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Thread: Thinking of getting a MacMini

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Thinking of getting a MacMini

    Seeing as I only use my PC to surf the net and write the odd document I was thinking of selling my PC and one of my 20 inch widescreen monitors and buying myself a MacMini. I need to know a couple of things though.

    Can I buy an external HD enclosure to house two of my HD's with all my media on?

    Is the Mac Mini powerful enough to run graphics apps like Photoshop and does the OS support all the normal windows apps such as office, CuteFTP etc etc

    Is there alot of room for upgrades apart from the RAM? E.g will I need to buy a new version next year when the current machine can't handle the software out there?

    Cheers for your help.

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Wait a couple of weeks as an update is looming for the mini it may be next week.

    You need a minimum of 1gb of ram really as OSX loves ram, you can get away with 512mb but I personally dont build machines with less than an gb as its so cheap.

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Cool a new update is always welcome, I wanted a Gig of ram anyway Do you know of any good apple news sites?

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    Appleinsider.com is great. The mini is a decent machine, once you drop 1gig o' ram inside it. Photoshop, office, transmit (wayyyyy better than CuteFTP haha) all run fine. OF course Photoshop won't run amazingly - i.e. if you are working with say 8MP images (RAW) it will take about 3 - 4 seconds for them to load.

    You can easily hook up external drives via USB2/Firewire. Bullet proofing for the future, well if you get one of the newer minis I would imagine it'll last a fair while.

    Also note that quite a few features in Tiger run 'differently' on a mini (example dashboard due to the slower gfx, and looses all its flashyness) but the OS is written to compensate for this, but you will not loose out on functionality.

    I.e. visual flair looks pretty but dashboard still functions like it should...

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    Seeing as I only use my PC to surf the net and write the odd document I was thinking of selling my PC and one of my 20 inch widescreen monitors and buying myself a MacMini. I need to know a couple of things though.

    Can I buy an external HD enclosure to house two of my HD's with all my media on?

    Do you mean like a HDD caddy? Yes, as long as it has a USB 2 or Firewire output, note: The Mac Mini has 2 USB and one firewire port, no other inputs.

    Is the Mac Mini powerful enough to run graphics apps like Photoshop and does the OS support all the normal windows apps such as office, CuteFTP etc etc

    It's not going to be much cop for proper Photoshop sessions i.e. professional jobs, i've noticed slow down on websites which have flash sometimes! so heavy graphics would make it struggle...Yes, you can get office or openoffice for it... all the apps you need are avaliable on the Mac.

    Is there alot of room for upgrades apart from the RAM? E.g will I need to buy a new version next year when the current machine can't handle the software out there?

    You won't be able to upgrade it much, no... I don't think so anyway, RAM is easy enough - you need to google for it...

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    Loves duck, Peking Duck! bsodmike's Avatar
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    One thing with the mini, and I've said this before. If you have too many widgets running, they will eat up RAM and lead to a more sluggish machine and you'll be left wondering what's up. Also the slower hdd on the mini (4200rpm?) means that even virtual memory is slower than normal...

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Okay cheers for your help people I am getting one for sure now. Just found this article as well

    A Mac mini update is ready for roll-out just two months after Apple bumped the RAM on the systems and added a SuperDrive model, Think Secret has learned. The systems, which are currently in transit to retailers, were originally slated to roll-out this week but may not appear until next week. No announcement is planned beyond a possible press release.
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    The low-end Mac mini will be upgraded from a 1.25GHz G4 processor to a 1.33GHz G4, while the high-end will see an equally modest bump from 1.42GHz to 1.5GHz. Hard drive capacities are expected to remain the same but will be upgraded from 4,200-rpm drives to 5,400-rpm. The mid-range and high-end models will receive a new AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth module featuring Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. Lastly, the high-end model will see its 4x SuperDrive upgraded to an 8x dual-layer model.

    Pricing will remain the same at $499, $599, and $699, sources said.

    Now just to sell my PC and monitor on this forum

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    Wow thanks for the read, this was a useful thread... I was considering between getting a Powerbook, ibook and mac mini, but now I don't think the mini would suit me. But iBook probably won't be all that powerful too, so I might end up saving for a powerbook

  9. #9
    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    How much noise do the Mac Mini's make anyway? I want a quiet machine I can leave on pretty much all the time.

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    I haven't actually seen one in action apart from the Apple Shop, which isn't exactly a silent place... but I wouldn't be suprised if they were pretty silent. See if you can get some reviews on the net?

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    My mini is virtually silent, I leave it on 24/7 only a metre or so frm my bed, and the on occasional noise is the spining o the hdd, which you only hear if you are looking for it, you are unlikely to find a quieter system!

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyrunner
    My mini is virtually silent, I leave it on 24/7 only a metre or so frm my bed, and the on occasional noise is the spining o the hdd, which you only hear if you are looking for it, you are unlikely to find a quieter system!
    Fantastic I have been looking for a quiet system

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    Quote Originally Posted by Famished
    Seeing as I only use my PC to surf the net and write the odd document I was thinking of selling my PC and one of my 20 inch widescreen monitors and buying myself a MacMini. I need to know a couple of things though.
    Just a suggestion; when you are pricing up a Mac Mini, remember to price an iMac G5 at the same time. Although there's obviously a price jump, once you start adding gubbins to the mini, the price jump may disappear for what you get for your money, considering that the 17" iMac 1.8Ghz is 899 and the 2Ghz is 999.

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codepope
    Just a suggestion; when you are pricing up a Mac Mini, remember to price an iMac G5 at the same time. Although there's obviously a price jump, once you start adding gubbins to the mini, the price jump may disappear for what you get for your money, considering that the 17" iMac 1.8Ghz is 899 and the 2Ghz is 999.
    Cheers for the tip I will keep that in mind when I order it

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    One tip, if you want a heavier weight system and can buy on line, try the referb' shop, it opens at 10am on Wednesdays. You can pick up 20" G5 imacs for under 1k£, though as it sounds like you have a display if so you could get a G5 tower for ~700£. Just get early to pick off the real bargains & don't be scared that they are referb's, they have a lower return rate than new systems, the price you pay is that they usually have minor cosmetic damage.
    Caecus [ MSI RS480M2-IL | Athlon64 3800+ | Radeon X800 XL | 2x 512 PC3200 | Raptor 74GB | DiamondMax9 200GB ]
    Vegrandis [ Mac Mini | G4 1.25GHz | 1x 1GB PC2700 | Momentus 40GB ]

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNewt
    One tip, if you want a heavier weight system and can buy on line, try the referb' shop, it opens at 10am on Wednesdays. You can pick up 20" G5 imacs for under 1k£, though as it sounds like you have a display if so you could get a G5 tower for ~700£. Just get early to pick off the real bargains & don't be scared that they are referb's, they have a lower return rate than new systems, the price you pay is that they usually have minor cosmetic damage.

    Sounds like a plan, whats the addy?

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