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EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 04:32 AM
Hi all,
I am a current Windows XP user and I really do not like it and I am looking at buying a Mac mini. I am going for the affordable option as my PC that I am currently using has very good specs and cost me a lot of money so I can't afford a expensive Mac right now. My main question is how does the Core solo 1.5Ghz compare to the Core Duo 1.66Ghz? I can get the Core Solo for a very low price of $699AUD and I can get the Core Duo for $950AUD, both have 512Mb RAM, 60Gb and 80Gb respectively, Combo Drive for Solo, Super Drive for Duo and the bad Intel graphics.

I am just wondering if the Duo is worth the $250AUD more than the Solo? How does the Solo perform compared to the Duo? I don't run much multi-media apart from games on my PC so I doubt that I will use a Mac for for it either. I won't do much multi tasking on the Mac and will use it only for iTunes for my iPod, internet browsing, chat, email and the odd DVD every now and then. This is why I am considering getting a Solo because I think that a Duo (and the fact that it is cheaper) may not be needed in my case.

Does anyone here know how would a Core Solo 1.5Ghz compare to my old Pentium4 2Ghz? I know that the Core architecture is far better than the Pentium's but will the slower clock speed make the Core Solo slower than the Pentium?

I am also a bit curious about how Mac OS X Tiger as I have never used a Mac before. Can someone just give me a brief overview of it's major differences to Windows XP.

Sorry about all the questions (I could keep on going but I will stop for now) but as the title suggest, I am new to Mac's and I also have little experience with Intel CPU's apart from my one P4, I had always used AMD's and I currently have a Athlon X2.

Thanks in advance for any help/answers that you may offer.



Scarlet Fever
Nov 8, 2006, 04:38 AM
How long do you plan to use it for? The Core Duo will increase the life of the comouter dramatically, but if you are only in it for a taste of the Apple, the Core Solo sounds like a great buy!

I am also a bit curious about how Mac OS X Tiger as I have never used a Mac before. Can someone just give me a brief overview of it's major differences to Windows XP.
You don't have to worry about VISTA (viruses, infections, spyware, trojans and adware), much easier to learn, and much more powerful... you have to use it to believe it :)

Eraserhead
Nov 8, 2006, 04:40 AM
Core Solo 1.5 will be quicker than a Pentium 4 2Ghz.
Also you will want 1GB RAM in either computer, the superdrive lets you burn DVD's but if you already can on your PC that might not be important.

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 04:45 AM
How long do you plan to use it for? The Core Duo will increase the life of the comouter dramatically, but if you are only in it for a taste of the Apple, the Core Solo sounds like a great buy!


You don't have to worry about VISTA (viruses, infections, spyware, trojans and adware), much easier to learn, and much more powerful... you have to use it to believe it :)

I am not sure how long I actually plan to use it for, I used my P4 PC for less then 1 year but my PC before that I used for 3 years. Lets just say 3 years is how long I'm planning on using it for. Would I be better off getting a Duo for that length? I also want to run Leopard when it comes out.

LOL about the VISTA comment.

Nym
Nov 8, 2006, 04:48 AM
If you're really on a tight budget go for the solo, it should perform well enough for the kind of use you described :)

As for Mac OSX differences to XP, it's a completely different "experience", expect to feel some confusion in the first days of using it, then it all goes away and you can never go back :D

If you need any help on a specific topic just ask, or you can just go to the Mac OSX section of this forum and follow the links posted on the top :)

Start by this one and welcome to the Mac world ;) :
Mac Begginers Guide (http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Beginner%27s_Guide)

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 04:54 AM
I am not sure how long I actually plan to use it for, I used my P4 PC for less then 1 year but my PC before that I used for 3 years. Lets just say 3 years is how long I'm planning on using it for. Would I be better off getting a Duo for that length? I also want to run Leopard when it comes out.

LOL about the VISTA comment.

The Duo will give a dramatic performance boost over the Solo. With two processing cores you'll get faster OpenGL performance with the new multi-threaded OpenGL, much better multi-tasking etc basically the Core Duo is a much better machine. The Core Solo didn't really offer a decent-enough-for-the-price speed boost over the 1.42GHz G4 for my liking. The Core Duo was the only one I'd consider. You may not think you have demanding needs now but as you realise the strength of the OS and the abilities of the many applications for OSX you will start to do more and more and then you'll want the extra grunt.

That being said the price for the Solo is damned good. But even taking that into account I'd rather save a little longer and get the Duo with at least 1GB of RAM.

In terms of the differences between OSX and XP, that has been covered so many times that a really good guide has been made - you'll find that other people have already posted the links.

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 04:55 AM
If you're really on a tight budget go for the solo, it should perform well enough for the kind of use you described :)

As for Mac OSX differences to XP, it's a completely different "experience", expect to feel some confusion in the first days of using it, then it all goes away and you can never go back :D

If you need any help on a specific topic just ask, or you can just go to the Mac OSX section of this forum and follow the links posted on the top :)

Start by this one and welcome to the Mac world ;) :
Mac Begginers Guide (http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Beginner%27s_Guide)

Thank you for your help:).

Also do the Mac minis use desktop RAM or notebook RAM?

EDIT: Thank you for your help Chundles:).

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:00 AM
Thank you for your help:).

Also do the Mac minis use desktop RAM or notebook RAM?

All Intel Macs (besides the Mac Pro) use the same RAM. 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300) 200 pin SO-DIMMs. It's laptop RAM and Macs are very picky about the RAM they use - it has to be good quality. There are a number of places here that sell RAM guaranteed for Macs. Streetwise (www.streetwise.com.au) have reasonable prices. Doing a RAM installation on a Mini is not for the faint of heart and takes a bit of doing - you might be best going to an authorised service agent (basically your local reseller wherever you are in Aus) and getting them to install your RAM.

Either that or get the RAM pre-installed when you order, Apple's prices aren't too far off market price for RAM here at the moment.

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 05:05 AM
I have just been looking at all the other Macs on http://www.streetwise.com.au and I have noticed that they all use the newer Core 2 Duo's, not the Core Duo like the mini does. Is there any chance that they Core 2 Duo mini's may be on the way because if they are I will wait and grab one of them.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 05:05 AM
I went from an AMD XP3400+ (64bit) to a core duo (1.66) Mini and found the mini to be significantly quicker in everything except 3D processing and raw storage - but them I did have a very fast Nvidia chipset in my AMD and 4 SATA drives in a RAID config.

To me, more important that the CPU (I think the single CPU in the core solo is still beefier than the previous CPU you mentioned) is RAM - the speed boost you get (actually, the crippling you dont get) when you have RAM is enormous.

If I had to chose, then, between 1.5 solo with >1GB RAM and 1.66 duo with 512, I'd go for the RAM option.. remember, once your mini is out of warranty, you can put a 2GHz core duo CPU in for a significant upgrade.

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:12 AM
I have just been looking at all the other Macs on http://www.streetwise.com.au and I have noticed that they all use the newer Core 2 Duo's, not the Core Duo like the mini does. Is there any chance that they Core 2 Duo mini's may be on the way because if they are I will wait and grab one of them.

I think they're still a way off yet, probably next year sometime. The iMac and MacBook Pro are the only models using the Core 2 Duo and judging from your usage whilst you'll definitely notice the increase in power from Core Solo to Core Duo you're unlikely to see any performance boost going from Core Duo to Core 2 Duo.

I don't see any Macs coming for the rest of the year (the MacBook might be an outside chance for next week or the week after but that's it) with new hardware.

Take a look at what you're willing to spend, focus on the RAM more than the processor - though I do recommend the Core Duo very highly, if budgetary constraints dictate the Core Solo you'll want as much RAM as you can afford to help eliminate system bottle-necks. 1GB should be the minimum amount of RAM, any more than that is a handy bonus.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 05:19 AM
a little off post - but..

I recommissioned my mini when I got my MBP - stole the 2 x 1GB sticks I'd put into the mini so its now sitting with 1 x 256 (original mini) and 1 x 512 (original MBP).

The mini sits under my TV and is optically connected to the hifi and via SVid to the TV.

At some point in the past I'd installed the Canon Canoscan tool box (a PPC app). The mini was sluggish the other day - so I checked out what was running - the canon button manager the only PPC app running and total memory use was just under the 750 total. Uninstalled all the canon software, rebooted - memory usage back down with 400MB free and voila - seriously speedy box, once again.

Moral of the story? Low memory causes paging, paging to slow (5400rpm) drives, causes system sluggishness..

and there endeth the sermon (next to the mount (table mount(ain)))

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 05:31 AM
The Mac mini on this (http://store.apple.com/133-622/WebObjects/australiastore.woa/6644021/wo/3j728xUe9TQq2YSy9r8WKUOAn1o/8.0.0.23.1.0.8.7.1.2.1.1) page is the one that I am looking at getting. I think I might get it and then take it to a Apple shop and get them to upgrade the RAM to 1Gb, then after a year and a half I will upgrade the CPU to a Core 2 Duo (if possible).

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:33 AM
The Mac mini on this (http://store.apple.com/133-622/WebObjects/australiastore.woa/6644021/wo/3j728xUe9TQq2YSy9r8WKUOAn1o/8.0.0.23.1.0.8.7.1.2.1.1) page is the one that I am looking at getting. I think I might get it and then take it to a Apple shop and get them to upgrade the RAM to 1Gb, then after a year and a half I will upgrade the CPU to a Core 2 Duo (if possible).

Ah, it's also only got a ComboDrive, only burns CDs if that's a problem for you?

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 05:36 AM
The Mac mini on this (http://store.apple.com/133-622/WebObjects/australiastore.woa/6644021/wo/3j728xUe9TQq2YSy9r8WKUOAn1o/8.0.0.23.1.0.8.7.1.2.1.1) page is the one that I am looking at getting. I think I might get it and then take it to a Apple shop and get them to upgrade the RAM to 1Gb, then after a year and a half I will upgrade the CPU to a Core 2 Duo (if possible).

sheeesh - thats a good price - I dunno how Auz tax laws work, can you find someone with a company to buy it so you can get the VAT back? Or does Auz have GST

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 05:37 AM
Ah, it's also only got a ComboDrive, only burns CDs if that's a problem for you?

Nah my PC has a DVD burner so thats not a problem.:)

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:39 AM
sheeesh - thats a good price - I dunno how Auz tax laws work, can you find someone with a company to buy it so you can get the VAT back? Or does Auz have GST

We have GST and the tax is already included in the quoted price as per Australian legislation. It's not going to get any cheaper than that.

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 05:40 AM
sheeesh - thats a good price - I dunno how Auz tax laws work, can you find someone with a company to buy it so you can get the VAT back? Or does Auz have GST

We have GST and that price was inclusive of it, I pay $699 for it and thats it. I could try to get a student sort of discount on a Core Duo one if Apple do that sort of thing.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 05:43 AM
shouldnt you Aussies be in bed by now?

:D

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:43 AM
shouldnt you Aussies be in bed by now?

:D

10:42pm here - not what I'd call late.

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:45 AM
We have GST and that price was inclusive of it, I pay $699 for it and thats it. I could try to get a student sort of discount on a Core Duo one if Apple do that sort of thing.

If you're in Uni there's an education discount store. You can pick up the current Core Duo 1.66GHz for $859. If you know a Uni student you can use their card for the discount.

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 05:46 AM
10:42pm here - not what I'd call late.

9.45PM here, god I love not having day light saving.

Nym
Nov 8, 2006, 05:46 AM
I guess you'll be fine even with the Core Solo, at home I have a 24" iMac but at work I have a eMac, 1.25ghz PPC, 512 MB RAM (no dedicated GPU) running OSX Panther, and it runs great, it never crashed, just the occasional slowdown when running Flash 8, Dreamweaver 8, iTunes and Photoshop CS at the same time :) but hey, that's normal, and it's only a little bit, nothing considerable :rolleyes:

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:48 AM
I guess you'll be fine even with the Core Solo, at home I have a 24" iMac but at work I have a eMac, 1.25ghz PPC, 512 MB RAM (no dedicated GPU) running OSX Panther, and it runs great, it never crashed, just the occasional slowdown when running Flash 8, Dreamweaver 8, iTunes and Photoshop CS at the same time :) but hey, that's normal, and it's only a little bit, nothing considerable :rolleyes:


The eMac has a 64MB Radeon 9600 - it's not too bad a graphics card.

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 05:50 AM
9.45PM here, god I love not having day light saving.

Fading the curtains? :D

Confusing the cows? :D

Morning wood on the bus instead of in bed? :D

God I love ribbing the banana-benders.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 05:59 AM
God I love ribbing the banana-benders.

thats an aussie-to-aussie dig I take it?

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:04 AM
thats an aussie-to-aussie dig I take it?

Indeed.

The OP, as a Queenslander is allowed to have his intelligence constantly brought into question (hence the daylight saving quips about curtains fading) and claims that he spends all day bending the bananas before sale around the country.

I, as a New South Welshman submit to constant claims of latté-sipping yuppiedom (wow, yuppiedom isn't considered a spelling mistake), the never-ending urge to leave my state for the warmer climes up north in Qld and any sporting prowess I may boast to be called "not as good as *insert Qld sportsperson here*."

Them's the rules.

Nym
Nov 8, 2006, 06:16 AM
Nahh, actually it's 32MB: ATI AGP 32 MB ATY RV280 :O that's what it says under "system profiler" :o Yet, it's crap :D the mac Mini should work 3 times faster than this, to say the least :O

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 06:16 AM
I feel so enlightened as to the vagaries of Australian Culture..

and there I thought you guys got your culture from yoghurt

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:17 AM
Nahh, actually it's 32MB: ATI AGP 32 MB ATY RV280 :O that's what it says under "system profiler" :o Yet, it's crap :D the mac Mini should work 3 times faster than this, to say the least :O

Oh right, so it's the rev before the final revision. Still, it's got a dedicated GPU.

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:23 AM
I feel so enlightened as to the vagaries of Australian Culture..

and there I thought you guys got your culture from yoghurt

It always amazes me the stereotypes you Jaapies hold towards us. They're the same ones we heap on the Kiwis - imagine what the Kiwis feel like to be called sheep-shaggers by the country the South Africans call sheep-shaggers :D :D

EM87
Nov 8, 2006, 06:24 AM
Indeed.

The OP, as a Queenslander is allowed to have his intelligence constantly brought into question (hence the daylight saving quips about curtains fading) and claims that he spends all day bending the bananas before sale around the country.

I, as a New South Welshman submit to constant claims of latté-sipping yuppiedom (wow, yuppiedom isn't considered a spelling mistake), the never-ending urge to leave my state for the warmer climes up north in Qld and any sporting prowess I may boast to be called "not as good as *insert Qld sportsperson here*."

Them's the rules.

Queensland is great, far better than NSW. We have the better climate, better beaches (Surfers for example and many other not well known ones), better sporting teams (QLD and Bronco's winning State of origin and Grand final and Lions wining three flags in a row etc (had to do it). We also have 1500 of you bloody NSWman/Vic's coming to our state every week. If it is that bad here why do you all come?:p

Life is good in Queensland, and it would be better if you all stopped moving here (holidaying is accepted):D.

PS Brisbane is also better than Sydney:p [/being childish]

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:28 AM
Queensland is great, far better than NSW. We have the better climate, better beaches (Surfers for example and many other not well known ones), better sporting teams (QLD and Bronco's winning State of origin and Grand final and Lions wining three flags in a row etc (had to do it). We also have 1500 of you bloody NSWman/Vic's coming to our state every week. If it is that bad here why do you all come?:p

Life is good in Queensland, and it would be better if you all stopped moving here (holidaying is accepted):D.

See Greebazoid - the usual back-and-forth between NSW and Qld.

I feel a bit like David Attenborough in a documentary...

"We will now see the New South Welshman call the Queenslander's intelligence into question...."

At least I know that beer isn't spelt "XXXX."

"Ooh, you see that, he's gone with the traditional, 'Queenslanders can't spell beer' approach. It's oft-used but still very true, they really can't spell Beer"

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:35 AM
Back to the topic at hand....

Have you checked out the education store yet (don't do it now, the stores are down because new Macs are coming... probably MacBooks but we'll see in about an hour or less) for Mac mini pricing? The low-end Core Duo model is a pretty good buy at $853, add an extra $107 to take it to 1GB.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 06:40 AM
ah well..

You should see what us Cape Townians (tho, I aint, in fact, South African) call those "people" from Johannesburg (and vice versa)

if we are to be believed - all Joburgers (nicknamed Mordor) are money grabbing, materialist, cold hearted criminals who drive like maniacs

If they're to be believed, we Kaapies are all pot smoking, wine guzzling mountain men who can't drive or keep a job..

I had an Australian lover once - damn, but he was hot - even if he did speak funny

Chundles
Nov 8, 2006, 06:45 AM
ah well..

You should see what us Cape Townians (tho, I aint, in fact, South African) call those "people" from Johannesburg (and vice versa)

if we are to be believed - all Joburgers (nicknamed Mordor) are money grabbing, materialist, cold hearted criminals who drive like maniacs

If they're to be believed, we Kaapies are all pot smoking, wine guzzling mountain men who can't drive or keep a job..

I had an Australian lover once - damn, but he was hot - even if he did speak funny

I've been listening to the unabridged audiobook version (it was free on the iTunes Store but you guys don't have one of those yet) of The Power of One. Haven't read the book in years so was looking forward to hearing it - the damn thing was narrated by a guy with a thick South African accent - took me days to stop speaking the same way he did. I take on accents like the Titanic took on water - I hate working with Kiwis because within about 20 minutes I'm speaking like thus end can't stop saying thungs like chups end fush etc.

Greebazoid
Nov 8, 2006, 07:08 AM
IiTunes Store but you guys don't have one of those yet

We wont get one either - South African foreign exchange laws will ensure that. Most SA credit cards are frequently blocked on paypal coz the cartel of banks that operate here suck piles.

Back to the subject at hand..

My mini - now that it lives under the TV and spends its days idle, would make a great little file server except the only recourse to expand its storage capacity is USB and (1) Firewire - neither ripplingly fast

Am I mad to consider (when its warranty is up) removing its HDD, running a SATA cable to outside the box (somehow - not sure yet) and connecting it to an external eSata RAID box.. Bingo. I have fast CPU, brilliant OS and plenty of capacity all accessible at Gb speeds.

JAT
Nov 8, 2006, 01:39 PM
if we are to be believed - all Joburgers (nicknamed Mordor) are money grabbing, materialist, cold hearted criminals who drive like maniacs


Hey, I'm not even from South Africa. Stop it. :D

SBleed@mchsi.co
Nov 8, 2006, 04:01 PM
Ok. First off XP vs. OS X
OS X is actually more like Windows XP than OS9 the functionality of the keyboard shortcuts resemble more of a Windows interface. The learning curve is minimal. I just started using OS X at work about 4 months ago, and by the end of the first week I was using OS X just as efficiently as WinXP.

As for the performance thing. It was a bad idea to buy an Intel based computer in the first place. AMD has much better hardware, and the prices are cheaper than Intel. At home I'm using an Athalon64 FX running at 3Ghz. At work we have G5 Quadcore 2Ghz. And guess what? The Athalon64 is far and beyond WAY faster than the G5's. The simple fact that Apple's OS is built to be visually appealing. Flashy graphics and window shadows bog down system performance, the Duo Core is unnoticable. At work we are running All adobe apps, plus microsoft Office at the same time, and these computers start to get really slow when you do that. I run the same programs on my PC at home, and Windows runs faster, Period. I considered getting a MacMini at one time, then realized I don't like OS X at all. Especially the stupid spotlight icon. Stick with XP is what I suggest, if you do buy a MacMini don't bother with Core Duo, it's just a reason for Apple to charge you more money.