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Thread: Mac Mini/PC comparisons...rot, all of them

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    Angry Mac Mini/PC comparisons...rot, all of them

    I'm really, really bored with looking at pieces on all the usual Mac and PC websites that are covering the Mac Mini.

    For example, if you go to http://www.lowendmac.com you will find two pieces posted today (21st) plus a host of older ones; a piece on OS News; etc, etc, etc.

    They are absolute bobbins, quite frankly.

    "A Sempron 2600+ is comparable to a G4 1.25" rubbish! For most things the Sempron will absolutely kill the G4.

    "256Mb not enough for Windows or OSX" again, I would disagree...you can do most things okay with 256Mb in XP, but OSX would grind to a halt because of the way its built (uses free RAM as a cache, meaning with little free RAM, lots of swapping to HDD...especially bad with the MM's laptop hard drive...)

    People are comparing home built rigs to a multimedia centre PC...now, compared to a mini ITX system I can understand (not that I own one, and of course the MM isn't out over here for a week or two yet...).

    And the thing that gets me is that SO MANY of the articles start out, ha ha, lets not compare apples to oranges, or some version of that. And then they get a full desktop board, dire tower with built in PSU for $25 (yeah like thats gonna last more than 8-12 months before it explodes)....

    Don't get me wrong. I have a MM ordered. I think its gonna be a nice, quiet machine to do email, surfing, and general "mac stuff" on a decently fast machine (and if its not, out comes the 512Mb DIMM and in goes a Gb one; out comes the 4,200 RPM drive and in goes a 7,200 RPM one...or a RAIDED pair of firewire enclosures...).

    Its like...lets compare a LPG fitted Fiesta 1.4 at £9,999 to a Skoda Utility Vehicle 1.6 at £9,999....well you can fit more in the Skoda! No **** sherlock! But the Fiesta uses less power and is more nippy in traffic. My god. What a surprise.

    Okay, maybe this is a stupid thing to say but...aren't people just stupid??

    I have seen a couple of places that say "...would be better comparing to a Mini ITX machine" or "looks good compared to a Mini ITX based computer" but thats it!

    Personally I also reckon Apple are being stupid fitting the units with 256Mb, and that they need to raise memory to base 512Mb across the board, for all machines they sell...X just loves memory, and a 256 Mb machine is going to be dog slow. As I said, 256 on XP is acceptable for most things excluding gaming, heavy duty database work, and so on...with X it just isn't. If you aren't tech savvy and go into Apple Store Regent Street and buy a boxed MM, surely its gonna be a 256Mb one..people will drop in, go oooh look at the lovely little....get one, take it home and go...oh dear. This looks nice but its so slow! Take it back, and never buy another Apple...

    Comments/links to decent reviews?
    Well Hello!

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    bored out of my tiny mind malfunction's Avatar
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    I agree on the comparisons being flawed. TBH if you really want to compare the mac mini to something it needs to be compared to a pre built mini ITX system (and not one with a VIA CPU in it either! The G4 might not be super powerful but I'm 101% sure it can outpace a pants VIA CPU)

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    Most of the comparisons have been against low end Dell's tbh.

    When was the last time you used an XP machine with 256MB Ram? and a celeron.. and xp home..

    Even the old G3 800 iBooks with 256mb ram outpace my upgraded dell desktop at work (that's a 2.6gig celeron, running xp pro, 640MB ram, with office etc installed).

    The only thing the desktop is a bit quicker with is disk intensive applications, as it's not using a slow laptop drive.
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    I would really disagree with that, Stoo...although I'm lucky enough not to have used Northwood celerons much...I had a 700MHz G3 iBook with 384Mb, running 10.1 then Panther...for most things it just wasn't fast enough. Scrolling webpages was laggy, using the Finder wasn't exactly breathtaking..XP home is no slower than Pro, my boss has a 1066MHz celeron notebook (P3 based, 256Kb L2 cache) and that is much faster than the iBook ever felt. Okay thats running Windows 2000, but XP with the crap turned off is about the same I reckon. And I ran my iBook with Shadows off (one of the Unsanity apps...ShadowKiller, IIRC).

    So...a 2Ghz celery running win 2k with 256Mb...actually we DO have those at work, and they are dells...perfectly useable, much less laggy than my old 'Book was.

    *Edit* the difference is that you could run 5 things at once on the iBook and it wouldn't feel much slower...if you run a very intensive bit of code on my work machines (SELECT statements on reasonably large databases...well by my company's standards anyway, half a million records tops) it stops responding, completely, until its done. Switching windows? Wait. Start button? Wait. Even ctrl-alt-del>task manager takes 20 to 30 seconds to appear....don't get me wrong I really enjoyed my iBook but it felt too constrained, which is why I think this MM I have ordered should be good. Decent chip compared to the iBook, more RAM, etc, etc...I like OS X, but its a "heavier" OS than XP by a long shot...
    Last edited by daverobev; 21-01-2005 at 08:58 PM.
    Well Hello!

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    cross architechture comparisions are always tough and to be honest should really be avoided as the different platforms are normally built for different things.

    Try comparing a Sparc, Risc, Opteron, P4 and G4

    they all have massive pro's and cons as they are meant for different uses

    Nice to see someone making a none "mac's are god" style comparision

    they way some people talk about macs (which are very good in their place) makes me dispair
    It is Inevitable.....


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    Those mac guys should compare the Mac Mini to one of these mini pc's:

    http://www.littlepc.com/products_p4littlepc_401X.htm
    Pentium 4 up to 3.2GHz with 800MHz FSB

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    Yes, but price point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo
    Most of the comparisons have been against low end Dell's tbh.

    When was the last time you used an XP machine with 256MB Ram? and a celeron.. and xp home..
    This afternoon and it was a nightmare

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    I had a look at this and decided to compare a Mac Mini to a pre-built small form factor machine. I looked at the Dell Optiplex SX280 - I know that's a business-targeted machine, but looking at the specs (integrated graphics, 80GB hard disk, small and very quiet) I thought it'd be fair. The Dell ships with 3 years next day onsite warranty, which covers parts and labour and the Optiplex telephone support is usually pretty good. I took the upper-spec mac mini - if you want to look at the lower end machines, the Opti 170 might be better comparison, and that starts at £239 ex VAT. I added in AppleCare, so the warranty was as like-for-like as I could get.

    Apple Mac Mini: £449.36 exVAT
    1.4GHz PowerPC G4
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive
    DVI or VGA video output
    Applecare option

    Opti SX280: £429 ex VAT
    Base Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology 520 (2.80GHz/800MHz FSB/1MB L2 Cache)
    Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP2) including Media using NTFS
    256MB DDR2 SDRAM (1*256MB PC400 Non-ECC) Memory
    Enhanced Quiekey™ USB Spacesaver Midnight Grey keyboard
    80GB (7,200 rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
    Mouse Dell 2 Button USB Scroll Mouse 15720
    Optical Devices 24X DVD/CDRW Combo Drive & SW Decode for WXP
    3Y NBD (Next Business Day On-site )
    Monitor Cables DVI-to-Analog Monitor Adapter Cable

    The Dell ships with a keyboard and mouse.

    Opti 170L: £289 ex VAT
    Intel® Celeron® D Processor 320
    Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP2) including Media using NTFS
    Memory 256MB 333MHZ DDR SDRAM (1x256 DIMM)
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    Optical Devices 48x DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive + Software Decode Solution
    1Y NBD (Next Business Day On-site)
    EnergyStar Energy Star Enabled 12335 [700-10068] 44

    Basic Mac Mini: £288.51 ex VAT
    1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive
    DVI or VGA video output
    AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth optional
    1 yr repairs, 90 days telephone support

    If I were buying, guess where my money'd be going .

  10. #10
    Mac's Just Work BroadbandPlacey's Avatar
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    my moneys on the mac mini all the way

    the only reason i turn my windows based computer on is to play hl2/cs:s

    my iBook G4 is on for about 4 or 5 hours a day.... the macs just work flawlessly - my ibook is in comparison to the cheaper MM, with 512 memory and it zips along lovely.

    why compare a PC and a mac??? they do different things and both have +ve -ve points.

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    As for the stock RAM issue, Apple is planning to up the base level to 512MB RAM across their entire range of products in time for Tiger, which should be out sometime April (I'm guessing from what I've heard). Panther already (let's be honest) crawls with 256, imagine Tiger on 256 haha...

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