Top Mac Mini Vs. bottom iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by joesenior91, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. joesenior91 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Currently i'm saving up to buy a 24" iMac, should get one about the end of august. I've been waiting for about 9 months so i'll be very happy to get it. In those 9 months i've been using my mum's iBook G4, which is good, but it's too slow, and i need a computer of my own. I've also managed to convince my brother that apple's the way forward, so now he want's the family PC to be upgraded to an iMac, but mum reckons the Mac Mini is a better option because it's cheaper. So i have a few questions;

    1. If they go for a mac mini what's a good screen going to cost, i live in the UK so that's gonna need to be UK specific.

    2. what are the chances of apple introducing something between the mac mini and the imac sometime in 2007

    3. The options they're considering are either a mac mini with these specs;

    1gb ram
    120gb hard drive
    wired apple keyboard & mouse
    2.0 ghz c2d processor
    overall about £650 with a screen

    or the bottom of the range imac which has the same processor, memory and keyboard, but a bigger hard drive. this is for £800

    is the imac worth the extra £150 just for a slightly larger hard drive, better graphics and the all-in-one-ness it offers. the computer will only be used for email, internet, music, that sort of thing, nothing to taxing

    Cheers, Joe
  2. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    I'd say it is worth it.

    CPU power is a wash - they're both good enough. The big difference is the size and speed of the hard drive. A 7200-RPM drive kills a 5400-RPM for your basic Media tasks. The dedicated GPU is a big upgrade too - any dedicated GPU! The GMA950 is what it is, but it is the Mini's worst feature, bar none!
  3. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    I was doing the same comparisons too.

    for your uses,the mini's graphics is probably sufficient.

    Much of the decision may come down to how good your current monitor already is.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The Mini's a great machine and would work well for the needs you describe. I have two, one for my day-to-day work (including processing of RAW image files with Aperture) and the other as a dedicated home theater machine. Each has the 1.66 gHz core duo processor. The hardest work is by the HT machine; it can decode and play back 1080i content from Eye TV Hybrid and H.264 files without dropping frames, so that should tell you how beefy it is.
  5. joesenior91 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2007
    we'd need to buy a screen, where do you recommended i can get a good one in the UK. Otherwise i'm leaning towards the mini

    Cheers, Joe
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I suggest getting the lower end Mac mini if you can and use an external FireWire DVD burner.
  7. allornothing macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    hello! so glad i've found this thread - i'm in *exactly* the same situation as you.

    i'm a heavy software user and have used all kinds of OSs. i HAVE to get a mac again as i sold my last one (PPC processor - too sloooow) but find i hate Vista (unstable, incompatible...for now) and linux is great, but has no decent media software (and you do have to be a geek to solve ANY big problems)... but onto your topic:

    As you've probably seen, Apple have TODAY just released a new iMac and MacMini! price reduction in the more powerful mac mini (£550->£500) and better processor, and a slimmer iMac with better specs.

    ***Before i say any more PLEASE wait until late Oct 2007 before buying any Mac. Leopard (new OS X) will be coming out and it looks AMAZING.***

    If you get a iMac, benefits:
    "Jimmdean" said the most useful comments - so read his comment again. I've got a new (PC) laptop that i've noticed although has high ram/processor, you'll still notice a performace improvement with a faster hard drive speed - as its the slowest device in your computer and your computer will run only as fast as the slowest device. however, i suggest trying out both iMac and MacMini in store and see what you think.

    iMac looks REALLY great now with high-gloss screen, but if you were to buy a mac mini you'd be looking at:
    tft Monitor prices:
    20" or 22" for £150-250 (prices vary wildly on and
    24" - not many out on sale. i think they're realising that most people buy 20" or 22". you'd currenlty pay £350+ for 24". ridiculous!

    And also bear in mind; playing games on a mac mini will be awful, but pretty ok on the iMac. due, obviously, to the dedicated graphics on iMac and useful-only-for-office-based-stuff integrated graphics on MacMini.

    Something else to consider: if you buy a mac mini with external display, you can use that display in future for other PCs. you can't with an iMac.

    I personally had my heart set on a mac mini for the longest time, but having seen the new aluminium iMac in mac stores today, i'm changing my mind and i'm searching the internet to try to see the advantages of each!!

    hope this post gave you something to think about:
    mac mini - cute, bad for gaming, useful as you separate the display, slightly better on the value:cost ratio.
    iMac - great looking, minimalist, can't use the display for any other PC (technically you can but with specialist complicated software, but physically you can't), costs on average an extra £100 than the mini/tft combo, but you have better hard drive, graphics and compactness on your desk.

    anyone else's thoughts would be helpful to me too! :)
    p.s by the way, make a note for the future: download VMware Fusion when you get a mac. very very very useful for running windows applications on a mac, without rebooting. reviews show it to be better than "Parallels" ..for now anyway.
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    What are you talking about? Sure you can use it with an iMac. As long as it has VGA or DVI connection, it'll work just fine with an iMac.
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    They're saying that an external display would be reusable unlike the iMac's built-in one.
  10. doublebullout macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Shreveport, LA
    Wirelessly posted (Treo 650: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/hspr-H102; Blazer/4.0) 16;320x320)

    Just ordered a 2ghz Mini from Powermax with Parallels 3 pre-installed for free (after rebate). I gave the Mini serious consideration for the first time ever because of the speed bump. Can't wait to get it!
  11. allornothing macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    Can you let us know how you get on with it after you've got it?

    I've tried them out in stores, and can't work whether photoshop is supposed to take as long as it does (30seconds) to load on such a supposed quick system (which is what i've tried out in store :apple:)!
  12. nlivo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    DO NOT GET THE MAC MINI!!!!! JUST DON'T!!! you will regret it!! the iMac is an amazing machine which you will love if you get it!!!
  13. shikimo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2007
    Lyon, France
    That comment is going to require some explanation. :D Did you have a bad experience? It seems like most people adore their minis, maybe even a little too much from a mental health perspective. From where springs your unbridled détestation of the poor little minis??
  14. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    The first time you open photoshop on a computer like a Mini, yeah, it will take 30 seconds or more. Close the program, and open it again, it will be MUCH quicker.

    Just now, I opened CS3 photoshop on my Macbook CoreDuo 2.0ghz with 2 gigs of ram, 5200rpm drive, so it's slower than a new Mini. Since photoshop had already been opened (and now cached) since my last reboot, it took exactly 3 seconds.

    I can't imagine the mini being any slower than a Coreduo macbook, it's probably alot faster.
  15. aliasfox macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    As soon as you want an iMac like display, the value in the Mac Mini disappears. At least in the US, most 20 or 22" PVA displays (which is the kind that the iMac uses, last I heard) will run at least $250 - $300, which is almost the price difference between the uplevel mini and the entry level iMac.

    Also, 3.5" HDs (as in the iMac) are significantly faster. Running the same OS, my PowerBook boots significantly faster using an external 3.5" 7200 RPM drive than the internal 2.5" 5400 RPM drive. Most of what you're waiting on for your computer is the hard drive - opening programs and files. Fast hard drives are the most overlooked and one of the most important aspects of computer performance. Also, with at least 3 people in the house (you, your brother, yourself), you'll fill up 120 GB worth of space in no time.
  16. doublebullout macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Shreveport, LA
    Wirelessly posted (Treo 650: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/hspr-H102; Blazer/4.0) 16;320x320)

    I appreciate the concerns, but really it's OK. This was not an uninformed or impulse decision. Have a little faith, folks.
  17. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    I suggest the mini, because it sounds like you dont need an iMac, and on the plus side the keyboard mouse and monitor can be used with a future computer.
  18. joesenior91 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2007
    i think i'm leaning towards the iMac. The hard drive is something i complete over looked. all i ever thought was about the size. also the graphics card is a factor. But i think one of the main factors is the 'wow factor' an imac has, the mini seems to me like a descision i'd regret, when you sompare the two side by side the imac looks so cool! is that a good enough reason?

    cheers, Joe
  19. jf8 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    the 20" iMac is TN :(

    it hasn't been proven yet, but if the 24" really has 178 deg viewing angles it should be S-IPS
  20. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    My choice would be the iMac, not that great of a difference for an all-in-one system. I personally think the Mac Mini is just a waste of money.
  21. aliasfox macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Really? Apple's putting a TN display in the 20"?

    I always thought the 20" and 24" iMacs had PVA displays, sourced from the same place Dell gets their 20" and 24" panels - most likely Samsung or LG/Phillips. The 24" shouldn't be S-IPS - the only S-IPS displays on the market in that range are 23", not 24".

    Maybe it changed this generation, hence the lower specs on the 20" versus the previous generation. My $200 22" Westinghouse monitor is a TN display. Hooked up to my Dual 1GHz Quicksilver it's beautiful straight on, but looks horrible more than 15 degrees off angle vertically, which is something you don't find in a PVA (or IPS) display.
  22. Fuzzy Orange macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Jul 29, 2006
    I have the bottom end iMac.... (the $1200 one)
    It is quite fast. As long as you aren't doing anything too GPU intensive (the graphics card sucks), it's great.
  23. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004
    NEW mac mini????

    Hi, I checked out the mac mini on the store site and it had a little NEW circle next to it. But I see no mention of what is knew on Apple's site or even Mac Rumor's site.

    Someone in this thread mentioned a speed boost and price drop. Are these true? If the mini's speed has been upgraded, im ready to buy one today!

    EDIT: I just found a tiny mention of it

    I do believe I will finally buy a mini!
  24. d_saum macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2005
    I've been waiting to buy a mini for about 5 months, and when they finally refreshed them, I went to the apple store here and picked one up (I was apparently the first guy in NC to get one! Woohoo). But man... I gotta tell ya.. I LOVE IT!!! It looks awesome in my armoire thing, and my friends are all BLOWN away by front row. It was totally worth it. Oh and I'm leaving in about 10 minutes to go buy a 42 inch Vizio plasma to replace my 36 inch tube tv. :D
  25. joelw87 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007
    i saw a good deal in currys the other day, a samsung 17: widescreen monitor, LCD. for £114.99 is silver and compact so it will look alright with a mini.

Share This Page