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chebby's picture
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Mac Mini or Imac?

I have an old iMac (the last white Intel Core Duo 2007 20" type with 3GB RAM and 320GB HD).  It still works fine, even after seven years, but if I update the OS from Snow Leopard 10.6.8, I am worried it will become a bit of a 'slug' with it's 2007 vintage processor and no ability to expand it's RAM from what it has now.

However, new 21.5" iMacs are £1149 and I am not prepared to spend that sort of money. (Despite the great looks and a 1TB HD that Is way bigger than I need.)

A new Mac Mini for £499 will run rings around our old iMac and save me £650 (minus the cost of a decent screen).

Any advice?  Does the latest 'Mavericks' OS turn older iMacs into slugs?  Will I miss out on anything - apart from styling - with a Mac Mini? What's the catch?

I don't need non Apple advice. We already have two other (Windows 7 Pro) computer systems in the house so I don't need to be 'converted' Smile

Thanks.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

We will probably get a new computer shortly and I will get a Mac mini to replace our iMac. Whilst the iMacs are undoubtedly gorgeous, the screen now bleeds terribly, and I object strongly to having to replace the whole box just to fix that (there is nothing wrong with it otherwise, though kids complain of laggy minecraft play). So a Mac mini and nice Dell or Asus 24-27" screen. Sub a grand for the lot, most likely.

I have not upgraded from Snow Leopard as my photoshop CS would stop working as Rosetta is no supported post-SL and dual booting just for that is pointless.

I would probably buy a good windows PC as I'm OS-agnostic but can't be bothered trying to transfer five years' worth of life to a new one, woudl rather just restore the image of the old one.

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

John, you could buy a second monitor to use with your iMac. Or you could see if your screen was replaceable from this site:

http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iMac

Also it doesn't matter how fast your computer is, kids will always moan about how slow minecraft is!

 

Chebby, have you checked your machine is compatible. It looks like iMac mavericks compatabilty starts with the late 2007 models. It works fine on my 2008 aluminium MacBook (mail is a bit sluggish and gets quite temperamental when you're writing a new mail and it wants to download mail which has appeared-you have to wait until it's finished before you can continue!). It does seem no slower than mountain lion. I've got 4gb of ram and a  320gb HD

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

I'm a big fan of the Mac Mini - I'm on my fourth, yet still on the same screen, a 23 inch Apple Cinema Display. The 'bring your own bits' concept was, and is, brilliant - unlike the iMac, which is lovely, but when the screen or the innards are borked, the whole thing often is. I put a Seagate 500GB MomentusXT Hybrid in my current one when the original HD died after 12 months and it made a massive difference to the overall speed - it has a small integral SSD. In fact I couldn't see a reason to upgrade to the current 'no slot' version when it was launched - up until then I was selling the old one on at each incremental upgrade Apple did (and they hold their value really well). I do a lot of DTP and it handles all that with ease.

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

Agreed, I'm a fan of the Mini Mac. I recently put in 16 GB of RAM into my 2011 model (since the chips have come down in price so much). This basically means I can now open pretty much as many applications as I like on it with no slowdown. If I need another perfomance upgrade in the future, I can whack in a small SSD to run the OS and applications, as well as a secondary 500 GB / 1 TB hard drive for general data.

Apple officially states that it can only take 8 GB, but if you check sites like MacUpgrades.co.uk, they'll give you the actual amount, plus enter in your serial number and they'll even let you know exactly what can and what can't be upgraded. They also offer an install service for stuff that's a bit more tricky.

 

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chebby's picture
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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

robjcooper wrote:

Chebby, have you checked your machine is compatible. It looks like iMac mavericks compatabilty starts with the late 2007 models.

I hadn't,  but it looks like mine was the 'Late 2006' version (bought in March 2007) and I would need the 'Mid 2007' or newer. (The first metal one.)

I have convinced myself that the Mac Mini is the way to go. (Probably from my local John Lewis where 3-year cover only costs £50 extra as opposed to 3-year Apple Care for £129.)

 

 

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

chebby's picture
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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

professorhat wrote:

Apple officially states that it can only take 8 GB...

The current version sells with options for 4GB, 8GB or 16GB on the Apple UK Store and the 'Tech Specs' for the basic model (on the official site) state...

"4GB (two 2GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory

Configurable to 8GB or 16GB."

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

professorhat wrote:

Agreed, I'm a fan of the Mini Mac. I recently put in 16 GB of RAM into my 2011 model (since the chips have come down in price so much). This basically means I can now open pretty much as many applications as I like on it with no slowdown. If I need another perfomance upgrade in the future, I can whack in a small SSD to run the OS and applications, as well as a secondary 500 GB / 1 TB hard drive for general data.

Apple officially states that it can only take 8 GB, but if you check sites like MacUpgrades.co.uk, they'll give you the actual amount, plus enter in your serial number and they'll even let you know exactly what can and what can't be upgraded. They also offer an install service for stuff that's a bit more tricky.

 

 

That’s a useful link, thanks - the serial no thing is neat. I thought I was stuck with 8GB memory but I see from that I can jump to 16GB which might be handy. The MomentusXT runs at 7200rpm, which no doubt helps on the speed front as well - and I've never had any issues with any extra heat.

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

chebby wrote:

professorhat wrote:

Apple officially states that it can only take 8 GB...

The current version sells with options for 4GB, 8GB or 16GB on the Apple UK Store and the 'Tech Specs' for the basic model (on the official site) state...

"4GB (two 2GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory

Configurable to 8GB or 16GB."

Sorry, that was in reference to my 2011 model - Apple states that this one can only take 8 GB, but it can in fact take 16 GB.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Mac Mini or Imac?

I'm planning on getting a Mac Mini and increasing the RAM to 16g myself as it is much cheaper than choosing that option from Apple.

Currently playing the annoying wait and see game caused by Apple's secrecy about refreshes. In theory a new Mini is due any time soon, but as it isn't given much attention (I didn't see a single Mac Mini on display when I visited an Apple store to replace my faulty iPhone), it could be refreshed within a month or it could be much later this year...

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