View Full Version : Help me decide - Mac Mini or 27" iMac

6th April 2014, 09:18 PM
As my 2008 MacBook Air is on its last legs I'm starting to look around at upgrade options.

I am considering letting my iPad do all the mobile computing stuff I need and getting a dedicated desktop system - either a Mac Mini or 27" iMac and as such have looked into the 13" rMBP and it hasn't really excited me (I'm open to being swayed though)

Just looking for people's opinions on the pros and cons of both systems.

I previously owned an iMac when I was in school and loved it, but now I'm thinking that the Mac Mini affords more diversity than an all in one system such as the iMac (and it's cheaper).

Opinions, Go!

7th April 2014, 07:00 AM
If you're thinking Mac mini, remember to consider the cost of a decent screen into things. Also, a Mac mini doesn't include a keyboard and mouse. It may not end up as cheap as you think by the time you add in the extras (unless you've already got them).

Beyond that, it depends on what you want to do with your desktop. The iMac probably offers performance advantages over the Mac mini for anything that works the computer.


8th April 2014, 12:40 AM
Personally I prefer the modular nature of a Mac Mini. I see being able to choose your own screen (and keyboard and mouse for that matter) as an advantage. Apple's screens have fallen behind some of the latest tech from other manufacturers in areas like resolution, gamut and refresh rates, though the best ones are still very expensive.

But the Mini is now horribly overdue for an update. According to the ever useful Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com) it's been a somewhat shocking 531 days since the last update. I don't know about you but it just seems like Apple have been resting on their laurels the past few years.

The current Minis still have an Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics processor which is horribly underpowered by today's standards (it wasn't even that great to begin with) so I wouldn't recommend it.

Unfortunately, it seems like Apple doesn't release products in the first half of the year anymore. Who knows if they even care about the Mini anymore?

8th April 2014, 07:10 AM
Honestly a Mac Mini will do pretty much everything you want (as long as that's not gaming).

It can be configured up to a similar spec to a iMac's (although not as high up and you can only get 16GB ram vs 32GB)... Mind you spec up 16GB RAM and an SSD and watch the price go up up up!

Also consider a thunderbolt display (while very awesome) is due for a replacement sometime soon (hopefully). Stupidly they still use Magsafe 1, although now ship with the magsafe 1 to 2 adaptor (be aware these seem to give up the ghost after a little while, at least both of the ones I had did). It's also only thunderbolt 1 and USB2 :( but all the docking station ports in it make is excellent.

Then you need a mouse and keyboard too. Buying it all from Apple and you're at about $3k! Sure the second time round your new MacMini will be cheaper than a new iMac ;)

If you go cheap(er) with a different screen, mouse and keyboard combo that's going to bring the price down... but do you want to.

8th April 2014, 11:26 AM
Hackintosh is the way. Mac mini is poor value, while wanting modularity is not found in the iMac. Theres always a chance apple can break hacks with a update though. Pick the right parts and you will NOT have problems with software updates.
My hack might as well be a legit mac as for the past year, updates have been a breeze (requires an additional step but easy and consistent notherless)