Torn between two options: Mac mini vs iMac


Well-known member
Dec 29, 2011
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Currently own a mid 2007, 20 inch iMac with the Core 2 Duo, 2TB spinner (only using 500GB), 4GB RAM. Not new by any means but doesn't slow down at all when I use it for what I need. Mostly do web browsing, email, torrenting, some Microsoft Office work but mostly use it to manage my 100GB of music/movies through iTunes and is the computer I sync my phone/ipad to.

As its outdated, I'm looking to upgrade. I technically don't need to, as it covers my memory, speed and other needs, but would like to. Budget is $1000-$1200, and I'm torn between two options.

First Option:

Buy a current mid-tier 2014-current Mac mini for $679 and a nice 27 inch monitor to match for $172

Total is $851 and saves me money for some bluetooth speakers for the Mac mini.

Second Option:

Get the middle of the road entry level late 2015 iMac, only a 21.5 inch, similar specs as the mini but faster clock speed and quad core for $1199.

Over budget by $200, but do the small spec increases make it worth it? I would prefer to not have to go over budget if I can avoid it.

Im leaning towards the Mac mini now, especially because I can mate it with a 27 inch monitor. Also, I'm not overly concerned with upgrading either ones HDD to an SSD, but I'm aware of the difficulty on these models and can do it myself should I need to.

Any suggestions based off specs? Anyone with the mini care to chime in? Ive never used one.


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Sep 28, 2014
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I have the same model (bought a refurb from Apple for $499) and at times wish I had bought an iMac (for the Retina screen.) But you will get off cheaper with the Mini and the monitor of your choice... I only noticed a slow down in speed as I upgraded operating systems Yosemite-El Capitan-Sierra.


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May 24, 2014
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Hey @dictoresno!
but doesn't slow down at all when I use it for what I need. Mostly do web browsing, email, torrenting, some Microsoft Office work

I see you are a honest man. haha. Right now, I wouldn't buy anything. Apple is hopefully going to update their Mac Mini in June which isn't too far away. Especially considering you are going to keep it for a long time. The extra month waiting might be worth it. But if you have to have one now, i would pick the Mid Tier Mac Mini but upgrade the 1TB HDD to a 256GB PCIe Flash Storage. Will be worth it in the long run. Comes to $899.00 + "nice 27 inch monitor to match for $172" which stays inside your budget of $1200 :)


Mar 29, 2017
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Hey there! New poster ... hope my opinion will help you out anyways though. Myself, I usually keep computers around for a while. As such, I'd be willing to spend an extra $200 for the iMac. This gets you a more integrated Apple experience what with the speakers and display being part of the machine. It looks really nice sitting on a desk too! I strongly recommend the Fusion drive option which boosts speeds across the board. Our family iMac, hailing from 2012, still boots in ~20 seconds and launches apps lickety-split. I'll never buy a computer with a spinning drive again if I can help it.

That said, a mini can come with a Fusion drive as well ... so if you don't mind extra wires (speaker, speaker power, HDMI, display power) and an ugly-looking display sitting on your desk ... the mini isn't a bad option either. :)

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