Why I ditched my 2018 mac Mini and got an iMac instead

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BigBoy2018, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502

    BigBoy2018

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    #1
    Quick story:

    I bought the 2018 mac mini back in November. I was initially interested in the idea of a small, powerful, desktop computer.
    So I bought mac mini 6-core 3.0. $1100
    Then I got the LG 4K display for $630.
    But the video card in the mini is so awful, I started looking at the external gpu (radeon pro 580) which would have cost an additional $700.
    So the setup I was looking at would be around $2500 total with tax. That, by the way, is with only 8gigs of ram, and a 250gb ssd.

    So I compared that to a 27 inch i5 3.8ghz iMac at the refurb store. To buy that, plus a 2TB samsung 860 Evo SSD that I could install interally, along with 32 additional gigs of ram (40gigs total) would bring the price total to - you guessed it - right around $2500 ($1949 for imac, $260 for 2TB SSD, $230 for 32 gigs of ram.

    The advantages of the iMac vs. the mac mini I can configured: a bigger, better monitor, and less mess and wires all over my desk. A MUCH bigger SSD and MUCH more ram for the same price.

    The advantage of the mac mini setup I had configured: Slightly higher geekbench scores.*

    *But here's the thing, since the mac mini is a 3.0ghz processor that turbo-boosts to 4.1ghz, it can essentially 'trick' geekbench for the short time it tests, since turbo-boost does not overheat the processor in that amount of time. But for long encodes or renders (which I do a lot) the mini will NOT be able to sustain it's turbo boost speed and drop down to 3.0ghz after not too long. Meanwhile, the 3.8ghz i5 will maintain it's speed for the duration of a long render, making likely a little bit faster than the mac mini in my use case.

    Bottom line, for me, the iMac was a no brainer choice over the mac mini.
     
  2. NaimNut macrumors member

    NaimNut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    I bought a MacMini, replacing an aging iMac after sitting on a fence for a long time and haven’t regretted the decision.

    Other than browsers and native apps, I run LR CC with 1TB storage (not classic) and HighDesign (2D drafting software).

    All I can say is graphics speed doesn't seem to be a problem. Everything runs smoothly/lag free.

    I bought for today and if my needs change tomorrow, an eGPU or SSD/TB3 is an option.

    Horses for courses.
     
  3. gusping macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I was so happy it came out. I already had a 4K monitor for my PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, so just paid £1300 (thanks to a student discount) for an i7/16GB RAM/256GB SSD model. I may... get an eGPU if I want to go all out and go for a triple 4K monitor setup, but otherwise it's perfect.
     
  4. pl1984 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #4
    The Mini is a great computer for what it is: A SFF computer. Unfortunately, do to dearth in Apple's product line, people are forced to expand it to try and make up for the holes in the Macintosh line.
     
  5. BigBoy2018 thread starter macrumors 6502

    BigBoy2018

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    #5
    I do a fair bit of video editing, so for that, the weak gpu would be deadly.

    Additionally, I do like to run bootcamp and a decent Windows game now and again (bioshock, fallout, etc). So the decent GPU is really nice to have on that count as well.
     
  6. IngerMan macrumors 65816

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    You are brave opening up a new purchase iMac under warranty to swap out the internal drive. I have read upgrades to the M.2 970 Evo with 2000 plus read and writes. But I don't think you will see that in a 860 evo only 500 read and writes.

    I just sold my late 2015 iMac 2TB fusion today. I contemplated upgrading to the 970 evo, but in the end did not want to risk it or invest in the 3 year old machine.

    Instead I am taking the sale money and buying this. I will run it from my 2017 15" MBP. One step closer to a mini when they upgrade the iGPU.

    Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 7.26.53 PM.png
     
  7. mroy16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    #7
    Apple can't upgrade the iGPU. They're using Intel's desktop line of graphics, and they all come with the same iGPU options. The only way they could get better integrated graphics would be dropping down to mobile processors or getting custom silicon from Intel. The first defeats the point of switching to desktop processors, and there is no indication of the second happening anytime soon. Apple has been pushing eGPU solutions, and I don't expect them to address the integrated graphics in the Mini any other way.
     
  8. BigBoy2018 thread starter macrumors 6502

    BigBoy2018

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    #8
    The hard drive upgrade isn’t very hard. I’ve done it on a few different ‘thin’ iMacs. So ‘brave’? Nah.

    As far as the speed of the 860 evo goes, in my experience it’s the acces times of the ssd that really makes the HUGE real world difference. The raw transfer speeds ... not as much.
    Plus it’s only with a huge transfers Between equally fast SSD’s where that huge transfer speed would really be noticeable. In other words, are you copying a 50gb folder from one m.2 with 2000 read speeds to another m.2 with 2000 write speeds? On the other hand, if you’re transferring to an external drive, like for instance, an 860 evo ... then the huge read/write speed of your m.2 isn’t going to get you much, if anything.
     
  9. Maccotto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #9
    Thx you for your experience.
    I told you a think, my idea about Mac mini better iMac.
    Mac mini need less maintenance then IMac.
    All in one : crash video card,monitor or other? Go to Apple store
    Mac mini:crash video card? Buy another or replace from amazon crash monitor? Buy another o replace from amazon

    Mac mini go to Apple store only for motherboard o fan problem (ssd is hard to die and ram can be replaced easily ).
     
  10. bigtomato macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    #10
    the iMac can cost a lot to replace, anything having to do with the display costs a minimum of $850 Canadian. The 6 core mini is fast compared to the iMac. I might just buy a mini, then get the desktop when it comes out. Yea lots of holes in apples product lines. Its disgusting that you have to spend $6k to get a built in graphics card that's modern. Egpu are limited to applications whereas internal takes advantage of everything.
     
  11. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #11
    What is SSF?
     
  12. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Small Form Factor
     
  13. tyche macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #13
    As much as I wanted at an iMac it was close to $1000 more than my mini configuration (I'm not in the US). The iMac cost has been what has stopped me buying one for years. I can only imagine the next model will cost more. It was time to upgrade from my 2010 iMac and I have to say the mini done the job admirably.
     
  14. NaimNut macrumors member

    NaimNut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    Ha Ha
    I googled it earlier to find out.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2019 ---
    great point
     
  15. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #15
    OK, thank you. :)
     
  16. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #16
    3840 x 1600?

    I have a 4096*2304 Ultrafine 4K and it runs perfectly.
    It obviously depends on a specific need, but SATA3 SSD having 90000 IOPS vs m.2 having 400000 IOPS means I can use a single drive for everything because it has enough throughput. (I do music and audio)
     
  17. IngerMan macrumors 65816

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #17

    Yes it is 3840 x 1600

    Are you using a eGPU with the monitor and mini?
     
  18. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #18
    Nope! Directly to Mini.
    Running 4k60fps is fine, there's no GUI stutter, running Logic works fine.

    I'm running at native (2048*1152 @2x) non scaled resolution.

    I've heard 5K has issues, 4K seems to run just fine.
     
  19. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #19
    BigBoy2018 makes some good points. The iMac and the mini are very different machines. There is still some choice to be had among Apple computers. My choice was an i7 mini.
     
  20. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #20
    Completely different in my opinion. I wouldn't even consider an iMac (Pro), i was sure I was going to stay on the 15" until they released the Mini
     
  21. Hessel89 macrumors regular

    Hessel89

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Location:
    Arnhem
    #21
    I actually sold my iMac 5K when Apple announced the new Mac Mini.
    A maxed out Mac Mini + LG Ultrafine 5K is more expensive upfront but the freedom it gives me is worth it for me.
    When the new Mac Pro comes out I can simply sell my Mac Mini and keep everything else.
     
  22. F-Train macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Location:
    NYC & Newfoundland
    #22
    It was such a no brainer that you bought a mini before ultimately buying an iMac.

    Meanwhile, there’s nothing in your post about that couldn’t have been figured out by spending 30 minutes looking at prices and specs before you bought either of them.
     
  23. BigBoy2018 thread starter macrumors 6502

    BigBoy2018

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    #23
    True, but when the mini came out, it was an impulse buy and I wanted to try it out and did really want to like it. Returned it within the 2 week window so no skin off my back.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2019 ---
    You’re saying a typical 2.5 inch ssd is too ‘slow’ for audio editing?!! I know a few guys who do audio just fine on fusion drives or even standard spinning drives.
     
  24. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #24
    No, I mean I can safely run sample libraries, audio projects and applications all from the same drive. (or in my case, applications on internal and everything else on external).

    Project opening times, sample loading is all much faster from NVMe than a SATA + you can offload RAM because you can stream more samples from a faster drive, loading less into RAM.

    As far as editing goes: detecting transients on a spinning disk drive takes forever on a multitrack drum take for example, much faster on an SSD and even faster on a NVMe.
     
  25. BigBoy2018 thread starter macrumors 6502

    BigBoy2018

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    #25
    Ok, and I’d wager if you had a garden variety 500Mbs read/write SSD I seriously doubt you’d notice a difference between that and your insanely fast ssd doing the audio work you do.
     

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