Mac Mini vs Imac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by earl310, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. earl310 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    I'm thinking about getting a new mac and I wanted to know which unit is better. Any suggestions is great!

    First choice is:
    mac mini

    2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7

    8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB

    500GB Serial ATA Drive

    Second Choice is:

    2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB

    with the mack mini I plan on using a 32" LED TV

    The programs I will be using is Adobe creative suite.
  2. The HACK macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    I have the dual-core i5 MINI at home and the 27" quad-core i5 iMac at work...

    IMO, different strokes for different folks. The pros and cons are as follows:

    MINI PROs: Small form factor means the tiny workspace I have at home won't be taken up with a giant computer/monitor or combo, easy to upgrade RAM and hard drive, flexibility in choosing what monitor I want.

    MINI CONs: Runs HOT due to tight enclosure, USB ports all used up with keyboard, external DVD drive, USB drive, USB Printer, FireWire RAID array, computer speakers...etc, creates far more clutter than it solves. Oh did I mention it runs HOT? Encoding video in Handbrake can easily see 100+ degree CPU temp very quickly. Can only accommodate 2 ram sticks, so currently maxed out on 8 GB of ram

    iMac PROs: Giant, gorgeous 27" monitor, exceptionally high resolution screen means I can fit several documents on the same screen, and have room to spare for all the application pallet. 16 GB of ram kicks butt. Quad core kicks butt. Comes with Wireless keyboard. Runs exceptionally cool (hasn't seen more than 50º C yet)

    iMac CONs: Comes with wireless keyboard, so no numeric pad. WTF. Much harder to upgrade hard drive. Stupid GLOSSY screen makes for terrible glares, but good for spotting boss coming up behind your back. DVD slot and SD card slot on the left hand side which is where I'm used to putting my 2ndary monitor.

    The Mac MINI has a 256 GB solid state drive, so boot up, application loading, and operation in general seems much snappier, but since it's a third party SSD, occasionally I get these weird hang-up when copying multiple files to multiple locations over several different busses at the same time. Since the iMac only has one single platter drive, Finder previews, opening files and apps...all that seems to drag compared to the MINI, and I'm too lazy to want to try and upgrade the work "workstation's" hard drive, even though it'll take another SSD easily.

    If I can put the SSD in the iMac (and swap for a non-glossy screen), or the processor in the iMac in the MINI without it melting, I'd be a happy man. Right now, the way it's configured, I enjoy working on my InDesign files and doing Illustration more on the MINI, and love encoding Final Cut videos on the iMac because the 2X memory and 2X core. But if you were to put a gun to my head and choose? I'd take the iMac and get a SSD.
  3. iPhil, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    iPhil macrumors 68040



    The Con of Mini-- 8GB of Ram is FUD .. Current Mini can n will support 16GB of Ram .....

    Apple says 8 GB of Ram but look @ here ... For true** Ram/ Memory limits etc..
  4. The HACK macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    When I bought it, 8GB sticks weren't available. So maxing it out at the time means 8GB.
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    When it debuted last year, 16GB was still around $1000. Apple only came out with an 8GB upgrade as 16GB wasn't remotely practical at the time on a machine like the mini.
  6. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    I chose mini because I don't want to be in a situation where the monitor goes then so does my computer. Also...just say no to glossy screens.

    Good luck on your choice.
  7. iMac mini macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2011
    How often does that happen? Is that a big problem with iMac?
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    the early 27 inch models 2009 and 2010 iMacs had a lot of screen issues
  9. iMac mini macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2011
    Thanks for the info......
  10. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    I do have the 2011 Mini and thought... Without the tactile experience of Apple peripherals (keyboard, mouse, trackpad) and the visual treat of an aluminum housed display, your Mac Mini experience is like those who use a Hackintosh. It will behave exactly like a well designed hackintosh. On screen, a Hackintosh works exactly like a Mac.
  11. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    Not sure if it is a "Big Problem", but know people this has happened to. I have also had 2 LCD monitors go out on me, and if they would have been iMac systems then I would have to trash the iMac or have 2 monitors on my desk with only one functional. I will stick with my Mini for now....Unless Apple continues to sue everyone under the sun, then I might be done with them.
  12. oleus macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2012
    fwiw - i decided to get an i5 2.5 ghz mac mini while I wait for the new imacs. i upgraded the memory (16gb 1600 - probably overkill) and even without an ssd i have to say i'm impressed with its performance so far. i had an old g5 from late 2004 and the jump in performance was surprising...and it's a perfect match for my old 21" cinema display. so far i'm very happy with it, even though it was originally just a stopgap for a new iMac which i don't have to be in a huge hurry for now.

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