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Mac mini: Replacement for iMac?


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Mac mini: Replacement for iMac?
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JerseyThursday
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Westchester, PA
 
2012-01-25, 01:12

I'm thinking about getting a Mac mini in a year from now, as a possible replacement for my iMac.

I like the $599 model with 500GD and 2.3ghz i5 processor.

The current iMac I have is the late 2007 model (iMac 7,1) with Snow leopard OS.

I don't like that the new mac mini's don't have an optical drive that I can use for dvd's and CD, also to back up files.

I can use my 37" LCD for a monitor, and I can buy a keyboard & mouse for under 100. So I think price wise it will be worth it In addition to saving space.

Should I invest in a mac mini as primary computer, or just buy the new iMac available at the time?
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2012-01-25, 01:34

I'd personally go with a Mac mini unless I needed the extra graphics power. I've had two iMacs die within one year of purchase, and one of them died again five years after the original purchase date. It wouldn't be so bad, but an iMac has a value of $0 to Apple's recycling partners if it won't even boot. Unless you really adore the aesthetic of an AIO, I don't think it's worth the risk of losing a perfectly good monitor if/when your iMac dies out-of-warranty.
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thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2012-01-25, 06:57

I just purchased the base model mini, and am very happy with it, as for the optical drive, i have a separate one and as it's used only occasionally it's not really a problem for me.

The only thing i would recommend is upping the RAM as this makes a huge difference, because RAM is so cheap at the moment i went straight to 8GB.

I used to be undecided.....But now I'm not so sure.
No trees were harmed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-01-25, 10:27

in a year, maybe it'll get a new revision by then? Even though I really like it, as it is, it's still sort of a half-hearted attempt. You'll need a display, unless you already have one. When you add that cost, even something cheap, you're at 750-800 or so. You really have to weigh that against an entry level refurb iMac that could/would be available in a year. It will also have thunderbolt, slightly/much better video, a quad core CPU, 4 RAM slots, no clutter. You can get this machine right now for $999 - and it's probably both a tad more robust for heavy uses, and a bit less fussy to set up and use - though there's not much in it.

The stupidity here is that if you need the extra performance for creative work, you probably don't want the iMac's glossy display, but if you buy the Mini, you don't really get the extra performance. See this tiny little comparison here

Though the mini is probably good enough for a lot of work creative or otherwise...

.........................................
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2012-01-25, 10:40

If you're content with a four- or five-year-old iMac you probably don't need extreme performance, and in that case a Mac mini might be perfectly fine. I have one, and it works very well for me.

That said, an iMac looks far slicker, and is slicker in some ways. For example, when I put my Mac mini to sleep I have to switch off my display manually at the same time as clicking "Sleep" in the Apple menu. If the computer is already sleeping when I switch off the display, the press of the display's power button wakes it up again. And if I switch off the display before sleeping the computer, I can't see where to click "Sleep". Little things like that make the iMac a more integrated, hassle-free solution.

Whether a TV would work well as a computer display is another matter. I suspect it would be a nightmare to calibrate and colour profile!
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2012-01-25, 11:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
That said, an iMac looks far slicker, and is slicker in some ways. For example, when I put my Mac mini to sleep I have to switch off my display manually at the same time as clicking "Sleep" in the Apple menu. If the computer is already sleeping when I switch off the display, the press of the display's power button wakes it up again. And if I switch off the display before sleeping the computer, I can't see where to click "Sleep". Little things like that make the iMac a more integrated, hassle-free solution.
That sounds frustrating.

My Sony TV automatically goes to sleep (after about a minute) when I put my Mac mini to sleep, and it wakes up when I wake up my Mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray
Whether a TV would work well as a computer display is another matter. I suspect it would be a nightmare to calibrate and colour profile!
My TV works well enough for me, but I imagine I'm less picky than you are.

What really weirds me out is the size of JerseyThursday's display. I couldn't imagine using a 37" screen at typical computer viewing distances. Also, assuming it is a TV, it's probably not above 1080p resolution, so the pixels will be huge. My TV is 19" and an unusual-for-TVs 1440x900 resolution, so that part's fine (though not quite as good as the 20" iMac of the time).

The combo has served me well, but I'm planning on jumping to an iMac when I upgrade. I'd really like to eliminate the cable mess connecting my mini to my TV, and I'd want to upgrade my screen anyways. I wouldn't be surprised if the next iMac starts at $999 — there's an edu model available at that price now, and Apple has a history of bringing edu-only all-in-ones to the public after a few months. And I'm expecting them to ditch the optical drive, too.

$999 for a 21.5" Apple all-in-one with a wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad would be a steal, IMO — even if that model had shitty graphics.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-01-25, 11:24

I can't see using a TV as a primary display, even for casual computing from one's couch. It's perfectly fine as a content server or web surfing device, or for making presentations to a group - it could be really good at these things. But I don't see myself being able to sit at the couch a write out an email message that's displayed over on the TV.

.........................................
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thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2012-01-25, 11:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
That said, an iMac looks far slicker, and is slicker in some ways. For example, when I put my Mac mini to sleep I have to switch off my display manually at the same time as clicking "Sleep" in the Apple menu. If the computer is already sleeping when I switch off the display, the press of the display's power button wakes it up again. And if I switch off the display before sleeping the computer, I can't see where to click "Sleep". Little things like that make the iMac a more integrated, hassle-free solution.
When i put my mini to sleep the monitor goes to sleep automatically within a few seconds of seeing no signal.

When i wake up the mini the monitor also wakes.

I've had 3 different mini's with 3 different monitors over the years and never had any problems with sleep/wake.

I used to be undecided.....But now I'm not so sure.
No trees were harmed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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addison
Formerly “AWM”
 
Join Date: May 2009
 
2012-01-25, 20:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
When i put my mini to sleep the monitor goes to sleep automatically within a few seconds of seeing no signal.

When i wake up the mini the monitor also wakes.

I've had 3 different mini's with 3 different monitors over the years and never had any problems with sleep/wake.
I just set up my neighbor's new mini (my wife got her a nice 25% discount!) and it's does the same. The computer goes to sleep and there is a brief second where the monitor displays a no signal then goes to sleep. It wakes back up with the mini too.
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