mac mini vs macbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by vistadude, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    I bought a stock macbook unibody recently (2 gb ram, 2.26 ghz, 250 gb hd) and really like it. I find the performance to be fine for day to day work.

    Now I want to buy a desktop for home, mostly for web browsing, email, and watching youtube. I already have a nice monitor, so the mini seems like a good option. I looked at the mac mini specs, and they seem to be basically the same as my macbook, except with a smaller hard drive. Though the processors are both 2.26 ghz, is the mini's one a desktop version or different in any other way? Is there limitations I'm not thinking about of the mini?

    Thanks.
     
  2. VNM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #2
    Why not just hook your MB up to the monitor, or do you need 2 computers at home?
     
  3. SuperBrown macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    #3
    Haha! You sound just like me circa 2004, vistadude. Six years ago I bought an eMac cause I wanted an economical all-in-one that was just powerful enough to run FCP4. Six months later I bought a 12" iBook to use "mostly for web browsing, email," word processing, etc. Turns out FCP4 ran just as well on the iBook. Point being, I probably didn't need two computers with near identical specs.

    (By the way, the specs for the mini look identical to the macbook, and no I don't think there's a difference because one's a desktop and one's a portable.)

    Anyway, from my experience I can tell you if you don't really need two near identical computers, you'll probably be happier saving your cash and spending it on other things down the line. As far as cons go, that's the biggest in this argument.

    However, I can tell you some pros to owning two or more computers. For one, if one crashes/dies, you have the other as a back-up and don't miss a step. This exact scenario happened to me. First the eMac crashed, then a few months later I dropped my iBook and completely killed the hard drive. Both times I was extremely glad I had the other computer to fall back on. You can also bail a friend or loved one out if their computer crashes. My girl's PC has been sent for repairs several times (shocker) and she's borrowed my iBook quite a lot. This leads me to a third advantage of owning multiple computers. I recently got a new MBP, rendering the older two computers sort of obsolete. I was too lazy to sell them, but found new uses for them. The iBook, when not being borrowed by my PC-using girl, serves as my poor man's appletv. Coupled with a Griffin AirClick and a 1.5 TB drive full of my backed-up movies, it's not a half-bad setup. The eMac is now in my office and serves as my music and general server. And to be honest, sometimes I just like being in front of a desktop as opposed to a laptop. Call me crazy, but that's just me. :D

    Point is, they found new life. Think about that also when considering buying the mac mini. Could it serve you in the future in other ways? Can you afford right now a second computer? Will it be worth it now and later?

    Well, that's just my two cents. Good luck!
     
  4. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #4
    They are essentially the same machine (processors/ram/hard drive/GPU all the same). However the mini does have more I/O.

    Essentially, If you need two computers that are exactly the same (for different places for example), then consider it. Otherwise just use the machine you already have
     
  5. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #5
    Oops I neglected to mention that my macbook is used for work purposes only. I don't keep any pictures or music on it, and only use the web browser sparingly for a few 'trusted' websites. It sits at work most of the time, and rarely comes home.

    So I need a computer for my home, and my previous pc is getting quite old and slow, so was wondering if the mini is a good desktop?

    Thanks.
     
  6. VNM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #6
    Works pretty well, I'd suggest you watch the apple website for refurbs and grab the 2.53 model from there.
     
  7. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #7
    Are Apple refurbs good in quality any?

    I usually stay away FAR away from refurbs cause I've had bad luck with them in the past; never had an Apple refurb but like I said refurbished tech I've had from every other company so far hasn't proven itself reliable so.... and it's not like Apple has divine tech that never errors oops lol....
     
  8. Ryanalogy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #8
    I own a 24" iMac refurb. I just recently had a major issue with the video card and ram. But, I had the protection plan, and Apple fixed it within 48 hours for free. Mac fixes refurbs to near new quality and stands behind them by offering the protection plan. Plus, a "refurb" can be something as little as the person returned it one day after taking it home to someone having lots of issues and just getting their money back. I trust refurbs and will go that direction again in the future.
     
  9. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #9
    Thanks for the reply.

    I was just wondering cause for now my budget isn't sky high like it normally is. Usually I can do 3k or so no problem, this time I am limited to around 1200 so a refurb may be my option for getting a Mac for now.

    I'm just tired of every issue I have with Windows and i just want to try the Mac platform again.... I haven't used them 1999/2000, went to PC due to gaming for a while but I don't really care to play the PC games anymore I just use consoles now.....

    Only Mac I could get if a new one is a Mini but not sure how "powerful" they are.

    Granted I won't be doing anything professional yet.... still in school and gonna just finish my degree online but I think I'll need a decent machine... right now I am running Linux on my computer to not have to worry about the stupid registry and all its issues. Seriously that is why MS Windows has the problems it does... like 90-95% of Windows' issues will be non-existent if they didn't have a registry and built their OS off a Unix foundation....
     
  10. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #10
    Thanks for the opinions. I'll probably wait till the next mini is released.

    To PrinceAvalon, in windows vista or windows 7, you don't have to "worry" about the registry. Most people never goto the registry and the OS is far more stable than the windows 98 days. In my experience, windows 7 is a lot more stable than Snow Leopard (although not necessarily faster).
     
  11. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #11
    Perhaps it's better but.. ultimately the "futility" of a registry is still going to exist.

    They may have prettied it up and made it nicer, more stable but not necessarily totally stable cause as I said the flaws of a registry are just too many to not have issues down the road.

    Do I hate Windows? No, but my experiences with it as of late are nothing short of horrendous and it's aggravating trying to work on it. Heck, I've been running Linux now as my main OS cause I couldn't stand it and only dual boot into windows just for syncing to iTunes for my Touch...

    But going to art school for animation/game design I can't totally run Linux.. I need either Windows or a Mac and I just don't have the time; with all my projects to keep dealing with Windows' issues and I seem to have them almost all the time so.. I wanna get a Mac to use and if I absolutely need windows for an app cause it won't run in OSX, so be it I'll deal with it then but I don't desire to use Windows as my main OS anymore.. if the next release after 7 is something spectacular maybe I'll switch back but for too long too many issues I don't have the time in my life to want to fix them all just to get work done....

    Linux is so incredibly fun to use compared to my experience w/ Windows machines and OS's so....
     
  12. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #12
    The mini actually uses laptop parts. So it's a laptop processor and a laptop hard drive. But in general, given what you describe for your needs, the mini will be just fine. If you're happy with the Macbook, you'll be happy with the Mini.
     

Share This Page