Which iMac/Mini to replace Dell

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dukedvl, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. dukedvl macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I have decided it is finally time to replace my Dell Dimension desktop with a new Mac. I currently use a late 2008 2.53 MBP as my primary computer as the Dell desktop has become extremely slow to use. The Dell is mainly being used as a central place to store my music and movies. I am trying to determine if I should go the route of getting an iMac or possibly a Mini (since I have gotten used to not using the desktop).

    I think if I had a faster desktop I would use it more often as it wouldn't be such a pain. I plan on using the desktop for the usual web browsing, music, and movies as well as using Photoshop, iMovie, Handbrake, and will need to run Windows 7 using Fusion. I don't play any games at this time. I have been looking at the the refurbs as well as the new models as I do qualify for the education discounts, iPod, and printer.

    The main thing that throws a monkey wrench into which model to buy is that I tend to keep my computers for awhile and don't upgrade just because new technology has come out. I have had my current desktop for 7 years and my previous desktop I had for 9 years.

    If I go the iMac route, I want one of the 27" models. I know the Refurb 3.06GHz model for $1269 will probably get me by with what I need to do today but I am worried about how it will be 5 years down the line. I know it is probably overkill but i have also been looking at the Refrub i7 for $1699 as well as the new i7 model which would be about $200 more than the refurb after selling the iPod and printer.

    The other option is to just get a Refurbished Mini ($599) or Server ($849) and use it how I am currently using my Dell Desktop for music and movies. If I go this route, I do have a wired Apple keyboard, monitor (Only 18"), and trackpad so I would not have to buy those, but I would need to buy an external HDD as my music would not even fit on the Mini 320GB HDD. I am worried if I go this route, it would not last as many years as an iMac would.

    The Back To School Promo ends on Tuesday, so if I am going to go the new route for any of the models I probably need to order over the weekend. Any thoughts or input on which way would be the best route or is there a different model in the middle that would be a better fit? Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    iMac is significantly better bang for the buck. The 27" display is already 1000$ and you can't even compare it with the 18" you have. If you have the $, I would get the i5 or i7 refurb as those are much faster in HandBrake and more "future-proof"
  3. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    Since you're going to be using the new computer as a work computer, the imac is probably worth the extra money. Bigger screen, faster everything. And add in the cost of at least 2 more gig for the mini if you're going to be running a vm.
  4. jamied95 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2009
    I'd get the iMac, by the time you factor in the cost of getting a screen, the cost difference can't be that great?
  5. dukedvl thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I have ruled out the Mini am leaning towards the refurbished i7.

    Do you feel the $200 net difference after selling the iPod and printer is not worth the upgrade to the new i7? I am thinking for what I would be using it for, I probably wouldn't benefit much from the newer model. One advantage is that I could get the 2TB HDD instead of the 1TB. I could just get an external to address any space issues.
    Decisions, decisions . . . thanks again.
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Certainly the iMac whether it is new or refurbished.
  7. dukedvl thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I went ahead an ordered the refurbished i7. The difference between the new and refrub was closer to $250 since I was also able to get the printer with the refurb model, which I still plan on selling. I figured I could use the difference between the two and put it towards an external hard drive or more memory if necessary. Thanks everyone for their input.
  8. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Just curious, can you get the "free" ipod with refurbished macs? That would be a pretty sweet deal.

    Although I'm way late to the thread, i would recommend the i7 since you keep your computers for a long time...
  9. dukedvl thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Nope, education discount and iPod only with a new purchase, not the refurbished.

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