MacBook Air 13" vs Hackintosh vs Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by applereviewguy, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. applereviewguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    #1
    Hey should I get a hackintosh or get a MacBook Air or Mini?. *Here's the specs of both.

    Hackintosh
    3.4GHz Core i7
    16GB RAM
    1TB
    6870 1GB
    Magic Mouse
    Wired Keyboard
    2x21.5" $300

    $1500

    Or*

    MacBook Air
    1.8GHz Core i7
    4GB
    256GB SSD
    3000 384MB
    Magic Mouse
    wired keyboard
    $1818

    Or*

    Mac Mini
    2.0Ghz Core i7 Quad
    8GB
    2x500GB
    3000 384MB
    Magic Mouse
    Wired Keyboard
    $1269

    Well again I'd use it for final cut pro x with 1080p video. *Thanks in advance.
    :) :D :p
     
  2. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    in the mac mini, when you put 8 gb of ram it bumps the graphics up to 512
     
  3. applereviewguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2011
    #3
    Okay.... Does that mean your vote is for the mini?
     
  4. JonasDK macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    Mini. But with the 6630M, 750GB HD and upgrade the RAM yourself.
     
  5. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    Where the fresh snow don't go.
  6. thelead macrumors 6502

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    Apr 30, 2010
    #6
    If you are considering a desktop, why not go with a more powerful laptop like a 15" MBP?
     
  7. andrewlgm macrumors 6502

    andrewlgm

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    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    if you have a nice monitor or hdtv, go with the mini. though I hate that it lacks a dvd drive
     
  8. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #8
    Looking at the specs (memory for example) I would outright go with the Hackintosh setup.

    for HD editing that one would be your best choice
     
  9. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #9
    Hackintosh has loads of problems though depending on the parts you choose. I am in the same boat as you, trying to figure out what I want to purchase and I think I am just going to go with an Apple product.

    Yeah, Hackintosh is cool, you get a great system for a good price, but the reason people buy Macs is because of how everything 'just works'. You could be spending 3 hours trying to get your network to work or your audio to work.

    Have you thought of maybe an older Mac Pro? Like a 2008 model?
     
  10. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    I would go with the Mini for 2 reasons:

    (1) Final Cut Pro + MacBook Air = Not very good. I have had FCP7 and FCPX on my MacBook Air, and while they work, they aren't great, and I would certainly never want to use them on it full time.
    (2) Final Cut + Hackintosh = Asking for something somewhere to go horribly wrong. As an editor, I would never recommend someone hoping to do any form of serious editing went with a Hackintosh. Mainly as you can get stability issues, and various other issues as the configuration is totally unsupported and untested by Apple. (I also need all the bits of my system to work 100% of the time as far as possible - hence why I have a Mac Pro instead of a much cheaper Hackintosh).
     
  11. hsj2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #11
    I'm also trying to decide between a Mini and a hackintosh. It's much harder since Apple updated the mini as it's more in line with todays technology than the previous model.

    However, I've used hackintoshes before and I have friends that use them and stability isn't really an issue. I spec'd up a system yesterday with an i5 2500K (3.33GHz Quad Core CPU), 16GB DDR3 Ram, 120GB SSD, 1TB SATA6 Hard Drive, GTX460 and a decent case/psu for about £700. The Mac Mini with 2.5GHz i5, 500GB Hdd, 4GB Ram is the same price.

    However, I fully appreciate that the Mac Mini will be worth much much more a couple of years down the line but the performance of the hackintosh will likely run rings round the Mini.
     
  12. jace88 macrumors regular

    jace88

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    Jan 3, 2011
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Agreed with the above sentiments re: hackintosh.

    People buy Apple products for the fact that it all works smoothly together blending a great interface with beautiful well-designed hardware. Yes the Hackintosh has kickass specs in the PC world, but if you have to spend all your time mucking around to get it to work, and at the end of the day it's still not a real Mac, you aren't going to truly experience the Mac experience. Everything from ordering, opening the nice packaging to set it up, and having high quality components (e.g. keyboard/mouse/display) are what makes it an experience.

    Having great specs in a Hackintosh really will only pay dividends if you use the Mac for seriously hardcore stuff in which case either you might be better off trying to get a Mac Pro if the software is Mac only, or just sticking with Windows if specs are all that matters and a Mac is out of the question.

    Note: I used to have PearPC back in the day (I know this isn't a Hackintosh per se) but moving up to a real Mac was a really good experience.
     
  13. ludalukeerb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I'd say Hackintosh, my brother runs one and he has had no problems with it, all that I'd say you could potentially have issues with is the actual install - just check that you can get all the appropriate drivers for the parts and that they will all work, once that is sorted shouldn't have any problems really, and agreed for the spec and money you could just turn that into a decent PC if all else fails and fall back to the Mac Mini, I was considering a very similar setup for a PC and thought about running Mac OSX along side as well.... However ended up going for a decent Dell (yes Dell) laptop but its actually very very good, 2.7Ghz i7, 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD, NVidia graphics, money well spent. Apple products are good but the price can be so off putting sometimes!
     
  14. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #14
    Regarding the Hackintosh -- do you want to spend your time in FCP or fussing around getting the hardware to work? I'm an Electrical Engineer and used to custom build my own PCs, but then I realized that once I factored in the value of my time it simply wasn't worth the hasles, so I've bought nothing but Dell and Apple for the last 11 years and have basically been problem free (even with the Dells!).

    The other two choices really don't make sense to me either.
    The Hackintosh cites two monitors in the cost. You list a a keyboard here which would imply you would use it with an external monitor, but that isn't part of your list. I'd strongly suggest the 15" MBP instead because of it's much stronger quad-core processor, RAM expandability and hard drive capacity.
    Once you factor in the monitor(s) the 21.5" iMac is a much better performing system. And if you spring for the 27" that big display will be Nirvana for FCP.

    Consider refurbs as well for considerable savings.
     
  15. applereviewguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2011
    #15
    Yeah. I did, but I want to build the computer/get it new. I think I'll get a new 11" air and book arc. Unless you know someone that sells them with OK specs and have a good reputation. Budget of $1800. Or so.

    ----------

    I already have a 24" and I did factor it into the Mini. Because $999+$50+$50+69+$99 cause Mini, Ram, Keyboard, a mouse, and monitor.. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    OK, if you are willing to be desk-bound your best bang-for-$1800 would be a 27" 3.1GHz i5 iMac refurb plus an additional 4GB RAM from OWC or Crucial. You would still have about $100 left over. That would give you a dual monitor (24" +27") system, 1TB HD, 8GB RAM, wireless KB and Magic Mouse, and far more performance than any of the other alternatives. For video you really want to toss in as much processing power as you can afford as that tends to be the limitation. The i7 iMac would be better still but would come in at $1900.
     
  17. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #17
    PLEASE, for the LOVE of EVERYTHING in the WORLD do NOT try and do any editing on an 11" MacBook Air. It will be atrocious, even as an external monitor based setup. I own the previous generation 11" Air, and I took Final Cut Pro 7 and X off because the performance just is DIRE. A friend just did the same with his current high-end 11" model. Even the new 11"ers have nowhere near the power to edit HD video at any form of useful pace. Get an iMac, or other desktop for editing, or if it has to be a laptop, a 15" MacBook Pro. Anything less will leave you sorely disappointed in terms of performance.
     
  18. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5288d Safari/7534.48.3)

    Yes
     
  19. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    new joisey
  20. jace88 macrumors regular

    jace88

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    Jan 3, 2011
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #21
    The OP mentioned the i7 MBA which should offer a decent performance for editing- obviously nowhere near the power of a more dedicated or desk-bound set up, but should be a lot better than sufficient.
     
  21. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #22
    There's nothing wrong with a Hackintosh. Well, actually there is - there's no guarantee of future compatibility and it is unwise to quickly apply new updates. I have one. At the time, it was the right decision. Apple had a performance gap on their iMac line and weren't going to be upgrading soon. I had a G5 iMac and was hurting to get into the Intel world and some of my current apps were performing poorly. So I built a Hackintosh. It's been great for me, lotsmof flexibility with hardware options. In fact, I built two more (netbook and home server). But my next computer will be an iMac. I've had the Hackintosh for three years and it will last me probably a couple more. However, the time investment in maintaining it is something I want to move away from. I mean, isn't that why we have Macs? They just work. Hackintoshes don't just work. They make you work whenever you apply an update. Right now, sleep doesn't work for me (actually, it does work, but the computer randomly crashes 5-10 minutes after you wake it. That appears to have some interaction with network activity. And I have to manually switch sound outputs each time I start - you see what I mean?)

    I have no regrets about the Hackintosh experience. In fact, I am most pleased with my home server setup (which requires neither sleep nor sound and doesn't need instant updates). It has both an iTunes server and Time Machine drive for me which is very nice. However, I think a real Mac for my primary machine will be my future. If you were doing anything for a business, I'd go with the real deal as well. In business, time is money and one of the big Mac benefits is no overhead in managing the box.
     
  22. Doublex2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    #23
    Hackintosh all the way, dual boot (or more) into Lion and Windows 7.
    Made mine on the weekend with items below for $1870 (including monitor) and
    runs soooo good. I had an intel core duo imac which has a 32bit cpu and is no longer supported with Lion (can patch it) so was very annoyed when I looked up Lion's operating requirements. My hackintosh Geekbench figure 13120, compared to 11648 for an iMac (27-inch Mid 2011) intel Core i7-2600 3.4 GHz valued at $4159 (16gb ram, 2TB with 256 SSD)

    http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/05/imac-benchmarks-mid-2011/

    - Core i7 2600k
    - Corsair 16GB ram
    - Gigabyte GA-Z86X-UD5 motherboard
    - Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD6870 1GB Graphics Card
    - 2 x 1TB Seagate 7200RPM HDD
    - 1 x 120 GB Corsair Force SSD (510/550)
    - Corsair HX-650ATX power supply unit
    - Coolmaster HAF 912 mid tower
    - Corsair H80 water cooled CPU cooler
    - Pioneer optical drive
    - ASUS VE878Q 27” 1080P LED monitor
    - OSX Lion
    - Windows 7
     
  23. applereviewguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2011
    #24
    Hey, what hackintosh method did you use? Tonymacx86? With iBoot, Multibeast, and Xmove?
     
  24. Syvere macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #25
    If you plan on doing any gaming then Hackintosh. If video editing or other CPU intensive work then it's a tie between hackintosh or mini. If portability is a factor then Air.
     

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