Mini vs iMac vs Hackintosh

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hsj2011, May 8, 2011.

  1. hsj2011 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    I currently have a couple of hackintoshes with the following specs

    The spec of my lowest spec hackintosh is:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3GHz CPU
    4GB DDR2 Ram (2 x 2GB)
    500GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
    512MB nVidia 8800GT GPU

    My other hackintosh is as follows:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3.33GHz CPU
    6GB DDR2 Ram (3 x 2GB)
    64GB Crucial C300 SSD
    1TB Samsung F3 7200RPM
    1GB nVidia GTX285 GPU

    Both systems are running the latest version of Snow Leopard and have no issues and I use both systems with Dell 2407WFP's.

    I'm starting my own business over the next few weeks so I'm looking to replace both systems in the next month or so, partly because I'd like to move to genuine Apple hardware and I'm wondering what to go for.

    My options (due to budget constraints are:

    1. Base model Mini with third party Ram and SSD
    2. Base model 21.5" iMac with third party 8GB Ram and SSD(?)
    3. Core i5 2.9GHz Hackintosh with 8GB DDR3, SSD, nVidia GPU

    My main issue with the mini is the outdated hardware (2.4GHz C2D compared to the 3GHz C2D I currently have).

    My main issue with the iMac is the screen size as I'm used to using 24" screens

    My main issue with the Hackintosh is it's not genuine Apple hardware.

    Another option I thought of was trying to find a couple of 24" iMacs but they'll still be older hardware so just looking for some advice really as I'm really torn.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What will the computer(s) be used for? If you need a lot power, then it's either the iMac or the Hack but sounds like you would prefer the iMac.
  3. hsj2011, May 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011

    hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    Hey. The company is a web development company so html/php/css coding, a bit of photoshop, and general office/support tasks.

    To give you an idea, this is what I think the systems will cost (bearing in mind HE discount on the new mini and imac prices)

    Base Mini: £550
    Base iMac: £879
    2nd hand 24" 2.8GHz iMac: £750 (ish)
    i5 Hackintosh: £650 (ish)
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Hackintosh is fine on your own, but I wouldn't put it into a business. Hackintoshes may suddenly die after software update and can require lots of tweaking to keep them going. If you are using it for business, you have better things to do than babysit your computer.
  5. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    That is a fair point that I hadn't thought of.

    Of course, there is another option (an i5 system running Windows 7) which would give me the best spec for the money, just not OSX.
  6. MacHamster68, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    get the hackintosh , because of upgradeability and if you source the parts carfully there are no problems with future updates ,
    both the mini and the iMac are a pain if you want to upgrade anything other then ram ,
    better spend the money on a used MacPro if you need or want a apple product
  7. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    A Mac mini should be plenty for that. By the way, you could get it with a 2.66 GHz cpu, although I don't really see the point.

    You should care about whether the machine does the job - not about specs.
  8. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    Yeah there'd be no point in the £100+ to upgrade the CPU.

    I know I shouldn't be too bothered about the specs but it's more that I don't really want to be replacing what I have now with lower spec machines and paying £550 for the privledge if that makes sense
  9. midnightvii macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2008
    Switching will cost you more since you have to re purchase all license softwares.
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    This if you already have a display. A refurb iMac if you do not. The 27" iMac can be had for a few $ more than the cost of the display, which you will be looking at ALL day. You get the rest of the computer for nearly free.
  11. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    It does. On the other hand, I would never run a business on a Hackintosh. It's true that they are pretty stable these days but a lot of people still have issues with point upgrades - not to mention the issues that will pop up when Lion comes out.

    I say this as an owner of a rock solid Hackintosh that currently has no problems with point upgrades. I still wouldn't use it for business. Downtime can quickly cost you an awful lot of money.
  12. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    The most expensive software we've got will be Microsoft Office and Adobe CS5. Adobe have said they can transfer the Mac license to a Windows one and have an older version of Office if need be.

    I wouldn't be buying a 27" Apple Display... you seen the price of that thing???

    Yeah my current hackintosh systems are rock solid and can be updated with no issues at all so far.

    Might end up going Windows 7 for now :(
  13. panda bear macrumors 68000

    panda bear

    Apr 5, 2010
    I don't know much about Hackintosh's, but I just upgraded to the base iMac from an Aluminum Mini with 4GB of RAM and the difference is really noticeable.

    I'd recommend it.
  14. iPhil macrumors 68040



    If your using 2 Dell 2407WFP's screens then only reasonable n cheapest n stable platform is the current Mac mini -- Why: mini has HDMI port n minidisplay port = 46"-ish total viewing area when using both of your dells..

    The other reason is Base iMac only can handle 1 external screen thru TB...

    Reason #3 is this:

    :cool: :rolleyes:
  15. AwakenedLands macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2009
    If this is for your business, skip the hackintosh. You don't need to spend time making sure your source of income is working due to simple software updates. Better to get a legit machine. The only way I'd suggest a hackintosh is if it was a secondary machine.

    AppleCare over the phone tends to be faster with fixing hardware than going to the Apple Store and talking to the "geniuses". Can't get that same level of business-class support using a hackintosh.
  16. adrian.oconnor macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Nottingham, England
    What about a 27" iMac from the refurb store? You can currently get the previous gen i3 @ 3.2Ghz for £1100. That's a good deal, and the iMacs are amazing machines for your desk (silent, clutter-free, easy to move, great screens). You can also easily upgrade the memory to 16GB for about £140 :)
  17. Kasalic macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2011
    This is your business, running on a Hackintosh is really not an option for the reasons already stated.

    I'd go for the Mac Mini option and up the ram, use your existing 24" monitors. If I wanted more power (not sure you do but I take your point about downgrading :)) then an iMac with an adaptor to use one of your Dell monitors.
  18. hsj2011, May 11, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011

    hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    Another question.

    Which of these would you guys prefer to go for?

    1. A 1st Gen Core i5 2.9GHz Custom built PC running Windows 7 (costing about £350)


    2. A Sandybridge i5 3.3GHz Custom built PC running Windows 7 (costing about £600)


    3. A 2011 Mac Mini (when they arrive) with a 64GB SSD, running OSX (costing about £550 with HE discount)
  19. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011

Share This Page