Mac Mini vs HP Desktop

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by b33eazy, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. b33eazy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #1
    My sister is looking for a new desktop computer. Her finances are hard and she needs a computer ASAP. And she cannot spend more than $400 bucks, that is her maximum. However, I recommended that maybe she get a used Mac Mini because she already has a monitor, printer, etc. She only needs a desktop now. Now, is that a good idea? What kinds of Mac Mini would be available for that price? And would it be competitive with these HP computers?

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/ho...O+399.99%5D&@Sort.TieredPricing=0&PageSize=15
     
  2. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #2
    Definitely.

    She could get a base Mac Mini (brand new) for $599. I understand that is a bit outside of her budget. If she keeps her eyes open, she might be able to snag a refurb Mini for around $400.

    With regards to that HP computer you linked, a Mini is *definitely* better (especially the CPU). You also get the advantages, reliability, and productivity of the Mac operating system.

    You/she should visit RefurbMe to be notified of Apple Mac Mini refurbs.

    http://www.refurb.me/us/
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #3
    What does she do with her computer? Are there particular applications she requires for her needs?

    B
     
  4. pine88 macrumors member

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    Feb 15, 2013
    #4
    Those HP models are a rip, take the first 299 build:

    CPU: 45
    RAM: 20
    MOBO: 50
    CASE+PSU: 50
    HDD: 60
    BURNER: 20

    off pcpartpicker, not taking into account rebates.

    Barely cracks $250, a massive OEM like HP would get 8 for basically free. And $320 for a slooooow 1.7GHz APU? Major rip-off.

    I'd look into a brand new i5 model for $600, which will last and last for any basic/intermediate work for a long time to come.
     
  5. b33eazy thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Basic stuff like checking email, Facebook and Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint)..
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #6
    If she's not currently on a Mac, getting Office for the Mac is an additional cost she may want to avoid (presuming she already has a license). (And vice versa, if she has Office:Mac buying a Windows machine would be extra cost).

    B
     
  7. b33eazy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #7
    I have Office and could transfer my copy to her.. I am leaning towards a Mac Mini due to being able to install Windows 7 or so on their anyway. Thoughts? Oh, I will also need a DVD Drive, which the Mac Mini comes with, right?

    ----------

    I agree with you about the i5; I have an i5 Macbook Pro. However, she said $400 is the highest she will go.
     
  8. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
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    United States
    #8
    Why not? Best of both words (Mac and Windows).

    The Mac Mini does not have an optical drive. You can however snag a cheap USB one on Amazon for roughly $15.
     
  9. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    those are some horrible processors that you linked!

    I would go for a refurb mac mini. You can also get her a good laptop for ~$400 at costco or sams or check their towers since they are also better than the ones you posted.
     
  10. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #10
    Although I'd have to say, almost any computer will fit those needs reasonably well.

    But a Mac will likely give her the least trouble. Windows are not very user friendly nor intuitive.
     
  11. b33eazy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #11
    What about Windows? I also have the software for that as well. I would want to install Windows 7 on the Mac Mini as well. What kind of specs would I need for that if I get a Mac Mini what kind of model should I be looking for if I want that? Intel Core 2 Duo, 2gthz, etc?
     
  12. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #12
    The cheapest base model Mac Mini will still be able to run Windows.

    Do keep in mind that unless you have a type of family pack or a new/unused license of Windows, you will not be able to install it on the Mac.
     
  13. b33eazy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #13
    I have a family pack. Ok, so the other thing is where could I find one at a reasonable price, 400?
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    Core 2 duo models aren't likely to be officially supported much longer on OSX, so I don't see that as a great idea unless the machine is extremely cheap. They're perfectly capable machines. It's just that OSX support doesn't last as long as Windows when it comes to older hardware, and much of the time old minis cost too much. I would keep an eye on the refurbished page or if anyone in your family is a student, look at pricing on those. It's on the honor system. If you just want to browse pricing, select a random college from the list and it will display the education pricing.
     
  15. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #15
    As a refurb from the official Apple online store.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    "Oh, I will also need a DVD Drive, which the Mac Mini comes with, right?"

    The Mini doesn't have an optical drive in it.

    You _don't_ have to buy the Apple external SuperDrive.

    You can buy a "standalone" DVD/CD drive for about $30-40 if you wish.

    CHEAPO ALTERNATIVE:
    Take the DVD/CD drive out of the computer she has now.
    Get a "dongle" type cable, and connect it to the Mini that way, via external USB.
    Or -- find a cheap external enclosure for it.

    I'd suggest looking for a Mini in the Apple Refurbished Store (online).
    She may have to go over the $400 mark. Help her out if you can.... :)
     
  17. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    #17
    the machines you can get for 400 and the machines you can get for 600 are vastly different. its almost worth waiting and saving up the extra 200 dollars just due to the fact the performance the of the machine pretty much triples. it in turn will last alot longer and be better value for the money.

    it doesnt have to be a mac either. ive seen a dell 8500 tower with core i5 processor 8 gb of ram + windows 7 or 8 and decent size hard drive refurbished on ebay for 630.00.
     

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