Buy MiniMac to use mainly as a PC(Win7) work machine - Some Qs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by anliba, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. anliba macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    I use Mac normally but for work i have a PC since i have to use windows.

    I am used to use 2 screens so because of this i use a tower instead of a laptop cause problem with overheating. Wanna switch to use a minimac instead though (cause i can take this computer with me easy whereever i have to cause so amazing small and light weight)

    Have some questions (i googled some and searched some but, ye it isnt to ez when u not that great with this sort of stuff and would hate to waste money + time on something that isnt gonna work satisfactory)

    1) Has the Apple Mini any problems with heating due to its size. I will use it with two 24 inch screens (possible 1 30inch since im intrested in buying one)

    2) I talked breifly to apple support, asked if i could just install Win7 as the only OS and it would run just like a Win7 on any PC machine. Was told this wasnt possible, but bit curious to ask this cause saw 2 threads that i understood as this being possible? Also if it possible does this make the Mini Mac just work as good as any PC i would have with the same specs?

    3) I assume Bootcamp is the best option is the q above isnt possible. How good does Win7 work, does it work as good as if i have a PC running with the same specs as my Appe Mini has?

    (thought to buy the 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 4gb ram and 750GB 7200rpm)
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA

    1. No, the Mac Mini has no overheating issues, given enough space around the unit. If you keep it in an enclosed or covered area, any computer will have overheating issues.

    2. You cannot install Windows 7 as the only operating system. You will have to use Bootcamp, so you will have to have a minimal OS X installation. This isn't a bad thing. WHEN Windows crashes, you can reboot to the OS X side of the house and retrieve your files. :D

    3. Windows 7, with the Bootcamp drivers, works as well if not better than a similarly-speced PC. Better, you might ask? Well, PC Magazine runs its benchmarks in Bootcamp mode and the Mini (and other Macs) typically score slightly higher than the other competition with similar hardware. I have no explanation for this.

    On a side note, the next Mac Mini should be coming out soon. Maybe within the next couple of months. Stay tuned and you can get the previous generation at a discount or the next generation with USB 3 and other goodies.
  3. bf2008, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2012

    bf2008 macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    You can certainly assign all the remaining space from the mini disk (maybe 450GB) and use that for Windows, then set Windows as the default OS, and you won't even notice you had OS X. I think the speed is not affected at all, for laptops the drivers are not that great, but that wouldn't affect you.

    But anyway, what's the point of getting a mini if you're gonna use Windows? It's already very overpriced, and even worse if you don't use OS X. For the same money you can get a really nice PC Tower (eg Dell) with quad core, 3.5 inch HDD, and probably even quieter. Also much easier to upgrade or fix. Yeah, it's a little bit heavier, but it's not that you're gonna be moving around your mini every day.
  4. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    OP I'm in a similar boat to you, waiting on the new Mac Mini, should more than do the job, I run bootcamp windows 7 on my MBP when coding in MS Visual Studio with no performance problems.
  5. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Many people who buy Mac Minis to run Windows buy them because of their size, not price. OP said he wants to be able to move the computer around easily.
  6. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    There are a handful of options for small machines if you don't want to run OSX. I was looking into getting a small Linux box a while back. I decided that the OS that comes on the Synology Disk Station was good enough so even though it's arm-based, I use it for a lot of my Linux testing.

    As for putting Windows on a Mac? To me it's a lot like using a Ferrari to haul manure. I have found workarounds for (almost) every Windows-ish thing I need through OS X apps, Crossover (Wine) and while I've gotten pretty close to loading Parallels and some flavor of Windows, I've never had to actually do it.

    If you absolutely need Windows and only Windows, I still suggest you leave a modest OSX partition there. It's the native OS. It includes a recovery partition which could come in handy in the future. Especially if you realize you no longer need Windows.
  7. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    On my Macbook, I run Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion for tasks that "require" Windows. I careless to use it but, about twice a month, I fire it up and use it quickly. (Well, I use it as a "station" to put and update cyanogen on HP touchpads. :p I'm sure I could do it in Lion but, I haven't tried it yet.)
  8. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    A lot of people think this because they don't understand what bootcamp is. It's a partitioning tool and a set of drivers, neither are required to install Windows.

    You can simply insert a windows disk, use the partition manager in the installer to format the entire boot drive and then install. You can then download the drivers from their original sources (eg graphics from Intel or AMD), though it does make a bit more sense to simply let BootCamp assistant dump them to a USB stick for you before wiping the drive.

    That's apple support for you :p
  9. calaverasgrande, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    This is just some fanboi nonsense.,1871,iid=305401,00.asp
    I dont exactly see the mini wiping the floor.
    Similarly specced PC and Mac are using the exact same chips and hardware. The only real diff is the BIOS and the drivers, and Mac does not put a ton of effort into their PC drivers.
    Once upon a time we had different processors, card formats and peripheral connections than PCs. Now Macs essentially are PCs running Mac OS.
    So while a Mac may be a hair faster than a PC with the exact same CPU and video card, you can almost always buy a stock PC with a better spec CPU and graphics than Aplpe even offers, so it is a silly position to take.
    As far as the OPs questions. The only times I have found PC's to be required is when we are talking about serious hardcore Excel usage. Office for MAc still does not do everything the PC version does.
    Then there are the dreaded IE based intranet web apps. Almost every company I have worked for has this disease.
    Other than that I find it much easier to use a Mac and just observer PC compatible practicces. Such as using FAT formatted volumes for exchanging files, and being careful that I name files and folders with no funny characters or excessive long names.
    Macs can even join domains, though it isnt as simple as it could be.
  10. r8ders2k macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Take a look at

    Mind you, I'm a bigtime :apple: fan boy from my first Mac 512K. And I've also considered buying a Mac mini to run it as a PC for things like PlayOn, DVArchive (WiRNS), etc.

    But if you want a SMALL form factor, take a look at Xi3 Modular Computer.



    I saw these and tried to get my work's IT dept. to take a look at these as our Dell PCs are SLOW and we're still using XP, actually XP SP2...
  11. anliba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    thanks a lot for all the replays, bought one and just got it going. Will be interesting to try.
  12. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    hmmm interesting...if kind of ugly in an automotive audio gear kind of way.
    XP SP2? That is a crime. I can't think of any reason to stay on such an insecure old platform unless you are using some awfully coded app that newer versions of .net and VB would break. I did some work at a major bank (min deposit, $5000) and they had some Win 2000 machines in a back room for just that reason. Heck, I would rather Win 2k than XP SP2. At least Win 2k is stable and secure on later service packs while still supporting legacy code. (Well not legacy code like MSDOS...)
  13. takezo808 macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    If you IT deparment looks at you funny, it's becaue you make them laugh at your rediculous idea.
  14. takezo808 macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011

    As a Mac Mini owner, yes the Mac Mini does over heat if you play 3D games on the Intel GPU only version ($599 2011 model). The Radeon equiped version may run cooler when playing games.

    If you never play games, the mac mini is silent and very cool. You don't even know it's on if it were not for the green light.

    There is an app call fan control. search for it on the app store and install it. set the temp threshold fanspeeds as needed. Its a striaght foward app that needs little effort to use and you can test it and adjust to your liking. The fan can go pretty fast and can get loud.

    If you want to use your mac at work there is a better way than boot camp.
    It's called virtual machine. virtualbox is 100% free and works pretty darn good. Just get a techie person to set it up for you.

    note if you get the magic track pad, while it can take time getting used to it's touch gestures with lion are as close as you can get to i0S on your Mac.
    When you got the Windows VM going, you can switch between windows and a full screen Mac App with one, 4 fingered swipe on the track pad.
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Or it's because you're using Windows XP SP2...
  16. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Thank you for providing exactly ONE example where it didn't happen. I said "typically" when referencing that Macs outrun PCs of the same spec. Look at other examples. The speed difference is usually a small percentage but it's still there.

    If you're not a "fanboi" (a term which immediately lets me know I'm talking to a 12-year-old), what are you doing on this site? :rolleyes:
    Only if you have an EFI-aware operating system. You can only do this with Windows 7 and certain versions of Linux. Even then, you'll have to find your own drivers for the system unless you use the Bootcamp drivers on the OS X disc. Additionally, it's Bootcamp that adds the ability to boot non-EFI-aware operating systems.
  17. anliba, Aug 14, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012

    anliba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    Thanks for all the help , very appreciated. I baught it day after i made the post and i thought i report back for someone else that is thinking about the same things as me.

    Have no issues with this whatsoever, it is as ppl said above in thread extremely quit. Only times i hear some noise is when i run some heavy task and the fan goes on but the sound from the fan sounds like just from some air vent, it doesnt annoy me the slightest and i am very sensitive when it comes to noise

    Looked into this and as someone mentioned above, yes u can put a plain win7

    Works absolute excellent. Someone can correct me if i am wrong(I am not using the Macs OS so i havent looked into it) but if i think that u need a separate AV when u using ur MAC OS to protect ur PC OS cause ur PC OS can be attacked through ur MAC OS.

    About paying a too high price for the specs when not using Macs OS. I looked into alot of PC options but there was none plus the ones of intrest was not cheap either.

    I think it bit bad comparision some made saying u can buy a PC tower blabla and get better specs for lower price...obv u can but than u can make the same argument for not buying any type of laptop. Paid around 1K euro all in all for this and it feels like a bargain, portable tower me dreams has came true lol.
    Plus 1.7kg :), put it has handlaguage cause i am abroad for a while how sweet isnt that haha.
  18. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    Yes, you can. I have done it on three machines. No OS 10 partition at ALL. Just hold down "c" as you normally would to install an OS, and boom. You have to use the disc that came with your machine (or download the drivers) from Apple to get full hardware functionality, but I'm telling you it *does* work.


    $849 for the base model? No thanks...also your IT department has service contracts with Dell most likely, one of the reasons people stick with them is that they know they'll get support for their machines, onsite, and quickly. Roll your eyes if you'd like at my Dell comment, but that's how most things work in IT departments.

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