Mini v iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by heyapple, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. heyapple macrumors newbie

    heyapple

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    Mar 22, 2013
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    Blighty
    #1
    I've recently bought a rMBP and need to update my ancient G5. As a graphic designer my instincts have always been to go for the max but smaller machines can run CS6 with no problem nowadays.

    So could I get a decent performance out of a mini hooked to a display, which I could also hook my mbp up to. Or is an iMac more useful?

    How do they compare?

    cheers
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    #2
    If you go for the better Mac mini with the i7 processor they are a pretty capable machine. It depends on what you plan to use as a screen. If its better than the iMac, like a good NEC or Eizo screen then I'd go for the mini. More user friendly as well if you want to update anything at a later date like the hard drive.
     
  3. heyapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    heyapple

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    Mar 22, 2013
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    #3
    Thanks, I like the idea that the computer and display are separate. If I upgrade either, then I still have the other.
     
  4. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    Aug 31, 2012
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    #4
    Small and separate - way to go

    With an all-in-one you are more or less stuck with what you get. Upgrade time....? Replace the lot!

    With the mini you can configure the system to suit your needs, and make changes to suit your changing needs.
     
  5. SoCalReviews, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    #5
    I like the flexibility of the Mini in almost every way. If your iMac monitor panel fails after the warranty is over you are stuck with an expensive statue of computer art. With the Mini you can purchase an expensive monitor and upgrade your Mini every few years without having to throw away your monitor...or you can upgrade your monitor without having to throw away your Mini. If you want you can attach the Mini to the back of any monitor you choose with the monitor attachment adapters. If you want an Apple monitor you can get the Apple TB monitor. It had it's day in the sun but the all in one monitor/computer iMac is quickly becoming a design relic of the past.
     
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    I use CS6 on a Mini, and it works really well, running on two monitors.
    The GPU isn't made of cheese, despite what some will say. Unless you're making Pixar's next film, you won't have a problem.

    One advantage of the Mini over the iMac is that it has FireWire, Audio In, and InfraRed (so hang on to your Apple remote from previous Macs, if you have one).

    I also like the fact that it's still possible to take the Mini to bits -- one of the few Macs that you can!
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    If you get a Mini, get the i7 version and spend the extra $$$ for the 2.6ghz upgrade.

    Put 16gb of RAM in it yourself.

    At some point, you may want to add an SSD (unless you pay Apple the extra money to include one, but they charge a hefty premium). If you don't want to open the case and "pull the guts out" to install it, you could spend $30 and pick up an external 2.5" enclosure like this:
    http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/U32-M.html
    This will give you boot/application loading times that are _alomst_ (not equal, but very close to) as fast as you'll get from an internal setup.

    The only downside is the Mini does not have a dedicated GPU as does the iMac.
    In your day-to-day work, do you utilize those features of CS6 that require one?
     
  8. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #8
    Contrary to what the previous poster said, you don't need the 2.6 upgrade for anything you'll be doing.
     
  9. jlluna macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2010
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    Holly Michigan
    #9
    I had this same dilemma last month. I was wondering if I should go with the new iMac or Mac mini? I already had a 2010 MacBook Pro connected to an apple display. I did lots of research on the mini and that's what I went with. I got the i7 2.6 with the fusion drive and ordered 16gb of corcair memory from amazon. I am so happy I got the mini. Super fast! And not to expensive. Very happy with my choice.
     
  10. footso macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    #10
    Mini.

    I have the mid-2010 mini and love it.

    I love the fact the PC is separate from the screen, that I can plug the Mac into my TV via HDMI, and that I can carry the PC easily as a result of it's size.
     
  11. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #11
    I vote against iMac. Have one but want the 27" monitor. Solution? Have to sell the whole computer for a loss and buy a new one. The sad thing is that the i3 2010 processor does well what I need it for. I decided to use my iMac for a few more years and then will upgrade to a mini.
     
  12. heyapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    heyapple

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    Mar 22, 2013
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    Blighty
    #12
    Hi Fishrrman,
    Well, Photoshop for sure and I had a little look at the GPU requirements:
    http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-faq.html

    Looks like some filters require GPU... but would they work without it, albeit more slowly?

    Is it possible to build a GPU into a mini?
     
  13. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #13
    Interesting that some recommend the Mini. I am also looking to get a newer Mac, I currently have a late 2008 MBP, and any new Mac will mean an improvement, but i am also looking for the capability to drive a big screen.
    What monitors do you recommend with the Mini? Any non Apple Monitor suggestions?
    Thanks
     
  14. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #14
    Yes, the GPU bits of Photoshop work fine on a Mini, if not as fast as other Macs. The built-in GPU is perfectly good enough for most uses, and is not made of wet cardboard and string as some would have you believe.
    Most separate GPUs are bigger than the Mini's case.

    I use Creative Suite 6, with two 20" Apple Cinema Displays, and it purrs like a kitten. Although benchmarks are often not "real world" tests, I tried one of the Photoshop benchmarks in this thread and it smokes many recent MacPros.

    Other advantages of the Mini over the iMac are: audio in, FireWire and Infrared sensor (for Apple remote).
     
  15. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #15
    You don't need it. I use Photoshop CS6 every day with a 2012 Mini.
    Before that I used a 2009 Mini. So do millions of other people.
     
  16. ProMod macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2005
    #16
    Is the new mini a worthy upgrade over a 2010 MBP for CS6 work?
     
  17. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #17
    That's because iMacs are plagued with problems. Mine, for example, had yellow tinting - went through 4 LCD changes until they found one that worked reasonably well (note that I don't use the word perfectly well) but 2 years down the road the LCD is developing grey smudges described in detail in this thread. A colleague of mine, who is a very handy person, promised he would try to disassemble my iMac (I'm past warranty and didn't get Apple Care) - now I'm waiting for the Haswell mini to be introduced to have him have a go. Besides, my iMac had a faulty RAM chip which could have costed me my 2 year worth of work. When going to sleep, OS X writes the data from RAM onto the HDD and upon wake up it loads it back to the RAM. Unfortunately, the faulty RAM caused OS X to write down faulty data and loaded it back so that the computer operation became unstable and the computer itself started doing random writes on the HDD. Thankfully, I ejected the faulty chip and after formatting the HDD restored my data from my backup.

    So far Apple's iMac computers have proven to be highly unreliable, I've never had a problem with a Windoze machine. I wonder what's next - maybe the HDD will go faulty? Or the logic board? As beautiful devices as they are, the iMacs suffer from design problems which I don't like to play gamble with any more. However, I'll have to do my homework about the mini and the ACD before taking the plunge some day. So far apple laptops have proven to be reliable - a dozen of my colleagues work on them. We've got a mac mini in the office - so far no body has ever complained about it's work and it's a pretty old model - I think 08 or 09
     
  18. Sophia. macrumors member

    Sophia.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    If your not considering the Mac Pro then I think the Mac Mini is your best bet.

    Mac Mini

    2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x8GB
    1TB Fusion Drive

    = $1,449.00

    VS.

    iMac

    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

    = $2,799.00

    iMac (Top Spec)

    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB
    3TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

    = $3,349.00

    I am a graphic designer, I also do video work and I use a Mac Pro. I have a maxed out mini though and it works well with applications like Photoshop and Final Cut.

    I'd take the Mac mini because it's cheaper and your not tied to an Apple Display which isn't always ideal for graphics work. It can always fit in your bag for easy portability.

    I hope your happy with whatever your choose good luck! :D
     
  19. IslandAndy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    #19
    I have the 2.6ghz mini with 16GB RAM and it's displaying through a 65" LED TV. I have had no display issues at all and it is crisp and brilliant. Don't think you'll have any issues with driving a big screen.
     
  20. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #20
    these costs are heavily skewed towards the mini. you dont need the 680mx upgrade. even the baseline 660 is better then the mac mini. also the processor upgrade is not needed baseline is still faster then the mini. also the mac mini has no monitor so add 1000 dollars for a similar spec high res monitor. there is more but this entire comparison is skewed so i wont even bother.
     
  21. Mattjeff macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

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    Jun 2, 2008
    #21
    I really recommend the Dell S2240M CFGKT-IPS-LED 21.5-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor link. I bought 2 for 115$ during Black Friday sales but I can't say enough about how awesome they look and run with my mini. I play Starcraft 2 and also use aperture 2 with dual screens without a hiccup. Not sure what resolution your aiming for but this is 1920x1080 and at 21.5" the density is good.
     
  22. mdh95070 macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2009
    #22
    Are you connecting one to HDMI and the other to TB? thanks
     
  23. Sophia. macrumors member

    Sophia.

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    Mar 15, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #23
    I didn't mean to skew the figures I just assumed the OP would want to upgrade the iMac as it's pretty hard to upgrade once you've bought it. I apologize to the OP if I've mislead you in anyway. :(
     
  24. benwiggy macrumors 68020

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #24
    Speaking of skewed, there are many monitors that are adequate, comparable or better for much less than a grand.
     
  25. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #25
    Thanks for the replies. When do you think the next Mac Mini will be released? Any chances that they release one with a discrete video card?
     

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