Mac Pro, imac or mac mini???

Discussion in 'Apple Forum' started by Ned Senior, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    Hi folks I bought a basic mac mini last year the intel model £399 but sold it to family as was short of cash... have been planning to get another but haven't got around to it I now need to pick a mac up for my son as he is using them on his interactive media course at college??? multimedia I think he does or thats what he grunted at me!!!
    Is the imac just a mini with a screen???
    is it worth going all out for a mac pro???

    I personally am in to photography (photoshop elements) and windows based paint shop pro (preferred) I also use some windows photo art software and would like to continue doing so

    All replies gratefully recieved as have been a mac fanboy in truth since the early 90s:confused:
     
  2. dodger747

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    Depends on what you need really.

    If you have a monitor, keyboard etc already and don't need a high end graphics card than a mini is more than adequate. I along with lots of other people use it as a HTPC and it has enough grunt to play 1080p high def files.

    However, if you need a new screen and want a good graphics card than the iMac is the way to go and if you need portability than the mac pro would be the best option...:thumbsup:
     
  3. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    Sorry dodger I think I got confused with the mac pro thing I mean the tower unit not the laptop

    if the mini has enough grunt then for photoart and basic multimedia creation I will opt for a top spec one of those as can get a display cheaper than the difference in £££

    Am I correct in thinking I can run windows software on the forthcoming OS without buying extra software???

    Do I need to also load up a version of windows to the machine??
     
  4. jont

    jont
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    The imac is *much* more than just a mini with a screen - it has a better processor, much better dedicated graphics card, more available memory, as well as a very good quality screen (with built-in webcam) and comes with keyboard and mouse ...

    If your son is doing web-design type work then a mini would suffice - if he is doing any form of video-work or photo-editing/retouching or graphic design then I would suggest an imac would be a better buy in both the long and short-term ...

    It's probably also worth checking out the educational discounts available for him to reduce the price - should be around 15-20% discount AFAIK ...

    You will be able to run windows under Apple's BootCamp software in the next version of the OS (called Leopard) which will be released next month - probably worth holding out for before buying if possible (will save around £80) ... you will need a copy of windows to load ...

    Jon
     
  5. Garf

    Garf
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    Oh man, don't say that. :eek:

    I'm all set to get a top end Mini as soon as Leopard is released, and one of the things I will be doing is photo editing, and now I have doubts that the Mini is up to the task..

    The only reason I've picked the Mini over the iMac is that I only recently bought a really nice widescreen monitor and didn't want it going to waste...

    Will the Mini really struggle running something like Elements plus Lightroom ?
     
  6. jont

    jont
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    It won't really struggle depending on how much you are looking to do - if you are working with 12Mp RAW files then it will take it's time, more so if you move those into CS3 to do heavy duty editing ... if you have 6Mp RAW or JPEG then will be much lighter load and will cope better - if it's top processor and you pack it with RAM and you should be fine - especially if you've already got a screen then run with that ...

    What I was trying to advise Stolly on was multi-media projects have a habit of growing in size/resources as they develop and you can't get away from fact that a faster processor and better graphics card will help in those situations ...

    Jon
     
  7. dodger747

    dodger747
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    My mini runs CS3 with ease and I haven't encountered any problems doing a variety of tasks with it. As jont said, the top end mini will be able to handle the files.

    The only limit I've had on with my mini was playing a Planet Earth .mkv file. There is a scene with thousands of birds and there is a very large amount of data in this one scene. Playback stuttered for around 5 seconds and then continued without fault. According to a closed community I'm part of this scene is one of the best ways to test your system.

    For the price and size the mini performed admirably and I'm sure it's more than capable for most peoples needs...:)
     
  8. Garf

    Garf
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    Excellent stuff - there needs to a Phew ! smilie on here....
     
  9. beowulf

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    the dilemma apple have put us macusers in is they offer 3 desktops , that unfortunatley don't really meet most people's demands

    most of want something like a mac pro but for less than £1k and a bit smaller

    i ended up buying a mac pro as i'd already had an imac and had problems with the built in screen , the mac mini while a very nice bit of kit just gets very expensive when you start upping the spec , plus i hate having loads of external hard disks cluttering up the place and causing cable tangle

    the thing is fast , but it's also noisy and so big and heavy it dominates the room

    i wish i'd bought a mac mini and just added some hd's later ( despite my above reservations )

    the mac mini - partic with it's amazing new chip set is a stunning bit of kit , just be careful how you spec it out when you buy it , adding ram is a hassle and apple charge top whack for it !
     
  10. Deleted member 92943

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    Go for an imac. Best overall 'bang for your buck':smashin:
     
  11. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    This is what I am leaning towards I think to get the fellow started
     
  12. Member 79251

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    I am also looking at an imac ;)
     
  13. apolloa

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    Don't forget if you did get an iMac you can plug your external monitor onto it anyway for a dual screen setup which for photo editing you'll find really useful.
     
  14. dodger747

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    It isn't actually that difficult. Just get a flexible pallet knife and the casing pops off and then you just insert the ram. It just takes a bit of courage when you hear the case clips cracking...:eek::eek:
     
  15. pixelated

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    If I were you, if you were going to go for a top end mini @ £500, I'd definitely get the £799 iMac. Dedicated graphics, Santa Rosa Core 2 Duo and you could do dual displays. It's an extra £300 but it's probably worth it if you haven't gone for the mini purely because of price :smashin:

    On the flip side, I do think the mini is a fantastic computer, I just prefer the iMac. You won't be disappointed with either. :)
     
  16. pixelated

    pixelated
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    I remember doing that to mine when I had one back in the days of the G4... I've never been so cautious with anything prior to, or since, that "operation" ... worked perfectly though! :rotfl:
     
  17. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    In the OP above I mentioned that I had bought a mini at the end of last year.. we still have access to this about 5 minutes away!! it only has a combo drive though and no superdrive!!!!! is it possible to get an add on dvd writer ( external ) to use with it ( See how thick I am on matters computer )
    sorry for being such an unknowing pleb folks
     
  18. jont

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    Yes - a firewire or usb2 dvd-writer - check for one that preferably has 'mac compatible' somewhere on it to reduce problems with drivers, etc ...

    Jon
     
  19. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    Thanks Jont.. trying to save cash and think I may give him the use of a dvdw drive for a while and make sure he sticks on the course first + dad could do with one to create some dvd slideshows of his masses of family and holiday snaps ( GGGreat grandchildren are rearing their ugly heads haho) man do I feel old!!

    PS I am sure I heard a while back somewhere that apple are phasing out firewire... is it onboard the latest rack of machines??? I ask this as our camcorder connects via firewire (think it's 400)
     
  20. apolloa

    apolloa
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    All the current Macs have firewire, but next year USB 3 will be launched that's gonna be faster so I would imagine that will replace firewire in all products.
     
  21. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    A few days on and I am still undecided and in the dark a little... In previous posts on this thread people have basically said steer clear of the mac mini as it is not up to the task of Final Cut Studio (I think) is this a definite??? I could really do with saving some money.
    I saw a 24" imac at a certified apple seller yesterday BTW oooooooohhhh (pm'd same to Lee Cooper) they look huge and loveley but v expensive for me.
    My son is only testing the water atm and early stages of college so if I could get away with a 2Ghz mini for a year that would be perfect financially
    What do you folks think/suggest :lease:
     
  22. jont

    jont
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    Stolly ... if it is Final Cut Pro/Studio that your boy is going to be learning to use then a MacMini really isn't going to cut it for very long - if at all - and you are really looking at fast imacs or possibly mac pro's but you might be able to get away with a refurb model from the store ...

    sorry !!

    Jon
     
  23. Ned Senior

    Ned Senior
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    Looks like we will have to eat less well for a few months then eh!!!
    Thanks Jont
     
  24. Tenex

    Tenex
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    FCP or whatever you don't have to buy the 24", a 20" is more than adequate for video or photo work.
     
  25. Tenex

    Tenex
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    VERY unlikely. Have you seen Apple rush to incorporate eSATA ports on all their hardware? Firewire will be around for some time yet.
     
  26. jont

    jont
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    Required mac specs for Final Cut Studio here: http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs.html

    Specifically says won't work on integrated graphics so MacMini and MacBook are out :-(

    20" Imac will work - but would work better with max ram (but don't buy Apples - use crucial.com/uk) ...

    If you can find £150 for the better spec 20" with the faster processor and graphics card then it will be worth it ... is £949 before educational discount (should be 15% or so) ...

    Jon
     
  27. apolloa

    apolloa
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    Hmmm, true but I don't know of any PC's with E-sata ports either. Once USB 3 becomes a set standard on Intel chipsets then I will expect to see it, perhaps it will sit alongside firewire for a long time yet just like USB2 does now? Firewire was so far advanced compared to USB 2 though it's unbelievable.
     

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