MacMini Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by icarus.effect, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. icarus.effect macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    #1
    I’d like to purchase the 1.66GHz Mini but I have a few questions first. I’ve read through these and other Mac forums and haven’t quite found what I was looking for.

    First of all, this would be my first Mac. I would mainly use the computer for surfing the internet, iTunes, email and I occasionally dabble in website design. I’m not interested in gaming on it at all but I do make short films will my friends and family and would like to be able to edit them with this machine. How well is iMovie or some other video editing software going to work on this thing? I’m not doing anything fancy with the videos and they are usually between 5 and 30 minutes long.

    I’d really like to get the MBP but it’s a little too expensive and I really can’t justify spending that kind of money. I’m thinking of a Mini instead of an iMac because I’d like a portable computer. Anywhere I would bring it would have monitors so I don’t really need a laptop, just something portable. Is the Mini going to be good for what I’d like to do with it?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    If portability is a factor, I'd seriously consider waiting until the new iBooks/MacBooks come out.

    You'll probably get a machine with very similar specs to the mini, but without the hassle of carrying a separate keyboard and mouse or the price of the MBP.

    B
     
  3. icarus.effect thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2006
    #3
    So, if I waited for the MacBook and it had similar specs to the Mini, would those specs be sufficient for a little video editing or would I be wasting my time with a low end machine?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    I've been pretty happy with doing some simple video editing with iMovie/iDVD on my iBook G4, and it's quite a bit faster on the iMac Core Duo.

    B
     
  5. sabor macrumors regular

    sabor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    #5
    The Mac Mini is a kick ass machine, just bought one. Be aware that you will definitely want more RAM on it, at least 1 GB. It comes with 512 MB and installing additional RAM is a PITA, you will most definitely have to shell out an extra $50 to have it done.
     
  6. icarus.effect thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2006
    #6
    Thanks you balamw for the quick replies! I think I'm going to wait for the MacBook. My last question is about the graphics card and then I'll let you get back to whatever. Does iMovie/DVD use the graphics card or the main processor and memory? I know for some editing programs the graphics card isn't as important. So, should I be more concerned with a nice card or more RAM?

    Again, thanks for the speedy answers. You've been super helpful!
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #7
    If the MacBook is going to use integrated graphics like the mini (likely), you're definitely better off going with more RAM, since you essentially don't have a choice on the video card. You'd need an MBP or iMac for ATI video.

    Of course this is speculation since the MacBooks aren't here yet.

    B
     
  8. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #8
    The new iBook (Macbook) will probably have similar specs as the mini, so if you are not in the market for a laptop, and a monitor is not an issue I'd definitely go with the mini.

    I have a G4 mini and I work in Photoshop, Go Live and iMovie all the time. The only area where I wish I had more speed would be in importing into iMovie.

    The only thing that prevents me from moving to an Intel mini is the simple fact that Adobe is moving so slow in introducing the universal version of CS. With this move to allow Windows onto Macs I wonder if they will even bother.
     
  9. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Jan 11, 2005
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    #9
    Get the mini.

    It may be appropriate to think of it this way: You're going to be investing just over a quarter of the money (599) on a mini, wheras if you get a MBP you're investing a lot more (2000). Consider the upgrade cycle - for the same cash you can upgrade your mini four times! In two years, the minis then will be way more powerful than current MBP!

    Anyway, keep the cost low, up the ram and for the next year or so (even two or three if you wish) you're gonna have a great machine.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #10
    Icarus said he was considering the $799 mini Core Duo, and that portability was a key factor in his decision.

    Even if the 13.3" Macbook starts at $1299 instead of the iBook G4's $999 it's a much better compromise from the POV of portability than lugging around a mini, keyboard and mouse.

    B
     
  11. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Denver, CO
    #11
    if the macbooks are dual core once they are released, then id go for one of those. portability can be huge. you might not think of it now if you use a desktop, but once you get a laptop you will be surprised at how many places you will be more willing to take it!

    as for the power of the mac mini, the intel chips are great. i only have the 1.5 solo, but it still performs very well. and the dual cores ive plaid around with in the store are amazing!
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    Amen!

    Though for me this only really happened with the iBook, my previous Toshiba lappy didn't have the performance or battery life to be widely useful. I hope the new MacBooks keep up on the battery life end, since performance should not be an issue.

    B
     
  13. icarus.effect thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2006
    #13
    Thanks for all of the ideas. I still may get a Mini because I think it's a cool little machine but I'm going to wait until the MacBooks are revealed. If it starts at $999 like the current G4s I'll probably get one instead. I've been wanting a Mac for years and with all the new Intel versions and talk of new things to come it's getting hard to wait. :)
     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    I agree that a laptop would be better than a mini - assuming the screen specs are decent and the cost delta isn't too bad.

    Otherwise, if you'll have a monitor and KB/mouse wherever you go, get the mini - but get one of these so I'll know if I should get one too. ;)

    The mini is a great little system, and, while I agree that a laptop is often a better choice, I suspect that you won't be able to get a laptop with the mini core duo's speed and specs for anywhere close to $1000 (but I'd be happy to be proven wrong). The mini is silent, tiny, perfect for connection to an HDTV, and cute. A laptop would likely be better, but you wouldn't regret getting a mini, either. But definitely get more RAM - I've got 1GB, and I consider that to be a minimum. 2GB would be better - and I'd give the same advice for a MacBook (not Pro) which will also likely have integrated graphics.
     
  15. icarus.effect thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2006
    #15
    I did a little research and compared the best G4 Mini and the best G4 iBook. It looks to me like the Mini is a little better than the iBook. Can someone confirm or deny this for me? If the Intels are similar to the G4s in this respect, I may actually go for the Mini instead. I don't need a keyboard or a screen and that lunchbox bag looks like a good solution for hauling it around.Also, is the Mini pretty sturdy? It looks like it is but I would be moving it around a lot and don't want to damage it.

    I'm really looking forward to having some kind of mac in the near future. I even watched the OSX videos on Apple's website and it looks amazing. The Automator and Spotlight features alone made me want one even more. Thanks to everyone for all of your input and helping me on my way to make the jump.
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    The mini is scratchable but pretty sturdy - I wouldn't recommend dropping it, but it'll survive transportation without a problem - esp. in that lunchbox. ;) Obviously, the MacBooks will either be more like a mini solo for $1000 or so, or more like a duo but for a few hundred more, because, no matter how you slice and dice it, they need to add a keyboard, trackpad, and screen to the mini's internals, so I'm sure you're looking at a good $350+ more (at least) for any MacBook which will perform as well as a comparable mini.

    But to repeat advice above and elsewhere: 1GB is a minimum for RAM. It works fine (512MB does not), but 2GB would be even better (obviously).
     

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