PC user looking to switch

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by slitherjef, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. slitherjef macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #1
    Hey all, another new mac user in the house. As my title says, I am a PC user and I am getting tired of it. I need a change. I recently got a macbook pro 13" base model from the local apple store and I like it. Using it now, actually.

    My PC is a quad core i7 at 2.08ghz and honestly, I don't think I am making use of that. I have 4gigs of ram and using a 32bit version of windows 7.


    All this in a huge black box that is hooked to a 700 watt power supply. What I mostly do on the PC is:
    Photo editing (raw files from a canon 5DmkII)
    Light video editing (time lapse and a few movies from the 5DmkII)
    Android phone rooting, hacking / some Android debug bridge (ADB)
    Web surfing
    Minor gaming, but I don't do that much anymore. When I do its the Sims
    Play movies, mostly DVDs and iTunes. Bluray would be nice, but I can do with out.

    Thats about it.

    So, I thought about replacing my big desktop with a compact powerhouse mac mini but not sure if I should do the base model and up the ram to 8 gigs of ram or do the 799 model due to the different video chip. I heard adobe don't play well with the Intel graphics chip. Is this true?

    I am using CS3 on my desktop and was thinking about buying the full version os CS6 when it comes out so I could probably switch. I also use Canon DPP for my photo processing. Quicktime pro for putting time-lapse still together to add to the movie later.

    Any thoughts and direction you can give me would be great. I would love to hear if any android phone users use macs here too, but given the nature of this forum, I guess there would not be too many :)
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    This is of course dependant on your budget, can you give us an idea of how much you can spend? There are quite a few options...Imac, MBP and of course the mini.
     
  3. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #3
    Lets just say, I am looking for the best bang for my buck. Something that does not take up a whole lot of room or use tons on wires and cables. The mac mini and iMac would work. But with the Mini, I could change screens easier then I could with the iMac.

    I could probably do the 799 mini.

    As I said, I have a 2011 13" macbook pro I just bought about 3 weeks ago.
     
  4. MKULTRABOY macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    #4
    I have the 2.5 mid range mini with the dedicated graphics and the extra ram. A recent MacOS update seems to have resolved flash video playback chunkiness. Theres a couple hard to notice quirks still (facebook restarts playback on open soundcloud embedded links while browsing to images etc) but hey facebook sucks.


    I feel if you are a roundabout media editing and production sortof guy you should go for the graphics card. Im loving the thing. Your experience should be pretty nice. An ssd upgrade takes the cake too.
     
  5. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    #5
    I bought a mac mini as I was tired of having to update OS X with unsupported nvidia drivers to make it work every time something new came out.

    I use mine pretty much exclusively for my editing 5D MKII photos on a 30" monitor with 2560x1600 resolution and it's worked just great so far.
     
  6. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502

    DrakkenWar

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio,Texas
    #6
    Go for it!

    You will not regret it in the least! I have the i5 2011 with 4 gigs of ram. There is really nothing I can throw at this computer that it cannot do.
    Which includes driving a 24 and 22 lcd's. Video editing, pictures, streaming content, games, document creation etc. I have never had a hick-up, glitch or stutter. Everything has been so smooth, I am not in any hurry to upgrade to the full 8 gig.

    YMMV, but I know you won't regret it. After all, you could sell the pc and dang near have enough to buy the mini!

    ~Drake
     
  7. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #7
    Thanks for the input everyone. I am kind of leaning towards the 799 model. I do wonder if i should wait to see if there are 2012 models coming out.
     
  8. keema macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    #8
    I think the 799 mini will be good especially if you'll upgrade it to 8gig ram's.

    I have a friend who has the base mini he have actually upgraded the ram to 8 gig but i still find it slow (my opinion).
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "Thanks for the input everyone. I am kind of leaning towards the 799 model. I do wonder if i should wait to see if there are 2012 models coming out."

    There probably will be 2012 release for the Mini, but it may not come till late spring or early summer -- certainly not until the new CPU chips (Ivy Bridge?) get into production.

    One feature I see as worth waiting for on the new Mini's will almost certainly be USB3. Much faster than USB2 and it may incorporate some other improvements that will make it preferable to firewire in many cases....

    One thing you should plan on when moving from Windows to the Mac is to keep BOTH computers running side-by-side (or nearby) for a few months. It may be easier to do the transition "gently", rather than all-at-once...
     
  10. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #10
    I wouldn't go with a mini for editing my 5d2 files.
     
  11. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #11
    Care to elaborate?

    I know Photoshop is a pig on system resources and 5d files are rather large.
     
  12. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #12
    That and slow notebook hard drive. Catalog programs are already slow.

    The mini is not that pwerful not is it cheap or upgradable. I just don't think it's a good bang for buck device if you need performance.
     
  13. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #13
    Actually, I don't think I would notice the 5400rpm HDD since my desktop is loaded with them. Not that I am a pro photographer, nor do I shoot a lot of photos.

    The iMac has similar specs the mini does, so would you suggest I would need to get a mac pro if I want to edit photos?

    I am still in a thinking / research phase right now.
     
  14. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #14
    Well, the low end is out because of the video card. The laptop drive is not only 5400 but a laptop 5400. The high end to me is quite expensive given the video card and ram limitation. Ram is super cheap and you can only max at 8 gb, vs 16 in he iMac.

    In the iMac, you get more ram, faster video card, faster hdd with the ability to add a secondary ssd and an ips display.

    The Mac mini is a nice machine, but it's expensive and confined IMO. While the iMac isn't exactly the model of upgradeability it starts with better specs.

    I truly think that the hard drive is the biggest issue followed by ram and video card. As your needs grow you may find the mini is confining more quickly. Additionally depending on your plans for the camera upgrade, look at the mp count we are coming to with current gen, think about workflow and resources...how you print etc.

    If I open Lightroom and take a few trips to photoshop, ram and paging becomes an issue, even with 8gb...and there's scratch space to consider. It really depends I think on how casual you are as a photographer.
     
  15. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #15
    Mini - dual core
    iMac - quad core

    Doesn't that make the most difference?

    If only that IPS monitor wasn't encased by a big-ole-glossy piece of glass!

    In my case, the dual core is still faster than my late 06 17" MBP (2.33 C2D) and no clue what year 1.83 C2D mini.

    To the OP - is your PC able to use the stuff at tonymac? (I tried to send you a PM on it but couldn't)
     
  16. Schlobbe, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    Schlobbe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    #16
    Ever considered a MacMini Server? Gives you better CPU and better HDDs (2 of them!).
    I am more or less in the same situation, just with a Nikon instead of a Canon. Fed up with Win 7 on a Quad-Core-PC.
    My main point against the iMac is the display - we will see a Retina-Display for desktops in the near future. One day even 4K. During the last 20 years I've had about 8 PCs but only 4 displays, iirc.
     
  17. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #17
    The dual to quad matters less than MHz in most cases. Have a look at the photoshop benches for the 13 vs 15 Mbp, but yes, still more future proof for sure.
     
  18. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    #18
    The server has crossed my mind a few times. Even the iMac has but quite as much. The iMac would clear up space on my desk as well. If i am going to replace my desktop machine I might as well cover my bases. :)
     
  19. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #19
    2011 Mini's max out at 16gb. I'm running 16gb right now in a 2011 Mini server.
    OWC was the first to post that 2011 Mini's support 16gb, and Newegg sells Corsair and Mushkin Apple certified 16gb kits. I'm using the Corsair one.

    ----------

    I can't attest to Photoshop, don't use it, but the quad core 2011 Mini Server beats down the dual core 2011 Mini Server's, even the 2.7 Mhz. It's not even close. Don't let the 2.7 Mhz vs. 2.0 Mhz fool you.

    ----------

    Keep an eye on the Apple refurb section of the Apple Store, you can save $$ and get a higher end Mini. They look/act like new and have the same full warranty a new Mini has (same goes for iMac's or whatever you choose to buy). Stock changes daily. Also note that they sometimes sell 2010 Mini's as well, so read the specs to know what you're looking at.

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/mac_mini
     
  20. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #20
    Thanks for the heads up on the ram. As to the dual vs quad. In photoshop MHz matters. Seriously have a look at the results of the MacBooks.
     
  21. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    I found an interesting thread on a Canon forum where they are talking about choosing between a 2.7 dual core mini or a 2.0 quad core mini...

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1070886
     
  22. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #22
    That echos everything I've learned hanging out at the Mac forum over at dpreview.com.

    I'm trying to think where I read about a chart ranking graphic options, it was probably on the hack forum at tonymac. I had no need to click thru the link at the time.... as an Aperture user, the GPU is normally something I ponder. I like to be able to equate to a known too. Like If i know the geekbench score of my computer, then I have a clue about how much faster a new one might be and if it is worth the upgrade.

    My MBP - 2950
    Base Mini - 5884 (32-bit)
    i7 2.7 dual - 7807 (64-bit)
    i7 2.0 quad - 9455

    For me, I don't sit and test my computer and can't spew benchmarks. So these at least give *me* a basis to start comparisons.

    And I freely admit i'm probably missing part of the equation - but hey, I'm cool with it. :D
     
  23. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #23
    I was happy with my 2010 Mac Mini, but when the 2011's came out with Sandy Bridge chipsets they were such a gigantic jump in performance that I decided to take the leap. I normally don't upgrade to the latest Mac every year. After some research on this forum I decided that for me, the 2011 Mini Server was the best choice. And it is incredibly fast. I did upgrade to a SATA 3 SSD later one, and have now upgraded to 16gb of RAM, so it's not stock. I had also upgraded my 2010 Mini to a SATA 2 SSD a few months before getting the 2011 Mini. I run Parallels with Windows 7 for a few older graphic editing software that isn't available on Macs.

    One thing I did note was that when I went from Snow Leopard on the 2010 Mini to Lion on the 2011 Mini, that Lion is a memory hog. I love Lion and wouldn't want to go back, but it sucks up RAM. I would definitely recommend upgraded to 8gb at the least if you're planning on running Photoshop and other resource intensive apps. I upgraded at first from 4gb to 8gb of RAM, but if I have Windows up and running for a few hours, along with several apps on the Mac, my available memory fell to 600mb or less. So I upgraded to 16gb and no longer have problems leaving Parallels/Windows running all day.

    That said, the Ivy Bridge chipsets that are rumored to be in the next Mini (we'll see, they aren't even out in regular PC's yet), are also rumored to be another huge leap over the Sandy Bridge chipset. One other thing to keep in mind is that if you do wait a few months and the 2012 Mini's come out, there should be another $100 off or so for the remaining 2011 Mini's at Apple and a few licensed dealers (although you could save that $100 now if you find a deal on a refurbed one at the Apple Store online).
     
  24. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #24
    I'm going to 8 for sure - just going to have to wait a couple of weeks. UGH, but that is where the cards fell. I wish i could go to 16 - maybe this summer!

    For me (not the OP), I can't wait. I need it for school as the machines in the house aren't really meeting their specs. I'm eeking by and having to switch between two machines while sharing them with my daughter that does Virtual School. It's not pretty. I could do some upgrades and be ok, but as I'm sweating over a 6 week course on Anatomy and PHysiology (I have 200 pages to read tonight/tomorrow), i just need to shop. So tomorrow I'm ordering it - I more than likely will go with Amazon because the discount is more than my higher ed one, and I can get it overnight for $4 if I want (the current 9to5 deal at MacMall is cheaper, but their shipping is slow and brings is closer to amazon).

    This won't end up being my "final" machine this year - it will end up for the kids and I will get my ninja fast machine, but hey, it works for now without a lot of work on my end!
     
  25. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    Don't pay Apple to upgrade the RAM. You can (or could) get 8gb for around $40 a few months back, and I have my 8gb I'm willing to sell for less than that. I paid $160 to Newegg for the 16gb, so there's a huge price difference to go up to 16gb. You could do that later on if you find that's something you want. But I would upgrade to 8gb asap and you can sell your old 4gb on eBay and get some of that money back. I think I sold my original 4gb for just over $20 on eBay.
     

Share This Page