Mac mini vs. iMac G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CartoonChess, May 23, 2007.

  1. CartoonChess macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul
    #1
    Hello all,

    Our house has a Windows box from around 1999 that's finally lost it, and so I am contending for a Mac replacement. As it is to be done on budget, a mini is the only option.

    The only Apples I've owned (and do indeed still use regularly) are an iMac G4 and an iBook G4. The iMac is a twenty-incher, with 768MB of RAM running 10.4.9 on a 1.25 GHz PPC G4 processor. (Okay, that was a bit redundant, but you get the picture.)

    The reason I give you these stats is because I'm familiar with the iMac and would like to get a general feeling of how the new mini would perform by contrast. The iMac was higher-end in its day but is aging, and I haven't found these sorts of comparisons on the Internet.

    Two more things. First, the integrated graphics on the mini isn't sitting so well with me, although it's doubtful anyone will ever run any games on it. There are plans to dual boot it with some version of Windows, though. The iMac has an nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 with 64 MB RAM.

    Second, they say there's a new mini in the pipeline. The MacRumors buyer's guide insists on it, even. Do we have any idea at all when that might be coming, or even what it might bring? I'll force these people to go without a machine for a little while if that's what it takes.

    Thanks.

    [EDIT: P.S. I'd be going with the low-end, 1.66 GHz mini. 512 MB RAM or 1 GB? Any thoughts?]
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    The mini should be quite a bit faster than the iMac. The graphics performance should be similar. Windows XP and Vista both work well with the minis graphics card.

    Some speculation that the mini line might be dropped. I doubt it. It will probably get a refresh within the next 2 months as it is long overdue but your guess is as good as mine.
     
  3. CartoonChess thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul
    #3
    Thank you, flopticalcube. That'll fly well over here, even if the mini won't see updates just yet.

    I also edited the initial post to mention the mini's configuration (low-end) and some hesitation on the memory.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    If you are going to be running XP in Parallels or VMWare 1GB is a definite. With memory so cheap these days, I would definitely get a 1G stick. Probably cheaper to do it aftermarket.

    Also look into the refurb market. minis have been the same for so long now that the refurbs are the same spec as the current new models.
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    You want as much RAM as you can afford, if you can afford 1GB go for it, if you think you might be able to afford 2GB (e.g. aftermarket) then it'll make a big difference. The Intel Mac Mini will blow your G4s away.

    As a comparison, have a look at this shootout between the Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mini and the Mac Mini 1.42Ghz. The G4 Mac Mini is *very* similar to your iMac G4 except for a different (but comparable) graphics card and a slightly faster processor. Bear in mind that the Photoshop CS test was done before CS3 (i.e. the Universal Binary version) was out. Also any games would run much better in Windows than they're Mac counterparts.

    Basically in anything but games the Intel Mini would be *much* faster than the iMac G4. In most games it will be faster and it also has the benefit of Windows games which generally run better. Also in Rosetta (i.e. non Universal binary) applications such as Photoshop CS2 (instead of CS3) and Microsoft Office, the Mini will perform roughly on a par with the iMac if not slightly faster. It only loses out slightly in CS2 to the 1.42GHz mini but if it were compared to a 1.25Ghz Machine it would probably win.

    I hope this helps!! :)
     
  6. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    Seconded -- I upgraded a MacMini Core Solo from 1GB to 2GB and saw a significant difference in snapiness. No more beach balls! I can't imagine 512MB.... don't do that to yourself!
     
  7. CartoonChess thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul
    #7
    Ah, thank you to all. You've been indispensable.

    I've spent the day lining up a bargain Dell (Dimension E520) with the Mac mini and put 2GB of RAM from Crucial in them both, landing (after taxes) the Dell at $830 and the mini at $920 (this is in Canadian dollars, mind you).

    Anyway, it isn't even hard from here. AirPort card, anti-virus software, FireWire for the camera . . . and of course, even though that already topples the mini price, there's the wonderful OS X software to consider, and consider again.

    I believe, with your help ladies and gentlemen, I have won. And isn't that really a win for anyone on these forums? :p

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
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    Ireland

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