Mini vs DELL PC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by umdjb, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. umdjb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #1
    I am looking to buy a new desktop, but I am contemplating whether I should purchase a Mac Mini or DELL PC dual core with similar specs in terms of hard drive space and RAM. How do the two compare? I have used a DELL before and they have worked nicely, but nothing works as pleasantly as my PowerBook G4. I am a recent convert to the OS X platform after being a lifelong PC user. I like the DELL because of the price and included monitor & tv tuner whereas those are extra on the Mini. But the mini's plus is the dual operating system support and (in my opinion) what is a better processor.

    How does the 1.66Ghz Mini Duo stack up against a 3.2Ghz Dell Dual Core? I am not very technically astute so I am not familiar with too much with the comparability of the different processors and I am looking for this community to orient me.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #2
    What are you planning to actually do with the desktop?
     
  3. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #3
    what chip is in the Dell?

    Give us exact specs, so we can better judge what is the better computer
     
  4. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #4
    I have a Dell Dimension 8300 with Dual Pentium 4s (3 GHz each, Hyper Threading etc...) with something like 2 or 4 Gb RAM. The Dell was LIGHTENINGLY fast, but my dual 1.83 GHz MBP with 1 Gb RAM is faster. ;)
     
  5. DeathChill macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #5
    Well, that'd be because the Core Duo is a better designed CPU. Get a Dell with the same CPU and of course they'll run the same. :)
     
  6. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #6
    ...you're forgetting the added speed of OSX which, in my experience (running on fast PC's, as well as my MBP) is MUCH faster than windows.
     
  7. DeathChill macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #7
    That's quite the silly thing to say. You can't really judge two completely different OS's that way. OS X doesn't actually add any hardware speed so that's irrelevant.
     
  8. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #8
    I can tell you from experience, with any type of photo editing software the Dell will spank the mini. Also, if you are into gaming... GO FOR THE DELL. However, I had a dual 2.8 Dell and solid it for a mini. I liked the mini but ended up getting a PM G5 dual 2.0 used with Applecare. It suites my needs perfectly. It really comes down to what you are using it for. With the mini you get the best of both worlds tho.. windows and mac on the same computer. If you want pure speed, go with the Dell. If you want a smooth OS then get the mini or upgrade the an iMac.
     
  9. umdjb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #9
    Thanks everyone for the advice!

    I plan to use the desktop for some basic things like Microsoft Office stuff (Word, Excel, Project, etc.) music (I use iTunes), iPod, photo storing not editing really, burning CDs, watching movies but rarely burning them, internet browsing, and chatting online, and maybe some light gaming on a rare occausion.

    The things that are important to me in a computer are

    1.) Performance - I want a computer that can handle alot of apps at concurrently
    2.) Visibility - How good graphics, movies, pics, and other images look on the screen.
    3.) Movie and Music - I like crisp sound coming from my speakers
    4.) Reliability - I want a computer that will last a long time and have very minor if any problems at all

    Thanks!
     
  10. Dr. Bombay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, BC Canada
    #10

    Based on the factors that are important to you, either computer will do for you. What you may want to factor in is productivity and this would be dependant on the OS.

    IMHO, what you should be asking is what OS and applications are right for you and then decide whether to get the Dell or the MacMini. Based on your requirements, both Windows and OS X will do the job for you. However, OS X comes with more features (iPhoto\iWeb etc.) inbuilt than Windows does. I also think that it is easier to use a Mac than it is to use a Windows-based PC, so if you are not that techno-aware, the Mac would be a better choice.

     
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #11

    For your needs I would go with the 1.66GHz Mac Mini. It should be faster than the Dell for most tasks and it gives you the ability to run Windows and Mac OS. :)
     
  12. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #12
    Macs sound a lot better than PCs so I would get the Mini.

    Macs are more reliable and they last longer than PCs.

    OS X is a demon at handling lots of apps at the same time. Windows is slooooow and painful...


    OS X almost all the way, so therefore Mac almost all the way...

    That's just my opinion anyways...
     
  13. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #13
    No, Im not saying an OS adds hardware speed. Thats just ridiculous. Im saying OSX processes commands much more efficiently than its counterpart... giving the appearance of added speed. Fo instance, a finder window pops open immediately in OSX. In windows, ON THE SAME MACHINE (1.83 MBP, 1.5GB RAM) a 'my computer' windows takes time to open, plus some time with the little flashlight searching for itself. The same goes for iTunes... and a bunch of other apps.
    Also, may I ask... if OSX isn't faster than how come my MPB (of for that matter, my eMac) can run rings around a windows counterpart with twice the hardware!? (yes, I have tried this against a few neighbor's computers)
    Plus, I never have to force quit the 'force quit' window in OSX! :p
     
  14. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #14

    I know what you mean Kingsly, Mac OS is just more efficient at operating and performing tasks than Windows is. :)
     
  15. codo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #15
    If the comparable Dell you are looking at has a dedicated GPU - Go with the Dell. I say this because it is much more future proof and will serve you much longer (Whatever some of the guys say here, it is important and will be more so in the near future). However - If it is using an integrated Intel GMA graphics chipset, you might as well get the mini for the loveliness of OS X. :)
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #16

    The dedicated GPU will help, but the OP said that he/she will rarely use the computer for gaming. The Mac Mini will allow you to swap in a new Core Duo or even the upcoming Core 2 Duo processor- the Dell is stuck using the older, less powerful Pentium D processors (making the Mac Mini more future proof).
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #17
    There is also the packaging -- this affects the aesthetic value and upgradeability

    The Mini is small and beautiful, No Dell comes close.
    The Mini runs OSX as well as windows. No Dell comes close.

    The Mini is also made with laptop components, such as a 2.5" drive, which is lower in capacity and performance than a 3.5" drive, arguably also lower in lifespan. (even comparing 7200 RPM to 7200 RPM, the 2.5" drive will be slower because of the shorter track lengths).

    The Dell is easier and cheaper to repair and upgrade. This is a function of the packaging. It can take perhaps 2 hard drives and 2 optical drives, and PCI slot upgrades, and (depending on the model) an upgraded video card. This isn't unique to the Dell, it would be an advantage to a intel Mac tower as well, if there was one.
     
  18. codo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #18
    The guy also stated he wasn’t techy - So the chances of him dropping a new processor into the machine is unlikely, however I see your point.

    I also wasn’t aiming the GPU at gaming, but more running the OS its self. Vista is more dependent on the GPU, and I wouldn’t be shocked if up and coming OS X versions also utilised it in a more Vista like way - So I feel now isn’t the time to be purchasing integrated machines unless they are capable of rendering these new GUIs effectively (GMA X3000 for example).
     
  19. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    I say go with the mac mini. I am rather biased though, because every single PC I've had has developed a MAJOR hardware malfunction IE: broken motherboard, cracked monitor on laptop, hard drive malfunction, power supply issues, etc. And every mac I've owned has functioned perfectly, I can still boot and use my apple ][e and play some games on it. I still have a 14" 1.33GHz G4 iBook and I don't see needing an upgrade for my laptop in the future for a while. And if I need to do anything powerful then I can just use my intel iMac. I have compared the iMac with my moderatly overclocked pentium D 805 (overclocked to 3.3 GHz) and the iMac beat it easily. Just on that alone I'd say go with the Mac Mini.
     
  20. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #20
    That's rubbish, I don't like Windows like the next guy but Windows is way more "snappy" than OSX. It might be just the way it appears to be, but make no mistake, M$ actually did put in effort to speed up Windows where it matters.

    OSX on the other hand always feels sluggish and menus seem to lag.
     
  21. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #21

    Good point, the GPU is becoming more and more utilized by the OS- as evidenced by M$ Vista.


    Yes, it crashes 5 times faster than Mac OS. ;) :D
     
  22. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #22
    I'd have to agree with dmw007 on this one. Perhaps all the PC's I've used (many, as I am kind of like tech support for the neighbors :rolleyes: ) are just abnormally slow. Perhaps I just happened to install a corrupt version of windows on my MBP.

    As for your experience with OSX: I have never seen OSX preform sluggishly, except perhaps on a G3 500 iBook. Repair permissions or archive and install. :p
     

Share This Page