Anyone else considering alternatives to an updated mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dudedude, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. dudedude macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2014
    For quite some time I've wanted a mac mini. I however am like most of you am getting impatient waiting for an update. I'm starting to look at the Gigabyte Brix computers as a possible alternative. They have models with Iris Pro graphics and you can customize to your liking. These computers are also smaller than the mac mini because the power bricks are outside the computer.

    I'm fairly OS ambivalent these days as I've used them all and find pros and cons in all of them. On top of all else though I really just want a tiny desktop as opposed to a big old tower like I have now as well as something a bit quieter.

    Do I wait it out or jump on something else?

    Anyone else considering something else?
  2. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2007
    the ONLY alternative to an updated mini is the current mini!
  3. dudedude thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2014
    I keep wanting to pull the trigger but spec wise it's outdated.
  4. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Not really a alternative (as ill buy the new mini when it comes out),but at $179 ill also buy the new asus chromebox when it comes out this spring.
  5. dudedude thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2014
    I'm sure that will be a fun toy for a lot of folks once people get their hands on it. I'm interested in it as well but I feel like if anything I'm trying to downsize a bit rather than go the other direction. At least these things are getting a lot smaller :)
  6. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    'Nuff said.

    I got my first computer in 2005 it was a Mac Mini because it fitted my criteria. When it died in 2009 the only option was a new Mac Mini, which I got the next day, and it still works just fine for me. I'm not antsy about getting another, but when the need arises, no doubt it will be whatever Mini is current on the day.

    Your choice…… If something else suits your needs, go for it.
  7. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    if I absolutely needed a machine right now...

    I'd probably get a refurb 2012 mini, but I hope a new mini comes out this year. Or early 2015 the latest.
  8. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    how about the new fake leather samsung chromebook
  9. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    What alternatives are there?

    Hackintosh HTPC - No, too temperamental

    Raspberry Pi - No, too sweet (and a complete joke)

    MacBook Pro with the screen and keyboard ripped out - No, too flat

    iMac with a towel over it - No, too big

    Mac Pro - Getting closer in size but... No, too expensive

    Mac mini - Hmmm just right... Although Goldilocks might argue that is a little 'too hot'
  10. =E= macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2013
    Get a refurb Mac mini. I did that and i am happy with mine.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sounds like the OP is not just limiting his search to Macs but rather windows machines as well

    If that is the case, then that opens the doors to other Mini type computers. At one point I think Dell had a tiny desktop computer, though its been a while since I was on their site (not really a fan)

    I'd say get a refurb enjoy it, and then sell it if Apple comes out with an updated mini this year.
  12. 808? macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Likewise, very happy with my new refurb Mini.
  13. Padaung, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

    Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
  14. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    They look good
  15. =E= macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2013
    They do, but it aint a Mac.
  16. nundroid macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2014
    Intel NUC

    Yeah... if one of your requirements is that the mini PC is a Mac, an Intel NUC probably won't do much for you!

    I bought a NUC at the end of last year as I was tired of waiting for the new mini. Whilst the NUC is arguably less pretty than a MM, it is a fair amount smaller and does everything I want it to (I use it as a HTPC). I am very pleased with it.

    It also cost me £150 less than a brand new (and less powerful) MM would have!
  17. dudedude thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2014
    I am looking at something like this (not crazy about the red) but they also make an i7 in black:

    The specs are right and it has room for a 2.5" hard drive as well as an msata drive the only problem as others have stated is....It's not a mac.

    Like I said I've wanted a mini forever but the no spec bump is making the wait annoying. I guess I could also just buy one now do the upgrades and if the next one knocks my socks off I could ebay it and upgrade.
  18. El Hikaru macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    I agree with many other people but the current Mini is the closest alternative to the new Mini.
    If you don't mind using windows, NCU might be an option. NCU has something Mini does not such as mini PCI slot, but it is small as well. On the other hand if you can build a PC by yourself, build something better than what NCU could offer. A full size graphic card, higher wattage CPU, 3.5'' drives, internal optical drives and much more.

    Mini has lots of ports, USBs, Thunderbolt, HDMI.
    Mini can host two 2.5'' drives.
    Mini is small, at the level only achieved by proprietary designed mother board
    Mini uses little power.
    Mini is a Mac.
    In my opinion, Mini is a state of the art desktop, and everyone should have one at home.
  19. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    Agreed, the main drawback for me is that it doesn't run Mac OS. However the OP said he was OS agnostic.

    For the brave of heart Hackintosh machines have been created. Here's a guide to installing OSX on an Intel NUC.

    A Hackintosh guide may have been made for the Brix Pro too? I read a review in a UK magazine about the Brix Pro - it was very complimentary and did very well in performance tests compared to other small form factor machines. However, once fully configured the price was high (over £1000) and bang for buck it didn't match a regular full size Windows desktop machine.
  20. =E= macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2013
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Agreed.
  21. jlus3, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  22. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    It is smaller, but most (if not all) of these small desktops have the power brick outside the unit, i.e. there's a large rectangular thing attached to the cord. Apple puts the power brick inside the mac mini and thus the power cord is much less unwieldy than those with the power bricks attached to the power cord.

    Personally, I rather have it in the mac mini so all the bulky stuff is concentrated in one space, but some people might not care.
  23. jlus3, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  24. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I ended up just building a hackintosh. More than anything it was seeing how difficult it actually was and how functional they were at the end of the day.

    I'll probably end up with a mini down the road, but this ended up being so painless and easy I'm not certain I'll be moving away from it any time soon unless some kind of big issue comes up.
  25. jlus3, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

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