Mini and PC?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by H.G. Manifold, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. H.G. Manifold macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been a "PC" my whole life. I recently purchased an iPhone and i absolutely have fallen head over heels in love with it. I have also been utilizing mobile me and love that interface as well. Because I'm so into my iphone i have come across more and more software that is mac only and its been making me think about getting a mac. So here's the deal.

    In October i just built a monster gaming PC and a) can't afford a high end Apple desktop or laptop (thus why I'm talking about a mini) and b) cant afford another Monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Plus i think a mini is going to be a nice stepping stone for me to go from PC to Mac. I don't need it for any big tasks (i.e Photoshop, gaming, etc.) I mostly want to use it to get used to the Mac OS and how Macs run.

    What i would like to do is get a Mini and have it hooked up to my Samsung 2253BW monitor, Logitech G15 Keyboard, Logitech G9 and Logitech G51 speakers . I have read somewhere that thay have KVM switches with DVI, Audio and 2 USB Connections, that should work nicely

    I'd like to ask if anyone foresees any issues or has any suggestions for a Mac n00b before i purchase a (most likely used) Mini.

    Thanks all,

    H.G.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    I have seen the KVM switches you describe and yes, it should work.

    I'm no expert, but the prevailing thought around here seems to be that the Minis are due for an update or a refresh in the very near future. You might consider waiting until then - you may be able to get a new previous generation Mini for about what you might have paid for used.
     
  3. TheG3Guy macrumors member

    TheG3Guy

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    New Milford,CT
    #3
    well, remember that you can still have windows if all else fails on it.....the graphics are just a little lackluster. On my 1.83ghz model i am running windows 7 now and it runs great.
     
  4. FlashGordon7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #4
    H.G. - I am in exactly the same situation as you. Never used a mac before and always been a PC user, but the iPhone has just got me very excited about Mac software.

    I plan to use the Mac Mini for getting used to Mac software, but also intend to use it for Photoshop and Dreamweaver (only at an amateur level). I really hope all the rumours about the new Mac Mini coming in March are true.....:D
     
  5. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #5
    You shouldn't have any issues so long as you get a decent KVM

    You'll love the mac ... i was a long time (ever since Windows 3.1) windows user and in June bought a Mac Mini and i love it .... Mac is such a better OS that Windows ... it has its problems but they are few and minor

    Welcome to the club
     
  6. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    #6
    I have the following KVM:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817404032

    There are a number of companies that resell this exact same KVM. It worked okay switching DVI video between a Dell D520 laptop on a Mac Mini. The only problem I had was with the Dell dock connector. It was not compatible with the cables for the KVM. DVI comes in two forms (DVI-I /DVI-D) and the plugs are slightly different. I was able to purchase a plug converter to fix the issue. However, when I replace the Dell with a MapBook Pro, the video no longer worked properly. Basically, if I plugged the MacBook Pro into the KVM, the monitor would blink blue screen once a second. I ended up getting a second monitor and only using the KVM for keyboard and mouse ... which brings me to the second issue. Occasionally, the KVM gets confused or it confuses the USB drivers for both OS X and Windows XP. In either case, you can get into a mode where the KVM light blinks, but no keyboard or mouse actions occur for that PC/Mac. After using this setup for 6 months, I have found that when this occurs, it will sometimes clear up by waiting a few minutes. Sometimes, I have to reboot.

    I read a ton of reviews for DVI/USB capable KVMs when I decided to purchase the one I have. Basically, all of them had reviews where there were definite issues either with locking up or video quality. I suggest that you use a vendor with a liberal return policy so that you can send something back if it is not working right. So far, NewEgg has worked for me, but your mileage may vary.

    One final note, DVI-I is capable of carrying both analog and digital signals and you can get plug converters. This is interesting if you need to mix old stuff (VGA/15 pin D connector) with new stuff on DVI. Most of the DVI KVMs will do this, but many of them ship with cables that only handle digital signals. So, in those cases, you would need to buy a proper DVI-I cable and a VGA->DVI-I plug converter. If you need this ability, I would check the specs of the KVM carefully.
     
  7. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #7
    I have a Dell monitor with DVI-D and VGA inputs. I currently have a PC going in via VGA and my blackbook going in via DVI-D. I just picked up the mini-DVI->VGA adapter for my blackbook in anticipation of adding a mini to use the DVI-D.

    Right now its a tiny bit of a hassle using two keyboards and two separate mice, but I've lost probably $75 on KVMs that don't quite work right with Macs (buying new, selling as "like new" on eBay) so that two keyboards is a minor hassle in comparison -- esp. if one is the BT version.
     
  8. Roofy. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    #8
    If you do, just wait till they upgrade them. If not, just buy the $600 and upgrade the ram to 2 gigs. Mine is bone stock and runs good, but at times the minimizing effects, expose, and dashboard can be a little laggy because of the ram. Later on you can just get an external hard drive. the extra 40 gigs in the $800 model isn't that much anyway.
     

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