Help pick: 2012 Mini Ivy Bridge i7 Quad mobile vs. 2011 iMac 21.5 Sandy Bridge i5 for Aperture/PS

Started Oct 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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k.alexander
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Help pick: 2012 Mini Ivy Bridge i7 Quad mobile vs. 2011 iMac 21.5 Sandy Bridge i5 for Aperture/PS
Oct 31, 2012

I've been rocking my brain for a week. Help me make up my mind. I am looking at either a new 2012 Mini (mid-range i7) vs the 2011 21.5 iMac (base).

2011 iMac: Quad Core i5-2400S@2.50GHz, AMD 6750HD 512VRam, 500GB 7200Rpm HD, 4GB Ram. $979

vs.

2012 Mini (mid): QuadCore i7@2.30GHz, Intel 4000HD, 1TB 5400Rpm, 4GB Ram. $917 (including KB/Touchpad which I need)

Short Version: Machine will be primarily used for Aperture/PS, plus typical web/office.

Main Question: Does the Ivy Bridge i7 QuadCore on the mini vs. a Sandy Bridge i5 on iMac outweigh loosing the 6750M discrete graphics card and going to HD4000?

Long Version: This PC will be primarily used for Aperture/PS, some light-to-mid-level home video editing, plus web/office stuff, No gaming. I understand any of these machines will do what I need today, but I tend to keep PCs for a while (I can't believe but I'm about to upgrade my 1.83Ghz Core Duo MBP 15"--first Intel MBP), and so I wonder which of these will last me the longest. Also, am I correct that if I'm not gaming at all, I dont really need the dedicated graphics card, or is there a benefit to such a card for Aperture/PS?

I understand that with the mini, I will be able to put in an SSD in addition to the drive that's there now. From ifixit, it seems doable on the iMac but way way too much work. Both machines can have their ram easily upgraded as well. Plus the new mini can also have it's current HD more easily upgraded than the iMac due to the iMac's 7pin connect for the HD's temp/fan. So the mini actually seems like a more upgradeable machine going forward. But the mini is 5400rpm vs. iMac 7200rpm, and the iMac has 4 RAM slots.

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