A little help. Mac Mini or Hackintosh?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by allyc31, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. allyc31 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    Hi folks,

    Just need a little advice. I'm thinking about getting a mac, having bought a iPhone and iPad. The machine I'm looking at is the base 2012 Mac mini as I don't need it for much. Just a iTunes repository and photo storage etc.

    So, I was all set for buying this for around 500 quid.

    However, a friend is selling a pc that runs mountain lion. The specs are below;

    i7 920 processor, a gigabyte x58a-ud3r mother board, 12 gig DDR 3 ram, a unknown size ssd, a raedon 1gb 4850 and a unknown crossair psu.

    This is being sold for a very reasonable 250 quid.

    So, my question is, what to go for? I'm leaning toward the tower as I can upgrade the machine a lot easier than the mac when time takes it toll on the hardware. However, I would love you guys input on this.


  2. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Just a suggestion...

    A more informative title on your OP might generate more responses. Just saying "Help..." doesn't usually generate too much interest.

    No offense...just a tip to a newbie.:D
  3. allyc31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
  4. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011

    It depends on if you know what you're getting into in terms of software updates and compatibility. Are you willing to keep it on Mountain Lion (and make sure everything works on it, by the way), or willing to get into hacker mode in the event that a software update breaks the machine?

    Chances are good you'll be fine if it was designed to run the current build of OS X in the first place, but there is risk.

    Also make sure the SSD is big enough for your apps, and look at external storage or the ability to add internal drives. USB 3 should be a priority.

    That's all there is to it really.

    On the other hand, if you're really just using it as a media repository, maybe look at getting a used mini circa 2010, when it had the CD drive? If you just put an SSD in it'll be snappy enough, and you can be sure about software support.
  5. allyc31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    While I haven't got it confirmed that the build was specific for mountain is (or what release it's on) I do know the guy is legit and I assume its running stable as the only reason he is getting rid is he (like a lot of guys I assume) upgrading to a new iMac.

    In terms of getting into the machine if something where to go wrong, my skills wouldn't be awesome however, I assume there is a community online for helping with that sort of thing.

    The ssd will on be used for applications with a external (or internal if I'm bothered) will be used for music, photos etc.

    I honestly will only be using it for iTunes and photos/videos repository so that's why I think I could go alright with the pc build.
  6. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you are confident that you are able to maintain the Hackintosh (by which I mean keep it current with point release updates [e.g. 10.8.3, 10.8.4, and so forth]), then a Hackintosh will always be a faster machine for the cost. If you don't know all that is involved and/or know how your friend set it up, you might want to just buy the Mac mini and call it a day as maintaining an actual Mac is simply a matter of checking for system updates via the normal mechanism and installing them the way actual Mac users do.
  7. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012

    I started my Mac jurney with a G4 mini. Did not use it much and sold it.
    Then I got into a hackintosh I built.
    It was all cool but I wanted firewire and target disk mode and time machine...

    I bought apple refurb mini and upgraded that (bump up RAM to 8 and install SSD).
    Sometime later I sold the mini and bought a used Pro.
    I could not afford any newer version and I got a dual quad 3.0 2008 which uses very expensive FBD dimms.

    IMHO Hackintoshes do have their place.
    It introduced me more into the OS and I saw what it's capable of.
    However because of the stability factor and ability to run virtual machines within I went the Mac Pro.

    I'm so happy with that choice. Originally I wanted to spent almost same amount of $ and get a homebrew vmware vsphere "lab".

    I have a i7 windows box but it's only for gaming.
    But I'm so over the whole driver updates, spyware, slowdowns, ...
    So easy to rebuild os x when needed.
    ;-) but I won't preach to the choir
  8. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    If it really is just an iTunes repository then you can always go to Windows 8 if it goes sour. So definitely go for the hackintosh, I think. As a bonus you can try out OS X!

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