mac mini the right choice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jonvstime, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. jonvstime macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #1
    I have a bit of a problem I'm hoping you guys might be able to help me out with... I am in need of a new desktop for my design work, I've been using PC's but just aquired Adobe CS4 for mac so I'd like to get a mac desktop (i already have a macbook pro) but money is an issue... I'd love an iMac but the mac mini seems much more affordable, and i already have a monitor so I guess thats one of the biggest cons to buying a mac mini that I don't need to worry about.

    I'm just unsure how much power the mac mini has versus the imac, i don't do much gaming, or video editing, i do a lot of design work with photoshop, dreamweaver, etc.

    Any suggestions or tips from experience? i'd appreciate any input!

    Thanks,
    Jonathan
    (I'm new here!)
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
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    #2
    This is a HORRIBLE time to buy a Mac Mini.
    The Mac Mini is also HORRIBLE for CS4. At least 3D applications.

    I say save up and get something with an actual graphics card.
     
  3. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #3
    A mini will be 100% fine for what you want to do. I have the current 1.83GHz C2D model and find it plenty fast enough. VERY good performance/price ratio!

    For what you do you would not be helped at all by having better graphics. Besides.. the Intel GMA950 (gpu used in the mini) full supports quartz extreme and core image so you're 100% covered for anything 2D.

    I even do a bit of gaming on my mini and it runs Command and Conquer Generals (2005) quite well at medium quality settings.
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #4
    I'd say wait, for MWSF '09....the Mini should see an update.

    If you have a MacBook Pro, there shouldn't be a huge reason to rush, ideal

    Also what kind of MBP? Its a new(ish) it might be faster then the current Mac Mini
     
  5. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #5
    I say know what you're talking about before you give advice..

    Since when does Creative Suite have a 3D app? His needs are 2D and a better GPU would not help him at all. Plus he already has a MacBook Pro so he can do 3D stuff on it if ever needed.

    Do you normally give advice that costs people money they do not need to spend?
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #6
    Photoshop et. al. can work with 3D elements. Even if he's only outputting in 2D, the manipulation of said elements (granted, it'd have to be fairly heavy) wouldn't be done best on the GMA950.

    Why is he wanting to use CS4 on a slower computer than his MacBook Pro, anyway?
     
  7. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Silicon Valley
    #7
    The Mac Mini should be fine. No intense graphics.
     
  8. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #8

    It could be a Rev A MacBook Pro.....we need more info OP!
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
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    #9
    Oh, pff, there we go. What's the differential on the GMA950 and the X1600?
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    Photoshop CS4 leverages the gpu. Better to wait until MWSF09 if OP is using that app.
     
  11. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #11
    Ya know, I think I've heard similar comments before...

    I agree with you that it would be worth waiting, but I also have been around the block long enough to know that the mac mini isn't necessarily going to get an update just because it's a billion years overdue for an update.
     
  12. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a

    iknowyourider

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    #12
    A Billion Years! That's a long time! (I love to say that, Thanks):D
     
  13. hdsalinas macrumors 6502

    hdsalinas

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    #13
    I am in the process of getting a mac mini for my dad. i know that is not the best timing for it but he really needs his own computer right now and this was cheapest way to get him into a mac. BTW, I am getting the low end one.

    For what you get the mac mini is overpriced. The low end model should sell for no more than $499 with the superdrive and not the $599 apple wants for it and with only the combo drive. But for what my Dad needs it (email, internet, google earth and photos) is more than enough.

    I will install CS3 on it for those occasions that we may need to do some light graphic design work and I dont have my MBP with me.

    As a designer myself, I would advise you to wait a little or save and get a new Macbook now.

    Nobody knows for sure if the macmini will get cancelled or updated. If it gets updated most likely will drop the firewire port. And unless the new one gets blueray, (which I dont think it will) the current one makes one heck of a media center. I really think that if it gets cancelled, the mini is going to become a hot items on ebay.
     
  14. durija macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    At work, I find running PhotoShop CS3 on a White Intel iMac, 2.16 GHz with 2GB of RAM to be VERY laborious at times. (My rig at home is runs it great...see sig) The mini is out of date and even lower in performance. It could be a real drag running CS3 or CS4. PhotoShop loves RAM too. How much can you put in? Dreamweaver is a real resource hog as well. Both together? Could be dicey. I would look for another option if I was you.
     
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    True. However:

    Chances Mini is updated before MacWorld=0
    Chances Mini is updated after MacWorld>0.
     
  16. jonvstime thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #16
    Hey guys.

    Thanks for the advice! I'm relatively new to the world of mac, so any advice is well taken, I just had horrible luck with pc's always dieing, I've had this macbook pro (Model Identifier = 4.1.. some of you asked what version i had) for about a year now and i've beaten the **** out of it and it's still running great haha.

    I'm just trying to weight the options, my other plan running in my mind is to look into getting a macbook air, so that I can use my macbook pro as a "desktop" and set it up with my monitor and whatnot and then i'd be able to bring the air with me when i meet with clients and such, what are your opinions on the air? I probably wouldnt be doing any hardcore anything with it, as i do much of my work on a desktop at home would just need to take notes and possibly do a little light graphic work.. How much of a difference is the lower end vs. higher end models?

    Thanks again for all your help, you're awesome!
     
  17. frozen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #17
    MacMini for wordprocessing...

    I have a mac mini 1.83 with 2GB memory and a Samsung 245T, I only use it for word processing with word 2008 and I do find the mac mini rather slow even for this. It takes too long time to scroll the document from one page to another.

    Question is, what do I need? I would like to have something like an iMac but without the screen. Dedicated memory sounds so nice.

    As it is now I feel forced to buy a MacBook, which of course is even more useful than a desktop. But is the MacBook fast enough for handling large documents?

    What can I expect from a new generation of mac mini's after christmas? Still, mac mini's are quite expensive from what you get, i.e. a notebook without a screen, keyboard, and mouse.
     
  18. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #18
    i have the MBP and it is very fast. I am in art school here in portland and do alot of heavy graphics more and more now that i am getting deeper into my program. It runs logic studio without lag, even at the same time as pS CS4 AND inDesign CS4. The MBP (REV A...i guess that is what they are called, pre 10/14) is on clearance and for a great price. i got mine 10/23 and it has a build date of late 9/08.
     
  19. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #19
    Then something is seriously wrong with your computer or your word processor. I do word processing on my 5 year old powerbook G4 with 768 MB of RAM and the original slow 60 GB laptop hard drive, running the latest version of leopard and several current generation word processing programs. And even on this relatively ancient and underpowered notebook, scrolling through word processor documents is instantaneous.
     
  20. descartes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #20
    I agree there may be a problem with your computer/software. the mini is more than capable of using word unless you have an extraordinary large amt of graphics in the doc, scrolling should not slow it down.
     
  21. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #21
    I'm in the process of buying a Mac Mini for the Den. Here, it will only be used for simple tasks, mainly remain hooked up to our all-in-one printer/scanner/fax to share. I want a computer just handy on the main level. I had a 1.42ghz Mac Mini G4 before that I bought off of Craigslist back in March 2006 for $375 and it HAD JUST retailed for $599 a few months prior. The person selling it just wanted to dump it, and I made my low offer based on the update which occured to the mac mini line right around Jan/feb 2006.

    It was good for its simple tasks, but when I put Leopard on it, it was real annoying and slow, even with the RAM maxed ot to 1gb.

    I'm eying Mac Minis on ebay and craigslist and want to get something that's still in warranty and a Core 2 Duo. Looking at the history of completed listings, it seems the selling prices were around $489 and up on ebay. if something presents itself on craigslist, I'll try to get it for as close to $400 as possible. Otherwise, seems ebay's going to be my option since there is more selection, downside is that you pay more at the end.
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #22
    Three observations:
    1) If you go the Mini route, look at the refurb store, found on the Apple online store. Sometimes its labeled "special deals". The stock and prices are changed often - when I'm looking for something I will check at least once a day, in the morning.... sometimes more. You will find well priced Minis come up regularly - and that they are gone by the end of the day. Apple sells these "as good as new" including being eligible for the extended warranty.
    2) You are going to hear (likely) a lot of comments that the "Air" is underpowered, crippled, etc. It is actually designed to do for exactly the kind of work you want to do with it. My wife has one, as her "travel" and "take it everywhere" system. Because of its small size, you can carry it with you all day without breaking a sweat. Pull it out for meetings, or sit down at a coffee-shop and pull it out to jot down some notes and thoughts. Good prices on Airs are also available on the refurb store.
    3) This close to Macworld.... I would wait to see what is introduced. If a new Mini is introduced, and if you still want to go the Mini route, there will be some good deals to be had on the older units. I would wait before buying the new Mini (if introduced) since Apple has frequently had issues with new generation technology. If you are new to Apple save yourself the frustration.

    Good Luck
     
  23. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #23
    I find my 1.83 GHz Core Duo mini with 2 GB of RAM to be one speedy little machine. Granted, I'm used to computers in the low 1 GHz and 512 MB of RAM area, but I wouldn't say the mini is slow by any means.

    To the OP, I'd say the mini is a good choice. The graphics card may be a bit of a handicap though, depending on what you intend to do with it. But I think it will handle CS4 well.
     
  24. si77hay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Stirling
    #24
    I have a Mac Mini, 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM. Installed on it is Leopard and Adobe CS4 Suite. Have to say I've had no problems and it runs just fine. I use Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Illustrator and Photoshop all the time.
     

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