So should I upgrade to a Mini from my iMac (08)?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BiggNewt, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. BiggNewt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #1
    Well title says it most but not all so let me elaborate.

    I have an early 2008 model 2.66, 320gb iMac. I love it, it's smooth with normal operations and most video and photo work I do (family stuff, nothing serious). However, it is getting a bit on the older side and I have a new 1080p/60 camera that shoots amazing footage but my Mac can barely render it in Elements and takes a very long time in iMovie to do it. I do not use FCP so I couldn't tell you how that goes.

    By looking at eBay and Craigslist I see prices of $550-$650 for my Mac which I would later turn around and buy a Mac Mini. I'm leaning toward the 2.5ghz dual-core because of the discrete graphics card which I think would come in handy for the HD Video editing.

    So what do you guys think, would I see a big improvement in speed and performance for a price difference of roughly around $100-$150 after I sell my iMac?

    I have a couple more questions but I'll wait until I hear some thoughts. ThankS!
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    You will definitely see an improvement, but it may not be as much of an improvement as you're expecting. In raw processing power, the 2011 Mini is a lot more powerful than your iMac, but that does not always translate to real world use. Also don't forget you'll also need a monitor (you didn't mention if you have one already or not). Why not consider waiting for the 2012 iMac/Mini range, which will be out in the next couple of months before making any purchasing decisions?
     
  3. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #3
    Yep, the difference in real-world performance might not be what you would expect.

    For example, the iMac has a 3.5" HDD while the mini has a 2.5" drive. That's 7200rpm vs. 5400rpm.
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #4
    Unless he upgrades the Mini's drive to a 7200 RPM. :)
     
  5. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #5
    Sure, but I think that 3.5" 7200rpm drives are still faster than 2.5" ones. Might be wrong, though.
     
  6. BiggNewt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the replies. I'm not looking for a huge step like if I was to go get a Mac Pro or top of the line iMac, just if it would at least as good if not better than my current iMac for some HD work. The Mini has other things that interest me too, like the being able to get a bigger screen (without two big screens on my desk) and things like Thunderbolt and being able to upgrade my ram passed 4gb. Wouldn't the ram upgrade really help in the editing department as well?


    So is the reason it's not going to be a HUGE difference because this Mini is only a dual-core and my iMac now is already a Dual-Core, would Quad-Core macs be the goal here?
     
  7. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #7
    More RAM is good for HD editing.
    So are both higher clock and more cores.

    The i5 in the 2.5GHz mini supports Hyperthreading. => Not as good as 4 real cores but better than 2.
    If I wanted a mini, I'd go for that model, too. The upgrade to the 2.7GHz i7 is not worth the money IMHO.

    Make sure you don't order it with the upgraded RAM but buy the RAM somewhere else and install it yourself. Way cheaper.
     
  8. BiggNewt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #8
    Ok, I know different folks, different strokes so to speak but do you think it would be a wise investment ($100-$150) to get sell the iMac and get the i5 Mini.

    And Yes I have 20" widescreen 1080p monitor to use in it's place. I would be losing the iMac screen and the built in drive for an all around better computer otherwise, right?

    One more thing, would the Quad-Core Server be better for HD Video editing? I wouldn't think so because of the lack of discrete card, but I may be wrong.

    Thanks!
     
  9. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #9
    According to the Geekbench results (http://browse.geekbench.ca) of both machines, the mini is considerably faster than your iMac (6600 vs. 3800 points). So it is a good upgrade, especially how little money you have to throw in after you sold your iMac.

    The usefulness of discrete graphics depends on the editing software you use. I'm not into video editing, so I can't help you there. Try searching the forums for the software you use and its GPU utilization.
     

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