Return the Mac Mini or keep it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Vinda-lou, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Vinda-lou macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Brief background:
    -Had gaming PC which literally burned out (scorch-marks on the motherboard) a few months ago.
    -Have a Macbook Air 2010 11" ultimate for work, internet, casual games, itunes. MBA still working great.
    -Dug out my xbox 360 to play Skyrim, Deus Ex HR, Rage, etc.
    -Currently using a new 27 inch monitor for both xbox 360 and sometimes with MBA.

    -Got a Mac Mini 2.5GHz, with 8gb ram ready to install, for Christmas from my wife. I had asked for it as a cheaper way to replace my desktop - more for bigger hard-drive, more power than the MBA, knowing I have the xbox 360 for games.
    -Realized I miss the gaming capabilities of my old PC, and seeing all the Steam sales, etc., I looked into some recent PCs. I suddenly felt a bit claustrophobic, for lack of a better word, having the mac mini as my main computer. For the price, there was not a lot of performance or upgrade capabilities. (I did not ask my wife for the mac mini for games - I was happy with the xbox for that - but old habits die hard?)
    -Found this Alienware PC for about the same price of the mac mini. I know it's not the best computer for games, but it looks like a good all around computer for games and more.
    -My full intentions for wanting a desktop were not just for games, otherwise I would not have asked for the mac mini. Yet, I like the option of being able to play newer games out now and in the future on the PC, and the ability to upgrade. I plan on still using the xbox for the current games and not rebuying them for the computer.

    Long story short:
    -I'm torn, nonetheless, about keeping the mac mini or swapping it for the PC. I love the idea of the mac mini, and had even almost ordered the wireless keyboard and magic trackpad. I love my Macbook Air, my first ever Mac, and wanted another Apple computer.
    -I would like to hear advice from current mac mini owners. Realizing that many of you have no interest in games, are you happy with the MM as your main computer? And given my situation, do you think I would be satisfied with it as long as I have the xbox for my game-playing urges? Or go the PC route?
    -I know this is a Mac website... so I share and ask all of this outside the bounds of the Mac vs PC debate. I actually like the idea of having both a Mac and a PC again. But I'm so tempted to open the Mac Mini box!

    Sorry for the long post & possible incoherence of it, and thanks for reading this far. Maybe I'm just thinking out loud here. I'd be interested to hear any advice, because as you can see I'm a bit indecisive. Nevermind the Christmas beers and martinis..!
  2. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    What I would do:
    Providing your wife got it from apple there is a 14 day free return period.
    Setup the mini and see how it is without the games and maybe even try some.
  3. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I bought a 2010 Air this year, and it's my only Mac. I've also thought about buying a MM, and have considered other options as well (MBP or iMac) as a desktop. I still have a Dell Latitude with i5 cpu that I use for Excel modeling, but I don't game.

    The MM is really an entry level Mac for people that already have a monitor. If you're into gaming, it's really not providing good utility for you, and it really doesn't add much performance over your MBA. The only use I can see is an HTPC.

    I'm passing on the MM, and waiting until the new Ivy Bridge chips come out, and look at the new 15" MBP as a combo desktop/portable working machine.
  4. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    If you want to play games, make/buy a PC *.

    If you don't, keep the Mini.

    *Some games are pc & mac compatible. Some games will run just fine on the Mac. It's hit and miss, so my rule is 'don't game on a mac' and i'm right more often then I'm wrong.
  5. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502


    Oct 7, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    I had a mbp 2009 model and I finally wanted a mac for a desktop, I thought ok I will get the i5 mini with ati graphics since at the time I was only playing WOW, and it would run, not exceptional but it ran. I ended up building a desktop for gaming but I kept the mini because I love it for everything else. The desktop actually only powers on when I want to game, the mini stays on all the time and does everything else I use it for daily. Keep the mini, save your $$ and gradually get a new PC, right now I can tell you that even the QX socket 775 cpus are plenty fast enough for any game out there, it ran bf3 perfectly on my 9650 at 3.3ghz with 8gb of ram. the video card will be the only place you will drop bones.
  6. TheSelfishGene macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2007
    I have both a Mac Mini 2010 and an Alienware m11x laptop. I've also owned a Macbook Pro 13" in the past.


    If you want light (very light) gaming; pop into World of Warcraft, do some indie Steam enabled Mac native games, the Mac Mini with 6630M is decent enough for the job. If you want to game, really game, you need a bootable Windows computer, simple as that. You can dual boot your Mac Mini, or get a true Windows native computer.

    In my experiences thus far, i almost never use the Mac since the Alienware is closer at hand and generally a superior experience, since it has double the memory, a faster processor, and an SSD. The 2010 Mac Mini often lags significantly just loading pages, and has constant, inexplicable lags on getting information from the internet, along with a slow hard disk. The m11x otoh, can play Skyrim and Battlefield 3 without difficulty.

    But, otoh, the native OSX experience is superior to the native Windows experience in just about every way, and the iLife suite are sorely missed when booting to the by comparison austere Windows environment.

    So that's what it comes down to. Surfing the internet and games are superior on Windows. Not getting virusus when on said net, and everything else (sans actual work, which requires a Windows PC in my case) is better on the Mac. Weigh what you use your computer for.

    Now, here you go, you have something of an out; ditch the Mac Mini, and get a refurb IMAC with the 6770 video card. Get a copy of Windows and make a dual booting system. A bit of more cash, but you get the best of both worlds then for a relatively modest outlay. The 6770 is a decent card, faster than the one in the m11x; it's no SLI monster, and you'll play most games at, perhaps, a bit less than the 20" iMacs native resolution, but you have significantly more headroom there. Doing ANYTHING ELSE to get more performance in the Mac world requires at least 2000$, which is why trying to play high end games on Mac hardware is so grossly inefficient.
  7. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    If you need a performance example, in WoW, playing at 1920x1080 you can use medium settings with solid FPS, and with a lower resolution you can play high/ultra with solid FPS.:)

    So if playing anything on full 1080 resolution thats more graphics hungry than WoW, investing in a gaming PC may be a better option. Personally, my 2.5 mini is performing all my gaming needs fantastic.

    As far as the i5 goes, nothing has yet seemed to be able to put it into full load on 4 threads except Converting FLAC files to ItunesLossless. Can't imagine needing any more power CPU-wise for a long time.
  8. vert18 macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2010
    I run Star Wars the old republic from bootcamp win7 just fine on my new mini.

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