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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
Talon Six
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Ahhh...the silence

I have a desk here in my home office with a PC on the left and my Mac mini on the right. As I sit here typing this, my PC has been grinding away at the HD for about an hour now doing god-knows-what (nothing is running but background programs) while my mini is totally silent, as usual. Between the PC fans and the constantly reading/writing HD, my PC is becoming more and more annoying.

Unfortunately due to my work, I need to maintain a PC until I retire in 3-5 years. I thought about running boot camp on the mini, but I also need to feed my PC gaming addiction once in a while.

At any rate, just some random musings about why I love my Mac!

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Here's a picture of my setup:

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:30 PM   #2
ee13lbp
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Nice setup! I like the blue glow
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon Six View Post
I have a desk here in my home office with a PC on the left and my Mac mini on the right. As I sit here typing this, my PC has been grinding away at the HD for about an hour now doing god-knows-what (nothing is running but background programs) while my mini is totally silent, as usual. Between the PC fans and the constantly reading/writing HD, my PC is becoming more and more annoying.

Unfortunately due to my work, I need to maintain a PC until I retire in 3-5 years. I thought about running boot camp on the mini, but I also need to feed my PC gaming addiction once in a while.

At any rate, just some random musings about why I love my Mac!

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Here's a picture of my setup:

Image
Couldn't agree more on the silence , it's like the mini shuts up and just works and doesn't let you know it. Which Mac mini down you have?
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:58 PM   #4
Talon Six
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Couldn't agree more on the silence , it's like the mini shuts up and just works and doesn't let you know it. Which Mac mini down you have?
I've got the mid 2011 model with the discreet graphics. I recently added a 512MB SSD, so it's a little powerhouse.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Nice, I had the 2011 base line and I put in a 64gb as my boot drive . I bought the 2012 baseline and waiting for my 30 days to make sure everything thing is ok before adding the 128 SSd and a fusion drive
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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Sweet!
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:47 PM   #7
majkom
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Hi, one qeustion, what is the GPU performance of your mid 2011 mini? Are there any glitches in mac os x, or all animations, transitions are smooth?

thx.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:59 PM   #8
August West
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I couldn't agree more. After building several PC's through the late '90's and until about 3 years ago I found I was always fighting the noise issue. With each successive build I managed to reduce the the noise a bit more than the previous machine but never managed to eliminate it totally. Then I broke down an bought my first mini and it was blissful silence, especially with a SSD(s). I'd have hard time going back to the even my quietest previous machine after the total silence of the mini.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Talon Six View Post
Unfortunately due to my work, I need to maintain a PC until I retire in 3-5 years. I thought about running boot camp on the mini, but I also need to feed my PC gaming addiction once in a while.
So it really has nothing to do with work then, unless your work requires PC gaming.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:11 PM   #10
Talon Six
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Hi, one qeustion, what is the GPU performance of your mid 2011 mini? Are there any glitches in mac os x, or all animations, transitions are smooth?
I can't speak to the technical details of graphics performance. However I can tell you that it is butter smooth. The biggest graphics performance increase for the desktop appeared to be when I bumped the machine up to 16GB RAM and added the SSD.

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So it really has nothing to do with work then, unless your work requires PC gaming.
No, it's more than that. My company uses proprietary software for form viewing/editing that does not exist for OSX. Also in order to view s/mime encrypted emails on my company web mail client, I need a PC.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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I can't speak to the technical details of graphics performance. However I can tell you that it is butter smooth. The biggest graphics performance increase for the desktop appeared to be when I bumped the machine up to 16GB RAM and added the SSD.

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No, it's more than that. My company uses proprietary software for form viewing/editing that does not exist for OSX. Also in order to view s/mime encrypted emails on my company web mail client, I need a PC.
Well, sounds good, I am afraid that 256 VRAM is not enough for 27 incher
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 03:59 PM   #12
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No, it's more than that. My company uses proprietary software for form viewing/editing that does not exist for OSX. Also in order to view s/mime encrypted emails on my company web mail client, I need a PC.
Sure, but that can almost certainly be overcome with bootcamp or a virtual machine. It's only the gaming that would be an insurmountable problem.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:09 PM   #13
Talon Six
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Sure, but that can almost certainly be overcome with bootcamp or a virtual machine. It's only the gaming that would be an insurmountable problem.
You're right, of course. I suppose that for the moment I like to keep things separate. I may try bootcamp one of these days and see how it goes.

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Well, sounds good, I am afraid that 256 VRAM is not enough for 27 incher
I was worried a bit too when I picked up the Thunderbolt Display last summer, but it runs extremely smoothly. I'm a smoothness snob too, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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You're right, of course. I suppose that for the moment I like to keep things separate. I may try bootcamp one of these days and see how it goes.

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I was worried a bit too when I picked up the Thunderbolt Display last summer, but it runs extremely smoothly. I'm a smoothness snob too, so take it for what it's worth.
great news thx mate
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:51 PM   #15
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These things are whisper quiet for sure! Coming from a MBP 15 where the fans have nowhere to hide this is bliss.

I love gaming myself but for my needs I found it better to just stay with my PS3. I would love mouth watering graphics the PC can offer but at the price I can't bite the bullet. Mini for casual games and everything computer related and a PS3 for gaming addiction.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:07 PM   #16
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Sure, but that can almost certainly be overcome with bootcamp or a virtual machine. It's only the gaming that would be an insurmountable problem.
Bootcamp or a program such as VMWare Fusion is identical to running Windows on a PC... except it is running on a Mac. Bootcamp is the way to go if you need more RAM than would be available when running OS X and Windows simultaneously. I set-up a Fusion/Windows system for a physician's practice that can handle some demanding medical software as well as Dragon Dictate. The only limitation is the 8GB RAM limit for the 2010 Mini; upgrading to a 2012 Mini with its 16GB limit should take care of that.

If and when you give up your day-job and high-end gaming you can run Windows on your Mac if you still want it for other reasons. After the novelty wears-off you won't think twice about it...

I know what you mean about the silence... My NewerTech MiniStack external drive enclosures are much noisier. Since the new MiniStack interferes with my WiFi when running USB 3.0, I'm going to return it and get the Mercury Elite Pro enclosures that do not have a fan.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:23 PM   #17
Talon Six
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If and when you give up your day-job and high-end gaming you can run Windows on your Mac if you still want it for other reasons. After the novelty wears-off you won't think twice about it...
I'd give up my day job long before giving up high-end gaming.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:50 PM   #18
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I've got the mid 2011 model with the discreet graphics. I recently added a 512MB SSD, so it's a little powerhouse.
Errr...if you put an SSD in the PC, it would be silent too...
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:02 PM   #19
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Errr...if you put an SSD in the PC, it would be silent too...
Errr... not necessarily.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:28 PM   #20
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SSD + good PC case w/ sound dampening foam (i.e. the Define R4) + being conscious about noise when purchasing case fans and heatsinks = silent powerhouse PC.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:41 AM   #21
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Errr... not necessarily.
Errr, yes!

What do you think is different from a Mac Mini with an SSD and a PC with an SSD? They both tend to have fans, though it is possible to make your PC fanless. Try that with a Mac Mini.

Without a moving hard drive, and with low RPM fans, the PC is silent.

Mac Mini's still will rev up their fans when they get going, so in a way the PC wins.

Don't get me wrong, Mac Mini's are cool (thinking of grabbing a 2012!), I just thought it was weird the OP complained about his PC hard drive chugging away, while the Mini makes no noise. Then he explains he put an SSD in the Mini.

That's like complaining your car "just won't drive", though you fail to mention you never put any gas in it.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:20 AM   #22
throAU
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The lack of noise was such a refreshing thing about using my mini when i first got it.

It was wierd being able to work in total silence. Ditto for the ipad.


Unfortunately, my 15" mbp sounds like a jet turbine when it does any real work :-\


edit:
Yes, the mini has a fan. Yes you can load it up and make it audible. However compared to most PCs I have ever used, the vast majority of the time it is not audible at all.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:22 AM   #23
Pie Chips Salad
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Really beautiful set up! My desk is such a mess! I think this is on par with he new imac for form factor.

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Originally Posted by TennisandMusic View Post
Errr, yes!

What do you think is different from a Mac Mini with an SSD and a PC with an SSD? They both tend to have fans, though it is possible to make your PC fanless. Try that with a Mac Mini.

Without a moving hard drive, and with low RPM fans, the PC is silent.

Mac Mini's still will rev up their fans when they get going, so in a way the PC wins.

Don't get me wrong, Mac Mini's are cool (thinking of grabbing a 2012!), I just thought it was weird the OP complained about his PC hard drive chugging away, while the Mini makes no noise. Then he explains he put an SSD in the Mini.

That's like complaining your car "just won't drive", though you fail to mention you never put any gas in it.
Sometimes the more powerful graphics cards have fans on them so it's not just the HD that can make noise on a pc.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 07:39 AM   #24
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Without a moving hard drive, and with low RPM fans, the PC is silent.

.
What you are really missing is the fact that it is a "gaming pc" which probably means he has a decent video card that probably has giant fans on them. For gaming, there are SOME video cards that make reduced noise, but in the end Video cards are probably what is really making all the noise (and possibly some cheap case fans as well).

I have 4 external hard drive cases that each house 4 hard drives in my office. Even with a fan in each case I barely notice all 16 of those hard drives, but I do notice the fans from my two video cards in my Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 07:51 AM   #25
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I'm a hybrid Windows/Mac user as well. My home office is running a Franken-PC that I built about 6 years ago and is really showing its age. I used to do a lot of PC gaming but my casual years are hitting me now and an Xbox is good enough. The heatsink broke loose a while back and I did a little "homestyle construction" to fit it back in. The fans are loud enough to hear across my home and one of them is making a constant rattling sound (wires?).

My wife and I each have iPhones and I had won 2 iPads for us in a contest back in March. I use a 27" loaded iMac at work everyday. We also purchased an AppleTV when we moved and cut the cable. Apple's gravitational pull is just too much to bare, and I am reaching for a Mac Mini here soon..
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