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new macs!
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=52707
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Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Tony,

I'll respond to your PM here, since I'd rather have it as part of the public thread.

Quote:
thanks for your reply, am i hearing you correctly in that essentially you think the macmini is my best option? I'm kinda coming to the same conclusion but would like to make sure I do my research before committing the money. I couldn't find any reviews on "small systems" per se on SPCR, would you be able to send me a link, or advise on how to better search the site?


None of the small systems are as small as the Mac Mini. So, yes if size and noise are your priorities, and you can afford it, then I think it is the way to go. I would try it with OSX, and if you must have WinXP, then go with BootCamp (free w/ along with your WinXP license) or with Fusion (or Parallels Desktop) to get both WinXP and Ubuntu. Its up to you if you want to wipe off OSX (which is far more stable than WinXP IMO), and install WinXP and Ubuntu natively, then that's up to you.

Author:  minx_man [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:22 am ]
Post subject: 

many thanks for your advice, I feel a lot better about spending the extra cash knowing that somebody who has a long term interest in this stuff thinks its the best option. I got quite excited initially about the prospect of all the mini-itx stuff but perhaps its not quite where i need it to be just yet.

I'm inclined to agree that OSX is probably sleeker, more advanced, stable than Win XP, however this machine will spend 80% of its time playing music and there's nothing on OSX that comes close to the power, features and stability of foobar. I would really like to run foobar through a Windows emulator (WINE/VMware etc) but generally I find sound card interaction doesn't work well with these things....great for MS Outlook or something though...

I suspect bootcamp will be the way I go, with VMware installed on XP to allow me to run ubuntu in the background.

thanks again

T

Author:  new2spcr [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:13 am ]
Post subject: 

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

My latest computer is a 24" iMac. It cost $1,800 -- and it draws ~116watts at full load (WHICH INCLUDES THE 24" MONITOR!), it is virtually silent, and it is very fast. And I won't have Registry corruptions, and it will probably never get a virus or have malware installed w/o my knowledge.

The monitor quality is excellent, btw -- I have not seen better.


How are your temps? While I don't doubt the iMac's are quiet, I wonder how well the alu heatspreaders around the case (well, monitor!) and low rpm fans handle the excess heat.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi,

I don't know what the temperatures are -- and I don't really care. The air slot at the top back of the case is warm to the touch, but not so much that I can touch it "forever" with my fingertips. The fan runs fast for about 1/2 second when you first turn it on -- but it never runs that fast during full operation: running SMP [email protected], email, FireFox, iTunes, Fusion running WinXP, and running DataCAD 12 and FireFox in WinXP -- all at once!

This is during the summer with no A/C. The fan controller must be able to run the fan at full tilt, if they thought was needed.

Author:  new2spcr [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

I don't know what the temperatures are -- and I don't really care. The air slot at the top back of the case is warm to the touch, but not so much that I can touch it "forever" with my fingertips. The fan runs fast for about 1/2 second when you first turn it on -- but it never runs that fast during full operation: running SMP [email protected], email, FireFox, iTunes, Fusion running WinXP, and running DataCAD 12 and FireFox in WinXP -- all at once!

This is during the summer with no A/C. The fan controller must be able to run the fan at full tilt, if they thought was needed.



Well, as long as the harddrive keeps good temperatures I probably wouldn't worry much either. I think most computer parts are pretty resilient to high temps. But with high HDD temperatures, I would feel very uncomfy. Here's a report saying the HDD's inside iMacs can reach 54 degrees C, which is often very close to the upper limit stated by the HDD manufacturers.[/url]

I think Apple should consult Silentpcreview for a quiet _and_ cool computer system. :idea:

Author:  minx_man [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:12 am ]
Post subject:  New Mac Mini, REALLY quiet

Well after configuring a million different "self build" options on various mini itx sites I gave up and bought a 2.0Ghz March 09 mac mini, I have to say its WAY better than the previous generation (1.8Ghz '06).

In practical terms the thing is essentially silent. I have pretty good ears (although I'm in my late 30s ;-) and can confidently say that when the mini is not accessing the internal HD you cannot hear it if you are more than 30cm away. During HD access it makes about as much noise as a set top DVD player.

Even whilst watching 1080p rips (!) opened from my home network NAS (which is in another room) the CPU runs at around 25~30% and there is no increased noise when compared to just having the computer idle.

90% of the time I use it to play music again from my NAS located elsewhere in the house (i know a lot of money for a boom box eh?) and have to say its does the job perfectly.

I imagine if you worked this thing hard, (ie video conversion, multi-tasking with media apps) it might turn into a jet engine but I'm glad to say in your standard home theatre setup I don't see how it can be bettered when you factor size together with its near ZERO "noise footprint".

Happy to answer any questions if they're in the process of making a decision

T

Author:  jessekopelman [ Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Mac Mini, REALLY quiet

minx_man wrote:
Well after configuring a million different "self build" options on various mini itx sites I gave up and bought a 2.0Ghz March 09 mac mini, I have to say its WAY better than the previous generation (1.8Ghz '06).

I think the only serious complaint one could make is the lack of HDMI for single cable connection to a modern A/V receiver. Other issues/shortcomings are just Apple being Apple, but they really have no excuse on the HDMI thing -- especially since they went and stuck a displayport socket on there instead!

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi,

Well, the 320GB Western Digital hard drive in my 24" iMac is dieing by degrees -- it started happening literally 15 minutes after I had ordered a 2TB Seagate 5900RPM hard drive and external enclosure from NewEgg; with a big crash... :(

I reinstalled OSX and it seemed to be okay. When the drive arrived, i started to do a Time Machine backup -- and it would freeze up a few GB into a 157GB backup... :cry: Then, it failed to boot... :cry: :cry:

I think it may be linked to the frequent power outages we have been having -- I have several battery backup units for my various machines, but they do not all work right. About 2 months ago, the PSU got fried on my 4200+ machine, and the iMac was also abruptly shut off by this event. I have two other older machines (one is being repaired for relatives) that have needed to be rebooted at least once a day because of these very short power problems.

The bottom line is the iMac's HD is at the shop and I am hoping that they can recover at least all my family photos. I can replace almost everything else. And I have a new Samsung 500GB F3 on the way that I will install in the iMac -- and I will check out all my battery backup units... I swear that I just replaced all of them in the past year or two!

Author:  funklizard [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Well, the 320GB Western Digital hard drive in my 24" iMac is dieing by degrees -- it started happening literally 15 minutes after I had ordered a 2TB Seagate 5900RPM hard drive and external enclosure from NewEgg; with a big crash... :(

I reinstalled OSX and it seemed to be okay. When the drive arrived, i started to do a Time Machine backup -- and it would freeze up a few GB into a 157GB backup... :cry: Then, it failed to boot... :cry: :cry:

Generally, the thing to do with a failing hard drive is to power it down and not bring it back up until you are in a position to attempt to recover data from it. Writing a bunch more data to it (i.e., OS reinstall) is not generally a good idea. Frequently, hard drive failures can be exacerbated by continued use.
NeilBlanchard wrote:
I think it may be linked to the frequent power outages we have been having -- I have several battery backup units for my various machines, but they do not all work right. About 2 months ago, the PSU got fried on my 4200+ machine, and the iMac was also abruptly shut off by this event. I have two other older machines (one is being repaired for relatives) that have needed to be rebooted at least once a day because of these very short power problems.

UPS batteries are generally only good for a couple of years, IME. Good units will tell you when they need a battery change. Not-so-good units will claim to do that, but then not really do it. And some cheaper units are just plain flakey regardless of their charge level.

About the only thing I'll plug into is an APC Smart-UPS. Not cheap; but also not that expensive compared to the toys that get plugged into them. And frequently you can find a deal on eBay.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
The bottom line is the iMac's HD is at the shop and I am hoping that they can recover at least all my family photos. I can replace almost everything else. And I have a new Samsung 500GB F3 on the way that I will install in the iMac -- and I will check out all my battery backup units... I swear that I just replaced all of them in the past year or two!

Best of luck to you. The folks at the Apple store will not be equipped for any serious data recovery; they may be successful if things aren't too bad. If that fails, there are professional data recovery services. They are not cheap; but they are generally successful.

You might also want to think about a RAID1 solution for your precious memories.

Author:  new2spcr [ Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:10 am ]
Post subject: 

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Well, the 320GB Western Digital hard drive in my 24" iMac is dieing by degrees -- it started happening literally 15 minutes after I had ordered a 2TB Seagate 5900RPM hard drive and external enclosure from NewEgg; with a big crash... :(

I reinstalled OSX and it seemed to be okay. When the drive arrived, i started to do a Time Machine backup -- and it would freeze up a few GB into a 157GB backup... :cry: Then, it failed to boot... :cry: :cry:
!


Sorry to hear that. I feel your pain. I've had HD:s suddenly fail on me too. No backups.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi,

I took my HD to a local store that has worked with Apple computers for a long time. If they can't get the data I need, I'll try a place in Cambridge called Tech Fusion who specialize in recovering data -- but they are quite expensive.

I'm hoping to get a RAID 5 NAS as well as the 2TB external drive.

Author:  funklizard [ Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

NeilBlanchard wrote:
I'm hoping to get a RAID 5 NAS as well as the 2TB external drive.

Unless you really need more capacity than one drive can provide, RAID5 isn't likely to buy you much over RAID1. Adding drives increases your chances of having one fail. And if you're using them for NAS, your bottleneck will be the network link--thus you're unlikely to see a performance difference versus RAID1.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Snow Leopard makes your fans louder!

Hello,

I installed my new Samsung F3 500GB hard drive and a clean installation of Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) -- and after I installed [email protected], the CPU/GPU fan became clearly audible! :x

It has since quieted down a bit, but it is louder than I ever heard it before. The ambient temps are warm, but no where near hot.

A quick Google search turned up a number of people with the same complaint. :(

Author:  Michael Sandstrom [ Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:22 am ]
Post subject: 

Ther is a good reason Apple treats its customers like idiots. Most of them are idiots.

Author:  new2spcr [ Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Snow Leopard makes your fans louder!

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hello,

I installed my new Samsung F3 500GB hard drive and a clean installation of Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) -- and after I installed [email protected], the CPU/GPU fan became clearly audible! :x

It has since quieted down a bit, but it is louder than I ever heard it before. The ambient temps are warm, but no where near hot.

A quick Google search turned up a number of people with the same complaint. :(



Are you saying the same CPU/GPU fans you had previously are getting louder since the HD swap?

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi,

No, I'm saying that since installing Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) the fan is occasionally much louder; though overall, the noise level is similar.

The hard drive seeks are occasionally audible, and occasionally the fan ramps up -- apparently due to a difference in Snow Leopard. The F3 drive does seem to be faster.

Author:  metalface [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

I love the new macs..... :oops:

Author:  Shamgar [ Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:44 am ]
Post subject: 

They have updated the iMacs as of late July 2010 with Corei3/5/7 processors and discrete ATI graphics across the range. And thus the masses flock...

Oh, I actually have thought of going down the Mac path on a few occasions (frightening!) For a lifetime Windows user, this is a big deal. I have had a gutful of administering Windows and endlessly patching its "features" and "enhancements". But am too used to the above despite it taking away years off my life. (Using Windows is the most effective waste of time ever.) Glutton for punishment. Or something like that.

iMacs are quite good value these days. Considering also the IPS panels in their displays. Glossiness not so good. Prefer matte screens. MacBook Pro is a price gouger's perpetual free hit. Mac Mini is an absolute ripoff.

For those interested, a Mac Buyer's Guide.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:07 am ]
Post subject: 

I too like matte screens better than glossy, but the iMac screens are the best of the glossy types -- the screen quality is top notch, and the surface is *glass* which makes it easy to clean, and relatively hard to scratch.

Author:  Shamgar [ Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:21 am ]
Post subject: 

I agree about the quality of the panels in the iMacs. Most competitors do with a TN panel. Some of the so called All In One desktops from MSI, ASUS, HP etc are almost the same price as the iMac too. The iMac's quality and finish overall make the others look like cheap pretenders in comparison.

I've never had to put up with a TN panel at home since I went straight from a 17" CRT to a 22" IPS LCD.

I've been thinking of getting a base model 21.5" iMac (nothing really that "base" about it though; it's actually quite a decent system) but holding it off for now. The 27" model seems more than what is sensible for me to be honest. Looked at the MBP as I have need of a portable computer but it's too much of a hit in the hip pocket for those at this stage.

If the Mac Mini had some updated hardware and a serious price drop (it's around AUD$1000 here -- not worth it at that price IMO; base iMac around $1400 -- better value IMO) I would consider getting one.

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