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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Shuttle XPC vs Mac mini

Shuttle XPC vs Mac mini
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olePigeon
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Jul 16, 2008, 02:42 PM
 
I always take for granted that Apple's products will (generally) be more expensive than the competition. Usually it has to do with Apple not having very many configuration options for you to bring the price down. Feature for feature, if you were to compare an Apple to a Dell, they're not too far off in price (Dell just makes it easier for you to not include a lot of features to get the price down.)

However, I was trying to figure out why Shuttle would compare their XPC to the Mac mini.

http://us.shuttle.com/X200H_2.aspx

Not only is the Shuttle slower, bigger, lack wireless, and lack gigabit ethernet, it's also $450 more expensive than the Mac mini.

Seems weird.
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sek929
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Jul 16, 2008, 03:58 PM
 
What cracks me up always about these PCs is the list of OSes that you can get with them.

XPC: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
Microsoft Windows Vista Business 32-Bit
Microsoft Windows XP Pro Edition

Mac Mini: OSX

Home Basic and Home Premium? WTF? God bless Apple and one OS to rule them all.
     
ghporter
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Jul 16, 2008, 08:22 PM
 
The Shuttle box you're talking about is an anomaly among PCs. It uses a non-standard case and non-standard motherboard, both of which jack up the price. Not for Dell, of course, but they have an economy of scale at work... Anyway, while the near-Mini-size and shape PCs have become a standard themselves (motherboard, power supply, etc.) this is a new form factor, which means that it's all small run and thus all much more expensive. Shuttle was one of the originators of the little cube PC, if I recall, and they eventually made it effective and inexpensive. And just like all the other cubes. That's what happens with PCs.

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mduell
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Jul 16, 2008, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
http://us.shuttle.com/X200H_2.aspx

Not only is the Shuttle slower, bigger, lack wireless, and lack gigabit ethernet, it's also $450 more expensive than the Mac mini.
I don't get the X200 at all... the shoebox Shuttle XPCs are pretty neat (a lot of expansion options in a little box) and have their uses, but not this thing.

Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Home Basic and Home Premium? WTF? God bless Apple and one OS to rule them all.
You can think of Home Basic and Home Premium as OS X and OS X + iLife, respectively. Apple doesn't give you the no-iLife option, and I'm not convinced that's a plus.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Jul 16, 2008, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
You can think of Home Basic and Home Premium as OS X and OS X + iLife, respectively. Apple doesn't give you the no-iLife option, and I'm not convinced that's a plus.
Except you can't send/receive faxes with Home Basic & Premium, you can't Remote Desktop, no User directory encryption, can't bind to a directory tree, and no built in network backup.

You need Vista Ultimate to do all the functionality of OS X.
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olePigeon  (op)
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Jul 16, 2008, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Anyway, while the near-Mini-size and shape PCs have become a standard themselves (motherboard, power supply, etc.) this is a new form factor, which means that it's all small run and thus all much more expensive. Shuttle was one of the originators of the little cube PC, if I recall, and they eventually made it effective and inexpensive. And just like all the other cubes. That's what happens with PCs.
So, for at least the last few years and onward, the Mac mini is a good deal for the size/performance ratio.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
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mduell
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Jul 17, 2008, 12:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Except you can't send/receive faxes with Home Basic & Premium, you can't Remote Desktop, no User directory encryption, can't bind to a directory tree, and no built in network backup.

You need Vista Ultimate to do all the functionality of OS X.
I wasn't making a feature comparison between Vista and OS X, but rather explaining what the delta between Home Basic and Home Premium is (multimedia software).

Vista Ultimate upgrade is about the same price as OS X upgrade + iLife upgrade and it allows you to run it in a virtualized environment.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jul 17, 2008, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Except you can't send/receive faxes with Home Basic & Premium, you can't Remote Desktop, no User directory encryption, can't bind to a directory tree, and no built in network backup.

You need Vista Ultimate to do all the functionality of OS X.
You can remote desktop OSX?
(without paying an additional $300?)
     
ApeInTheShell
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Jul 17, 2008, 12:19 AM
 
The Mac Mini is about portability, simplicity, and ease of use. It follows the same design and usability principles just like every other Mac. The Shuttle XPC shares that portability and an option to upgrade. The addition of Microsoft Windows just does not make this a worthwhile comparison. However, if there was no such thing as a Mac Mini than I would consider.....screw that! I would just buy an iMac like I was originally going to do.
Everyone likes my Mac Mini because they can't believe how small it is. They keep looking for the tower. lol
     
Simon
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Jul 17, 2008, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
You can remote desktop OSX?
(without paying an additional $300?)
Absolutely. Nobody forces you to use Apple's RD client. And the server is built into every Mac.
     
Simon
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Jul 17, 2008, 03:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
However, I was trying to figure out why Shuttle would compare their XPC to the Mac mini.
http://us.shuttle.com/X200H_2.aspx
Not only is the Shuttle slower, bigger, lack wireless, and lack gigabit ethernet, it's also $450 more expensive than the Mac mini.
I don't quite understand why Shuttle would want to make that comparison. It's certainly not great advertisement for their box. They offer less and charge more.

What it does illustrate quite nicely is the differences between the Apple and PC worlds. The Shuttle is no bad PC, but certain things are missing that Apple considers essential. OTOH there are more config options for the Shuttle. No Mac user will buy a Shuttle because it doesn't run OS X. OTOH there might be a few Windows users who would be better running Windows off a mini than off the Shuttle (wireless, Gigabit).

Personally I would rather have a mini than a Shuttle, but I would prefer a Shuttle (the larger ones though) over many other PCs actually. Put Linux on it and you can actually make some real use of it. It's just a real shame you have to buy it with Windows. Pretty much a show stopper for somebody like myself.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jul 17, 2008, 03:41 AM
 
Windows is definitely the OS of choice for hardware tinkerers. For those who want a simple, elegant solution and are willing to pay, OS X is great. As this demonstrates, other companies are not so good at competing directly with Apple.

However, Shuttle's "barebones PCs" that you can buy from NewEgg are a different matter. They're usually $300 and they include the case, motherboard, and power supply. The motherboard has a standard CPU socket (you pick which one), a PCIe x16 slot for the graphics, and usually one or two more expansion slots for other devices. You can fit one full size optical drive and one or two 3.5" hard drives. And you put it all together, so you have complete control over the hardware that goes into it. You can go cheap or expensive, basic or high-end, and anywhere in between.

So instead of the Mini, which is a laptop put into a tiny desktop case, a Shuttle barebones PC is really just a desktop made as small as possible. It's great for hardware enthusiasts but it does require some work.

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Simon
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Jul 17, 2008, 04:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Windows is definitely the OS of choice for hardware tinkerers.
Says who? And why?

Because of Windows' click and drag approach? Because of Windows' hidden innards? Because of Windows' sub-par debugging information?

If you really want to do some serious tinkering get Linux. Windows is for games.
( Last edited by Simon; Jul 20, 2008 at 03:58 AM. )
     
TomR
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Jul 19, 2008, 09:20 PM
 
Mac Minis RULE. My PPC Mini has been running 24/7 for nearly 4 years and never lets me down. SCREW WINDOWS! I LOVE my Mini!
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jul 20, 2008, 02:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Says who? And why?

Because of Windows' click and drag approach? Because of Windows' hidden innards? Because of Windows' sub-par debugging information? :laugh:

If you really want to do some serious tinkering get Linux. Windows is for games.
I meant hardware tinkering. Windows has better hardware support than Linux. For software, yeah, Linux is by far the most customizable.

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Simon
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Jul 20, 2008, 04:01 AM
 
I'm not sure I agree with that. There is hardware that comes with only Windows support and in such a case it's clear. But for all the hardware that is supported by Linux (and thats not exactly little) you usually have far more options with Linux. And quite often you have direct access to the source code. Try getting that from colorful click-around Windows apps.
     
   
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