• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

Mac Mini vs. Comparable Spec PC

Recommended Posts

Lare2    11
Adobe Photoshop album (Compares with iPhoto)................$50

Hell no, you can get Picasa for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stew    0
Hell no, you can get Picasa for free.

585614191[/snapback]

What the writer is getting at is the fact that you can buy iPhoto seperately, its not a free piece of software it just comes bundled with new macs, and of course is included in a small part of the price. As such comparing Picasa (a free software) to iPhoto a piece of software you pay for is not fair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shodan    0
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.

585614163[/snapback]

Reading this post makes me think of something...

Is there anybody who cares to read the manual !?!? How could somebody pretend to use something without even knowing how it works?!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
StuRReaL    0
because i was bored...

case/psu- 40

16x dual layer DVDRW- 50

Corsair Value Select (Dual Pack) 184 Pin 512MBx2 DDR PC-3200 - 105

80 GB 7200rpm hdd w/8mb buffer 57

nforce4 mobo - 109

athlon 64 3000-153

nVIDIA GeForce 6200 Video Card with Turbo Cache supporting 128MB PCI-Express-70

so that comes out to  584, about the same price as a mac mini with 512mb ram. i did not include OS/software because linux is free and is better than windows, so i see absouletly no reason to add the cost of windows ot the system. if oyu wanted to however, you could decrease the ram and get a 2800 instead of the 3000. also, i got these from neweggs front page. jsut random parts. if i actualyl researched it i coulve gotten a much better deal.

so lets compare

cpu- 1.25ghz G4 vs. 3000 athlon 64

512mb pc 2700 vs. 1GB dual channel pc 3200

40gb 4200rpm vs. 80gb 7200rpm

combo drive vs. dual layer dvd burner

radeon 9200 32mb vs. PCIe 6200 up to 128mb(system ram)

10/100 vs. 10/100/1000

DVI vs. VGA/DVI/TV

585600565[/snapback]

Erm that all said and done, can a PC run OSX without emulation? erm no you buy a mac for OSX which is loads better than Windows in many different ways, also your not comparing like for like. PC's are CISC with limited RISC extensions based systems, Mac's are RISC. Look those terms up if you don't understand. So whan the mac cpu is 1.25GHz thats a completely different scale compared to an x86 chip because the Mac CPU has many more registers and can process much more data per clock cycle than an x86 chip and it can do it much more efficiently as an x86 chip is forever swapping data between main memory and its registers, however a risc chip can swap data straight between registers. Thats a breif bit on risc and cisc theres tons of info on that net about them and I won't bore u all here with that :D

Besides OSX has a hardware rendered desktop :D

Edited by StuRReaL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imtoomuch    0

Why do people even bother posting threads like this. It always ends up the same way, especially when you directly compare PCs and Macs and say something like Apple vs PC. It's stupid and these threads should be immediately closed. So many people on this site act immature and it's part of the reason that Neowin is becoming boring. It's the same crap over and over again. SSDD. This is why I have started posting on Neowin less each day and it's the reason I've moved on to other forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
threetonesun    1,204
What, you think the PC draws its interface through the USB port?

Yes, I realize the graphics card draws the interface on any OS, but my point is the graphical abilities of XP are pathetic in comparison. I've seen a lot of XP boxes that stutter when someone tries to select multiple files with the transparent drag on. Most programs that do use transparency (which is quite hit or miss in terms of functionality as well) are incredibly laggy when they first come into focus.

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.

585607511[/snapback]

1) It does? I must have missed it. IMO, the Windows taskbar is the worst of any GUI. But I didn't run a dock for usefulness, I just had it there as a launcher. Much better than the Windows quicklaunch panel.

2) I used all 3. It's not faster, and it's not more powerful, because of one obvious reason. If you close a Window in Windows, it's gone. If you close a window in OSX, the program is still running in the dock. Not to mention program specific actions are limited to those people write plugins for (new mail, ITunes now playing/controls, etc).

And this still doesn't hit on the fact that any Expose clone on a $499 Windows box would be a sad sight. Don't get me wrong, I've used Windows since 3.1, but as far as the GUI goes, even if it's just eye candy in your opinion, in comparable low end boxes, the Mac will be much better. The gap may be even bigger once Tiger, with Dashboard, comes out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Southern Patriot    962
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 ....

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? .....

My Dock seemed to grow while using it. I assume this is because I was using programs that wern't intially in it. ....

They were just my new user impressions of the Dock. ....

585614163[/snapback]

When you had these questions, did you bother to look at the help file for OS X? There is a section for people switching from Windows that explains many things. A Mac user who has never used Windows would be equally confused, if not more so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph3412t3h13    0
Umm... why dont emacs count (kind of late i no)

585608612[/snapback]

in my opinion its because theyre are old and never updated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0

f

Reading this post makes me think of something...

Is there anybody who cares to read the manual !?!? How could somebody pretend to use something without even knowing how it works?!?

585614535[/snapback]

LOL. If you think the OS X interface should require me to read the manual for simple things like launching and task management with the Dock then they really need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a decent, simple and usable interface that promotes Discoverability, not frustration followed by page flipping the manual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    2

Maybe it's just down to the user, because frankly i never feared or experienced the difficulties you felt, Spotting running apps from non-running has never been a problem for me... I can see some things that might confuse users however, one of those ironically enough is mice. Alot of new users get taxed why they should use a left button for some tasks, and a right for others. - Which is why Mac's ship with their mice. Anyhow, this is irrelevant to the thread in had, my bad...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
When you had these questions, did you bother to look at the help file for OS X? 

585615191[/snapback]

See my reply above. For functions as simple as launching and task management you shouldn't have to go running back to the manual. For you two guys to suggest otherwise is being totally asinine. I shouldn't have to look up the manual to figure out a little triangle of a few pixels represents a running program, a red jube represent closing a window, or my icon going up in a puff of smoke actually doesn't mean my icon has gone up in a puff of smoke, but it's just the interface designers wanting to do show off a "cute" little animation. It's just bad interface design that promotes eye candy over usability.

There is a section for people switching from Windows that explains many things. 

That's nice, but I didn't even mention Windows. You asked somebody what they felt was "inconsistent or not sensible" about the Dock and I told you.

Your solution for me to run to the manual somewhat validates my impression of why the Dock is the functional mess it is... I wonder if the OS X interface designers fall back on the same excuses?

1) Go read the manual if you don't get the 5 pixel arrow, red jube or puff of smoke.

2) You don't get it because you *must* be a Windows user.

A Mac user who has never used Windows would be equally confused, if not more so.

Perhaps...

...but a Mac user:

1) Will see that the Windows interface clearly distinguishes between the two seperate functions of launching applications and managing running applications. It doesn't try to splice them together in one function.

2) Won't confusingly see his icons dissapear in a puff of smoke if he accidentally clicks on them.

3) Will not be told it is his fault for not "getting" the interface because he is not used to the "Windows" way of doing things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
threetonesun    1,204
...but a Mac user:

1) Will see that the Windows interface clearly distinguishes between the two seperate functions of launching applications and managing running applications. It doesn't try to splice them together in one function.

2) Won't confusingly see his icons dissapear in a puff of smoke if he accidentally clicks on them.

3) Will not be told it is his fault for not "getting" the interface because he is not used to the "Windows" way of doing things.

585617504[/snapback]

1) Will wonder why his programs can be located on the desktop, in the quicklaunch bar, and in the start menu (and under different users), yet is occasionally impossible to find in the Program Files folder.

2) Will wonder where his program went when he clicks on the X icon.

3) Will be told 10 different ways by 10 different people how to do something he doesn't understand. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joey992    0

I have a DIY computer and I want a Mac mini and will probably get one. I also have an old Dell Dimension 8100 that is running Ubuntu Linux as we speak. I think instead of arguing about which is the better deal, let's embrace the fact that now some of us can actually buy an Apple computer as a second computer. Who knows, after I get mine maybe I will just let my girlfriend have my old computer. Life is too short for bickering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MEMO.INC    0

I know for shure that mac have the best GUI and stuff, but since the Ipod came out for the PC I have seen more people buying PC to get/upload mp3 to the ipod. The apple mini is their first stepp to a more accesible mac, but I think apple should rethink it's Mac strategy if they want to advance in the Computer market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
1) Will wonder why his programs can be located on the desktop, in the quicklaunch bar, and in the start menu (and under different users), yet is occasionally impossible to find in the Program Files folder.

2) Will wonder where his program went when he clicks on the X icon.

3) Will be told 10 different ways by 10 different people how to do something he doesn't understand.  :laugh:

585617541[/snapback]

Now you are just rambling on about other things unrelated to the issues I have with the Dock.... Prattling on about these issues you have with Windows does not diminish these.

Anyway, you do hint at the different interface design aspects of Windows to OS X.

Windows was built from the start to support multiple interfaces for different levels of users- novice to expert. Hence why it supports multiple ways of doing things.

From what I have seen, the OS X interface seems to be inclined towards users that *know* what they are doing. This opinion I have is reinforced by OS X users here telling me I need to read the manual to understand the visual queues and functions of the interface and to not expect the interface to make it clear for me itself.

I think both interfaces would be better served by something that falls inbetween.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Southern Patriot    962
Perhaps...

...but a Mac user:

1) Will see that the Windows interface clearly distinguishes between the two seperate functions of launching applications and managing running applications. It doesn't try to splice them together in one function.

585617504[/snapback]

Hmmm, the last time I looked, the default location for the Quick Launch bar (since Windows 98) is right there on the task bar. There is also the notification area that tends to fill up with icons for programs running in the background (some of which also have a button on the taskbar). After you open several instances of the same program (such as multiple IE windows), the taskbar can become so cluttered that you cannot distinguish one instance of IE from the next. If that is your idea of good UI design, I suggest you review some of the research that has been done on the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
Hmmm, the last time I looked, the default location for the Quick Launch bar (since Windows 98) is right there on the task bar.  There is also the notification area that tends to fill up with icons for programs running in the background (some of which also have a button on the taskbar).  After you open several instances of the same program (such as multiple IE windows), the taskbar can become so cluttered that you cannot distinguish one instance of IE from the next. 

And?

All the functions you mentioned appear in their own area of the Taskbar, and each area serves a single purpose.

To bring you up to the current century given you seem sadly stuck in 1998...

1) No, the Quick Launch bar does not appear on the Task Bar by default. It is an optional element of the Task Bar.

2) Notication buttons do not share a button on the Taskbar- if they do they are breaking the Windows GUI guidelines.

3) Your idea of a "cluttered" Taskbar is grossly out of date. Windows nowdays groups the tasks under each application now... 4 instances of Internet Explorer will appear under a single button. Click the button and you see a menu appear that allows you to select the instance. How does OS X do it? Show the user a blue arrow icon? How about the arrow becomes a nice shiny diamond, or perhaps the arrow slowly turns into a slowing growing amorphous cloud to represent the growing number of instances of the application? Get what I mean? The OS X way of doing things wouldn't be as clear or obvious.

If that is your idea of good UI design, I suggest you review some of the research that has been done on the subject.

585617612[/snapback]

I suggest you need to learn to read. I said I appreciate that Windows attempts to seperate the two functions of launching and managing tasks unlike the Dock which seems to want to merge them. I said that Windows doesn't use confusing visual signals like a "puff of smoke" or red jubes for the sake of looking pretty. That is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
I can see some things that might confuse users however, one of those ironically enough is mice. Alot of new users get taxed why they should use a left button for some tasks, and a right for others.

585617415[/snapback]

Right, like I get confused why my Playstations controller has ten buttons... Why 10 buttons? Why not just the one? If it only had 1 button, why developers would be forced to make sure all games only worked with one button. Everything would be so much simpler...

And while we are at it, let's get rid of the that pesky-confusing scroll wheel on the mouse because MS came up with that idea so it must be a bad....

And these ridiculous ergonomic mice... why we all know looks are more important than preventing a crippling case of RSI, so puck shaped mice are the way of the future!

Oh, and let's stick with the little rubber ball rather than use one of those new fangled laser mice. We don't want our dumb users flipping the mouse over and blinding themselves*...

<- Apple mouse designer...

* For humour only: I know they have subsequently discovered optical hardware... :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ev0|    2

FWIW, Longhorn is making some pretty big changes to windows GUI and i think it'll be alot more clearly organized and intuitive, as well as being better drawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QuarterSwede    0

Either platform is hard to understand if you don't understand computers. From my experience with those who don't get it, like my mother, they usually understand how OS X works a lot faster than how Windows does. It's simply a more well thought out GUI. I understand that you didn't get the arrow or puff of smoke but there are others out there that got it the first time they saw it and used it (me). OS X is much more explorerable (if that's a word) for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shodan    0
f

LOL. If you think the OS X interface should require me to read the manual for simple things like launching and task management with the Dock then they really need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a decent, simple and usable interface that promotes Discoverability, not frustration followed by page flipping the manual.

585617381[/snapback]

Well that depends of the user mostly, I've seen a lot of people at work watching the standard windows desktop, without knowing what to do.... and many more of them asking: "Hey, you said there was Office, but there isn't!", while the only thing to do is just navigate from Start, All Programs, click the double arrows to show all the menu, Microsoft Office, The Application you want to lunch!

Hey, that's very easy for the first time user... really... :D

Come on guys, using the Dock is the most intuitive thing in the operating system's world... even my little brother managed it in few minutes... by the way, if you have some problems understanding how it works there's the help there... just for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
Either platform is hard to understand if you don't understand computers. 

585618455[/snapback]

This is very true. I remember when I tried to teach my mother about Windows the first time. She just couldn't grasp that the Windows were layered one on top of the other... She just didn't get that they were trying to simulate a 3D concept on a 2D space. She was only used to running an old single tasking DOS application in her office. It took me like 1 minute to figure out why she was struggling with what she was seeing. To her it seemed like the display had suddenly become corrupted when I launched another application.

Of course she did grab it soon enough, but it's little things like that which seem so obvious to us that are missed.

The rest of your post is comparing the two interfaces generally... That has absolutely nothing to do with what I am saying. My comments were specifically on the Dock because a Mac user here had asked for negative opinions on the Dock, although I will say appealing to your personal experience is meaningless to me. As they say "Experiences will vary...". I might as well claim the President of the United States finds Windows easier to use and finds the Dock in OS X totally blows. I would expect you to take my statement with equal disinterest as it doesn't really contain an argument as such.

I will say outside of the Dock I find other equally baffling elements of the OS X interface that are anything but "well thought out" for the new user. I'm happy to go into those if you like.

I know I sound negative about OS X btw but I generally I am not. I'm only responding in a negative manner about the Dock because a Mac user specifically had asked for the negatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heyo    0
Well that depends of the user mostly.

585618511[/snapback]

No it doesn't. What it depends upon is for the UI designers not to employ various esoteric and unobvious interface elements in a designs function and behaviour. I just don't get your mentality to blame-away any short comings in the interface on the user. Nor do I see why you continuously need to run-and-hide behind Window's short comings every time I point out a flaw in Apple's interface?

Come on guys, using the Dock is the most intuitive thing in the operating system's world... even my little brother managed it in few minutes... by the way, if you have some problems understanding how it works there's the help there... just for that.

585618511[/snapback]

What exactly about it makes it the most intuative thing is the OS world? Is it the inexplicable way it uses rather meaningless arrows to indicate a running program. Is it the way it confusingly mergers launcher and task management for no particularly good reason other than to throw lots of icon eye-candy on the screen? Is it the way it uses confusing metaphors like icons dissapearing in a puff of smoke to actually indicate something isn't going up in a puff of smoke afterall?

Please... go get your little brother to run and get the manual because I'm quite lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shodan    0
No it doesn't. What it depends upon is for the UI designers not to employ various esoteric and unobvious interface elements in a designs function and behaviour. I just don't get your mentality to blame-away any short comings in the interface on the user.  Nor do I see why you continuously need to run-and-hide behind Window's short comings every time I point out a flaw in Apple's interface?

Mostly because there 2 major interface we can compare, and one of them is the Windows one. Second because you mention it in one of your previous posts.

What exactly about it makes it the most intuative thing is the OS world? Is it the inexplicable way it uses rather meaningless arrows to indicate a running program. Is it the way it confusingly mergers launcher and task management for no particularly good reason other than to throw lots of icon eye-candy on the screen? Is it the way it uses confusing metaphors like icons dissapearing in a puff of smoke to actually indicate something isn't going up in a puff of smoke afterall?

Please... go get your little brother to run and get the manual because I'm quite lost.

585618646[/snapback]

Well, i had no problem noticing that when i lunched the program the arrows appeared under the corresponding icon in the dock, so it have to mean is running right?!?

And, if you try to look close, you will notice that the dock is divided in 2, the right part is for the running apps that are not in the dock....

And for the last time, I don't understand why people wouldn't have to read few lines of a manual to understand how something works. Once you know the meaning of the things you know what's going around. Or do you pretend just to know everything at the first sight?!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QuarterSwede    0
Mostly because there 2 major interface we can compare, and one of them is the Windows one. Second because you mention it in one of your previous posts.

585619002[/snapback]

Which is exactly why I commented on it. Thank you.

Well, i had no problem noticing that when i launched the program the arrows appeared under the corresponding icon in the dock, so it have to mean is running right?!?

585619002[/snapback]

Same experience here. It's a visual cue that that icon is linked with that program. The OS X also uses other cues like when you minimize a windo it does just disapear, you get the genie effect as it moves to the right portion of the dock where you can see a little representation of the window in real time.

And for the last time, I don't understand why people wouldn't have to read few lines of a manual to understand how something works. Once you know the meaning of the things you know what's going around.  Or do you pretend just to know everything at the first sight?!?

585619002[/snapback]

I agree with you on this one as well. What did I do when I got my new phone and couldn't figure out how to do something or what a certain button did? I looked it up in the manual. It's why they make them. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.