New Mac Mini vs iMac 2019

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xWhiplash, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone. I am having a very tough time deciding which system to get to replace my 2017 iMac.

    The Mac mini still has weaker processors now compared to the latest iMac. I have to be honest, I am not a fan of the iMac's display. No height adjustment and it is very tall. It has such massive borders around the display too. And my 2017 iMac does have a display issue which means my entire computer needs to be sent in. I prefer to use my own monitors and am free to hook up a 144 Hz display for some gaming.

    I do a lot of Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro X. I do very little 4K stuff, most of my content is still 1080p. I do use HEVC for the file size benefit. So maybe the Mac Mini with the T2 chip is better? However, I think FCPX is more bursty so higher amount of speed is better than core count right? I am not a fan of the built in graphics of the Mac mini. The new Mac Pro is obviously out of my price range at the moment. Especially since I can get a similar specced iMac (without Xeon and ECC memory, but core count) and have it a couple thousand cheaper WITH 1TB SSD is very desirable.

    I DO plan to do some light gaming on this by booting into Windows. Games like Borderlands (including the new one coming out), Factorio, Terraria, Doom 2016, and GTA5 to name a few. As long as I can do 2560x1440 at 120+ fps on my 144 Hz display, I am fine. I do not need 4K gaming or anything like that. So with the Mac mini, I would need an eGPU anyway. At least with the iMac, I will get a fairly decent dGPU and I can still opt for an eGPU later if necessary.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  2. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #2
    Mac Mini 2018 + eGPU is the way to go imho in your case...are you in the US or EU?
     
  3. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #3
    US. Why would you go with the Mac Mini? Is it good for exporting videos for 3+ hours?
     
  4. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #4
    because it's rock solid, it's very low noise and more versatile for who wants other monitors and peripherals

    moreover egpu can be upgraded over time and these helps more than the cpu nowadays...
     
  5. D.T. macrumors G3

    D.T.

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #5
    There's also what I'd call a notable philosophical difference in the machines. I don't like having the entire machine (and cost) wrapped up in a single "box", I like being able to source my displays separately, upgrade them on occasion, and position them independent of the machine itself.
     
  6. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #6
    Will there be any chance a new updated Mac mini will appear soon? I can definitely wait a few months but if there is no chance, what is the point?
     
  7. DaveP macrumors 6502

    DaveP

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    Mar 18, 2005
    #7
    There are a few threads discussing this and while no one knows for sure, the general consensus is that an update in the near future is very unlikely.
     
  8. Zen_Arcade macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    #8
    Apple does not make a decision like this easy. I went through a similar process not too long ago and wound up with a i9 iMac with the 580x.

    Like you, I'd prefer to use my own displays, although I have to admit the display in the iMac is noticeably better than the Dell 27" I have. And while the iMac is more difficult to upgrade, it is still possible to upgrade the RAM, storage, and CPU (albeit at the risk of voiding the warranty).

    I also have to admit that the iMac is a MUCH more elegant and clean looking solution than a Mac Mini with eGPU and assorted components - I tried a 3.2 GHz Mac Mini with a eGPU, and it was just . . . cluttered looking. And by the time I configured the Mac Mini with a 1 TB drive and eGPU it was wasn't far off what the iMac cost.

    If this were a few years ago a 5,1 Mac Pro would have been ideal, but even as a big proponent of them I recognize that their time is approaching the end.
     
  9. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #9
    I believe, while some people have issues with it, the T2 chip will make HEVC exports MUCH faster than the iMac right? The 8-core iMac would be about $300 more than the 6-core Mac Mini. My 2017 iMac seems to not want to shut down half the time with an external display connected to it.

    I am just really REALLY not happy with all-in-one systems. Sure the 5K display is nice, but it is much better for me to have matching monitors and I need height adjustment too.

    My other alternative I am thinking about is getting a MacBook Pro and using that in Clamshell mode. Would the Mini outperform the MacBook Pro? I will be getting an eGPU anyway. There is also the added benefit I can bring the laptop with me if I need to go anywhere. Can't really do that with the Mac mini.

    I am just not sure which system to get. 1080p HEVC (purely for the file size benefit), very light 4K editing, Logic Pro work, software development and more. I am not editing 8K footage here. SO I don't think I need to maxed out iMac right?
     
  10. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #10
    100% MM 2018 in this user case, you'll be extremely happy.

    Go for the i5 model and upgrade it yourself to 32GB and buy an eGPU with at least a 580 inside and 8GB or VRAM for future proofing it.
     
  11. IngerMan macrumors 65816

    IngerMan

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    I would think your 2017 iMac would be very useful for a few more years. To me that makes the best sense.
     
  12. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #12
    Just curious why not the i7?
     
  13. bpd115 macrumors 6502a

    bpd115

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    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #13
    Hold off on the GPU until AMD's E3 showing tonight.
     
  14. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #14
    Ok. Does the GTX 1080 work well as an eGPU with Windows 10? Or are AMD cards better for eGPU use?
     
  15. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #15
    go AMD

    i7 is much noisier and hotter and it gives you only 10-15% gain at best

    my i5 is rock solid, basically uptime only limited by you needing to restart or not, you can throw everything with multiple displays, multiple (heavy) apps open, really a dream for a machine this tiny
     
  16. bpd115 macrumors 6502a

    bpd115

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    Feb 4, 2003
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    Pennsylvania
    #16
    nVidia doesn't play well or really at all with MacOS. It will work in Windows, but ATI is your best bet for no headaches.
     
  17. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #17
    What’s the best AMD for Windows gaming that matches the 1080?
     
  18. dia3olik macrumors member

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  19. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #19
    What about the Radeon VII?
     
  20. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #20
    Looks like Vega 64 aren’t available right now
     
  21. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #21
    Much more expensive and actually not 100% performance on Mojave.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2019 ---
    You can find these on some store still and on eBay and also you can do nice deals on the used market btw
     
  22. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #22
    So after watching some videos on benchmarks and performance, I seem to be leaning towards the 8-core iMac. Will the T2 chip in the Mac Mini make that much of a difference for 1080p HEVC encoding?

    I am also worried about the Mac Mini not being able to output to my monitors through the eGPU. I heard this is a pretty common issue and I don’t want to keep swapping cables around.
     
  23. dia3olik macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #23
    Yep, T2 makes it about 2x/3x faster for HEVC exports.

    MM is currently connected to my 2 eGPUs to my 2x NEC PA271Q and NEC CG318-4K Monitors.

    No problems whatsoever...if you want to be sure you just have to disable Filevault encryption but it's not mandatory.

    I could even get 144hz monitors if I was into gaming and if I used Windows, too.
    You can't do it with the iMac...

    580X and Vega 48 are both worse than Vega 56 and Vega 64 which can be found cheaply and also upgradeable if in an eGPU, not so much inside an iMac.

    8 Core is totally overkill for what you want to do, even the i5 6 core MM has quite the headroom...
     
  24. xWhiplash, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019

    xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #24
    By the time I add up everything (eGPU and enclosure, more storage), the 8 core iMac is not outrageously more expensive. There are a few tasks in Windows that get my 2017 5K iMac i5 at 100% CPU.

    How do I access the boot menu when switching from Mac to Windows with the eGPU in the Mini? Does Windows play nicely with eGPUs? Or do I still need to get unofficial drivers for it like before?

    I am also very nervous about upgrading the memory myself. With the iMac there is an easy door and very simple to do.
     
  25. bpd115 macrumors 6502a

    bpd115

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #25
    I'll report back about the eGPU and Windows Saturday when I have everything. My i7 Mini is due to arrive Friday, 32 gig of RAM is sitting on my desk and an Akitio Node and RX580 are coming Saturday. From what I gather going back into OS X from Windows is painless. Sometimes Windows won't load on the first try, but again I'll let you know. Holding option on boot is where you can select what you want to boot from. You shouldn't have to disconnect the eGPU at all and you don't need any unofficial drivers.

    As far as the memory goes, I've put in a 2nd HD in a 2012 mini so this shouldn't be that bad. Just follow the iFixit guide and be careful with cables.
     

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27 June 8, 2019