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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently considering a purchase of a mac mini.
I currently enjoy my mac setup, but sometimes there is a need just flick my old PC back on. Lately, I've been thinking that it might be time to replace the old PC (it's actually about 7yrs old .. hehe)

My needs really do not call for a high performance PC, and so I was thinking about getting one of those tiny PC cases just to have a piece of "more recent" technology. I checked out some of the prices and was shocked to see how much it would cost for me to basically build a 'back-up' computer system.

The next thing that came to mind was that maybe I could just purchase a mac mini (intel), and have it run windows entirely (since I've got a separate mac setup). Of course, i'd leave OS X in there to do it's regular updates, but that would be basically all i'd use OS X on the mini for. Then even my "PC" will look nice with the rest of my mac setup :) Now I won't have to hide the "PC" in another room .. hehe

I thought about installing a usb hacked windows onto a 3.5" hard drive and putting it into an external drive so that i can boot it up from my mac setups, but i thought maybe not .. i'd like to make use of my extra monitor/keyboard/etc that's with my PC setup ... so I was thinking of using bootcamp on the mac mini for this ..

i see the current gen mac mini 1.66GHz stock components going for $680 on apple's site.

edu discount brings it down to $658.

compusmart is closing and clearing stock, selling it for $680-$80, and using a Visa card discount coupon, i get another 10% off, bringing it down to $540.

all prices CDN.

is there something else out there that I could be more happy with, cheaper?
ram boost necessary (stock is 512mb) to run windows xp, and maybe in the future .. vista ?
 
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I run XP on my mini with 512MB of ram and am pretty happy with it, but I don't do a lot in windows. I play some videos with VLC and use IE6 (via Virtual PC), IE7 and Firefox for testing via VNC. Sadly windows is much better for my uses on this machine as a media machine (due mostly to the advanced features only available with the windows video drivers to set different color curves for the video overlay -- something OSX doesn't have).
 

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It might not be the most ideal situation but you could just buy a $399 computers from Dell. After all, when factor in the costs for extra RAM, Parallels, Windows OEM license and whatever else you need, you're really not paying that much more and getting a system with a ton of extra features and performance.

Also, I believe your intension is to use Bootcamp but the problem is that it's really a beta software and there seems to be rumors of Apple phasing it into Leopard and/or turning Bootcamp into something you'll eventually have to pay for.

Hence, why this might be cheaper in the end:

Dimension C521
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 3600+
Windows XP Home Edition
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
1 Year Next Business Day Onsite/In Home Service and Tech Support
Free Shipping!
$399

It's also in one of those "slim" cases and you can't get it with Vista. Maybe there's a similar configuration with Vista but I didn't bother to look.

Just go to dell.ca, click desktops under small business and you'll see it there or under the 10 days of dell sale.

Regardless, I'd be tempted to wait and see what Apple does with the Mini. If they release a new model, you might want that instead. If they completely discontinue it, then the price is going to drop even more.
 

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Age old question, does Windows XP Home Edition deal with two or more cores? CPU tests while running in Windows has me thinking that perhaps it's only using one core.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
paradime, you were reading my thoughts :)

i've been eyeing that same system, found on RFD
Comp - Dell Dimension C521 $399 - RedFlagDeals.com Forums

I'm not sure if i'd be too excited about a new mini with upgraded specs which probably is overkill for my purposes. but the mini would actually look nice with everything else i have :)

I saw on the apple site about packaging bootcamp along with leopard, but boot camp as it is, in public beta, has been doing fine from a lot of feedback that i hear elsewhere. Obviously for more hardcore uses, you'll find bugs.

I'm on the fence for this one .. but i'm leaning a little closer towards the dell system just because it's cheaper, and it's going to be doing what it was meant to do.

Thanks everyone for the input!

edit: oh yeah, the above dell system can be had for $489 ($90 more) with Vista Premium and 320gb HD .. all else the same, even the slim tower. In terms of the form factor, i would have liked to have a shorter case, like a half tower, or a cube, rather than a tower that's pretty much the same height as any other, but just slimer .. to me, it just doesn't seem like much of a space saver :rolleyes:
 

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oh yeah, the above dell system can be had for $489 ($90 more) with Vista Premium and 320gb HD
Yeah...not a bad deal. Definitely something to consider especially for your needs. I guess at this point in time, I don't think I'd dive into a Mac Mini and add in a bunch of upgrades unless it's offered at a killer price, which I don't think $658 is killer. Besides, some of the deals on iMacs are a better value.
 

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Age old question, does Windows XP Home Edition deal with two or more cores? CPU tests while running in Windows has me thinking that perhaps it's only using one core.
The official line is that XP Home can deal with multiple cores on the same chip, but not two separate processors.

I ran XP Home on a dual-core AMD chip for 4 months before upgrading to Vista, but never tested it. I can confirm that Vista Home Premium makes use of both cores.
 

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I saw on the apple site about packaging bootcamp along with leopard, but boot camp as it is, in public beta, has been doing fine from a lot of feedback that i hear elsewhere. Obviously for more hardcore uses, you'll find bugs.
IIRC, Apple plans to charge Tiger users for the final version of Boot Camp. Something to keep in mind if you plan on buying a Mini now for primarily Windows use.
 

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dfsdirect.ca
$239 off-lease Optiplex GX270

* P4 2.2GHZ PROCESSOR
* 256MB RAM
* 40GB HARD DISK
* FLOPPY DRIVE
* CD ROM DRIVE
* SOUNDBLASTER COMPATIBLE AUDIO ADAPTER
* INTEGRATED NETWORK ADAPTER
* POWER CABLE INCLUDED
* KEYBOARD & MOUSE
* NO SOFTWARE
* NO MONITOR
 

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dfsdirect.ca
$239 off-lease Optiplex GX270
I've always been amazed that anyone would want to buy an off-lease system. First, the prices are never that good. $239 compared to $399 for a brand new system with 4x the ram, 4x the hard drive size, probably 2x-4x the processing power, no OS? It's just not worth it.

Second, why buy a system that's already been paid for in full and long written off; where it's been used and abused in a corporate environment and most likely operating 24/7? If they were selling for $50, I'd consider it but $239? I dunno...
 

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I've always been amazed that anyone would want to buy an off-lease system. First, the prices are never that good. $239 compared to $399 for a brand new system with 4x the ram, 4x the hard drive size, probably 2x-4x the processing power, no OS? It's just not worth it.

Second, why buy a system that's already been paid for in full and long written off; where it's been used and abused in a corporate environment and most likely operating 24/7? If they were selling for $50, I'd consider it but $239? I dunno...
So, what are you saying? Not interested? ...

Also, add on that the new Dell system has dual core procressors. Waaaay faster. Even though waaaay takes longer to say.
 
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