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Mac Mini vs. Comparable Spec PC

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g-n-t    0
How is it the "worst Mac you can buy"?  It is quite literally (spec-wise) a Mac mini with a CRT, mouse, and keyboard.

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300 dollars for a crt and mouse/keyboard worth about 150 bucks.

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threetonesun    1,204
i agree with you, i wasnt trying to compare the mac mini to a pc, i was simply stating that hte comparison made in the article was flawed. if you want to do a spec to spec comparison between the two, the pc wins every time.

i realise that there are some people that would like a mac mini(id like one, but i really dont need one and cant justify paying for it at all) and they should buy it. but i think that this crap being posted all over the internet that apple has the best price:performance ratios and the fastest personal computer in the world needs to stop.

as for the dock question, have you tried moby dock? its not fair to compare a cpu accelerated dock to an opengl one. as for usefullness, objectdock pro is far better than the OSX dock.

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My point is, the PC doesn't win, because the fundamental fact that OSX draws its interface through the graphics card puts it ahead of a comparable Windows PC. At the mini price point, gaming is a moot issue, the comparable PC would suck just as much as OSX's lack of games :laugh:

I've used all the docks in Windows, not a single one was truly lag free, and IMO they all drew the icons worse than the OSX dock.

I agree though, the mini isn't anything special computing wise. I think price+performance+form factor, it absolutely kicks ass though.

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AMD60305    2

personally, i think this article is not as justified as most articles considering the mac mini is not a DIY computer. This article by MacWorld is a much better comparison. They actually compare the mac mini to a larger name thrown in front of everyone. The Mac mini is a good buy for those that will have use of it, for those that don't have a use for it, it obviously won't have any value over an x86 computer; however, the purpose of these articles is to prove the opinion that macs are expensive false. Another thing, try running Halo on the mac mini, i guarantee you it will run a lot better than any PC from Dell in the same price range. I played Halo on an 800MHz iBook G4 and it ran flawlessly, a few frames dropped, but this is with 256MB of RAM. That is a lot being done on such minimal hardware. I would expect the Mac mini to perform better with a faster processor and a constant power supply. You would have to compare these systems side-by-side to achieve a valid test. MacWorld didn't have a video clip comparing performance, but I'm fairly positive the Mac mini would outperform the Dell PC, if not in the first hour of operation, the first month would prove trivial for the new Dell PC owner.

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g-n-t    0
My point is, the PC doesn't win, because the fundamental fact that OSX draws its interface through the graphics card puts it ahead of a comparable Windows PC. At the mini price point, gaming is a moot issue, the comparable PC would suck just as much as OSX's lack of games  :laugh:

I've used all the docks in Windows, not a single one was truly lag free, and IMO they all drew the icons worse than the OSX dock.

I agree though, the mini isn't anything special computing wise. I think price+performance+form factor, it absolutely kicks ass though.

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well the 6200 in the athlon 64machine can kick some serious ass. probably outperforms your 9600xt when OC'd.

and remember, if you want an apples to apples comparison, you will need to install something like gentoo linux on a mac mini and the athlon 64 and then test performance on a similair OS optimized for the hardware its running on.

GDI+ in windows sucks, i agree, but that doesnt make the mac mini any faster.

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macssuck    0

On the whole, how much time, patience or motivation for tinkering do you think the sort of person buying a $500 PC or Mac Mini has?

well the 6200 in the athlon 64machine can kick some serious ass. probably outperforms your 9600xt when OC'd.

Maybe after "I OC the 6600 in my 64machine and out perform somebodies 9600xt" (whatever that means) I could pull my pants up to my nipples, put on a pocket protector and talk about having a +3 protection against warlocks (whatever the heck that means).

The Mac Mini and the sub-$600 x86 PCs are not targeted at the computer computer enthusiast and anyone that tries to evaluate their suitability for such a market is engaging in the highest form of nerdy cerebral masturbation: a somewhat satisfying but ultimately pointless.

Pretty much anything in this price range is going to be adequate for it's (manufactuers) intended purpose provided it runs Mac OS X or Windows. It may be suitable for some users even if it runs Linux too but more on that later.

and remember, if you want an apples to apples comparison, you will need to install something like gentoo linux on a mac mini and the athlon 64 and then test performance on a similair OS optimized for the hardware its running on.

If you want to fairly compare a macintosh and windows pc you have to turn them both into linux boxes that aren't exactly fully functional (airport extreme support is wanting in Linux, and the ATI drivers are craptastic)? Well, I guess if you're interested in comparing how well benchmarks run then that's fine. If you're interested in using Linux (with pitiful hardware support) so be it. For those of us that want to buy a computer, use it to make some money, and then get the hell away from the damn thing to do something fun then what you propose is pointless.

The major draw that Apple and Dell machines have is that they run software most people actually want or need to use without too much fussing about. Little applications like "Microsoft Office", "Adobe Photoshop Elements", "Apple iTunes", "Microsoft Outlook", "Macromedia Flash MX", and "Quicken". Maybe you've heard of them?

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g-n-t    0

yes, i meant you should use linux on them to benchmark.

dont like the airport drivers? tell apple.

not including flash, which most people dont use, all those apps have an open source version that is good enough for me. not only that, they are all ussually installed by default in most linux distros.

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Gelob    0
My point is, the PC doesn't win, because the fundamental fact that OSX draws its interface through the graphics card puts it ahead of a comparable Windows PC. At the mini price point, gaming is a moot issue, the comparable PC would suck just as much as OSX's lack of games  :laugh:

I've used all the docks in Windows, not a single one was truly lag free, and IMO they all drew the icons worse than the OSX dock.

I agree though, the mini isn't anything special computing wise. I think price+performance+form factor, it absolutely kicks ass though.

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Even the banned YZdock?

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g-n-t    0
Even the banned YZdock?

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i never saw a problem with icon drawing. just high cpu ussage, but even that wasnt really a problem, it was still smooth.

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gunky    0

If you're buying a mac, you want to use OS X. Makes sense to me.

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macssuck    0
yes, i meant you should use linux on them to benchmark.

Like I said: if you want to buy a computer to run benchmarks all day then knock yourself out. A linux benchmark tells me nothing about how the applications I actually want to use will perform.

But I guess if I ever become sort of platform/OS troll I'll be able to hang around on web forms and encourage people to consider benchmarks that show a is faster than b if you changed both systems to reflect something that you'd never actually use.

dont like the airport drivers? tell apple.

I've got work to get done, I don't want to fight your little jihad for Linux driver support. That's why I buy an off-the-shelf machine like the Mac Mini or Dell Dimension in the first place: I want to do useful things, not tinker with my computer.

all those apps have an open source version that is good enough for me. not only that, they are all ussually installed by default in most linux distros.

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Oh, well that makes it all better then doesn't it. I mean if it's good enough for you, then why should anybody want to use anything else? :rolleyes:

Your Linux benchmarks mean nothing to the majority of computer users. We want to get paid and go golfing with a minimal amount of farting around.

Edited by macssuck

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g-n-t    0

im sorry, i forgot that warner brothers is making their movies in iMovie now and eminem is recording all his albums in garageband :rolleyes:

they are good enough for hte average user.

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macssuck    0
im sorry, i forgot that warner brothers is making their movies in iMovie now and eminem is recording all his albums in garageband :rolleyes:

And I bet they're not using a $500 dell or mac mini to do it!

It's like you live in some sort of dream world where everybody is just like you.

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g-n-t    0
And I bet they're not using a $500 dell or mac mini to do it!

It's like you live in some sort of dream world where everybody is just like you.

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no they are not. so why would they need software for it? youre not making any sense.

im living in the real world, where 95% of people are just like me.

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mayamaniac    0

For a packaged deal, the mac mini is attractive. You can't compare it to a DIY pc, the pc will always be a better bargain. So the article is wrong, the mac mini is not a better choice for DIY people.

The other topic is whether the mac mini is an affordable mac for pc people. At $500, it sounds affordable, but it is not compare to other macs, especially the ibook. If you do just a couple standard upgrades to the mac mini, such as Ram, HDD, DVD-RW drive, its easily over $650. Now, it doesn't sound affordable anymore since it doesn't come with keyboard, mouse, and monitor. If you add the prices of those to the mac mini, its be near the $1000 range, which makes you want to consider the iBook instead. If you think the mac mini is small, the ibook is even smaller.

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macssuck    0
no they are not. so why would they need software for it?

They don't. A music producer, composer, mixer, etc. is a niche job and as such they'd buy hardware and software specialized for those sorts of tasks. It was a nice straw-man argument and on second thought I'm not sure why I even addressed. What people in some specialized field use for their specialized tasks have little to do with what the world at large wants to do.

You say this

youre not making any sense.

And then this:

im living in the real world, where 95% of people are just like me.

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It's like the US government is testing a new arrogance bomb in this very thread.

Though that would explain why everybody's so busy "OCing their 6600 in their 64machine's to out perform the 9600xt in somebody else's (64machine?)", pestering manufacturers for nonexistent wireless drivers for an operating system they all use yet somehow manages to maintain a single-digit market share.

Oh wait, that doesn't happen because 95% of the "real world" (?) isn't just like you.

Thank God for that.

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g-n-t    0
It's like the US government is testing a new arrogance bomb in this very thread.

Though that would explain why everybody's so busy "OCing their 6600 in their 64machine's to out perform the 9600xt in somebody else's (64machine?)", pestering manufacturers for nonexistent wireless drivers for an operating system they all use yet somehow manages to maintain a single-digit market share.

Oh wait, that doesn't happen because 95% of the "real world" (?) isn't just like you.

Thank God for that.

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the us government can suck it.

first, its a 6200, and it doesnt need to be overclocked to beat hte mac mini. however, many gamers buy them and OC them because of the great price:performance. i dont know if you realise this, but there are probably more people with overclocked video cards than there are mac users.

second, apple doesnt manufacture their airport cards, they just change the label. and OSX has single digit market share as well, and you were the one that brought up airport cards not being compatible.

did you just randomly pick a book off amazon or what? :wacko:

thanks.

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macman87    0
im living in the real world, where 95% of people are just like me.

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Are you sure that nearly 6 billion people around the world can build computers from parts they bought from a local computer store?

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ph3412t3h13    0

@macssuck GET OUT

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vincent    155
@macssuck GET OUT

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Lookat your avatar.... Hypocrite :rolleyes:

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vincent    155

edit: double post, damn :blush:

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BTallack    0

Macssuck has made some very valid points and replied politely to every comment made. This is a discussion board, he, like you has a right to his opinion. You need not tell him to get out.

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Brandon Live    232
My point is, the PC doesn't win, because the fundamental fact that OSX draws its interface through the graphics card puts it ahead of a comparable Windows PC.

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What, you think the PC draws its interface through the USB port?

GDI+ is just as hardware accelerated as Quartz, if you have drivers that support per-pixel alphablending and hardware accelerated 2D strethblts. Those are the effects that programs like WindowFX rely on (to do the genie-like transitions, tiles, etc.)

Quartz is easier to develop for, but it's also far newer. GDI+ has been around since Windows 2000 (ie. 1999).

Quartz Extreme is indeed a step ahead, however it doesn't afford the Mac any useability advantage - it just gives it some pretty effects that the Windows interface can't do (without tapping into DirectX or OpenGL directly).

I've used all the docks in Windows, not a single one was truly lag free, and IMO they all drew the icons worse than the OSX dock.

Umm... A few points:

1) Why would you want a Dock in Windows? It has a far more functional interface to begin with.

2) If you do want a dock, try ObjectDock. It's faster and far more powerful than the OS X dock. I use it, though not to emulate the inconsistent functionality of the OS X dock, but rather as a tabbed program launcher. EVEN if you do want to use ObjectDock as a taskbar, it works in a far more sensible way than the OS X one.

I'm actually rather fond of OS X. But it isn't the end-all be-all of UI design. In fact, it has some rather glaring flaws in that regard. Aesthetically it is quite nice, of course.

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Southern Patriot    962

Care to explain what is inconsistent or not sensible about the way the OS X dock functions?

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Tungsten T    1

Umm... why dont emacs count (kind of late i no)

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Heyo    0
Care to explain what is inconsistent or not sensible about the way the OS X dock functions?

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Can I answer this one as someone who has played around with OS X and has *tried* to get a Mini but failed due to the supply issues.

As a new OS X user, I found the Dock to be extremely confusing in it's desire to merge 2 functions into one bar. On one hand it's a launcher that throws lots and lots of pretty eye-candy icons in your face and on the other it needs to indicate to the user which applications are running. Now this is fine and all, but when you go to launch one of these icons they use a duller than dishwater arrow made up of a few pixels to indicate the task is now running. I found as a new user I totally missed this given the overwhelming graphical glare of the icons and the rest of the interface. It was like trying to spot a fly through fireworks. The launched icon jumping up and down trying to grab my attention away didn't help either. Why an arrow is supposed to represent a running task is beyond me also. I guess it's the the same sort of logic that proposes a red jube is supposed to represent a window being closed or whatever.

Another time I accidentally dragged a launcher icon off the bar and saw a puff of smoke. Did I just delete the icon I had accidentally clicked on? If something goes off in a puff of smoke I think that particular metaphor reinforces deletion, but I suspect that is not what happened. I don't know. What did happen was that as a new user I became worried I had accidentally deleted something. I don't see how an interface could boast negative reinforcement is a good thing.

My Dock seemed to grow while using it. I assume this is because I was using programs that wern't intially in it. This just raised questions in my head... "Why is it adding stuff to my launcher when I don't want them there? Will these icons be here next time I start?. How do I remove these icons as I don't want them in my launcher anyway?". If your interface is raising questions in your head, then IMO it's a sign the interface isn't obvious and needs work.

They were just my new user impressions of the Dock. The rest of the interface I liked, but think is over-rated to be honest. I'm just peeved I won't get my Mini now to play around with it some more. My friend who convinced me to get the Mini in the first place said it grew on him. I suspect the OS X interface is actually tailored not to the new user but someone who knows what they are doing.

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