Mac mini.. Or...

AppleMan2015

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
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76
So, it's my understanding that you can use the Mac mini with a different screen. Is the Mac mini a good performance computer compared to the iMac? Or should I just go with the iMac?
 

Decimotox

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
596
334
All depends on configuration. The top end mini, all spec-ed out, is faster than the lower end iMacs.

I have a 2012 mini and am very happy with the performance. It all depends on your needs, though. I like being able to use my own monitor.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
depends on what you are using it for.

2012 mini base model here and it works perfectly and very reliable as a media center, browsing, word processing and photo editing. it's connected to a 46" samsung 1080p
 

MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
1,279
750
Zurich, Switzerland
iMac's GPUs are (much, sometimes very, very much) better. Consequently the iMac does 4K (well, at least the latest ones do) or 5K (27" model) at a decent refresh rate.
2014's MacMinis can do 2560x1600 on two screens, the 2012 can do 2560x1600 + 1920x1200.
But you can choose your own screen(s). And when the Mini dies, you can buy another one and re-use the screen.
As the upgradability (and repairability) of the current MacMini is close or even worse than that of the iMac, there's little reason do buy a Mini these days - unless you already have a display and intend to use the combo beyond the 3 years of Apple Care.
If you spec a Mini on Apple's online store with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD (plus Trackpad+Keyboard) and compare it to an iMac with 8GB RAM (that you can actually upgrade yourself), 256 GB SSD (plus Trackpad+Keyboard) you'll see that the difference is basically the price of a nice non-4k 27" display.
I've got a 2012 i7 Mini (bought in Spring 2014) that is actually a bit easier to open, upgrade and repair and the calculation went a bit different back then. I also had the wireless keyboard already and used an older display I still had.
These days, it would be a much harder decision. But the quad-core i7 model of the iMac is still overly expensive - it would require to buy me the 2nd largest GPU (which I have no need for).
 

CoachCap

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2015
2
3
Mount Juliet
So, it's my understanding that you can use the Mac mini with a different screen. Is the Mac mini a good performance computer compared to the iMac? Or should I just go with the iMac?
I'm not sure the Mini is such a bad option. I am looking at the mini, 1 because it will eventually be my media hub and , 2 because I can select the monitor.

Everyone who is going 4K crazy is starting to realize 4K is not really for every application. It's great for video content on the very limited streams that are available but for everything else it sucks. It has to be scaled for any actual work to be done, gaming is better on lesser resolutions. I leave 4K for my TV.

I am looking at Ultra wide options for productivity not involving extreme video editing so the Mac Mini is fine, especially with the I7, 16GB of ram, and a 256GB pcie ssd. That LG 34" 3440x1440 is exactly what I want on my desk. The price for my set up will be comparable to the base model 5k 27 inch i5 quad core, 8GB, 256 pcie ssd.
 
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AppleMan2015

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
243
76
I'm not sure the Mini is such a bad option. I am looking at the mini, 1 because it will eventually be my media hub and , 2 because I can select the monitor.

Everyone who is going 4K crazy is starting to realize 4K is not really for every application. It's great for video content on the very limited streams that are available but for everything else it sucks. It has to be scaled for any actual work to be done, gaming is better on lesser resolutions. I leave 4K for my TV.

I am looking at Ultra wide options for productivity not involving extreme video editing so the Mac Mini is fine, especially with the I7, 16GB of ram, and a 256GB pcie ssd. That LG 34" 3440x1440 is exactly what I want on my desk. The price for my set up will be comparable to the base model 5k 27 inch i5 quad core, 8GB, 256 pcie ssd.
Good point. But at the same time it's not a bad idea to go with the iMac either
 

Ursadorable

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2013
437
381
The Frozen North
I'm pretty disappointed with the BTO choice of available CPUs and GPUs in the Mac Mini right now. If I want to do CAD work, I pretty much need a discreet GPU, or build a PC with MS Spyware 7/8.1 or 10. The iMac isn't even an option for me due to being locked into one monitor for the life of the CPU.
 

whodatrr

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2004
672
494
You're not exactly locked into one monitor, you're locked into one of the monitors. My iMacs have been pushing a couple external displays, for years. So, that's one way of looking at it.

More importantly, the Mini has been largely ignored while the iMac is getting plenty of love. If you're price sensitive, buy an open box of either.

I'm pretty disappointed with the BTO choice of available CPUs and GPUs in the Mac Mini right now. If I want to do CAD work, I pretty much need a discreet GPU, or build a PC with MS Spyware 7/8.1 or 10. The iMac isn't even an option for me due to being locked into one monitor for the life of the CPU.
 
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