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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Aug 22, 2006
    Questions about Mac Mini and Imac-how much power?
    I was earlier looking at a MacBook Pro for my son. The problem is the cost was higher than we wanted and we later realized he didn't need the portability since he has a computer in his classroom. He lives in a dorm and we're worried about theft. A laptop is just so easy to steal and with a desktop it can be more easily secured.
    Anyway, this takes us to which one to get. I know there's a Mac Pro or something like that that is a 2 chip dual core system for $2400 or so. That's more than we want. It seems that leaves me with the mac mini or the imac. Honestly I have to say both me and my wife kind of got hooked on the mac after seeing our son use it and since we both are heavily into graphics work we're thinking it may be worth switching from Windows to Mac. The thing is because we have Windows PC's which we have so much software for we will use both the Windows and Mac's at the same time. We decided to stay away from the boot camp windows/mac option at this time. The Mac Mini seems like a cheap solution, especially considering for $70 we can get a keyboard/mouse combo and then just use the 19 inch LCD monitors we already have. The Mac Mini is nice and compact. I like the power of the imac more but with the monitors and computers we have we really don't want to deal with th etwo monitors and I'm sure you can't buy a imac and then sell the monitor since it's built into one unit.
    I guess one of my questions, if we get a mac mini we'd go with the dual core option which is 1.66 ghz. is this enough power? It seems I'd want closer to 2.0ghz. most of the software will be the Office Suite, Adobe Suite and the Macromedia Suite for uses such as email, internet browsing, word processing, some desktop publishing, graphic editing, web page development, and even some editing of digital video so I know I need power. Is 1.66ghz dual core enough? That's my only concern. how much ram would I need? I know it comes with 512 and I'd upgrade it to at least 1 gig if not 2 gigs. As for hard drive space, I'd likely take the 80 gig to at least 100 if not 120 gigs. Like I said I know the imac would have more power but it wouldn't work well in the situation I have.
    That leads me to another question. I know some of these options are cheaper if done outside of Apple such as buying it with 512megs and then buying the memory on my own. What type of memory do I have to buy for the mac mini? Also, how hard is it to upgrade the hard drive. I was wondering if it's possible to get the 80 gig version and then buy a 120 gig separately and then set it up for the mac. Are the applications/restore DVD's included and is it easy to set up the new hard drive or is this a hard procedure?
    Next, I know these intel macs are new but are there any new macs comin out just around the corner? I just like the idea of the mac mini but want more power. Is it in any way possible to upgrade the CPU in the mac mini? I know this is a lot of upgrades but I've done a lot of work with PC's including building my own. of course this is PC, not Mac but I'm familiar with computer hardware.
    Also, me and my wife have to travel on business frequently. Has anyone used a mac mini as a portable? It's so small that it seems it could be taken in a small carry bag with a portable sized mouse and keyboard. Is the mac mini capable of handling the jolts of traveling though? For use outside of a hotel room are there power options with a battery that would supply power to it? I have a adaptor for my laptop that takes the vga output and puts it onto standard rca plugs for a TV.
    Since we are getting potentially 3 machines other than educational discounts does anyone sell in volume discounts?
    I know this is many questions. This is a whole new frontier for me but I feel with timeI may be using the mac more than 50% of the time. I know maybe the mac mini is not as upgradable and I may need to have to upgrade sooner than the imac but yet the price is much lower as well and maybe a upgrade to a new mac mini in a couple years isn't that bad then. This is just all so new to me and thanks for all the help.

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Aug 22, 2006
    I forgot to post this in the earlier message. I realized the graphics processor is different in the imac vs. the mac mini. We won't do any gaming on these machines. Yet we will do work with Adobe, Desktop Publishing, Video Editing, Photo Editing, and Office applications. Will the graphics processing of the mini handle this?

  3. #3

    macAttack's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2005
    Cape Cod, MA
    Just due to the integrated graphics card I would have to say the imac. The power and bigger hard drive seem to be what you need, unfortunetly it can't quite fit your system. I would try to do w/e i could to accomodate it.

  4. #4

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by markw10
    I forgot to post this in the earlier message. I realized the graphics processor is different in the imac vs. the mac mini. We won't do any gaming on these machines. Yet we will do work with Adobe, Desktop Publishing, Video Editing, Photo Editing, and Office applications. Will the graphics processing of the mini handle this?
    Yes, it would. Those are all 2D things and there is no reason why you would need an ultra-powerful or seperate video card to do those things. Graphics power only really comes into play when you are dealing with rendering things in 3D, like model renderings or 3D intense games.

    However, if you are worried about someone stealing and walking off with a notebook computer from your son's dormroom, the Mini is even smaller than a notebook and easier to have someone steal. Space is an issue in dorms as well, so the AIO design of the iMac might be a better option for those reasons.
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