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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?" :)

Trying to justify a Mac


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Soviet Reunion

 
Member Since: Aug 13, 2011
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Potential switcher! I've been interested in Mac for a while now considering its many media-producing options and perks, which are hard to find in a PC (especially considering 99% of it is sketchy third-party).

Anywho, I'm having a hard time to justify buying a Mac. Here's a comparison of what I'm looking at:

Mac Mini
$599

2.3GHz Intel i5
2GB DDR3 RAM
500GB HDD
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Bluetooth

HP Pavilion p7-1030
$549 (found on sale)

3.1GHz Intel i3
8GB DDR3 RAM
1TB HDD
Intel HD Graphics 1696

It has a faster processor, larger hard drive, the advantage to the Mac is the graphics card and bluetooth built-in. Is it worth it? I know that RAM is expandable, but I'm really attracted to the faster processor (even if it is an i3).

Ideally I'd like a Macbook Pro, but man, can those run ya.

So I'll ask you guys, is it truly better to opt for a Mac?
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class77

 
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You do realize you need to buy a display with the Mac Mini....

 24" iMac, 3.06GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 10.6.8
 2011 Mac mini, 2.7Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, 10.7.3
 iPad3 64GB, iPad2 32 GB
 iPhone 4, 32GB  Airport Extreme 5
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Soviet Reunion

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by class77 View Post
You do realize you need to buy a display with the Mac Mini....
I know that, I've got a 24-inch monitor, so that isn't a problem for me
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soviet Reunion View Post
Anywho, I'm having a hard time to justify buying a Mac. Here's a comparison of what I'm looking at:

Mac Mini
$599
2.3GHz Intel i5

HP Pavilion p7-1030
$549 (found on sale)
3.1GHz Intel i3

It has a faster processor, larger hard drive, the advantage to the Mac is the graphics card and bluetooth built-in. Is it worth it? I know that RAM is expandable, but I'm really attracted to the faster processor (even if it is an i3).

So I'll ask you guys, is it truly better to opt for a Mac?
As with MANY folks considering switching from a Windows computer to a Macintosh computer....they make the mistake of making the decision based on hardware & cost comparisons. It's NOT about the hardware comparison...it's about the OS.

If you're deciding between a Sony, Dell, HP, etc. Windows based computers...sure...do a hardware & cost comparison (since all these computers are running Windows). But when you're doing a comparison between a "Windows" computer & a Macintosh...it's about the OS.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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cwa107

 
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Note that the Mac Mini has a quad core processor and the HP has a dual core. It has a faster clock speed, but the i5 is substantially more powerful. Processor performance is no longer judged purely by clock speed.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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neilf

 
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I thought the new Mac Mini was dual core?
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilf View Post
I thought the new Mac Mini was dual core?
The new Mac-Mini's support "hyperthreading"...which gives them the ability to recognize 4 virtual cores.

The new Mac-mini server model has a quad-core cpu (8 virtual cores).

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chas_m

 
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You are correct:

Apple - Mac mini - So many new features for such a small space.

but as pigoo says, the proposition here is one of VALUE not one of PRICE. Macs are a WAY better value at roughly the same price point because of the superior OS, the integration of hardware and software and the productivity and efficiency (and pleasure) that result from this.

This reminds me of a recent conversation I witnessed:

(Friend 1 going on about how cheap his new LG phone was)
Friend 2: Does it have the iTunes App Store?
Friend 1: Er, no ... it does have an app store, but ...
Friend 2: Does it have the ITUNES APP STORE?
Friend 1: No.
Friend 2: Your phone sucks.

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TattooedMac

 
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I believe if you need to justify the buying of a Mac or anything really, then you don't need it. Move on, smile and enjoy life

Cheers

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bobtomay

 
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Just to set the record straight, that particular i3 does have hyper threading and Geekbench scores are about 20-25% higher than the i5 in the MM.

i3 Intel - Geekbench (The # of cores shown in that Geekbench score is wrong - it has 2 cores and 4 threads.)

It's their new desktop version of the Sandy Bridge i3 - so speed wise it's a nice chip, but to keep the price down they slacked off on the video capabilities and several of the advanced technologies available in the mobile i5 are missing. It's also a 65 watt vs the 35 watt chip in the MM.

With the speed of the 2nd gen iSeries chips, pretty much any chip you can pick out of Intel's line up will handle anything 80+% of the buying public need it to do.

To me, you might have to buy an optical drive with the MM. But with that HP, it would get a new video card installed before the machine ever got turned on for the first time.

To me their are 2 considerations

1. Size
width/length - HP is 15.3" x 6.9' - MM is 7.7" x 7.7"
height - HP is 16.1" tall - MM is 1.4" tall - no, that's not a typo

2. OS X vs Windows - which OS do you want?
If you're ready for something new - get the MM. I think most folks are glad they did.
If you're happy and satisfied with what you've been using with no interest in needing to learn again - get the HP. Win 7 is a decent enough OS.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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cwa107

 
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I stand corrected... thought the i5 was always a quad core. Intel really needs to get their acts together and make their designations more consistent.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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bobtomay

 
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It's tough now. The 3,5,7 do not really stand for anything that I can figure out. An i3 that's hyper threaded? I didn't know that until I went looking at this chip. And the i7 in my MBA is also a 2 core - ????

It's gotten to where you really have to go check out Intel's spec page and find benchmarks for every single chip to have any idea what and how good they are.

There's no difference whatsoever between the i5 and the i7 in the MBA except for 0.1Ghz speed.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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chas_m

 
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But ... but ... the numbers are bigger!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
But ... but ... the numbers are bigger!
And we know that Bigger is always better!

People need to actually compare and test and not just go by core speed. Way back you could but then AMD came along and dusted P4's with much lower clocked AMD Athlons and AMD 64's and it's never been the same since!
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Demapples

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
the proposition here is one of VALUE not one of PRICE. Macs are a WAY better value at roughly the same price point because of the superior OS, the integration of hardware and software and the productivity and efficiency (and pleasure) that result from this.
This is the argument many of us who have switched use to justify dumping functional Windows gear for more expensive Apple gear and then adding back a virtual Windows machine, but is there an objective comparison of these harder-to-measure values somewhere?
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