Is the M1 iMac mini right for me?

Hello, I’m sorry to make another similar thread but I’ve got some specifics, so would like to get your opinions.

Btw it’s actually for my wife. She recently edits videos using davinci resolve but it’s not her main gig. She might edit more videos in the future but I’d say max 2 hours per day. She’s now using MacBook Pro 2017 13" with 27" monitor but it’s a bit slow with davinci resolve.

She’s realized that she doesn’t need her computer to be portable. Instead of having a laptop and a monitor both on the desk, she’d like to have just an iMac. I know there will be a successor of current iMac 27". Is it happening in this year for sure? She can wait but not until next year. And I’ve heard a rumor that the successor will be perhaps bigger than 27". I’m not sure about the liability of the rumor. What do you think? She feels 27" is the threshold for her. If it’s even slightly bigger than that, it’s a major red flag for her.

I’m slightly leaning towards the M1 iMac 24" (the highest spec one with 512 GB storage.) but I’m not good at hardware so I’d like to get your opinion. To sum up, my main points are probably

  1. Is that enough for casual video editing? (Like semi-pro level)
  2. Will the new iMac 27" successor probably be bigger? What do you think is the chance?

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

I’d say–

  1. yes.
  2. no one knows. Although if you want to put your faith in the rumor mill, the iMac successor will most likely not appear until early 2022, and it may well be larger in the screen than 27".

OTOH, if your wife already has a setup for hooking up a machine (that is, a screen, keyboard, etc) then the M1 mac mini will perform equally to the iMac, be cheaper, and upgrade more easily in the future.

In the latest episode of MPU @MacSparky commented on how well the M1 MacBook Air worked for his wife Daisy to edit their DLR Field Guide videos. The only caveat would be that she’s probably using Final Cut, which may be more optimized for Apple Silicon than DaVinci is.

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I did the Mac mini with LG monitor setup for my wife and ending up selling the Mini…
If you can wait for the larger size iMac. It will most likely have a bit more processing speed, memory options. Last but not least a very neat slick setup…

Yes @ChrisUpchurch. I should have clarified that we’re a Final Cut family :wink:

I don’t have any insight on the successor to the 27", but the setup you’re talking about for her (Mac Mini, non-Apple monitor) is the exact setup I have.

I would say that if she’s happy with the 27" monitor she already has, she should be just as happy with it attached to a Mac Mini.

As for specs, the Mini is the exact same processor / RAM as the iMac 24", and you’re getting all the same ports as the more expensive 24" ($1499) with the addition of HDMI and Ethernet.

Basically the difference between your Mac Mini price and the $1499 for the fancier 24" iMac covers the mouse, keyboard, and screen. Personally, I would think if she’s used to using the laptop’s trackpad she’ll also want a Magic Trackpad no matter what - and costs extra regardless which computer she picks.

I’d say get the Mini and spend the money you save on RAM and/or SSD upgrades. :slight_smile:

Screen size might be bigger, but also the corresponding price tag :slight_smile:

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Mac mini is something I haven’t considered. I’ll talk to my wife but I don’t think she’ll like it because she wants to keep the setting minimal and doesn’t like the fact that she currently has a laptop that she won’t take outside. About mac mini, she’ll probably prefer having all-in-one iMac which leaves less cables around the desk.
But still better chance for upgrade is a good point.

The thing is she doesn’t want larger screen. Why did you end up selling the mini?

She uses an old monitor from Apple. It’s been like 6 years. I don’t even know the official name. Thunderbolt display? Apple cinema display? Anyway, its cable is becoming flaky (and not retina). Selling current mbp and the monitor will get us some seed money but just keeping the monitor and use a bit more money to get upgraded mac mini is a good option. I’m gonna do some math and talk with her. Thanks for the suggestion!

I’ve been playing with the idea of a mac mini ever since the new iMacs were announced. It makes a lot of sense since the chips are identical. And i think the upgrades would be more manageable on a more frequent schedule as you’re basically only ever replacing the brains of the system, rather than the whole shebang. As for minimal setups, this is the one that changed my mind. It is possible with a couple of simple brackets and cable management, to be pretty clean.

The latest version of DaVinci Resolve is now M1 native. I’d say take the mini, upgrade to 1Tb/16Gb Ram version and use your existing screen, keyboard and mouse. The M1 mini rocks and will be more than you need in your use case. The SSD and Ram upgrades are just to deal with larger video files more easily.

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Nice video. Thanks for sharing.

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Didn’t know it has become native. Thanks for the comment :slight_smile:

She did not like all the wires and stuff.
If she doesn’t want / need the large screen go for the 24" iMac with 16GB of memory and the suitable amount of storage. Pick a nice color for her.

Its a very very nice machine!

Ugh, that sucks that your cable is flaking out. If you really like Apple monitors, there’s really no substitute for having one. But if you don’t mind using third party monitors, you can pick up decent monitors that are the exact same size and display resolution for $200-$300. Or some that are the same size but with 4K resolution for a bit more than that. And then when you upgrade you keep the monitor / keyboard / trackpad / etc. and just swap out the Mini. :slight_smile:

The cable on the Thunderbolt Display can be replaced. Don’t think the cost is very high. I have one that works fine as a display but any usb devices attached to the display randomly disconnect. When connected to the Mac they work fine. Currently just using it as a display.

I got the 24” iMac and love the size. The 27” display was just too tall for me. I like the all in one form factor since it helps with the cable clutter.

yeah the wires are definitely a red flag for my wife although mac mini + a monitor + bluetooth keyboard and mouse won’t have many cables, compared to iMac.

she’s all in grey.

Yeah, being able to upgrade incrementally is the biggest perk of having a Mini!

Didn’t know the cable is replaceable. It’s still okay and alive, but I should consider it. Thanks for the information.