Mac mini with a 24" display or a new iMac 24"? - ehMac.ca
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #1
Full Citizen
 
meall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quebec
Posts: 611
Question Mac mini with a 24" display or a new iMac 24"?

Hi,

Since Apple releases the new iMac, and at the same time, updated the mini, I'm wandering where my heart should go.

I like the iMac, a little bit more powerful, better video card and not sharing memory with main memory, better BTO (bigger HD, faster HD too, memory, etc) iSight and mike, and so on so on. I have not seen one yet, but I'm still puzzled by the glossy screen. Many article I read said that it is a like or not based on personal taste and environment you put it in. I bought a Sony display 2-3 years ago, which I returned, because of the glossy screen. The images were very clean and very fun too work on, but I could not endure to see my face in the screen continuously. That's what I'm afraid about the new iMac.

So far so good, I read the article on Macworld: Apple, Mac, iPod, and iPhone News, Reviews, Tips and Discussion that compare the new mini C2D with an iMac, and while it is less performant it is still a good performer. Only a few points below the iMac. So...

Choosing a mini with a 24" of my choice with the same resolution as the iMac will cost me around the same (maybe a few hundred $ less), but I'll have a smaller/slower HD and not a dedicated video card. I'm wandering if the larger screen resolution will affect the mini performance? Sure, for the HD space, I can use an external HD on firewire. Maybe even boot from it and use the internal and slower disk for backups (like TimeMachine for instance).

I do not play game, or very occasionally, I'm doing iLife/iWork stuff, and Internet surfing. I want the larger screen, as I like to have spaces to play with, but I'm afraid the mini will suffer the higher resolution.

In the long run, the display will stay mine, when I ever decide to change my computer, while buying the iMac mean I'll drop the display and buy a new one. There's pros and cons to all of this...

So I'd like to heard from people having the new (or even older) mini to let me your impression of what you feel about this.

Thanks in advance.
meall is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #2
Honourable Citizen
 
dona83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Surrey, B.C.
Posts: 6,443
Send a message via AIM to dona83
The Mac Mini will drive a 1920x1200 display just fine, just be aware you can't run games and apps such as Motion very well on it, just barely.
__________________
2009 iMac 20", iPhone 4S for the wife and I, too many iPads

Are you backed up??? If so, why? Psyllium Fibre is not free but will do wonders!
dona83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #3
Honourable Citizen
 
iMatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Montreal
Posts: 2,740
I went through a similar decision process last year and lined up a lot of the same pros and cons. Glossy screen wasn't a factor at that time, but my previous machine was an iMac G5, so I have some experience of both setups apart from that one issue.

Several months later...

- I like that in future I will be able to change computers without ditching a perfectly good monitor
- I like that I can easily swap in another computer if necessary
- I like the almost completely silent operation of the mini
- I dislike the large number of cables
- I dislike the mini's large external power supply
- It uses slightly more desk space than an iMac (monitor is equal to iMac footprint, then add mini), but this is not a big deal
- The mini (previous generation) is not a great performer, but adequate for web, word processing, light graphics

So, I think the pros still outweigh the cons.
iMatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #4
Full Citizen
 
meall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quebec
Posts: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by dona83 View Post
The Mac Mini will drive a 1920x1200 display just fine, just be aware you can't run games and apps such as Motion very well on it, just barely.
Like I said, I'm not a gamers, at least, the the gamers that play games that needs the power of a high end video card. For example, the type of games I plays very occasionally are the one you can find on the web (flash or Java games) I may want to play little games like the one you can buy from PopCap.com, and as long as commercial games are in the pipe, I prefer strategy/puzzle games like Myst. But that happen so little that I play games all night (may be not the same for my girlfriend, which play a lot of the games I mention here, for which I also plan a mini), that I'm even wandering if that may be a consideration for me. Maybe for my girlfriend, but not me. And even there, the games I mention earlier are mostly CPU intensive than GPU. She presently have a PC with an ADM chip (can't remember the name, but kinda like a Celeron 2400) with integrated video, and in some games it is shaking a bit...

For all other tasks (iLife, photo editing, iwork, web, etc), I suppose the mini is capable. I was just wandering if the higher video capacity will reduce the power of the "beast". But it should be faster than my PowerBook 12" 1.33, which I begin to feel a bit slow for the new iApps. Not to mention that the 1024x768 screen is not wide enough (I have a 17" at home, but not on the road). So, planning to add a larger display, it can be use with my actual PowerBook in the mean time, I can search for a decent display and buy the mini when ready (maybe when Leopard comes in!).

Does that makes senses?
meall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #5
Full Citizen
 
meall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quebec
Posts: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMatt View Post
1- I like that in future I will be able to change computers without ditching a perfectly good monitor
2- I like that I can easily swap in another computer if necessary
3- I like the almost completely silent operation of the mini
4- I dislike the large number of cables
5- I dislike the mini's large external power supply
6- It uses slightly more desk space than an iMac (monitor is equal to iMac footprint, then add mini), but this is not a big deal
7- The mini (previous generation) is not a great performer, but adequate for web, word processing, light graphics
I think we have the same opinion as to #1, 2 and 3.

For number 4, 5 and 6, I plan to install the mini on a tablet in my furniture when I already have lots of "hidden" cables. That's where I have installed my USB hub, iPod charger, external HD, power outlets, etc. So the cables on the desk should be limited to the max.

One think I hate now with my Powerbook, as I must have all cables go to it on the desk, then I have my little 17" for extended desktop. Too much!

For number 7, if you look at MacWorld, the latest 2.0Ghz mini perform almost as well as the 2.0Ghz iMac. That's mainly because of the cheaper video card. So that should be a good performer for my needs (and those of my girlfriend too).

I'm almost convince now...
meall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 06:24 AM   #6
Fox
Full Citizen
 
Fox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Peterborough, ON
Posts: 938
The latest MacWorld tests suggest that a 2.4 ghz iMac is about 35% faster than the latest 2.0 ghz mini, but most of the tests used are ones that tax the processor and/or video card. I suspect that the difference is minimal for most routine tasks. I ended up buying the iMac over a mini a year ago when the mini still came with a core duo processor and not a core 2. While I don't regret the decision, I'm not a fan of the all-in-one approach and I don't like the inflexibility of not being able to upgrade iMac parts (except the RAM). The mini is more flexible, as you can upgrade the processor, RAM, HD and optical drive yourself. Both macs are very quiet, so no advantage to either one there. If either is more silent, I would say it is the iMac, but the difference is minimal. I assume that the new iMac is also very quiet; at least I haven't heard anything to the contrary.

I'm in the market for another mac and two important things have changed in the mini and iMac. The mini now has core 2 in it, which saves a huge amount of money over buying that processor and installing it yourself. The iMac now has a glossy screen, which I dislike very much. I'm not a gamer or graphic designer so I don't really tax a video card. For me the decision is easy - the mini - but I am waiting another month so as to get Leopard with it. meall, given your use of the computer, I don't think you can go wrong with a mini.
__________________
G4/1.3 ghz Cube, 20" iMac 2.66 ghz Core 2 duo, 2009 & 2011 mac minis and 2013 13" MacBook Air
Fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #7
Full Citizen
 
meall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quebec
Posts: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox View Post
The latest MacWorld tests suggest that a 2.4 ghz iMac is about 35% faster than the latest 2.0 ghz mini, but most of the tests used are ones that tax the processor and/or video card.
In day to day usage, I doubt that 35% will be seen by a user...

Quote:
I'm in the market for another mac and two important things have changed in the mini and iMac. The mini now has core 2 in it, which saves a huge amount of money over buying that processor and installing it yourself. The iMac now has a glossy screen, which I dislike very much. I'm not a gamer or graphic designer so I don't really tax a video card. For me the decision is easy - the mini - but I am waiting another month so as to get Leopard with it. meall, given your use of the computer, I don't think you can go wrong with a mini.
I'm also waiting for Leopard to come out, but I would like to have made my decision by then. So when time comes, I'll be ready to shoot! Not sure the new mini CPU can be upgraded. Some post suggested it may be solder to the MB. But that remain to be seen.

And, as a user who like to upgrade every 2-3 years, an iMac mean paying for a display every 2-3 years. Which in the long run add to the price of upgrading. A mini alone cost around 1000$ dollars. Add a 24" each time you upgrade, and this add up around 700$ for the iMac. LCD screen have a long life and can be used more than 3 years without problems.
meall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #8
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GTA
Posts: 116
How difficult is it to upgrade the Mini's HD to a faster model?

Or would there be a performance increase with an external FW 7200 drive?
__________________
Mac Pro 2.66. Canon 5D, Panasonic GF1

Last edited by psychodad; Aug 17th, 2007 at 09:51 AM.
psychodad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #9
Full Citizen
 
meall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quebec
Posts: 611
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodad View Post
How difficult is it to upgrade the Mini's HD to a faster model?

Or would there be a performance increase with an external FW 7200 drive?
Opening the mini and change the HD is not a very difficult task, I suppose.

As for booting from a FW HD it looks like it is a good way to increase the performance. But then again, I never tried it.
meall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #10
Fox
Full Citizen
 
Fox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Peterborough, ON
Posts: 938
If you're interested in Mac mini upgrading, I recommend that you check the 123macmini website where you can find instructions and videos on how to do it and lots of user recommendations and experiences. Opening the mini and replacing parts is not technically difficult, but there are a few things to watch out for and these are noted in the 123macmini FAQs and forums. I have a G4 mini and I managed to open it up and upgrade the RAM without any trouble. I haven't tried the HD but it looks pretty straightforward. I'm no professional but I have experience upgrading other Macs and I follow the videos and written instructions slowly and carefully. I would recommend doing it yourself if you are reasonably competent with tools and aren't afraid to try it.

My mini came with a 4200 rpm drive (the new ones come with 5400) and I decided to go the external route for an improvement. I bought a "ministack" firewire/usb enclosure and fitted it with a Samsung 7200 rpm 3.5" drive. It is connected to my mini through the firewire port and used as a startup drive. The improvement is very noticable, but remember that I started out with a 4200 rpm drive. The present 2.5" drives used in minis and MacBooks/MB Pros are much better, so you get less of an improvement by upgrading. You can now buy 7200 rpm, 2.5" drives at very reasonable prices that will fit inside the mini and will give you better performance than the 5400's that come standard. However, a 2.5" drive is not equivalent in performance to a 3.5" drive even if both are running at the same speed. Externals are faster in theory, but their performance is limited by the speed of the firewire attachment, so again you are not getting the equivalent of an internal 3.5" 7200 drive in a mini no matter what you do. The only exception I know of involves the use of an eSATA cable inside the mini, which then allows you to get full performance out of an external drive. The mod is not difficult and is described on the 123macmini site, but it does involve having a cable sticking out of the case of the mini.
__________________
G4/1.3 ghz Cube, 20" iMac 2.66 ghz Core 2 duo, 2009 & 2011 mac minis and 2013 13" MacBook Air
Fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thoughts on the Intel Apple pdksh Anything Mac 26 May 7th, 2008 04:05 PM
Anyone has tried the new mac mini with intel processor? Cbot Anything Mac 34 Mar 15th, 2006 10:46 AM
New ATI video drivers for Mac Mini MacME Anything Mac 12 Sep 1st, 2005 06:58 PM
mac mini & studio display CRT = compatible? darkscot Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Help & Troubleshooting 7 Aug 26th, 2005 03:29 PM
WILDLY positive Mac Mini review: TOM'S HARDWARE! Macaholic Anything Mac 23 Feb 16th, 2005 10:57 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:20 AM.



Copyright 1999 - 2012, ehMac.ca All rights reserved. ehMac is not affiliated with Apple Inc. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, Apple TV are trademarks of Apple Inc. Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2

Tribe.ca: Urban living in Toronto!