Thinking of getting a mac mini....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by allisonv7, May 4, 2012.

  1. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hi folks,

    I'm afraid my iMac - from 2004 - is about to go belly-up. It's my primary computer. I use it for mainly internet browsing, photo/music storage and some graphic design. I work as a graphic designer but the only stuff I do at home is a freelance job here or there and some photo toning.

    What I'm thinking about getting is a Mac mini and a monitor. I want to keep this pretty budget friendly so please keep that in mind.

    I was pricing stuff on Amazon to see what would be best and I was looking at the $560ish Mac mini plus upgrading the RAM to 8gb at ~$40

    Plus I was thinking about $150 for a monitor. I'd like 20"-24" I think (my current imac is 17" - (suggestions??)

    What do you guys think? Should I spend a couple hundred more for the upgraded mini or is it not worth it? I used to follow all the Apple-related news pretty closely, but haven't for years so I welcome any advice.

    Thanks for any suggestions,

  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I think it would be a good idea to upgrade the Mini's RAM with third-party RAM in order to save a lot of money. OWC is a good place to get it.

    Here is a 20" Dell monitor for about $160. If you want something larger, you'll easily pay over $200, unless you find a good deal on eBay or something like that.

    But this setup and the Mini you're looking at should serve your needs and not kill your budget too badly.
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Only thing you might want to consider is maybe the mid level model with the dedicated graphics card. Would allow for some offloading of processing in the Adobe suite.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Can you hang on using the old iMac just a little longer?

    The entire Apple product line, including the Mini, will be revamped within the next few months. We should see a "new Mini" introduced before the end of the summer, and I think the wait will be worth it.

    If you go for a Mini with an external monitor, try to get a good display. Here's a page that lists IPS panel displays:

    If budget is a consideration, you might try a refurbished Mini from Apple. You can keep track of what's available here:
    (this applies only if you don't want to wait for the new models)

    One more consideration:
    If you're using a 2004-vintage Mac, you're still running PowerPC based software. Any new (or late-model) Mac with Lion (or Mountain Lion when it's released) won't run the older PowerPC applications anymore. You may need to upgrade or even replace some older apps. And if you have important data files created with older apps, you may need to "migrate your data" as well. Just something to start thinking about...
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Any new Mac mini will outperform the 17" G5 iMac you have in every way. Also the 17" iMac had a TN display. If you are still satisfied with your iMac except for the fact that it is failing, then:

    1. Buy the basic Mac mini that you mentioned at An alternative would be a refurbished Mac mini on the Apple site, $519. The refurbs are good as new.

    2. Any modern low cost wide-screen monitor will be as good as or better than what you now have. You don't need to pay extra for IPS.

    3. You will definitely want to upgrade the RAM as 2GB is marginal these days. I'm a big fan of Crucial, which you can buy along the Mini on Amazon.

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