Mac Mini good for a first time Mac user?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tomthedude, May 18, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    tomthedude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Brighton
    #1
    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-
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    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.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    tomthedude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Brighton
    #3
    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-
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #4
    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 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. :)
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    tomthedude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Brighton
  6. macrumors 65816

    tMac85

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    in a great place
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    dvince2

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    #8
    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.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    tomthedude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Brighton
    #9
    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-
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    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:
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #11
    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...
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #14
    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)
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #16
    ^^

    Good Call

    If you can, wait for an update Mac Mini.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #17
     
  18. macrumors member

    trek1500

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    Minis are tricky to upgrade. If I had to choose between the HD and RAM, I'd choose the RAM upgrade over the HD.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    Installation of RAM does not void the Apple Warranty, although Apple Support also says, "Additional memory should be installed by an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider."
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #23
    In the Mac Mini booklet, it clearly states that any attempt to open or modify the Mac will result in a warranty void.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    kaiwai

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Location:
    Christchurch
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #25
    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.
     

Share This Page