A 24-inch 4K monitor & Mac mini is a good option versus the Apple Silicon iMac

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 65
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,262member
    AI said:    "Versatility versus style"

    That pretty well sums it up.  Some want one.   Some want the other.

    But, I would add a third option to the list:   For an extra couple hundred over a Mac Mini, get a MacBook Air  --  PLUS   a 24' monitor.   
    You end up with most of the advantages of the MacMini combined with most of the advantages of an iMac -- plus you can take it to Starbuck's!

    Unless you have some special need,   What's not to like?

    So, to AI's quote, I would add:   "Flexibility"
  • Reply 42 of 65
    nhtnht Posts: 4,516member
    I use a 4K 43” Sony tv as a monitor at 4K resolution because I want the screen real estate and 4K 27” is sufficiently tiny that I run that scaled which reduces the desktop size.

    The M1 mini is a far better bang for the buck than the iMac this generation.  My suspicions is that we won’t see a M2 mini and those will be a MBP and iMac option only.

    One thing I wish that the Macs would get is the color calibration that the aTV has.  I don’t do a lot color work anymore but it would be nice for the occasional video editing.
    edited May 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    I simply attached a Mac mini M1 to the HDMI input on a 4K Dell monitor that is used by my gaming PC.  I also added an Apple Keyboard and mouse along side the PC's mouse and keyboard (as I prefer dedicated Mac and PC mice and keyboards),  All I need to do is switch the input on the Dell monitor to switch between the PC and Mac mini. I have an iMac 27" 5K next to the Dell monitor.  This setup has worked out great for my use.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 65
    eightzero said:
    I've struggled with this for a while. I went so far as to get a 27" UHD monitor and it is currently being driven by a 2009 27" iMac as a second monitor. My thinking was that having the CPU and monitor separate, any update later would be easier - if a new CPU came along, but the screen was still ok, no need to replace it all. And of course, vice versa. The new iMac is perfect for my wife's needs, and one is on the way. I suspect when I see it...well...I'll need one too, and that UHD monitor will be the second screen for it. Then...no messing around with a good camera. I suddenly need a good webcam during covid. 

    Options are good.
    My 30"Apple Cinema from 2005 still works and looks amazing, I'll wait to upgrade my 2010 Mac Pro until they come out with a desktop that I can add storage and perform upgrades. I've had several iMacs, but I like the idea of a separate display & cpu. Call me old fashioned...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 65
    AI nailed it. There is nothing to differentiate an iMac from a Mac Mini when it comes to specs. If the design is your thing then go ahead and buy an iMac but if you want features then you will save a lot and get more versatility in a Mac Mini with an external monitor.
    It used to be that an iMac had several advantages over a Mac Mini: It was an all in one with a great screen plus it was more expandable and had better graphics and CPU. You paid more for an iMac but got more as well. Now with the M1 processor every Mac is the same whether it is a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini or iMac.

    Hopefully the M2 processor will bring back some differentiation. To do that the M2 will need several tiers of power usage and performance. It will also need a discrete GPU with similar power/performance tiers. There is a reason why MacBook Air is thin and a MacBook Pro is thick and why a Mac Mini is small while an iMac is large. It has to do with how much power they consume and heat they dissipate. I don't expect to see a M1+ unless it is an upgrade to the M1 in an existing device. The M2 would have to be a very different design to be able to support power tiers from Mac Mini to iMac Pro (or even a Mac Pro).
  • Reply 46 of 65
    trifidtrifid Posts: 10member
    AI chose some of the ugliest monitors that don't reflect the current market trend. First of all if you are going with a Mac Mini, why choose a 24" monitor? Choose 27". A simple amazon search for "27" monitor 4k" shows all the relevant results have thin bezels, they look far better than AI's recommended 24" monitors from the 90s, some even come with HDR10 and the cost is still around the same price range.

    Ok sure, I know AI was trying to show the closest comparison possible to Apple's offering, but it's NOT realistic to what's trending in the market. The external monitor to get is 27" or higher, period. Of course you can choose 24" but there aren't as many options because the demand is for the higher sizes.


    edited May 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 65
    trifidtrifid Posts: 10member
    "Versatility versus style" Really? Yea I agree, Mac Mini with a decent 27" blows the new iMac out of the water in terms of style.


  • Reply 48 of 65
    I really want to buy the new iMac 24”, but how do I combine it with my PlayStation 5? I have only room for one monitor on my desk.
    PS5 supports remote play on a Mac. Only 1080p, but it does support HDR.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 65
    trifid said:
    AI chose some of the ugliest monitors that don't reflect the current market trend. First of all if you are going with a Mac Mini, why choose a 24" monitor? Choose 27". A simple amazon search for "27" monitor 4k" shows all the relevant results have thin bezels, they look far better than AI's recommended 24" monitors from the 90s, some even come with HDR10 and the cost is still around the same price range.

    Ok sure, I know AI was trying to show the closest comparison possible to Apple's offering, but it's NOT realistic to what's trending in the market. The external monitor to get is 27" or higher, period. Of course you can choose 24" but there aren't as many options because the demand is for the higher sizes.


    Those are definitely nicer looking monitors. A 27" 4K monitor is not a bad choice, but you don't get more pixels (or real estate) than any other 4K monitor, you just get larger pixels. It may be an advantage for some to be able to place a larger monitor farther away from the eyes, but as a person spoiled by the 27" 5K iMac, I think the 27-28" 4K monitors are a bit of a letdown by comparison.

    Just to put things in perspective, the dpi (pixel pitch) of a 27" 5K or 24" 4.5K is less than 300 dpi, so even a cheap laser printer can do better (with most printers capable of 600 dpi or more).
    edited May 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 65
    trifidtrifid Posts: 10member
    trifid said:
    AI chose some of the ugliest monitors that don't reflect the current market trend. First of all if you are going with a Mac Mini, why choose a 24" monitor? Choose 27". A simple amazon search for "27" monitor 4k" shows all the relevant results have thin bezels, they look far better than AI's recommended 24" monitors from the 90s, some even come with HDR10 and the cost is still around the same price range.

    Ok sure, I know AI was trying to show the closest comparison possible to Apple's offering, but it's NOT realistic to what's trending in the market. The external monitor to get is 27" or higher, period. Of course you can choose 24" but there aren't as many options because the demand is for the higher sizes.


    Those are definitely nicer looking monitors. A 27" 4K monitor is not a bad choice, but you don't get more pixels (or real estate) than any other 4K monitor, you just get larger pixels. It may be an advantage for some to be able to place a larger monitor farther away from the eyes, but as a person spoiled by the 27" 5K iMac, I think the 27-28" 4K monitors are a bit of a letdown by comparison.

    Just to put things in perspective, the dpi (pixel pitch) of a 27" 5K or 24" 4.5K is less than 300 dpi, so even a cheap laser printer can do better (with most printers capable of 600 dpi or more).
    I completely understand what you are saying, and yes I do wish there were more 5K 27" options to choose from. I do have to disagree with one thing, while you are right you don't get more pixels, macOS lets you choose among plenty of scaling options, which can in turn give you more real state. So if you choose a higher scaling option, the 27" could give you slightly more real state. Of course native > scaling, but it's an option if you'd like more real state. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 65
    nhtnht Posts: 4,516member
    AI said:    "Versatility versus style"

    That pretty well sums it up.  Some want one.   Some want the other.

    But, I would add a third option to the list:   For an extra couple hundred over a Mac Mini, get a MacBook Air  --  PLUS   a 24' monitor.   
    You end up with most of the advantages of the MacMini combined with most of the advantages of an iMac -- plus you can take it to Starbuck's!

    Unless you have some special need,   What's not to like?

    So, to AI's quote, I would add:   "Flexibility"
    The primary difference may be active vs passive cooling and 1 GPU core on the base MBA vs mini.
  • Reply 52 of 65
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 607member
    I own the LG 24UD58-B. The display itself is fine with near Retina (as defined by Apple) resolution at 1920x1080 (2x scale). Everything else about it is somewhat questionable. The included stand is the worst thing about the monitor. It is wobbly and doesn’t inspire confidence about its long term reliability. The monitor does work with a VESA mount though so there is an extra cost solution. 

    The monitor has no speakers, just a headphone jack. Obviously it has no webcam. There are no other ports besides the 1 DP and 2 HDMI. So replacing the iMac is a little bit more expensive than just a keyboard and mouse for the same functionality. This option saves about $500 for an 8 core/8 GPU/8GB/256 GB iMac vs Mac mini but the extras are going to reduce that a lot. If you want Apple kit, you save about $325 after an Apple Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. And you still need speakers and a webcam. 

    What you get with the Mac mini is a few dollars saved and good flexibility. What you lose is a better monitor, an excellent built-in webcam, color matching keyboard and mouse, touchId, and a very compact all in one solution on your desk with practically no cables. The mini + external display is going to be a veritable octopus of cables on your desk. 

    For those buyers in the market for a colorful iMac, I don’t think the Mac mini solution competes very well. 
    edited May 3
  • Reply 53 of 65
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,262member
    nht said:
    AI said:    "Versatility versus style"

    That pretty well sums it up.  Some want one.   Some want the other.

    But, I would add a third option to the list:   For an extra couple hundred over a Mac Mini, get a MacBook Air  --  PLUS   a 24' monitor.   
    You end up with most of the advantages of the MacMini combined with most of the advantages of an iMac -- plus you can take it to Starbuck's!

    Unless you have some special need,   What's not to like?

    So, to AI's quote, I would add:   "Flexibility"
    The primary difference may be active vs passive cooling and 1 GPU core on the base MBA vs mini.

    Very true!   But I suspect that 80% of users would not know or see a difference -- particularly with the cooling
  • Reply 54 of 65
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 207member
    No it is not. Monitor in 24 inch size is way too small and it is ill idea of someone who does not understand principles of human vision. It is the same as marketing foolishness from years ago about 32 millions of colors while human eye can recognize about 300,000. Selling on technical specs does not pay off.

    If you really want to squeeze more information on screen that is expressed with 4K resolutions then you need minimum 27 inch monitor or better: 32 inch monitor. Tiny fonts do not work when you have to start using eyeglasses to see them. 24 inch monitor is for 1080/HD resolutions and it is old standard at this point, but popular with many applications including some office work.
    Totally agree... I have the Dell 27" model mentioned used with all my Macs and it's still too small to run at 4k... with 27in the comfortable max (for me) is 2560x1440 with 3008x1692 the max (but annoying)... with 24in I can't see going beyond 1440... and maybe 1280 being the comfortable max
  • Reply 55 of 65
    rossb2rossb2 Posts: 87member
    I am using Mac mini with 32" at 4k. This is a useful resolution and size, as I can get up to 3 HD size windows, on the screen. Pixel density for text is fine. I think 24" is a small size in todays market, and not great for productivity, and working with multiple windows.
  • Reply 56 of 65
    trifidtrifid Posts: 10member
    aknabi said:
    No it is not. Monitor in 24 inch size is way too small and it is ill idea of someone who does not understand principles of human vision. It is the same as marketing foolishness from years ago about 32 millions of colors while human eye can recognize about 300,000. Selling on technical specs does not pay off.

    If you really want to squeeze more information on screen that is expressed with 4K resolutions then you need minimum 27 inch monitor or better: 32 inch monitor. Tiny fonts do not work when you have to start using eyeglasses to see them. 24 inch monitor is for 1080/HD resolutions and it is old standard at this point, but popular with many applications including some office work.
    Totally agree... I have the Dell 27" model mentioned used with all my Macs and it's still too small to run at 4k... with 27in the comfortable max (for me) is 2560x1440 with 3008x1692 the max (but annoying)... with 24in I can't see going beyond 1440... and maybe 1280 being the comfortable max
    You are not supposed to run a 27" at 4k, everything will look too small. I hope you are aware that macOS lets you choose whatever scaling is most comfortable for you...
  • Reply 57 of 65
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,244member
    trifid said:
    "Versatility versus style" Really? Yea I agree, Mac Mini with a decent 27" blows the new iMac out of the water in terms of style.


    Where's the webcam and the speakers?  Also conveniently forgot the wires between the mini and the monitor.  Once you include all of that, and move it out of a dedicated office space (as many people don't have), you realize that getting rid of the clutter isn't just a "style" choice.
  • Reply 58 of 65
    nhtnht Posts: 4,516member
    auxio said:
    trifid said:
    "Versatility versus style" Really? Yea I agree, Mac Mini with a decent 27" blows the new iMac out of the water in terms of style.


    Where's the webcam and the speakers?  Also conveniently forgot the wires between the mini and the monitor.  Once you include all of that, and move it out of a dedicated office space (as many people don't have), you realize that getting rid of the clutter isn't just a "style" choice.
    Good cable management and camera angle.

    There are 4K monitors with USB-C connectivity for video that also has a hub built it. The webcam can work off of that.  Likewise many have an audio jack but speakers can be wireless.  

    With a vesa mount and a Y power cable you could only have one wire leaving the monitor for power with everything else hidden by the cable management system.
    trifid
  • Reply 59 of 65
    trifidtrifid Posts: 10member
    auxio said:
    trifid said:
    "Versatility versus style" Really? Yea I agree, Mac Mini with a decent 27" blows the new iMac out of the water in terms of style.


    Where's the webcam and the speakers?  Also conveniently forgot the wires between the mini and the monitor.  Once you include all of that, and move it out of a dedicated office space (as many people don't have), you realize that getting rid of the clutter isn't just a "style" choice.
    First of all, I think you agree this example looks amazing, and nothing like the original article seemed to imply with the outdated-looking 24" monitors. That's my main argument, that the mac mini can still look great and one didn't need to give up style over function.

    Second of all, regarding the built-in webcam, if style is paramount, it seems very subjective and highly niche, that someone would take issue with an external webcam which nowadays are very discrete design-wise, while at the same time that person would be perfectly fine with an ugly giant chin without an apple logo in the new iMac.

    You think the chin is great 'style' ? I'd rather have a little external webcam than the chin. We could debate this but it seems it's highly subjective.

    If you care about the speakers, there are options as well that can be harmonious and stylish. Homepods minis could be an option which would give you even deeper sound. You could place Homepods in a living, and have the Mac Mini wirelessly send sound to them.

    Regarding cables, that photo shows good cable management, which hides the cables and looks great. It doesn't need to be a dedicated office space to look great.

    I hope you agree there are very few niche examples where an iMac might possibly outwin a Mac Mini in terms of style, it seems to me a far higher number of use cases have the Mac Mini in an extremely favorable light in terms of style, not to mention versatility.

    To me the iMac looks ugly, with the white bezels, the chin, and lack of Apple logo at the front. Of course design taste is subjective, but I find it a very weak argument that the main differentiator between the Mac Mini and iMac is 'style' while in the past it was far more substantial.
    edited May 4
  • Reply 60 of 65
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,262member
    auxio said:
    trifid said:
    "Versatility versus style" Really? Yea I agree, Mac Mini with a decent 27" blows the new iMac out of the water in terms of style.


    Where's the webcam and the speakers?  Also conveniently forgot the wires between the mini and the monitor.  Once you include all of that, and move it out of a dedicated office space (as many people don't have), you realize that getting rid of the clutter isn't just a "style" choice.

    That's a good point.
    I've always been skeptical about the all-in-ones.   But I hadn't considered that aspect for them.  Yeh, this open things up to one in the corner of the family room or great room that you wouldn't do with a traditional desktop.
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