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AlfaLavala
Jun 16, 2009, 02:10 PM
What should I get?

Looking at second hand models for the mini (and obviously the cube). Prices seem to be similar. I like the style of the cube a little more than the mini and it doesn't need to be that small.



angemon89
Jun 16, 2009, 02:12 PM
And you plan on using this computer?

Mini.

BlizzardBomb
Jun 16, 2009, 02:16 PM
Any Mac mini (even the G4s, which you should avoid anyway) will be significantly more powerful than a Cube. Go for the mini.

Tenebrous
Jun 16, 2009, 02:33 PM
If you're going to use it for music production, they're evenly tied. The Cube can use PCI music cards (Delta 66 and so forth), but the Mini is faster. Me, I'd go for the Cube just to have one.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 02:37 PM
What should I get?

Looking at second hand models for the mini (and obviously the cube). Prices seem to be similar. I like the style of the cube a little more than the mini and it doesn't need to be that small.

The Cube topped out a 500 MHz. I think there are upgrade cards that take that up to 1.8 GHz, but you've still got 100 MHz bus. If you want something useable, get a mini. If you want better expandability, go for the Cube. You can upgrade just about anything (including GPU :)).

If you've got some real money to spend, get a Cube, upgrade card, new GPU, and an SSD. You'll have a mostly usable, silent computer that is expandable and looks great :cool:.

But you mention that it doesn't need to be really small, so why not get a PowerMac G4? You can pick them up with better specs for a lower price.

MultiFinder17
Jun 16, 2009, 02:37 PM
Using it as a modern computer? Mac mini hands down. Go for an Intel model if you can, but the G4s still have plenty of life left in 'em. Unless the Cube has been upgraded crazily (and some have!), it'll be quite slow in the modern world.

Using it as an example of amazing industrial design that just so happens to be usable as a computer? Go for the Power Mac G4 Cube. They're amazing little machines. Slow, but still good for e-mail, word processing, and web browsing. Don't expect ludicrous speed ;)

netdog
Jun 16, 2009, 02:37 PM
The Cube is dead silent if that is relevant in your recording setup.

NO FAN = perfect if you have it in the same room as microphones.

gotzero
Jun 16, 2009, 02:38 PM
I have a mini that I modded to put in a cube case... You could probably do something similar. Best of both worlds, and also accommodates a 3.5" HDD. ;)

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 02:40 PM
I have a mini that I modded to put in a cube case... You could probably do something similar. Best of both worlds, and also accommodates a 3.5" HDD. ;)

Got a tutorial or pictures to follow?

zap2
Jun 16, 2009, 02:41 PM
Mini...ideally the most recent one...that GPU is just too nice to pass up!

AlfaLavala
Jun 16, 2009, 03:08 PM
I have looked at the cube owners forums etc. for upgrading/modding etc. the cube has more options for this, and if I need a money sink sounds like a good one! If I spend extra money doing things I might as well have bought the new mac mini, but then the retro cool factor is lost. (But replaced with modern cool!)

On a side note is the mac mini noisy then?

Guess it depend how much I can find a cube for...but would make a nice project.

Further comments welcomed :)

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 04:46 PM
I have looked at the cube owners forums etc. for upgrading/modding etc. the cube has more options for this, and if I need a money sink sounds like a good one! If I spend extra money doing things I might as well have bought the new mac mini, but then the retro cool factor is lost. (But replaced with modern cool!)

On a side note is the mac mini noisy then?

Guess it depend how much I can find a cube for...but would make a nice project.

Further comments welcomed :)

The mini isn't noisy, but the Cube would be quieter as it has no fan. You could make the Cube silent by adding an SSD :cool:.

frimple
Jun 16, 2009, 05:48 PM
The mini isn't noisy, but the Cube would be quieter as it has no fan. You could make the Cube silent by adding an SSD :cool:.

Now that (http://www.cooldrives.com/sata-to-ide.html) would be an impressive Cube mod. :D

As a proud cube owner (got it when it came out) don't buy one now for anything other than toying with as a hobby. The hardware is quite useless by today's standards, unfortunately efficient coding seemed to go the way of the Dodo some time around 2001... damn .com boom! :p

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 05:52 PM
Now that (http://www.cooldrives.com/sata-to-ide.html) would be an impressive Cube mod. :D

As a proud cube owner (got it when it came out) don't buy one now for anything other than toying with as a hobby. The hardware is quite useless by today's standards, unfortunately efficient coding seemed to go the way of the Dodo some time around 2001... damn .com boom! :p

The usefulness depends on the OS and the software. I wouldn't run anything higher than Tiger on it, and that may even be a stretch.

It looks like they're going for $200 max on eBay. If I get a summer job, after a PowerBook (if you've got one that you don't want, let me know), this is on the top of my list of stuff to do.

calsci
Jun 16, 2009, 06:03 PM
the cube would be sweet to have around but a pain to try and operate on a daily basis. the mini is whisper quiet, better then a g5 speed wise in some cases. if you want a project to have fun with get a cube. if you want a mac that just works go for the mini. my dad finally replaced his dying power mac g4 with a state of the art top of the line mini and it blow the pants of the g4.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 06:12 PM
the cube would be sweet to have around but a pain to try and operate on a daily basis. the mini is whisper quiet, better then a g5 speed wise in some cases. if you want a project to have fun with get a cube. if you want a mac that just works go for the mini. my dad finally replaced his dying power mac g4 with a state of the art top of the line mini and it blow the pants of the g4.

Why would it be a pain? It may be slow depending on the OS, but old Macs aren't like old cars. Old cars are a pain because they rust, parts are hard to find, etc. A Mac however, is only limited by its I/O and the OS, so as long as you have one from 2000 or later, you can do just about anything.

A good example (that I'm sure you're tired of hearing) is my PowerMac. It is a G4 "Digital Audio." The processor runs at 733 MHz with 1 GB of RAM. This box also contains a SuperDrive (the original), SCSI card and USB 2.0 card. All this runs under Tiger. I can do PS or web browsing all day with out any problems or pains.

calsci
Jun 16, 2009, 06:27 PM
my first computer was a very well speced cube. after alot of problems with it apple offered to and got me a g5 mini. right now i am on my macbook pro. the cube is a great computer to tinker with. it isn't a good computer if you want to do anything much that is intensive on it or don't feel like searching for parts.

p.s. i'm not a cube hater at all. i still have it i have to beg my life away to get it back from apple. it is a beautiful piece of hardware, but the mini seems more capable then a cube especially with snow leopard right around the corner.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 06:30 PM
my first computer was a very well speced cube. after alot of problems with it apple offered to and got me a g5 mini. right now i am on my macbook pro. the cube is a great computer to tinker with. it isn't a good computer if you want to do anything much that is intensive on it or don't feel like searching for parts.

p.s. i'm not a cube hater at all. i still have it i have to beg my life away to get it back from apple. it is a beautiful piece of hardware, but the mini seems more capable then a cube especially with snow leopard right around the corner.

You never had a G5 mini. Or was it a prototype? Did Apple ever try that, or was the PB G5 failure enough?

calsci
Jun 16, 2009, 06:43 PM
well atleast i thought it was a g5 that is what my dad told me when he got it. i think i might have to drive home and boot it up to see. either the college student is getting to old or my dad/geniuss was wrong. i must boot to tell.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 06:46 PM
well atleast i thought it was a g5 that is what my dad told me when he got it. i think i might have to drive home and boot it up to see. either the college student is getting to old or my dad/geniuss was wrong. i must boot to tell.

It was a G4, unless your dad works at Apple and stole a prototype.

GimmeSlack12
Jun 16, 2009, 06:51 PM
You never had a G5 mini. Or was it a prototype? Did Apple ever try that, or was the PB G5 failure enough?

The G5 was a twinkle in Apple's eye when they cancelled the Cube. No way or how is it even remotely possible that a Cube G5 was ever even considered.

As for the OP's decision. Get a Mini unless you are out to totally waste your money. Unless you plan on running OS 9 in which I take pity on you.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 06:53 PM
The G5 was a twinkle in Apple's eye when they cancelled the Cube. No way or how is it even remotely possible that a Cube G5 was ever even considered.

As for the OP's decision. Get a Mini unless you are out to totally waste your money. Unless you plan on running OS 9 in which I take pity on you.

I was talking about a G5 mini, not a G5 Cube.

GimmeSlack12
Jun 16, 2009, 06:54 PM
I was talking about a G5 mini, not a G5 Cube.

Oh...
Well they didn't make one of those either. But gotcha!

Shake 'n' Bake
Jun 16, 2009, 06:59 PM
Oh...
Well they didn't make one of those either. But gotcha!

Not really. I was asking if Apple ever had a prototype G5 mini.

xraydoc
Jun 16, 2009, 07:19 PM
Apple never made a G5 mini. Not even a prototype that anyone outside Apple's secret labs would be aware of. The G5 processors and cooling modules were larger than the whole mini itself.

As for Cube vs. mini... if you plan on using the machine for anything more than basic web, email, word processing, get a mini.

To make a Cube reasonably useful on OS X 10.4 or 10.5, you'd need to upgrade the processor, RAM, hard drive and video card.

I put together a Cube project last year. Bought a G4 Cube off eBay and upgraded the processor to a 1.7GHz G4 (1MB L2), swapped the HD for a 7200 RPM 120GB unit, replaced the video card with a flashed GeForce 6200 (for Quartz Extreme support) and added 1GB of RAM. Also replaced the case with a PowerLogix mod for more air flow around all the upgrades, added a virtually silent base fan, a virtually silent GPU fan and moved the voltage module to a better ventilated area.

It runs 10.4 pretty well and 10.5 passably.

And even an Intel Core Solo mini would run rings around it.

The Cube has collector value, but that's about all. For actual use, a used Intel mini is a far, far better value. I'd never want to subject myself to trying to use a stock 500MHz, non-video accelerated Cube on OS X 10.4 or 10.5.

CubeHacker
Jun 16, 2009, 09:13 PM
On a side note is the mac mini noisy then?


Further comments welcomed :)

Comparing a 2009 Mini to my G4 Cube, the mini is actually MORE quiet than the cube. Surprising, but true. The hard drive in the cube (even the super silent one I managed to upgrade to) makes more noise in the cube than the HDD + fan combination in the mini.

calsci
Jun 16, 2009, 09:36 PM
hey i'm at my parents now. the mini is in fact a core duo. apparently when i was a kid i didn't get the whole power pc vs intel thing all mixed up. i assumed because it was a new computer and that it was better it must have had the next best processor. wow i feel real stupid now considering i work at an apple store and some of my friends are genius (i really hope they don't fin out that my child hood mix up resurfaced as a tech screw up) sorry to hijack the thread. still i say go for the mini. op you will be a lot more satisfied in years to come.

AlfaLavala
Jun 17, 2009, 07:08 AM
thanks for all the comments.

I am thinking that whilst fun to spend lots of money upgrading it and searching out bits and bobs, I could be better off in the long run with a mini just as it'll be able to do a lot more if I needed it to.

Plus it is even smaller and uses less power (home server is a potential use for this computer). Rough costings put a modded cube in the same price range as a brand new mini.

Can always be a project for the future...maybe I can get someone to buy me one for xmas..!

Interesting how you can't buy a SSD for the mini on the Apple store.

MacsRgr8
Jun 18, 2009, 03:46 PM
Not really. I was asking if Apple ever had a prototype G5 mini.

Prototype was found next to G5 PowerBook :p