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Old Jul 25, 2009, 11:53 AM   #1
Matej
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Mac Mini vs. PC

1) I'm coming from a little country near Italy (Slovenia - if you know where this is ) so sorry for bad english

2) In August I'm planning to buy new home computer for myself and after 15 years of Windows this one might be Mac. So I was thinking, because I already have 20" AS-IPS Nec monitor to buy Mac Mini. Pro is too expensive, iMac don't have such a good display as my Nec.

There they are:

Mac Mini:

2,23Ghz CPU
2x2GB DDR3 RAM
upgrade HDD to 500GB WD blue edition
Nvidia integrated 9400 GPU

TOTAL: 900

PC:

Intel E8400
2x2GB DDR2 RAM
HD 4670 Radeon
Lian Li HTPC case with silent Noctua vents
Enermax PSU
Aftermarket cooler for CPU
WD 640GB HDD

TOTAL: app. 800 (I don't mind for 100)

3) It's obviously that PC would be faster, but considering running antivirus, antispyware, disc defrag and performance drop in few months due to software issues Mini might be good solution too. Especially because drivers and software for Mac is almost perfect I guess.

4) I want to buy iPod Touch too, so Mac would be better platform for it, than Windows (more simple!?)

5) I want to use my new computer 2-3 years (then as secundary computer), I mainly use PC for programming in Eclipse/NetBeans, movies (also HD but just on my monitor, not TV), large music library, chatting, photo library (and simple foto editing), torrent, virtual machines (specially for programs that don't work on OS X), I don't play games, for Mathematica (Wolfram), Office and PDF.

6) Final question, Mac Mini or PC At the moment I prefer Mini because of OS X, but would he be powerfull enought for the next 2-3 years if I compare it with classic PC his configuration is low-mid range at the moment and sooner or later there will be more and more powerfull PC-s.

6.1) Is Mini with this configuration good enought for normal running OS X?????

7) Help please
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:24 PM   #2
MacMini2009
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3. I would get the Mac Mini
4. You can't get the free Ipod deal with the Mac Mini.
5. The Mac Mini will last you 2-3years
6. Mac Mini
7. Good configuration, consider getting a SSD in the future.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:35 PM   #3
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What do you do in Windows that you might miss if you go Mac?

I can't work from my Mac because my company bought a crap firewall without Mac VPN support. So I have to use a PC to do stuff at home.

But other than that, my new Mini does everything I need.


That PC you spec'd out would be faster for sure. And much more easily upgradable.

Something to keep in mind: If you go with the Mini, you have somebody to call for hardware and operating system problems. With a home built, you're on your own for most issues.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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3) yes, the pc is much faster. It would run applications much faster. Plus with Windows 7 coming out it will trash the Mac Mini. (havent used snow leopard so can't comment on that.)

4. There is a deal for students at the moment where you can get a rebate on an iPod touch when you buy a mac. This may or may not benefit you. plus iTunes works just as well on windows than mac.

5. The mini will do organize music and photos much better. Light photo editing and programming will work just as well on both computers. Due to the 4GB of ram the mini will beable to run virtual machines quite well.

on windows dont worry about antiviruses as the free ones are quite good and CCleaner is a very good app to clean up all the crap like oynx does on a mac.

6. The Mini will become very outdated in 3/4 years and may not beable to run the latest apps. The pc is much better for this, it also supports upgrades such as more ram (probably) and a larger HD for a much cheaper price. However if you want to be future proof i would recommend a quad core processor as more and more apps are being developed to run better on quad systems.

7.OS X will run just fine and windows XP (not vista) will run on it virtually qute well. I recommend the pc if you want to use it in the future.

The Mac Mini is a good machine and it can be used as a media centre in the future whereas the pc may be too big for this.

I am going to recommend the pc unless you are a student and come under the free iPod deal.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Thank you for fast reply.

I know I won't get iPod for free, I will buy it after I buy new computer, i just mention that OS X would be better with iTunes than Windows (iTunes on Win don't work as good as i seen it on OS X, I like the fact that I use only one program for all music, not like in Windows where you have installed Win Media Player, iTunes if you have iPod, WinAmp for radio,.... ).

MacMini2009 are you satisfied with your mini (I think you have a mini )? Is fast for daily work? Does it plays HD movies smoothly? How abaut temperatures? Heating? Noise? Is GPU powerfull enought for 20" monitors? I know that netbooks with Atom CPUs and integrated GPU are terrible slow.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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Keep in mind Windows 7 is coming out, it is really stable and runs fine on my old celeron 2.6GHz, 512mb ram, 40GB HD. Windows 7 fixes nearly every problem vista has and is very good to use as a virtual machine for the mini or for the windows machine.

Edit: The Mac Mini has a very good GPU compared to many pc's with atoms. It can run light games at a good fps. It will beable to power dual 30" quite easily (not with crysis playing on both screens though :P) It is not that noisy at all. The pc will definatly make lots more noise. but overall it is more powerful and the GPU is much better though i would recommend a 4850 or 9800GT if you can get one. Those cards will put the mini to shame.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matej View Post
Thank you for fast reply.

I know I won't get iPod for free, I will buy it after I buy new computer, i just mention that OS X would be better with iTunes than Windows (iTunes on Win don't work as good as i seen it on OS X, I like the fact that I use only one program for all music, not like in Windows where you have installed Win Media Player, iTunes if you have iPod, WinAmp for radio,.... ).

MacMini2009 are you satisfied with your mini (I think you have a mini )? Is fast for daily work? Does it plays HD movies smoothly? How abaut temperatures? Heating? Noise? Is GPU powerfull enought for 20" monitors? I know that netbooks with Atom CPUs and integrated GPU are terrible slow.
I love my Mac Mini. It is fast for daily work. It does play HD movies ok. I only have 1GB of RAM at the moment so my VRAM is at 128MB. My Mac Mini's temperature is usually around 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit. The Mac Mini is absolutely quiet! The GPU is powerful. If you have 2GB of RAM or more, the VRAM autmatically allocates to 256MB.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabbamk1 View Post
Keep in mind Windows 7 is coming out, it is really stable and runs fine on my old celeron 2.6GHz, 512mb ram, 40GB HD. Windows 7 fixes nearly every problem vista has and is very good to use as a virtual machine for the mini or for the windows machine.
And I hear that it cleans your dirty windows and cooks breakfast............
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:49 PM   #9
Jabbamk1
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And I hear that it cleans your dirty windows and cooks breakfast............
now if only it could cook dinner

overall OS X is a much better OS. if you can afford it you could buy an iMac and hook up your 20" monitor to it and use it as a dual screen setup. It has a better processor than the mac mini.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:52 PM   #10
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If you are worried about the size of the machine and the power consumption then the Mini is the best deal.

If you want to be able to upgrade parts later and want a machine that will be more powerful at tasks beyond simple web surfing then get the PC. Keep the virus checker up to date and install all Windows updates and you should be fine.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:54 PM   #11
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Jabbamk1 you probably have right. I was just looking at my local PC shop and found out that I can get i7 sistem for 1000, thats just 100 more than I would pay for Mini.

Hm..... That's hard now, on one hand I really want to try and use OS X - U don't need to reinstall, your data is more safe, no viruses,.... (but Apple have only Mac Pro and Mini without monitor, because I don't like one in iMac) on the other hand I can get the fastest desktop CPU and Windows
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:56 PM   #12
Jabbamk1
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Don't be so worried about viruses on a windows machine. I have been using my celeron pc sine 2002 and this pc since last year. Neither of them have got a virus and the celeron hasnt even got an anti virus!.

Just stay away from dodgy sites and install 2 programs. (ccleaner and AVG Free).

That is if you get the pc.

Also i recommend buying a cheap external HD or using the HD in your old computer to back up your data. I would recommend this on a mac as well as everyone else would.

If you want to try OS X you could always just install a Hackintosh system (google it). But the Mac Mini is a good machine and can do everything you want it to today. It will probably last along time but i can only see it in the back room gathering dust or hooked up to the tv as a media centre in 3 years time wheras the quad will be thriving in 3 years.

This is one of the only times i am going to recommend a pc because of future proofing.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matej View Post
Jabbamk1 you probably have right. I was just looking at my local PC shop and found out that I can get i7 sistem for 1000, thats just 100 more than I would pay for Mini.

Hm..... That's hard now, on one hand I really want to try and use OS X - U don't need to reinstall, your data is more safe, no viruses,.... (but Apple have only Mac Pro and Mini without monitor, because I don't like one in iMac) on the other hand I can get the fastest desktop CPU and Windows
Well if you just want to try out OS X, get the Mac Mini. If you are unsatisfied, go for the Windows machine.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 12:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jabbamk1 View Post
Don't be so worried about viruses on a windows machine. I have been using my celeron pc sine 2002 and this pc since last year. Neither of them have got a virus and the celeron hasnt even got an anti virus!.

Just stay away from dodgy sites and install 2 programs. (ccleaner and AVG Free).

That is if you get the pc.
I had 2 PC's get viruses even though we had Mcafee Anti-Virus installed. I always get frustrated trying to remove the virus and end up doing a system restore. I finally got a Mac, and I am virus free!
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:04 PM   #15
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http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=730799

This is a thread where the OP was deciding to get a Mac Mini or a i7 Dell. He chose the Mac Mini.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:09 PM   #16
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Well I'm not Windows n00b but anyway I don't like reinstalling every 6 months and every time I check for spyware there is at least 5 threads found, besides OS X has much nicer GUI and all additional programes looks nice and in stile with OS X (on the other hand there is tons and tons PC programs, sure they are free but full of advertising and ********), besides I use NOD32 and it slows down my PC a lot.

If only apple would release iMac in a case without monitor

I cannot afford to buy Mini and if won't be satisfied with it get a PC, it's very difficult to sell Mini and new parts for PC are expensive too.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:20 PM   #17
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It depends if you need that power. the MacMini already comes with iLife which is much better so if those / office are really the only programs you need get the macmini. but bear in mind you need to buy windows separately to install on the mac. Or you could download it. you could also download OS X for windows as well (I do not support piracy though)

Also dont use NOD32. AVG free is much better and i can stream HD vids/burn a disc/browse the web/edit photos on my pc whilst running a virus scan quite easily. A mac does not need a virus scan at all really but i do recommend using oynx every now and then.

I am still with the Wintel system but the MacMini could be a good choice if you dont use many resource intensive apps.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:23 PM   #18
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:25 PM   #19
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Already said that, the mac will run windows and the windows can run OS X quite well. what you could do is buy an Mac Mini now and in 3 years get a better PC unless you can afford a better mac then.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:38 PM   #20
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I have all editions of Windows available for free on MSDNAA (including Server,....) so that is not a big problem.

Well I used my PC this year and year befor for:

1) downloading movies, music, tv series,... I have app. 70GB music, so iTunes must be fast enought for normal scrolling and listening of this collection
2) programming lightweight programs in Java and C (for school), next year probably also C++, delphi, PHP, python, but I don't nothing abaut that languages at the moment
3) programming lightweight programs for ARM processors (for school) in WinIdea, this app runs only on Wins and I think I won't need it next year
4) surfing net, mail, facebook
5) storing pictures and light changes like fixing red eye effect....
6) printing, scanning on my HP printer
7) MSN
8) defragmenting, cleaning and optimizing vista
9) brother have Q6600 CPU and GTX 295 GPU, but I never played games there
10) but I like multitasking, so that more apps runs, like music player, firefox, thunderbird, pdf viewer, eclipse,...
11) Wolfram mathematica (Solve, Reduce, Plot,...)

For that and maybe few new thing I would use my new computer. There is still some doubts that Mini wouldn't be good enought for the next 3 years.

I really don't know what to do.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:46 PM   #21
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The Mac Mini will last you 3 years. People still use PPC Macs which are around 4-7 years old. The Mac Mini can handle what you do, just get 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB Scorpio Blue Hard drive or a SSD.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 01:58 PM   #22
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yeh the macmini should be able to handle that quite well. If you really want OS X go for it, you could get a same spec pc much cheaper but for multi tasking OS X is the best.

In three years this may not be the best for multitasking with updated apps but it will still do all the above. since you ca get windows go for the mac. i5 will be out then so you can buy a i5 pc in three years and use the macmini as a secondary pc.

btw have you checked if your HP printer/scanner is compatible with OS X or if there is a driver for it.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 02:18 PM   #23
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Yes, my printer support OS X! Multitasking I know it won't be a problem on PC probably not even on OS X.

I don't know much of OS X, I used it only in Apple store and there runs smothly on MBP 13" with the same CPU in GPU as it is in Mini I guess. That's what I'm afraid, buying a Mini with great OS, but if I eventualy don't like it, I will stuck with slow computer and OS i don't like (theoreticaly ofc).

If only I would have money for Mac Pro.

PS: I don't like the idea "hackintosh" if it's Apple let it be OS X, else Windows or Linux!
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 02:19 PM   #24
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Yes, my printer support OS X! Multitasking I know it won't be a problem on PC probably not even on OS X.

I don't know much of OS X, I used it only in Apple store and there runs smothly on MBP 13" with the same CPU in GPU as it is in Mini I guess. That's what I'm afraid, buying a Mini with great OS, but if I eventualy don't like it, I will stuck with slow computer and OS i don't like (theoreticaly ofc).

If only I would have money for Mac Pro.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 02:20 PM   #25
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I think a 4GB MacMini should do the trick for the next three years if you stick to the things you already do on your computer. My wife uses my old 800MHz / 1GB Ram G4 iBook for surfing and iTunes.... sometimes she swears because it is slow... but it does not bother her to the point that she considers to buy herself a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacHappytjg View Post
Hackintosh
+1
If you do not mind to iron out some "quirks"...
I have a Q9450@3.0GHz/8GB Ram/Radeon4890 Hackintosh here it is a really neat machine. Get a Gigabyte X58 Board and MacBox Set and build your own Machine.... if you have fun tinkering with it at some point. I have two installs so if a update goes bad just boot from the other drive...
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