Mac Mini vs IMac confusion..First Time Mac Buyer

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacMiniBuyer, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. MacMiniBuyer, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    MacMiniBuyer macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2012

    I am considering buying the Mac Mini(Late 2012) or the 21" IMac (Late 2012). Ive never used an Apple PC or Laptop (couldnt afford one...) , though I own an Ipad 2 and a few Ipods.

    My Computer Usage :

    • Most of computer usage involves Movies, Music , Web Browsing and Torrenting. I love movies and have over 700 movies(some SD, most HD) on my drive. Listen to a lot of music online(Spotify). But I mostly use my computer for WEB BROWSING and MOVIES
    • I do not use my computer for gaming( I have a PS3) so I dont need the Mac Mini for gaming
    • My sister is getting into photography so she might want to use Photoshop at a basic level in the future
    • I do not use any music or video softwares .

    My Choices :

    Mac Mini : 2.6 GHz Quad-Core i7 + 16 GB RAM + Fusion or SSD + Wireless Keyboard + Mouse
    IMac 21.5" basic : Without any upgrades

    Also have a few basic questions :

    1) I have a 32" Samsung LCD TV (1920 x 1080) which I plan to connect to the Mini. Ive mentioned that I have a lotta HD movies and probably gonna watch them off the Mini.
    The tech specs are here :

    Is this TV alright for the Mini? Will i get a better video experience on the iMac(Late 2012)?

    2) What is the difference between a SATA, Fusion and SSD drives? Im terrified of Hard drive failure.A lot of stuff I watch is difficult and time consuming to get so will getting one of these drives safeguard me against this?Is it worth upgrading to Fusion or SSD?

    3) Ive had a Sony Vaio running Windows 7 for about a year and a half and my configs already seem ancient. I would love to have a Mini for a atleast 3-4 years so I plan to upgrade RAM to 16 GB.

    Should I buy it with upgraded RAM or buy RAM later? Is fixing additional RAM in the system difficult?

    4) I keep my computer on for many days and have noticed that my Sony Vaoi gets heated very often and cant run without a cooling pad.

    Are these issues prevalent in Macs?

    5) Has anyone here moved from Windows to Mac? What's missing if anything?

    6) I live in India and planning to buy my Mac Mini in Thailand because its cheaper. International warranty?

    I dont have a good sound system connected to my desktop. I dont think im going to require a DVD drive for any reason. The IMac does have all of this but with all the upgrades make it a very expensive option

    So finally IMac (late 2012) basic vs Mac Mini.

    Im apologize if my questions are basic .

    Thanks for any help !!
  2. philipma1957, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    you want a mini

    1) the samsung is the better choice for movies then the 21 inch imac

    2) long story short fusion is 2 drives 1 ssd 1 hdd the computer see them as one.

    3) ram is very easy to add buy it later save money

    4) your mac mini will need breathing room. it does not run hot when streaming . the base mini is cooler. if you push the mini with handbrake it runs hot.

    5) you can keep windows and run it on your mac buy parallels or vmware fusion.

    6) minis do have multiple country warranty I do not know if India and Thailand are included.

    2 and 4 need more explanation.

    on 2 to get fusion you have to buy the mid priced quad core.

    on 4 the quad core runs hotter then the dual core if you run handbrake and high cpu programs you may need a laptop cooler.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Playing music, video, and downloading stuff is not going to test any modern computer. Even photoshop is not really a problem these days.
    Get the iMac if you want the screen built-in; get the mini for a cheaper deal.
    No storage device is 100%. You should ALWAYS have one or more backups of every file that you value. Hard drives fail, but also computers get stolen, catch fire, get wet, etc. We don't know what's going to happen to "old" SSDs ten years from now.
    Apple makes this very easy with Time Machine, but you may want other strategies as well.

    SATA is a connection type for mechanical hard drive. SSD is Solid State drive (ie. like flash memory, no moving parts.)
    A Fusion drive is just an Apple term for a clever bit of software that uses an SSD and a mechanical hard drive together as one Volume. The OS decides which device to put your data on, depending on how much those files get used.
  4. ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    samsung model with be able to play you mac mini.
    SSD will do you a lot of good.
    Here is some hints since you are going to Thailand, buy the mac mini with ssd and data doubler to store the regular HD, another words you have two internal drives. If you can buy the internal drives and the reseller or the seller in Thailand
    can set up fusion drive for you will be perfect. The ssd drive if you can get 256 gb one and 1tb or more HD will be great.
    With the HD that was from apple (original) you can use it as back up drive (for you mac mini)use super duper to back up your internal drive and get another 1tb or larger drive regular HD, to use as Time machine, the later 2 drives are external, so buy one external USB enclosure or cable to back your internal drive.
    16Gb ram will be cheaper to get and easy to install, it is like opening a jam jar and install it, those Thai seller will do it for you.
    Make sure you test the mac mini before you bring back home to india.
    migration assistant will let you transfer all your pc data to mac.
    At the end of your trip, you will bring back 2 external hard drives (one original from apple and the other is 1tb or more hard drive).
    Warranty should be first year basic world wide you can check with apple before leaving India. 2 extra years is applecare, ask the seller how much it cost.
    With 2 drives to back up your system, should get you going and enjoy your
    mac with hollywood and bollywood music and shows.
    By the way how much can you save in thailand vs india just curious.
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    If you say what you plan to do, and as you consider a entry 21 inch iMac, the base model Mini will be more than snappy enough too (roughly as fast as the iMac entry model, they are both quad-thread 2.5Ghz).
    I would get a good monitor with it: for example a Dell U2713HM. It has the same panel as a 27 inch iMac, yet it does 24p playback, something even your TV is probably incapable off! For computer use it is way more comfortable. Browsing on a TV just sucks big time. I would get a good screen, and leave the memory updates and Fusion/SSD away for now. You won't notice it with your use.
  6. MacMiniBuyer, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    MacMiniBuyer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2012
    Wow...thanks philipma1957 , benwiggy , ramram55 and blanka...Those were quick and thoughtful responses !!I guess the verdict is the Mac Mini then. Im glad the TV should work alright.

    philipma1957 : Im probably going to read up a little more on the difference on HD. I was considering running windows simultaneously. The heating issue is a real problem on my Sony Vaio and completely slows down my system. It just cant stand being run for 2-4 days continuously .

    benwiggy : Thanks for the splanation on the drives mate . Always taken backup seriously . It costs a bomb though :(

    Blanka : Cant really afford another screen .Besides want to work out of the same TV for my PS3, Digital Receiver and Mini.

    India Prices :

    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac Mini(Stock)(Late 2012) - $725
    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Mac Mini(Stock)(Late 2012)- $960

    Thailand Prices :

    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac Mini(Stock)(Late 2012) - $655 - $45 = $610
    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Mac Mini(Stock)(Late 2012) - $880 - $55 = $825

    (The $45 and $55 are the VAT I get back at the airport)

    So effectively I save $115 and $135 on both stock models. With the upgrades Im looking at a saving of almost a $150-$200 buying it at Thailand !

    Oh im into Godard and psytrance ;):p. Cheers for the buying advice ramram55
  7. ramram55, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012

    ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    good price in thailand. Once you are in apple ecosystem, it will be hard to get out, you can take advantage of your ipad and ipod to sync with your mac.
    You sure made a wise choice. SSD will make your mini flies. consider it.
    As a frequent visitor to india, i had to carry a tata photon plus dongle stick with me, i will be visiting soon with mac book pro, what is your internet connection?
    most of my stay will be in Kolkata. Sorry for the distraction.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    tv browsing is tricky distance matters a lot. I have a 32 inch jvc it is a 1080p

    I use it as a wall mount in my kitchen. I have the option to make the resolution 1600 by 900 I do and browsing is fine. but I have very good distance vison. my wife finds the print too small.

  9. MacMiniBuyer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2012
    Live in Delhi. Never been to Kolkata but heard its a great city ( pretty crazy traffic!! )..Have a 4 Mbps (150 GB/month limit) connection...Internet connections not great compared to other parts of the world. Also expensive.

    I guess im going to go for the Mac Mini 2.3 Ghz i7 .

    A few more questions though

    1) I plan to upgrade RAM and what Ive read its better to buy the stock model and upgrade RAM yourself. It seems easy. Any good recommendations ?

    2) Im looking at going in for the Fusion driveCan I upgrade the stock Mac Mini at the store ? How long does it take ? If not, can I attach a drive later myself?

    Thanks again
  10. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
  11. ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    Sure, for upgrading the mini is one of the easiest one, just like opening a bournvita jar (beverage malt drink) take out the old ones and insert the new ones. Crucial or kingston or samsung should be good, I am sure the seller should be able to do it for you.
    I do not know how long you will be in thailand, you can always give them advance notice should not be hard for them to create Fusion drive, install drives will require special tools, if you want to do it yourself make sure buy the tools in thailand, there should be plenty of youtube tutorials on this.
  12. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    I am just responding to what you wrote:


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