Would appreciate opinions...

BBuff

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
37
18
This isn't necessarily a need, but more of a want.

I've given my 10yo daughter my Windows PC with a 29" monitor which she uses for schoolwork, an augmented reality headset, and general stuff. This leaves me with 2-29" ultra wide monitors remaining that are doing nothing. I've got a top-end 2017 MBP which is my primary machine and is used for everything from simple document creation to videos to coding using XCode, Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio Code, etc.

I've had my eyes on a new 27" iMac for some time now and look at them every time I'm in a local Best Buy. My daughter uses iMacs at school so this would give her access to one at home since my MBP is off limits. An obvious draw is the wonderful screen, but a downside being that it's an all-in-one.

Then there's the new Mac Mini which was recently released. The draw of the Mac Mini, for me, is that I could just add a keyboard and use the existing monitors that I have. Also, from a price perspective, it's a lower barrier to entry. I'd want to go with something more than the base configuration and add addition RAM myself so the difference may not be a huge amount, but a difference nonetheless.

I have no problem paying for the iMac if that's the better option for tangible reasons (i.e. longevity, value, etc.). I would want this machine to be an extension of my MBP in addition to something that my child could use. I've got a 5TB NAS setup so on-device storage isn't a huge deal.

I would like to hear other's opinions on what that they feel would be the best way to go...including doing nothing.

Thanks
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,142
8,809
California
If budget is an issue, and you are satisfied using the monitors you already own with the Mac Mini, then for me that is clearly the way to go. You can always upgrade the monitors later if you want. You are just giving up the 5K display on the iMac for now.
 

BBuff

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
37
18
Thanks for the reply. Budget isn't an issue, but would like to put the existing monitors to use if I can. I could always unload the monitors I have if the iMac is a better option. It looks like people get many years use of the iMacs.
 

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

Suspended
Nov 14, 2018
235
345
I have always gone the Mini route because I could replace items as needed. If a screen goes bad replace it. If my needs change and I want one big monitor instead of two smaller ones no problem. The current mini's can be spec'd to perform pretty well. The only downside I see to going the Mini route would be replaceable storage. Can't do it, would need to go external. If after several years tech changes you could replace just the Mini, or the monitor separately, would not have to replace it all at the same time. I prefer versatility.
 
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psymac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
508
114
I personally can't go back to non-retina displays, that may be something to consider if your monitors are not retina quality.
 
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BBuff

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
37
18
What monitors are you talking about? 29" by itself don't mean a thing.
Completely agree, Mike. They're a couple of years old LG monitors that are definitely not retina quality, but don't remember the exact specs at the moment. I had 3 of these in a surround setup for my Windows PC and, honestly, very rarely used all 3 at the same time. They were all given to me at one time as a Christmas gift.

I just meant that I had a couple of monitors on-hand that I could use with the Mini. The iMac monitor would be a step-up in every way.
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I have always gone the Mini route because I could replace items as needed. If a screen goes bad replace it. If my needs change and I want one big monitor instead of two smaller ones no problem. The current mini's can be spec'd to perform pretty well. The only downside I see to going the Mini route would be replaceable storage. Can't do it, would need to go external. If after several years tech changes you could replace just the Mini, or the monitor separately, would not have to replace it all at the same time. I prefer versatility.
And there in lies the crux of my "issue". I'm totally with you on the versatility aspect. I don't know what the monitor failure rates are on the iMac, but the Mini provides the opportunity for me to advance that side while keeping the CPU.

Mike got me thinking earlier that maybe the existing monitors that I have don't be great with the Mini and I could potentially be disappointed in their quality with the Mini.

Analysis paralysis...
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,533
Since you already have the monitors and peripherals, a new Mini would be a good choice.
Just pick one that "suits you best"...
 
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rpmurray

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2017
196
436
Back End of Beyond
Apple tends to undercool the GPUs on the iMacs so you're looking at a few years use before it gets fried and starts to fail. At that point it will be very expensive to next to impossible to get it repaired once it's out of warranty. I would go with a NUC and hackintosh it. Twice the power for half the price of anything Apple sells and replacement parts will be way easier to find if you ever need any.