Please help me choose my Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mstruve, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. mstruve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I'm not sure whether this is the correct forum for this, but it didn't really fit anywhere else and I'm considering buying an iMac, so thought I'd post it here.

    I'm looking into upgrading my existing 6 year old Windows machine, and after good experiences with Apple mobile devices, I think I'm going to switch over to Mac. But I'm kind of bewildered by choice and not sure which one to get.

    I was hoping that if I gave an idea of what my requirements are, then you guys might point me in the direction of what I should get. So here is what I'm looking for:

    1. A static, desktop machine, hooked up to a reasonable size screen (24"+) to sit in one place and act primarily as an iTunes server and media downloader, but also occasional browsing and downloading.

    2. A portable machine for frequent use - mainly web browsing, email etc but also must be a 'proper computer' ie real keyboard, usb, HDMI port etc.

    At the moment I'm looking at a 27" iMac, together with a MBAir as the portable machine. But I'm wondering whether that is far more power and expense for what I actually want to do? Would a Mac Mini hooked up to a large monitor do the trick as the desktop machine? Or should I just get a MBPro as an all in one machine?

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    An iMac seems to be a bit overpowered and power hungry (electric bill) for your stated needs.
    A Mac mini will suffice those needs more than necessary.

    Maybe have a look at the Refurbished Mac section in the Apple Online Store to get some discounts or better specced Mac mini and MacBook Air.
     
  3. djjje macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I am by no means an expert but if you don't intend to do any heavy lifting with the desktop then that seems very extravagant. Could you get away with a thunderbolt display and a new MBP.

    If the desktop needs to be always available then maybe you want to consider a second hand machine and a new MBP or MBAir for your portable needs.

    In any case I would wait for the refresh that is expected this summer with new iMacs and the new MBP rumoured to have a physical form factor more like the MBAir.

    But if you're not counting the pennies the fill your boots and love it.
     
  4. emjaymert macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    #4
    new mac

    I 'd wait a bit. It has been rumored that the next imac generation will hit sometime in June. I too,am looking at a new imac. I' m planning on waiting and then eyeing the current 27 inch,3.1 ghz.($2,000 atm) When the next generation hits..this price WILL drop.
     
  5. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #5
    I'd go with what others have said about the iMac...I have a 27" but it does a lot of heavy lifting...From what you describe as your needs, a Mac mini would more than do the job...A large monitor can be had from many different places, and while the Cinema display looks fantastic, you could compromise a little there and save a lot of money.

    As for portability, I would be inclined to buy an MBP 15" or even 13" as opposed to the MBA...I have both, but remember that even the top end Air has a 256GB SSD so storage may become an issue for you....With an MBP you can choose which storage option best suits your requirements.

    It's also true that waiting a little is a good idea...Refresh on both iMac and MBP are soon to be released, so unless you are in a rush waiting a little is a sensible course of action.
     
  6. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #6
    Thanks all.

    It does sound like a Mac mini might be the best option as the desktop machine then. I can't really go for MBP + thunderbolt display as I need something which is 'always on' as the iTunes server. So it also helps to have low power consumption and to run silently.

    What appeals about the iMac over the Mini is that I also get the screen, and it has a bit of extra power. But I'm not sure if it's worth it for twice the cost?

    Also, is there any reason to wait before getting a Mac Mini?

    Not exactly counting the pennies and don't mind spending a bit to get exactly what I want, but don't want to spend unnecessary amounts on much more than I actually need.

    ----------

    Thanks, all makes sense. That's a good point about storage. Whilst the lightness and portability of the Air are appealing, it might be better to have the extra space.

    I don't mind waiting until after the summer for the laptop, but replacing my desktop machine is a bit of a priority. It does sound like an iMac is overkill though.
     
  7. iCole macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #7
    Mac mini + air if you can live without optical drive. I have to say that my iMac 27 is a dream to work with and I'm no pro whatsoever. I am concerned about the screen issues and I recently had mine replaced. That's why I would opt for the mini.
     
  8. Kerel macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    Weimar Germany
    #8
    Get a Base 21" iMac! Where do you need a 24"+ screen for? And a 27" iMac is better suited for pro's. (high screen res uncomfortable to read unless you're 1 inch away from the screen)

    Compared to a mac mini, you get a computer with a 21.5" IPS screen, a quad core processor,more ram, a graphics card, a not so superdrive and a wireless mouse and keyboard.
    All these extras are worth at least 600 dollars.
    Which make the base iMac good value compared to a mac mini.

    As for portable. wait until the refresh!
    If the rumors are true the macbook pro's will get more portable because of a redesign and they are much more powerful than the macbook Air's

    With new Intel processors introduced this week it wont take much longer for a possible refresh (iMac and macbook pro's)
     
  9. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #9
    The screen is because it would also be used as a TV so needs to be a decent size for viewing from about 8 feet away. Anything smaller than 24" isn't that comfortable I find, especially for watching sport.

    It seems like a lot of money to get an iMac if a Mini would do the job. I can pick up a decent 24" screen pretty cheap.
     
  10. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #10
    So many are available...:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&...vpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_3ygzbkadkm_b


    The Cinema display is truly stunning, but the price is insane really...I needed the real-estate when I bought my iMac, the stand alone TB ACD is as far more expensive than a Mac mini of decent spec....Base MM in the uK is around £ 650.00 whereas the ACD runs in a t a whopping £899....For which you can buy a good spec MM. The monitors in the Amazon ink are all of good quality, and perfectly acceptable for all but this of us who need the higher resolutions.
     
  11. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I have the base 21.5" iMac i3 and it handles everything I chuck at it. I also have all my vids etc running through iTunes and have my mac to "Wake on network access" or what ever its called. I also use it as a TV in my bedroom.
     
  12. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #12
    Thanks, I do a similar thing with my current PC. Does your iMac run silently? Any idea what price I'd pay for that in the UK?

    ----------

    Thanks for the link, those are the kind of monitors I'm looking at. I don't think I need the cinema display for what I'd be using it for, even though they do look very nice.
     
  13. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #13


    Yeah its dead silent. The only noise I get are from my external drives spinning up but you can only hear them if its real quiet. I should get some decent ones really.

    I paid about £800 for my iMac as I abused my sister-in-laws student discount. :)
     
  14. RobinHood5 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    #14
    Go with the Mac mini. Get the base Mac mini, only $600 and get yourself a 50" screen. If your gonna use it as a tv, get a tv for the monitor.

    Then get a 15" MBP!
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    Certainly a mini plus a real TV is the way to go here.

    I've got a mini connected to our TV set. When I need it I use the bluetooth keyboard and mouse from across the room. Mostly the mini runs Plex for streaming. By our treadmill there is another mini running Plex to a low cost 1080P monitor. No TV there. No keyboard or display (I just use the remote). Neither of these acts as a server. I've got a third mini for that with no monitor, keyboard, or display at all.

    Don't expect to do anything other than light browsing on a TV. They don't make for good computer monitors.
     
  16. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #16
    Hmm. If the primary need for the desktop is to serve music from iTunes, why not iTunes/iCloud Match? Then use the portable plus an external monitor for the other stuff. Wouldn't help if you regularly stream iTunes video, though, but a NAS device might work for that (I assume by streaming you're referring to just watching stuff yourself, not web hosting or the like). The app Filebrowser, eg, can allow you to access video on a NAS to view on an iPad. If you get a Mini you're gonna need external storage anyway since the internals aren't that big (for video storage anyway).

    You could watch the video on your mobile device or your laptop. Video on either is preferable to even a 27" screen 8' away.
     

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