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Alcibiades
2005-10-19, 23:39
I'm looking to sell my PC, while keeping my notebook. However, I'm not sure what to get, I'd LOVE a new iMac, but its simply to far out of my means. Now, I need something decent to use to word process, watch videos, use garage band, etc. on, and I was wondering which system I'd be better off with, an eMac, which I'll hopefully be able to still find in a compusmart or other Mac retailed by the time I sell my PC, or a Mac Mini, with it's new 1.5 ghz Processor, and 64mb 9200, which still doesn't support core image (though alitvec does, but this put a larger burden on the processor) and faster HD.

I have a keyboard already, and I can find or procure a monitor easily enough, so that's not really a problem. It just kinda blows hard that I can't BTO an eMac anymore.

I guess my question is, would I be better off with the eMac two ram slots, and better vid card, or would the Mini's now not so terrible HD, and slight faster processor due me for a few years until I can afford another Intel *shudder* mac? It's a pity they didn't see fit to release a mini with a nice video card update.

LudwigVan
2005-10-20, 00:37
What about a refurbished previous-generation G5 iMac? They should cost just a little more than a tricked out Mac mini.

(By the way, didn't you ask a similar question about a week ago?)

Luca
2005-10-20, 00:44
The eMac isn't that good of a machine, though. The monitor (most important part of a computer IMHO, since you use it constantly) is not that great and it can't be upgraded. It costs almost as much as an iBook, which is a much nicer machine. And in my opinion, the eMac just isn't any fun. I've owned one before and I was not really that impressed. I can't attribute it to any one thing... it was just a bland, boring machine. The mini is a lot nicer. Maybe it's because you can use whatever monitor you want, and because it's so small.

Alcibiades
2005-10-20, 07:49
I don't think I've asked this question here before, though I apologize if I've somehow double posted without knowing it.

I'm not big on refurbs, as I like getting a full three year warranty when I buy my products. Plus, add the extra cost of ram to it, plus the tax, and I'd be willing to bet it's be a pretty penny more than a mini. The Apple store in Canada does not sell refurbs either for some strange reason.

My only problem with the mini is the terrible graphics card. The card itself is over 4 years old, and double the video ram on it will make absolutely no difference at all in terms of performance. Factor in the lack of support for core image, which puts more stress on the minialist CPU it has, and it can really slow down your computer in some applications I hear. I don't know why they just didn't throw a 9550 like the ibook has in there, with or without double the ram...

Whats so bad about the eMac display? I was toying around with one in a store a few weeks ago, and it didn't seem terrible. I'd take a bigger mini with better specs over the current offering anyday myself.

An iBook is out of the question, its more expensive, and I already own a new notebook, and can't justify buying another one.

I dunno, since apple took the eMac out, they really don't have anything for someone in my pricerange....

Joshua
2005-10-20, 08:13
I think you can get APP with refurbs?

I too was never that impressed by the eMac. I know it's only cosmetics, but it's freakin ugly as all get up!

Go with the mini. But like alot have realized too late, by the time you add all the xtra's (monitor, KB, mouse, USB hub, xternal HD, etc...) you might be kicking yourself saying you shoulda got an iMac for not that much more.

Good luck either way.

I'll be picking up my iMac tomorrow :)

Luca
2005-10-20, 08:30
My only problem with the mini is the terrible graphics card. The card itself is over 4 years old, and double the video ram on it will make absolutely no difference at all in terms of performance. Factor in the lack of support for core image, which puts more stress on the minialist CPU it has, and it can really slow down your computer in some applications I hear. I don't know why they just didn't throw a 9550 like the ibook has in there, with or without double the ram...
That's not true. The Mac mini's graphics card is severely held back by its tiny amount of VRAM. I noticed this when trying to play Quake 3 on my mini. I tried it on a Mac with the same speed processor and a 64 MB Radeon 8500 (which is about the same speed as the Radeon 9200), and it was perfectly fast and smooth at the highest possible settings. So I know what the RV2xx core is capable of. But on the Mac mini, I have to turn down the settings significantly in order to get the same high framerates I saw on that old PowerMac G4. So the mini is clearly held back by the low VRAM. I am quite sure a 64 MB 9200 would perform better than a 32 MB 9550 in almost everything.

Lack of CoreImage isn't a big deal to me. All it means is the presence or absence of the ripple effect in Dashboard. I don't use Dashboard and I don't care enough about the ripple effect to spend any money to get it.

Whats so bad about the eMac display? I was toying around with one in a store a few weeks ago, and it didn't seem terrible. I'd take a bigger mini with better specs over the current offering anyday myself.
Eh, it's not terrible really, it's just not very good. It's just a shadow-mask 17" CRT. Truly a bottom-of-the-bargain-bin display. I'd rather not have such a display permanently connected to my computer.

Bryson
2005-10-20, 08:57
The eMac is discontinued, unless you're an Educational institution. That might have decided for you!

Alcibiades
2005-10-20, 11:11
Bryson-I believe in my original post I mentioned that I'd have to visit a brick and mortar store to get an eMac, yes, I know it was discontinued.

As for a mini costing close to an iMac, I very much doubt it. I already have a keyboard and mouse, a can get a monitor easily enough (I think I have an old dell kicking around somewhere) or I could part with the $100 to buy a new CRT. I won't need an external HD, 80 gigs would be sufficient to me.

Maybe I'll end up getting a Mac Mini, the new HD should at least speed things up. Still, the lack of a second ram slot, and the continued abscense of a fully tiger compatible graphics processor irks me. If they'd release a mini with a better GPU, I'd be all over it like a fat kid on cake.

Guess I'll have to see what happens...

stonyc
2005-10-20, 11:39
I'm in a similar situation as you, the iMac (even the new one) doesn't really appeal to me because I would rather have a separate monitor (I'll likely spring for the 24" widescreen dell when they go on sale again). Having just sold my powerbook right before the update (wow! that was worth about $300 extra or so), my ultimate plan is:

24" Dell Widescreen (to be shared between...)
New revision Mac Mini (have BT keyboard/mouse already)
Gaming PC