Why Mac Mini instead of iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Zelnaga, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Zelnaga macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #1
    Hi guys. Im considering a Mac Mini or an iMac. Money isnt really an issue but I want to get the most out my money. I rarely play games apart from the occassional Stacraft 2. How well does it run on Mac Mini? I dont care if it doesnt really. Just interested to know for the people thats tried.

    Im a general user word processing/mail/surfing web, but have a HUGE amout of time spent on the computer watching Anime. Would have be sufficient for my needs? Storage space I dont mind as I use external, the only downside is the screen and whether the graphics card is gonna enough to show HD anime or movies without any stuttering or slow down.

    Still thinking iMac generally you get the most for your money but Id also like to know why you chose Mac Mini over iMac? Unless its purely down on price?
     
  2. ThinIce macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    #2
    I have both an iMac and a couple of mac mini's. The iMac is used for all the typical tasks normally done on a computer and the mini's are connected via HDMI to flat panel TV's. The mini's are used exclusively for streaming TV shows, movie's, Plex, and MKV playback of bluray movies. The mini's are great media machines for the TV but I would rather have an iMac for computing, web surfing, email, etc.
     
  3. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #3
    I chose the mini because I like the small size, and because my desktop Mac needs do not require an i-class processor.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    If you don't already have a display, then the iMac makes most sense. I have a mini because my TV is the display and my iPad is my main computer.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    i couldnt help but laugh at this :)

    even the lowest end MacBook can handle HD anime or movies - the ones that you are referring to anyway (which are highly compressed and likely have low bitrates). i wouldnt worry about that factor.

    it seems as though the iMac would be the best choice, the all in one is GREAT!
     
  6. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #6
    The iMac is a better deal if you have to buy a screen, keboard, mice for the mini. The idea is you can replace a desktop pc with a Mac mini and reuse all your old stuff.
     
  7. montom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #7
    The screen was a deal breaker. I cannot deal with the ultra-reflective, LED-backlit, glassy screens.

    So I'm using the 2010 Mini with a Dell u2211h for its matte e-IPS screen and low price. It does 1080p HD no problem.

    The Mini makes for cheaper system upgrades. I can keep the same monitor, sell my Mini, and only spend 250-400 total to get the newest Mini in a few years. They don't lose resale value as quickly as the iMac.
     
  8. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #8
    This is the most important reason to consider a Mini. I returned a 27" iMac for a Mini + u2211h because I couldn't stand the glossiness. Check out the iMac in a store if you can and look at some webpages with darker backgrounds to get an idea of how reflective it is.

    Anime plays fine... for h264-encoded stuff you'll even have hardware-acceleration. Gaming depends on the game. I've only played Quake-based stuff, which runs flawlessly.

    <aside>montom, would you mind heading over to my u2211h thread and sharing any display issues (or lack thereof) from using it with your Mini? Thanks!</aside>
     
  9. batistuta macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #9
    I am also not too fond of the glossy screens and love the 30" I have (Dell). And swapping the harddrive for a SSD seemed easier in the Mini - now you can just buy it as a BTO for the Imac, but that was not the case when I bought my Mini.

    This summers price hike does however make it very expensive to go the mini route :-(
    Here in Denmark we are talking 30+% over the last generation. And a whopping 50% markup over current US prices (and that's INCLUDING 10% sales tax on the US price).
     
  10. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #10
    I purchased the Mini because I already had a Dell 3008. The mini sits under the left side and takes up hardly any space. I did not want another monitor on my desk. One is enough. I was looking into the iMac's but again, I don't need or want an other monitor. Plus as others have said, the reflective screen is atrocious. I have one at work and it's basically a mirror on dark backgrounds. I can see everything happening behind me. Granted the PQ is amazing, the glossy screen is a pain. :(
     
  11. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #11
    I think the deciding factor for me was the fact I use my iPad for most of my email and surfing but some things are still better suited on a large screen when you want to share. The 27" iMac was a great machine but not really a good setup to sit at my desk with company to watch a movie or show someone vacation pics. The mini hooked to the big screen tv has made it a lot of fun for my wife and I to share movies, pics with family as well as be able to relax in my recliner while surfing on a nice large screen.

    I don't watch all that much "live" tv other than sporting events, so the ability to watch, Hulu and Netflix in our family room on the main tv has been really nice. The mini simplified the process of getting so many things to the big screen so sharing any sort of media is a very, very easy. SD card could be more accessible but a small price to pay considering the overall benefit of this type of setup. Bottom line comes down to how you want to use a computer and what appeals to you. I don't know that I'll ever go back to a desktop and desk/office chair setup.
     
  12. k3roro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    #12
    I purchased a Mac Mini after I had purchased, exchanged, and returned a 21.5'' iMac.

    I had the yellow tinge problem and did not want to play the "switch-until-you-get-satisfied" game because the thing is quite heavy to lug around.
     
  13. PurdueGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #13
    Does the fact it has the LED backlight really bother you? Or are you just saying that since the new ones are LED/glossy?

    I understand people not liking the glossy/reflective screen. But I love the LED backlighting for it no warm-up period. I go to work with an old Cinema HD display, and forget it takes a bit to warm up, and I adjust the brightness, etc.
     
  14. X42-Negative macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    #14
    Mac mini imo is much better than an iMac if you already have a screen.
     
  15. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #15
    I tried an iMac first and returned it for a new mini. Loved the flexibility of the Mini and found the iMac was too rigid. I have it in my bedroom and love it. I already had a 24" combo Monitor/LCD TV, so the Mini, the cable box, and the blu ray player are all hooked up to the TV. I stream Netflix, watch Hulu, and my own movie collection on it and love it. Have it hooked to some bluetooth Sony speakers.

    The mini seemed a little high priced for the hardware you are getting, but once you see how versatile that little aluminum brick is, you are hooked!
     
  16. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    We have both Mac Minis and iMacs at work. The iMacs are better when doing more proccessor intencive tasks but the Mini's are great for everyday use. We oftem move the mini's to different rooms for presentations on projectors. I have an old iMac G4 (first flat pannel iMac) i use as a media centre. I dont need the screen on it as i use my tv, its a pain that i cant remove the screen without serious modification.
     
  17. Rapscallion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #17
    I had the same issue trying to decide if the iMac was a better fit for me then the mini.

    I felt that if I got the mini I could use the money I saved to purchase a 42" or bigger LED tv, and if I so desired I could use it with the mini. I also decided to go refurb and save an extra $100, and I'm very happy with the purchase.

    I did however upgrade the ram right away, I noticed that after reading alot of the posts about the mini that this was an issue most people had with thier system. Now my mini meets my needs perfecty, and all I have to do is find a great LED TV :D
     
  18. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #18
    because the 27'' is very wide and the 21.5'' is too normal.buy mini plug it to the perfect size of 24 of ACD.
     
  19. MrMoore macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington Heights,IL
    #19
    I have a MacMini. I chose it because I already have a nice 24' monitor and Firewire 800 drive. I didn't have a need for a 27" screen or the extra disk space.

    21" would have been too small. It wasn't a factor, but also some people do not like the glossy look to the iMac screen. I use a Dell monitor that does not have a glossy look.
     
  20. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #20
    Another vote for the I have a Mini cos I don't want a glossy screen (or need the power of a Mac Pro). Just wish the price wasn't so bad.
     
  21. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #21
    The current iMac lineup is quite phenomenal, my i7 is just a dream to use, but then I'm using it rather heavily.

    I love Mac minis, I have a CD from way back when and it's still home to my iTunes library and personal things. They're greater than the sum of all their parts for sure, but while both mini and iMac have come a long way since then the iMac has come a lot further.

    A lot of your decision therefore comes down to whether you already have a screen you want/need to use. If not, definitely get the iMac :)
     
  22. speedythecat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #22
    Since my eyes can't tolerate LED backlit glossy screens I really had no choice but to get a mac mini. I would have gladly taken a macbook pro or an imac if they hadn't had those types of displays.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but after you upgrade the ram to 4GB, I don't see any other benefit of the imac over the mini except for the better video card?? I don't even see where everyone says the mini is only worth the money if you already have the display, keyboard and mouse because I don't and my setup is going to come out roughly the same after you figure in the applecare is $100 cheaper on the standard mac mini vs the standard imac.

    I think the mini has some advantages too with the HDMI and the low energy cost. Not to mention if I ever had to ship it anywhere for service it would be atleast 25 pounds lighter, LOL. :) I kinda like having the components separate as well. Imac just kinda reminds me of the tvs with the built-in vcr which was seldom a good idea.

    If it were not for the screen though I would have likely bought an imac just because it was an easy all-in-one-box solution for my first mac. However now that I have looked into it further I'm looking forward to the mini.
     
  23. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #23
    Hi,
    I have 2 monitors hooked-up: 28" and 26":
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Zelnaga thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #24
    Got a picture of the setup? Also how ive seen many mac minis been hooked up with the two of the same make/model/size monitors with same connections. But theres only one adapter for either the displayport (adapter) or one HDMI? unless you use a spliter?
     
  25. X42-Negative macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    #25
    You use a MiniDisplay Port to DVI and a HDMI to DVI adapter. I also run dual monitors with my 2010 mini.

    17" at 1280x1024, and a 24" at 1920x1080

    [​IMG]
     

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