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tomthedude
May 18, 2008, 10:03 AM
Hey guys,
I'm 14 years old, and have used Windows all my life. For about a year now, I have become extremely interested in Mac's and Apple in general. Obviously, because of my age, I find it terribly difficult to save up enough money for an iMac so I have been looking around for a less pricey option. I then came upon the Mac Mini. Looks great, and it looks like it performs well too. And, its cheap. If I could get the money, would a purchase of the 1.8GHz Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM, and an Apple wired Keyboard and Mighty Mouse seem like a good idea?

I also have some questions:

Which would be better: Adding 1GB to the RAM or 120GB Hard Drive?
Would it perform fast?
Will it support 3rd party Webcams and Mic's? (as they don't come built in)

Thanks a lot,
-Tom-



Tallest Skil
May 18, 2008, 10:07 AM
If you're up for the potentially warranty-voiding challenge, you should buy the RAM and HDD from a third-party and install it yourself.
Eh...
Yep.

tomthedude
May 18, 2008, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the fast reply. Would you say its a good idea to get a Mini though? Also, how easy is it to upgrade the RAM on a Mini?
-Tom-

iMpathetic
May 18, 2008, 10:20 AM
Hey!

I'm also 14, and have used Minis extensively.
There are generally drivers for webcams and mics, at least the higher end ones, that will work on the Mac OS.
Next, I'd say that a 2GB/120GB combination would be best, you don't really need more than 2GB.
Upgrading the RAM on a mini is a bitch, but it can be done if you're patient!
See here (http://www.methodshop.com/gadgets/tutorials/macmini-ram/index.shtml) for a guide.

Lastly, unless you are going to be doing anything incredibly intensive, the mini is the perfect computer for switchers because it's simple (on the outside, anyway) and you can use all your old crap with it.

So, yes, it's probably going to be good for you.

Hope this helps. :)

tomthedude
May 18, 2008, 10:22 AM
Thanks! :D

-Tom-

tMac85
May 18, 2008, 10:22 AM
that would be the best machine for you. I think for you 1 GB ram in that machine will do you fine. However if you feel like you want to upgrade it that is fine. Just dont buy the ram from apple. They are way over priced. The instal is not the easiest of apple machines but you can do it. Also do the hard drive. 80Gb is just not enough anymore.

Good luck and great choice you are gonna love it.

dvince2
May 18, 2008, 10:24 AM
Hey guys,
I'm 14 years old, and have used Windows all my life. For about a year now, I have become extremely interested in Mac's and Apple in general. Obviously, because of my age, I find it terribly difficult to save up enough money for an iMac so I have been looking around for a less pricey option. I then came upon the Mac Mini. Looks great, and it looks like it performs well too. And, its cheap. If I could get the money, would a purchase of the 1.8GHz Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM, and an Apple wired Keyboard and Mighty Mouse seem like a good idea?

I also have some questions:

Which would be better: Adding 1GB to the RAM or 120GB Hard Drive?
Would it perform fast?
Will it support 3rd party Webcams and Mic's? (as they don't come built in)

Thanks a lot,
-Tom-
Unless you know you're going to need the extra hard drive space, I'd go with the ram too. More ram== faster feeling computer.
If you're still looking to save money, remember that any USB mouse and keyboard can be used with the mini, not just apple ones.
Also as a side note, if you can, wait to buy the mini after WWDC in June. It's been a while since the mini was updated, and that seems the best time as any to get it.

mr.light
May 18, 2008, 10:24 AM
It is an excellent choice for a first time purchase. My father has always used windows, got tired of the problems, and bought a mini on a whim two weeks ago. He loves it. Its more powerful than his windows machine and it is more than enough for what he does with it. At your price range it is perfect. Go for it.

tomthedude
May 18, 2008, 10:37 AM
Thanks guys!

to dvince2: Yeah, I will wait until after WWDC. I wont have enough money by then anyway. What are the chances of the Mini getting a redesign with the same price?
-Tom-

Father Jack
May 18, 2008, 10:38 AM
The Mini is a great little computer .. :)
Personally I would increase the ram first, then when the finances allow, go for the larger hard drive. Maybe think about an external drive, you can get them quite cheaply and it will save trying to open the case again... :cool:

surferfromuk
May 18, 2008, 11:02 AM
You could always ebay for an intel core duo White iMac - better graphics - great screens, probably got a bit of S/W and some extra ram in it already..a 2.16Ghz C2D iMac would be a great first mac...

akm3
May 18, 2008, 11:04 AM
The Mini is awesome. It was my low cost introduction to the Mac world, and now I'm 100% Apple. (and want to spend a lot more on more Macs)

You can't go wrong with any of the Macs. There is no bad product.

Personally though, I would buy a used or refurb mini instead of a new one, or stretch to go for the iMac or a Macbook instead of buy the current mini new.

aaquib
May 18, 2008, 01:41 PM
Wow, Im exactly like you. Or was. I am 14 and was deciding about a Mac Mini for quite a while. Broke down about 3 weeks ago and bought the 1.83ghz C2D, and purchased an Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse with it. I absolutely love it! OS X is a dream compared to Windows and its easily the best computer I've ever purchased. Believe me, you'll love the experience from the second you open the box, to 3 weeks later when you're still discovering awesome stuff about the OS.

About 1GB Ram vs. 120gb HDD. It really depends on your needs. Out of the box, it comes with about 60GB, as the other 20 is used on the OS and included applications. The 1GB ram, to me, is very speedy and handles all my multitasking than any of my PCs with 2GB of ram. Upgrading the RAM is quite a challenge, but Apple will add an extra gig for $100 for you.

It's reaally fast! Just compare how long it takes to open iTunes or Safari on Mac vs. Windows and you'll understand. Its much faster than my 2.6GHZ Core Duo PC and it is much better at multitasking. I don't know how they do it, but Macs are fast. Really fast.

Yes, there are many web camera and mic drivers available, and many are just plug and play. You'll also find that many drivers for printers are already preinstalled.

zap2
May 18, 2008, 03:03 PM
Love my Mac Mini

Had an iMac before, and it was a good machine too, but I'm a fan of my Mini.

I'd upgrade RAM, because external HD are easy to add. And RAM upgrade is must easier to do(I've done it before)

bstreiff
May 18, 2008, 03:23 PM
The mini is a nice machine, but I would really wait for a refresh-- I've recently graduated from college, and have found myself catching up on my gaming before I start work next month. The GMA X3100 in my MacBook is much better suited for it (i.e.: I can run games like Portal and TF2. In Windows, alas, and at not-great resolutions, but they're playable) than the GMA 950 in my Mac mini. I think it's pretty well-agreed by now that the next refresh to the mini is going to give it the GMA X3100, the ability to utilize all 4GB RAM, and 802.11n support (all stuff that the MacBooks have been able to do for a while now).

Upgrading anything inside of the mini is difficult mostly in getting the case open-- once that's done, it's not too bad (I upgraded the RAM in mine to 2x2GB, and am now kinda wishing I had done the HD at the same time, though using an external hard drive isn't so bad on a machine that doesn't move.)

That said, the mini is a fine desktop machine; I've got mine hooked up to a Dell E228WFP, and it performs quite well for writing papers/programming. I know two other people who use theirs for media frontends, connected to TVs/projectors.

zap2
May 18, 2008, 04:19 PM
^^

Good Call

If you can, wait for an update Mac Mini.

ag227
May 18, 2008, 05:02 PM
[QUOTE=aaquib;5454311].....


It's reaally fast! Just compare how long it takes to open iTunes or Safari on Mac vs. Windows and you'll understand. Its much faster than my 2.6GHZ Core Duo PC and it is much better at multitasking. I don't know how they do it, but Macs are fast. Really fast.

.....[QUOTE]


You cant compare this way, itunes and safari are both made by apple so are obviously optimised for OS X. Try opening office 2007 on vista and 2008 on OS X and you will see its the exact opposite. But try a program made indepently for both and there is practically no difference atall.

trek1500
Jul 15, 2008, 10:33 AM
Just got a Mini as a "family computer" and everyone loves it!

Especially my kids..

For a 1st time Apple user it's the best and economical way to go...especially if you have the monitor, keyboard and mouse.

gehrbox
Jul 15, 2008, 04:46 PM
Hey guys,
I'm 14 years old, and have used Windows all my life. For about a year now, I have become extremely interested in Mac's and Apple in general. Obviously, because of my age, I find it terribly difficult to save up enough money for an iMac so I have been looking around for a less pricey option. I then came upon the Mac Mini. Looks great, and it looks like it performs well too. And, its cheap. If I could get the money, would a purchase of the 1.8GHz Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM, and an Apple wired Keyboard and Mighty Mouse seem like a good idea?

I also have some questions:

Which would be better: Adding 1GB to the RAM or 120GB Hard Drive?
Would it perform fast?
Will it support 3rd party Webcams and Mic's? (as they don't come built in)

The 1.83 C2D Mac Mini is a great computer so long as games are not on your agenda or high end graphic editing.

2GB of ram is plenty on the Mini unless you are planning on running Windows in a VM.

Save yourself some money and buy some other mouse. I like my mighty mouse, but the right click problem and quick clogging of the ball might not be your cup of tea.

mBurns
Jul 15, 2008, 06:32 PM
Minis are tricky to upgrade. If I had to choose between the HD and RAM, I'd choose the RAM upgrade over the HD.

gehrbox
Jul 15, 2008, 06:38 PM
Minis are tricky to upgrade. If I had to choose between the HD and RAM, I'd choose the RAM upgrade over the HD.

I don't know if I'd call replacing the HDD in a mini as "Tricky" more like getting the darn cover off requires a nice thin putty knife and maybe a couple of razor blades. Either memory or HDD requires about the same level of digging.

GGJstudios
Jul 17, 2008, 12:07 PM
If you're up for the potentially warranty-voiding challenge, you should buy the RAM and HDD from a third-party and install it yourself.
Eh...
Yep.

Installation of RAM does not void the Apple Warranty (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=13946), although Apple Support also says, "Additional memory should be installed by an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider."

aaquib
Jul 17, 2008, 01:26 PM
Installation of RAM does not void the Apple Warranty (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=13946), although Apple Support also says, "Additional memory should be installed by an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider."

In the Mac Mini booklet, it clearly states that any attempt to open or modify the Mac will result in a warranty void.

kaiwai
Jul 17, 2008, 02:19 PM
Hey guys,
I'm 14 years old, and have used Windows all my life. For about a year now, I have become extremely interested in Mac's and Apple in general. Obviously, because of my age, I find it terribly difficult to save up enough money for an iMac so I have been looking around for a less pricey option. I then came upon the Mac Mini. Looks great, and it looks like it performs well too. And, its cheap. If I could get the money, would a purchase of the 1.8GHz Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM, and an Apple wired Keyboard and Mighty Mouse seem like a good idea?

I also have some questions:

Which would be better: Adding 1GB to the RAM or 120GB Hard Drive?
Would it perform fast?
Will it support 3rd party Webcams and Mic's? (as they don't come built in)

Thanks a lot,
-Tom-

If money is a real concern, you might want to go with third party keyboard and mouse. As for the hard disk - a 7200rpm would boost the speed a bit.

mrwizardno2
Jul 17, 2008, 02:24 PM
We bought a mac mini for my boyfriend's mother... who has never used a mac before. She used to call us all the time about her old windows PC, now she's called maybe three times... once for help installing a game, once for when she switched from dial up to cable, and once because the monitor was unplugged LOL!

I would say a mac mini would be a great choice. As far as upgrading, I'd definitely heed the warnings above, it can be tricky. If you're patient, though, you should be alright. Maybe have someone else help you, as well. Two heads are almost always better than one.... almost :-)

There is a package, actually, that lets you use logitech cameras and whatnot. I know if you google around for it you will find it. I'll check when I'm home, as well, to see if I can find it for you.

GGJstudios
Jul 17, 2008, 03:44 PM
In the Mac Mini booklet, it clearly states that any attempt to open or modify the Mac will result in a warranty void.

If you actually clicked the link I provided, you would read:

"Apple's warranty states:
"This warranty does not apply...if the product has been modified without the written permission of Apple..."

Adding memory (DRAM, VRAM) or other user-installable upgrade or expansion products to an Apple computer is not considered a modification to that Apple product."

Eric L
Jul 19, 2008, 10:41 PM
When I was 14, I had a Commodore Vic-20................there was no web cam and no giga-anything........................................ I think it will work very well for you.

MacHappytjg
Jul 21, 2008, 12:11 AM
all i have to say is id get a imac g5 isight if you dont care to much about snow leopard

noodle654
Jul 21, 2008, 12:48 AM
Mini's are bomb....great computers for new Mac users!

iGrant
Jul 21, 2008, 07:48 AM
My first Mac was a G4 Cube back in 2004 with a 450Mhz CPU, 128Mb Ram, and a 10GB hard drive and I used it like that for about 3 months before I added more ram and a bigger hard drive . . .

But then again the web was different 4 years ago, there was not nearly as much flash and animation on websites so yeah . . .

Any Mac Mini will be a good start, I seen used G4 Mac Mini's on Craigslist for 200 ~ 300 depending on configuration!!!

The best G4 Mac Mini you could get would be the 1.5Ghz G4 which was never publicly announced and I think it shipped as a 1.42 if memory serves me correctly. Also the 1.5Ghz Mac Mini had a 64mb Radeon 9200 graphics which was better then the rest of the G4 Mac Minis which only had 32mb.

I not complete sure, but I don't think the Intel Mac Minis even have a dedicated video card, I think it share system memory if I remember correctly . . . maybe someone can clarify on that!!!!


-iGrant

MacHappytjg
Jul 21, 2008, 11:03 AM
Mini's are bomb....great computers for new Mac users!

yea but you have to spend more for a keyboard mouse and monitor.

iGrant
Jul 21, 2008, 01:41 PM
yea but you have to spend more for a keyboard mouse and monitor.

And yet he is currently posting on this site so one would figure either he has a keyboard, mouse and monitor that he could use, OR you might be correct and he is using a laptop.

Even still you can get a keyboard and mouse together for about 20 bucks and a monitor easily for 200.

So you get the following:

Used Mac Mini = 250 ~ 300
Keyboard and Mouse = 20
Dell LCD Monitor = 150 ~ 200
Total cost = 420 ~ 520 bucks

Still a good deal to me :-D

-iGrant

MacHappytjg
Jul 21, 2008, 02:56 PM
And yet he is currently posting on this site so one would figure either he has a keyboard, mouse and monitor that he could use, OR you might be correct and he is using a laptop.
Even still you can get a keyboard and mouse together for about 20 bucks and a monitor easily for 200.
So you get the following:
Used Mac Mini = 250 ~ 300
Keyboard and Mouse = 20
Dell LCD Monitor = 150 ~ 200
Total cost = 420 ~ 520 bucks
Still a good deal to me :-D
-iGrant

Ohh i thought he wanted to buy a new one i belive. Or atleast thought he said that hence 1.8ghz mini actually 1.83