Why Mini over iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by driftless, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #1
    I was wondering why folks pick the Mini over the iMac? From an iMac user's perspective, it looks less like a headless iMac than it does a more limited choice. Not trying to pick a fight, just curious ..........
     
  2. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    1) money. you pay a lot to get the iMac display
    2) ease. some people don't need the KB and mouse
    3) server/tv media box: you would not use an iMac for wither of these
     
  3. driftless thread starter macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #3
    I should have excluded the server in my post. I forgot about the TV media as we use the iMac and Apple TV. Points 1 & 2 I understand but I was wondering if there were Mini advantages other than being the low cost option.
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    sure imacs have 2 screens 21 or 27 always glossy.

    mac minis have thousands of screen choices.

    also mac minis can be opened and a dead hdd can be replaced.

    good luck with that on your imac
     
  5. gigaguy macrumors 65816

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    USA
    #5
    I hate glossy screens, plus I already had a great big monitor using my 52" HDTV and the mini as HTPC. Post desktop world!
     
  6. driftless thread starter macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    #6
    Yes, so can an iMac with AppleCare. Just not DIY.
     
  7. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    Because it's modular - a computer will become outdated far more quickly than the monitor it's attached to.

    Computer dies - replace the computer
    Monitor dies - replace the monitor
     
  8. snorkelman macrumors 6502a

    snorkelman

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #8
    a) try stacking 2 3 or 4 imacs on top of each other

    b) ease of upgrading - New model comes out? keep monitors, keyboard and mouse, flog £530 mini for £300 then I've taken a £230 hit. I'd need to get £769 for a secondhand base model imac to manage the same, and chances are I'd take more of a hit than that on one of those.

    c) don't really want to have to get another machine just because a monitor has failed, likewise dont really want to pay for a monitor each time the computer fails. Sure I could hook the imac up to another external display to keep it going but its then taking up a lot of redundant desk space

    d) got some stuff I need to take into work? then at a pinch I can unplug the mini throw it in a rucksack and carry it in with me. Not really viable with an imac.

    e) if I want to run two identical displays (resolution, glossy/non glossy, ppi, color temp etc) then when it comes to the imac I need the 27 and a 27 cinema display. With the 21.5 imac theres no identical display available whereas with the mini I can pick a pair with ease.

    At end of the day nothing wrong with the imac (in some respects the 21.5 is going to work out better value for money for a lot of folks) but it just doesn't tick the boxes for me. And until someone else starts buying them for me its my preference that matters :D
     
  9. AuroraProject macrumors 65816

    AuroraProject

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    #9
    I wanted a HTPC server connected to my 73" tv. Mini Server fits the bill.
     
  10. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #10
    I got a mini back in 2009 to replace my old G4 tower because I already had a pair of monitors that I loved, I don't really like glossy displays, and I already had the keyboard and mouse. It's a brilliant, tiny little thing that lets me swap out my monitors in the future (I've already upgraded one of them since getting the mini) and lets me keep them to pass them along to the next computer I get, even if the next one is an iMac :p
     
  11. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #11
    In addition to all the benefits of a Mac Mini stated in the previous posts, one point of advantage for a Mac Mini is its ease of DIY in comparison to an iMac. While one can quite easily disassemble a Mac Mini into pieces, it is much harder for one to do the same for an iMac. When I put the second SSD into my Mini, I accomplished the whole work sitting in front of my desk even without the need to stand up.

    I sincerely hope that Apple can manage to get rid of the iMac line. This may be done with the use of Thunderbolt technology. Can Apple combine an AirPort Base Station with a computing unit and transmit Thunderbolt signals wirelessly? In this scenario, Apple only needs to put a wireless Thunderbolt receiver (which can be made very small) into a 27" Thunderbolt Display and has an iMac-like machine without the present bezel.

    The expansion can be done either at the AirPort Base Station side or at the display side through the use of Thunderbolt technology.

    Furthermore, the AirPort Base Station can be expanded into a powerful computing unit so that one single unit is enough for a small office or house.

    In conjunction with the iCloud, we may have better wireless computing in this scenario.

    What do other folks think about this idea?
     
  12. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

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    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    I hate glossy screens, especially Apple's double-glossy ones with a glass panel in front.

    I can stomach it on the iPad because the screen is so small and therefore easy to turn away from light sources. But I could never do with an iMac. The Mac Mini is brilliant for this.

    Other reasons: it's easier to turn the screen completely off while leaving the computer running (e.g. Converting movies at night). And I use the same screen for my xbox as well, I have the xbox on vga and the mini on dvi.
     
  13. MattyO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #13
    Hate glossy screens

    I got the Mini because it hate the iMac's screen .... with a passion.

    I bought an awesome used LG 26 inch matte display (1920X1200) that I could not be more happy with. The thing is beautiful and only cost me $150.
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    Considering they have hiked up the price of the mini considerably over the past few years, I wish we could get some better configurations. Right now the gap isn't as terrible as it was, but it still cuts far enough below the imac in performance. I wish it had a desktop i7 :( It could be pretty awesome then but Apple is probably worried it would hurt imac sales. It's not even so much a manufacturing cost thing. Laptop parts tend to cost more than midrange desktop parts.
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    LG makes the panels, and you are correct they make some really cheap displays that either match or come close to those put out by Apple. If you think you need a professional display the Apple ones aren't ideal there either. Eizo, Quato, and NEC all blow Apple away in that regard. LG displays weren't always as cheap as they are today. Even new you can get an ok 24" ips display for $300-500 assuming as I mentioned that it doesn't have to be absolutely color critical.

    By the way.... nice find!
     
  16. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

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    Aug 24, 2011
    #16
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I went with a Mac Mini Server because I needed a better solution than VMware or Parallels for simultaneous Windows 7. It takes up virtually no desktop space and I can RDP into it for tasks.
     
  17. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #17
    That is really not my point at all. Both machines can use applecare for a new hdd.

    Like i said good luck dropping in a hdd in an iMac via diy. while it can be done it is far harder to do with an iMac vs a mac mini.
     
  18. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #18
    Didn't they make it next to impossible with the 2011's on the SATA port? The SSD port doesn't seem to have the same restrictions really. I'm wondering how long until solid state technology comes close to rivaling what we have in SATA in terms of cost/reliability. Right now its advantages seem to begin and end at throughput.
     
  19. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #19
    Really? I didn't realize Apple would open up the iMac, although I did enjoy upgrading my Mini on my own, I felt very satisfied.

    Some advantages are that uniformity of displays(you can of two of the same screens if you care about how how they look), the fact you can have two storage disk, the ability to upgrade more often without losing you investment in your screen as well as the low cost of entrance assuming you have a USB keyboard/mouse an a screen.

    Certainly the iMac has some advantages, but I do enjoy my mini.

    As to the poster who thinks Apple should drop the iMac, I can't see that happening anytime soon. That is Apple's go to desktop. It's the competitively specced computer with PC towers. With the Mini you end up paying for the form factor quite a bit and the Mac Pro is priced out of most people budgets. It quite an iconic computer and is a very respectable when it most to most tasks, even high end computing needs can be served by the Quad Core 27" iMac i7 quite well and it's a good deal more price friend then the MacPro

    ----------

    Why would an iMac have any issues doing that? You can get a 2TB HDD or 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD and partition any of the drives.

    Or install something larger on your own if you are up for a challenger.
     
  20. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    huh? the orig Mac Mini in 2005 was $499, considering the 2011 hardware, specs and inflation, I'd say the price has gone down. $599 with easy discounts to about $560, 6+ years later. its a bargain compared the the 2005 model.
    from apple - "1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory and up to an 80GB hard drive for storing digital media creations."
     
  21. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #21
    Two matte screens side-by side. Extreem low noise factor. Portability (after having numorous laptops squashed in overhead luggage lockers on planes) - KB and mouse in checked luggage. TV in hotel as monitor, monitor at client always available, otherwise remote login.
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    thunderbolt fixes the iMacs big flaw a trapped hdd. It allows you to use the inside hdd as a time machine and have a super fast external hdd setup. I have been testing the promise pegasus 6 bay unit while high priced at 1500. if you work at that you can get it to cost under 1300. It allows many setups including a mirror raid and two striped raids. you can have two 256gb ssds in a raid1 and two 6tb raid0 setups. this means death to mac pros more then death to iMacs
     
  23. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 6, 2006
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    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    #23
    Principally, aversion to glossy screens. I work in a room with large windows & during my previous ownership of a glossy iMac, I had no end of problems with reflectiveness & eye strain. Never again!

    If Apple ever canned the Mini, I'd buy 2nd-user ones for as long as I could.
     
  24. Drago89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #24
    .

    1. Glossy/Glassy screen - i don't like looking at myself
    2. Portability - while not a laptop you can take in anywhere - you just need to found display
    3. Price - if you'r not a heavy user who needs quad core and good GPU, then the mini is a really nice choice even if you count that you must buy display for it.
    4. HTPC - i use the mini as main computer, but some day i may hook it to my LCD
    5. Resale - with the used price for macs you can upgrade the mini in 2-3 years without loosing a lot of money and get the latest new mini and even then you'll spend less than one iMac
    6. Upgrades - now you can use two hard drives or ssd and hard drive and it's not that hard to do looking at the videos
     
  25. TuiSong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #25
    So an external hd via thunderbolt is faster than using the internal hd? I'm curious because when I bought my mac mini I had it in mind to purchase an external SSD at a later date rather than get my mini upgraded at purchase (too expensive!, I'll wait for prices to drop more)

    Actually I'm wondering if it means new set ups will be more mix and match component like. I can picture a mini stack with the user having more choices. Imagine being able to just switch out one part of the stack in favor of newer faster without sacrificing the rest of it which might still be current .
     

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