not a good time to buy one if you want the best performance for the money.

    Oh also I have a big need for USB3 so that makes the wait logical to me.
     
  11. What mac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Ireland uk
    #11
    Same boat advice required

    I too have been waiting to buy the new iMac if and when, but as the original post when I look at the mini costs and spec it opens up a lot of options..
    Currently low end user surfing, word processing and basic website maintenance, my son is talking about YouTube videos like HDTV gameplay, so video editing would be possible but not in a professional way.
    To get to the point. I want an apple network to cover all aspects. Options below

    Mini + iPad/MBA or iMac + iPad

    :apple:ipad2:apple:iphone4/4s
     

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