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  1. #1

    Member Since
    May 02, 2006
    Switcher trying to decide on which Mac

    I am trying to decide which of these two choices
    would be "better". For now and for the long haul.
    I have used my last system for over 5 years, so
    a hundred dollars or two is not the issue. I want
    the best system and the most flexible one.

    Also, is the screen in the iMac as good as the ViewSonic ?

    My main uses are PhotoShop Elements 4, Word, and
    using the internet.

    Deal 1

    Mac Mini refurb
    Dual Core 1.66
    1Gb ram
    ViewSonic VG920 19 inch flatscreen

    Deal 2

    iMac 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo refurb
    512 mg ram

    thanks kindly for your input, Chris

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Modesto, Ca.
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7, iMac 2008 10.10.5, Macbook2007 10.7.5, Mac Mini 10.7.5, iPhone 3GS Note 8!
    I have a 20" iMac and 19" Viewsonic on a new Core Duo Mini. The mini CORE DUO is amazing for what it is. The iMac Core Duo is the same but even faster and the 20" monitor is beautifull. Like I said, I have a 19" almost brand new Viewsonic, Side by side I much prefer the 20" iMacs monitor. I got the Core Duo Mini for my home entertainment system to play 1080p video and that it does without a hitch. Since the prices of the two systems you have configured are so close, go with the iMac 20". I have a feeling you will be glad you did. I know I am!

  3. #3

    Thad's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 07, 2005
    Fayetteville NC
    13' MacBook 2.2Ghz 1Gb Ram 120Gb ,iMac G3 CRT 600 Mhz 512 Ram 60Gb Broken iBook G4, stolen Nano
    My vote goes for the iMac, youll definitley get 5+ years out of it. Im still running a G3 iMac from way way way back in the day. If i had a pc that was that old it would be nothing more than a paper weight but the G3 still holds its own.

  4. #4
    If you can get the iMac with 1GB—do it, as that will really help performance on these Intel machines emulating PowerPC code in non-Intel native apps (well until they are native, which will come) such as Word and P'Shop Elements.

    I'm inclined at this stage to be devil's advocate and say the Mac Mini simply since it has 1GB RAM in your stated spec.

    The iMac does have a splendid screen however.


  5. #5

    ezhangin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 10, 2005
    Indiana; there's more than just corn here
    Powerbook G4 1.67 MHz
    The RAM would be easier to upgrade in the iMac I would think, don't forget to consider that. As much as I like the mini (would be sweet for my TV) get the iMac.

  6. #6

    youthpastor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 06, 2005
    I vote for the iMac--and I would also suggest upgrading the RAM to 1 GB
    New MacBookPro | 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo |2 GB RAMMac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.5 | iPod Touch 8 GB | iPod Classic 80 GB

  7. #7

    Member Since
    May 02, 2006
    Thanks for your replies !

    Are these issues here ? -- Service on the iMac. Let's say the screen goes out in
    a year or two. (after warranty). What would that mean to replace the screen in
    dollars? Would the faster rpm on the disk drive of the iMac make that much
    difference ? 7200 vs 5400


  8. #8
    Firstly to answer your two questions:

    1) Although I can only offer you an educated guess, I think you'd be looking at around a few hundred dollars. As a further comment, if you could afford to take out the Applecare extension, that may ease your worries in that area. Although I would stress to you that I have literally never heard of an iMac screen actually breaking. Also remember that you can upgrade to Applecare anytime within your first year of standard warrenty, so you wouldn't have to purchase that right away.

    2) I think the simple answer to the average consumer is no. Of course if you doing a lot of transfers or such, maybe it is something to consider. But personally I don't think you should worry about this too much.

    My personal preference would be in favour of the iMac. With the iMac you will recieve a great computer, with a fantastic screen (something the Mini does not offer) and a pretty nice video card too (again, something the Mini does not offer).
    Furthermore, if you wanted to you could consider upgrading your RAM to the 1gig or more after you've had the iMac for a while. Once you decided to do that, the RAM would be very easy to install and not too expensive either. These benifits tied to the slim (in my opinion) price margin between the two products, I think the iMac is the best choice.

    Good luck with your choice and enjoy your new Mac

  9. #9

    mr g5's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2006
    Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad, 1GB RAM
    out of those, imac. look on ebay at the 2.0 powermacs, you can get them for about 1500 used.

  10. #10

    techster82's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2006
    Lexington, KY
    Unibody Macbook 2.0, Blackberry Bold (Good Riddance iPhone)
    The mini is a great computer for a first time mac user who doesn't want to invest a lot of money. By this I mean if you already have an Monitor, keyboard, and mouse sitting around the house, then the Mini is a great buy. If you plan on purchasing all of these things new, then your best bet is the iMac. I purchased a mini in January as my first Mac, and quickly outgrew it. I now have a 20" Intel iMac downstairs as my main Mac desktop. I know Lil recommended the Mini because it has more ram but honestly that is the one part that should have no bearing on your purchase as it is the easiest and cheapest thing to upgrade in a mac. If you spend $175 more for the iMac you get the following:

    190GB more hard drive space (guessing the mini has a 60GB)
    Radeon X1600 dedicated graphics card versus the onboard video in a mini
    340mhz faster Dual core processor (you won't be able to upgrade this down the road at this price)
    1" Bigger screen that I would put up against the Viewsonic any day of the week
    Apple Keyboard and mouse included with the iMac
    and lastly a much higher resale value if you decide to get rid of it.

    To answer your question about the screen going out: If that happened I guarantee it is going to cost more than you want to spend to fix it. I think you have a better chance of the logic board or another part biting the dust before the screen does. To address these concerns, buy the Applecare warranty for another $160. It will give you piece of mind for not alot of cash.

  11. #11

    Member Since
    May 02, 2006
    Thanks to all who took the time to discusss their
    views about this. This is a big step for my computer
    life. It's very tempting to spend 1/2 as much and
    get another Windows system. Or should I say Windoze?
    But I feel it will be worth it to get away from Ad-ware,
    Mal-ware, viruses, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.
    But I spend a lot of time at the keyboard and almost
    all the switchers I've read about say they are glad
    they did it.

    I just placed my order from the Apple Store online for
    this refurbished system for $1399. I also ordered the
    extended warranty for $169.

    Refurbished iMac 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo
    512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

    As one of my buddies says, "It only costs 50% more
    to go first class !"


  12. #12

    techster82's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2006
    Lexington, KY
    Unibody Macbook 2.0, Blackberry Bold (Good Riddance iPhone)
    Congratulations on your purchase, you made the right decision. If you search the different mac forums online, you can usually find another stick of 512mb ram for your imac around $50 shipped. I did this when I purchased my 20" and it brought me up to 1GB, where you will want to be. I also see we subscribe to the same philosophy as my grandfather always said "it only costs a little more to go first class". (the man loved cadillacs)

  13. #13

    Kyomii's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2004
    Lancashire, UK
    MacMini DC 1.66, Powerbook G4
    Congratulations on your purchase I am sure it will last a long time, as I have a rev A iMac G5 working flawlessly after almost 2 years and I expect at least another 3 years out of it! :dummy:
    Fondest regards, Kyomii

    My Snapshots

  14. #14

    Member Since
    May 02, 2006
    Thanks !

    I am looking forward to coming
    into the light of the "Dark Side".


  15. #15

    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    1.25Ghz Mini, 512MB, 40GB
    Great deal and a good choice, welcome to the world of mac.

    If i had a pc that was that old it would be nothing more than a paper weight
    Why didn't I think of that, I can use my PC as a paper weight!
    Mac Life - Apple Mac computers news, forums and more...

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