1st mac - maybe a mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dino01, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. dino01 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    hi appleites

    i am looking into trying out the mac phenom and was also wanting a media centre,

    should i go for a mac mini - RIGHT NOW or will there be updates coming soon

    please reply i need help

    ps - is there any special config i will need for the media centre bit or will i just plug the mini in and off i go

  2. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    They just updated them to Core 2 Duos, and now include Leopard and 1Gig standard.

    They're great machines. The one at the Apple Store ran great.

    I just installed Final Cut Express on my lowly 1.6GHz Core Duo with 512Megs RAM and seems just fine... (with 10.4 - I just don't run anything else on it at the same time).
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Great machine if you dont need a gpu for gaming, if you do then get a iMac 2.0 or better.
  4. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    I actually like the minis...you don't hear much complaining about them on the boards, possibly because they don't have as many defects (I'm guessing). It's a bit expensive but if you want a Mac and don't need the all-in-one form factor of the iMac and don't want a laptop, then you can't go wrong with the mini.
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    It still deserves better then integrated graphics in my view. If Apple would only spend that extra $25 bucks.
  6. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2007
    A year ago, I bought a mini and then returned it in favor of an iMac. For my needs, I needed more horsepower of hte iMac.

    But for someone doing basic productivity stuff, internet stuff, etc, nothing wrong with the mini. I thought I read here that the mini's were going away soon.
  7. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I think the Mini is a fantastic computer, and gets bashed on here way too often. For most uses, there is no need for a powerful graphics chip. I got a 1.83C2D intending to use it as a file server thinking it would be too slow for anything after reading on this forum for awhile.

    I am going to have to get another one, because I ended up putting it right in the rotation as a desktop. I put in all of the stock parts I took out of a MBP when I upgraded to Leopard, and for all of my day to day use, including lots of audio production it is great. For $500 I have a computer at home that can be on all the time, a second machine when one is in use, and a computer that can take some stress off of my heavily used laptop.

    I do not play games or really watch video, and I have it hooked up to a 23" ACD, all in all a fantastic package. If you get one I would highly recommend 2GB of RAM, but other than that, it is more than ready for daily computing.
  8. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    I can't speak to using a Mini as a media center. I use mine as my primary computer, and it's fantastic. I have the 1st generation Mini, and it's working very well. If you get the current model, it will be a great deal better in many ways.

    We're still waiting to see if the Mini will get the same updates that the Macbook just got. There are perpetual rumors to the demise of the Mini line, but none have proven true so far.

    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how nice the Mini really is.
  9. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    If you already have a monitor you like or are using an HDTV or something then I'd definitely recommend a Mac Mini - it's the most space-efficient machine out there and I use mine as a media center with zero issues.

    However, for the full computer experience I'd have to recommend the iMac more. It really is a much better value if you need everything. I have no qualms calling it the best computer on the market...
  10. ~J~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    3rd Rock from the sun
    The Minis are GREAT little machines. I bought a refurb 1.83 CD for ~$500. When I upgraded my MBP to a 250GB hard drive, I put the 160GB and 2GB of RAM in my Mini... and it runs Leopard great!

    You can use them as a media center (Front Row is a great thing) - and, as opposed to an :apple:TV, it has a DVD player. Its also a great machine for basic uses (internet, email, word processing, etc). I also use mine to encode DVDs w/Handbrake. I love it!
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    My choice also when switching, never looked back ... :)

    Awesome little machine .. :cool:
  12. dino01 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    cheers for the replies guys

    couple of questions

    1. if i get one anyhting i should buy hardware wise to go with it, ram hd etc
    2. what cables will i need to connect it to my hdtv, how easy will it be to get it working on my hdtv?
    3. should i wait any amount of time of just get it now,
    4. is there any reason to buy the higher spec mini when im just gonna be starting out on macs,

    atm i am looking at getting the mini and the wireless keyboard, not too keen on te apple mouse

    any other info you can provide for the apple noob will be much appreciated
  13. ~J~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    3rd Rock from the sun

    1. & 4. - Depends on what you are going to be doing with it, regardless if you are just starting out w/Mac & OSX. If just email and internet, some basic stuff, any Intel model would do (CoreDuo or Core2Duo). If you want to do some stuff that requires a little more horsepower, I would spring for a newer one that will give you a C2D processor, 1GB of RAM, and Leopard. I wouldnt recommend going with anything less than an Intel processor tho.

    2. - You will need a DVI - HDMI cable... Apple has them kinda cheap actually, I think ~$30 or so. Other places will try to get ~$100 outta ya... same cable, so look around.

    3. - I would say see if there are any refurbs out there, they will come with a 1-year Apple warranty, just like a new one - but you will save some cash. Of course, the best specs are on the new ones, and if you want Leopard with it, spring for a new one.

    Hope that helps!
  14. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007

    Did you mention what kind of hdtv you had? If it has hdmi (or DVI) you're in luck. If it's a little older and only has VGA things are going to be a bit trickier for you...
  15. dino01 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    it is a samsung le32r74bd it does have a hdmi port on it still does not help with which cables i would need tho
  16. mogly macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2007

    about the mac phenom I can just tell you, its hard to get away again ;-)
    I bought a PowerBook just to learn a new OS after Windoof (german name for windows) and Linux. After 2 weeks playing, I really hated to go to work and sit at my bloody Windows desktop for programming...
    Then I had the great Idea of buying a mac mini as Media Center. It worked great. You can just buy a DVI-HDMI cable and plug it into a TV. It also has a optical sound port. If you buy the Monster Cable with it, you can optically wire it to your dolby receiver, and get souround out via VLC Player or from DVDs. I also have a Logitech Harmony 885. Really a great Universal Remote Control. So its easy to configure that as well with the mini, and you can enjoy everything from your sofa. If you want to get a step further you can also plug in one of these TV-USB sticks, and use it as HD Player. The only thing I didn't like was to take the wireless mouse to shut it down after using it. And because I was anyway just using it in the end for Photo Slide shows and Music, i actually exchanged it with an AppleTV. So depending on the features you need in your media center, I would take a look at the appleTV.
    However, coming back to the apple phenom, I used the mini then as my desktop station and threw my last pc out of my home-office. Now after almost 3 years apple experience I'm really looking forward for the 24" 2.8Ghz alu imac I ordered (should be here this week :D ) . I just tell you... be careful! If you once touch an apple, you will never go back
  17. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    buy this cable then:


    As for audio, any old radio shack mini-plug to rca should do.
    Or you can go optical mini-plug to optical on a stereo receiver.
  18. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    eb2 Mini. 80GB HD, 512MB RAM. It was powerful enough to use Final Cut Pro HD to edit 20+ hours of film down to a nice and neat 40minute wedding video. It may be small, but it has gusto.
  19. tuc macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2003
    I don't begrudge the mini its integrated graphics.

    There's more than the chip cost involved with adding a GPU. There are increased power requirements and heat dissipation issues, and perhaps even physical room in the case. It would be nice to see a dedicated GPU with its own VRAM on the mini, but I'm ok with integrated, especially if it keeps the machine whisper quiet.

    What I'm not ok with is the woeful GMA 950 it has now. Why not X3100 for a 2x or 3x speedup with essentially no additional component costs or heat? (Plus the RAM ceiling would increase to 4GB as a side effect.)
  20. xSeanZx macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
  21. will792 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007
    Many laptops have "real" GPUs and handle space issues and extra power/heat requirement without any trouble.
  22. ale500 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    The speed up of the X3100 + a 2.2 GHz proc over a GMA950 with a 2.0GHz proc is not near 3 times... is closer to 80 % more. Note that the 2.2 + SR is somewhat 10-20% faster. than the 2.0 Napa(?). Is quite an improvement!!, Maybe it removes que choppiness with 2 screens that you see in no SR MBs (and possibly minis). :) (have a look at the benches in the other thread waiting for SR).
  23. dino01 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    is there any truth in the whole mac mini end of life rumours i have been hearing a bit about
  24. Mazda 3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2007

    I`ve got a 2 yr old G4 Mini that has never had so much as burped. The most trouble free computer we`ve ever owned. Same installation in came with. You can`t hear them running,quiet

    Max out ram in it and a good display,excellent basic computer.

    Hard to beat the new iMacs if a person can afford one and you get a non-
    freezer. I love my non freezing 20" 2.4 iMac,awesome machine,
  25. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    The problem with the mini IMO is that I can't live without a superdrive, so that forces you up $100 more.. and I had a look at the refurbished store and saw that they had my iMac (in sig, C2D, 2.0 GHz) for $850..

    So for $50 more you get a lot of benefits. Apple mouse and keyboard, 17" LCD, iSight, 802.11n, 128mb of dedicated graphics, larger HD, and I'm sure there are more.. with months of looking, I think it's the best Apple value.


    That's it right there, currently out of stock, but it seems to be in fairly often. I've seen it in 4-5 times in 6 days. Just grabbed mine today :)

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