Mac mini Price Significantly Less than DIY PC

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. macrumors bot

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    #1
  2. 24C
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    #2
    Is this a great piece, dunno really.

    The problem with comparing prices with DIY PC components, is that some "fool" can always get them cheaper, so everybody arguing that this guy can't build a PC to save his life...yet if they compare with say Dell, they say that processor is not comparable to that Mac one etc, or you can get 4 times the graphic card etc, etc

    So is the Mac mini ever going to be great value against those Windows DIY builders..doesn't look like it ever will be... despite what other folks are saying...and yeah all mac users are arrogant religious zealots :)
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #3
    Yeah, really ignorant on the parts they chose. One of the people linked to this article, which is probably better: http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/7857

    Spec for spec, the mini will always be more expensive, but when you add in it's super small form factor, the mini isn't that bad of a value.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    The value in Apple computers has never been hardware. It's software.

    Yes you can buy a cheaper PC. You will always be able to. Will it come with a modern OS? Maybe. Will it come with iLife? No. Does ANYTHING on the marker in any price range compare to iLife? No. That's why it's worth it.

    iLife alone is worth $600.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    montex

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    I just love reading posts by PC nerds who chime in about how they can build a Super-Duper PC for less than the cost of the cheapest Mac. But building a PC from scratch, though great fun, is not a common practice among the PC buying public.

    There is no doubt that somebody, somewhere can find bargin priced parts and glom them together into a useable computer. That's not what the Mac is about. Macs are more than the sum of their parts - a point often lost on this group. In the end it doesn't matter because the people who like to build their own computer will never switch over to a Mac. Ever.

    I'm happy to see Apple produce the Mac Mini. I can now recommend it to anyone on a limited budget, although I wish it came with 512Mb of RAM.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    I've built my own PCs. They are cheaper, and often faster, but you do get what you pay for. Something breaks, it's up to you to fix it. You're stuck with Windows or Linux. It can be fun, but there can be hassles, even if you know what you are doing. Especially when you make stupid mistakes, they can cost you.

    But considering most of the people I know need help installing RAM, the mini is a great deal. Even after you up the specs, and add AppleCare. Especially if you already have a kb, mouse, and monitor.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    Alot of people also don't seem to be aware of the fact that the mac uses a slow laptop drive. IT's not even one of the faster laptop drive. It will severely hinder the performance of the machine, especially with only 256mb of ram. If you have 1gb of RAM you could mostly overcome the slow hard drive.

    This is just a glorified powerbook without a monitor, I hope no one expects it to perform any better.
     
  8. 24C
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    #8
    AFAIK in most people performance is limited by themselves, although if you're loaded to the hilt with spyware, viruses et al...a 1+Ghz powerBook is better than nothing ;-)

    Seriously though, in my time in retail computing and helping folks with computer problems, it matters not what they use, as long as when they are faced with a problem they have a good method for dealing with it. Most of the folks I meet new to computers, in back to backs on the shop floor, find an Apple easier...it's easier to walkthrough the process as well when demoing, as there less obvious steps...the hard part for some folks is parting with the cash. The mac mini really is a HUGE step forward in perceived cost for Apple, even though it has faults to more enlightened folk, and it will do well.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    Heh I dunno about $600, but certainly the possibility of a G4 + iLife + OSX all for $499 is an incredible deal. I, unfortunately, have gotten attached to computing power of the XP-Mobiles, so if I were to get a Mac I would no way settle for a G4 (I'd have to get a 2.0G5 at the very least).

    And for those who criticize PC users for saying they can build a strong computer for a cheaper price are showing the same ignorance (as not realizing Apple's strength is in the software).

    (ok, after taking a glance)
    A pro-Apple site dares to post a 2Ghz P4 in the year 2005?
    You wonder why this article is ridiculed by PC users. An Athlon 64 2800+ (1.8Ghz, ultra high IPC) is only $140, and they dare to post a 2Ghz P4. I don't think I'm even going to read into the article, its that much of a joke.
     
  10. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    Which is also why some people will say that the $299 Microtel PC with some Linux variant is a better deal than having to pay for Windows on the $499 HP or eMachines box.

    When you get down to it, the only company making money off the super cheap PCs right now is MicroSoft.
     
  11. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #11
    At least that comparison takes into account software.

    Apple, aside from the secure and friendly OS, bundles really, REALLY good software. You can't find anything for Windows to match the features/simplicity package that iLife 05 gives you.

    Go to Dell and start adding software... and little things like Firewire, DVD drive, CD-RW... real VRAM... you won't end up cheaper than a Mac Mini, even if you remove the display.

    A Mac Mini is more expensive than some low-end PCs... and cheaper than others! What it lets you DO blows them all away. And what use are specs like Mhz beyond what they let you DO?
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #12
    After all, you don't work with just hardware; you work with a system, which is both hardware AND software.

    Think this isn't emphasized enough; hardware comparisons are only half of the situation.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #13
    True, when you add in the innovations of Apple's software, you start to see how much of a better value a mac is, compared to a similarly equipped PC.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Mr.Hey

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    Jul 17, 2002
    #14
    Ummm....no ^^^


     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    mrsebastian

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    Location:
    sunny san diego
    #15
    i agree that it may be cheaper for a diy person to build a pc that's maybe a lil cheaper or faster. however, apple is banking on a few principles for selling the mini.

    most people, myself included, don't have a clue on how to build a pc from scratch. heck, just matching the hardware pieces so they work together is scary enough, which brings us to... i wanna buy a mac/pc, plug it in and have it work. in case something goes wrong, i'm gonna take it back to the store and have 'em fix it. there's no way in hell the average person like me, is gonna know how to trouble shoot bad ram, logic board, or whatever.

    apple knows many pc users are tired of spyware and the like, bringing their computer to a slow crawl. heck a friend of mine just gave up and her pc sits there not being used, because it's so slow and a security nightmare. most importantly, the mini is designed to sell al-a-carte. meaning a pc user can get a mini to replace the box they have sitting at home, but still use everything else like their display, mouse, etc. and essentially not have to buy any additional software. from that stand point, as long as apple does some good marketing, the mini should sell like hot cakes.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #16
    For those who can't do something as simple as using Firefox, then yeah the tried-and-old spyware/virus/worm argument still applies.

    I haven't met a single guy/girl in college that has a spyware problem. You know why? All of them listened to me and switched to Firefox. The people who didn't? They're running around using every anti-spyware/anti-popup software they kind get their hands on when the problem is that they only treat the symptoms, not the source.

    That article about a middle-aged woman who has "gave up on using her PC"? Look at her browser. Its IE. No wonder she has spyware.

    The argument for the Mini is in the software, iLife. Please don't start the spyware argument, b/c it is a dead one with Firefox. Why get the Mac Mini? Access to an awesome multimedia productivity suite for almost no investment (<500 dollars).
     
  17. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #17
    I agree. The biggest factor in Apple's favor is their excellent software, especially the software bundled with Macs. You won't find any decent match for iLife at the same price point - this in itself is a tremendous advantage.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #18
    I build computers all the time, and I use AMD chips, but I don't see how you could build one for less than $500 and have it not be total crap. Granted the mini isn't exactly cutting-edge, but it has decent ports and at least dedicated VRAM (ignoring how weak the graphics chip is...)

    Well, maybe you *could* get a half-ass decent box for $500 as long as you weren't particular about the case. I'm gonna go do some pricing. It's been a while...

    EDIT: Sheesh, any dork that pays $90 for a radeon 9200 deserves any scorn we can heap on him. And I bet it's got more than 32MB VRAM. :D
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #19
    ;) Couldn't agree with you more... I've paid $500.00 for a video card several times. Heck, my "value" Radeon 9800 pro 128 was $200.00 after rebate 1 year ago. ;) I couldn't build a PC for $500.00 that I felt was on par with Apple's quality.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #20
    Dude, if you get your hand on any of the last-gen AthlonXP, Bartons or TBreds, are easily a match for the G4's. It is only till the G5 that you have to even begin to consider to shift to A64's; to get equivalency in computing strength.

    Even using a pro-Mac site, http://www.systemshootouts.org/processors.html

    the Athlon XP's fare pretty well on their chart. Conservatively, it seems that (2002) Athlon XP 2100+ is just under a dual 1.42 G4 in their computing equivalency chart. Wow.

    My Mobile Barton, @ 2.55Ghz would be between the Dual 1.8 and single 2.0G5.

    The 2100+ TBred's are only $70, and the decent last-gen nForce2 mobos don't go for much over $50, or $80 if you want a brand name. Considering those 2100+ are binned from higher end processors, those could easily clock higher than their original 1733Mhz clock speed (2200Mhz+ is common). Pair that up with cheapie cas3 3200 sticks, and you got yourself a hefty barebone right there.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #21
    Well, as far as the gpu goes, I really meant that $90 seems quite a bit to pay for the 9200. I can get a hercules 3d prophet 9200 w/128MB VRAM for $50. This poor fellow really needed to use pricewatch...and a Barton core Athlon.
     
  22. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    Amen to that. I will never buy a MS operating system/computer system unless I really need to. VPC is all I really need for my tasks.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #23
    What if one were to remove the internal components of the Mac mini and put it in another case:

    replace the notebook Optical drive and HDD and put a desktop Optical and HDD drive.

    Sure the Mac mini has a nice small case however I can think or another small case to house the current internals and desktop HDD and Optical drive.

    Someone can put multiple Mac mini, internals in one PC case and you have a quad G4 Home Server. :eek:

    Just an idea. :)
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #24
    In this case Apple's industrial designers came up with what would sell best. We can say all the "what if's" we want. This is something much bigger than the diehard faithful.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
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    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #25
    I thought about it, but are there any notebook to regular sized IDE cables? I couldn't find any, but I didn't really search that hard.
     

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