Mac Mini purchase?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 76ShovelHead, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    I'm not sure if I should just get a Mac Mini, since I'll be spending as much..

    Mac Mini Dual-Core i5 2.5 GHz w/ 8 GB Ram is $699.

    or build a hackintosh with:

    Core i3 3225 @ 3.1 GHz w/ 8 GB Ram. This one has hyperthreading.

    It would cost $762 since it will be a complete build (LIAN LI A55B Case, PSU, HDD, etc.)

    Which would offer the best performance? The Core i3 or i5 Dual Core?

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say the i5 will have better performance and you may run into issues trying to install OSX on an i3 - correct me if I'm wrong apple has no i3 in their line up so you may have issues with kext compatibility. You'll need to be careful in choosing a motherboard that is compatible as well, not all motherboards are equal

    Personally, I'd go with the mini, muss no fuss and it should be faster then then i3
  3. macrumors 68020


    Apr 20, 2008
    Considering the Mini will be faster, quieter, look better and not have any Hackintosh problems, I'm confused why you'd even consider the Hackintosh when it is more expensive? Thought the point of a Hackintosh was cheaper/more powerful?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    For that amount of money, you could build an i5 quad core or i7 quad core Hackintosh.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    That's exactly what I'm wondering,

    The Core i3 is dual core, with hyperthreading, running at 3.1 GHz

    as opposed to

    The Core i5, also a dual core, without hyperthreading, and running at a slower 2.5 GHz.


    At what store? I've only looked on Newegg.

    i3 $145

    Mobo $120

    8GB Ram $52

    Case $90

    PSU $60

    HDD $85

    Heatsink $70

    GPU $140

  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The mobile i5 CPU used in the Mac mini does support HT.

    Sorry, got my currencies confused.
    But for 100 to 150 UD more you could get an i5 or i7, an i7 can be had for 260 € nowadays.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    Ohh lol. You got me excited for a second!

    So the i5 does support HT? Now its down to whether I wan a real mac or an impostor.

    I suppose I could drop the GPU and get a cheaper heatsink, and use the extra cash for an i7. But then I'll have an HD 4000. Are those any good for Sims 3/GTA IV?
  8. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I'm not sure about the i5 but the i7 quad does support hyperthreading. Considering that model is $799, it might be easier to spend the $38 extra and just get one from apple. The only thing is you would have to live with the HD4000. The HD4000 is nearly equivalent to an entry level mobile GPU, similar to the Radeon 6630M in the previous generation.
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    Yeah, and I guess I'm fine with that (HD 4000).

    I'm still considering the Core i5 Mini (I can't really afford the i7, or anything over 750 since I still need to get the monitor)


    Core i7 3770K HD 4000 w/ 8GB Ram. That'd cost about $750 to build, using parts from the CustoMac Budget ATX build, aside from the case since I already have chosen the LIAN LI A55B.

    I'm really not sure if I should get the apple branded hardware or not. Afterall, this wouldn't be my first hackintosh, I am experienced.

    I'm very indecisive. :(

    Does the Mac Mini really deliver on the whole experience like an iMac? Either one is going to be paired with a ViewSonic VX2460h.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2009
    First, I'm a huge fan of hackintoshes for desktops because Apple typically gives you crappy laptop parts in their anorexic desktops, and you can build a fantastic machine in the $1000 range.

    But if you're looking at an i3-3225 and that price list, you will be much better off with a mac mini.

    For example, I paid less than your heatsink price for a coolermaster water cooler for my i7-3770k based hack. You list $145 for the CPU which sounds about right, but $190 gets you an i5-3450, quad core, 3.2GHz, which will run rings around your i3 and only add $45 to your cost. I'm not sure what video card you have in mind, but for $140, it's overkill and wasted on that i3 CPU. Consider the i5 with the HD 4000 graphics. You'll save $100 now, build a better machine, and you can add a video card in a few months if you want it.

    Basically, based on the information you've given and the sort of mix you'd put together. Just buy the mini, sit back, and relax.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Yes, it does. If you can look past the fact that you are not looking at an apple monitor, the software/visuals are identical to an iMac. I don't know how to better define the "experience". The I/O ports are very similar between the two.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    The price you have for the Mac Mini includes an Apple RAM upgrade. Buy with the standard RAM and upgrade yourself. You will end up with 16GB for less than the 8GB fitted by Apple.

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