Why will I buy M1 Mac mini instead of M1 iMac 24

iMac

M1 Mac mini and M1 iMac, if not distracted by minor details and specific modifications of the new apple desktops, are almost the same. The same chip, the same limitations, and the same exceptional features that are not found in entry-level desktops. Mac mini almost half the price of an iMac in the same configurations. Mac mini is smaller and lighter (at times). The design of the Mac mini simply cannot fail to please, mini is not striking and almost invisible. iMac, on the contrary, rushes, tries to stand out, it is simply impossible not to pay attention to it. And not everyone likes it. It would seem that the choice is obvious – Mac mini. If you do not get distracted by minor details. First of all, as lawyers advise, you need to read what is typed in the smallest print.

iMac and Mac mini

The choice between them is not as easy as it might seem.

Apple M1 Chip Features

Currently, all new architecture Macs (with Apple-designed chips) use the same chip. M1. There is a rumor that each device with this chip uses its special modification, optimized specifically for it. It is impossible to confirm or deny this rumor. This would complicate the production of chips and these devices. More difficult means more expensive. And complexity leads to mistakes. In addition, the chip can be configured from the outside, in a very wide range.

But two of its modifications are known for certain. The GPU has 7 cores in some of the M1s and 8 cores in others. The manufacturing process by which M1s are manufactured is new, and the percentage of defective chips is higher when using it than when using well-mastered “old” processes. Defective chips are sent for “remelting”, but some of them, in which only one of the GPU cores is damaged, are put into action. The defective core is disabled. This is one of the external settings. There are 7 cores. There is a difference in graphics performance with full-fledged M1, in which there are 8 such cores. But small, users do not notice it.

Comparison iMac and Mac mini M1

Between Mac mini and iMac, regardless of the architecture of their processors and release time, there is a significant difference. Mac mini comes with only the Mac mini itself and the power cable. Everything else, if the buyer does not have a suitable keyboard, display and mouse, he will have to buy on his own. Being able to choose is great. You can find peripherals cheaper. Any USB or Bluetooth mice and keyboards should work. The monitor is a little more complicated, and adapters may be required, but this is also not a problem.

Mac mini

Mac mini opens up more customization options

How convenient and ergonomic all this will be depends only on the buyer and on how well he is oriented in displays and other peripherals. iMac is ready to go immediately, as soon as you take it out of the box and plug it in. This is the so-called “all-in-one” computer, the monitor is in place, the keyboard and mouse (or trackpad, or both) are in place. And all these peripherals work perfectly with each other, the buyer has no chance to make a mistake and buy something wrong.

iMac

With the iMac, you don’t need to buy anything unless you want to.

Specifications M1 Mac mini

There are two basic configurations of the M1 Mac mini. They differ only in storage capacity (256 and 512 GB) and price (74,990 and 94,990 ₽). In fact, this is the same Mac mini mini, choosing any of the basic configurations offered, a tiny computer can be turned into a real monster: with 16 GB of combined memory, with 2 TB SSD and 10 Gb / s Ethernet, and this monster will cost 184 990 ₽. The package includes the Mac mini itself and the power cable.

Additionally, you can purchase software (Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro), which will be installed by Apple employees in advance, but not everyone needs these wonderful things, I will not include them in the final maximum price. Mac mini can connect two monitors – one up to 6K and one up to 4K. Mac mini uses exclusively full-fledged M1 chips, with 8 cores per GPU.

Mac mini

From the point of view of ports, Mac mini looks more attractive

Specifications M1 iMac 24

A screen with a resolution of 4480 × 2520 pixels (4.5K) and a diagonal of 24 inches (actually 23.5 inches). 1080p camera, the neural processor included in the M1, a system of three microphones and a high-quality audio system (as promised at the presentation) take part in image processing. The first iMacs will be in the hands of buyers in two to three weeks, while we take Apple’s word for it.

There are three basic configurations of the M1 iMac. One of them, for 129,990 ₽, is special. The other two, for 149,990 ₽ and 169,990 ₽, differ from one another only in the capacity of the SSD drive, and in fact this is the same iMac. In Russia, the M1 iMac cannot be pre-ordered at the moment, so it is impossible to see the ruble prices for configurations that differ from the base one. But they can be calculated, the components are basically the same as the Mac mini.

iMac 24

These are all the ports on the iMac 24. Minor version (left) and older version (right)

The price ratio can be found in the American online store. iMac with 7-core GPU at its highest configuration costs approximately 213 890 ₽. Without Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. Added support for Gigabit Ethernet, keyboard with Touch ID and numeric keypad, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. This model is offered in four colors – blue, green, pink and silver. On its back side there are two connectors (Thunderbolt / USB 4). A full-fledged model in the maximum configuration costs 265 899 ₽. It is offered in seven colors – blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange and purple. There are four connectors – two Thunderbolt / USB 4 and two USB 3. Gigabit Ethernet and a keyboard with Touch ID support are included in the basic configuration.

What to choose – M1 Mac mini or M1 iMac

Let’s compare prices for basic configurations with a “normal” M1 inside, which has 8 working graphics cores. Mac mini with 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of combined memory costs 74 990 ₽. A full-fledged iMac in the same configuration costs 149 990 ₽. Mac mini is cheaper more than twice. For 75 000 ₽.

For 75,000 ₽ you can buy, for example, a decent LG Ultrawide with a diagonal of 34 inches, a mouse with a keyboard and something else. But that doesn’t mean the Mac mini is better for everyone. The iMac is ready to go right out of the box, the Touch ID keyboard will soon be an iMac-only keyboard (although it’s also compatible with the Mac mini), and the iMac has an entire audio system built into it. The lack of one core in the iMac GPU is not felt in any way.

At the same time, Mac mini opens up more customization options. For example, you can buy a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse instead of using a Magic Mouse. Get a larger monitor, and all for the price of an iMac 24 with M1. In addition, Mac mini still has two USB-A ports and a separate HDMI. For many, this is important. Which of these two would you prefer? Tell us in our Telegram chat or in the comments below.

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