Should I buy the new iMac or the Mac mini

adamcarvell

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2013
233
5
warwickshire england
Hi now the iMac has had a refresh is the
Base model faster than my 2012 i7 mini
For plex transcode etc.
I’d only be buying the iMac for the look and screen or can I do it better in stages
With the 2018 mini?.
Main use is for watching films browsing the net etc and to use as a plex server
 

mikey8811

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2019
85
12
This one seals the deal. Get the Mac Mini
Why does doing Plex transcode seal the deal on the Mac Mini?

I have been meaning to ask - what processing power does Plex transcode need to be able to stream without stuttering?
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,602
392
The Sillie Con Valley
Well, you can use the $1,299 TB3 5K monitor but you don’t need that. You can ge a larger 4K monitor for less. You have many, many choices.

Apple Support has bulletins on all the monitor possibilities for the 2018 Mini. Read them and follow the links. Soon you’ll be as much an expert as anyone here; with that knowledge, you’ll make e right decision for you.

This is important because we aren’t you. I’m looking at the Mini also along with the iMac Pro and the i9 iMac. I need 3 monitors so, for me, using an eGPU is not an option.

A new Mac, set up the way I want with minimum 32G RAM, 580 GPU/eGPU, 2TB NVMe SSD on board, 5K monitor, trackpad, TB3 and AppleCare:

New iMac: 8 core i9 — $4,203 incl 32G 3rd party RAM (total RAM is 36G or 40G depending on 2G or 4G sticks in the base model)

Refurb iMac Pro 2TB: 8 Core i7 — $5,172 includes Vega 56 GPU in base model

2018 Mini: 6 core i7 — $4,096 (incl Blackmagic 580). $3,495 with a 4K central monitor instead of 5K.

This does not count the $$$ for two external/additional monitors (I already own them) nor adapters/connectors which will depend on what I buy.

The point is not that you need a system like mine but that, no matter what anyone says here, myself included, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and do your own research. Otherwise, whatever you buy become a money pit as you find that you have to add this... then that... and... to get the system that does everything you want.
 
Last edited:

adamcarvell

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2013
233
5
warwickshire england
Well, you can use the $1,299 TB3 5K monitor but you don’t need that. You can ge a larger 4K monitor for less. You have many, many choices.

Apple Support has bulletins on all the monitor possibilities for the 2018 Mini. Read them and follow the links. Soon you’ll be as much an expert as anyone here; with that knowledge, you’ll make e right decision for you.

This is important because we aren’t you. I’m looking at the Mini also along with the iMac Pro and the i9 iMac. I need 3 monitors so, for me, using an eGPU is not an option.

A new Mac, set up the way I want with minimum 32G RAM, 580 GPU/eGPU, 2TB NVMe SSD on board, 5K monitor, trackpad, TB3 and AppleCare:

New iMac: 8 core i9 — $4,203 incl 32G 3rd party RAM

Refurb iMac Pro 2TB: 8 Core i7 — $5,172 includes Vega 56 GPU.

2018 Mini: 6 core i7 — $4,096 (incl Blackmagic 580). $3,495 with a 4K central monitor instead of 5K.

This does not count the $$$ for two external/additional monitors (I already own them) nor adapters/connectors which will depend on what I buy.

The point is not that you need a system like mine but that, no matter what anyone says here, myself included, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and do your own research. Otherwise, whatever you buy become a money pit as you find that you have to add this... then that... and... to get the system that does everything you want.
[doublepost=1553461804][/doublepost]I’m surprised tbh posted this in an iMac thread and most advise to upgrade to the new Mac mini
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,572
3,649
SF, CA
I was looking at the two for me the screen is important so if I upgrade it will be a iMac. I have a mini also that I use for a server. If I was replacing the server I would with another mini. I use it as a file server, flex and iTunes server, it also runs the household on line backups. But for a computer that I sit in front of and do work it will be a iMac.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,569
14,062
Central U.S.
Get an iMac if you want a great display (not sure where you can get another 5K for th4 price bundled in on the lower models), if you have any need for a more advanced GPU and don’t want to mess with an expensive eGPU, want to upgrade RAM much easier in the future, or need the fastest 8-core CPU. But the Mac Mini if you don’t care about these things very much and want to save money and easily upgrade to 10Gbps Ethernet.
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
Also, I'm not sure if you care about energy cost, being green & the environment, etc, but I assume that you'll be running this machine 24/7? The Mini should should be much more efficient.

I can't find the data for the 2019 iMac. But I remember reading a post on a Macrumor's forum that someone measured the power consumption of the 2017 iMac (I believe it was i7) and it was drawing 24 watts when idle with the monitor off. It's 74 watts with the monitor on when idle according to Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201918


The Product Environment Report (link below) from Apple says that the Mac Mini draws 10.6 watts when idle with the monitor on, so lower with the monitor off.

https://www.apple.com/environment/pdf/products/desktops/Macmini_PER_oct2018.pdf
 

adamcarvell

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2013
233
5
warwickshire england
Also, I'm not sure if you care about energy cost, being green & the environment, etc, but I assume that you'll be running this machine 24/7? The Mini should should be much more efficient.

I can't find the data for the 2019 iMac. But I remember reading a post on a Macrumor's forum that someone measured the power consumption of the 2017 iMac (I believe it was i7) and it was drawing 24 watts when idle with the monitor off. It's 74 watts with the monitor on when idle according to Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201918


The Product Environment Report (link below) from Apple says that the Mac Mini draws 10.6 watts when idle with the monitor on, so lower with the monitor off.

https://www.apple.com/environment/pdf/products/desktops/Macmini_PER_oct2018.pdf
Yeah don’t want a electric bill going sky high. It’s the screen that’s drawing me in tbh to the iMac had this conundrum five years ago went with the mini then added the Magic Mouse keyboard etc had a decent monitor at the time before it broke then in panic bought the cheapest one I could afford it’s rubbish tbh
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,572
3,649
SF, CA
I am running a 2012 Mini (headless with 4 external drives) and it runs 75 Watts under load. My 2015 27" iMac runs about 135 watts under average load. As stated above it's the screen that adds the most power consumption. Toss in a eGPU and I bet the mini will graw more power that the imac.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mikehalloran

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
Yeah don’t want a electric bill going sky high. It’s the screen that’s drawing me in tbh to the iMac had this conundrum five years ago went with the mini then added the Magic Mouse keyboard etc had a decent monitor at the time before it broke then in panic bought the cheapest one I could afford it’s rubbish tbh
I don't think your energy cost will skyrocket even if you run the iMac running 24/7 vs a Mac Mini. I was just pointing out that there is a difference if you care about green and the environment (to me $ comes last because it's not a huge difference).

The iMac's screen is indeed gorgeous. I am on one right now, and there is a noticeable difference between it and my other 4K monitor. The color accuracy and especially how bright it gets -- it's pretty awesome. But... I'm not a pro photographer and don't need color accuracy. I would never spend so much on a similar caliber monitor if I had to buy it separately. My other 4K monitor is pretty good, too. It's just that the iMac's is so much better! So I understand your desire! If after all the rationalizing your head cannot make the decision, follow your heart :)
 

adamcarvell

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2013
233
5
warwickshire england
I don't think your energy cost will skyrocket even if you run the iMac running 24/7 vs a Mac Mini. I was just pointing out that there is a difference if you care about green and the environment (to me $ comes last because it's not a huge difference).

The iMac's screen is indeed gorgeous. I am on one right now, and there is a noticeable difference between it and my other 4K monitor. The color accuracy and especially how bright it gets -- it's pretty awesome. But... I'm not a pro photographer and don't need color accuracy. I would never spend so much on a similar caliber monitor if I had to buy it separately. My other 4K monitor is pretty good, too. It's just that the iMac's is so much better! So I understand your desire! If after all the rationalizing your head cannot make the decision, follow your heart :)
its when you stat adding up the mini plus a new 4k monitor you get close to the iMac price point and have never owned an iMac they do look very good. if i could find a decent monitor for around £500 that looks nice id properly buy that first then the new mini after. the iMac i was going to get on 0% 12 months finance if i went down that route.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,602
392
The Sillie Con Valley
If you want your electric bill to be sky high, revert to a G5 with the 23” Apple monitor.

I’m not exaggerating when I state that the savings on my electric bill paid for my 2010 iMac. When I removed the WD Black HDD and replaced it with a 2TB SSD, the additional energy savings paid for that within 2 years. For tax reasons, my office/studio has a separate electric meter and air conditioning (my G5 ran so hot it was necessary to keep from having to refrigerate the entire house). I don’t have to guess on how much money was saved.

If you have a large dealer nearby (we have Fry’s, Best Buy and the like) you can go in and take a look a all the monitors that have been running all day. Nowadays, the most energy efficient wil be cool to the touch when you put your hand over the top. The stickers will confirm this.