Mac mini vs PC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by luke71933, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. luke71933 macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I am 14 years old next year we'll start java programming at school.I have a windows pc which is 10 years old and would like to buy my own computer.I would like a computer that will stay fast and not get old after 5 years.So, i liek mac stuff like the OS although i never used it , and like teh mac mini because is small and portable.I saw this windows pc

    I will be using the computer for web browsing youtube,flash ms office, and the main reason heavy programming, maybe a little game programming too .I saw the mac mini with i7 dual core 2.7ghz and with radeon Graphics card.Whcih computer should i get mac mini or pc. I will be buying the computer next christmas .I would like the computer to perform well with multitasking too. My budget is 700e without mouse keyboard and screen.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    That linked computer is going to out perform the mini. I'd say depending on what you'll be developing should dictate which platform to buy.

    My experience has been that its been easier to upgrade (or downgrade) to a specific java version on windows then OSX. This may be changing now, but my experience is such that java wise windows has an edge in dealing with versions.

    I'd say get the windows box since spec wise its a better machine.
  3. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2012
    Columbia, MD
    Thats subjective. I think any computer older than 3 years is old.

    This is a pointless conversation then. Everything will change by next xmas.

    Honestly. Don't overspend. Get the cheapest you can (used mini/PC?). Programming isn't very demanding. You will be better spending $350, then another $350 two years later as far as longevity goes, than spending $700 now.
  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Considering you have a very limited budget and you want the computer to last a long time, I would recommend that you go the PC route instead of Apple. That way, you can spend less for the same hardware (it will be less pretty, but that really shouldn't matter since the way a computer looks on your desk is secondary to how it performs) and also upgrade it a lot more than a mac as time goes by.
  5. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008

    Luke, you can already buy very good PC notebooks for that money, which probably will be much more fun and more useful on the long run than a desktop system.

    The Minis are nice little machines, but awfully expensive considering what you get in return. A Mac Mini is a very LIMITED, RESTRICTED machine. You cannot really upgrade it and it will be out-dated quicker than you can look.

    The PC in your link will run circles around a Mini, and you can even upgrade it by simply replacing parts.

    Since you are interested in programming, I would also give Linux distributions a closer look. If you're serious about learning about software development and IT technologies, you should make a Linux distribution like Ubuntu your home. The professional IT world is dominated by Windows and Apple's OS X still is nowhere to be seen in the real business world - and that won't change.

    Buy a PC and put Linux on it.
  6. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
  7. theRAMman macrumors regular

    May 6, 2012
    The Moon.
    Your 14 and you can afford the i7 mini?! I'm 15 and I'm struggling to afford the base model!


    You can, it's just illegal
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I agree, get the PC. You get much much more bang for your buck when it comes to a desktop.

    If you get a laptop, I'd almost certainly say get a Mac.
    And you can install OS X on the PC too. Regardless of what people say.
  9. stuaz macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    When you say NEXT Christmas, do you mean Christmas 2013? If so, alot will have changed in that time in the world of Computers...
  10. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    I'd get the Mac Mini to be honest. It looks better, performs better etc. But having the Mini will make you want the Thunderbolt Display and so fourth.
  11. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    If your priority is your work, you may get the PC, but if you want a computer for your life, get the MacMini.
  12. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    Get whatever computer you use at school. It will make your life easier having the same environment at home as well as school.
  13. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    Another good thing you can both legally use OS X and Windows on the same machine. :p
  14. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Someone else has already posted this but it is worth saying twice: you'll probably be better off using the same operating system that you'll be using in school. In theory, Java works the same on PC, Mac and Linux, and so do the popular free development tools such as Eclipse and Netbeans, but there can be bumps in the road - often silly things like font sizes changing slightly so that bits of text get clipped off and your assignment looks messy on the teacher's PC. Also, your school could throw you a curve ball and insist on using some PC-only development tool.

    Note: The Mac is a nice system to program on, and you are writing multi-platform stuff you can use virtual machines to test across multiple versions of Windows and Linux - but if you're doing Java at school and the most important thing is that your assignment runs on the school PCs, use a PC.

    If you really want a Mac Mini-sized system then you want a Mac Mini (there are Mac-mini-sized PCs, cheaper PCs or more powerful PCs but good luck finding a PC that is Mac-mini-sized, cheaper and more powerful) but you're paying quite a lot for the small size.
  15. luke71933 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2012
    Can i install Virtual machine on the mac mini or will the windows 7 lag and not run properly.
  16. micrors4racer macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Im pretty sure it will not lag. My VM windows on my base mini runs quite fast. You also don't have to run windows by vm. You can run it natively on the mini with bootcamp.
  17. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england

    the mac mini has outdated hardware, by a year. you will also find that windows will be more Java-friendly than a mac would. however, the mac mini can have the HDD and the RAM upgraded without taking apart the whole thing, but i suppose the same can be said about both PC desktops and laptops.

    so i would go for the PC in the link you provided us with, as you are using the same thing as you work environment at school. but ask yourself this: do you trust the seller? does it look too good to be true? IMO you should shop around and see what other PC brands offer (ie alienware or HP) or custom build your PC, where you are in control of the parts specific to what you are doing (ie heavy web browsing and school-related stuff) and how long it will be future-proofed for.

    equally, you could just get a high-end laptop and be done with it. it might be a bit over the 700e budget, but since the laptop already has the screen, the keyboard and the trackpad, there is no need for external stuff (ok, maybe a mouse be an option) , therefore spending the leftover money towards a higher spec laptop.


    yes, you can. windows 7 will not lag if you partition enough hard drive space and RAM for it to work. if you want to go that route, then i would suggest upgrading the RAM and the hard drive first, so you still have enough space for the MAC and get speedy access to windows 7.

    for the virtual machine: i would like to suggest parallels 7 or virtualbox. :)
  18. luke71933 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I really like the mac os, I dont really need a high spec pc to do just java programming in windows 7 and web browsing and that stuff on OS x.What i am worried about is that it is dual core. I will buy the computer in christmas 2012,So i think enw mac mini will arrive.Do i need quad core, or is dual core just fine.I will be using this mini for roughly 3-4 years,so i want it not to lag if i have youtube, and xcode open, or i have windows 7 vm with visual studio and youtube and it'll lag.Also how can i put win 7 on the vm ?Because i have win xp full version and win 7 upgrade to ultimate and they are on cd's and mac mini don't have optical drive.

  19. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The PC will change, the Mini won't.
    Just go for the i5 version. The i7 does not offer much extra. Buy a Samsung 830 128gb second SSD drive for the 100 bucks, it will make the Mini a totally awesome machine.
  20. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2012
    Columbia, MD
    I have a 2011 Air. It doesn't lag running all those things. BTW: I recommend Parallels. Virtualbox is what I swore by, and I didn't get why someone would need something different. But parallels fully integrates into MacOSX in ways Virtualbox can not.

    Finally you have 2 choices for the disks. 1. The Mac will let you use the PC's CD drive over the network as if it were a local drive. 2. You can rip the ISO from the CDs and copy them to the Mac. VirtualBox and Parallels can read those ISO's as if they were actual CDs.
  21. MaggieNoodle macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    Buy the PC.

    You can get much, much more powerful PCs for much cheaper than its Mac counterpart.
    If you're programming, there are many more applications for that on a PC than on a Mac and if you end up game programming, well most likely that game won't run on the Mac.

    If you buy a Mac mini, well you'll need a monitor, and thats about $100 for a decent one. ($1000 for an Apple monitor :eek:)

    Intel Core i7 4Ghz
    12GB Corsair DIMM DDR3
    Crossfire Ati Radeon 6870 (x2 GPU)
    1200W PSU
    1TB Hard Disk
    Liquid Cooling
    EVGA X58 SLI3 Hyperthreaded motherboard
  22. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    It doesn't appear to be well known that Macs run Windows natively without penalty.

    It isn't a choice between Mac OS and Windows, it's only a choice between hardware specs which the PC will likely win due to expandability.

    Haven't had trouble with the mini though, and Mac OS
    (which you will have trouble running on a PC with technical and legal issues),
    does have some offerings that Windows doesn't.
  23. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
  24. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    lol its funny when people reply to old threads and dont realise the dates.
  25. boomdog macrumors regular


    Oct 3, 2013
    The most Easterly point of the UK

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