Now that the Haswell MacMini is out, I'm left with a tough choice...
Ok. So the RAM appears to NOT be soldered on the new MacMini. But that leaves me with two choices (actually three): P.S. I'm currently limping along with an old PowerPC iMac stuck on Tiger and using a secondary monitor due to the original screen being unviewable.
1) Buy the mid-tier MacMini at $699 with the Dual Core i5 at 2.6 Ghz and the Iris graphics card. I can either buy the 16gb RAM from Apple for $200, or buy it third-party for approx. $160 (then deal with the reselling of the original 2x4 RAM), upgrade to the 1TB Fusion drive (another $200), and buy an Asus 24" monitor (another $170). That's $1269 (or $1229 minus the resell of the original RAM).
2) Buy the mid-tier 21" iMac at $1299 with the Quad Core i5 at 2.7 GHz and the Iris Pro graphics card. Bump the RAM for $200, and the 1TB Fusion drive for another $200. No need to buy a monitor now. So, that's $1699.
So that's a difference of $430 (or approx. $500 with the RAM resell in option 1).
I have thousands of songs (7600+) in iTunes and thousands of photos. Along with basic everyday computer uses, I'll be using the computer for processing photos from my DSLR (as a serious amateur hobbyist) using an older version of Photoshop and maybe a non-subscription alternative to Lightroom (if there is any), maybe putting together very simple home videos, and using Garage Band and several software plug-ins for music composition/recording.
Is the spec bump to a Quad at 2.7 with the Iris Pro for the extra $430-500 worth it for these needs?
My third option… wait for that mid-tier iMac to be spec bumped with the Broadwell early next year? (I know now that the MacMini will most likely never be spec bumped to a Quad, and it would be at least a full year or longer before it got spec bumped to Broadwell).