Mac Mini vs. Equivalent Price Dell Tower

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
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I was looking at what I can get in a desktop PC these days vs. the equivalent Mac Mini.
I found this on Amazon:

Dell i5680-5842BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD+1TB HDD - NVIDIA GTX 1060 Graphics $770
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BR6JJ6S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Comparable price to the entry Mac Mini $799: You get an i5 over an i3, 128 GB SSD + 1TB Spinner, and dedicated 3GB Graphics. Obviously the case is fugly compared to the mini, but the hardware premium for Apple is blatant here. The Dell will allow more serious gaming but won't be as polished and secure as MacOS.
 

PJivan

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2015
456
431
I was looking at what I can get in a desktop PC these days vs. the equivalent Mac Mini.
I found this on Amazon:

Dell i5680-5842BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD+1TB HDD - NVIDIA GTX 1060 Graphics $770
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BR6JJ6S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Comparable price to the entry Mac Mini $799: You get an i5 over an i3, 128 GB SSD + 1TB Spinner, and dedicated 3GB Graphics. Obviously the case is fugly compared to the mini, but the hardware premium for Apple is blatant here. The Dell will allow more serious gaming but won't be as polished and secure as MacOS.
If you don’t need small size, thunderbolt, mac, fast ssd just go for it!
 

archer75

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Jan 26, 2005
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But no macos. People who want a mac want macos. If all you're looking for is specs for the money then yeah, pc's will win every time.
 

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
599
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But no macos. People who want a mac want macos. If all you're looking for is specs for the money then yeah, pc's will win every time.
Yes, I am debating whether MacOS is worth the premium for the hardware. Hard to justify the price.
 

Cashmonee

macrumors 65816
May 27, 2006
1,168
832
You are definitely paying a premium for the mini. The SSD in the mini will be faster, and the form factor is desirable to many people, but there is not doubt that Dell is going to be faster. The video card is not amazing, but certainly leagues ahead of the iGPU in the mini.

The mini has macOS though. I have tried to go back to Windows, and I simply cannot. It is an exercise in frustration for me, although I may have to try to acclimate myself to it eventually if Apple keep raising prices.
 

Heat_Fan89

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Feb 23, 2016
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Yes, I am debating whether MacOS is worth the premium for the hardware. Hard to justify the price.
Nice system and specs with a good price point. If you feel the urge to run macOS as your sig implies, just drop Linux on a separate partition. Linux these days is pretty badass and feature rich. Once Steam gets to the point where all their new releases get a Linux release, it's bye bye Windows.

Ten years ago, there was a clear advantage that OS X had over the competition. Those days are long gone. Windows 10 is stellar, stable and reliable. Linux has come a long way to a mainstream OS. There isn't an advantage one OS has over the other these days. It boils down to preference.
 
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StellarVixen

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This is wrong subforum for this kind of threads. There is the subforum named "Alternative to Apple Hardware" or something like that.

Yeah, most of us know that you can get PC for less. That ad nauseam has been always the case with Apple and competition.
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,491
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Yes, I am debating whether MacOS is worth the premium for the hardware.
and also the software. Anytime I want to do something in Windows I have to go find some sort of driver. Download it from their store and then it doesn't work
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,398
6,965
I wish Apple would just give us an i5 + 256 GB SSD standard at $799. If they did that, connectivity is much worse on the PC (no Thunderbolt 3 or even USB-C), SSD is much slower, software is worse, and the form factor is much larger (and probably louder).

The only two upsides are expansion / upgradability and graphics, both of which are made less by the external expansion possible with Thunderbolt 3 on the Mac mini.
 

archer75

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Jan 26, 2005
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Yes, I am debating whether MacOS is worth the premium for the hardware. Hard to justify the price.
All I can say is that I prefer MacOS. I have plenty of PC's here and will still use my main one for gaming, until I get an egpu for the mini. But i'm ok with paying more for macos. Not that i'm hating on windows at all, i'm not. I just prefer macos.
 

Cashmonee

macrumors 65816
May 27, 2006
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The only two upsides are expansion / upgradability and graphics, both of which are made less by the external expansion possible with Thunderbolt 3 on the Mac mini.
Is upgrading better than it used to be? I remember Dell in particular usually had custom motherboards and power supplies that made it pretty difficult to upgrade or greatly limited your choices.

Even if that is no longer the case, I am not sure upgrading is that big a feature outside of RAM and storage, which the mini can do. Very few would ever consider upgrading a CPU, and even if they did, there are usually MB limitations. Video cards can be upgraded, but most prebuilt systems don't have a power supply to handle them, so you have to be able and willing to do that as well. Repairability on the other hand, is a major feature that Apple has been slowly eliminating.
 

macdos

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2017
213
291
I was looking at what I can get in a desktop PC these days vs. the equivalent Mac Mini.
I found this on Amazon:

Dell i5680-5842BLU-PUS Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD+1TB HDD - NVIDIA GTX 1060 Graphics $770
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BR6JJ6S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Comparable price to the entry Mac Mini $799: You get an i5 over an i3, 128 GB SSD + 1TB Spinner, and dedicated 3GB Graphics. Obviously the case is fugly compared to the mini, but the hardware premium for Apple is blatant here. The Dell will allow more serious gaming but won't be as polished and secure as MacOS.
* cost for 4 TB3 ports?
* cost for PCI-Express SSD?
* cost for getting your WIN-DOS system in shape (removing bloatware, reinstalling etc)?
* cost for repairing PSU in two years?
 
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StellarVixen

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If I go with Hackintosh, I will never buy pre-built like this, but rather build my own.

Yeah, I did some calculation, I can get monster for the price of Mini and expansions that I would get. But still, I think I am going with Mini.
[doublepost=1542305373][/doublepost]
Ten years ago, there was a clear advantage that OS X had over the competition. Those days are long gone. Windows 10 is stellar, stable and reliable. Linux has come a long way to a mainstream OS. There isn't an advantage one OS has over the other these days. It boils down to preference.
This is wrong on so many levels, Mac OS and Windows are two different planets, it doesn't even compare.

If I didn't boot into BootCamp partition almost every day, I would maybe fall for that. I cannot imagine myself using that every day. No chance. Each to their own, use Windoze if you like, but please, enough with nonsense.

As for Linux, this link is all you need: https://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html
 
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Heat_Fan89

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Feb 23, 2016
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All I can say is that I prefer MacOS. I have plenty of PC's here and will still use my main one for gaming, until I get an egpu for the mini. But i'm ok with paying more for macos. Not that i'm hating on windows at all, i'm not. I just prefer macos.
And there you have it. There's nothing wrong with preferring one OS over an other as i've been using macOS since it was called OS X back in 2002. It's when some take it too far and think Windows is still the same piece of junk OS. Windows 10 is a fantastic OS and I now prefer the Windows App Store to the Mac App Store. You can now get Microsoft AAA games on it as well and play it on the XBOX One for free. Linux has come a long way as well as is basically a consumer OS without having to pay for it.

The bottom line is that macOS, Windows 10 and Linux are all quality operating systems.
[doublepost=1542307136][/doublepost]
If I go with Hackintosh, I will never buy pre-built like this, but rather build my own.

Yeah, I did some calculation, I can get monster for the price of Mini and expansions that I would get. But still, I think I am going with Mini.
[doublepost=1542305373][/doublepost]

This is wrong on so many levels, Mac OS and Windows are two different planets, it doesn't even compare.

If I didn't boot into BootCamp partition almost every day, I would maybe fall for that. I cannot imagine myself using that every day. No chance. Each to their own, use Windoze if you like, but please, enough with nonsense.

As for Linux, this link is all you need: https://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html
I've been building my own PC's since the late 90's. I would love to build myself a Hackintosh but the task sounds daunting and not worth the hassle. I'd rather just buy a Mac.
 
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archer75

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This is wrong on so many levels, Mac OS and Windows are two different planets, it doesn't even compare.

If I didn't boot into BootCamp partition almost every day, I would maybe fall for that. I cannot imagine myself using that every day. No chance. Each to their own, use Windoze if you like, but please, enough with nonsense.
I wouldn't say it's wrong at all. While I prefer macos I have zero problems with windows. It's been super stable for me and I leave my machine on 24/7 serving and doing a variety of tasks. For me it's been just as stable and no more buggy than macos. I wouldn't say it's better or worse. Just different.
 
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Heat_Fan89

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I wouldn't say it's wrong at all. While I prefer macos I have zero problems with windows. It's been super stable for me and I leave my machine on 24/7 serving and doing a variety of tasks. For me it's been just as stable and no more buggy than macos.
Exactly, there is nothing wrong with Windows 10. It's just as stable and faster than macOS. I have several laptops that are 12 years old running Windows 10 on 2GB of RAM and it runs it just fine. The only time I have to reboot the laptop is when the monthly updates are downloaded and requires a restart. But there are some who are stuck in the past thinking that Windows err...Windoze is the same crappy OS from 1995. It's tough changing Elitist thinking.
 

PJivan

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2015
456
431
And there you have it. There's nothing wrong with preferring one OS over an other as i've been using macOS since it was called OS X back in 2002. It's when some take it too far and think Windows is still the same piece of junk OS. Windows 10 is a fantastic OS and I now prefer the Windows App Store to the Mac App Store. You can now get Microsoft AAA games on it as well and play it on the XBOX One for free. Linux has come a long way as well as is basically a consumer OS without having to pay for it.

The bottom line is that macOS, Windows 10 and Linux are all quality operating systems.
[doublepost=1542307136][/doublepost]
I've been building my own PC's since the late 90's. I would love to build myself a Hackintosh but the task sounds daunting and not worth the hassle. I'd rather just buy a Mac.
I think “fantastic” it’s an overstatement to say the least, it’s okeish at best, I’m not talking about the recent swarm of bugs. The interface design, the apps included in the system, the store, there is a lot lot work to be done, especially in terms of user experience. Plus you need to rely on third party apps for almost everything inclusing, backups, zip files (windows like to delete them occasionally, etcc. Linux can be fantastic for certain users I agree, but I still prefer Mac OS as a general purpose machine.
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2018
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I wouldn't say it's wrong at all. While I prefer macos I have zero problems with windows. It's been super stable for me and I leave my machine on 24/7 serving and doing a variety of tasks. For me it's been just as stable and no more buggy than macos.
It is not about stability. It is about the user experience at all. Windows 10 can be described in two words: huge mess.

GUI inconsistency, together with cluttered user interface is one of the things that bothers me the most. Windows 10 is an operating system which has identity crisis, it wants to be both tablet and desktop OS and it fails at both.

Start menu is horrible. Even after a year, I still can lose myself in that. Settings is one of the most useless "features" that exist on that OS. Almost nothing can be done there, and for real settings, you have to go to Control Panel.

After my system got corrupted two weeks ago, I went with the reinstall option, which supposedly does not delete any of your data, and just reinstalls system files. What I got when the installation was complete was just hyperlink shortcut on my desktop with none of my files present. It was more or less clean install. On Mac OS, when you do reinstall Mac OS, you are guaranteed that installation will not touch any of your files.

Windows 10 does not play nice with anything, even Android devices. Continuity between Mac OS and iOS devices is paradise.


Security and user privacy: let's not forget this one


Windows updates - this one speaks for itself.

I can number more things why Windoze is nightmare for me, but I will be late for work.

For some people, these are either not issues, or they just ignore them. Fine. I can't.
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
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It is not about stability. It is about the user experience at all. Windows 10 can be described in two words: huge mess.

GUI inconsistency, together with cluttered user interface is one of the things that bothers me the most. Windows 10 is an operating system which has identity crisis, it wants to be both tablet and desktop OS and it fails at both.

Start menu is horrible. Even after a year, I still can lose myself in that. Settings is one of the most useless "features" that exist on that OS. Almost nothing can be done there, and for real settings, you have to go to Control Panel.

After my system got corrupted two weeks ago, I went with the reinstall option, which supposedly does not delete any of your data, and just reinstalls system files. What I got when the installation was complete was just hyperlink shortcut on my desktop with none of my files present. It was more or less clean install. On Mac OS, when you do reinstall Mac OS, you are guaranteed that installation will not touch any of your files.

Windows 10 does not play nice with anything, even Android devices. Continuity between Mac OS and iOS devices is paradise.


Security and user privacy: let's not forget this one


Windows updates - this one speaks for itself.

I can number more things why Windoze is nightmare for me, but I will be late for work.

For some people, these are either not issues, or they just ignore them. Fine. I can't.
I don't know what to tell you, i'm not having any issues. I have no problem navigating quickly and getting done what I need to get done. And I consider myself a power user so I probably do more with a computer than most. The settings area could be organized better but I know where everything is so it's not an issue for me. MacOS is cleaner overall, can't argue that. But in terms of getting things done it's just fine.
 
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Heat_Fan89

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I think “fantastic” it’s an overstatement to say the least, it’s okeish at best, I’m not talking about the recent swarm of bugs. The interface design, the apps included in the system, the store, there is a lot lot work to be done, especially in terms of user experience. Plus you need to rely on third party apps for almost everything inclusing, backups, zip files (windows like to delete them occasionally, etcc. Linux can be fantastic for certain users I agree, but I still prefer Mac OS as a general purpose machine.
So there you go. You prefer macOS, nothing wrong with that but that doesn't dismiss Windows 10 as being a very solid OS. Look all OS'es have bugs, look no further than the many complaints regarding El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra. Windows 10 is a fantastic OS considering it's written for hundreds of millions if not billions of different configurations around the world. Apple just has to concentrate on their hardware while MS has to factor as much hardware as possible. The stability and up time on Windows 10 ranks with the best.

And so what if you have to rely on lot's of third party apps for Windows? That has its benefits. The sheer volume of apps written for Windows allows for a very competitive ecosystem where on average the price tends to be below what its equivalent would cost to run on a Mac. And let's not forget that Microsoft got into a lot of trouble back in the 90's by trying to make Windows a one stop shop with it's OS. They can't do that and not have the Gov't on it's back.
[doublepost=1542309447][/doublepost]
I don't know what to tell you, i'm not having any issues. I have no problem navigating quickly and getting done what I need to get done. The settings area could be organized better but I know where everything is so it's not an issue for me.
As Ron White used to say, "You Can't Fix Stupid". I have been in the Tech World since the early 80's. I have used and worked with a variety of operating systems from Mainframes, General Purpose Mini Computers and PC's which includes working with Linux, Unix, OS/2, MS-DOS, Dr Dos, mac OS and Windows. You just learn it. I have no problems switching from macOS to Windows or Linux. They are all easy to figure out. Now if a person doesn't like the layout, that's fine, I get it. It's a preference thing but to say an OS is garbage and throw up the Elitist flag by saying my OS is better than yours is just plain BS. As far as security goes on Windows 10, it's just FUD. Windows 10 is pretty damn good at fighting off the bad guys with daily updates to it's built-in antivirus software.

In all my years of using (Microsoft Products) Windows which goes back to 1984, I have had 2 viruses and one was on purpose to see what it would do. One of the reasons Microsoft went with forced updates is just for that reason, to make sure PC's out in the world were current with security patches so that one infected PC that wasn't properly updated wasn't infecting a swath of PC's on a network.
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,987
So there you go. You prefer macOS, nothing wrong with that but that doesn't dismiss Windows 10 as being a very solid OS. Look all OS'es have bugs, look no further than the many complaints regarding El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra. Windows 10 is a fantastic OS considering it's written for hundreds of millions if not billions of different configurations around the world. Apple just has to concentrate on their hardware while MS has to factor as much hardware as possible. The stability and up time on Windows 10 ranks with the best.

And so what if you have to rely on lot's of third party apps for Windows? That has its benefits. The sheer volume of apps written for Windows allows for a very competitive ecosystem where on average the price tends to be below what its equivalent would cost to run on a Mac. And let's not forget that Microsoft got into a lot of trouble back in the 90's by trying to make Windows a one stop shop with it's OS. They can't do that and not have the Gov't on it's back.
I’m the only Desktop support guy in my company. First thing I did was start getting rid of the HP “probooks” that have had audio issues since G3 that are seemingly never going to be fixed.

Overall it’s been less work than supporting windows 7 with one major caveat, updates.

I’ve noticed a new behavior in the last few months: if windows updates are pending, the OS becomes incredibly unstable. Constant File Explorer hangups, random UI flaws all over the place, and just general nuisances until the machine is rebooted (thus forcing the update). I’m not sure what introduced this new behavior but it’s company wide. Can’t tell you how many times I get a message about X or y not working right, and when I tell them to reboot there’s ALWAYS an update to configure (though thankfully it’s massively faster at applying than in 7).

This behavior applies to O365 as well. The second I start hearing complaints about the UI spazzing out I know there is an update available, like clockwork.

It’s not a showstopper but god damn is this behavior annoying after 1+ years of smooth sailing on W10.

Windows as a service (the new business model) is a joke.
 

archer75

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As Ron White used to say, "You Can't Fix Stupid". I have been in the Tech World since the early 80's. I have used and worked with a variety of operating systems from Mainframes, General Purpose Mini Computers and PC's which includes working with Linux, Unix, OS/2, MS-DOS, Dr Dos, mac OS and Windows. You just learn it. I have no problems switching from macOS to Windows or Linux. They are all easy to figure out. Now if a person doesn't like the layout, that's fine, I get it. It's a preference thing but to say an OS is garbage and throw up the Elitist flag by saying my OS is better than yours is just plain BS. As far as security goes on Windows 10, it's just FUD. Windows 10 is pretty damn good at fighting off the bad guys with daily updates to it's built-in antivirus software.

In all my years of using Windows which goes back to 1984, I have had 2 viruses and one was on purpose to see what it would do. One of the reasons Microsoft went with forced updates is just for that reason, to make sure PC's out in the world were current with security patches so that one infected PC that wasn't properly updated wasn't infecting a swath of PC's on a network.
Yeah i've been using various systems for a long time. Dos, the good ole bbs days, 3.11 for workgroups, tandy OS, original OSX on up either has hackintoshes or on macs, every version of windows, lots of versions of linux. It doesn't matter to me.

I did the same on windows, never had a virus but was going to do some house cleaning and a format so I thought i'd see what happens. But they are certainly not hard to avoid.
 
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th0masp

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Mar 16, 2015
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This could have been written in 1996 and would still hold true.
It's a constant work-in-progress. With enough admin-knowledge and the right choice of distro for software- and hardware-compatibility you can make it work. Installing commercial apps or software from outside the distro and updating the setup as the years go by is quite the involved task however. Perhaps it's just me but: Personally I'm allergic to flicking through manpages and running cryptic console commands pasted from the web.
When Linux runs well it's great since you have all the customization options that macOS and Windows deny their users right at your fingertips. For the other 99% of users it's ... marginally less brilliant an experience.

As for Windows: definitely much easier to manage than Linux but if it's still an OS that bloats over the years of use, forcing a reinstall at some point just to clear out the registry then that is a major downside IMO. Even just installing many software updates over time can render it useless and/or noticeably slower - had that happen here myself earlier this year.
That's before we get into forced updates, privacy issues or how popular a malware target it is. :)