Need advice - New Mac Convert


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2010
Hi everyone - I'm standing at the precipice of converting from PC for a number of good reasons, and I'm now shopping to see what the best option will be.

I'm really hung up on whether to go for a Mac Mini or go for one of the new iMacs that just recently got a refresh.

I'll preface this by saying I'd like to be somewhat budget conscious. So I'm not going to probably go spring for a $2000 computer. So I'd probably be looking at getting the Mac Mini, baseline iMac 21.5" or something like the refurbished iMac 24" 3ghz on the refurb side of the apple store.

But what I'm really wondering is if the Mac Mini is a viable choice. I do both web design and digital painting. So I'm mainly in coding programs, and Adobe CS4. The biggest files I work with while painting are maybe just under a gigabyte, so they are not MASSIVE files, but not small either.

Would the Mac Mini be taxed by that kind of thing? I was considering bumping up to the 2.6ghz and then upgrading to 6 or 8gb of ram after I receive the unit.

The main reason I'm so hesitant to grab up the iMac is it's notably more expensive, but I already have a fairly nice 27" monitor and all the peripherals I need.

So what do you guys think? Would the Mac Mini fit the bill, or should I bear down and spring for the more expensive but potentially better iMac choice?

Thanks in advance!


macrumors 68020
May 30, 2010
Welcome to the Mac! Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll soon find it's great ;)


macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
On the fence
Either way you go, getting more RAM would help, I should think. But if you already have all the peripherals, I would go with the mini. It doesn't sound like the apps you run are super graphics or CPU intensive, although if I am wrong on that one, keep in mind that the mini is basically a laptop in a box. If you need a better CPU or graphics chip, then I would suggest the iMac.


macrumors member
Dec 15, 2008
I think the mac mini will be great since you already have the monitor. The processor will be enough but I don't know about the GPU.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2010
The other thought I had was to purchase the Mac Mini and if it ended up not quite being enough, I'd just stick it in our living room and use it as a theatre machine and then buy the iMac :)

Right now I'm running a quad core AMD 2.5ghz and it runs everything I need it to, so I'm assuming the mini should be enough but I had hoped to find someone who was using it the same way I would use it and say whether or not it can do the job.

Bernard SG

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2010
If 27" display is an absolute must-have, then go for the customized mac mini.
If you can accommodate the 21.5" display, the iMac won't be much more expensive than the bumped-up Mac mini (and you can always re-sell your existing 27").


macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2010
Go for best Mini you can afford. I am writing you on a 2010 Mini in front of my 60" HDTV and I can tell you it is terrific!

But in front of the TV it's best to have a wireless keyboard and mouse which ups the price more so.

I maxed out the RAM and will install a SSD soon as can.

That said I do not have large files open, but do tend to keep 6 internet windows continuously open plus about 2 application windows open all day when working from home. For that reason I will get the SSD.

As for right now I have this reply window open to about 5 feet across on my TV which is very easy on the eyes and the graphics are still very clear.

I am also a convert from 2007 and I only wish I'd done it years before then. The Apple OS is still mazing to me. I started with PC's in 1982.
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