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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?" :)

Looking to buy a mac

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Member Since: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 6
Matrix_Prime is on a distinguished road

Matrix_Prime is offline
Hey everyone, this if my first post here, I found the site after doing a Google search for mac forums.

Anyways, I need to preface this by saying that my only exposure to Apple Computers were the Apple II machines I use to play Oregon Trail (and many other great games) on back when I was in elementary school. Going up through school, it was the old PC with Windows that the computer labs and classrooms had, so I'm pretty much just a Windows/PC guy.

With that said, I have a Media Center PC that I bought a few years ago, and I love it, so an Apple TV isn't for me. I have a Toshiba Laptop, and while the power button seems to be an issue at the moment, I love the computer and am happy with it. My desktop on the other hand is going on 7 years old now (got it in the summer of '00), and its time for a change. I honestly don't see the need to switch from XP to Vista, so a new PC doesn't look like the best option for me. However, the Mac would be a totally new experience for me, and it's something I want to dive into.

So my dilemma is a mac mini or an imac. I don't think I would need anything other than one of those 2 machines. What I would be doing the most on the computer would be recording/editing podcasts, and maybe doing a little video editing with video taken from my camera (certainly nothing major). Other than that, just the usual computer stuff, word processing here and there, and a bunch of internet use. With that said, which would be the best option for me, the mini or the imac? Is it easy to add ram to either of these machines, and does doing it yourself void the warranty?

I look forward to your responses. Thanks.
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Member Since: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 6
Matrix_Prime is on a distinguished road

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Wow, I thought in a mac forum of all places I would have gotten a response by now.
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Member Since: May 23, 2007
Posts: 28
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I had the same problem. I couldn't decide on the iMac or the Mini. I bought the iMac 20". Since I already have a 17" La Cie display, I could have saved myself $500, with the Mini, but I wanted more display area to work with and something less bulky on my desk. If you've going to get into video, then screen space is big factor. If you don't have a decent monitor already to plug a Mini into, I say go for at least the 20" iMac. Go as big as you can afford.

About Ram
The booklet gives instructions on how to add more Ram, I can't remember if it will void the warranty, but I do remember that they suggest you get a qualified Mac person to install it.
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Member Since: Jan 01, 2007
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Ahhhh welcome. I am a little suprised by the huge number of responses you have had.
I too am new to the world of Mac. I now love it. Personally I would gou for the iMac but I do not know much about the Mac Mini. You would probably be able to get away with either. I went for a laptop to replace my old PC desktop. I take it to work sit on the lap or leave it on my desk. Its all good.

Oh and ram...just added 1 gig stick now I have 2


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Member Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posts: 440
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Hmm, I'm not sure about the warranty void thing, but...

There are rumors that at WWDC which will begin in a few days, they will announce new models.
(There's also a rumor that the Mac Mini would be discontinued. o_O )

You might want to wait and see till after WWDC.
It's from June 11 to 15.

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Member Since: Dec 04, 2005
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by Matrix_Prime View Post
Wow, I thought in a mac forum of all places I would have gotten a response by now.
Problem is we've seen these requests 1,234,789,234,003 times so you'll have to excuse us if we don't rush to answer.

Personally I would buy an iMac, better specs overall, much cleaner footprint. Also as remain has said there's rumour that the mini is dead and there may be a new iMac released. This is all obviously speculation but wait for WWDC before you decide.
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Yeah cjay has it right.

Just look at the bottom of this thread, the board software picks up same (or related) topic threads.
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Member Since: Jul 18, 2006
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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I can also recommend the iMac over the Mini. As has been iterated here already, rumor has it that the Mini is no more.

Also, with the iMac, you have the option of upgrading the video card to something that will handle video editing a little better. Since the Mini uses a hard-wired video card, upgrading it is NOT an option.

Also, you'll be hard-pressed to find a screen of the same quality as comes on the iMacs for a better unless you have a 20 inch Hi-Res display sitting around waiting for a friend, this is yet another reason to go with the iMac.

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Member Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posts: 101
Miffle is on a distinguished road
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I'll ignore the idea that the mac mini may die tomorrow and the iMac may change - the best option is still the iMac 20inch if its something you are willing to spend

Apple doesn't regard the mini user servicable, you'll have to either buy it with upgraded RAM which is very expensive or you'd have to pay them to put the RAM in (I don'tk now how expensive this is but i'd guess it wasn't cheap)

You want to do minor video editing, the mac mini uses intergrated graphics and as stated; it isn't going to be up to the job

As far as I know apple regards the iMac's RAM user servicable, with a little flap where you can pop in the RAM. I think you are on your own if you mess something up though (If you've ever done it on one of your computers, its just as easy so nothing to worry about)

the iMac also represents better value, if you factor in the screen and extra features -you must weigh out if the extra features are actually worth it to you

One interesting thing about the mac mini is it can only take one display, the iMac can span onto two displays (With the use of an adapter) making your work space even larger
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Member Since: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 780
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Mac Specs: 20" iMac Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, 500GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon X1600

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I would do NOTHING. Wait for two days! Within the next two days, Apple will announce and, in some situations, release new things.

Rumor is they're killing off the mini and putting something new in it's place, either that or they'll vastly update the mini, probably with a Core 2 instead of Core processor.

Who knows? All I know is that Steve Jobs has a Keynote show tomorrow and he will announce many things that could change your decision.

I would still say get the iMac, as I got one in April and so far I haven't come across anything that makes it slowdown or freeze.
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Member Since: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 6
Matrix_Prime is on a distinguished road

Matrix_Prime is offline
Thank you for the responses...I guess I'll wait it out till after this week is over. I was leaning more towards an iMac myself, but I will have an empty 19 LCD screen and keyboard/mouse lying around after I replace my aging desktop that the mini could certainly make use of. I could always get a bigger desk I suppose and have BOTH the mac and pc setup on it.

Now, if only the keynotes would hurry up and get here!
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Member Since: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 21
el_lasso is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Imac 20" 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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You could use your 19 LCD as a secondary display for your Imac if you don't want to waste it...
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
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Originally Posted by el_lasso View Post
You could use your 19 LCD as a secondary display for your Imac if you don't want to waste it...
Yeah, that.

In the past I would have recommended the Mac Mini as a fairly low-cost means of getting into the Mac world. Indeed that was my own road to the Macbook on which this post is being typed. The little PPC machine is still serving me well as a media center attached to my HDTV.

However today, while the Mini has been updated with Core Intel processor, and given a gig of RAM it's probably okay, I've heard enough negative comments to say the iMac will give you the best overall introduction to the new platform. What I've found is that once you have become accostumed to the new OS it's the little things that make the experience complete. The Mini is lacking in those little things. To wit:

Built-in iSight camera
Graphics capable of doing some of that core-video stuff (though this might have changed)
Widescreen monitor (well, let me qualify that - your existing monitor is probably not widescreen; okay, my monitor wasn't widescreen. Mac OS X seems to work much better with a 16:9 than a 4:3 for some reason)
Easy expandibilty.
The iMac is gonna be snappier, and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to get into a new environment if things slow down a lot.

Plus the 20" iMac is absolutely stunning display-wise. I have yet to see a 24" model but it must be even more awesome.

Today Macs seem to be enjoying much more acceptance from people who are frustrated by XP issues on cheap hardware, and now Vista getting forced down people's throats. If I did not have the experience of using a Mac initially and needed to update my computer I would seriously consider a Mac of some form since they are now competitively priced. At least in the notebook world, a comparitively equipped Macbook can be cheaper than a Dell. I used to build my own computers, but after awhile that got old. I'm much happier without the 'self support overhead'. I've since 'sold' two Macbooks to former Windows users: My brother in law and his boss, who bought their Macs after a short demonstration of what they can do.

And, of course, they run Windows (Linux, etc.)
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