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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Location: US
Really like the new mac mini. Very nice machines.

Also, the Mac pro is a gorgeous inside:

http://www.apple.com/macpro/design.html

In response to Mac versus PC, its personal preference. I am a software engineer so I use computers all day every day. At home I have a silent Vista pc, and a macbook. At work I use a Lenovo t61p w/ WinXP Pro. I also use some VMs that run Centos 5.

I personally prefer to use Mac. I would even use it at work if they hadn't bought me the t61p. I generally just think its a lot easier to do a lot of different tasks on the Mac. I spend a lot of time fighting windows to get stuff done.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:09 am 
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mackworth wrote:
In response to Mac versus PC, its personal preference.

You hit the nail on the head. I also use many OSes every day (for fun, primarily) and every single one has its advantages and disadvantages. Not worth fighting over it.


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 Post subject: New Mac Mini unboxed and dissected
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:53 am 
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Pretty decent article from some folks who have built a business around colocating Mac Mini servers. Good pictures.

http://www.macminicolo.net/macmini2009.html

lowpowercomputing wrote:
I also use many OSes every day (for fun, primarily) and every single one has its advantages and disadvantages. Not worth fighting over it.

Just so. Right tool for the right job, according to personal preference.


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 Post subject: Reviews of Mac machines
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:33 am 
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Maybe it's time for Mike C to do a review of one or two of the new mac models. I'd personally be interested to know how quiet (or not) the Mac Pro is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:39 am 
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Hi,

Here's the iMac review in a sentence:

All the iMac's are virtually silent, except for the optical drive; even under full load.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:21 am 
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Location: Austin, TX
I am surprised to see such hatred towards the Mac Mini's on this forum...
I half expected a dedicated Mac Mini sub-forum and only found this single thread.
----
Disclaimer:
I am not a Mac fanboy, my HTPC is a DIY built PC. I do own a 1st gen Mac Mini that I won in a contest and used as a CarPC.
----

YES, there is a apple-tax. It is basically the price you pay for OSX, their bundled software and a nice small shiny box.

If you don't like OSX then you can run windows on your Mac Mini, after all they are just Intel PCs running OSX.

If you have never owned one they are dead silent and ultra low power. Some users on these forums spend plenty of money on power supplies, massive heatsinks, and time getting their systems to run low power and silent.

The Mac Mini is a great way for someone who doesn't want to put all the DIY effort into a small silent PC to get the all benefits we enjoy.
The new models claim just 13-watts on idle, that is less then many PCs consume on standby mode.

I have a 100% fanless HTPC with a 20-watt processor. But it takes up a large amount of space in my home theater, the same size as your average surround sound receiver. It also consumes 50-watts when idle, and 25-watts when in standby.

The fanless 500-watt power supply alone in that system cost only $100 less then a single mac mini. When I built the system a few years back it was the fastest fanless setup I could get away with. But it still struggles to play 1080p content and record HDTV feeds.

A mac mini could replace all the functions of the whole system easily without any hassle. That is attractive compared to spending a week planning the perfect combination of components, assembling, tweaking, and troubleshooting.


Last edited by zapwizard on Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:30 am 
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Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Here's the iMac review in a sentence:

All the iMac's are virtually silent, except for the optical drive; even under full load.


Thanks, still wondering about the Mac Pro though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:33 am 
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zapwizard wrote:
I am surprised to see such hatred towards the Mac Mini's on this forum...
I half expected a dedicated Mac Mini sub-forum and only found this single thread.


i guess some people who can't afford them are a little resentful and have to go out of their way to crap on a forum dedicated to 'prebuilt' and 'sff' systems which is what macs are. to be fair, the platform bigoted and elitist mac users who spell microsoft as 'micro$oft' and windows as 'windoze' are just as bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Location: Austin, TX
I just put together a price sheet for what I would consider the closest you can get to a Mac Mini as far as specifications/size/price.

My goals:
-Specifications as close to a Mac Mini as possible.
-Components from as few suppliers as possible to save on shipping.
-Size of final unit as close
-Price as low as possible

Mac min price: $600
Equivalent PC price: $750
/EDIT: Changed processor to a non-mobile model

You can see the price sheet here:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key= ... xVenEPVMfQ

Newegg wishlist here:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Publi ... er=8176234

Yes, you can put together a larger sized PC for less, but comparing the size of a near-silent computer the Mini is no a bad value by any means.


Last edited by zapwizard on Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:38 pm 
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zapwizard wrote:
I just put together a price sheet for what I would consider the closest you can get to a Mac Mini as far as specifications/size/price.

My only criticism is that you didn't include an OS in the spreadsheet. OS X Leopard 10.5.6 plus the Applications add value.

Even a FOSS/Linux guy like me sees the value in Leopard plus apps. The comparable Vista would add value to a DIY box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:55 pm 
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He did include Vista ($100), which can easily be replaced with a Linux distro, and also chose a very expensive processor. I'm not exactly sure how good the P8400 is, but I'd be surprised if it was faster than an E5200, which is $73 on NewEgg. The graphics card is also very much irrelevant, so that's another $50 off. In the end, you get (217-73)+100+50 = $294 off the $890 price. Surprise, now they cost the same! Wait a couple of months, and better motherboards will appear, so you'll end up with something that costs less.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:59 pm 
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zapwizard wrote:
The new models claim just 13-watts on idle, that is less then many PCs consume on standby mode.

I have a 100% fanless HTPC with a 20-watt processor. But it takes up a large amount of space in my home theater, the same size as your average surround sound receiver. It also consumes 50-watts when idle, and 25-watts when in standby.

There is something not setup correctly on your PC if it is using 25W when in standby. Unless you are using some weird motherboard that doesn't support S3 standby, it should be << 10W. The first thing to check is that you have S3 enabled in both BIOS and OS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Matija wrote:
He did include Vista ($100), which can easily be replaced with a Linux distro, and also chose a very expensive processor. I'm not exactly sure how good the P8400 is, but I'd be surprised if it was faster than an E5200, which is $73 on NewEgg. The graphics card is also very much irrelevant, so that's another $50 off. In the end, you get (217-73)+100+50 = $294 off the $890 price. Surprise, now they cost the same! Wait a couple of months, and better motherboards will appear, so you'll end up with something that costs less.


Actually P8400 is even a MOBILE processor that is NOT LGA775.
The thing is that this configured mini-ITX box is much bigger than the Mac Mini. And if you're getting a Mini, I'm assuming that's the entire point.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:12 pm 
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OK, it's bigger; so...? Are you using your computer as a tool to perform some tasks, or are you using it as decoration on your desk? If you are going to argue that looks are important, then I'll direct you back to what I wrote on the start of the first page: "distracted by shiny objects" :) There's nothing wrong with being impressed by bling, but if you're getting the Mac Mini because of it - at least admit so.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Matija wrote:
He did include Vista ($100)

Sigh... Can't get good help. You're right! ;-)

Sorry about that. OTOH, Vista Home Basic is probaly inferior to OS X 10.5.6 + iLife...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Matija wrote:
OK, it's bigger; so...?

For a media center, that is a reasonably important issue. YMMV.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:17 pm 
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shleepy wrote:
Matija wrote:
He did include Vista ($100), which can easily be replaced with a Linux distro, and also chose a very expensive processor. I'm not exactly sure how good the P8400 is, but I'd be surprised if it was faster than an E5200, which is $73 on NewEgg. The graphics card is also very much irrelevant, so that's another $50 off. In the end, you get (217-73)+100+50 = $294 off the $890 price. Surprise, now they cost the same! Wait a couple of months, and better motherboards will appear, so you'll end up with something that costs less.


Actually P8400 is even a MOBILE processor that is NOT LGA775.
The thing is that this configured mini-ITX box is much bigger than the Mac Mini. And if you're getting a Mini, I'm assuming that's the entire point.

There is also the cost of the time you spend building your own PC. For some this is a labor of love and is actually worth money, but that is not the target audience for Apple. To their target audience, building a PC is a chore and thus the only price comparison you should be doing is against other pre-built systems. You might be a fan of DIY and still choose the Mini because of its size or level of integration, but price is not going to be your deciding issue on way or the other.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Matija should stop thread-crapping.


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 Post subject: YANSTB - ZillionTV
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Posts: 317
Looks like we are in another Beta<-->VHS, HD<-->BluRay battle.

FWIW, I'd really like to be able to purchase an STB (preferably with buffering for those of us with 1.5 Mb/s DSL), that worked with all streaming TV providers. Doesn't look like its going to happen any time soon. At least, this explains the Boxee/Hulu fight.

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/43030

Early adopters may expect to have issues for some time to come.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:35 pm 
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plexapp.com is great for mac.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:38 pm 
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@Matija I think you are right I choose the wrong processor. Even the socket. I was looking for a Core2 Duo based on TDP rating and clock rate.
However since the mac Mini uses a mobile processor the P8400 is the closest retail technically. But the E5200 is closest in the spirit of the comparison.

I have updated the list to show the E5200

Yes the graphics card I choose is better then the mac due to dedicated memory, but you have to upgrade the graphics to some level as intel integrated graphics doesn't compare the same to the 9400. A Core2 Duo might be fast but for a HTPC you need the extra graphics horsepower for transcoding, 1080p playback, HDTV recording etc...

Those changes brings the cost to $746

As far as having a small PC, that does make a difference to most people, your living room is typically a place where you don't want a plain looking PC. People have more and more electronics in their living room, game consoles, DVD players, Receivers, HTPCs.

The integration is a large factor also. Not having to have USB dongles to add wifi-fi. The ability to use a wireless keyboard and mouse without the need of another dongle.
I know there is a huge mess of wire behind my HTPC, sure you don't see it most of the time, but it sucks if I have to do some maintenance on the PC.

You can also compare it to say a Dell Mini 9, which configured with a 2.1GHz 3MB Core2 Duo costs $650. Except it has no Wifi or bluetooth, and uses integrated graphics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Matija - size is not bling. There are practical implications of size. And like I said early in the thread - I'm not a Mac fanboy in the least and I have never had an Apple PC, and not planning on it. But the base price, at least, isn't ridiculous right now, while the technology (in this size) is still new. My personal main beef is the ridiculous overcharging for parts that they don't have to put any extra effort into (i.e., overcharging for a bigger hard-drive by $150 or so).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:04 pm 
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the Eee box 206 is probably going to be as good as the mac Mini for all intents and purposes (ie can handle HD), and probably about £200 cheaper.

Quote:
i guess some people who can't afford them are a little resentful


sorry, this is just plain snobbery. i can afford a mac, but i don't see any reason to pay the "apple tax".

why can't mac users admit that they are paying a premium for the "design" and "lifestyle" aspects of the product; no Mac will ever be the best value or cheapest product for any application. they are a premium product for people who like everything to "just work"TM and don't want to get their hands dirty.

Dell Studio Hybrid is a competitor in the same segment as the mac mini.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Read the SPCR review for how quiet the Studio is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:50 pm 
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rei wrote:
Read the SPCR review for how quiet the Studio is.


I was under the same impression that the Studio was super sexy until I found out about the noise. That alone makes it worthless to me.

I think the mac mini has got a huge appeal not only for use as a media center, but also as a server, and even as a lightweight client. It's very very appealing.

I don't think that there is an equivalent to the mac mini that meets the small size, silence, and power of the mac mini. It's quite amazing IMO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:38 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
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.
Neither have had I on a PC. It's all down to the user, if you ask me.

I don't hate Macs, I just think the are less open to usefull software and freeware. We are stuck with the utterly annoying imaging software (microscopy) here at Uni, which drives me completely mental - no keyboard shortcuts... mouse mouse mouse, clicketyclick, mouse, mouse, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:26 am 
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jaganath wrote:
the Eee box 206 is probably going to be as good as the mac Mini for all intents and purposes (ie can handle HD), and probably about £200 cheaper.

I beg to differ. I use my Mac mini as my main desktop computer and if I get the new one it'll be the same. And for a main desktop machine I want much more performance than Atom provides. I personally don't care at all about HD. Sure that's just my impression/opinion but not everyone is looking for a media center.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:24 am 
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Cistron wrote:
I don't hate Macs, I just think the are less open to usefull software and freeware. We are stuck with the utterly annoying imaging software (microscopy) here at Uni, which drives me completely mental - no keyboard shortcuts... mouse mouse mouse, clicketyclick, mouse, mouse, etc.


You are simply wrong in this--there is a ton of quality freeware + shareware and a more sizeable community of developers writing affordable programs. Some things where there are a zillion knockoff (most violating GPL) programs are in the field of media conversion for Windows, there's very little in the way for Mac yet. MP3 ID3 tagging software for Mac OS X being one example. However, yes, there may be fewer choices (ie 5-10 renaming programs instead of 100) due to the size of the market.

www.macapper.com www.mac360.com www.smokingapples.com www.theappleblog.com among many other sites review these programs.

It will only GROW with the widespread adoption of the iPod Touch/iPhone.

Your university's choice of imaging software reflects the drawbacks of that particular program not the platform. However, yes, keyboard only navigation is a drawback with OS X even with full accessibility turned on.


Last edited by rei on Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:30 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:25 am 
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The Eee box 206 will be very good for the price and can play HD media. But the Intel Atom is no where near fast enough to encode or transcode HD Data on the fly even with the assist of a graphics engine.

I would consider the Eee Box, or any Atom w/graphics seteup a step up from the netbooks, and possibly a great media center, but I wouldn't use it as a full-fledged HTPC that can handle everything you would want to do with your media.


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 Post subject: 24" iMac
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:37 am 
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Just a quick note -- the new version of the 24" iMac is $1500
with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and 2.93 GHz CPU.

The one my wife got 5 months ago was $1800 with 2GB of DDR2.

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