What Mac should I get?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by RustyMacVet, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. RustyMacVet macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Hey all,
    I havent had a computer of my own in a long time and next month I will be moving out west and the cash flow will be significant.

    So I was thinking of getting a Mac Mini because I will also need to purchase a tv to play my brothers PS3 on when I move out west. I was thinking of getting the PlayStation Display (I've read the reviews/pros-cons, it's good for what I need it) and I thought the Mac Mini would be a nice addition to that.

    So I read up on the Mini and found out about the significant performance boost with the addition of ram upgrades and SSD. After calculating everything, my price came out to just over $2000, which is the price of a top tier 27" iMac.

    So now I'm thinking I'd just be better off getting an iMac.

    What do you guys think I should do?
  2. n0cus macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2012
    What do you use your computer for?
  3. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Mostly internet. I'm not going to be editing photos or videos, but I'd like to play Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. I seen them both running pretty nicely on Mac Mini and the graphics were okay for me.

    I watch lots of movies to. Download lots of music.
  4. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Depends on which display you want to get with your Mini. Anything below the quality of a Dell Ultrasharp U2711 or the Apple Thunderbolt Display won't come even remotely close to the display in the iMac. If you consider the PlayStation display ... well, I've seen it in person, and it feels like one of these 200€ 24" Samsung displays ... okay, but not great.

    Pros Mini:
    - cheaper to replace
    - easier to install RAM / change hard drive
    - fast enough for internet and all current Blizzard games
    - the display you choose can also be connected to anything else if you want (except Apple displays)

    Pros iMac:
    - comes with a nice display (again, seperately sold as the Thunderbolt Display)
    - more power
  5. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Whichever one gets updated first. :p

    I just got a Mini (5,1) and am very happy with it thus far, although I'm upgrading from a CD Macbook so whatever I got was going to be a big step up. What I like most is knowing that I can easily upgrade the display, RAM, and hard drive(s) whenever I need to, and that I can hook it up to a massive TV and use it as a HTPC to watch blu-rays in all their glory if I so choose.

    The iMac is insanely attractive, though, and an i7 quad core with an SSD and a couple thunderbolt ports will serve you very well for years to come.

    For me, the choice really came down to how I wanted to spend $1500: a desktop unit (mini) + a portable unit (Air) or strictly one (iMac) or the other (MB Pro). If I had more cheese to throw around, I probably would've went with a maxed out iMac.
  6. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Thanks guys. I think I'll go with the iMac, whenever the new hardware comes out. I'm going to get an SSD installed but I won't order it with one installed cause that's just insanely expensive. I'll have it installed by the mac guys so my warrenty will stay (right?) and I think it will still be cheaper than shelling out an extra $500.

    Question. Why are people so intent on having insanely huge hard drives? Maybe I've been out of the game for too long or something but 128GB seems like more than enough. What would I ever do with 500GB or even a TB?
  7. maxwelltech, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    maxwelltech macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2011
    Irvine, CA, USA
    A Mac Mini is more than enough for you. Remember, if you want to play games, choose the $799 model, that will get you a discrete graphics card (AMD 6630M). Upgrade the RAM and SSD yourself on the Mini, pretty easy to do. As for the display, the iMac 21.5 display is nothing special, and I doubt you will ever need the 27 iMac's display. So, buy the Mini ($799), upgrade to 8GB RAM ($40) and 128GB SSD ($110), and pick a nice 1080p display ($150), and you get yourself a nice machine that will perfectly handle your needs for $1100, cheaper than the price of a baseline iMac without the SSD and 8GB Ram.
  8. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Fist off, Apple significantly reduced the SSD upgrade prices on the new MacBook Pros, and so they will when they update the iMac. So you probably would pay 100 for a 128 GB S-ATA 3 SSD, which should be less than buying it seperately and pay for installing it.

    Second, I'm with you when it comes to the size of internal drives. 120 GB is enough for most of my core apps. But when it comes to everything else, I'm happy to have terabytes of storage available as USB 3.0 drives. My iTunes library needs about one TB, my Aperture library also comes close to one TB, my virtual machines make two TB, my FCP X and Motion project folders need some TB and all my backups double that space again, so yeah, there's plenty need for storage.

    That's true. I went from your statement that you'd have to pay more than 2000 for your Mini setup. How have you calculated this?
  9. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    My prices are in Canadian, and everything is more expensive for us. I recalculated though and was wrong, the mac mini setup I was contemplating is more in the range of $1700.

    I won't rule anything about yet. I do like the appeal of the Mac Mini, but I love the screen on the iMac. Whichever one I get I'm going with the i7 processor and SSD. Can't wait for the new lineups to come out.

    EDIT: Just triple checked and American/Canadian price is the same for both. For the Mac Mini setup I was also including the price of a display.
  10. mattkilla420 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    san diego
    Wow, The playstation display has gone down in price. If you want 3d gaming and to use it as a moniter I' say go for it. I looked at best buy and the display also comes with a racing game as well. Would just have to pick up another pair of 3d glasses so two people could play. While I think it's too small for playing games personally , I really liked how each person had full screen when playing multiplayer.
  11. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    I don't really care about 3D gaming and from what I hear it's not all that great for 3D, but every review that says that also says besides the 3D being not too great, it's an otherwise excellent monitor with terrific picture.

    I looked it up on Best Buy and at $200 it's a steal. Here in Canada we have Best Buy as well but mostly there are stores called Future Shop (which is owned by Best Buy) and it's $300 there. Frustratingly its $400 at EB Games and $500 at WalMart. Complete ******** of them to be charging so much money what with Best Buy and Futureshop selling for so much cheaper.

    I also hear the display has excellent response time at only 4 miliseconds.

    So I'm definitely considering this, but I like the minimalist approach of the iMac. Just the screen, keyboard and mouse. Perfect.

    Do you guys know if the iMac has an HDMI in? Could I hook my PS3 up to it?
  12. JrJ 15 macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    I believe that only on the 27 inch iMac, you can use one of the thunderbolt ports as a minidisplay port in.
  13. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    So I would need an HDMI to TB cord to hook up my PS3? If this is the case I might be sold on the iMac.
  14. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Nope, you can only connect Thunderbolt equipped Macs (or PCs), adapters don't work.
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    you don't want an iMac.

    iMac = no ps3

    I had an iMac it was nice but had some issues. A mac mini is better for you with a 32 inch tv.

    I have a 32 inch 1080p JVC and a wall mounted mac mini as a replacement for my iMac I prefer it.
  16. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Do you think the new Mac Minis will be able to handle Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 good enough?
  17. mattkilla420, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    mattkilla420 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    san diego
    The new Mac minis will probably have hd4000 or maybe even better a low end nvidia chip. I'd look up the performance for the hd4000 and how it handles those games.


    I liked playing 3d on the tv with the ps3. Not nearly as fun as playing on a high end 55 Sony tv though. I can't comment on the refresh rate, but if you don't care about 3d, wallmart sells super ceap 32 tvs here in the states. They even have 1080p 40" for 250 that looked great for the price in the store but its not a name brand tv and is probably way to big as a monitor. I agree with how apple products look. IMO the playstation display is ugly with the speakers on the side.

    Edit. Do you have room for both a computer and a tv? If I had 2k to spend I would buy a 21 iMac, buy a cheap low capacity sad to put your os and applications on (I believe the iMac has two hard drive slots) and spend the rest on a big tv to play your ps3. That way you have a better graphics card then the mini, more storage for your videos and music, and could stream movies to a big tv via the ps3. And a very nice looking Mac.
  18. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    I don't want that much stuff in my room. I just want 1 screen. The PlayStation display has a 4 milisecond response time, no other television I can buy can beat that.
  19. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    That's not so true - I have a high end LG TV which cost several thousand euros, but it has a response time of 3 ms. Not that it matters - my Cinema Display had a response time of 14 ms and it was absolutely NO problem - neither in stunningly fast Starcraft 2 matches nor in action packed online shooters. That really shouldn't be your priority.

    If you want just one screen, then better decide wisely. TV shows and movies will never look as good on a computer screen as on a big TV with good processing. However, I'd say for your needs the PlayStation display is good, although not soo big.
  20. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Thank you. I am unfamiliar with computer gaming and was thinking that response time was critical. Perhaps my money would be better spent on a nice 32" or 40" HDTV.
  21. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    I'm running an early 2009 MacMini and on low settings, I have no issues running D3. No lag or anything. I'm running 8Gs of ram and a 64G SSD drive.
  22. RustyMacVet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    That's great thank you for answering my question.

    Do you guys think this tv would be good enough for my gaming/computer needs?

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