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dj_eddie_gr 02-25-2013 01:20 PM

iMac 21.5 vs Mac mini (2013)
Hi. I'm looking to buy a desktop computer alongside my macbook pro. These are my to options. The mac mini is cheaper than iMac but has got no graphics card. Does a Graphic card helps the CPU to focus on the audio data while it's doing the visual stuff (eg. the 4 moving coloured waveforms on the screen etc.)? I'll be using computer for music mostly. iMac has i5 @ 2.9 but Mac mini has i7 @ 2.6 ! What's the difference between these two CPUs? is i7 better than i5 and why (have in mind that if i buy the mini I'll put 8Gb ram ,so the question is which CPU)? Any sugestions?

pigoo3 02-25-2013 01:39 PM

Are you really ONLY going to use this Mac-Mini for music related activities...from the day you purchase the day it dies or you sell it?

Because if not...and you do intend on using the Mac-Mini for other activities that may require better graphics hardware...then the iMac with dedicated graphics hardware may be a better choice.

Very few of us buy a computer...and devote it to only one activity for the whole time we own it.

Just throwing this out there for you to think about.

- Nick

dj_eddie_gr 02-25-2013 01:46 PM

Thanx for the quick reply Nick. I don't think that I'm gonna do anything else than music. I got my PS3 for gaming. What's the differences between the two CPU's (pros - cons). The i5 is lower spec (but higher speed)?

pigoo3 02-25-2013 01:52 PM


Originally Posted by dj_eddie_gr (Post 1498223)
What's the differences between the two CPU's (pros - cons). The i5 is lower spec (but higher speed)?

I think that you're missing one VERY important aspect. The Mac-Mini with the i5 has a dual-core cpu (2 cores)...the Mac-Mini with the i7 cpu has a quad-core (4 cores).

Any differences between an i5 or an i7 cpu are wayyy over-shadowed by the 2 vs. 4 core comparison.

- Nick

dj_eddie_gr 02-25-2013 02:04 PM

The higher spec Mac mini has 4 cores also i7 @ 2.3 . I was comparing this one with the iMac. And the new generation mini got i7 @ 2.6 (quad)

pigoo3 02-25-2013 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by dj_eddie_gr (Post 1498227)
The higher spec Mac mini has 4 cores also i7 @ 2.3 . I was comparing this one with the iMac. And the new generation mini got i7 @ 2.6 (quad)

- The 2.7ghz i5 iMac has a cpu benchmark score of 8196
- The 2.3ghz i7 Mac-Mini has a cpu benchmark score of 10,626

As long as you only use this computer for your music projects...and as long as you already own a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for the Mac-Mini...then the Mac-Mini may be the better buy (for you).

Also remember that neither the Mac-Mini or the iMac have an optical drive. So if you want to "burn" music will need an external optical drive.

- Nick

p.s. You mentioned a 2.6ghz i5 iMac. At the current time I do not believe there is a 2.6ghz i5 the benchmark score above was for a 2.7ghz i5 iMac.

chas_m 02-26-2013 09:34 AM

Both are powerful computers. The Mac mini ought to be sufficient for what you want to do (check the requirements for the latest version of the software you'll be using, of course), but the iMac has lots of other advantages beyond just the video card ...

Adric 02-26-2013 04:27 PM

To answer your original question, no. A dedicated graphics card will not help your CPU focus on other things. Integrated graphics (what the Mac mini uses) indeed has the CPU processing the graphics but it's all processed on cores separate from what the general processing is done on. Adding a graphics card will not allow the CPU to become a better processor for general calculations.

Dedicated graphics cards such as those in the iMac ARE however leaps and bounds better performance-wise than those few little dedicated cores on the CPU so any graphics tasks you do (this includes things like youtube) will play back much smoother. Playing modern 3D games is almost impossible without a graphics card.

If you ever decide to put music to video (film scoring), the graphics card in the iMac will help the video play back smooth while you lay down your tracks.

dj_eddie_gr 02-27-2013 08:49 AM

Thanx a lot to everyone :)
I'm leaning towards Mac mini ,cause it's portable (with built in HDMI out) and it's much cheaper for what I need. I won't do any video ever ,neither gaming (already said that I have a PS3 for gaming and next year I'll upgrade to PS4 ;) ). So music is what I plan to do. Mostly djing and taking my first steps into producing. I have Traktor Scratch Pro 2.6 with 4 effect units and I'm gonna go for 2 F1 for those who know. So my DJ app is CPU hungry. I need the most power I can get for Traktor to run @ MAX without any problem and be able to do that for the next 4-5 years following the updates

dj_eddie_gr 02-27-2013 12:49 PM

One more thing. What's the deal with Fuzion Drive? Is it gonna do any good to the overall performance?

chscag 02-27-2013 04:23 PM

The Fusion drive will give you a good boost in speed. However, being new technology there are a lot of Pros and Cons that you should probably look at before deciding on spending the extra $$$ for one. My personal opinion about them is I'll wait to see how well they hold up and what problems can occur if one of the drives in the Fusion chain gives out.

dj_eddie_gr 02-27-2013 04:49 PM

You 're right. Too risky. maby in a couple of years (in witch they will be cheaper too)

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