mac mini VS imac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TDinstinct, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. TDinstinct macrumors newbie

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    #1
    im sure theres a whole debate on this, but i really have no idea where to start and i figured a few straight across opinions may help me!

    im currently debating on the mac mini model that is $799.00, i already have a apple mouse and apple numeric keypad, i have a samsung sync master B2330HD (when i plug in my MBP with HDMI to watch a movie itll glitch out for a second and go black then pop right back like its loading or something(i also read a few posts about people using theses)). would this be an OK setup? if you dont think it would ever be jumpy i would like it alot, i use this moniter/tv for my XBOX and PS3 currently and it is definately taken care of, its been glitchy like that sense i tried it...

    anyways onto the iMac
    i have a 1TB external hard drive that i can use so i dont need a big HDD,
    the base model 21" may be perfect for me, 4GB ram should be enough for lion, right? i have 4gb on snow leopard and it runs like a dream! anyways im not sure which is good for me.


    i will use it for basic stuff, email web blah blah blah constantly, i will most likely use it to stream to my PS3 for videos, or i may get an apple TV (undecided), i love video games and play WoW off and on every few months or so, so it needs the graphics to be good (i play WoW on decent graphics with 127 FPS average on my macbook pro!) and i watch movies and stuff on my computers alot so thats a requirement, no jumpy or slow loading problems! i know its a mac so i shouldnt have the problems but still!


    any recommendations?
     
  2. TDinstinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    if i did have the mac mini i would probably move it to my main room every now and then so that i could plug it in the TV for some XXL screen time, but ofcourse i have a laptop for that!
     
  3. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

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    If you love video games on the Mac and not your PS3 then go with the iMac.
     
  4. TDinstinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    i game on my gaming consoles but i enjoy WoW (occasionally) and recently AI wars fleet command on my MBP, is the mac mini more technologically advanced than my MBP? its 2.4GHz intel core 2 duo W/ 4gb 1067 MHz DDR3 with a 500GB hard drive.
     
  5. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #5
    Well, comparing it to the $799 Mac Mini:

    You get four virtual cores with the 2.5 i5 as opposed to the two cores with the IC2D. Plus it has a faster clock speed.

    The RAM in the mini runs at a 1333 MHz frequency, so it performs better than the RAM in your MBP.

    The 500GB HDD should perform the same, since both are 5400rpm drives. I'd recommend upgrading the drive to a 7200rpm drive (or SSD if your budget would allow) to attain faster read/write rates.

    If your MBP handles those games and you're satisfied with the performance, the Mac Mini would still be an improvement for you :)
     
  6. TDinstinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    ok, i realized today how badly i stated my question, sorry about that.

    i am currently leaning towards getting the mac mini and was wondering if it really was worth the extra money for a step up to the iMac, i have everything i would need for the mac mini (mouse keyboard screen etc.) so it sounds like the mac mini would be the best bet for me right now.

    are there any mac gamers (or people who are knowledgeable on the hardware) that know if there are any game that i couldnt be playing games on? ive seen games that say specifically intel macs, i thought that was specific because the intel macs had a seperate graphics but not the others, and now that high end AMD chips are being made for the macs is it still going to effect games?

    sorry for all the questions!
     
  7. indg macrumors 6502

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    as long as the game doesn't have a minimum requirement of 512mb graphics memory, you should be fine on the mini. but i wouldn't expect to be able to play battlefield 3 smoothly on the mini when it comes out this fall. but casual games like sims, civ, wow, starcraft, etc. will run fine.

    games will obviously run much smoother on the imac (much faster cpu and gpu). it's up to you if $400 extra is worth it.
     
  8. Minicube macrumors regular

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    I'm debating this also. A refurb iMac 21.5" is $1019. A new Mini 2.5 with a 7200 RPM drive is $950. You get a lot more with the iMac (4 core, display, better graphics card, superdrive, high def camera, keyboard, etc) for only $70 more. And you can hook the iMac to a second display if you hate the glossy. It's kind of hard to justify a Mini unless you need the small form factor for a htpc. My experience with Apple refurbs is that they are as good as new, and have the warranty to back them.
     
  9. xheathen macrumors 6502

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    I agree, but not on the mid level. For many folks, it's $769 on amazon with free shipping. Paired with either a momentus xt, scorpio, or samsung spin point for another $100, it creates a $250 gap because you must pay the tax through the apple refurb store.
     
  10. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #10
    My reasons for getting a Mac Mini vs. getting an iMac;

    - I have a 32" Vizio HDTV (which I hope works with the 2011 Mini)
    - I like the small form factor
    - An SSD is $700 cheaper with the Mini

    The cons of me doing this.

    - Less graphics memory for games (although I'm not really a gamer and if I was I'd get either the 27" Ultimate or a gaming PC)

    - Less memory overall (16 GB vs. 8 GB or 32 GB vs. 16 GB if I were to go the OWC route)
     
  11. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #11
    Well, for gaming, there are videos on youtube showing a 2011 Macbook Air (which has a slower processor and uses the HD3000 graphics) playing newer games (COD black ops via bootcamp, for example) and the videos don't lag at all (look up youtuber theunits3 for some videos showcasing this), so I would think that the AMD Mac Mini would be able to handle games just fine.

    Maybe someone else can chime in and give their own experience for gaming on the new mac mini :) I would, but I'm still saving up to buy my own mini.
     
  12. Minicube macrumors regular

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    That used to be the case, even in CA, but the state got greedy this year and is now charging tax on all Amazon purchases, even though Amazon doesn't have a presence in the state.
     
  13. indg macrumors 6502

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    amazon doesn't charge sales tax in CA. you're misinformed.
     
  14. TheAnalogue macrumors member

    TheAnalogue

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    The reason why the games say intel Mac only is because macs use to use Power PC processors designed pretty much just for macs. The Power PC processors used a different instruction set (processor talk for language) than intel processors do. That's why you couldn't run windows on a Mac until 2006 when apple switched from Power PC processors to intel processors. So in simple terms it has nothing to do with the graphics cards. The Mac mini will run pretty much any game. The iMac will simply run them better. The iMac also has a much better screen which will make games look better. If you are a casual gamer and have been content with the performance you got out of your laptop. The mini will be fine for you. The 2011 mini runs about twice as fast as my 2010 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  15. TDinstinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    ok cool! i was /almost/ set on the mac mini then you pushed me over to the iMac and now im torn again!!!! i will be going to college in a couple years so its nice to consolidate stuff (TV/computer) but i like the iMAc concept, its a really hard descision but i think im going to get the iMac once i can afford it, any specific upgrades that you would recommend? im not going to get the 27" (way to big!!!!) but im not sure if the 1TB HDD is worth it because it seems the more you have on your HDD the slower it is, i also have a lacie 1TB that i will plug into it, itll also act as a media server when im not playing games or anything, so i guess iMac it is.
     
  16. Martyimac macrumors 6502a

    Martyimac

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    #16
    Just another data point for you. My only real issue with the iMac is the monitor. Glossy, 27" which for me is just to big and 21" is just a tad small. I had an iMac and enjoyed it, but sold it because of the glossy monitor. I always use different keyboards and mice than what Apple provides because I don't care for the Apple kb and mouse. So to me, a mac mini just makes more sense since I already have a monitor I like and kb's and mice.
     
  17. Minicube macrumors regular

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    July 02, 2011|By Marc Lifsher and Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times

    Amazon.com Inc. is sticking by its vow not to collect California sales tax on Internet purchases — and state officials must decide what to do about it.

    But the showdown over the new tax collection law that took effect Friday could be months away. Companies don't send the taxes to the state until the end of each quarter, which means the California Board of Equalization won't know officially about Amazon's refusal to collect them until Oct. 1.

    Well, CA DID pass the law. It sounds like Amazon is fighting it. The bottom line is that the state of CA contacted my wife's business a couple months back and demanded she pay tax on all her Amazon purchases of this past year. So don't think just because Amazon doesn't charge it, you won't have to pay it.

    I'm well informed, btw.
     
  18. indg macrumors 6502

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    like i said, amazon doesn't charge sales tax in california. if you live in california and order a mac sold by amazon.com today, you won't see california sales tax on your order. this is irrefutable. it has always been the responsibility of the individual to report it when their file their taxes. it's just that most people don't.

    so if the state of california is coming after your business for not paying taxes, it's because you didn't report it when you filed, not because amazon didn't collect (prior to the new law). amazon cut the affiliate program for californians last month because they specifically didn't want to charge sales tax to california consumers.

    your wife's business possibly threw up other red flags to the irs which maybe warranted an audit and discovered she owed retroactive taxes on out-of-state business purchases. the new law wants to force amazon to collect those taxes under the guise of helping mom-and-pop shops when in reality it only helps other major retailers like walmart.
     
  19. Minicube macrumors regular

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    #19
    This is hijacking the thread, but the bottom line is that if you purchase business items through Amazon, and report them as business expenses, and you live in CA, the state will come looking for the sales tax. I misspoke; but whether Amazon collects the tax or the state, the point is moot. I suspect CA has specifically targeted Amazon purchases (that's where the $$ is). My wife's business had no other out of state purchases and was not audited.

    Getting back to the iMac vs. Mini, if you are going to report the purchase as a business expense in CA, you should figure in the tax both for Apple and Amazon, since you will have to pay it eventually.
     

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