Torn with Mac Mini or iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Blazntc86, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Blazntc86, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    Blazntc86 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Hello all,

    Newbie (but Longtime follower of MR) here so don't "flame" me. hah...So currently I have a MBP 2.8ghz Core 2 Duo (Mid 2009) and its perfectly fine in all (minus the battery and CD Drive). However with all the latest and greatest, I feel I need to upgrade and have something better in my home office :D. I am currently torn between what would be the better buy/fit my needs.

    Option 1: My first choice was to get an iMac 27" base...and try the DIY install of a SSD drive. I figure my MBP can be my travel/work computer and I've always wanted a home office desktop. So this has always been a want for me...BUT...

    Option 2: With the new Mac Mini's...a friend of mine suggest I'd get a Mac Mini ($799 Model) and the 27" Thunderbolt display. He said he regrets getting the 27" iMac and said how much easier it would be to swap out "mini's" when it gets old, doing modifications, etc. He made some good points...but also suggest looking into getting a MBA for the portability. Though I for some reason couldn't justify paying $999 for a "docking station display".

    Option 3: (or just something I JUST considered) the latest option as to seeing people talk about this Kindle Deal and getting 20% off from AMAZON on MBA purchases. This deal just makes you want to just go out a grab one...BUT my plan was to have a "home office set up" and an just thinking about buying a 13" air AND buying a thunderbolt display?! Sounds like its gonna cost A LOT.

    BTW, I am a photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver are my main uses...lite, lite, LITE video editing here and there and of course the email and web surfing too :). But for the most part, as enticing as this kindle deal is for the MBA, scratch that option! Plus I want to store all my photos and music and more on this so I can get rid of it on my MBP. Opinions? Suggestions? Should I go with my first instinct and get the iMac? Ek, help! So torn!
  2. anc1en7z macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2010
    iMac, the graphics processor is much better than the Intel 3000

    It would be much cheaper and with the extra money you would be able to put it towards an External/Internal SSD for a much more improved speed boost.

    Plus you dont have to buy the keyboard & mouse/trackpad which is like over £100
  3. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Unless you are a gamer, the Intel graphics are "good enough". The mini is a decent deal (more on this later) and the newer models are more upgradeable (just pop off the bottom lid).

    Say you pick up an iMac. You have everything in one box. CPU, optical drive, HDD, memory and display. You will need more skill to upgrade components in an iMac and I even saw an article that normal SATA drives won't work in the newest iMac. This is the most alarming development as you could be stuck with rotating storage long after SSD becomes just as cheap. Finally, if you want to upgrade the display, you can connect an external display to the thunderbolt/displayport but now you have two displays.

    For me the attraction of the Mini is the size and the fact you can use a cheap display at first then upgrade later. You don't need the $999 docking station display right away. You can go with one of those $150 1080p 22 inch external monitors and get by with that setup for quite a while. The best part is the mini has hdmi out which leaves the thunderbolt port available for thunderbolt peripherals. Thanks to Blu Ray pushing 1080p onto all but the cheapest sub $100 displays, it is easy enough to get an inexpensive monitor and while the iMac is beautiful, it might not be your lowest cost option.
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Because of what you're doing, you are going to want a strong graphics card on top of a good processor.

    *check Apple's site*

    The iMacs have stronger graphics cards in them (discrete at that) and are quad core computers so you're going to get better performance across the board as opposed to the Mini.

    IMO, Apple is pushing the mini as a desktop that isn't as strong as the iMac or the Mac Pro. If you're going to be doing serious work on the machines and you want something that's going to do everything you throw at it for years to come, get an iMac.

    Now I don't have either so it would be wise to read a ton over at the Mini and iMac boards and see how people's experiences are with them.
  5. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I just got the 27 inch 1699 model of the iMac yesterday... I was actually just wondering if it's overkill...

    I do light video editing and play games once in a while... after reading this post I think it's worth the extra money for the iMac over a Mac Mini, no way I can get a quad core computer with a hi-res IPS monitor for the same amount of money... I wanted the Mac Mini so I could put an SSD in more easily... there is no way I am taking an iMac apart... those tutorials are way too intimidating.

    So I say get the iMac! :)
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Very nice. Yea I don't think i'll be getting a desktop soon, at least not until i'm out of college and have a comfortable job and everything and/or do something that requires the performance.

    But that's a good price for all of the power you have in it; the screen alone costs a lot; add in the mouse, keyboard, and the internals and you get a hell of a deal.

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