Mini vs i5 Hackintosh

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacFanUK, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #1
    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but didn't really know where to put it.

    For some time I've been contemplating the new Mac Mini as I really want to go from the world of hackintosh to a real Mac.

    I've currently got the system in my sig (apart from having a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo now instead of the Q6600) but looking at component prices, I could get the following for £482:
    • Intel Core i5 3.2GHz Processor
    • Gigabyte Motherboard
    • 4GB DDR3 Ram
    • Samsung 1.5TB Hard Drive
    • Pioneer SATA DVD ReWriter
    With the above list, I would need to use my current case/psu/graphics card and would still need to find an OSX compatible wifi card.

    However, for £550 (including HE Discount), I could get a Mac Mini with the following specs:

    • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Processor
    • 2GB DDR3 Ram
    • 320GB Hard Drive
    With the Mac Mini, I could then sell the parts from my current PC and claw back maybe £100-£150 of the cost.

    The hackintosh I currently have was used for Web Design (new system will need to run Adobe CS5 perfectly), and basically running my business.

    Which option would you go for? I've found my current hackintosh to be very stable but I'm not able to use it at present because I haven't found a compatible wifi card/usb adapter.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #2
    It depends on what you currently use the hackintosh for? Would a Mini be comparable and allow you to achieve the same tasks?
     
  3. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #3
    Apologies, have updated original post.
     
  4. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #4
    A Mini would run CS5, albeit not as fast as a more powerful machine (duh?!?!:D) For that reason I would go for the Hackintosh.

    However, on the other hand it would make better business sense to have the greater reliability of an official Apple product.


    Helpful aren't I?

    Thought about stretching for an iMac?
     
  5. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #5
    To be honest, I did consider an iMac but I find the 21.5" screen too small and the 27" too big (fussy I know :))
     
  6. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I thought about going for a mini before they were "updated" because I hoped there might be an i5 version.
    Now I'm absolutely not willing to pay the ridiculous amount of money for the technology offered – not even for unibody, most of all not for an integrated PSU.

    That's why I built the i5 system in my sig. I'm using it as my main system now and am about to sell my Mac Pro. The i5 is rock solid, faster than my Mac Pro, and absolutely reliable; it runs the 64-bit kernel (in contrast to my 2006 Mac Pro) etc.

    Long story short: I'd definitely do it again.

    As for compatible wireless: There are mini-PCIe to PCIe adaptors available on eBay as well as Mac Pro (= Broadcom 4321 or 4322) mini-PCIe cards. => ~$40 for out of the box AirPort.

    As for compatible USB cards: Any NEC-chip based PCI/PCIe card should work out of the box. (Have one running in my Mac Pro; no need in my Hack since it has 10 compatible USB ports off of, I think, three controllers.)
     
  7. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Running your business off of a hackintosh sounds like a pretty bad idea, in my opinion.
     
  8. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #8
    Did you have to use any particular kexts for your hackintosh? Would you mind sending me a PM of the hardware you decided on?

    Why's that? It's been proven that a hackintosh is just as stable as a genuine Mac and it's not my fault that Apple have made bad decisions and overpriced their 'entry level' Mac!
     
  9. ADent macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I thought about building a Hackintosh - but I could not do it for much less than a mini (though you do get a lot more computer).

    Since I am not doing 3D graphics or heavy duty computing the mini was fine, and 4 cores would not really be used much.

    So I would get a cooler, faster, more powerful machine that didn't save me any money and I had to worry about each time a new update came out.

    I ended up installing a 1TB 3.5" drive that got me a much snappier mini, but still a full Macintosh.

    --

    I ended up building a Hackintosh netbook, and have built it twice and can not upgrade the OS without building it again.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Hacks do have their own problems but the support has been improving a lot lately, meaning that more and more HW can be used without issues. I doubt your clients actually care what are you using and you can always run Windows if needed (there is CS5 for it too). Take a look at InsanelyMac, they have a lot guides etc
     
  11. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #11
    Again, I completely understand where you're coming from which is why I was looking for some advice. As I said, the Hackintosh will only cost me less than the mini if I use parts I already have (graphics, psu, etc), so not sure.

    For me, it's not about whether clients care about whether I use OSX or Windows and I am liking Windows 7 more and more as I use it, but I prefer OSX and I prefer the software available for OSX. Thanks for the heads up about insanelymac, I will be using their guides if that's the direction I choose.
     
  12. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #12
    I'd stay with the Hackintosh. As its more powerful and would run everything better :D
     
  13. voyager03 macrumors member

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    #13
    Consider the ethics of using 'pirate' software for making money. Is running Apple software on non-Apple hardware strictly legal?
     
  14. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #14
    As to what I know 'pirate' software is software you haven't paid for. With the method I used, you can use a non-modified retail Snow Leopard Install DVD (you should have paid for).
    There are countries where Apple's EULA isn't lawful. Thus, it's legal there to install Snow Leopard on non-Apple hardware.
    Furthermore, the normal way is Windoze->Hackintosh->Mac, which brings more customers to Apple.
    But let's not start the legality discussion all over again in yet another thread.
     
  15. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #15
    I have absolutely no intention of using 'pirate' software for making money, in fact I have no intention of using 'pirate' software full stop. As flatfoot says, pirate software is illegally obtained software. I'll be buying all my software.

    At the end of the day I'd love to own a genuine Mac computer but I am asking for advice to help me decide which route to go down. If Apple still did a 24" iMac, I'd buy one but it's either the mini or hackintosh I'm afraid.
     
  16. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

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    #16
    I use a 24 in iMac, 2.8 Ghz, 500 gb drive. Bought as a refurb a couple of years back. Has been solidly performing from day one.
     
  17. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #17
    Thanks. I have looked at second hand 24" iMacs but a bit more than I want to pay to be honest.
     
  18. voyager03 macrumors member

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    #18
    Really, the difference in cost between a mini and whatever Hackintosh you build (legal or not) will be pretty small beans in the grand scheme of things.

    If you are any good you should be able to make enough money to pay for whatever computer you need and it is a capital expense and can be used against your tax. Have a chat to your accountant. It may well make sense to get the mini and, when work goes well, buy an additional, perhaps higher spec, machine in 12 months time.
     
  19. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #19
    I didn't think of that. Makes sense! Expand the power of your machine as an when your business requires it.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    No need to use pirate version, retail version of 10.6 costs 29$. In some countries, the EULA is not valid, for example Finland. There is German company that has been selling hacks for years but Apple can't do anything.

    Why to buy multiple machine if you can get one and upgrade it when needed? I doubt webdesign is that fruitful that you can afford a new computer every year, especially now as economy is bad and people do stuff for less money. Also, I doubt computer is OP's only expense, you have to live and eat plus you later on may want your own apartment and car (assuming OP doesn't have these). The money saved can be used for a holiday for example
     
  21. voyager03 macrumors member

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    #21
    I was considering the issue rather than an making an objection.
    Because the OP 'really wants to go from the world of hackintosh to a real Mac.' and if a mini is not up to it (and I expect it would be) there may be the opportunity (not a necessity) to upgrade and save some income tax with the capital spend!
     
  22. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #22
    As Hellhammer said, whether I'm good at what I do or not, I don't have loads of money to throw at a computer and yeah, maybe that means I should stick with Windoze, but if I've got the option to be halfway in between then why not?
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Here is OS X 10.6 compatible USB Wi-Fi adapter. I wouldn't do more than upgrade your hack if it works well as Mini won't do anything more and is even slower
     
  24. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    #24
    Thanks for your reply. Have been looking at CPU's, etc, and maybe I don't need anything like an i5 yet. How about the below improvements on my current system:

    Upgrade CPU from E5200 2.5GHz to Intel E6700 3.20 GHz
    Upgrade Ram from 4GB to 8GB
    Upgrade main system hard drive to 64GB SSD
    Add Wifi card
     
  25. voyager03 macrumors member

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    #25
    Why do you need to bother about a wi-fi adapter? The box you've got works doesn't it? This is going to be a work tool. Blowing money on processor upgrades, memory and SSD's won't help you earn you anything.

    Get a length of cat 5 and plug it into your router (or use power line networking if necessary) and spend money on kit when you've actually earned something!
     

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