THE BEST VALUE! M1 Mac Mini vs iMac
A beautiful display. Excellent built in speakers an integrated webcam and it comes in some fun colors, not the matte black that i wanted, but i do like the blue that you voted for. We have two completely different approaches to desktop design with similar processing power. So how do you choose? Which one is a better value and which one would be the best fit for your needs, let’s start off by considering the design and form factor, so the mac mini is well. You know a mini desktop it’s, only 7.7 by 7.7 inches, which ends up being 19.7 by 19.7 centimeters and the height is 1.4 inches or 3.6 centimeters. Even with this very small footprint, it still loses out to the all in one imac, because it only requires a 5.8 by 5.2 inches footprint for the stand. Now, with my mac mini setup, i chose to use a desk mount for my monitor, so i can save up even more desktop real estate and you can also find vertical mounts for the mac mini if you’re really tight on space in either case. These should both fit on very small desks, but if you want the smallest footprint right out of the box, that would be the imac. Now next let’s talk about the display, so obviously the mac mini doesn’t come with one. So unless you already have one from a previous setup, you’ll need to buy one now this could be looked at as both a pro or a con.
So i’ll get back to that in just a minute. Now the imac comes with a beautiful 4.5 k display. So you cannot watch your favorite content in 4k and it’s gon na look great the image quality on. It is excellent. It’S, bright, it’s, crisp and it’s color accurate, so you can definitely use it for photo and video editing. I do want to point out that it’s quite a reflective display, so keep that in mind when you consider placement now, as i mentioned, the integrated display could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it in terms of image quality, a display That’S often compared to the imac is the lg ultrafine 4k, which sells for 700 bucks. So this brings the cost very close to that of the imac, but there are some other considerations beyond the cost. Now we already mentioned that you may already own a display, but what, if you just wanted a bigger display, just something bigger than 24 inches? Or maybe you want to use what you have for now, but then in two years you want to upgrade to a 32 inch or even an ultra wide, with the imac you’re locked into what you have and with the mac mini. You have some additional flexibility now. Another consideration is a dual monitor setup with the imac. If you bought an extra monitor, it’s, never going to match, unless you, i guess, bought another imac, but with the mac mini, you can just get two identical monitors and have a setup that works and looks great.
Now this isn’t a situation where one approach is better than the other. Some people are gon na, say 24 inches it’s plenty. I only need one display and others will prefer the additional versatility of the mac mini, so just keep in mind what’s best for your needs. Now, speaking of accessories, the mac mini comes with a power cord and that’s it that’s. All you get, the imac comes with a magic keyboard and a magic mouse. You could also upgrade to the magic trackpad. Now the lower end imac comes with a basic magic keyboard and then the higher tiered one, the one that i have here comes with a version that has touch id. This is an excellent feature and it’s actually also available as an upgrade. If you wanted the lower tiered one now, all the accessories also come in a color that matches your imac. Now. This is another area where you get to choose between convenience and performance. So i absolutely love the integrated touch id because it makes authentication so simple and different users can easily log in and out. But i really don’t like this keyboard for things like typing. It looks great but there’s something about either the shape or the design of the actual keys, where i don’t find it comfortable, and i find that i make way more mistakes on it now, of course, i can use a different keyboard right now, i’m, using the kikron K3 mechanical keyboard, but that’s me having to pay for the same accessory twice since there was no way to get the imac without paying for the keyboard.
Now i run into the same situation with the magic mouse which personally i don’t dislike other than the upside down charging debacle. I really do like some of the functionality that it offers with gestures but for long term use. I want a more ergonomic mouse like the logitech mx master 3.. I already own one, so i could just use it, but otherwise it would be an additional cost again for an accessory that i already paid for now. The magic trackpad is another story altogether. It’S awesome. If you’ve never had a chance to use it, you should definitely give it a shot. It’S big it’s, responsive, it’s, accurate, and i have nothing but good things to say about it now, regardless of which mac you get or what accessories you use, today’s sponsor can help you keep your mac running smoothly. Maybe you feel like there are large files hiding on your mac and using up your valuable space or maybe you’re concerned about malware and protecting your privacy. Cleanmymac x is now available on the mac, app store, it’s c for your device, and it fully supports the m1 chip on the mac mini the new imac and then, of course, the macbook air and pro now one of the things that i love about apple products. In general is just how easy they are to use, and the same is true for cleaning my mac x, if you’re a basic user – and you just want to hit one button and have everything taken care of just hit, scan and clean.
My mac x will know exactly where to look and what to look for all without harming any essential files. You then get a very simple report hit run to complete the tasks and you’re all set. If you want more granular control, then you can manage cleanup protection. Speed applications and files separately still with a super user friendly interface. If you have a mac and want faster boot time, more responsive apps and you want to maximize the space on your hard drive check out the link in the description. It’S a free download and you can try out most of the features and then, if you like it, they have extremely affordable subscriptions or one time. Pricing now let’s get back to the devices and talk about the ports and keep in mind that both of these are entry level machines and the target audience is in professional video editors. The mac mini comes with two thunderbolt: slash: usb4 ports, two usba ports, an hdmi 2.0 port, a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack and a gigabit ethernet port. You also have the option of upgrading to a 10 gigabit port for an additional 100 bucks. The imac comes in two configurations: the lower end, one with an 8 core cpu and 7 core gpu and comes with just two thunderbolts usb 4 ports and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. For an extra 200 bucks. You can get the 8 core cpu 8 core gpu version, which adds 2 usb 3 ports and a gigabit ethernet port built into the power adapter.
Now some of that additional money also goes to the upgraded keyboard but i’ll get to that later on. So, as far as i o, you need to think about what kind of user you are and what accessories you’ll be, adding to your setup beyond the type of ports. Keep in mind that if you have a hub, dongle or external ssd attached to the imac, you’ll have cables hanging from the back of the device. The same is true for the mac mini, obviously, but since it’s sitting flat on your desk, i find that to be a less messy setup. Now there are some great hub options for both. I use the satachi type c, aluminum stand and hub, which i have right under my mac mini, and it gives me an sd and micro sd card readers, a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, three usb 3.0 ports and a usbc data port. It plugs right into the back of the mac mini and it’s a clean and streamlined solution with the imac i used. The satachi type c aluminum stand hub, which adds the exact same ports, and this again brings the ports to the front and offers additional functionality without cluttering up my setup now. As far as audio systems, there’s really no contest. The mac mini does have a built in speaker, but it’s, really just barely good enough for video calls you’re, definitely not going to want to use it to watch content or listen to music.
Now we of course have a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, so you could attach dedicated speakers and of course you could also do that via bluetooth. Now the imac speakers are super impressive, considering the form factor. I remember watching the apple event and wondering if they’re going to sound like laptop speakers, well, they don’t. After my initial tests, i was impressed and then, after long term use. These are definitely good enough to where i don’t see a need to add external speakers. Of course, you can get better audio with dedicated speakers, but we use these all the time even to play music in our living room and they sound great now moving on to microphone the mac mini doesn’t have one so you’ll either need to buy a dedicated microphone Or a headset for video calls, the imac has a 3 array microphone that’s designed to focus on the speaker and then reduce or attenuate background noise. It’S plenty good for video calls and i’ll give you a sample of what it sounds like when you’re sitting at a normal distance from your imac here’s, a quick sample of what the audio is going to sound like on your imac i’m sitting about. Maybe a foot and a half to two feet away from the display, so this should give you a pretty good idea of what the audio will sound like on a video call. Ultimately, the best audio quality will always come from a dedicated microphone but, of course, that’s an added cost.
Now moving on to camera, the mac mini as expected. Doesn’T have one and the imac has a new 1080p or full hd camera it’s better than what we get on the macbook air or macbook pro. The new image signal processor on the m1 chip helps, and i would classify it as a pretty good webcam. It will definitely work for video calls and here’s a sample, so you can get an idea of what you should expect and here’s a sample of what the camera is going to look like i’m in a pretty well lit environment. But to be fair, the lights are coming from the side a little bit from over there and from the back, so it could be pretty challenging for the camera. Because, again you can see. The windows behind me are super bright, but this will give you an idea of what the image quality is going to look like in a pretty well lit room. What’S nice about this camera. Is that it’s integrated right into the imac versus having to add on some sort of clip on camera, with the mac mini setup? Next let’s talk about performance now, essentially we’re getting very similar numbers if we’re, comparing the eight core cpu 8 core gpu versions of both of these devices, because both offer active cooling or a built in fan, the 8 core cpu 7 core gpu version of the imac Has one less gpu core, not a huge deal and a scaled down active cooling system, but this isn’t, something that will impact the vast majority of the target audience.
You could definitely get by with 8 gigs of ram on both devices, but i would upgrade to 16 gigs if you can, because the m1 chip will give you plenty of processing power, and this device should easily last you for the next five to seven years. As far as internal storage, both start at 256 gigabytes and max out at two terabytes now, if you’re only browsing the web consuming content and using web based applications, you can get by with 256 gigs if you’re doing more than that and need additional space for large Apps then go ahead and upgrade to 512 gigs and then use an external ssd for file storage. I did a test of some of the most popular ssds on the market, so if you’re interested in checking out the performance and getting the best value for your needs, i’ll link to that video at the end of this one now let’s take a look at the Configuration and pricing and i’m gon na go with apple’s pricing but check the links in the description for better deals. The mac mini starts at 6.99 for an 8 core cpu 8 core gpu m1 chip with 256 gigs of internal storage and 8 gigs of ram. You can upgrade to 16 gigs of ram for an additional 200 bucks and move up to 512 gigs of internal storage for 200 bucks up to one terabyte for 400 bucks or up to 2 terabytes for an extra 800 bucks.
The imac comes in two m1 configurations, starting with the base model at 1299 you’re getting an m1 chip with an 8 core cpu 8 core gpu, two thunderbolt, usb 4 ports and a magic keyboard with no touch id. But again you can upgrade the keyboard and the charging brick during checkout. If you move to the higher end model, the one that i have here, then for 14.99 you’re, getting an extra gpu core two usb 3 ports, a gigabit ethernet port, which is built right into the charging, brick and you’re upgraded to the magic keyboard with touch id. Ultimately, the choice between the mac mini and the imac doesn’t come down to performance, but rather to approach and needs. If you want a sleek and compact all in one, you don’t want to mess around with picking a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a camera, a microphone and speakers. Then the imac is a great option if you already own accessories from a previous setup or you want the versatility of a larger, monitor or even a matching dual display monitor. If you want to pick your own accessories, so a better keyboard and a more ergonomic mouse, then the mac mini is a better choice and a great value. Remember that i have links in the description to all the products i talked about. Hopefully this video was helpful. Click on my face to subscribe and then watch one of these videos. You know what i always say: buy it nice or buy it twice.