My first mac....Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by drumpat01, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. drumpat01 macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #1
    Hey guys, first time poster here.

    So after a few years of watching my windows PC crash over and over and watching my old college roommates iMac G4 work and only have one problem in almost 3 years, I have decided to make "the switch."

    Money being tight and Macs being kinda on the high end price range, I have decided to buy a Mac Mini so that I can keep my logitech wireless keyboard and mouse and my old but good CRT monitor. I was looking around on here and didn't see alot of discussion about it though. I did a search but only found a few very small comments on it.

    What are your thoughts on the system? Do you think its a good buy? I plan on getting the 1.42ghz, 512RAM, dvd/cd combo drive, 80gig hd model (the middle model). So let me have it...what are your opinions on the Mini.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #2
    They're cool. However, since your CRT is getting pretty old, have you had a look at the eMacs? They'll be a bit faster because they have a much faster hard drive.

    You'll be happy with either though, just so long as it runs Tiger. :)
     
  3. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #3
    it says they both have Ultra ATA hard drives, so how is one better than the other? They also both have 80gigs, although the eMac does come with a better video card, but im not big on games that require that much video power. I have looked at all the macs and if money wasn't a problem, i would totaly go for a iMac G5, but I'm kinda poor here (5th year in college) and I dont need a whole lot. I want something that "just works." (hehe i said the slogan.) :p
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #4
    It's the hard drive speed that counts. 4200rpm in the mini versus 7200rpm in the eMac from memory. It won't make a massive difference, but I just thought that it might be cool if you're planning on replacing your screen anytime soon, then getting an eMac will give you the screen plus a slightly faster system.

    The minis use little laptop drives whereas the eMacs use full size desktop drives FWIW. :)
     
  5. treysmay macrumors regular

    treysmay

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    #5
    the mac mini's hd is 4200rpm "laptop speed" and the emac's is 7200rpm "desktop speed"
     
  6. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #6
    i figured thats probably what it was, but i couldn't find the specs of the hard drive speed. So, how much of a difference are we looking at here between the 7200 and the 4200? I mean, will I still be able to run garageband pretty well on it? I want to start making music for my band on there. Will it be able to handle it?
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #7
    Well, for Garageband, I'd really recommend the eMac since you'll probably be using the hard drive quite a bit. Maybe look into a refurbed machine. :)

    Of course, the mini will handle it, but the eMac will be easier and better and will probably last you longer.
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    Since you're a college student, you know you can get an educational discount right?
     
  9. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #9
    You could also get an external firewire hard drive for the mini, which is what I have. You will probably want an external drive anyway for backup, and you can build one fairly inexpensively from a case and a bare drive. By the way, what kind of a CRT do you have? From experience, the mini can be finicky about the monitors that it connects to; there are various theories as to why that is so, but unfortunately it is a fact. You might want to check the Mac mini and eMac sections of the Apple support forum; just bear in mind that most people posting there are there because they are having problems, so don't let it scare you into thinking that all Macs are problematic, because they aren't. I have a mini, after many years of pc use, and will never go back. It is by far the best computer decision I have ever made. Whatever you decide, good luck with your decision and I'm sure you will enjoy your Mac!
     
  10. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    #10
    look at refurbished PowerMacs ... thats what I'm doing ;) (just dreaming, of course)
     
  11. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

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    #11
    You can get a refurb single processor 1.8 PM for $1299. I just ordered a refurb dual 2ghz PM.
     
  12. barneygumble macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I'm pretty sure my new mini has a 5400rpmdrive but i could be wrong :confused:
     
  13. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #13
    thatts what i did with my dual 1.8
     
  14. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #14
    I have a 10gig and a 120 gig from my PC i can pull over as an external drive. I discussed using one as an external and they all said it was a good idea so I'll be buying a casing as Im out that day.

    Ya I've heard the VGA monitors can be kinda fikle sometimes. Im using an old Dell M770 monitor. I've never had any probelms with this monitor ever, so I'm hoping it holds out for a bit longer. Its so cool when you start a thread and people actualy reply...horray for all you cool mac people :)
     
  15. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #15
    I just ordered a Rosewill RX30-U2FA case from Newegg for an extra 160GB WD drive that I have (actually it is in a Buffalo USB enclosure at the moment). I believe that it was $70 shipped. I also have an external case that I got from eBay for about $25 shipped that works well. The most important thing about an external case that others have mentioned is that it should have an Oxford chipset for the firewire interface, for the least problems (the Rosewill above meets that criteria, and looks nice to boot).
     
  16. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #16
    ok i got another question...

    Will my mini be able to do the cool water ripple thing with the widgets?? I really want that feature to work and I've heard that some macs have trouble with it because its kinda intensive.

    im getting the 1.42ghz model.
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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  18. mikemodena macrumors 6502a

    mikemodena

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    #18
    No, the mini doesn't do the ripple. I have the exact same model as you're planning to buy. It's absolutely a great machine, but doesn't have the ripple. It only has 32MB VRAM, but if you're using it with a CRT monitor, 32MB is fine. This computer will do everything you need... I recommend buying 1GB of RAM as soon as you can.
     
  19. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #19
    I'll just reply here so that I can be cool, too ;) I also vote for the Mac mini, because and external Firewire hard drive solution will solve the problem if you find the internal drive to slow for Garageband and because you can choose to get an LCD later.
     
  20. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #20
    so, would i need 64megs of VRAM to do the ripple thing? and is there a way to fix that? More ram, a better hard drive, faster processor, better video card? which one handles the VRAM?
     
  21. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #21
    on the mini you can not get the ripples no matter what you do, it would be the video card which is soldered onto the mother board, so if you want the ripples that much get any other Mac.
     
  22. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #22
    It's not a VRAM thing. It's whether the graphics card is core-image capable and the mini's card currently isn't. Plus, there's no way to upgrade the card, sorry.

    On the plus side, you're not missing much, it's only a ripple. :)

    Oh, and VRAM is video RAM, as in the RAM for the graphics card.
     
  23. drumpat01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #23
    awww dude......major bummer......that was like the coolest thing! GRR....... :confused:

    oh well....
     
  24. mikemodena macrumors 6502a

    mikemodena

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    #24
    It's a gimmick. Honestly, I do website design and graphic design and some video editing and frankly, I can't recall seeing a beachball lately. You're good to go with your choice and if you get 1GB of RAM you will be amazed.
     
  25. Rovias macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #25
    Thought I'd throw my two cents in here...

    I've got the first generation, bare-bones Mac mini. The only thing I added was the Airport Extreme card. I highly recommend it if you've already got the monitor and keyboard to go with it. It's small, stylish, and silent. I never hear any fan noise when I'm using it. If you're a switcher from Windows, I can guarantee that you'll love it, and you'll easily show up your Windows beige-box PC using friends.

    And now the downside. It's slow. We're talking wayyyyyyyy slower than my Powerbook, and they have the same processor (1.25 GHz G4). Garageband is nearly unusable, and any kind of video editing takes forever. That being said, my model only comes with 256 MB of RAM. If you up it to 1GB, that should be ample to run the applications you want to use. Still no ripple, though. Sorry! :)

    If you want the ripple (and a faster hard drive), go with the eMac. You should be able to get a nice discount using Apple's Education store.
     

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