Current PC User, Wanting to SWITCH to Mac!!!

Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
1
:) Hi everyone! My Dell has crashed and instead of spending the $$$ to repair all that needs to be repaired I want to just switch to Mac. I'm tired of all of the problems I've had with all of the PCs I've had in the past! My brother uses a Mac (laptop and desktop) and LOVES them. So, I'm considering the move as well.

Questions:

The main usage of a computer in our house are as follows:
  • Internet Surfing
  • Photo and Music Storage
  • Word processing
  • Occasional games (not a big "gamer", though)

I don't have a lot of money to spend on a computer, and will need to save up for one which will take time. I've looked at the Mac minis and iMacs and I think either one would serve my needs (from what I can tell anyway). I thought of getting the Mac mini and hooking it up to my current "dinosaur" monitor - dinosaur=not LCD. I would then save up for a flatscreen monitor. I can use any monitor, mouse, keyboard for the mini, right?

I do like the setup of the iMac, though. But coming up with at least $1000 for one is not something I really want to do at this time... it would take a long time to get my computer replaced.

As far as "quality" of the system, are iMacs and minis equal? Or is the iMac more durable? I don't want to have to replace another system in the next 2-3 years again! My impression is that the iMacs are more expensive due to the monitor being all-in-one with the computer. I didn't really see much difference in the specs of the two lowest-priced models of each.

I do use my computer a LOT, maybe 4 hours a day. But I don't do a whole lot of gaming, mainly internet surfing and word processing.

Suggestions for me? I want the best "bang for the buck"!

Thanks!!!
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
12,455
Reaction score
603
Points
113
Location
PA
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook
Welcome to the Forums!

From your listed needs, the Mini will be more than enough for you.
Go with that and use the peripherals you already have.
 
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
502
Reaction score
13
Points
18
Your Mac's Specs
Mac pro quad 2.66 / G5 1.8
Yeah, with the Imac you're getting a nice screen included, so that'll account for most of the price difference.

But a VGA monitor will work fine. I used to run a pair of Samsung 17" CRT monitors on mine, you'll get the same pic quality as you got on the Dell. In fact CRTs are arguably better quality than lcd anyway - at least at the lower end of the market. I only swapped mine for LCDs becuase I move house and didn't have space. They're no better than the fat ones, if you want better quality, you have to look at stuff like the Cinema displays . . . too expensive for me!

But the mini will do just about everything you want, other than the game thing - there are games around, but Macs aren't well catered for. Grab a used Playstation II on Ebay :)
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,186
Reaction score
73
Points
48
Location
New Orleans, LA, USA
Your Mac's Specs
13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive
When I switched, I went with the (then PPC) Mini route connecting it to my existing monitor. I didn't really feel like I was getting the 'complete' Mac 'experience' though since my display was the standard 4:3 ratio while 'real mac users' all had the widescreens. I got over it pretty quickly, however, and have since upgraded to a Macbook which does have a widescreen display. Which for some reason, makes the 13.3" LCD at 1280x800 perfectly adequate even if I still have the CRT sitting above it right now, turned off and dark.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2005
Messages
2,288
Reaction score
51
Points
48
Location
Devon, England
Your Mac's Specs
ibook g4, imac 2ghz c2d, mbp 2.4ghz c2d - 10.5.1
mini or imac are fine for you

1. if you want to get the whole lot in one go - go for the imac

i believe it you want the best value for money get the imac as you get a nice 17" monitor, 1gb of ram, 120gb hd, etc.. and all for a nice price.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
112
Points
63
Location
On the road
Your Mac's Specs
2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
The big difference between the mini and the iMac is the graphics processor. The mini and the lowest end iMac come with the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor. It is not a great processor for gaming. It is fine for most other things you would be doing including video editing with iMovie.

Since you are low on funds, I'd go with a mini and keep the PC for gaming and perhaps a few applications you don't want to replace. Use the Mac for your day-to-day needs.

To keep the PC 'healthy', simply do not do web browsing or e-mailing with it, and everyone should have a router between their computers and the internet. If you have to use the web browser at times, then only go to trusted sites. Oh, and also keep the setup to a minimum by not adding on a lot of optional garbage.
 

cwa107


Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
27,038
Reaction score
810
Points
113
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Your Mac's Specs
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
I agree with the others, the Mini should be a good choice, just be aware that the integrated Intel Extreme graphics will be a limiting factor if you choose to play any games that require 3D acceleration.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
112
Points
63
Location
On the road
Your Mac's Specs
2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
christm made a good point about the configuration. Using the Apple store configure your mini and iMac to your preferred specs and consider that against your funds. For sure, make sure you option includes 1GB of memory.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2007
Messages
208
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Maryland
Your Mac's Specs
MBP, 13.3" || iMac 20" 2.16 GHz C2D, 250 GB HD, 2 GB RAM, || 32GB i-Phone 4 || 32GB AT&T 3G iPad
As you can see with my specs, I have the iMac and couldn't be happier. I am a recent switcher myself. I really don't see me going back to using a PC. Go for it, you won't be disappointed.
 
OP
ilovemycaitybug
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Yeah, with the Imac you're getting a nice screen included, so that'll account for most of the price difference.

But a VGA monitor will work fine. I used to run a pair of Samsung 17" CRT monitors on mine, you'll get the same pic quality as you got on the Dell. In fact CRTs are arguably better quality than lcd anyway - at least at the lower end of the market. I only swapped mine for LCDs becuase I move house and didn't have space. They're no better than the fat ones, if you want better quality, you have to look at stuff like the Cinema displays . . . too expensive for me!

But the mini will do just about everything you want, other than the game thing - there are games around, but Macs aren't well catered for. Grab a used Playstation II on Ebay :)

Thanks! We have a PS3 for games, so we're set in that department!

I want an LCD for space saving, that's all. I'm not really that concerned about the monitor, just want a decent computer right now.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2006
Messages
96
Reaction score
2
Points
8
If $ is an issue check the apple store for refurbs. You can get a mini there for less than $700 I believe.

I got my mini (1.66ghz core duo, superdrive) last year. In fact its been almost a year exactly. It was the first mac I ever used. I had barely even demo'ed any at the apple store. No complaints whatsoever.

I also had a dinosaur monitor at the time, but I decided if I was getting the mini I was getting an lcd right then too. At that point the imac would have cost me about $150 more, but I personally really wanted the mini for the main fact of how tiny it is.

Since then, the wife has gotten a macbook, and I bought my kids an older imac dv for their internet station.

I would not recommend getting the ram upgrade from apple though. Right now ram is CHEAP, you can get (2) 1gb sticks for less than $100. Apples cost to upgrade is $250 for 2gb. I only have 1gb in my mini and its a significant improvement over the 512 it originally came with. I really want to get (2) 1gb sticks soon though.

Good luck.

edit - just looking at the apple refurbs, right now its slim pickings. However, apple seems to restock their online refurb store at 4am almost every day. Ive seen this myself half a dozen times. So you may want to get up early some day and see what they have. :)
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Points
8
The big difference between the mini and the iMac is the graphics processor. The mini and the lowest end iMac come with the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor. It is not a great processor for gaming. It is fine for most other things you would be doing including video editing with iMovie.

Since you are low on funds, I'd go with a mini and keep the PC for gaming and perhaps a few applications you don't want to replace. Use the Mac for your day-to-day needs.
But the GMA 950 can still play some modern games quite well.

Intel has a compatibility list: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intel945g/sb/CS-020666.htm

There are even videos of games being played on the Macbook, which has a GMA 950: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlTg8XYMz84

Not bad.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Messages
2,641
Reaction score
134
Points
63
Location
Durtburg, WV
Your Mac's Specs
Sooper Fast!
problem is, comparing the mini to the imac, you get more for the money with the imac.

mini with 160gb drive and keyboard and mouse set (equipment to match the standard imac) is $1077

17" imac with everything included in the mini, $999
 
OP
ilovemycaitybug
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
1
problem is, comparing the mini to the imac, you get more for the money with the imac.

mini with 160gb drive and keyboard and mouse set (equipment to match the standard imac) is $1077

17" imac with everything included in the mini, $999

That is true, but... One thing I worry about is the monitor being built in. What if something happens to the monitor??? I have a little one and it wouldn't be too bizarre to imagine something happening. I'd rather replace a monitor than the whole thing!

Are the two systems of the same quality (if they had the same HD and RAM)? Is the Mac mini not as good of a system or is it mainly just personal preference?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Messages
2,641
Reaction score
134
Points
63
Location
Durtburg, WV
Your Mac's Specs
Sooper Fast!
That is true, but... One thing I worry about is the monitor being built in. What if something happens to the monitor??? I have a little one and it wouldn't be too bizarre to imagine something happening. I'd rather replace a monitor than the whole thing!

Are the two systems of the same quality (if they had the same HD and RAM)? Is the Mac mini not as good of a system or is it mainly just personal preference?

I believe that it's because the mini hasn't had a hardware update in ages. It only has a core duo chip available where most of the imac configurations except some of the very base ones include core 2 duo chips, which has a faster FSB speed, bigger l2 cache and are a faster chip overall. If the acronyms mean nothing to you, it's just the ability to process more information faster, essentially.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top