new mac mini vs new imac as long-term investment

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by coopdig, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. coopdig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    #1
    Hi there!
    With the upgraded mac minis and the new imacs now available, I've begun to think about making an investment in a desktop system. I do no use my computer for anything more than writing, basic web surfing, e-mail, and basic media, such as listening to music and watching movies. I do not see myself using this desktop system for much more than that, either--storing my digital photos, and music, writing, that sort of thing. I'd like this purchase to be a long-term one--I have no need to stay on the bleeding edge of processor speed, or anything like that. Rather, I'd like a system that will simply serve me well for 5, 6, 7 (?) years down the road (if one can depend on computers to last that long these days--I have no idea!).
    - I suppose that my dilemma boils down to this: I'm attracted by the iMac's design. Moreover, I recognize that it's the more powerful system, and so will give me more bang for my buck in the short term, especially considering that I'd have to purchase a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse if I were to get the mac mini. I also appreciate the notion that, as the more powerful system, the imac stands (perhaps?) to outlast the mac mini in terms of whatever software I might find myself throwing at it down the line. Not that I'll be throwing really graphics intensive games or tasks or anything like that at it; but if, say, I were ever to want to upgrade the OS (OSX 10.8, let's say--way in the future), I *assume* that the imac would handle such an upgrade better than the mac mini.
    - However, (and here's the dilemma), though the imac seems to give me more bang for my buck *now*, what about in the really long term? What if some part of it, the computer or the monitor, craps out once the warranty has expired? I really don't like the notion that if, for example, the computer were to crap out, I'd have to toss out a perfectly good monitor and purchase *another* one to go with whatever system I'd purchase as a replacement. In the case of an event such as this, any advantage of having purchased the imac in the first place, dollar-wise, seems to go right out the window. At least with a mac mini, if the mac mini or the monitor breaks, I could hang on to one or the other of them, and only replace *part* of the system.
    - But should I really be so concerned about all-in-one systems? I know plenty of people with old emacs that are going strong--even a few people with the original Apple Macintosh! I know that there's always some risk one way or the other but, in general, should I feel secure with an all in one system like the imac? Or would it be best to err on the side of caution here?

    Of course, there is no one "right" answer, here. But I'm sure that there are others out there who have struggled with the same concerns, and have even come down on one side or the other. I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on the matter!

    Thanks much!
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    $599 Mac mini + External DVD burner

    Use the money saved to get a new one in 2 years.
     
  3. flipper99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    #3
    One option might be a refurbished mini from the Apple store. The 1.66 combo is $429 and the 1.83 super is $479. Load up the ram and you have a nice, reliable computer. Also a one year warranty.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    The only problem is that you'd more then likely be stuck with 512 MB of RAM.

    I've opened Mac minis left and right to install RAM but I don't know if the OP would want to do that.
     
  5. coopdig thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    #5
    Thanks for the responses!
    Yeah--seems like maybe a mac mini would be the best bet, here. The refurbished option, in particular, seems to make a lot of sense.
    Any iMac fans out there that think otherwise?
     
  6. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a

    ricgnzlzcr

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #6
    I definitely see the imac lasting you longer, but the refurbished mini's are a bargain and you'd lose less if you decided to sell it later on.
     

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