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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?" :)

Mac Mini to get my feet wet?

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Member Since: May 27, 2007
Posts: 9
Steel_Wheel is on a distinguished road

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I've been thinking of switching for a long time now. I'm sort of at a logical point to do so: Leopard is out, Vista is yecchh-o, and my current XP box is giving out (don't know whether it's just disk drive dying, or some malware that got on there--but I'm too annoyed/lazy to start spending time degunking, when I'm thinking of buying some kind of new machine anyway).

So here's the thing: An iMac seems cool, but it wouldn't quite suit my needs--I dislike integrated graphics, and I have multiple other machines running through a KVM, so the all-in-one design is actually a negative for me. A fully tricked-out Mac Pro is a hefty investment to make for someone who is merely considering making the switch. Which leaves us with the Mini. This would also not be ideal, but it's cheap enough (maybe) that I could view it as just one more expensive toy if it turns out that I don't care for it. Besides, I could always rationalize it by telling myself that I can sell it on eBay if I decide it's not for me.

But if I do like it: I'm gonna end up getting a Mac Pro anyway, and then the Mini will have kind of been a waste. So if I go this route, what's my resale potential on the Mini? And also, what do I have to do to make sure that I have totally wiped the hard drive clean of all my personal information if I do sell it later on?

Does any of this make sense? I know some will say just go for it and get the Pro now, but that really would be a hefty committment--and besides the rumor sites seem to indicate an update of the Pro is likely in the near future, so the Mini may well be the best way to go; it gives me a working (if under-powered) desktop machine for now, and I can still get a Pro later on (or buy/build an XP machine if I decide that Mac is not for me).

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Member Since: Mar 19, 2007
Location: USA
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The Mini is a great little machine. However, it does have integrated VRAM. You said you didn't want that. It would make a very nice computer at a good price if you already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The resale is pretty darn good. You can search ebay for prices.

If you want to invest the smallest amount of money, you could pick up a used Core Solo mini on ebay for a good price.

If you decide to get a Pro later on, you could keep the mini for multimedia, home theatre, etc. They are pretty commonly used for that.

The iMac, on the other hand, has a dedicated video card with either 128, or 256 MB of dedicated VRAM. Of course it has a screen, mouse, and keyboard as well. It's a lot more for your money, IMO. It won't be outdated for a good amount of time. That may give you the time you need to save up for the Pro should you decide to get one.

Just a few random thoughts for you

iMac - 2.4 C2D - 4GB RAM | MacBook - 2.0 C2D - 2GB RAM | AirPort Extreme Base Station
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
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Mac Specs: 13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive

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That's essentially what I did 2.5 years ago, but with a PPC Mini. I was at about the same place you were, with the exceptions that my main home machine was a Linux box, and Tiger didn't come out until about 4 months later. Experiment to see if this MacOS X was all that.

It was, and is. Switched my wife off of XP shortly thereafter with another Mini. Today my wife and I have a pair of Core 2 Duo Macbooks. One Mini went to my parents to get their feet wet, and the other is hooked up to our 37" LCD to act as media server. It also serves as backup mac should AppleCare require my Macbook to go somewhere overnight. No waste there. Always good to have redundancies, and Macs last a very long time from a technology perspective.
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Alexis's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 2,255
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Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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Why not get a second hand Mini from ebay?
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Member Since: May 27, 2007
Posts: 9
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Buying a used Mini is possible I guess--although I can't expect that there will be too many Leopard-equipped Minis on eBay for another few weeks at least; until then, there's a hidden $129 charge built in to buying a used machine, if I want to have the latest and greatest OS.

iMacs have dedicated graphics? I guess I was mistaken about that. Still, the all-in-one design kind of puts me off. Besides I'd still have the issue of wanting to use the monitor with multiple (non-Apple) machines via KVM--I suspect that the iMac doesn't lend itself easily to that sort of use..Or am I wrong about that as well?

I guess I just like the idea of the Mac Pro being an easily expandable machine, similar to what I'm used to with beige box XP or Linux machines. I just don't like the idea of spending the $$ if it turns out that it's not for me. I don't need to save up as such, I can afford it in any case--but I'd still feel silly spending a few thousand bucks on a computer and then finding out that it's not for me.

I may well get a Mini, although the question of used or new is still open--but I'm not doing anything for a few weeks, since I'll be travelling between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'll keep an eye out for the rumored upgrades to the MacPro as well. Thanks, folks..
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2005
Location: Modesto, Ca.
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Mac Specs: iMac 2.4 C2D 10.9.1, iMac 2.16 C2d 10.6.8, Macbook2007 10.8.4, Mac Mini 10.8.4, iPhone 3GS IPad1

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I have had 3 Mini's over the last 2 or so years. My first 1.25 Ghz G4 was sold to a friend who wanted to do what you are seeking to do. He loves it and it going all Mac. For what he does it's plenty of machine and he is quite happy with it. I bought a 1.5Ghz G4 mini to replace it and it's part of my front room media center and works Great. I also bought a Core Duo Mini to mess with the Intel Macs. VERY fast little system. Only thing that it's not very good for is gaming due to the GMA950 Chipset, but otherwise it's a great little computer. I use it for some pretty heavy duty work and it's never let me down once.

The Mini is a great little Mac to get your feet wet in my opinion.
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Montie Da Champ

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Member Since: Nov 18, 2007
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just dive right in! you won't be disapointed!
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