Would a 2012 Mini be similar to a new iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by I Need a Drink, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. I Need a Drink macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #1
    I've been using PCs since the DOS days in the early 80's. I have never really used a Mac more than a few minutes at a time over the years. I switched to iPhone last year from Android with the 5s and upgraded to a 6 this year. I also switched from an iPad 2 to an Air 2 this year. Obviously, I'm staring to get locked into the Apple ecosystem and I have been thinking about switching to a Mac and running Parallels for the Windows programs that I need to use.

    I stopped by the Apple Store today and looked at an iMac (both a 27" standard and 5K) and they were both fast and smooth as butter. I even sort of liked the Trackpad, which I thought I'd hate. Before I fully commit to a $3,000+ iMac I was thinking of getting a 2012 Mini and upgrading the RAM to get used to the switch. Would a 2012 i7 Mini upgraded to 16GB of RAM be anywhere as fast and smooth as those display iMacs were?
     
  2. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #2
    Under two provisions (IMO):
    - with an SSD-only setup (buy the kit from iFixit, replace the HD with a fast SSD of your choice). You can of course also build your own Fusion-drive - but the SSD of the new iMac is faster than any SSD in the Mini can ever be - because it's hanging at a faster bus - and thus the Fusion drive performance of the iMac is apparently quite nice. Personally, I wouldn't want that complication.
    - if you neglect GPU performance - the GPU of the iMac is at least an order of magnitude more powerful than the integrated HD4000 GPU of the MacMini
    It's not an issue if the most taxing thing you do is run Google Earth.

    MacMini: you've got to buy keyboard, mouse or track-pad yourself and supply a display - but you can buy the display of your choice (along the technical capabilities of the hardware, of course).

    CPU-wise, an i7 2.3 GHz 2012 Mac Mini isn't that much slower than a 2014 i5 iMac, apparently.
    Oh, and the iMac can be upgraded to 32 GB RAM - whereas the Mini is maxed out at 16 GB.
     
  3. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    No. iMacs are a cut above a mini, especially the 27". If you can afford a big iMac and like the AIO form factor then just get one and don't look back.
     
  4. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    It's pretty close if you compare a quad core i7 mac mini and you're talking about basic tasks.

    However, when pushing the capabilities of the machine I think you're right you can't really compare them. The exception is tasks needing processor cores and not graphics power, a mac mini would easily be comparable to an iMac.

    It really depends on what the OP wants to do application wise, as they haven't stated this.
     
  5. gugy macrumors 68030

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #5
    What about Photoshop CS6? Does it take advantage of quad core or not. Do you think dual would be enough? I can't get an answer to this.
     
  6. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    According to Adobe's site, they recommend more cores for Photoshop, and a dedicated graphics card only helps you with video. So ideally, a Mac Pro with multiple cores would be best, but that's my point above, a Mac Mini quad core would do just fine against an iMac.

    It's part of the reason I bought mine, I'm just starting out with photo editing.

    http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/files/2012/07/CS6_hardware_recommendations.pdf
     
  7. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #7
    Thanks,
    I am looking for a Mini 2012 quad. I found some new ones at $800. I am looking for a refurb one so I can pimp it with RAM and SSD. As long as I can keep it under $1k. That's a deal.
     

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