Top end Mac Mini vs bottom end iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by minusten, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. minusten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #1
    I already have a screen but just wondered what the general opinion was regarding the Mac Mini top spec vs the bottom end iMac.

    The options are as follows:

    Mac Mini
    # 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    # 320GB Serial ATA Drive
    # including new keyboard and mouse
    £911.02

    iMac 20"
    # 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    # 640GB Serial ATA Drive
    £1,089.00

    iMac 24"
    # 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    # 640GB Serial ATA Drive
    £1,199.00

    For Photoshop use will the difference in processor speeds make much difference? What difference will the L2 cache make?

    As I have a screen, I'm not keen on spending too much on a system to find it has a dead pixel (I've heard this is quite common on new Macs), but despite this I am not ruling out the iMac.

    Which system would be the best to go for? Is the 24" screen a better quality than the 20"? Are there lots of you out there who have new iMacs with no pixel troubles? All the above have the shared VRAM, is this much inferior to a dedicated card when it comes to Photoshop use etc?

    Thanks to all who respond
     
  2. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #2
    The 24" screen in the iMac blows away PC displays that are not of pro caliber. So basically the Mini + 24" ACD clocks in at about the same price as the 24" iMac.

    But with the 24" iMac you also get;

    Much faster CPU
    Larger/faster hard drive
    double the RAM

    I debated the same thing myself, and have opted for the Mini which I will use with my current display.

    My plan though would be to upgrade to a faster Mac after Snow Leopard comes out, if I decide to continue the whole OS X affair.
     
  3. Trinity macrumors regular

    Trinity

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    Barcelona - CAT
    #3
    I opted for the Mini because I can open it and change things, at least the hard and the optical drive while I don't dare to disassemble an iMac...
     
  4. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
  5. munson macrumors 6502

    munson

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    The difference between the 20" and 24" iMac displays are quite great, as well as the maximum resolution.

    I can't say about after the latest update, however. I'm not sure if Apple improved the screen quality in the 20" iMacs (my guess is no).
     
  6. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #6
    My mini has just landed 2.0 120GbHD 4GBRAM, I'm very happy , very quiet, actually it's silent 'cept for the superdrive noise..great machine shame the HD is only 120Gb though, I could upgrade it but thiink 'll just get some external space instead and upgrade the Mini to SSD when the prices drop to what I'd like to pay...in approx 2 years :)

    I had a screen so didn't see the point in buying another..If your into photoshop and the like I expect your screen is good?..I was reading that the smaller iMacs have TN panels and the larger ones use s-ips or something?? .. sounds like something to do with Volvo that< (cannot remember the correct name just now!),.......anyway, have a search around this place for iMac screen info, There is a 10-15% speed difference between the two processors,........ I'll link the thread which explains all this in an edit .BUT do you really need to spend te extra £$£ for that much speed? .What I mean is, will that slight speed increase make you more money or be a massive bonus in your life ?, personally the Mini is plenty fast, graphics are plenty good enough for photoshop and finalcut etc...just takes a little bit longer rendering. I'd say save your £$£$ and get a 2.0 Mini, but it all depends on your needs...

    Edit* lots of good info in the two threads below, namely people discussing pros/cons of purchasing either the Mini or iMac,
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=664400
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=660759


    hope this helps,
    ViVa la Mini :D
     
  7. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    #7
    Why be tethered for life to a display with the iMac? Buy the high end mini and choose your own monitor. Mac Mini 2.26 with 4gb RAM should be plenty for almost all needs.
     
  8. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #8
    Honestly I've done both....

    I've opened my iMac, Mac Mini, and non-unibody MBP.

    I would say that the difficulty levels are actually on par with each other. The Mini has a lot of small cramped areas and you have to "pry" it open which didn't make me feel so good. The iMac though has a lot of screws.

    Really if your willing to take apart a mini then there is no reason why you couldn't take apart a iMac.

    The MBP was by far the hardest, because it's small and there is a lot of screws.

    EDIT: to the OP, I'd go for the iMac because you do get more power, and if you already have another display, you can always connect it to you iMac for dual displays.
     
  9. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #9
    There's a variety of opinion on that. Some reviewers have indicated that the two displays are directly on par with each other.

    Others have actually given the nod to the iMac display. Apparently the CFL back lighting in the iMac gives slightly better performance than the LED back lighting in the ACD.
     
  10. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #10
    This may be irrelevant because it may be compare apples to oranges but my iMac (previous gen 2.8) has a brighter screen then my LED backlit SR MBP.

    Obviously the iMac display is of superior quality and performance overall, I'm just comparing screen brightness.
     
  11. minusten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #11
    Thanks for all responses

    Thanks to all who've responded, I think most of my queries have been answered. However, one that seems to have slipped through the net: can anyone tell me what difference will the L2 cache make? The iMac has 6mb (twice as much as the Mini) so is this significant?

    Have Apple given the Mini less to keep it intentionally low-end or would you think there's a space issue with fitting any more in?

    Also, how much of an advantage would the dedicated graphics cards (in the higher end iMacs) be?
     
  12. munson macrumors 6502

    munson

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    http://******.com/?q=does+L2+Cache+increase+performance?


    (sorry, could not help it)
     

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