Need advice about making "The Switch"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BigDaddyTitan, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. BigDaddyTitan macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2005
    I have finally become fed up with the slow, virus-ridden MS Windows machine that we bought a few years ago. I have seen the gorgeous OS X and am sold on the stability. My question is this:

    Do I buy the MacMini rev2 now or wait until 2006? Or is there a better solution?

    Background info: I have a very nice 17" LCD, wireless keyboard, and wireless mouse set up now. I (like most people) have a limited budget to spend. All I currently use my Dell (aka Dull) for now is surf the internet, play some music, email, and pay bills with. My gorgeous wife also like to edit/email pics of our two boys. We aren't exactly power users, but would like to stay current without all of the frustrations we have had with Windows.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Heck, my 800MHz iMac G4 with 512MB RAM runs Tiger well enough for the stuff you list. The curent Mac mini will do all you need. You might want to spring for more RAM, but even 512 will suffice as long as you don't have more than a couple app's active at the same time.
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Can I second the mini commendation. :)

    It was designed with people like you in mind.
  4. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    go for the mini now. enjoy it for a couple years until the macintels are in full swing, then maybe upgrade to something with a little more power. but for now even the mini with the stock 512 ram should blow away any virus filled dull machine!! trust me, the only non-mac computer i have seen comptete with my PB G4 867MHz 640MB ram is a 3.2 GHz P4 with a gig of ram. that and the new dual core pentium D that machine really flies. but the p4 is at least twice the price of a mini and the pentium D is probably around 4 times the price of a mini for a good set up (aka lots of ram). so for your money you will greatly enjoy the mini, not to mention the jump to OS X will be thoroughly impresive.
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Wow, you're exactly who this computer was designed for, right down to the monitor and wireless keyboard. There couldn't be an easier upgrade path for you -- just plug everything in and get going.
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you haven't used a Mac before, you may also find a decent book a worthwhile investment to smooth the transition.

    Something like... OSX: The Missing Manual (Tiger edition) by David Pogue
  7. biozombie macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2005
    Highly recommend it. I have the first Mac mini and it's great. I sold my Dell PC not long afterwards. I put a 1GBRAM stick in it and it flies. It will hold me over till I get a PowerMactel (crazy combo of words, eh?). So, buy that Mac mini ASAP!!! You will love it.
  8. BigDaddyTitan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2005
    Follow Up

    I really appreciate everyone's input. I am seriously considering the:

    1.42GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200
    32MB DDR video memory
    80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth
    Optional 56k Internal Modem
    (We have a cable modem already)

    We currently own a Dell Celeron computer with a 20gb HD and built-in video and sound. At least I upgraded to the 512 ram.

    Also, Does anyone think the introductory class offered at the local Apple store would be beneficial?

    Again, thanks for your thoughts....
  9. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Yes, I would recommend that you attend the introductory class. I find getting information one on one very helpful.

    Here is some good information at
  10. fartheststar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    Sounds great. I think the intro class would be good for you.

    The mac is designed to do things "intuitively". When I switched, I was like "I can't do this like I did in Windows". I quickly found out that it's easier to do everything on a mac, and it's the way you'd expect to do things, not the way microsoft showed you. The book recommended earlier in this thread will be good (things like - no ctrl-alt-delete) but (apple option escape instead), etc etc.

    The only question is timing for you. Do you get it now, or wait until after the Paris event in September? That seems to antagonize most switchers / upgraders. They may announce new product in September. If you ask me, I would buy now and not look back. Reason being, there will always be something newer around the corner, but with a mac - you don't care as much because your computer will still be a gem many years from now.
  11. godbout macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    I doubt the mini will have much of an upgrade at paris anyways so I would go for it. I definately think that you should take that little course because (don't flame me for this) OSX is not AS intuitive IF you came from the windows world FIRST. That is just my opinon, but I have seen experienced windows users switch (it is usually the more hardcore users that have problems with this) and they always seem to have problems getting used to the way that macs are built to be used (eg lots of windows and progs open at the same time, and not just one filling the entire screen, there are a million subtle ways that how you use them differ). To switch your mentality can be difficult and there are lots of tricks to keeping your system clean. Anyways, a book or little intro course will be much better than me at explaining the differences but you will see what I mean when you start. That being said once you get used to it you will shutter at the thought of having to use a PC. Enjoy!
  12. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    Once you go Mac..

    Buy the Mini, plug-in monitor and keyboard and fire it up. Classes are fine but, IMO just using it works just as well because you are forced to learn the OS. If you have any friends that use Macs, have them walk you through the basics. Macs OSs are intuitive compared to Windows, my kids have been using Macs since about 2 yrs old ( 10 and 5 now). I welcome you into the world of Mac, now you can enjoy using a computer and have a less stressful life. Enjoy.
  13. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    Mac Mini + 1 gig RAM + "OS X Missing Manual" from O'Reilly. Keep it for a couple years, and pick up a Mac Mini Intel in late 2007 or early 2008. By that time, the Intel transition will be completed and all the kinks worked out.
  14. BigDaddyTitan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2005

    Do I really need the extra 1 Gig of RAM? I would like to make the switch as inexpensive as possible.

    Also, is there an upcoming upgrade to Tiger that I should keep an eye out for?

  15. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2005
    I definitely recommend the gig of Ram. You won't be sorry!
  16. BlueT macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2005
    Don't get the extra RAM immediately. Despite the "RAM RAM RAM" cheerleaders around here, for what you need, 512-768 MBytes of RAM would suffice. If you're looking to save a few bucks, then goto a reputable online retailer and purchase the REV A Mac Mini, save 50-100 bucks, and use that extra savings for more RAM.

    Quite frankly, the last MacMini update was a joke, which tells me that if you wait 6 months, you'll see another MacMini revision (possibly intel) that will make it much more worth your while. I think that the Minis are overpriced for the processor they offer now. 1.42 G4 is nice, but for 700-800 bucks, you can get a P4 that'll blow it away.

    If you can wait, I would...but if you can't, go with Rev A. MacMall has some great deals.
  17. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    I didn't mean buy an extra gig of RAM, just get it up to 1 gig. I'm a RAM cheerleader because I've owned many machines throughout my life, and every time I upgrade the RAM, I'm always shocked at the improvement and kick myself for not having done it a year ago. So I always err on the side of having too much RAM now. But that said, of course there are minimums, sweet spots, diminishing returns, etc. Sure, you'd be fine with 768 or even 512, and if that's what you can afford, by all means buy the Mac with that amount of RAM. Just make sure that when you can afford that RAM upgrade eventually, you're not wearing cleats.
  18. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    You forgot to mention what is involved with installing your own RAM in a mini. To the OP you might want to look online at some guides to see if you want to do this.

    Yeah great idea the OP is hating Windows way to recommend he buy a Pentium 4. ;-)

    As for the mini upgrade being a joke, what did you really expect? It's the bottom of the line Mac, it now comes with an amount of RAM that is usable, instead of just enough to boot OS X.

    I recently bought my GFs sister a Mac mini to replace her dead PC. The value with the Mac mini is not in the hardware itself, which while it isn't fast at all, is good enough to run OS X and to have a great time doing so, it's in the software that comes with it. OS X is the worlds best desktop OS, iLife 05 is fantastic, and while the mini only comes with Apple Works that is a good enough Office app until some one decides to buy Office v.X.

    IMHO the current Mac mini with 512 MB of RAM is enough for this user to start with, I didn't upgrade the RAM at all in the mini I spec'd up, and when my GFs sister and her daughter use it I only see it beach ball when both of them are logged on using fast user switching, they've had it for a month now and are full of nothing but praise for it.

    To the OP 512 MB of RAM is enough for normal usage, but if you can afford to upgrade the RAM to 1 GB when you buy it you might as well it'll save you some time and effort in the end.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to buy. :)
  19. fartheststar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    Just know that with the Mini (not all macs in general) you void the warranty if you ever want more memory in it and you do it yourself. It has to be installed by an apple certified technician.

    Having said that 512 mb will be fine for what you want to do now... and likely ok for the next few years. Having a Gig protects you for quite a while.

    Something funny happens when you get a mac. You stop finding ways to fix your computer and you start finding new ways to use your computer. I bet you'll be exploring some of the free iLife programs that you get with it. Depending on how much you use them the extra ram would be very good....

    ... but not necessary for what you said you're going to do with the computer. You will notice a difference if you get it thought.
  20. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    Buy now. Go for the mini unless you need serious computing muscle (you do heavy video/graphics/audio stuff, etc...).
  21. iDONTdoWINDOWS macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Riverton, Utah
    Go for the Mac Mini now. I recently switche over in March and I have no regrets. I love it. :D
  22. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Your choice will be perfectly fine for everything you normally use a computer for.

    The mini only has one RAM slot so that's why you're hearing recommendations to max it out to 1 GB, but for the use you've indicated 512 will be OK.

    You might consider upgrading to the SuperDrive model and worry about adding a 1 GB RAM stick later as your needs dictate.

    Anyone can install additional RAM with caution and a pair of slim 3" putty knives to release the rear casing clips.
    You won't void your warranty as long as you're careful.

    The mini may not look all that powerful but it's nearly 5 times faster
    than my old 300MHz G3 tower that cost $2700 back in 1998.

    You can learn quite a bit from the OSX Missing Manual book
    and the Macrumors starter's guide.
  23. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    Get a Mac Mini. I'd get it before the G4, to be honest.
  24. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    As many have already mentioned, go for the mini now.... I dont think there would any changes to it in Paris and you can start working with it right are THE perfect consumer for the mini....and I wish you luck and many years of fun with macs as now you will get one and will NEVER have to go back!!!! You will at last have a REAL computer!!!!
  25. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Mac Minis are G4-based.

    That being said, they're not bad for what you want to do.

    Get the RAM up to 768 MB or 1 GB when you can. I don't think it is necessary (you'll just have to wait a bit longer for stuff to happen). However, I've heard people on this forum who weren't happy with 512 MB RAM. You should buy the RAM through a third-party though, as Apple overcharges for RAM.

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