New iMac or MacMini?

Currently have a 2013 iMac which cannot run Big Sur and is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Undecided whether to wait for the new M1 iMac or grab a specced out Mac Mini

Argument for the Mac Mini is I work from home so I can plug in the MacMini, work MacBookPro or personal MacBookPro in the monitor

Any caveats on getting the MacMini?

1 Like

It’s the fastest Mac I’ve ever owned. Who knows if the iMac will have an even better processor. One would think so. The MacMini only has 2 usb-c ports and 2 usb-a ports.

1 Like

I’ve seen some complaints about getting different monitors to work well with the new Mini. Wouldn’t be a problem with the new iMac unless you run two monitors. If they release a decent iMac that’s the route I plan to take. A single device will help with my cable clutter.

You might find switching the monitor between the mini and the various MacBooks to be a pain unless you go with a KVM switch.

1 Like

How much rush are you in?

I’m replacing a 2011 13" MBP and I’m going to wait until deep into the year. Then the choices we’re discussing here will be added to. And I’ll judge each - Mini or iMac or MBP - on their merits.

The other wild card is the occasionally rumored small MacPro. I love my iMac and will most likely get the Silicon iMac when it arrives. With my Intel iMacs I have not had trouble using a second monitor and I consider that configuration essential. The stories about MacMini multi-monitor problems would slow me down.

I mention the small MacPro because I would be very curious about the machine if it actually came to exist. What does bothers me about the iMacs, as I consider getting a new one, is the fact that I will be essentially throwing out a beautiful monitor when I get a new machine. When the Retina iMacs first came out, it was true that it was hard to drive a 5K monitor through some cable and so the all in one was more justifiable. Now that that problem has been solved, I would actually prefer having my monitor and computer separate just because I do not like the death or obsolescence of one to result in the death of the other. As I prepare to sunset my third iMac, the waste of what are still perfectly fine monitors bothers me.

Anyway, I would certainly wait to learn about the new iMacs if you can. The small MacPro is just a vague rumor so it is hard to wait for.

1 Like

I love the speed of the M1 Mini but I agree about the monitors. I’m running two identical monitors on mine, but once the mini goes to sleep, at least one monitor will always come on when I tap a key, but I never know whether it will be the left, right, or both monitors that will wake up. If only one monitor wakes up, a reboot will always bring up both monitors and they both always work until the mini goes to sleep. Weirdly (to me at least) when tapping a key to wake up the system, if the key is held for a couple of seconds, the odds of both monitors waking up increases.

It generally the same answer: if you can wait, you should wait, because there is always something better around the corner. If your current machine is not meeting your current needs, upgrade because you are losing time/productivity/etc now.

I jumped to an M1 Mini and and M1 MacBookAir, selling an Intel MBAir (the one with the brains-damaged keyboard which had already been replaced once) and my iMacPro, which I had decided to sell in anticipation (correctly) of the product line being discontinued and I wanted to get the best dollar I could for it. From the graphics standpoint, the Mini is a step down from the iMacPro, but I don’t see any loss of performance for what I am currently doing, and I was able to sell the iMacPro for much more than the cost of the Mini (fulled spec’d) and I already had the two monitors I am using with it.

I have seen the same issues that others report viz monitors on the Mini. I have an LG 27” 4K and a Dell 24” 4K hooked up. A couple of times, the Mini seems to have forgotten the resolution I have set on the LG and it came up with the wrong resolution on wake from sleep, and I had to reset it. Not a big deal, but weird. Once on wake from sleep the Dell did not connect and would not reconnect even when I detached and reattached the cable (it is on the HDMI output of the Mini). A reboot fixed the problem, which has not recurred.

So the biggest knock I can give on the Mini is the flakiness of the display support, which seems to be highly variable from reports on the ‘net. Otherwise, it has run flawlessly and I am happy with the purchase.

The reduction in port number may affect users who have a ton of peripherals hooked up. I already had a TB3 hub (from before the iMacPro), I had a 10 port USB3 attached to the iMacPro under my desk with all my external drives and other peripherals hooked up (which of course made the transition a matter of a cable reconnection!) and I decided to buy the OWC TB/USB4 hub, and with all that I have plenty of connectivity left over, so it’s a solvable problem.

I agree with @rlivingston. Watching that 5K screen disappear into the hands of FedEx was the biggest issue! At least I can expect it to go to a new home from the reseller.

Good luck with your decision.

1 Like

I ran into this with my last personal iMac, and that’s why I’m going to be really, really torn as well. I absolutely love the iMac form factor, and I’m using one at the office, but a hard drive died on my old personal iMac (yes, that’s how old it was), causing an incessant clicking and howling fans. It was old enough that it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to haul it in for repair. At the time, I thought it would be nice not to have the monitor tied to the Mac, but I suspect it’s going to be hard to pass up the new iMacs.

my iMac is starting to give some flakey issues. Safari locks for a while - then its fine. Weird screen artefacts on Safari. General slowness. A clean install might alleviate some issues but it’s a 2013 model so I’ll probably just wait another month or so - see what comes.

That appears to be a widespread issue with 2013 iMacs.

1 Like

If by widespread you mean a few people and only on the MacRumors site.

Did you read the entire thread? The issue was reported by more than “a few people” and I have seen mentions of the issue elsewhere. There’s no need to downplay it…

I did. The problem was with the MacRumors site. That website was getting artifacts. It was not a problem with iMacs.

That’s a little bit like what I see - mine is ‘pixelated’ - the triangle looks like an Commodore 64 with “stepped blocks” for a diagonal line. I’ll get a screenshot next time it happens.

Low on disk space is one suggested cause - I am down to 130GB on a Fusion Drive

130 GB isn’t really low though. And how would that have anything to do with video?

That’s got to be old/corrupt video card drivers. If not, the hardware is starting to fail.

I am guessing it doesn’t get OS updates anymore? That might have fixed it.

Okay, so you didn’t read the thread. The issue doesn’t specifically apply to the MacRumors site. Most of the people having issues were using 2013 iMacs with dedicated graphics.

Well, sort of. 2013 iMacs didn’t receive macOS Big Sur and are stuck on macOS Catalina. Apple still occasionally pushes out security patches and bug fixes though.

Do you think that such an issue could be affecting loads of 2013 iMacs (all within a short period of time)? That happened to Macs from 2011 and it was a whole fiasco.

Security patches are not video card drivers. Those need frequent updating. If those drivers are no longer current, it would affect every iMac. It could just need a reinstall.

I don’t see anywhere that says this is a widespread problem with these iMacs. Your link is about a problem with MacRumors site for some people. It’s only relevant if he was going to that site.

I never said that they were. I was using that as an example.

As I have said already, the issue doesn’t just affect MacRumors. The many people who have also reported the same issue in that thread have stated that other sites are also affected.