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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Which is the better Mac Mini?


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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
Posts: 321
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

5tevie is offline
Hi Guys,
I have come to the conclusion that I bought the wrong Mac a couple of months ago. It was my first real look at owning a Mac as a first-line desktop PC and it simply isn't fast enough for my needs. If truth be told, I was also ruled by my wallet at the time which meant that I bought the Mac over on the left under my name.
Don't get me wrong here. I think that the concept of the Mac Mini is brilliant and I want another one but this time I'm going to play it smart and ask you guys which is the better option. Obviously you guys would only be giving an opinion and when all said and done it is my final choice which one I buy (So no comebacks, is what I'm saying)

OK, I still can't go overboard and spend 1,000 (I'm in England which is why I count in funny money) and the prices of Mac minis of the same kind of spec may vary based on which country they are in. I plan to buy off eBay from a reputable seller who regularly deals with Mac computers. I also plan to buy from a seller within driving range so that I can go and collect it.

So, to the basics.
I have been watching a few Mac Mini auctions and they seem to fall into 3 categories.
First are the ones where just the Mac Mini, power lead and the little dvi to vga adapter are being sold. These have software installed but no discs.
Second are auctions that include the above and also the mouse and keyboard.
Lastly we have the full monty including the original discs.
Obviously there are a couple that slip through the net with various combinations of the above but given the choice, i think I would be better off with the third option. One reason being that if I buy a Mac Mini with a wired mouse and keyboard, it won't add much to the auction price but it means that I have a mouse and keyboard to sell along with my Mac Mini when I get the new one. That's because I would prefer to keep my Bluetooth keyboard and Magic mouse.

What are the realistic options within my 300 budget?
1 ..... 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1Gb RAM, 80Gb Hard Drive with a Combo drive.
2 ..... 1.66GHz Core Duo, 60GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, combo drive,
3 ..... 1.6 Core Duo, 512 MB Ram. 80GB HDD. Combo drive.

I suppose that a lot depends on what I want to do with my Mac and my needs are few. I need to be able to watch movies, full screen, on a 52" plasma screen. These movies would be either original DVDs or ones downloaded from the web from such places as the BBCi Player website. I would need to do web surfing and Office type work but I'm not much into multi tasking and as for hard line video editing and other power hungry stuff, forget it.

Sorry for the long rant but my thinking on this gets complicated when I start thinking that the higher speed is better even if the RAM is less because I can easily add RAM but then I found that some models only have one RAM slot and some have two.

Anyway, thanks for any advice.
Steve
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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The first one because the CPU is newer than the other 2 and faster.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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bazanders

 
Member Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posts: 167
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Mac Specs: mid 2011 27" imac Core i5 2.7GHz, 8GB, 1TB

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I personally would seriously consider waiting and saving a bit more, then get a refurb at the apple store.
Those systems youre looking at dont have much poke, you may regret it the same as you regretted the g5
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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
Posts: 321
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

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There have been developments viz a viz my budget and there may be more funds available.
There will/may be an update by the weekend.
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dtravis7

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2005
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BTW, there is no 1.6Ghz Mini. There was the 1.5Ghz Core Solo (Avoid that one by all means) and the 1.66Ghz. The other specs you have for the 1.6Ghz are the same as the 1.66Ghz mini I got when the Intel Mini first came to the market.

Get the fastest one you can and also the newest one. The video chipset in the new Minis is much better than the older ones and will have more of a chance of driving that 52" Plasma at the proper resolution.
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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

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I managed to steal some of the money that my wife and kids needed for food and bought myself the one on the left of this link.

Mac mini - Apple Store (UK)
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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
Posts: 321
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

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Wow!!
What else can I say?
I put the order in for this Mac Mini over the phone to Apple (UK) at about 2:45 yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. The Mac Mini is already sitting on the chair next to me.
I am selflessly forcing myself to do my chores before opening it, lol
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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
Posts: 321
5tevie is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

5tevie is offline
I've got the new Mac Mini up and running after solving a couple of problems during the initial start up sequence. For instance, it was a bit tricky finding a work-around to get it to recognise my Bluetooth keyboard. Funnily enough, it recognised my mouse straight away. In the end I had to go and borrow my wife's wireless keyboard (not Bluetooth) and the little USB dongle. Once I got past that screen I was able to get the Bluetooth keyboard recognised.
It is all running fine now though and the difference in speed is noticeable in everything I do. Even streamed video now looks a lot smoother and people's mouths move at the same speed as their voices.
As the kids of today say, "I'm well impressed"
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chas_m

 
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Glad you like it. Now feed the wife and kids.

But seriously, when you get round to doing some updates be sure to max out the RAM. That should help keep that Mac mini performing beautifully for a long time to come. Congrats!
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5tevie

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
Posts: 321
5tevie is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.

5tevie is offline
You're right, Chas.
A RAM update would be the only change needed for a while but I think I already blew the budget. Maybe next year.
As for the wife and kids, don't worry about them. They found some old sandwiches in a dumpster so they're happy enough. It did my heart good to watch them tuck in to them (after scraping off the mould) as I munched away on a Rib-Eye steak.

Cheers,
Steve

ps .... This post is also testing my sig so if it is to big, don't panic. I'll get rid of it or reduce it.

The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.
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