I Want a Mac Mini Please Help me Justify this Purchase.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jiggie2g, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. jiggie2g macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2003
    Hello Everyone ,

    Some of you may already know me as a Pro AMD guy , who just happens to own a Mac. some of you may also know that i recently put together a self built AMD Athlon XP system because i was looking into a new comp but could not afford a new iMac G5.

    Please note: Prior to me making the switch to Mac in Feb 2002 i was a Windows User running Windows Me (which made me quit winblows)

    My PC Specs:

    Windows XP Pro / Mandrake Linux 10.1 Dual Boot
    AMD Athlon XP-M 2400+ 1.8ghz (OC'd to 3200+ 2.2ghz)
    Corsair Value Select 512 RAM DDR PC3200
    DFI NFII Ultra Infinity/ w Sound Storm Motherboard
    ATI Radeon 9600(non-Pro) 128MB DDR
    Hitachi 250GB SATA 8MB buffer 7200rmp 8.5ms Seek time
    NEC ND-3500A 16X DVD+/-RW
    Thermaltake Tsunami Dream Case Black w/ side window
    Thermaltake 480W PSU w/ Fan Controller
    Thermaltake SilentBoost heatsink.

    total come to a little over $700

    After about a month of use on my new PC i find it much faster than my old 15in iMac G4 800Mhz w/ 2X Superdrive , as far as overall performance is concerned but i wonder had i put a 16X DVD Burner in my iMac and a new 7200rpm 8MB buffer , as opposed to the current 2x DVD-R and 60GB 5400rpm 2MB buffer. would the performance gap really had been so noticable.

    I am really more of a multimedia guy than a gamer. so here i am trying to find a million reasons to justify the purchase of a Mac Mini right after i just put together a pretty decent PC.

    Here are some of reasons i came up with:

    1. After much use of XP i find that simple things like drag and dropping files from folder to folder are more complicated.

    2. The GUI on XP isn't nearly as smooth as that of OSX, even on a machine that is nearly 3x faster.

    3. While XP may start up quickly you have to wait for the stupid little icons on the desktop bar to load up (i know u can remove them but every time u download something it seems like it's always trying to add crap to the tool bar).

    4. In my 1st week i got hit with over 40 spywares. This is Rediculious.

    5. Constant Worries about Viruses.

    6. Let's be real if it wasn't for Porn would we really be using Windows Media Player. LOL

    7. This thing is as loud as a Turbine Engine. especially when compared to my iMac which at full speed is no louder then a small desk fan.

    8. Every program crash requires a system reboot.

    I have to agree that in this time a Windows PC connected to the internet is more of a Personal Information Liability than it is a production tool.

    With the exception of Quick Encoding of DVD files and CD to AAC, i am beginning to regret my decision more and more.

    And Then this: Steve O' Pulls another rabbit out of his ass and now i'm kicking my own ass for buying this freakin' win box.

    Ok so now , but has it's downsides.
    Now I see this Mini Mac and i am Drooling for this Thing, along with a 1 Gig iPod Shuffle.

    I figure i don't need the Super Drive because i can just buy a USB 2 external 5.25 case for my NEC Burner for about $35 and use it with the Mac Mini.

    Now I am at a loss I already have an iMac 800mhz G4 512 SDram 2x Super Drive , that i will be giving to my Mom. I have this newly built PC that is faster but I still want a Mac Mini even though i may not need it , then again I am a Multimedia nut. so does this seem like wasted money to buy a mac mini for creative purposes.

    Just a few questions:

    1. I have this 250 GB SATA HD and I need to know if I can format it so I can use it as an external storage device for video files , that can be accessed by Windows and Mac?

    2. Would the Mac Mini 1.42ghz be noticably faster then my old iMac or comparable to my new system.

    3. Can this machine really display HD Video. a big factor 4 me.

    So here I am like a lowly dog crawling back to the Mac, realizing that despite what the default Bilss Desktop background photo may show on windows XP , the grass is not greener on the other side.
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    1. I have this 250 GB SATA HD and I need to know if I can format it so I can use it as an external storage device for video files , that can be accessed by Windows and Mac?

    Yeah, OS X reads and writes to FAT32 just fine. So just format your HD as FAT32, and it'll be intercopatible.

    2. Would the Mac Mini 1.42ghz be noticably faster then my old iMac or comparable to my new system.

    Well, common sense tells me the 1.42 GHz G4 will obviously be noticeably faster than the 800 MHz G4. As for the AXP-M 2400+, I wouldn't know. It'll probably be comparable, but faster? Not likely. But I've never actually used the 1.42 GHz G4 nor the AXP-M 2400+, so what do I know.

    3. Can this machine really display HD Video. a big factor 4 me.

    Yeah the 1.42 GHz G4 should be able to push a HD movie just fine.
  3. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I can't answer all of your questions, but I can answer a few and try a few others. You can buy a case that will house an SATA drive, but I don't know if this is a format that is compatible with both winblows and Mac, as I don't use winblows at all. The mac mini will be faster than your iMac, probably noticably if you upgrade the ram a little. But I don't know how it compares to the winblows box you have, because again, I don't use winblows. I never can justify very many of my purchases, so I just buy stuff when I want it, as long as I can afford to pay for it. :D
  4. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    on top of your other questions (which were already answered), there's always WMP for mac. sure, it's not that great of a program, but it should play your porn just as well as the version for windows. :D
  5. AndrewTosh macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    You would need a Firewire or USB2 enclosure that supports SATA drives. I don't know if there's any out at the moment. If they exist and you format the drive in Windows as FAT32 (not NTFS), you should be good. The drive won't work internally for the Mac mini. It uses what looks to be a 2.5" ATA drive. Other macs like the new iMac and Power Mac G5 use SATA drives internally. Still, with an enclosure you should be good.

  6. arnette macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2002
    Manhattan Beach
    Save your money. I, too, am wowed by the cool-looking Mac Mini but you would definitely be disappointed after the initial novelty of it wears off. Your home-built PC will be much faster at most tasks than the Mini will be.

    The Mac Mini's soul purpose is to attract iPod PC buyers to go into the Apple world. Specifically, people who don't really care too much about computing and just want an email machine, web surfer, and to discover the iLife apps.

    PCs do blow because of spyware and viruses but as long as you're careful (and backup on a regular basis) issues can be avoided. Web pages load faster, you can work with video and audio editing just as well, and you can use your iPod just as well on a PC. I say... save your money and hold the impulse to buy until Apple comes out with a meatier machine than the G4 Mac Mini.

    I own a Powerbook, I've built my own PC previous to going Mac, so I know a what you're talking about. The Apple UI is better but it's not worth the money.

    PS. Good luck finding a HD enclosure. I don't think they exist. There's no technical reason you couldn't use that hard drive on both machines but there may be a physical limitation as far as connectivity.
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    They do exist. A quick Google finds this:


    And yes, his PC will be much faster than the Mac mini. But that doesn't mean anything if you switched for the right reasons. I have a 2.6 GHz P4 PC with a 9700 Pro. And still, I use my puny iBook G3 900 MHz with a comparatively pathetic 7500... and I'm loving it. If you're a gamer, you're right; forget it the Mac mini is a stupid buy. But if you're not... Mac mini's are awesome!
  8. kelvinz macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2004
    Seattle, Washington
    waste of money.

    $500 PC would be much better value.
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Perhaps you can offer some support for your conclusion?

    He has a nice PC so the issue is really a mac mini or nothing, not buying a $500 PC.

    The mac mini would be quite a bit faster than your old imac, quite noticable so I would say. I imagine that your PC would be even faster though. Let me ask you this - what are the most demanding things that you'll do with your computer? I do more than the basics (internet, email, music pictures) but I'm not what you'd call a power user. My gf does basically the same things with her SP 1.25 Ghz G4 that I do with my SP 1.8 Ghz G5 and I have to say, I really don't need the power of the G5. When I use her G4, I find everything to be very nearly as fast as on my machine.

    My point is that while your PC will be faster than the mac mini in theory, will it matter in practice for the things that you do with it?
  10. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Are you joking?
  11. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I'd get a FireWire case instead.

    If there are FW or USB to SATA cases, technically, yes. Or you'd have to get a case plus Serial to PATA converter. FAT32 works on both, but you cannot use it on larger drives. A 250GB drive would need NTFS (which has limited read accessability on Macs) or HFS+ (which would require MediaFour's MacDrive to work on the PC).

    Faster than you're old Mac? Yes. Faster than your PC? On some things maybe, but most not. What'll kill the Mac mini is the internal hard drive. It's only 4200RPM. Play with an iBook, it'll be comparable (though the 1.42 will be a little faster, as will the 167MHz FSB). That video card will get you too.

    Yes, but probably not great. Again, a lot of it will be the RAM and the video card.

    If you're going to be doing stuff like this, you might want something better than the mini. If you are going to be keeping the PC, you can always use a KVM or run Remote Desktop (or VNC) to continue running stuff on your PC. Faster than VPC on a G5. Otherwise, I'd save up for a Tower or iMac. I'm hoping the next single G5 Tower is around $1299 or cheaper, or there are some good refurbs for even cheaper. Or buy a refurb iMac for around $1099 (and/or wait til the next rev). Or wait til the new eMac comes out and see if it is a 1.6GHz G5 with 64MB video card, faster hd, and support for 2GB RAM for about $899.

    I know price is an issue, but for what you want to do, and what you are used to, the 1.4GHz mini plus 512MB or 1GB RAM probably won't be worth it. Unless you have to have a Mac now, I'd wait.
  12. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Just buy a Mac Mini, although it sounds like a lot of your Windows XP problems could be resolved with a small bit of training.

    For example, dragging and dropping in XP is a lot simpler if you drag with the right mouse button (it then produces a small menu asking what you want to do, move, copy or shortcut). The Quicklaunch bar can be removed altogether with two mouseclicks, meaning that even when new programs are installed, it doesn't show.

    Getting hit by so much spyware means that you might be unaware of what is safe and unsafe on the Internet. This is further justification for buying a Mac - you don't need to know what's safe, because most hackers want to become famous and the PC is the 'mass media' of the electronic world. To them, Macs are like church newsletters. However, the more popular Macs become, the more hackers and spyware writers will turn to them...

  13. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020



    With a Celeron?
    With integrated graphics?
    No firewire?
    XP Home?
    No productivity software?
    A simple CD drive?

    Match the mini's specs and you'll be over $700, easy. And you'll still be running Windows and other 2nd rate multimedia apps.
  14. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Don't discount OSX, which is far safer out of the box than XP is. Not that hackers won't be able to do it, but it's a lot more difficult.
  15. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Troll alert.

    Read my tar, please...

    And isn't the Mac Mini only $500?
  16. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I was hoping to have the mini connect to both a external drive and my PC server, but both are formatted in NTSE I would have to reformat in FAT32 to get access?
  17. chv400 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I'm not sure but i think your current imac has a FSb of like 100 mhz. The mini probaby has a 167mhz FSB and DDR RAM so that should be a big speed improvment over your current imac plus the better GPU.

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