User Upgradeable RAM? iMac vs. Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nope7308, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I have a late-2008 Macbook that's on it's last legs. Now that I have an iPad, I don't really need the portability of a laptop, so I'm trying to choose between the new iMac and the new Mac Mini.

    I currently have 2x2GB RAM in my 2008 Macbook. Would I be able to use that RAM in either the new iMac or Mac Mini? Also, which would you recommend between the two?

    I like the simplicity of the iMac, but I don't know how the screen compares to Apple's dedicated monitor. The Mac Mini allows for greater flexibility/options, but I think it's the more expensive option. I'm just looking for some honest advice - I haven't been keeping up with the latest developments and whatnot.

  2. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I'm not sure if the RAM is compatible, but the Mac Mini has 2 RAM slots, each filled with 2GB RAM, so you would get no advantage. The iMac has 4 slots, 2 filled with 4GB each. I don't think you memory would make much difference if it was compatible, and RAM is cheap at the moment anyway. You can add it easily afterwards (unless you get the 21.5" iMac).

    I believe the iMac has used the same screen as the Apple monitor, but the new iMac has a different set-up with much less glare. If I got a Mac Mini, I would go with a different monitor that is much cheaper. Several have the same panel as the Apple monitor does, but with much less glare, and less cost.

    I hope to be making the same decision soon (just need the money), and despite loving my white iMac, I'm leaning towards the Mac Mini. I will avoid any potential issues with the new iMac design, and I may need the ability to move it around easily (but need more screen space than a laptop).

    Another thing in the back of my mind is the potential of a retina iMac in a year or 2. I could more easily repurpose the Mac Mini to server or HTPC duties and get that future upgrade. I also have the feeling the next year's Mac Pro may be made more consumer friendly so that it can cover a wider market and so be more commercially viable. That could be my ideal computer, and I could reuse a monitor I had for the Mac Mini.

    It is a difficult choice. Both are great options, so you need to take into account your particular needs. Do you need discrete graphics? I wish that was still an option on the Mini.
  3. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I am not sure that you will be able to use the ram in either the new iMac or Mini. But ram is so cheap through Crucial or OWC. If you are thinking of getting the Cinema Display with the mini it is a good choice. I am sure if you add all the best options to the mini it will get quite expensive. But it also depends on what you will be using the machine for. Others on this forum may know of a better display. Remember the new iMac 21.5" can not have its ram upgraded(only by Apple, which is so over priced), only the 27" can be done by you. I have a 27" iMac currently and find no problems with the screen. The machine is not any where near as flexible in build as the mini but it does a great job for me. Changing ram on either machine will be quite simple to do. I personally am going to upgrade to a Mac Pro when Apple finally updates it, as I am looking for more flexibility in my next machine. Do not get me wrong though as my iMac is a very powerful and solid machine. But I am limited as to how far I can go with it. A Mac Pro or Mac Mini will allow me to go much further and will probably last me longer in the long run. So I guess what I am saying in the end is that the Mini will probably be a better choice for building on. The iMac is a great machine that will give you solid performance but not as much flexibility. Will still last you years though.

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