with around 2 weeks to go until I can purchase my new Intel Core Mac, I guess I've nailed down to two possible configurations:
iMac 20" Core Duo - upgrade to 1GB RAM (one stick) right away - $2119
+ 1GB RAM, $198
Mac Mini Core Duo - add 2GB RAM right away (don't want to open it up), $1309
+ Dell 24" LCD screen - $959 (1920x1200 goodness)
+ NewerTech Ministack (driveless, put existing 200GB HD in), $99
+ existing iSight webcam (may have to modify screen mount), $0
+ existing Logitech Cordless Duo MX, $0
since the Mac Mini Core Duo is reported as being very capable of doing 1080p h.264 it's become a strong contender, the integrated graphics is not too much of a problem, I'm sure it can handle SImcity 4 which is probably the most intensive computer game i play, and I can connect a PS2 to the component input and play it picture-in-picture leaving the Core Duo processor to do more important things. So is $50 too much to sacrifice graphics power and sleek design just to get 30% more screen real estate?
Personally, I'd go with the iMac because of the dedicated video card over integrated graphics. I had an old PIII 866 with integrated graphics before I got my iBook and I cursed the loss in ram, the CPU hit, and the sluggishness of graphics. I'm sure OS X will do a better graphics job than WinXP, however I think for driving a 20 inch display, I'd want a dedicated card.
Just my opinion though.
My gear: White MacBook 1.83, 2 Gigs of Ram, Combo Drive, OS 10.5, iPod Video 30 Gig, Canon Digital Rebel XT. iPhone 3G 8 Gig.
Supposedly the Intel 950 isn't all that bad, 1920x1200 on a 23/24" would really do wonders over a 20" with 1680x1050. I actually went down from a ATI 8500DV 64MB on my old PC to this ATI 9200 32MB and I heard the IMA 950 is a couple of baby steps up over the ATI 9200 anyway. I mean the Mac Mini Core Duo has been tested to run the very processor and graphic intensive 1080p h.264 videos with no glitches and that's the important thing in my mind, save the technical numbers if it works, it works.
Although if I did go with the iMac i'd like to go full out and upgrade to 256MB of VRAM... are the glitches still there? (Front Row, etc.)
i just picked up the 17" iMac and love it! i can only imagine what the 20" would be like with 256vram, plus you can always add another monitor to increase that desktop space. ive done it with a 17" lcd extension to my iMac and love the extra space!