What apple desktop? working on a budget!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by applemike, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. applemike macrumors 6502

    applemike

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #1
    Hi

    I've been after an Apple Mac for some time now, and have finally saved up some money to buy a real one, other than hackintoshing. I was wondering, what is more economical? A Mac mini, with magic mouse and keyboard, and a non Apple monitor, or a 21 inch iMac.

    I will be using the computer for photoshopping, (CS4) movie editing (Prem Pro CS4), general web surfing, word processing and Iphone SDK (playing around, nothing serious). And will most likely have a windows partition for light gaming.

    Any ideas on specs and what I should go for?

    Thanks in advance
    Mike
     
  2. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #2
    Personally I would go for the base model iMac, it is faster than the Mac Mini (3.06ghz vs 2.53ghz on the high end mini), comes with 4gb ram standard (same as high end mini), 500gb 3.5" 7200rpm hard drive which will be much faster than the 2.5" (laptop) hard drive in the mini. The 9400m should be enough for light gaming, but maybe you should consider the higher model with a dedicated graphics chip (again, depends on which games you are planning to play).
    By the time you have bought a Mac mini, the magic mouse, keyboard and a screen you won't be far off the price of the iMac, which will definitely be a faster machine. Only go for the mini if you definitely want to choose your own monitor. [​IMG]
     
  3. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #3
    Look for the refurbished 24" with 3.06GHz and nVidia 8800GT on the Apple Store. It is a great computer that rivals its newer counterparts in nearly all benchmarks and can be had for $1199.
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    You dont want a mini.

    iMac 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM 500GB HD SuperDrive Nvidia GeForce 9400M, $1050AR

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10682017


    Or, if you can go another few hundred

    iMac 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM 1TB HD SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 4670, $1350AR

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10684961

    The 24" iMacs were no slouch, but the ram limitations are the big stumbling block for me. Even with 4 gigs ram, I often seem to run out. =( Going to 6 gigs is gonna cost me $250, and 8 is impossible. New iMacs go to 8 for $100.
     
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #5
    I agree with Badger, a Mini is not the best option for your needs. Look at the cost of getting 8GB or even 6GB of ram, if that looks out of the question for anytime soon, looking at the 24" refurb is not a bad idea at all. Futureproofing in any sense of the term makes little sense.
     
  6. dankybear macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    i would go for the refurbished imac as well, the mini does not have enough processing power for intense photoshopping
     
  7. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #7
    Or just get the refurb base 21" for $999...
     
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #8
    Or brand new for $50 more.
     
  9. applemike thread starter macrumors 6502

    applemike

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #9
    Thanks, I think i'll be looking into the refurb store for an iMac. from what you have said, and the fact that the mini wont handle extensive photoshopping, the iMac seems a good choice :)
    thanks
     
  10. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #10
    I would like to welcome you to MacRumors and you have fun with your new Mac!
     
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #11
    Glad to see you are on the right track. As with any refurb purchase, constantly check the store as the store constantly changes.
     
  12. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #12
    Not sure where you got the idea that a mini wont handle extensive photoshopping, but it will easily.

    And I'm not talking about some silly little 72 dpi web crap.

    It will easily churn 100+ meg, multi-layered photoshop without a hiccup just fine.

    But since you were considering an iMac, and didnt already have a monitor, thats why we said iMac.

    People always say "I do a lot of Photoshop." and then when I ask them to define "a lot" I usually get "a few files, like 10 megabytes" and then of course I chuckle.

    Im looking at 15 160 meg RAW files right now on my 2.4 iMac, only takes seconds to pop them open and start working. A new iMac will be even faster...
     
  13. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #13
    Get the iMac. The mini is kind of over priced. It used to be the cheapo mac for people trying to get their feet wet in the Mac platform. Now it's more like a luxury item where you pay a premium for the form factor.
     
  14. applemike thread starter macrumors 6502

    applemike

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #14
    I know exactly what you mean when you see that.
    Myself being a skateboarding photographer and constantly having about 15 10MB+ pics open at one time is annoying on my dell. theres only so much it seems it can handle.

    Well Hopefully after christmas ill have a shiny new iMac sitting on my desk.

    thanks for all your help
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #15
    15 10 meg images? LOL =)

    I just popped open 15 40 meg files, most with layers, took 12 seconds on my crusty old 2.4 iMac.
     

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