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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?" :)

on the edge of switching


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ajm1977

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 11
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im in the market for a new computer since my p4 died.
i really want to try a mac and since you can duel boot OS now it may be the right time.
im thinking of buying a mac mini. are the duel cores faster than a p4 (different OS i know i know)
here is was i used my pc for maybe you can tell me if i can get the same out of a mini: down loading a large amount of full length movies from limewire (mainstream and porn :eek: )
surfing the net
converting video files to 3gp for mobiles
encoding down loaded videos and burning files to dvd
video capture and editing (i use windows movie maker for quck and simple and ulead media studio pro 8 for more involved stuff) i really want to get into try try basic computer generated effect on my videos
chatting on msn messenger
on occasion word processing, viewing power point presentation etc
burning music to cd once in a blue moon
can i use dvd shrink on a mac? is there a similar program
if i got the base model can i use my existing pioneer dvd burner in an external firewire or usb enclosure, daisy chained to a 160g sata drive and a 160g ide drive, both in firewire or usb enclosures.
i dont play games on my pc, that what the xbox 360 is for.
does mac play divx?
should i wait for a c2d mini to come out?
i understand that mini core duo processors can be upgraded, which is probably what ill do (ive seen the tutorials), to a 2 or 2.16ghz provided cooling is adequate.
sorry for being so long winded its just ive been a long term windows user and would prefer to get answers from users rather than a salesman
thanks
Andrew
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Jem

 
Member Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posts: 245
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Basically the answer to all of your questions is the same.. Yes!

Converting video - use Handbrake
Encode video - lots of ways, Roxio Toast does the job nicely, it wouldn't be as adaptable as, say, TMPEnc on Windows but it does all the necessary encodes for DVD players and DivX players.
Video Capture & Editing - iMovie, it can also export to 3gp format I believe.
MSN Messenger - MSN Messenger / Adium / iChat / aMSN etc.. loads of clients
Burning music to CD - iTunes
DVD Shrink equivalent - Mac The Ripper
External drives - yup, buy firewire or USB enclosures and daisy chain away (firewire is more reliable and quicker, despite published data USB-2 is NOT as fast in sustained transfer mode).
Play DivX - oh yes, plugins available for Quicktime or DivX Player to download

c2d mini - well you'll get differing replies here. I have a coreduo iMac and although people rant about ooooh it's not 64 bit, you should've got a c2d... to be honest, it flies! The performance difference is in the region of 10-15% (given the same clock speed) and won't get much better unless you're doing SERIOUS number crunching with 64-bit native software. I doubt you'd notice it, more RAM gives a bigger speed boost.

So there ya go, a heap of answers.

Ummm... and just a friendly word of advice, don't mention the full length movie downloads on this board unless you want flamed and threads locked as all illegal talk is banned! I just took it that you own the copyright
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Alexis

 
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
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Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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Quote:
are the duel cores faster than a p4
The Core2Duo line are the fastest consumer CPUs available, whatever the machine. it used to be the AMD Athlon 64 a couple of years ago.
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ajm1977

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2006
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thank you for your reply Jem.
sorry about the illegal talk..... maybe i should read forums rules for once before ticking the accept terms box!
one thing i was worried about on the mini mac was the fact that it has only got 64meg shared video ram. but since i dont play games it should be ok.
how good is imovie? i guess it would have to be better than windows movie maker, but not as good as ulead msp. i also guess due to the video restrictions that imovie is the most a mini could handle.
from what ive read a mac running osx against a pc running xp with the same hardware, the mac would be quicker running the same program due to it being a more stable platform, which in turn is why mac users hold onto their computers for longer because of the stability and that programs just work. sound about right?
thanks
Andrew
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Seraphic

 
Member Since: Oct 10, 2006
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Mac Specs: 20in C2D iMac, base model. 30gb Video iPod.

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Word of caution - Roxio Toast doesnt produce the best results when doing a convert/burn of video (plus its painfully slow, even with the Intel builds), but that doesnt stop you converting it first with, say, Handbrake as suggested and then burning it.
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Jem

 
Member Since: Aug 16, 2006
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I've only had a play with iMovie to join together a couple of divx files seamlessly, removing the overlapping frames. It was very nice to work with and you can export the results into iDVD to add menus etc... before burning a full DVD. I guess you'd call it intermediate level in that it can handle most tasks but doesn't make it easy to create a fully customised DVD. I used to have DVD Lab Pro on my old Windows system and it wouldn't be nearly as flexible as that was...

I don't think the video restrictions will cause you a problem editing movies - more video RAM is really only a necessity for doing large amounts of 3D and texture mapping, (so mostly games!) but most of the processing in video editing would happen "behind the scenes" and utilise standard RAM.

Mac life expectancy is a bit more than PCs, yes. Each version of OS X has been faster than the previous one for the same hardware (something Windows could NEVER claim to be!). Also cos of the "it just works" culture, people do keep their Macs longer as they buy it to do a job and it just continues to do that job perfectly well.

When it comes to upgrading, you'll find your 2nd hand Mac is still worth a few pence on eBay as Macs are a better 2nd hand commodity - who wants a PC that some geek has cobbled together from 15 different manufacturers? Who knows what problems you may be inheriting. However, a Mac is a Mac and hence they hold their value better.
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Slokunshialgo

 
Member Since: Oct 19, 2006
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Well, I just got my Mini, the basic model, with 1 GB RAM instead of the basic 512MB. ANd, because I'm doing a presentation for English class tomorrow about animation, I decided to take some clips from one I did awhile ago, the voices, and mix them together on the Mac. Took me about 10 minutes to sync up the voices in iMovie (The actual video part was easy, as it was just 3 of them), and about a half hour to score the couple of minute clip in Garage Band. Someone with experience in either program could do it a lot faster, and someone with some sort of a musical sense could do the GB part a lot faster, easier, and better.

For CGI, I haven't actually used it yet (Still going through the tutorials). but there is a 3D Graphics program known as "Blender" that is open-source. As for chatting on MSN, I just use aMSN.

PC: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz, 2 GM RAM, Total 750 GB HDD, Windows Vista Business (For gaming), Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron (64-bit), Slackware 12 (For GTK# coding)
Mac: 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 60GB HDD, Mini
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ajm1977

 
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so basically the only problem i could encounter with a mini is that i may have some problems with 3d animation etc due to the video card restrictions. so an imac is not really worth it for me since i have already got a good monitor. when i buy the mini will i get a full version of tiger or will it just be a recovery disc?
andrew
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Alexis

 
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
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Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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What kind of 3D animation would you be using? For most people that would mean games, in which case the Mini isn't the best.

You get the full version of Tiger with your Mac should you ever need to reinstall.
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ajm1977

 
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thanks for the reply alexis
no i dont think i will be playing games on it. i have an xbox360, so that keeps me happy. i have it running on an lcd projector so it is quite the experience.
I went and had a chat to the salesman at my local apple shop and he showed me around a mac.
Im just struggling to come to terms with the fact that a new operating system can be designed to make you computer go faster than the previous OS. and that the hardware will last longer without the need for an update. ive just been using windows for so long, im genuinely not used to these concepts. not that im going to start bagging windows, they have given me plenty of enjoyment.
andrew
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ajm1977

 
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thanks all
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