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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love the size and style of the Mac mini! ...but when you're in as tight of a budget as I am, pennies count.

Consider the competition for this kind of machine:
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0926INGFS10086715&catid=20217#

Equal processor, twice the RAM, four times the HDD space (with faster speed) DVD-RW and much improved video. (Some models even have wifi built-in, though there's a mini-PCI slot in there for the ones that don't.) Of course... it's Windows. Vista at that. :yawn: XX)

But for the same ~$700 you get an awful lot more. You still get more than the $900 better mini.


Wouldn't it be nice if the macs were a bit cheaper, which just might create a larger user-base as well... just pipe-dreamin' here. :)
 

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At one point you could buy a mac mini pre installed with the french version for $450. Compusmart perhaps? You get the cd's so you'd just re-install. Check around and see if there are still some left.
 

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Granted, you get the same kind of performance. But what's the quality like on those components? One of the reasons the Mini is more expensive is because the components are from reputable manufactures... can the same be said of the Acer?

Look below the surface. ;)

(Although I agree, the Mini is expensive for what you get performance-wise.)
 

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They are made out of the same parts, from the same factories in China and South Korea. It is quite upsetting to many (everyone likes to fly the flag of their favourite brand), but I have built systems for these factories. They make ram, and motherboards or hard drives. There are a few companies that make primary components and then 50 companies that relabel. Even the equipment that I made to make these parts was relabeled a couple of times and incorporated into other equipment.
Some very low end equipment might be made using components that didn't quite make the speed mark. Factories/chip makers deal with a 10-20 percent fail rate, after that, they just grade certain components.
If you only have $1000 for a computer, then you have to go PC to get decent performance and graphics ability. I wish my iMac didn't cost $3500, but at this level it competes with PC performance, and is powerful enough that upgrading isn't an issue.
Vista isn't a bad OS, nor is XP if you maintain it. I have one PC setup so it looks and acts like OS X. I do not subscribe to the "I'm a Mac and PC's are stupid" mentality. I use both, and I don't have any problems with my PC. To be honest, it is only a matter of time before you will be able to run OSX on a PC anyway (not sure about AMD though). That sort of pressure will eventually force Apple to reconsider its pricing and closed architecture.
For now, I would suggest you get a Intel dual core 2 PC box and make sure it has a free PCIe slot for your next $500 purchase, a very fast graphics card.
 

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Hey BlueMax

What are your primary uses for a new computer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey BlueMax

What are your primary uses for a new computer?
I wish I could say I didn't play games. 20+ years have made me a computer-game addict. One reason I wouldn't mind switching to Mac is the lack of games, and that they're also not as freely available (by legal means or otherwise...)

...then I can get back to writing music. Finale 2007 is a dandy program, and apparently even graphically better on the Mac! I'd love to see all the notes anti-aliased, etc. The PC version has always been so..... blocky and unattractive.

I mini would be plenty sufficient - and if it's standard DDR2 desktop RAM, I can swap my 2x1GB from my ex-Dell PC for the 512MB found in the mini. My wife won't mind. ;)

But another reason for the new-computer need, is that I might be living away from home for 4-6 months, and I just can't live without a computer. :) I have a good-quality 19" CRT to use, so a cheap-but-good compy is the order of the day. If I can break the gaming addiction, I can write music like I'm supposed to. 5 days a week out on my own with limited internet access, no games, and no Windows (to facilitate GETTING games) would be a plus. ;)

A very cheap CoreDuo mini would fit the bill very well. The G4 model lacks the power to run finale 2007 with the Garritan Personal Orchestra addon.
 

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I recently picked up an open box Mac mini for $579, before taxes. Only "open" part about it was the original seal, the rest (plastic wrapping mini, power supply etc) was pristine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I recently picked up an open box Mac mini for $579, before taxes. Only "open" part about it was the original seal, the rest (plastic wrapping mini, power supply etc) was pristine.
Combo drive or SuperDrive? I know that Compusmart sure blew some last-gen minis out for a suuuuper deal. I just wasn't in a position to buy then... even $300 for the Single-Core model would have been enough to get me started. Cheap!

So... I'll have to keep my eyes open for a good deal on a mini. The move to OS-X has been a long time coming.
 

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... even $300 for the Single-Core model would have been enough to get me started. Cheap!
Now that the eMac is gone, it would be nice if Apple had a low entry Mac Mini starting say at $400. Even if it was a single core.
But as long as they market it as just that...entry level. Just so people don't get upset that they can't run Final Cut Pro on it.
 

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They can't run Final Cut Pro on a Mini anyway... it will not install if it can't detect a graphics card. :(
 

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I love the size and style of the Mac mini! ...but when you're in as tight of a budget as I am, pennies count.

Consider the competition for this kind of machine:
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0926INGFS10086715&catid=20217#

Equal processor, twice the RAM, four times the HDD space (with faster speed) DVD-RW and much improved video. (Some models even have wifi built-in, though there's a mini-PCI slot in there for the ones that don't.) Of course... it's Windows. Vista at that. :yawn: XX)

But for the same ~$700 you get an awful lot more. You still get more than the $900 better mini.
Didn't see Bluetooth or Wireless networking on this Acer... hmmm or the infrared remote with Front Row. I wonder how much bigger and noisier it is than the mini?
 

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It was an intel CoreDuo that I got. I saw the same machine at FutureShop as an open box the other day as well. There's also refurb macbooks under $1K on apples site if you need a portable....toting a 19" CRT isn't going to be that 'portable' !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Didn't see Bluetooth or Wireless networking on this Acer... hmmm or the infrared remote with Front Row. I wonder how much bigger and noisier it is than the mini?
True - even if it touts the media center software of that version of Vista (I've never used it - I have no idea) there's no fancy remote and I doubt it's as streamlined as Front Row.

Bigger? Some, a bit longer when dumped on its side... about 80% longer if you judge by the size of the CD slot. That's still better than a big 'ol tower - even a micro-atx one almost half the size of a big one.

It's got much larger air grilles, and it would appear there's two fans in the back. 26 decibels it's rated at. Not bad, and much better than any other PC I've owned, including Dells. Any official db rating for the mini? I've heard some say it gets a little noisy when working hard....

Apparently the GMA950 video is a pretty bad limitation on some software like that Final Cut. That sucks. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
toting a 19" CRT isn't going to be that 'portable' !
Nope. But it's what I have. ;)

I don't need "portable" so much as "not take up too much space" if I have to live in a tiny hole-in-the-wall. The monitor is larger than I'd like, but it's what's available, so it's what I'll use.
 

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Combo drive or SuperDrive? I know that Compusmart sure blew some last-gen minis out for a suuuuper deal. I just wasn't in a position to buy then... even $300 for the Single-Core model would have been enough to get me started. Cheap!

So... I'll have to keep my eyes open for a good deal on a mini. The move to OS-X has been a long time coming.
Combo drive, and I got it from the Apple Store - sig has other details.
 

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My brother is thinking about ditching his dinosaur (533MHz digital audio G4) for something else.

He keeps asking me about the Intel Mac Mini but I keep discouraging him to get it because it needs some update really badly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
True on that mini update! :yawn:
Move it up to Core2Duo and use the AMD-600 chipset for a "free" Radeon X1250 video "card".
 
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