which Mac for iLife 06?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigbob, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. bigbob macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    I'm a new father, and although I somewhat enjoyed wrestling with Windows software in the past, I just don't have the time anymore. I've got videos and photos stacking up, and grandmas and grandpas chomping at the bit! After seeing iLife '06 and with the new intel minis, I'm ready to pull the trigger. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend which model would be best for my purposes. Right now I'm thinking either the 17" iMac or Core Duo mini.

    My requirements in order of importance:

    1) runs iLife apps well
    2) price
    3) use as "media hub"
    4) browser/email/etc

    I've got a TV with DVI input, and an external usb2 HD that I use now for video. The mini seems like an obvious choice, until you get into the integrated gfx. But I have *no* desire to run any 3d apps or games, so maybe the mini would be enough. I'm planning on upping the RAM to 1gb on whatever machine I get.

    Thanks in advance for any advice anyone has!
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    Any new mac can do what you want it to do. Any mac that can run 10.4 comfortably should be able to run iLife. A mini would be fine, but when you put cost in, including screens, etc. for the core duo mac mini, it comes close to the iMac. The iMac is probably a better value, but does cost more.

    Either one will be fine, but you say you already have a tv/monitor. That makes the mini better for your needs.

    And just to clear things up (i am a little confused), iLife comes standard with all new macs. Just to clear that up. I just don't want you to buy a copy of iLife and have one come standard.
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I think the iMac represents better value for money at the moment. The mini has some good components but is bottlenecked in a few places such as the 2.5" hard drive and the integrated graphics. :)
  4. bigbob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    Would using an external USB drive alleviate some of the problems with the built-in 2.5" drive? If it wasn't for the red flags people have been raising about the integrated graphics, this would be an easier choice. :(

    I suppose I'll go to an apple store when I get a chance and see how "snappy" everything seems on the different models. Thanks for the info so far. If anyone else has 2 cents to add, please do.
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Yeah, adding USB drives means you can get faster and larger 3.5" drives, but it's just an added cost. When you factor in screens, accessories (keyboard and mouse) and the sort, it just seems like the iMacs make more sense. :)
  6. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    Either system will handle what you need to do just fine.

    Ask yourself this - Are you going to be playing videos & slideshows for the family on this computer? Or will you be making/creating DVDs/etc... and mailing them off to them?

    If it's the former, then the mini may be better. The latter, then the iMac.

    Also, is the TV you are considering using for the mini already being heavily used as a TV? If it is, then you may run into issues where someone wants to watch TV and someone else wants to use the computer.
  7. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I'm partial to the iMac. It is just a better value, and for what you are wanting to do, it seems as if an all-in-one computer is ideal.

    From what it sounds like, when you want to use the computer as a media-hub, you would have to move the mini to the TV each time that you want to show a slideshow, or whatever.

    The display on the iMac is more than sufficient for that sort of thing, with the 20" being even better.
  8. Will_reed macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2005
  9. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    I will say Intel Mac Mini.

    You might want to keep your screen for a while when you upgrade, or output your Mac to a TV, like others have said. For me, it just feels weird having to lower your computer's resolution to have the TV output not lag.

    And the Mini should be plenty for what you want to do with it.
  10. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    The limited number of tests to-date indicate that the core duo mini will do everything that you want (the early doubts about the integrated graphics seem to be unfounded with the duo, although you would want to upgrade to 1GB)
  11. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I'm in favor of the iMac (see sig.) but after reading the Mini review by JSW, he has a Mini, you might want to read his thread and see for yourself. I would think the Mini would be fine for you and fun as a media center (having family functions) people can watch on the TV. Good luck and enjoy whichever Mac you get :)
  12. Chasealicious macrumors member


    May 6, 2005
    Fayetteville, AR
    I think the "novelty" of the mini being incorporated into a home entertainment center is heavily outweighed by the practicality of an iMac that will provide a better user experience and a much longer lifespan as a system that's "up to snuff" with new software. iMac all the way.
  13. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    I don't think iMovie works with USB hard drives though....
  14. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Take a lot of these with a pinch of salt. The vast majorty of people bitch-slapped the new Intel mini's for their integrated graphics before actually experiencing it for themselves. There have since been many highly positive reports, though it's important to have a) the Core Duo and b) as much RAM as you can afford.

    Given that both will do what you want with ease, I'd suggest selecting the form factor that is most appropriate for what you want.
  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'd go mini. I'm not at all a fan of the integrated graphics, but let's be honest; you're not running anything that would be any kind of problem for either machine. The mini is basically designed for exactly what you want, and you can save a bundle by hooking it up to your TV.
  16. bigbob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    Everyone, thanks so much for all the input. I'm going to mull over all the new information I have, and make a desicion in the next couple weeks. Hopefully my next posts to this forum will be as a new Mac owner. :)

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