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Buying Mini or iMac - some questions


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Buying Mini or iMac - some questions
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davidb
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
 
2005-02-27, 13:57

Hi, first post, so go easy on me

I've pretty much decided to buy a mac in the next couple of weeks, I'm after a bit of advice before handing over the cash. First off, some background - my current desktop machine is a home-built PC (1.2Ghz Athlon, 512Mb RAM - it's quite old) running Slackware (it's setup to dual-boot with W2k, but I've only used that a couple of times in the last few months). I'm fully "Windows-free" when it comes to software, which is one reason I'm happy to move to a Mac - another is the ability to still use some of the *nix and X apps I like from slack. My current plan is to stick this PC in my understairs cupboard, and use it as a file server. PC is used for internet stuff (browsing, msn, usenet), general photo stuff, mp3's, and playing about with linux stuff - nothing particularly stressful tbh.

On to my questions. I've been pretty set on buying a BTO Mac Mini - spec wise, I'm thinking 1.25Ghz, 512Mb, superdrive & airport card (my WAP will live in the cupboard with the server). I've got a 22" CRT at the moment, but I want to replace it with a nice 17" TFT - the Samsung 172X is looking favourite (very narrow bezel, simple, elegant and almost Apple-like ). I'd re-use my USB mouse and keyboard.

So, firstly, can anyone see any problems with this setup? One of the main draws of the Mini is the apparent lack of noise - this setup will be in my living room, I'm fed up with constant fan noise. I want it to be silent, so I can leave it on all the time - is that realistic with the Mini?

Now, my other choice (having seen one today ) is a 17" iMac , with superdrive, 512Mb of RAM and airport card. This comes out at about 30% more expensive than the Mini + nice TFT. I'm still undecided whether it's worth the extra - I do love the look of the iMac, and especially that widescreen TFT. My only concern is noise - how loud are iMac G5's? As I said, this is going to be in my living room, I really don't want it to be at all noticeable. Otherwise, would I be gaining that much over the Mini/TFT?

Sorry for the rambling, I'd appreciate any thoughts
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-02-27, 15:41

Welcome to AppleNova. I hope you'll find our community helpful with easing the transition to your new Mac.

You sound like a perfect candidate for a Mac mini.

Both the iMac G4 and the Mac mini are very quiet. I've read that the iMac is completely silent during normal operation (less any soft hard drive accessing) but that the fans are relatively quiet when they do rev up.

The Mac mini is not snail, but the iMac will offer a substantial increase in speed in some cases. The faster bus and processor in the iMac can give it a great edge over the mini with intense multimedia work, but you probably won't be doing much of that.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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davidb
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
 
2005-02-28, 16:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Welcome to AppleNova. I hope you'll find our community helpful with easing the transition to your new Mac.
Thanks
Quote:
You sound like a perfect candidate for a Mac mini.
I guess so! I think I'll probably end up going for the mini, it does seem pretty much perfect. I went out and had another look at a 17" iMac today (can't really afford/justify getting a 20" one, much as I'd like to), and thinking about it rationally, the widescreen probably isn't worth the extra money compared to a 1280x1024 TFT. By sticking with the mini/TFT I could also get myself a new 4gig iPod and have lots of cash to spare (now there's a plan ). Like you say, I don't really think I'd use the extra capabilities of the G5 enough to really notice the difference, and hard disk space won't be an issue since I'm running a fileserver.

Right, I think I've just about convinced myself <where's that credit card...>
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davidb
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
 
2005-03-02, 19:07

mini is now ordered Just got to wait for it now...
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Wraven
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas
 
2005-03-02, 19:14

david,
I wish I had seen your posts earlier. I have a mini and LOVE it. But I would have recommended the 1.42GHz model, not for the processor speed increase, but for the 40 extra GBs of HD space. Not a huge issue though - you could always get one of those nice Porsche Firewire HDs to sit next to it (problem solved). You will be very happy with your mini - I am with mine and hell I've even done some iMovie / iDVD work with mine. We have similar backgrounds PC-wise, and this is my first Mac as well. Good luck!

Cheers,
Wraven
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davidb
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
 
2005-03-02, 19:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraven
I have a mini and LOVE it. But I would have recommended the 1.42GHz model, not for the processor speed increase, but for the 40 extra GBs of HD space.
Already thought of that, luckily I'm going to be keeping my Linux box to act as a fileserver - got 190Gb in that at the moment, and extra disks are cheap I've already got Samba up and working, I guess I should have a play at getting Netatalk running too?
Quote:
You will be very happy with your mini - I am with mine and hell I've even done some iMovie / iDVD work with mine. We have similar backgrounds PC-wise, and this is my first Mac as well. Good luck!
Thanks! I'm looking forward to getting it, 23/03/05 is the shipping date according to the email I just got from the apple store.
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Wraven
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas
 
2005-03-02, 19:38

davidb,
You're right - I overlooked tht part where you have a lot of network attached storage. Your setup should be pretty nice - similar to mine (but I have about .5TB distributed among 2 computers ).

Cheers,
Wraven
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davidb
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
 
2005-03-21, 06:55

Just to follow up on this, my BTO mini arrived last week (over a week before Apple said it would ). I love it, it works beautifully out of the box - connected to my LAN perfectly, updated itself (it came with iLife 05 pre-installed), and let me ssh straight into my slackware box etc. In the first evening, I had iTunes happily playing my mp3's which were mounted on an NFS share Most impressive, and on top of all that, the mini itself looks great!

Overall, I'm really impressed, it's a great bit of kit.
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