Mini Mac or iMac, that is the question!

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
I am new to this forum and I hope I have found the correct forum to post in.
:)

I am a PC user for many years and my son who is a programmer has convenienced me to try a Mac this time around.;)

My biggest hold up for a Mac was that I teach Corel Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop online. These are Windows only programs. However, my son just showed me on his Mac that using VMware Fusion 3, he installed my PSP programs and they run fine! YEAH!:D

Since that was my only hold up....I am ready to decide what Mac to buy.
I have a wonderful 24" Acer monitor and love that size monitor doing my graphic arts and having room to have a webpage open with a tutorial I am following side by side. The iMac's 21.5" display is a little small for me and the 27" display is WOW! I don't need a display that large, but if I have no choice....LOL!
I can't decide between the Mac Mini (and keep my monitor) or the iMac. I think you get more "computer" with the iMac.

I DO need to keep my keyboard, it is one of those curved keyboards and it really helps with my carpal tunnel.

So any advice on which Mac to get would be greatly appreciated. Any problems known for either model?? I am very new to Mac and don't know a thing! Thanks in advance!
Connie
 

james90755

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2010
40
28
Get the Mac Mini, you already have all the peripherals. No reason to get iMac.
While I agree to a point, there are speed and capacity differences that would make me delve a little deeper into the details. Will 2GB be enough? Will smaller HDD be enough?
 

MacMini2009

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
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California
While I agree to a point, there are speed and capacity differences that would make me delve a little deeper into the details. Will 2GB be enough? Will smaller HDD be enough?
You know there is a 2.53GHz model with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive which should be enough. Also in the future, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a larger/faster hard drive.
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
Thanks so much for this input. I was wanting a very large HD and as good a graphic card and cpu as I can get and at least 4GB RAM. And I would need to get a card reader for the Mini.
The Mini was going to cost over $1000.00 with the software and adaptors I needed.
I have the money for the iMac and I like the camera and magic mouse and the large screen. My hubby would get my 24" monitor for his computer. He now has a 19". So it is all workable and I appreciate the advice.

Are there any know problems with either the Mini or the iMac? I saw somewhere that some of the 27" displays are having problems.

Thanks again!
 

MacMini2009

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
1,729
0
California
Thanks so much for this input. I was wanting a very large HD and as good a graphic card and cpu as I can get and at least 4GB RAM. And I would need to get a card reader for the Mini.
The Mini was going to cost over $1000.00 with the software and adaptors I needed.
I have the money for the iMac and I like the camera and magic mouse and the large screen. My hubby would get my 24" monitor for his computer. He now has a 19". So it is all workable and I appreciate the advice.

Are there any know problems with either the Mini or the iMac? I saw somewhere that some of the 27" displays are having problems.

Thanks again!
Well if you everything all in one, get the $1499 iMac. It has a good graphics card and a large hard drive. The Mac Mini has no known problems. The iMac's problems are a pissed filled screen and they are noisy, but Apple should fix them in the future.
 

james90755

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2010
40
28
My preference would be to buy the iMac and use the 24" as a second screen, but that is just me.
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
That is a good idea, James, but I don't have the desk space for two displays. Besides hubby would love the 24" monitor. :)
 

genks

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2010
26
0
I'd say either try and find a refurbished 24 inch iMac or get a mini and if you got the extra money look into a 24 inch cinema display as it has a built in camera and a few other handy features normal monitors don't
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
I'd say either try and find a refurbished 24 inch iMac or get a mini and if you got the extra money look into a 24 inch cinema display as it has a built in camera and a few other handy features normal monitors don't
I was just looking at that 24" display at the Apple site. It is pricey for $899.
That would put the Mac Mini with display price right up there with the 27" iMac and that would get me more HD space, and a better graphics card.

I forgot to mention, if I don't get a display...I will have to buy speakers. My speakers died a couple weeks ago! :(
 

macrumorsMaster

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
388
0
Thanks so much for this input. I was wanting a very large HD and as good a graphic card and cpu as I can get and at least 4GB RAM. And I would need to get a card reader for the Mini.
1) I Looked up the sys requirements for PSP, and it didn't say anything about need a discrete graphics card, the 9400m will be fine for your uses(unless you're going to be do a lot of 3d graphics/animation.

2) it's always better to keep your files on an external drive and the applications on the internal. This way you can take them anywhere. You can always copy the file to the internal while editing and then when you're doing save it back to the external. You can get a lot of bang for your buck with externals.

A mini will be fine for you, you can get a $499 refurb(when it shows up) that has 2gb of ram and a 320gb hd. Plenty for your uses. You can always have your son add the extra ram later if you feel the need.

PS: You can get a card reader on ebay for like .99 cents or around that :)
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
1) I Looked up the sys requirements for PSP, and it didn't say anything about need a discrete graphics card, the 9400m will be fine for your uses(unless you're going to be do a lot of 3d graphics/animation.

2) it's always better to keep your files on an external drive and the applications on the internal. This way you can take them anywhere. You can always copy the file to the internal while editing and then when you're doing save it back to the external. You can get a lot of bang for your buck with externals.

A mini will be fine for you, you can get a $499 refurb(when it shows up) that has 2gb of ram and a 320gb hd. Plenty for your uses. You can always have your son add the extra ram later if you feel the need.

PS: You can get a card reader on ebay for like .99 cents or around that :)
Thanks so much for your input here. This is what I don't know about. Just what graphics card I would need and RAM. I had my PC with 3 GB RAM and it was ok running two PSP programs at the same time. Which I need to do sometimes when I write my lessons for the different versions of PSP.

I don't know anything about refurbished Macs...are they a good deal? I always tend to stay away from refurbished PCs.

And I do use a 500GB external for file storage already.

Thanks so much for your advice!
Connie
 

macrumorsMaster

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
388
0
Thanks so much for your input here. This is what I don't know about. Just what graphics card I would need and RAM. I had my PC with 3 GB RAM and it was ok running two PSP programs at the same time. Which I need to do sometimes when I write my lessons for the different versions of PSP.

I don't know anything about refurbished Macs...are they a good deal? I always tend to stay away from refurbished PCs.

And I do use a 500GB external for file storage already.

Thanks so much for your advice!
Connie
Windows eats ram, unlike mac's. Mac's operating system is Unix based, which can run with little memory. For example, I use Ubuntu(also a Unix based OS) with a PC with 512MB of ram and it runs like a hare, whereas when I was running XP with the same system before, it was running like a turtle!

Refurb mac's are better deals than refurb pc's. Plus they come with the same 1 year warranty.

Do you have an Apple store nearby? If you do you could go in and see if they'd let you try out your program on a mini there and see how it performs. Or you can see if your son has a friend that has a mini and test it out with theirs. I'm not sure how it'll run in windows, but some people have said windows runs better on a MAC, than on a regular windows pc.

You'll have to get a mid level Imac if you want discrete graphics, but I doubt you'll need it. Best bet is to try it out like I said either on your sons', son's friends, or Apple store PC.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Reading all this thread, the Mini makes the most sense for you, and it would be up to the task. The refurb store is the way to go when they have Minis, but you have to have lots of patience and check often to find one.
 

iMacThere4Iam

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2009
218
0
Acer makes a really nice monitor, and the 24" got great reviews, so the 320GB hard drive Mini with 4GB of memory should serve you well. It will run you $799, plus a set of speakers. If you or your son are students, you'll get a discount at the Apple Store if you bring in a student I.D. card. I'm not sure how much, but it might just nullify the cost of the speakers. I like the 27" iMac, but you'd save a good chunk of change with the Mini. Enjoy.
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
Do you have an Apple store nearby? If you do you could go in and see if they'd let you try out your program on a mini there and see how it performs. Or you can see if your son has a friend that has a mini and test it out with theirs. I'm not sure how it'll run in windows, but some people have said windows runs better on a MAC, than on a regular windows pc.

You'll have to get a mid level Imac if you want discrete graphics, but I doubt you'll need it. Best bet is to try it out like I said either on your sons', son's friends, or Apple store PC.
Thanks, my son already put my PSP 9 and X on his Mac laptop using VMware Fusion 3. It seemed to work fine. He runs several XP programs on his Mac.

I do have an Apple store near me. I was there Saturday and looked around.

Where do you find refurbed Macs? At Apple Stores? Are they as good as new ones?
Thanks so much for your help!
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
Acer makes a really nice monitor, and the 24" got great reviews, so the 320GB hard drive Mini with 4GB of memory should serve you well. It will run you $799, plus a set of speakers. If you or your son are students, you'll get a discount at the Apple Store if you bring in a student I.D. card. I'm not sure how much, but it might just nullify the cost of the speakers. I like the 27" iMac, but you'd save a good chunk of change with the Mini. Enjoy.
Thanks for letting me know I have a good monitor! I know I like it! I think you all have talked me into the Mini! I love that it is so small and has plenty of connections on the back.

I have a My Book External HD. It is so slow 'waking up' when I first click on anything that is located on it. Do any of you have better external HD to recommend?

Thanks!
 

MacMini2009

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
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California

Raima

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2010
397
7
You know there is a 2.53GHz model with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive which should be enough. Also in the future, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a larger/faster hard drive.
Where abouts does it say you can upgrade a mac mini to 8gb of ram and who has successfully done it?

iMacs support up to 16gb if you can afford it and there's also quad core versions which is perfect for running virtualised instances.