Trying to build a business case for switching.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xxmarkc, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. xxmarkc macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    My first desktop computer at work in the mid 80's was an Apple 2 (an upgrade from dumb terminal and mainframe). The first PC I brought in 1990 or so was a mac classic. I owned 2 mac portables in the early 90's. Sometime later in that decade I switched to PC (I think for gaming reasons). A few years ago I abandoned gaming on the PC (too much agro worrying about specs), and brought an Xbox360.

    As things stand at the moment (due to a lot of DIY upgrading) I have 4 desktops, 1 portable with a broken screen that can be remote desktoped into, and my wife and her sister have laptops. That is a total of 7 PCs in the house. Well 1 is actually at the bottom of the garden in my observatory.

    There is some Apple in the house. A nano with a duff battery in the attic, a nano that will never die, 2 3G ipod touches, 1 4G ipod touch and I treated my wife to an iphone4 (I am andriod for now waiting for the iphone5). I have avoided 1G ipad but am interested in a 2nd or 3rd generation.

    Hands down Apple is king in the phone, and handheld area. The UI is just the best there is.

    Recently I have been wondering about building/buying a HTPC, and my research has lead me to the mac mini. I am in no hurry, and want to wait for a 2011 model before making a final decision and in the meantime to distract myself I brought an apple tv2 (it was so cheap I could not see the downside).

    But I am really struggling to make the case to buy a mini over a PC media system. The 2010 system will cost me £612 for the base model and need a memory upgrade, only has a core 2 duo which is so yesterday's technology, and will not give me bluRay.

    For the same money I can get a Zino HD 410 with a bluRay, 6GB of RAM 1TB harddrive, a decent quad core processor, a decent small form video card, a keyboard and a mouse.

    Maybe the 2011 upgrade will close the technology gap - but I doubt it.

    What I want to understand is what is it that I am paying considerably extra for if I get a mini?

    I can only think of three things:

    i) Form over content - it look nicer

    ii) Exclusivity - it says something about the size of your disposable income

    iii) The true value of a commercial linux derivative is 3-4 times the value of windows 7. ie £300-400 of the mac mini cost is the true value (v £100) of the operating system.

    i) or ii) don't bother me - but I respect that others may be happy with either of both of them.

    iii) is interesting. Yes I think the Mac OS is better, but not that much better.

    This probably reads like a rant. Maybe it is. I am confused, and slightly frustrated with Apple.

    As I said I am not going to make any decision until the 2011 mini is out - so nothing rash will be done.

    I am interested in why people are prepared to pay more for a mini.

    I am also interested in if an intel older mini is a better way to switch.

  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    I like the Mini. I've got two of them.

    I do agree that the use of C2D still and the lack of blu-ray are major drawbacks.

    I feel Apple is using whatever excuse it can to not add blu-ray support so it can push it's inferior quality video on the iTunes Store.

    The Core 2 Duo processor does mean that it's not as good as it could be for watching live HD TV, particularly sport.

    I have both an early and late 09 Mini. If you were to buy now I'd probably recommend the late 09 Mini, but hopefully the 2011 Mini will move beyond C2D to Sandy Bridge. It'll be important to see what happens with the MBP refresh expected later this week.

    I probably won't update to the 2011 Mini, but rather wait to see what's offered in 2012 once the Apple Care on my Early 09 Mini has run out.

    I like using Mac OS X and much prefer using it over Windows. I have very limited experience of any newer Windows OS than Windows XP.

    I like how flexible the Mac Mini is for where you can use it.

    Though I'd prefer Macs to be cheaper, the price just means I'll buy them less often that otherwise.
  3. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    All I am seeing in your post is a bunch of reasons why you want a mac, with price being the only con.

    I know money is important, but you obviously really want the mac so just save your pennies for a couple more weeks and just buy the mini.
  4. xxmarkc thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Yeah - that is a fair comment. Funnilly enough if I did get an Apple after so many years I think would feel it was a waste having it attached to the telly! I would want it in my office where I can stoke it!

    I am long overdue a re-stack PC wise - some stuff I have kept going for far too long becuase it is so easy to plug and play with motherboards, disks, etc. I sence I will move to some mixed PC / Apple environment.

    The HTPC may be a red-herring i.e. maybe all I will ever need to do is stream with apple TV2 and then apple TV3 when it arrives - I am not sure.

    The other reason why I was attracted to a small quiet mini was that it would make a good always on fileserver with a couple of big drives attached.

    Decisions decisions.
  5. Zelnaga macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2010
    Unless you have other mac products to go with your mac mini (easy streaming with AirVideo etc ...) Id go with the Zino 410. It is a fantastic machine. Sure its not a mac mini and doesnt look the part, but for a HTPC, Zino 410 does the job and its cheaper aswell. The end of the day your only going to be watching videos and surfing webs and pic browsing. Do you really need a Mac Mini for that?

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