Mac mini for my Ma'

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by frogfroggy, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. frogfroggy macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hello everybody, first of all I have been following/reading this site for a while and decided to join you guys today! Its great to join a wonderful community, anyways back to the topic.

    Recently I bought a Macbook for myself for university in Germany and now I also convinced my Ma, a total dont-know-how-to-use a computer person, to buy an Apple computer and the best choice would be for us (rather for me cause I will buy one for her) a Mac Mini. Now my questions are:

    1: Would the Mini be sufficiant for watching movies in HD or in high encoded videos?
    2: If I connect the Mini to the Tv how do I do it (maybe its in the manual then forget this question) and would the sound be coming from the speakers of the Mini or from the Tv speakers?
    3: And can I connect a 80Gb Hard Drive with the mini? Its not extern, I think to connect it to the Mini I need an Exclosure or something like that?
    4: Would the Mini be able to write and read in Korean?
    5: Oh and the Mini I want to buy is this
    the one for 469.96 Euro or should I rather buy a Core Duo for 599?

    And last but not least and a question that has been chewed on quite often, 512 or 1gb for these things? ^^

    Thanks for reading guys and hey this is actually fun !!! :D
  2. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    1: no
    2: coming from the mini speakers (but they awful so you think about a way to link to a stereo as well).
    3: ?
    4: yes
    5: I'd buy the core duo

    As for RAM I'd go for 1 gig if you can spare the cash. Otherwise 512 should be fine for most stuff.
  3. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    No, don't use 512 at all. I use 512 on my Mini and it is absolutely heinous, not like I am doing much either, usually it is just Adium running together with and Firefox... and probably EyeTV as well.

    Lots of swap file threshing under that stock config, if you can afford it get a single stick of 1GB (thus leaving open the possibility of a 2GB upgrade into the future with a free slot).
  4. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    If I was buying it for myself I'd put in 2GB, but If I bought it for my mother 1GB would be wasted on her – she uses my old 333MHz imac with 256MB RAM and never thinks of it as slow.
  5. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    1: 720p
    2: Mini-jack to RCA stereo plugs available for cheap. Some HDTVs even have the 1/8" jack already. If you don't go that route then sound will play out of the tinny Mac mini speaker. Sounds okay ... for mono.
    3: Depends on the size of the HD and the connector. For the record, 2.5" HD with SATA connector for an internal replacement.
    4: Yes. International preference pane is your friend.
    5: Core Duo for HD. Maybe you could swap out the proc on the cheaper Mini but then you'll pay about the same.

    1 GB minimum memory, especially for HD playback. Don't buy the memory from Apple.
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The mini would be perfect for your mom providing you have a good display,
    but the mini does have limitations.

    If not, then I would strongly recommend the base 17" WS iMac.

    By the time you add a nice flat screen display and RAM, you've almost reached the same price as the 17" iMac.

    The iMac not only has the advantage of a GREAT display, but also provides much greater storage with a 7200RPM SATA HD, faster processor, and much easier to self service adding RAM.

    To save money, I would see what's available at the refurb store.

    You would still be better off with the Core Duo model and definitely upgrade to
    1 GB RAM.

    I don't know about the Korean translators, but there must be a way to set her up
    that way.
  7. frogfroggy thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Alright hmm maybe the Mini is nothing for her after all, maybe I will consider buying the Imac as some have already suggested.
    So I got three choices 2 from the Refurbstore (US) the G5 and the Intel Core Duo and the low end version from the German store. But if I can convince my Ma to buy an Imac I will probably go for the Intel Core Duo from the Refurb store. I would probably also get the education discount wont I?

    And another question for the Harddrive that can connect to the Imac, After G stated that its possible with a 2.5" SATA Drive, I assume that its also possible with all 3.5" right?
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    A 2GHz Core 2 Duo 17" iMac would likely be a great computer for your mom to use frogfroggy (that or a refurbished iMac with a Core Duo processor). :)

    Oh, and welcome to the forums frogfroggy. :)
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The education discount is the most affordable way to buy NEW if you qualify, but
    refurb prices are for everyone.

    Now you can use your education discount to buy software and accessories if you wish.

    The Core Duo refurb or Core Duo 2 base 17" iMac is the way to go if you can swing the difference.

    I also think your mom will appreciate the form factor more with it's clean design
    and reduction of cables all over the place.
  10. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Just to make clear: you can get education prices OR refurb prices. You can't get an extra discount on a refurb. You can get an education discount on Applecare, though.
  11. darkcurse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2005
    The new Mac Minis should be fine since even the lowest config is the 1.66GHz Core Duo. You should up the RAM though. 1GB is the current sweet spot I guess.
  12. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Yes, you can replace the drive inside an iMac with a 3.5" drive. However, you can only fit one drive inside the iMac. To add another drive, you will have to use an external enclosure. You can use a 2.5 inch drive in the iMac, but it wouldn't really fit well as there is no mounting setup for a laptop drive.
  13. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    agree here. Unless she's already sunk money into a monitor, or you can't afford the extra euros, I would get the lowest-priced iMac. It's all in one, so there's less hassle, no issues of connecting this or that, and so forth.
  14. frogfroggy thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ok I decided to buy the refurb Imac if I can get my hands on it, if not then I will buy the "low-end" Imac.
    Is the "low-end" adequate for watching movies (DVD´s, high encoded files)?
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The Combo drive in the low end iMac will play DVD movies just fine.
    Your mom can back up to CD or an external, but you won't be able to burn DVD's
    While the Core 2 Duo processor might be an attractive feature in the newer base
    iMac, it looks like your Mom would actually be better off with the stock 17"
    refurb for $50.00 more.

    She would get the SuperDrive, Airport, Blue Tooth, Remoter Control and most impotant, the deducated GPU ATI X1600 card w/128MB VRAM

    Education price here for the base low end Combo Drive iMac is $899.00
    The refurb upgrade Core Duo Yonah iMac lists for $949.00

    I'd spend the $50.00 without any question.

    You may also end up with free upgrades, but even if it comes to you stock
    you're getting a far better configuration in the refurb.

    Shopping for refurbs mostly takes patience because they come and go so fast.
    Just be ready to pounce when you see the right machine.
  16. frogfroggy thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2006
    You know what FFTT your right I will buy a refurb iMac but today 30 of iMacs in the german store were sold !!!!
    I mean how can that be that guy on the phone told me this morning there were like 30 !!! and now none, Hopefully there will be new models on monday I need one so I can explain it to her before I leave for university~

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