Mac purchase in progress - advice?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by djw1991, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. djw1991 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Good Evening All,

    Completely new to the forum here, so I am sure that similar questions have been asked previously. Hoping someone could help me as I still haven’t quite found the answer I am looking for and my experience with Apple desktops/laptops is extremly limited.

    Decided to take the plunge on a Mac and abandon Windows after 23 years of growing up with error messages and annoying updates! As my next device will be quite an investment financially, I would be grateful if you could advise me on which of the following will be best for my needs. Please feel free to make other suggestions if you have them:

    Primary usage:

    • Browsing and Video/Music Streaming (Netflix etc).
    • Gaming – I use a PS4 for all of my primary gaming. The only game I will be playing is Football Manager 2014, but I understand this is quite taxing/database driven?
    • Ripping and Encoding all purchased DVD’s to an MP4 format for streaming through Plex. Storage is not an issue as I have a home media server to which movies/photos/music will be transferred.
    • Office Productivity.
    • Multitasking between the above.

    Whilst satisfied with the reliability my 5 year old HP Touchsmart AIO, I have lost patience in waiting 3-4 hours to convert a DVD. My favourite game (Football Manager) is also very sluggish and I can only utilise a small number of leagues. Both issues which are down to its ageing Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2.0 GHz.

    Therefore, I require something that is far snappier doing the above, but also don’t want to pay for performance that I won’t use or benefit from. Portability is desirable but not essential - I would not like to sacrifice its ability to get the heavy jobs done just so I can move from one room to another.

    At the moment, I have considered the following:

    iMac 27’’ Inch
    3.2 GHz i5 (turbo to 3.6 GHz)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M with 1GB video memory
    256GB Flash Storage
    8 GB Ram – Cheaper for me to update this myself at a later date to 32GB
    Total - £1759

    MacBook Pro 13 Inch
    2.4GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 (turbo to 2.9GHz)
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    128GB Flash Storage
    Total - £1339

    Mac Mini
    2.3GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB Ram - Cheaper for me to update this myself at a later date to 16GB
    256GB Solid-State Drive
    + Apple Keyboard
    + Apple Magic Mouse
    Total - £937.99 + EST £150 for a decent monitor = £1087.99

    Thanks to everyone in advance and I look forward to hearing your opinions on what is the best option! :)

  2. BESLC, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    BESLC macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    I think the first question would be do you need your computer to be portable, if so the Macbook Pro.

    If you are going for a desk top. my personal preference is the iMac. I switched from PC to Mac in 2007 and have not looked back. The iMac I feel has many advantages being an All-In-One, less clutter and space needed, beautiful screen and very good reliability and performance.

    I also have a 15" MacBook Pro, it is a great notebook, but I prefer working on the iMac when I am home. If you are multi tasking the large screen is a real plus.

    I can't speak for the mini, however I feel you would need to invest in a very good monitor to compete with the iMac screen.

    Apple sells refurbished iMac's, MackBooks and mini's. These units carry full warranty, with the latest models available . This may be a way for you to get into iMac at very completive pricing.

    My personal bias is the iMac 27". My new iMac arrives today, I look forward to the same positive experience with this one as my older iMac has given me.
  3. djw1991 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Thanks for that :)

    One possible option I considered was purchasing a monitor for connection with the MBP when at home. Just concerned about how much performance I would lose by opting for it over the iMac (full desktop unit)
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    A lot - encoding videos will make use of all cores. The MBP Pro is only 2 slower cores compared to the 4 faster cores in the iMac. It all depends on how long you're willing to wait for a video to be encoded. And if you want to encode and use the system for other things at the same time, you want the iMac.
  5. djw1991 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Thanks, so it seems that a desktop is the best way forward.

    Any votes for a quad core i7 Mac Mini? Quite a saving over the iMac so I would be interested to hear anybody's experiences!
  6. djw1991 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
  7. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    a few things you need to consider, if you are looking at the mac mini:
    1. it's notebook hardware in a small enclosure, so while it is energy efficient, the imacs desktop cpu are better (even the i5)
    2. while you may get a decent monitor for 150£, you will not even get close to what the imac gives you.
    3. you can save a lot of money, if you buy the ssd for the mac mini aftermarket
    4. the mini still runs last years tech (has not been updated to haswell yet). the cpu difference is minor, but the new integrated gpus are a lot faster
    5. the imacs gt 755m (while beeing a mobile gpu) is again a lot faster than this years haswell iGPU and runs circles around the HD4000 from the mini.

    I'd say, if you want good enough, get the mini and upgrade ssd and ram afterwards. (and think about different display sizes and resolutions)
    However, if you want the best, I'd say go for the iMac (again, buy ram afterwards)

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