Should I get a Mac Mini now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by johnnyvenom, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. johnnyvenom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #1
    My 8 year old Sony VAIO is now on it's last legs, and so is my Titanium Powerbook 667, and I'm now looking to get a new machine. The word function doesn't really apply to those two anymore. Currently using my pop's HP laptop, but he's going to be needing it back eventually.

    I have to say, on the windows side, problems always. On my old powerbook, never a problem. That laptop ran smooth for nearly 7 years without a hitch. Apple's OS has been good to me, hence why the next "main machine" won't be a Windows OS based unit.

    The mini seems like the right one for me, price wise. My old Sony is hooked up to a Samsung 35" LCD HD TV, and would like the this mac unit to work on it as well. So really, the iMac is no good to me. The pro unit would've been cool, but it's really expensive for my pocket book. So unless there is that "prosumer" tower, the mini's it for me.

    Now, should I buy it now or wait for an update? Is Apple coming out with a better unit, or replacing the mini? Sure would be a shame if the Mac mini joined the Mac Cube. It would be nice to know if they are going to change the graphics chipset, as the current Intel graphics chipset seems inadequate. Games would be nice, particularly my favorite beign Sim City 4, but otherwise consoles could do the rest. A friend of mine says that one can use the mini as a PVR, but wouldn't you need a better graphics chipset?

    You'll have to forgive me, as I'm mainly coming from a windows world, where that beast is a resource hog. Windows, especially Vista, requires so much hardware like ram, hard disk space, video, that I'm wondering if this is also true on the intel mac side. This machine will have to last me for a while, so it would suck if I ended up with an "underpowered" machine.

    Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. Much thanks to you all.
     
  2. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #2
    Some sources suggest that the Mac Mini is approaching the end of life cycle and will not be updated significantly:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article...rs_end_of_life_leopard_gm_target_more___.html

    I think most people don't expect the video card to be upgraded beyond the integrated model.

    So, if you're waiting for an upgrade, I'd buy now. If you need better graphics, then I might not buy at all.

    Good luck!
     
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #3
    The mini is a very popular among Switchers and people who connect computers to TVs. That seems to describe you. The only upgrade I can see coming is to the Santa Rosa chip set. That would allow more memory and better integrated graphics. However, the mini is always the last machine to get upgraded and the current machine seems to fit your needs now. You want it and need it. Buy it. Best wishes.
     
  4. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #4
    Yes, I don't see any point in chomping at the bit to get a new mini that may not even exist. Have a mini-tastic time with your mini!!!!
     
  5. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    Aug 23, 2004
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    #5
    The mini would be an improvement over both your existing machines, no question. True, the components aren't top of the line, nor fully upgradable, but so what? It's no less upgradable than a laptop.

    If you want the Mac OS, the mini offers an alternative that allows you to buy a new system every few years.

    Get it now? Sure. No need to wait any longer, with Macworld in the rear view mirror.
     
  6. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #6
    Incidentally, I use my mac mini plugged into an LCD TV. Its fantastic. I have an EyeTV usb tuner which I can use to watch TV, record TV, etc. Its small, quiet, and a fantastic addition to a TV.

    No real point to waiting if you need it now. The graphics card isn't very good - its the same as the old Macbook one. You may want to post a thread in the gaming section of macrumors to see if anyone has played sim city 4 on it.
     
  7. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #7
    Sim City wont work properly on a Mac Mini... or at least on my 1.42Ghz G4.

    Thinking about it, Apple needs an in-between desktop computer tower from the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.
     
  8. johnnyvenom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #8
    Wow, thank you, gang! Holy cow, I didn't expect to get this much of a response (you folks are much nicer than the folks at the linux boards). Santa Rosa looks interesting. Since posting my original question, I began to do a person IT inventory, if that's what you can call it, and am starting to realize that given that I'm looking for a long term solution, that perhaps the pro may be the best way to go. I'd like to utilize that Samsung, and the pro could use it. Pricing things out at the Apple store, I was looking at over a grand for the mini, and figured maybe I should save up a little more. Not sure, the mac mini looks like a really nice little machine, kinda like the BMW bug was to cars in the 60s.

    Once again, to all you on these boards, I want to say thank you so much. I know a lot of windows "power users" as well as linux/unix ones, and they always looked at me (I'm disabled) and figured super dumb noob not worth the time. Apple folks have always been nice to me, hence why no matter what, I'm not getting another non-Apple machine. Ok, gang, I need to go look at them machines again. You all take care, and once again, thanks! You all rock! :apple:
     
  9. johnnyvenom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #9
    Just priced the pro unit, $3700, um...I think I'll stick to plan A. LOL or at the very least has anyone hooked up a macbook pro to an HD TV?
     
  10. johnnyvenom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #10
    Oh man, I'd jump on that in a heart beat!:D
     
  11. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #11
    It works fine on an Intel Mac Mini. I've seen it ;)

    Please. Stop. Saying. This. It. Won't. Happen. :rolleyes:
     
  12. iCube macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #12
    For $599 at the Apple Store, you can get a nice Mac mini 1.83MHz Core 2 Duo 667MHz bus, 1GB RAM and 80 GB HD with 64MB VRAM . I am more than happy with my new one using a 22" Samsung 225BW wide ratio LCD. Leopard OS X 10.5 rocks also! Go for it!! Please let us know how you like it, when and if you get it!! All Apple products have an end of life, so getting one now isn't a bad idea. Are you close to an Apple Store? Run to the mall before they close tonight!!
     

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  13. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #13
    amazing how small computers have gotten, huh?
     
  14. adwolfe12 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 3, 2007
    #14
    I would wait because if they discontinue them you could always pick up a refub'ed.
     
  15. curiosa863 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #15
    I've always thought it was a waste of money.

    A cheap PC laptop is a much better value.
    Or get a MacBook.
     
  16. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #16
    Since youre ditching your old desktop and laptop, why dont you get an iMac and run the TV as a dual monitor?
     
  17. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #17
    What curiosa said. If you need a desktop, I'd buy a PC. You can get a sweet machine for the cost of a Mini. If it needs to be Apple, I'd get an iMac. If you prize portability, there's the Macbook.
     
  18. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #18
    I'm quite defensive of the Mini. I have owned two - a 1.25GHz G4, and my current Intel Mini. They are absolutely perfect for what I use it for (watching videos, internet, downloading etc). They are low power, low noise, low heat.

    Admittedly, if you spend the extra money and get an iMac you do get a better machine, but there's always something better for extra money. For what the original poster said he wanted to do the mini is fine.

    johnnyvenom - it seems like the leap to a Mac Pro, from a mini is a big one. But if that's what you are wanting, then don't forget to look at the refurb store. You can save quite a bit of money getting a refurb product, and they still come with a years warranty, that can be extended to 3 years with AppleCare.
     
  19. johnnyvenom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #19
    Greetings everyone. Ok, I went to the Apple store nearest me and spoke with a rep there. Very nice people, by the way. Well, I spoke with him and he told me that the mini cannot "drive" (his words) any monitor larger than 23 inches. This seems odd to me, given that my crapped out old VAIO with an ATI card could handle my Samsung. I'm at a loss here as to what I should do next. :confused:


    As for the pro, yes, I was getting ahead of myself there. Personally, I would love to get a consumer unit that would use my Samsung. Gang, any advice or help here would be most appreciated.
     
  20. spotlite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #20
    I don't think the guy at the store knew much of what he was saying. If your Samsung (TV) is 1080p or 720p the Mac Mini will work on it just fine. I currently have a Mac Mini hooked up to projector running at 720p and it looks beautiful! I've also hooked it up to my 24'' LCD which runs at 1920x1200 and it matches the resolution, although I believe that is as high as it can go. Don't hesitate and get one!

    EDIT:

    What the rep probably meant is that the Mac Mini CANNOT run on Apple's 30 inch screen since the resolution on that is higher than 1920x1200 (it is 2560 x 1600 pixels). It can, however, run on the 23''.
     
  21. pondie84 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #21
    I was a bit hesitant to get a mac mini initially but I took the risk and love it. It really does everything I want it to do and I'm always stunned by just how quick and silent it is.
     
  22. georgeoommen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #22
    I got myself a mini last week and I'm delighted to say I'm absolutely loving it. I have it hooked up to my Samsung HD TV as well. Though mine is a smaller 26 inch one. It works perfectly. I use it mainly for my media collection. So its running front row most of the time. And for those times when I do need to use the keyboard and mouse, i simply screen share it onto my MBP.

    I don't do any gaming at all so can't really say anything on that. But regarding the connection to the TV i can say it works really well. The only thing you should keep in mind is that if you use a DVI to HDMI connector and hook it up to the HDMI port on the TV, then it chops out about 12-15 pixels from the top, bottom left and right of the screen. This results in you not being able to see the menu bar on top, the bit of the dock where it shows which applications are currently running and a bit of the left and right of the screen. However, I've read on other threads here and other forums as well that if u hook it up using a VGA cable then you don't have this problem. As i'm using Front Row all the time this doesn't really affect me.
     
  23. tMac85 macrumors 65816

    tMac85

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    Sep 15, 2007
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    in a great place
    #23
    have you looked in to the laptops. To me they are the best of both worlds. even if they are tucked under your desk connected to your hd tv, you have the option of taking it on the road if need be. Even a macbook would work fine and i think you previously posted 'what about MB Pros on my Samsung'. I would go with a laptop.
     
  24. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #24
    Franken-Mini

    We have our Mac Mini driving a Sony 40" Bravia HDTV in the livingroom -- kind of a multi-purpose AppleTV/web surfing component. I initially bought the Mini when the Intels first came out and bought a low end, 1.5 GHz single-core model.

    Since then, I've upgraded it to include:
    - CPU to a Core 2 Duo (a very tricky, stressful process)
    - Memory to 2GB (not terribly hard once you get the lid off)
    - HD to 250GB (not hard either)
    - Leopard Server

    So it does have some upgradeability.

    It's a snappy little machine, very quiet (perfect for living rooms and bedrooms where noise is an issue) and it meets all of our multi-media needs as DVD player, web browser, mail station, and file repository.

    I'm currently looking to add a TV tuner (HDTV) -- but am evaluating which options are best. Quite frankly, the machine is very cheaply priced for its footprint, even if you were to consider only using it to run Windows; it would be very difficult to find a similar sized PC for anything less than $800.

    As long as you are not expecting to run current graphics-intensive games, I expect that you will enjoy yours!

    Good luck!
     
  25. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #25
    I agree - sold my dual 2.0 G5 and picked up a 1.83 C2d Mini from amazon (with a rebate) as a stop gap in the Fall while waiting on the new Mac Pro - problem is the new pros jumped the price on me. I can get by for most things on the mini and it is dead silent - I also upgraded the ram and am thinking of jacking up the HD since the 80 GB is pretty full.
    It is essentially a macBook - without KB and screen and mouse...if you need to move around with it - get a macbook - if you already have a decent monitor and don't need to move the n the mini is a great little machine - silent too.
     

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