Current/New Mac Mini or PC ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BlueSwirl, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. BlueSwirl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hello, I'm looking for some advice. I need a new computer as my laptop is dying & was thinking about either building one that is upgradable & will last for a good 5+ years or saving up another £150 & buying a :apple: Mac Mini when they update it if the rumor's are true & it stay's the same price or less.

    The main uses for it will be
    • Photoshop CS3 (only one photo at a time from a 10megapixle DLSR in RAW),
    • Music (itunes to ipod & back-up CD's),
    • Game's (Minecraft (best graphics if posible) & small indie games like Blocks That Matter & Seasons After Fall)
    • & a little web browsing and word processing.

    Now my brother has used a base 2007/08 White MacBook for the last 4 years for photography at uni (1 year collage, 3 Uni) with CS3 & has pushed it hard, he even had a 1kg candle fall on it while closed from a good 30 inches (it killed the HDD but was covered, lied a little & got it fixed) & is still going strong so I think my photography need's would be fine but what about the gaming side?

    I will not be buying untill after the new Mini comes out (july/august, if at all) & would like to know if it would do what I want it to or would buying the current one or building a PC be the better option?

    Now for building the PC I was thinking something along these lines
    Budget:
    • £450-500
    Main uses of intended build:
    • Photoshop CS3 (only one photo at a time from a 10megapixle DLSR in RAW),
    • Music (itunes to ipod & back-up CD's),
    • Game's (Minecraft & small indie games like Blocks That Matter & Seasons After Fall)
    • & a little web browsing and word processing.
    Parts required:
    • Base system.
    Previous build information:
    • None apart from a dying laptop which i might be able to salvage the HDD,
    • Windows 7 (HP Retail), Keyboard, Mouse & Monitor.
    Monitor resolution:
    • 4:3 19inch.
    Storage requirements:
    • 250GB.
    Will you be overclocking:
    • No.
    Extra information about desired system:
    Something like this
    • CPU - 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 2105 - £107
    • Motherboard - Asus P8H67 £100
    • Memory - 4GB 1,600MHz DDR3 - £40
    • PSU - Corsair SU-430CX 430W - £35
    • CPU Cooler - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - £15
    • Case - Fractal Design Define R3 - £80
    • Optical Drive - SATA DVD-RW - £15
    • Plus HDD from my laptop.
    Thanks for reading & any advice.
    :)
     
  2. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #2
    Hi BlueSwirl,
    if you want to doodle with your computer then build your own (you won't get much help here), otherwise get a Mini.
     
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #3
    tonymacx86.com if you want to explore the dark side-hackintosh.
     
  4. mrklaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #4
    at a guess, the mini will be about that spec if not a bit faster. Either will be fine for editing - you can use something like photoshop elements on both for instance. The HD3000 should handle minecraft just fine, and you've not specced a GPU for your PC anyway, so that should be on par

    However, they are massively different in terms of size. The mini is about the size of a couple of DVD cases stuck together, the fractal define is a big tower case (albeit a beautiful tower case, nearly went with that for my gaming PC build)

    the fractal will be more expandable in the future, with space for more HDDs etc. But purely for what you've said you need, its basically down to what form factor you fancy.
     
  5. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks for the reply, all I want to know is if the Mini can handle it.
    & Im not trying to cause a flame war, I have posted this on bittech.com & here to get some advice from both sides.
    Also as I have said my brothers Macbook has proven to me that :apple: make dam good PC's & I am wrighting this on my 1st gen. ipad. ^^
     
  6. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thank you, Out of curiosity how would I go about a hackintosh & is it hard?
     
  7. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thank you for the reply.
    So its basically down to if I see myself needing a more powerfull PC in the next 3 or so years & if not it down to size & how much space I have.

    Yer the rumors seem to be pointing that it will, but hey we wont know untill it comes out (if it does) & hence the type of motherboard (The P version cannot use the CPU's graphics but the H can).

    Out of curiosity what case did you pick? I feel the Fractal is something like what :apple: would make if they did DIY PC cases, but it would have to be from one piece of alauminum & a little smaller:D
     
  8. lvlarkkoenen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Utrecht, NL
    #8
    Since that's fairly light gaming you're looking at, I'd say go for the upcoming Mini. I have pulled quite a few years of moderate gaming out of my Mini, which is now finally being replaced (with an AMD Llano laptop, have to confess that I'm leaving Mac).
    And as someone else pointed out, since you're not including a GPU in your PC build, the Mini will be quite comparable.
     
  9. mrklaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #9
    yeah, noticed you'd gone for the H and no GPU, its a nice simple setup, looks well chosen.

    Silverstone LC17. Desktop style as it was going on a shelf, fairly 'AV receiver' look to it. If I were going for a tower I'd definitely have chosen the fractal
     
  10. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Thats a nice case, at the moment I'm very much leaning towords a DIY unless :apple: bring out something special with the Mini.
    Thanks for the help
     
  11. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #11
    For what you want to do I think either option is overkill.
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #12
    umm.... www.tonymacosx86.com

    How hard it is depends on the components you use. They have recommended builds on that site. Try it.
     
  13. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Sory about that, I posted without thinking.
    I will try it one day but at the moment I am going with a asus p8h67 build, which if I read corectly they should be supporting in the near future.
    It will be intresting to see if you can make one with the new OSX.
     
  14. lvlarkkoenen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Utrecht, NL
    #14
    I'm wondering how you would get hold of a copy of it as well.
     
  15. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #15
    Oh yeah, forgot about that question.

    I was going to do osx86 for a combo office machine slash file server (until I swooped in on a suh-weet deal on a 09 mac pro in a city an hour and a half away last weekend).

    My employees made it quite clear that, while they were willing to go Mac, they would rather pass on potential instability issues from hackintoshes for machines that they actually had to work on. Fair enough.

    What I was going to do was to keep the hack pro at 10.6 until the real nerds tried the 10.7 upgrade and worked out the kinks. My guess is that if the hackintosh was close enough to legitimate apple hardware, you'd be able to do the upgrade from the app store like a real mac. Or take the download from doing it another real mac and copy it to the illegitimate machine.

    Figure that worst case scenario, they'd get that figured out within a month after lion was released.
     
  16. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #16
    With sufficient RAM and a solid state drive upgrade down the line, it's conceivable that the new Sandy Bridge Mini could last 5 years if you don't push it too hard.

    The flip side with a DIY PC is that you could get a cheaper dual-core i3 as you suggested, but then be able to upgrade to a nice Ivy Bridge quad-core next year and have a better experience for a longer period of time.

    If you're not particularly tied to OS X, I'd say go for the PC. Personally I'd run Windows 7 myself at the moment if I weren't already comfortable with my OS X setup and software.
     
  17. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    The current Mini can handle your requirements quite well, but an updated Mini is likely to be released either in July or August.

    A couple of other things to take into account. The Mini uses less power than another other computer, including anything you can build yourself. That means lower electricity bills, which might not be something on your list of preferred features, but it's a nice side effect of buying a Mini.

    Also, I started in the Mac realm by building a Hackintosh. They're fun, but you're always dealing with potential problems, i.e., updates that break features and needing to dig around on the Internet to find out how to fix them, etc. My Hackintosh also had/has features that work on regular Macs but do not work on the Hackintosh. I finally decided I just wanted a Mac that worked to get the full Mac experience, and bought a Mini. I still have the Hackintosh, but haven't turned it on for about a year. No need.

    If you don't want to have to be your own I.T. Department and just want a computer that works, get the Mini. But I would wait if you can, the updated Mini should be out soon.
     
  18. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #18
    Mini

    If you care about depreciation then as soon as you've built your PC its lost lots of its value.

    With a Mini, if for example you buy a used one on Ebay and upgrade each year your losses/costs will be very low and you will always have the latest and greatest. Its what I do and my computing costs are low.

    You get a nice warranty too. And likely you'll have alot less driver issues.

    Building your own PC is a nice thing to do once though.
     
  19. BlueSwirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    Yes, building one is something I have wanted to try but so is owning a mac.

    Thats something I have always liked about the mini.

    If I was to make a Hackintosh I would do it on a second HDD.
    & yes I can wait.
    Hopefuly they will make it a bit easer to get to the HDD this time round.

    If I go DIY that the route I will probley take.

    I've never had a Mac so I have always used Windows but I do own a ipod classic (because it offered the best amount of storage for the price) & a ipad 1 (refurb after they brought out No.2) & to be quite honest I like the look of Win8 but I can always use that in bootcamp.

    Now to wait for the Mini to be updated, hopefuly with a £50 or more price drop as that will defently make my mind up.

    Thank you to every one who posted, it has helped.
    I shall let you know which route I went after the Mini's update.
    d^^b
     

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