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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - 20" iMac or Mac Mini


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devin_c_co
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So I'm looking for my 1st Mac and looking into buying either a 20" iMac or a Mac Mini. I mainly do office stuff, internet surfing, itunes, some home movie stuff with iMovie, and some Photoshop. I donít do any gaming or 3D stuff. I will also be booting into XP and/or using parallels and XP. Iíd like the machine to last at least 3-4yrs. Which one would suit my needs the best?

With the iMac, I am debating on either upgrading to a 500GB drive and keeping with 1GB of RAM until I can afford to upgrade the RAM within 6 months or so. Or, Upgrade to 2GB of RAM and keep the 250GB drive for the time being and add some external fire wire drives when I can afford to. With the education discount, both are pretty close in price, but I can only afford to do 1 right now. The 250GB drive would be fine for now, but I'm sure I would fill it up within a year or so since I already have close to 180GB of data. And Iíve heard that upgrading the HD in the Intel iMac is not very easy. Thatís why the 500GB drive is appealing.

With the mini setup, I would get the 1.8GHz and 2GB of RAM. Since the largest HD for the mini is 160GB, I was just going to keep the stock 80GB drive and add a pair of external Fire wire drives 300GB or larger. Along with that, I would get a 19Ē Standard LCD or 20Ē widescreen LCD. Now a question I have with the mini is, with the older PPC models, the performance could be increased by using a external FW drive as the main drive since they were using ATA laptop drives. With the newer models having laptop SATA drives, will you see a performance increase with using External FW drive as the main drive instead of the SATA drive?
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kaidomac

 
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Awhile back I wrote an article on upgrading the G4 Mac Mini and compared the price of upgrading it versus just getting an iMac. The iMac won, price-wise. The prices have changed, but you can read the article here:

http://www.wiredbynature.org/comp/mac/mini/

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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devin_c_co
So I'm looking for my 1st Mac and looking into buying either a 20" iMac or a Mac Mini. I mainly do office stuff, internet surfing, itunes, some home movie stuff with iMovie, and some Photoshop. I donít do any gaming or 3D stuff. I will also be booting into XP and/or using parallels and XP. Iíd like the machine to last at least 3-4yrs. Which one would suit my needs the best?

With the iMac, I am debating on either upgrading to a 500GB drive and keeping with 1GB of RAM until I can afford to upgrade the RAM within 6 months or so. Or, Upgrade to 2GB of RAM and keep the 250GB drive for the time being and add some external fire wire drives when I can afford to. With the education discount, both are pretty close in price, but I can only afford to do 1 right now. The 250GB drive would be fine for now, but I'm sure I would fill it up within a year or so since I already have close to 180GB of data. And Iíve heard that upgrading the HD in the Intel iMac is not very easy. Thatís why the 500GB drive is appealing.

With the mini setup, I would get the 1.8GHz and 2GB of RAM. Since the largest HD for the mini is 160GB, I was just going to keep the stock 80GB drive and add a pair of external Fire wire drives 300GB or larger. Along with that, I would get a 19Ē Standard LCD or 20Ē widescreen LCD. Now a question I have with the mini is, with the older PPC models, the performance could be increased by using a external FW drive as the main drive since they were using ATA laptop drives. With the newer models having laptop SATA drives, will you see a performance increase with using External FW drive as the main drive instead of the SATA drive?
In my opinion, Get the 20" iMac, If you are absoulty shure you won't be doing any gaming on it then I would say get the hard drive. The memory is easy to upgrade and you seem like you would need the space. BUT if you think you would be doing any gaming on XP or and video editing, or graphic intensive work look at the video memory upgrade. I say this because its the one thing that you will have NO WAY of upgrading once it leaves apple. (aside from finding a logic board that has the upgraded video). You could always user firewire drives for storage, and it makes sense for backing up your data too. (that would suck for a 500GB hard drive to die with all your stuff on it.)and again the memory is easy to upgrade.
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Jonnyfive

 
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I would go with the 20" Imac, it's a nice all in one computer, apple has beatiful displays I am sure you won't be disapointed.

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devin_c_co
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Thanks for the replies. No, donít plan on doing any gaming. Never have gotten into it. The video editing would just be home movie type of stuff with iMovie.

With the Photoshop stuff, the only thing I worry about is that some day I may be working with some very large files. But Iím still learning in PS so it may be a while until I get to that point. Not sure if the upgraded video RAM will help with working with large files in PS or not. I know that system RAM would, thatís why Iíll be going to 2GB when I can.

Currently between my photos and mp3ís I have over 140GB. That will increase pretty quickly in size as Iím still ripping my CD collection and I take a ton of pictures. So the 250GB drive will fill up pretty fast. Which do you think would be best? Upgrade to the 500GB and get a large single FW drive for backup? OrÖ Stick with the 250GB and get 2 large FW drives, one for data another for backup? Never been a big fan of just having one drive, and no backup. Been burned beforeÖ
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devin_c_co
Not sure if the upgraded video RAM will help with working with large files in PS or not.
It won't make any difference. Photoshop is only a 2D application. 2D apps don't need loads of VRAM or any special 3D card or capabilities. You are correct though in stating that more system RAM will make the difference.
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Slowleg

 
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I would grab the iMac it has slightly better processor and more hard drive space. I would buy the 500 gig hd now. Get the 1 ghz stick of ram so it will be really cheap to get aftermarket ram from newegg. Since the ram is like 80 bucks it will be cheaper then a external hd.

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