Mac mini and iMac Mac Studio - Which desktop Mac should you buy at any price point

Apple is almost done replacing all of its Macs with Apple Silicon models. This replaces its dependence on Intel processors. The MacBook range is nearly done with its transformation. However, the desktop Mac range is still in the process of being migrated. It is still in a good enough state to allow someone to look at the range to find the right price for them. Apple indicated that the Mac Pro range would cover more territory in the future. However, this will still be months away. Rumors of a new Apple Silicon generation are also being heard, but that's another problem for a different quarter. There are a few exceptions to the rule with Intel Macs. Your current priorities and budget will dictate what Apple Silicon Macs you choose.

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Below $2,000 - Mac mini & 24-inch iMac

The Mac mini is the cheapest option, priced at $699 to $1,299 when the 24-inch iMac comes into the mix. It is tempting to buy 512GB storage for $899, but you should stick with the 16GB upgrade first and then purchase both the memory and 512GB once you reach $1,099.

You could save $100 by adding the 10-Gigabit Ethernet upgrade to your existing plan. The $100 fee could be avoided if you don't plan to move vast amounts of data over your network with the Mac mini and have the infrastructure to do so.

You have the option of choosing a physical design for $1,299. Are you looking for a screen? You might need a screen. If so, then you should start looking at the 24-inch iMac.

The name says it all, a 24-inch screen and modern design. This is an excellent option if you have limited space and don't have a screen to use.

M1 Mac Mini vs iMac 24 - Which Mac you should buy in 2021, Mac Mini or iMac?, Source :Youtube, Digital Markings

If you have an existing display you want to connect to your Mac, you will lean towards the Mac mini.

The screen will cost you $800 more than a Mac mini of the exact specification. This is another way to look at the difference between the two models. Although you can buy a separate screen for the Mac mini for as low as $800, it will not be nearly as impressive as the sleek design of the iMac's frame.

The Apple Studio Display is now available. It looks like a mix of the iMacs and the Pro Display XDR. It's a $1599 27-inch 5K screen. This is $800 more than the Mac mini and the 24 inch iMac costs.

You can choose between a Mac mini with 16GB storage and 1TB memory or a 24-inch iMac equipped with a 7-core GPU and 8GB of memory. A display with Gigabit Ethernet is also available as an option. It's probably better to buy a monitor than the Mac mini.

The 8-core GPU version for the 24-inch iMac costs $1,499 and includes Gigabit Ethernet. The $1,299 specification includes the 7-core model with 16GB or 512GB storage.

You can still get the Mac mini unless you need the iMac display.

Mini Mac Deals

The Mac mini comes equipped with Apple's M1 chip, an 8-core GPU with a 16-core Neural engine. It is compact and affordable.

The $1,799 price tag can still get you the top-flight Mac mini, with 16GB memory, 2TB storage, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet. You can also get the highest-end 7-core GPU version for $130, including 16GB of memory, 1TB storage, and Gigabit Internet.

You Should Buy The Cheapest Mac Mini M1 And Here's Why!, Source: Youtube, The Everyday Dad 

The 8-core GPU iMac would offer 16GB memory and 256GB storage for $1699 or 512GB for $1,899. The Mac mini with a different display is still attractive at this stage.

You might be one of those who prefer the Mac mini with a different display. It's a great purchase that will give you the best bang for your buck. The price range is $1,800 to $2,000, and it comes with varying upgrades to the iMac.

M1 Apple 24-inch

Apple's newest desktop Mac is the 24-inch iMac, measuring 11.5 mm thick and coming in seven vibrant colors.

The 8-core GPU version is the best option for those who desire the iMac look. Although the Ethernet and core upgrades don't seem like much, it is worth considering. However, storage can be sacrificed for better performance in the long term.

Although it may seem that the 8-core GPU iMac is most prevalent between $1,939 to $2,000, you can't configure an iMac upgrade within this price range. You can feel whatever you want at $1,899 until the end.

$2,000 or more - 24 inch iMacs and Mac Studio

The sub-$2,000 price range is still grappling with whether it's worth spending $800 on an iMac display or a more powerful Mac mini. However, when you reach $2,000. The situation changes.

You must decide if you want a good-quality iMac with a touchscreen or a Mac Studio M1 Max that doesn't have a display. Prices range from $2,000 to $24,499

Studio Display VS Pro Display XDR VS 24" iMac (WHICH IS THE BEST APPLE DISPLAY?), Source: Youtube, Karl Conrad 

This subtle difference is because the low-range comparison used hardware with similar core configurations. It's quite a different comparison with the Mac Studio.

The Mac Studio is the best option for those looking for high-performance. The display's aesthetic appeal will not be justified by those more concerned about aesthetics, as it is far less potent than the Mac Studio.

Apple Mac Studio

The 2022 Mac Studio is available with the M1 Max or the new, higher-end M1 Ultra chips. This latter supports up to 128GB RAM.

The iMac's maximum memory limit is 16GB, and the storage capacity is 2TB for $2,499. However, both Mac Studio configurations are equally compelling at $2,399 or $2,599.

Before you consider the potential benefits for creative professionals from using media engines to crunch on video.

The Mac Studio's M1 Max version is available for $2,500 and $4,000. Before storage upgrades can be made, the main focus should be placed on the 32-core GPU and the 64GB memory options.

It is up to you to decide whether you want more storage or just performance. Most people will find the M1 Ultra option easy to use because it allows external storage.

Introducing Mac Studio + Studio Display | Apple, Source: Youtube, Apple

The maximum price for the M1 Max Mac Studio is $4,999. This includes 64GB of memory and 8TB of storage. The M1 Ultra can be upgraded to 4TB storage with an extra $100 or, more practical, to 64GB of memory. Or, you can even upgrade to 128GB for $800.

The M1 Ultra is the wiser choice, but the GPU and memory are up for grabs depending on your actual needs.

It becomes difficult to decide whether to spend up to $2,200 to add 7TB of storage to your computer system or save money by adding external storage.


With research, you can find exclusive discounts on Apple's Mac lineup. You can find great deals by visiting the AppleInsider Mac price guide. You can find price guides that list Mac mini deals and 24-inch iMac offers. There is also a Mac studio Price Guide.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.