Moment of truth: new iMac or souped up Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rodgiep, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. rodgiep macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    I ran the numbers for the iMac configuration I would order tomorrow, vs. a souped up Mac Mini that I could order instead.

    With everything thrown in the mix including upgrading processor+RAM, getting fusion, buying a monitor for the Mini... the difference is still about $450.

    Then I think, well, I could use those savings to get a thunderbolt drive and nice speakers etc. Things I couldn't afford if I buy the new iMac.

    I'm torn. We mostly use the desktop (currently a 2008 iMac) for everyday stuff, working from home, a handful of video editing projects over the year. Not much, but enough that makes me wonder/worry about the integrated graphics card on the Mini.

    Would I even notice a difference?

    I read this review and thought, maybe I'm over thinking the decision:

    Maybe a Mini is enough for me? Note: I don't play ANY games.

    What would YOU do?
  2. mchoffa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    If the video editing is just for hobby/fun then I'd go for the mini. The only reason I cancelled my order for a mini was because I couldn't get confirmation that it could push 2 TBD + HDMI and even if it could, would probably lag like crazy. If not for that, I'd already be using my new mac. Instead I have to wait who knows how long until BTO 27" gets here.
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Why are you even replacing the 2008 iMac? That's the first question. If you are comparing costs to a 27" iMac, be sure to compare using an equivalent monitor. They run about as much as the Thunderbolt monitor, so the "equivalent" mini usually runs about as much as the iMac yet offers the performance of the 21" iMac.

    We've got a 24" and 27" iMacs and several minis. The minis are only really cost effective if you already have a monitor (as well as keyboard and mouse) or have an application where you don't need these accessories.
  4. rodgiep thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    The 2008 iMac is slowing down pretty good. And I'm not bold enough to crack open an iMac to replace hard drives etc.

    I'm comparing the costs with the new 21" 2.9 ghz iMac with extra RAM and fusion. I wouldn't do a Thunderbolt monitor with the mini. Just a decent LCD monitor about 23" or so.

    My rough breakdown:

    NEW iMac 21.5" 2.9GHz $1499
    21.5" LED Display 1920 x 1080 resolution
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (512MB GDDR5 Memory)
    2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB (2x4GB Apple) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
    1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard
    add'l RAM (gets to 16gb) $200
    fusion $250

    TOTAL $1949

    mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 $899
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    OS X Mountain Lion
    add'l RAM (gets to 16gb) $98
    fusion $250
    monitor $200

    TOTAL $1447

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