Apple’s new products are easier and harder to tell apart than ever before because most of them run on the M1 processor. This means that the choice mostly comes down to price and features. If you want to use a Mac OS desktop, the choice is even more difficult because Apple has so many different options.
Do you want (or need) to have a great screen and a great sound system in a simple package? Or do you want a simple computer that’s powerful enough to run all your favorite apps? Today, we look at the 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip and the Mini with the M1 chip.
Speed and Performance
In both the 24-inch iMac and the Mini, the M1 processor, which is very efficient, is used. This is the same chip that Apple used in their MacBooks. They both have the same amount of computing power at their core. Both run on Apple’s M1 processor, which is a lot faster than most laptops with midrange Intel or AMD processors. As long as you need a desktop PC to do a lot of work and a little bit of 3D, like with Adobe Creative Cloud software, you should be fine with either of the two Mac desktops.
However, there are some differences in how well they work. The base 24-inch iMac doesn’t have as many graphics processing units as the Mini, but it’s still better than the Mini (7 cores versus 8 cores). This missing core doesn’t make much difference in real-world applications, like World of Warcraft on medium settings. But if you use your computer a lot for graphics-heavy programs, it could slow down your work.
The Mini and iMac also have different cooling systems, but both are more than enough for the powerful processor. The Mini has a single lover in a big case that gives the processor a lot of space to work. Meanwhile, the Macs fans have to push the air away from the processor in a very thin shape. The M1 processor is efficient in that the lovers almost still stay quiet in both cases. This is because the processor is so powerful.
A port or a feature
This means both Macs can use Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6. You don’t have to worry about having a fast, wireless connection to your internet and any other needed devices. Because they both have the same processor, they can both run the same software on the same screen. Each computer can run one 6K resolution screen at 60Hz and one 4K resolution screen at 60Hz simultaneously. From there, things start to get a little different, starting with the ports.
You likely care about how many ports your computer has. With its small size, the Mini has many ports. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Ethernet. The base 24-inch iMac only has two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports and a headphone jack. The $1,499 model has an Ethernet port and two more Thunderbolt / USB 3 ports.
However, considering the other features and accessories that come with both machines, the Mini’s advantage fades away. The Mini is small enough to fit in a backpack as a laptop. It’s also smaller than a laptop, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on your desk.
Adding the Magic Mouse and Keyboard to your computer is a great way to add useful features like swiping and Touch ID to your computer. There is a 24-inch all-in-one Mac: a computer, a screen, and speakers all in one. In addition, it comes with the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad, which are all made of aluminum and match your iMac’s color scheme.
They also come pre-paired with your iMac so that you can use them wirelessly right away. Because the iMac also comes with a 1080p webcam, you can make video calls and stream. No webcam is built into the Mini, so you can’t use it to take videos.
iMacs are better than Minis because they have great displays and sound systems. This is why the iMacs are better than the Minis. If you buy a Mini without a screen, you can’t see it. The speaker is small and tiny. There’s also the iMac’s 4.5K Retina display. It’s very bright, has a wide color range, and is great for film fans and visual designers.
Similar-quality screens can cost a lot, so putting them on a Mini and adding a screen would already cost more than a Mini and an iMac. Meanwhile, the bottom lip of the iMac has a lot of speakers that give a rich, detailed sound that’s great for listening to movies or music.
The mini is a cheap desktop computer with a small footprint that is easy to move around. For how powerful it is, the Mini is a great deal. When the Mini first came out, it cost $699. These days, it can be found for as little as $600 when it goes on sale. Because it’s so cheap, you’ll have to buy your monitor and keyboard as well as mouse and speakers to use it, but that’s not a bad deal.
A lot of money can be saved by buying the Mini and accessories as good as those that come with the iMac. For example, an HDR10-certified 4K display and a premium wireless keyboard/mouse bundle can cost as much as the iMac does to buy. You can start with the iMac for $1,299. A MacBook Pro 13 costs about the same.
All-in-one desktops cost more, but they’re also easier to use. They come with a high-quality keyboard, mouse, trackpad, an extra loud sound system, and an all-in-one screen with a good color gamut. It also only takes five minutes to put an iMac together out of the box and make it look good enough to be a piece of decor in your home. However, the $1,499 model is worth it if you can afford it. It has more ports and a weaker graphics processor than the base model.
The winner is…
Most people should buy a Mini because it’s the best for a cheap home computer, but not everyone. For $699, you get a small PC with a powerful M1 chip. A $1,299 iMac would cost you hundreds of dollars more, but if you don’t need anything else but an okay-priced monitor, you can still save a lot of money.
However, the iMac has a lot of value for people really into audio and video. It’s an all-in-one computer with a 4.5K resolution retina screen and high-end peripherals that make it a great family PC for both work and play.
One more graphics processing core makes the $1,499 model have a slightly faster graphics processor than the base Mini. The $1,299 Mini is the same as the $1,499 iMac for graphics processing. If you need a computer that can do a lot of work quickly and has a good screen for visual work, the iMac is also a good choice.