Justify My Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Dal, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Dal macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    This is probably a very common question around these parts, but here goes anyway... :)

    Let's start off with the fact that I'd really like to own a Mac and think it'd make a lot of my day to day tasks easier and more fun.

    What I use my PC for now at the moment is basically surfing the net, email and IM. Throw in the odd game of Football Manager, MP3s, iPod and digital photos and that's my computer life.

    Now, I am thinking of getting a Mini and then either getting a new monitor, keyboard, mouse etc, but pricing it up leaves with a dilemma.

    With the following options:
    • 1.25 GHz
    • 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive
    • DVD±R/CD-RW
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Wired Keyboard & Mouse Kits
    • 56k V.92 modem
    • Mac OS X

    the total comes to £576.02

    Now add on enough for a half decent monitor and I'm looking at 700 quid.

    Now, obviously, pricewise I would get a much better deal if I went for a Dell or whatever and I guess it would also be a lot faster with possibly a larger HD too.

    Can anyone justify a Mac to me, when the price/value point is really I guess the thing holding me back?

    I know it's probably not the most eloquent post in the world, but I'm open to any options, even if that is stick with a PC!

    Cheers... :)
  2. igucl macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2003
    OS X!! It can't be had on a PC. Once you use it a little while you'll never want to go back. No viruses, no crashes, no spyware, no noticeable slowdown after one week of use. No annoying warnings or notices or unnecessary questions that make you think Microsoft thinks you are a dunce.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    It's basically perfect for the uses that you listed, aside from the game, which may not run as nicely as you like.

    Basically, if you are interested in not having to worry about viruses, not having to worry about spyware, not having to worry about adware, want to enjoy an intuitive and attractive interface, not spend hours of time tweaking your machine to get it to do what you want to, want to have a host of software suites (iPhoto, iDVD, iTunes, iMovie, Garageband) that are designed to work integrally with the OS (instead of being third-party add ons), and have a beautifully crafted OS and machine to work around, then a Mac is for you.

    If you're thinking of the mini, make sur eyou up the RAM to at least 512MB.


  4. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    what kind of computer are you using now? maybe i am being dense, but why can't you just use whatever monitor you already have at least in the short-term?
    also, do you need the superdrive? do you have one now? have you ever used it? have you ever really been upset that you didn't have one? is the cost of media low enough for you to use it regularly? would it make more sense to get an external later?
    keeping your old monitor and not getting the superdrive would be good ways to lower the price, and they are both things that can be dealt with at later points in time.
  5. cyanide macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2005
    as far as dell goes..

    okay. here is the honest truth about dells. they suck. they are built cheaply, have a cheap OS on them, crappy peripherals, and useless software. they are not, i repeat, not faster than your mini price for price. they may have a processor with faster Ghz, but that means nothing because they are two different architectures. i wont bore you with technical mumbo jumbo, but the processor in the mini handles tasks over twice as efficiently as any pentium processor thus making it a formidable foe for any dell computer. That and OS X will eat windows for breakfast lunch and supper any day. Add to all of this the fact that the mini comes with the BEST software for a user like yourself available today, iLife 05, and you are thousands of heads and shoulders above any dell owner. do yourself a favor and grab the mini. wait out on anything else if you can, such as monitor and super drive, and stick as much ram in it as you can. You will NOT be dissapointed my friend. will not. Oh and be sure your mouse and keyboard are usb or buy a cheap adapter. Good luck and happy computing!
  6. Dal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    I do have a 15" TFT I can use, yes, and I guess I don't really need a Superdrive, but it might be useful for burning movies if I ever decide to do some digital video, or just for backing up photos for example.

    The main thing I was worried about is the value issue, how much bang for my buck am I getting, compared with an entry-level PC?
  7. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Given that I own both a Dell Dimension 3000 and a Powerbook 12" I can give a fair assesment of the difference between the two of them. Yes, the Dell is faster for gaming and work with Microsoft Office. However, when it comes to web browsing, IMing (much better IM apps on Mac in my opinion such as Adium), using iTunes, and.. of course.. iLife 05! Honestly, the software alone that comes on the Mini makes it worth its price as compared to a Dell. If you really want a computer for gaming just wait awhile and snag a Dell down the road. I use mine for my job when I have to do database work in Access and for playing games. For just under $330 I got the computer that you see in my signature. It is a fine computer for gaming and did not put me back much. I own both a Mac and a PC and I can tell you my Mac gets used 10 times as much as the PC. I say if you already have a PC for those rare times when the mac just can't do something, then get the Mac Mini all the way. Is the Dell faster... yes and no. Yes for games and some application and no for many other uses. This, of course, does not even get into how superior OS X is when compared to Windows.
  8. igucl macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2003
    If you're talking about bang for the buck, you have to get beyond looking at the processor speed, as some above posters have said. Doesn't an outstanding user experience, unmatchable build quality, and excellent iLife software suite count as some bang. Most mac users here think so.
  9. Dal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    Yep, you're probably right, I just wanted to hear some reasons that's all! :)

    Will look at a Mini I think, but I'm still not sure whether to get the Superdrive or not. I know I could get an external one, but then that uses up the Firewire port I should think? I need that for my iPod and the free USB for my digital camera.
  10. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Edited to add Dell configured computer.

    You're getting a lot of bang for your buck. I've seen comparisons that show that the 1.42GHz mini is faster than an entry-level Dell 2.4GHz Celeron (which itself is about equal to 1.8GHz Pentium 4) and comes out to about the same price if you don't order the monitor or keyboard and mouse with the Dell. Of course, when bundled together, you do pay less for the monitor, keyboard and mouse than if you did it separately.

    I just configured a Dell 2400 on the Dell UK website, with monitor, 512 MB RAM etc, to bring it close to the Mac mini, and it came to 634 pounds. The only thing the Dell beats the mini on is hard drive speed (7200 vs 4200 rpm)

    Also take a look at http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2005/0122_dt0500.html and see what you get. And www.tomshardware.com had a recent review of the mini that pointed out that it only uses 20W power, much less than even a low spec PC, and much much less than e.g. P4 3.6 GHz, so you would save on energy costs.
  11. igucl macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2003
    All I can say is that I bought my superdrive iMac about two years ago and I only used it once to burn a DVD. I don't really need it; I don't use it as much as I anticipated. I probably would have been just fine without it.
  12. matthew24 macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2002

    iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife iLife

    iWork iWork iWork iWork iWork iWork iWork iWork iWork

    In general, because of a excellent OS design also the applications are excellent.
  13. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    You can "daisychain" firewire devices, i.e. connect them in a chain to a single port.
  14. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Do you have a camcorder? Are you planning on getting one for an immediate special occasion? Do you have kids you want a record of or do you go on lots of trips? Are you planning on linking up your DVD to an EyeTV to capture video? If the answer to these is 'no' - then don't bother.

    When you get around to wanting to do any of that (say in a year or so), the dual-layer drives will be even cheaper and you can pick up one of the latest DVD burners to make easier both to edit and to burn.

    Only other thing might be if you intend backing up to DVD. That was my original intention in getting a Superdrive. In all honesty, it's too much hassle backing up that way. I've got an external drive now which makes life much easier and less time-consuming and means that I back up weekly rather than every six months when I can bothered.
  15. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    I've had an eMac for almost a year now (similar-ish in spec to a mini). Here is my pocket of change:

    1) I've hardly done any system maintainance. Seems run as good as when i first got it.

    2) No pop-ups! Not the ones from the internet (which can easily be blocked) but when you boot up. Random pop-ups when Windows launches, software reminding you toi update this or to buy that or whatever.

    I challenge anyone to own a PC for a year, and not install anything that slows the boot-up time to a crawl. I've used a Toshiba laptop for 5 months now, with only a few apps installes, it takes ages to boot-p sometimes with random windows booting up when its launched

    3) Do you use Windows in your place of work? I do, so i dont want to use computer that reminds me of it. Windows for the office. Mac for everything else.

    4) OS X just feels more advanced. It just does.
  16. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    I'd pay the extra for the superdrive and use your TFT for now. I got a superdrive with my G5. I wasn't sure why I was paying extra for it, but I thought it might be useful in the future.

    Turned out to be a great purchase, making DVD's is so much fun...
  17. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    if u get tired of your mini for good money you can sell
    just try to do that with a dell

    :D sry 'bout the rime, couldn't resist :D
  18. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    There was an article in the last issue of MacFormat comparing a Mac mini with a similarly priced Dell. To make the comparision fairer they valued the monitor, mouse and keyboard you get with a Dell at £100, then used that £100 to get a better spec'ed Dell.
    Basically the conclusion said the Mac is a lot better value than a Dell. The bundled software alone would be nearly half the cost of the Dell.

    If you have a monitor, keyboard and mouse you can use with the Mac, I'd say there's no question as to which to get.
  19. calhobbes macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2004
    Cambridge, MA
    I've played Football Manager 2005 on a new 14" iBook and it ran just fine, so I wouldn't think you'd have any problems. I've never played it on a PC though, so I don't know how it compares.
  20. gallivant macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2004
    Have you considered spending a little more and getting a 17" iMac? Going from a 1.25ghz G4 to a 1.6ghz G5 is a huge performance boost, never mind the faster RAM and hard drive, plus you get a great monitor in the bargain. A little more cost, but a lot more bang for your buck. (I'm not dissing the mini; I want one myself, but I'm not convinced they're a good choice for the only computer in a house.)
  21. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Hi, if it wasn't for the fact that I bought an iBook in mid DEC. 04' I would have bought a mini w/superdrive and a nice lcd. Just the fact that it has the power for everything I need it to do but as for the superdrive, I just bought a mini dv camcorder for vac., family and what ever comes to mind. To me the superdrive and iLife apps. can't compare to cost of that on a pc, let alone the ease of use.
    One more thing if you want to or "should" back up your music, files, photos and what not the superdrive will justify itself. :D
  22. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Keep in mind that the Dell 2400 doesn't have a graphics card. It uses the Intel integrated graphics while sharing the system RAM. OK, so you spend some money for a nice graphics card ... Oops, the 2400 doesn't have an AGP slot.

    The 2400 isn't a good PC for games.

    As for the hard drive, I don't know what the 7200 HD is, but the one that comes stock is really really noisy. We bought a 2400 for my dad and that sucker makes a ridiculous amount of noise.

    The Dell 2400 is not a good computer. We should have gotten him an eMac, but the thinking was that we wanted him to learn Windows as that's what they use at his workplace. Having him (63 y.o.) learn one OS was hard enough, imagine having to teach him two.
  23. Southbridge macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2005
    Astoria, NY
    um... can I say something about OSX though? 10.3.8 has really been a dog. Lots of slowdowns some crashes etc... not to rain on everybody's parade or anything...
  24. Dal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    This thread is still going? Wow... :)

    Just thought I'd drop by and update you all that I went for Mini in the end and I'm loving it! Cracked it open and upgraded the RAM to 512 MB too so it runs pretty well. Didn't bother with the Superdrive, may get an external should I ever need it, or save as a DVD image and use a burner on another computer.

    I see this more as a 'getting to know you' Mac and should I find it not adequate in a couple of years time, I should be a bit more clued up on what to upgrade to.

    Thanks for all your help!
  25. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    Well, if you're gonna get the 80GB HD anyway, did you check how much you're saving between the 1.25Ghz+80GB HD option compared to the stock 1.42GHz config (that does come with the 80GB HD)?

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