Tired of waiting. Mac Mini alternative?

trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
My mid-2007 24" iMac has been the best desktop I've ever purchased. 100% reliable all these years. It's old and needs to be replaced. I was certain 2018 would the year to do so with a new redesigned 27" iMac, but nothing was released.

I'm either going to wait for the 2019 iMac or be tempted by a laptop or a mini. I love the big screen for watching movies and youtube. This is a true personal pc, nothing heavy duty being done. the iMac serves as an iTunes server too.

Can I reproduce the experience with the Mini or MBP? If yes, at what cost?
 

trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
Not currently. I updated the HDD after a couple of years, to a larger capacity 7200rpm drive, but that was a long time ago. I do have a dedicated FW external HDD as a time machine backup.

What's your point? I'm running a machine that's going on a dozen years in age.

The new machine will have an SSD drive.
 
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trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
Stupid. I'm OS limited at this point (El Capitan). I will NOT upgrade this machine.
 

mripadmini

macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2013
229
30
Maryland , USA
id get the mini and use a big screen of you choice. i included both with 4 different configs for each.

MBP
$1,799.00 for a i5 8 256
$1,999.00 for a i5 8 512
$1,999,00 for a i5 16 256
$2,199.00 for a i5 16 512

Mini
799.00 for a i5 8 128
$1,099.00 for a i5 8 256
$1,299.00 for a i5 16 256
$1,499.00 for a i5 16 512
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,837
4,634
Even the lowliest intel cpu from 2018 can encode, decode, and transcode media with more panache than the beefiest cpu from 2007. The built in GPU runs circles around a 2600 pro.

However-- the next big thing (at least for a media machine) is 4K streaming. And often that involves DRM. A late generation intel CPU, a specific motherboard chipset, and HDCP 2.0. And Windows. I'm not sure that you could watch netflix 4k, or Ultra HD Bluray on a current model mac with windows. I know that Bootcamp balks at playing a ordinary bluray on my 2014 5k imac. Something about HDCP.

I do think that you've missed an active decade in terms of computing.

Note that a mac mini comes with a small ssd. It may be cozy if you're only running one OS. Add Windows, and it gets a bit cramped.
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,481
896
However-- the next big thing (at least for a media machine) is 4K streaming. And often that involves DRM. A late generation intel CPU, a specific motherboard chipset, and HDCP 2.0. And Windows. I'm not sure that you could watch netflix 4k, or Ultra HD Bluray on a current model mac with windows. I know that Bootcamp balks at playing a ordinary bluray on my 2014 5k imac. Something about HDCP.

I would find it hard to believe Apple can't get their act together with DRM support in the OS this year but then again people thought that would had been implemented in Mojave.

The Kuo rumor was a signifiant display upgrade for the next iMac. That could mean a lot but imagine an HDR iMac and possible Apple OS support.
 

bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
567
314
I'd also recommend going with a Mac mini and a large third party display. If you get a good quality display, you'll be pleased with the set up. Otherwise, buy a 27-inch iMac. The performance difference will be noticeable.

It's always best to make buying decisions when you need a new machine. If you need a new machine now, buy one now.
 

trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
I'd also recommend going with a Mac mini and a large third party display. If you get a good quality display, you'll be pleased with the set up. Otherwise, buy a 27-inch iMac. The performance difference will be noticeable.
noticeable? How? Which way?
 
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apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
My mid-2007 24" iMac has been the best desktop I've ever purchased. 100% reliable all these years. It's old and needs to be replaced. I was certain 2018 would the year to do so with a new redesigned 27" iMac, but nothing was released.

I'm either going to wait for the 2019 iMac or be tempted by a laptop or a mini. I love the big screen for watching movies and youtube. This is a true personal pc, nothing heavy duty being done. the iMac serves as an iTunes server too.

Can I reproduce the experience with the Mini or MBP? If yes, at what cost?
Nice, I’m still using my 15” MacBook Pro from 2010! Cannot believe 8 years on and it still works, bar the batteries had it as expected and I get the odd verticals line of funny pixels on the screen..

I am going to upgrade too when I have the money, but with the Mac Mini you’ll lose the graphics performance unless you get an EGPU setup, the iMac and MacBook Pro 15” come with better graphics cards.
May be something to think about? Also the iMac will perform better then a laptop as it will have more room for better cooling. But you lose the portability of course.
 

06tb06

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
133
98
2,711 miles from Apple Campus
Keep waiting. There's no telling when the next redesigned iMac model will be released (Apple doesn't talk future products) so just hang in there. If nothing is announced this year, there's always 2020 or 2021.

/sarcasm
 
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trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
Even the lowliest intel cpu from 2018 can encode, decode, and transcode media with more panache than the beefiest cpu from 2007. The built in GPU runs circles around a 2600 pro.

However-- the next big thing (at least for a media machine) is 4K streaming. And often that involves DRM. A late generation intel CPU, a specific motherboard chipset, and HDCP 2.0. And Windows. I'm not sure that you could watch netflix 4k, or Ultra HD Bluray on a current model mac with windows. I know that Bootcamp balks at playing a ordinary bluray on my 2014 5k imac. Something about HDCP.

I do think that you've missed an active decade in terms of computing.

Note that a mac mini comes with a small ssd. It may be cozy if you're only running one OS. Add Windows, and it gets a bit cramped.

Not looking to add windows to a new MAC. We have pc laptops in the house that are used for work. The iMac's main duties over the years: general internet, Youtube/Netflix/etc/iTunes Movies, Adobe Lightroom for family photo file management (no processing or workflow), iTunes file server, Turbotax platform, CD music platform (I plan on buying an optical drive for our next MAC so I can still burn music CDs), printing platform.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,652
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The OP wrote:
"My mid-2007 24" iMac has been the best desktop I've ever purchased. 100% reliable all these years. It's old and needs to be replaced. I was certain 2018 would the year to do so with a new redesigned 27" iMac, but nothing was released."

The 2019 iMacs probably won't arrive until May/June/July this year. Apple could surprise us, but it's my guess that we'll just have to wait for late spring/summer.

Having said that...
IF I needed a new iMac "RIGHT NOW" (I don't), I'd have no qualms buying the current (2017 design) model. They are dandy Macs, the nicest iMacs I've seen. I helped a friend get set up with a 5k 27" model with an SSD last fall, and was very impressed.

I'd recommend the midrange 5k 27" (3.5ghz 7600 CPU). Get 8gb of RAM (add more yourself if you wish). Get either the 256gb or 512gb SSD (DO NOT get a fusion drive, and the 1tb SSD is priced way too high).

I can say with assurance that you cannot "reproduce the experience" of the iMac with a MacBook Pro. The "look and feel" are going to be somewhat different (keyboard, trackpad, etc.).

If you can wait for the 2019 iMacs, then WAIT.
They will be worth the wait.

If you absolutely, positively need something right away, get a 2017 5k 27" with an SSD.
I predict that you'll be very happy with the purchase.

RE the Mac Mini:
I'm a Mini user (2012) - it's given me great service. The 2018 Mini's are a nice upgrade to that model. If you want one, I'd suggest the i5 model. Then order it with 16gb of RAM (not much more expensive then buying it yourself, and the installation is modestly difficult), and perhaps a 512gb SSD. But that's going to run about $1,500 -- only $5-600 shy of a decently-equipped 27" iMac...
 
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trifona

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
52
9
I still think getting a refurbished iMac is a better deal than getting a 2018 Mac mini with a monitor. I’ve priced both out and Apple occasionally sells a 2017 iMac with 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM for just $2000.

In fact at the time of those writing, here’s one for about $1800:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-Intel-Core-i5-with-Retina-4K-display

I've considered this route as well as long as the savings off new justify it. I would say not to your particular linked unit since we would be targeting a 27" iMac with 512GB-1TB SSD.
[doublepost=1548087401][/doublepost]
The OP wrote:
"My mid-2007 24" iMac has been the best desktop I've ever purchased. 100% reliable all these years. It's old and needs to be replaced. I was certain 2018 would the year to do so with a new redesigned 27" iMac, but nothing was released."

The 2019 iMacs probably won't arrive until May/June/July this year. Apple could surprise us, but it's my guess that we'll just have to wait for late spring/summer.

Having said that...
IF I needed a new iMac "RIGHT NOW" (I don't), I'd have no qualms buying the current (2017 design) model. They are dandy Macs, the nicest iMacs I've seen. I helped a friend get set up with a 5k 27" model with an SSD last fall, and was very impressed.

I'd recommend the midrange 5k 27" (3.5ghz 7600 CPU). Get 8gb of RAM (add more yourself if you wish). Get either the 256gb or 512gb SSD (DO NOT get a fusion drive, and the 1tb SSD is priced way too high).

I can say with assurance that you cannot "reproduce the experience" of the iMac with a MacBook Pro. The "look and feel" are going to be somewhat different (keyboard, trackpad, etc.).

If you can wait for the 2019 iMacs, then WAIT.
They will be worth the wait.

If you absolutely, positively need something right away, get a 2017 5k 27" with an SSD.
I predict that you'll be very happy with the purchase.

RE the Mac Mini:
I'm a Mini user (2012) - it's given me great service. The 2018 Mini's are a nice upgrade to that model. If you want one, I'd suggest the i5 model. Then order it with 16gb of RAM (not much more expensive then buying it yourself, and the installation is modestly difficult), and perhaps a 512gb SSD. But that's going to run about $1,500 -- only $5-600 shy of a decently-equipped 27" iMac...
Than you for your detailed response. Especially with your comment abut not being able to "reproduce the experience" with the MBP.

On my shopping list has been a 27" iMac, SSD only machine. i5 processor is probably fine. I want the machine to be quiet without fans going crazy all the time. We never hear the fans of our ancient machine. I would likely just upgrade the ram myself from OWC as I've done that and replaced the original 320GB HDD with a 2TB drive back in 2011...taking the iMac apart to do that was pretty scary back then ha!

I don't need one now, so I guess I'll wait. </grumble grumble>
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
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I've considered this route as well as long as the savings off new justify it. I would say not to your particular linked unit since we would be targeting a 27" iMac with 512GB-1TB SSD.
Yea. The 27” popped up a couple of weeks ago for like $2300. Still a wonderful value over a new 2018 Mac mini.
 

dazlicous

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2011
982
265
Manchester
Personally I would hold on unless your really desperate.
Fingers crossed the 2019 is 6 cores n i9 if so I be kicking myself if I bought a mini
 
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BigBoy2018

Suspended
Oct 23, 2018
964
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I still think getting a refurbished iMac is a better deal than getting a 2018 Mac mini with a monitor. I’ve priced both out and Apple occasionally sells a 2017 iMac with 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM for just $2000.

In fact at the time of those writing, here’s one for about $1800:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-Intel-Core-i5-with-Retina-4K-display
I think the iMac is a considerably better deal. The mini may show some slightly higher scores in geekbench but that's only because it's turbo boost moves it from 3.0ghz to 4.1ghz during short spurts, like for a geekbench test. If you do any relatively long encodes or renders, it will never sustain that speed. So the geekbench scores are misleading - depending on your use case.
Then, the iMac has a MUCH faster gpu for the price, along with that amazing monitor. To get a similar eGPU and monitor for the mac mini to make it essentially equivalent to an iMac would cost you a good $1000+ more for the total setup than if you just got the iMac.

Bottom line, easy choice. iMac.
(especailly with the Apple refurb store prices)
 
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jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,837
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i9, i7. It's just branding at this point.

However, it should be possible to get a 2019 imac with six to eight real cores, at close to the price of a 4 core 2017 imac. Maybe SSDs instead of fusion drives, too.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,051
815
Just keep in mind that it is not out of the realm of possibilities that imac updates may drag into fall. hope not, but it is possible.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,088
2,624
I think the iMac is a considerably better deal. The mini may show some slightly higher scores in geekbench but that's only because it's turbo boost moves it from 3.0ghz to 4.1ghz during short spurts, like for a geekbench test. If you do any relatively long encodes or renders, it will never sustain that speed. So the geekbench scores are misleading - depending on your use case.
Then, the iMac has a MUCH faster gpu for the price, along with that amazing monitor. To get a similar eGPU and monitor for the mac mini to make it essentially equivalent to an iMac would cost you a good $1000+ more for the total setup than if you just got the iMac.

Bottom line, easy choice. iMac.
(especailly with the Apple refurb store prices)
Yup. It’s the iMac GPU and display that kills it. Totally agree. I was one of those folks who was wowed by the new Mac mini When it was first announced, but that faded quickly when I priced it and compared it against the iMac. No comparison.

Personally I would hold on unless your really desperate.
Fingers crossed the 2019 is 6 cores n i9 if so I be kicking myself if I bought a mini
I concur....lack of a 2018 iMac at all gives a higher probability of a more major iMac release this year, and possibly a pushed up schedule. I’m sticking with the waiting game myself.
 

dapa0s

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2019
260
308
Just buy the current iMac if you really need one right now.

It's a great machine, and you can always sell it and buy the new one when it comes out.
 
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mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
866
521
Austin, TX
Looking at the way Apple has redesigned its machines as of late a possible new iMac is not going to have a user-replaceable hard drive anymore but instead an Apple proprietary SSD. It will also most likely not feature user-upgradeable RAM anymore, like the iMac Pro. And it will come with a significant price hike because Apple somehow needs to compensate for fewer units sold by doing what they've been doing with the iPhone for the past few years: by raising the price.

In other words: even if 2019 is the year a new iMac is going to be introduced, which is far from certain and at this point pure speculation, it is more likely than not going to be a crippled locked-down massively overpriced device with no user-replaceable parts and a 128 GB SSD in the base model that can only be upgraded at the time of purchase for the usual absolutely insane premium we've grown so accustomed to with Apple. Meanwhile, the 2017 iMac may look somewhat outdated because it's design hasn't changed in many years, but it's a well proven and technically mature device without any know flaws and weaknesses, user-upgradeable RAM and storage devices (albeit the latter require disassembly, but unlike on the iMac Pro or the Mac Mini it is at least still possible) that will most likely keep you happy for as long as your 2007 iMac has.
 
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