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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Do you regret buying your Mac mini?

Do you regret buying your Mac mini? (Page 3)
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truckweb
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Feb 27, 2005, 09:15 AM
 
My wild guess would be that anyone who say that the mac is slow (any mac, from mini to G5), must have NEVER used a mac.

And i'm not talking about hardcore gamers here. I know that gaming is better on Windows (yeah, it's true). Only G5 have the hardware to run the latest games. If you game and don't have a G5, you must own an Xbox or Playstation2...

But for everything else, Web surfing, e-mail, Photoshop, coding, music/video,... The mac is a very good and very fast platform. OSX and iLife gives you quality tools. Every major application are available to OSX. And it's a great way to learn Unix.

So, what can be done with Windows that CAN'T be done with Mac/OSX?

If you don't know what you're talking about, it's better not to talk at all.
Truckweb.
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elvis2000
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Feb 27, 2005, 03:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Kyros:
The hardware can be considered "better" in the sense that you don't have to worry about random, cheap parts causing problems. Except maybe for ram and graphics cards, everything is made by apple and is generally high quality.
You are living in a dream-world. Apple doesn't manufacture anything. Their notebooks are produced by the same companies (Asus, Compal) that make Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. etc. The mini, I believe, is also made by Asus (same company that makes the mainboard in my HP).

Elvis
     
elvis2000
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Feb 27, 2005, 03:45 PM
 
Originally posted by Kyros:
One thing is certain, though. You can't switch from a 64 bit processor that compares to 3.2 gHz with a 1.4 gHz g4. I don't really know why you thought that would work out.
I don't know why I did, either... except for the multitudes of posts by Mac Zaelots making exactly these claims.
     
elvis2000
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Feb 27, 2005, 03:48 PM
 
Originally posted by power142:


To our trolling audience: I'm no Mac zealot and I will employ whatever machine is required to do a specific job, Mac or otherwise. I don't care, so long as it does its job well enough. To me, hoping that a Mac mini, regardless of clock speed or browser, could compete with a high-performance PC processor-driven computer is flawed logic, not misleading marketing. Just one look at Apple's website is enough to remind us that the mini is at the bottom of the Mac foodchain
Recall the original complaint: The Mini was slow at *web browsing*. Something any capable machine should be able to do with ease. I'm learning now this isn't a mini issue as much as an OS X problem.
     
hudson1
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Feb 27, 2005, 03:51 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
You are living in a dream-world. Apple doesn't manufacture anything. Their notebooks are produced by the same companies (Asus, Compal) that make Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. etc. The mini, I believe, is also made by Asus (same company that makes the mainboard in my HP).

Elvis
You're missing the point. Apple designs all of it's hardware other than GPUs and memory. What factory that hardware comes out of is irrelevant. No other company in the personal computer business designs both the hardware and the software which is why people claim that Apple's whole widget is designed to "just work".
     
elvis2000
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Feb 27, 2005, 03:57 PM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
I don't understand your issues with Safari.....does it open pages too slowly? It's plenty fast for me, I don't see how it opening a page a second or two faster warrants a complaint on how crappy a $500 computer is.
What $500 computer? Mine was $824 after adding superdrive, RAM, HD, etc etc.
     
abe2
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Feb 27, 2005, 04:18 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
I don't know why I did, either... except for the multitudes of posts by Mac Zaelots making exactly these claims.
Then you seem to be pretty dumb to read a Mac site and only expect level-headed, non-biased opinions.

Blame yourself. It's your own fault.
     
elvis2000
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Feb 27, 2005, 04:51 PM
 
Originally posted by abe2:
Then you seem to be pretty dumb to read a Mac site and only expect level-headed, non-biased opinions.

Blame yourself. It's your own fault.
I got my money back. But lesson learned that the people posting here and elsewhere are full of mostly misinformation when it comes to platform "superiority". I was duped!
     
abe2
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Feb 27, 2005, 05:17 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
I was duped!
You weren't "duped", you're just bitter because you were naive.

Again, blame *yourself*.
     
lschwitzer3
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Feb 27, 2005, 05:46 PM
 
I ordered two minis at the starting gun fully maxed out for specific applications in different locations. They arrived by the first weekend. My primary system is a DP2.0 G5 fully maxed from Apple. Having said that, I find the mini does do a respectable job on most things. I have recently set up iMac G5s for children (1.8Ghz & 2Gb ram). The iMacs were dead slow working virtual PC and installing Windows office and patches for both the OS and Office. They sped up slightly when I went into Energy Saver, right tab, and selected fastest for processor rather than automatic.

Did that on Mac mini. PC emulation seems to be a dog no matter the machine, but is more than painfully slow on mini. We must remember that Redmond has a vested interest in NOT optimizing the code in VPC to encourage regular PC sales.

I think, as do many other posts that I have read, that the 4200 RPM drive is the major bottleneck, so the mini is probably I/O bound. Things that can be completely in memory work as I would expect thay would on a comparable speed Apple laptop with the same amount of memory (1Gb).

I had thought to use one as a small server, but there is commentary that the laptop drive will not withstand the beating a web server takes. I believe a faster drive would help (probably in RevB), but the challenge is faster drives typically generate more heat. It is not a G5 or even an iMac G5 with it's built in design flawed I/O.
     
Xiaopangzi
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Feb 27, 2005, 08:43 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
I found even basic web browsing a maddening experience. It is indeed a slow machine.
Of course such a comment is relevant only to what one is used to compared to past experience or when comparing a home machine to one at work or school.

My wifeís 4-year-old Sony VAIO is amazingly fast compared to my 2-year-old iBook, even though they are both 800 MHz with 650 MB of RAM. Considering the famous Megahertz myth, her Sony VAIO should only be compared to a 400 MHz iBook, so you can imagine how much more blazingly faster it would seem in such a comparison.

Iíve been using Macs since the SE and owned only Macs since the PowerBook 170, but Iíve noticed that browsers on Windows machines at my various offices over the years have alway seemed infinitely faster than any Mac within a two-year manufacturing gap that should favor the Mac in each case.

My experience with browsing is that RAM and graphics cards make all the difference rather than the CPU speed, when comparing Macs with Macs. The difference in an additional 250 MB of RAM is phenomenal.

Iím sure that when my 70-year-old mother can finally afford to move from her original Bondi iMac to the new Mac mini, sheíll feel that the latter is browsing at blazing speeds that will excite her.

Iíve emptied my browser caches and optimized my hard disk directories and even all content, but old Windows machinese have significantly faster browsing. I donít know why, but I can live with that, and I wouldnít consider switching to a Windows machine for anything short of the utter collapse of the Apple/Mac market, which is unlikely.
( Last edited by Xiaopangzi; Feb 27, 2005 at 08:59 PM. )
     
sumtermug
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Feb 28, 2005, 01:24 AM
 
As I stated on page 2 of this diatribe, it has nothing to do with the OS. If you want to have a fast browsing experience using OS X, then use Firefox. It is all in how the browser addresses the site and loads it. If you would look here , you will find out just how to make your experience an incredibly fast one. And this works with all versions of Firefox, even Windows. I can promise you that you are not browsing the web any faster than I am right now, and I am running Firefox on a 1.4 GHz G4 system. Unless, that is, you are either connected to a T3 or directly to the nearest connection point of the backbone in your area. And even then, if my connection were that fast, we would be running dead even.

In closing, this has nothing to do with the OS or the computer, and everything with the fact that you did not do your homework or even look at every solution before you gave up. And that is exactly what you did, if you ever even owned a mini. You simply gave up without researching all the alternatives.
     
asher b. a.
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Feb 28, 2005, 02:16 AM
 
Bought the stock 499 mini with Airport, $618 with tax. No shipping charges from the Apple web site. Noticed it came FedEx from China. It's to be used by an inside salesman who will surf (Mozilla), e-mail (Apple mail + hotmail), Word, and Excel. We intended to use existing peripherals. We had a Microsoft wireless mouse, the kind with a USB connected transceiver; itself about the size of a mouse. The mouse is two button with scroll wheel. Worked right when we plugged it in. We were pleased. We thought his old keyboard was so crappy we bought a new Apple keyboard, $29. In addition the keyboard has two additional USB ports one of which we used for the wireless mouse. It connected to our wireless net after we entered the password. Again no problems.

We had a HP600C Deskjet printer which only has a parallel port. Bought a USB to parallel cord, ten bucks at Microcenter. It came with a Windows CD which we threw out. The OS X printer setup utility saw the printer but said no drivers. Using the CUPS utility we added the printer. It prints now. To use the CUPS utility enter http://127.0.0.1:631/printers into a browser. The utility is built into OS X and uses a browser interface. Of course if you know what you are doing, you can do it all by command line from the terminal. We just clicked add a printer and selected the HP from a list, easy enough.

The only monitor we've tried was an AppleVision 17 inch which is a few years old. We chose 1024x768 from the monitor program in system preferences. The monitor program will put a monitor icon on the top of the screen from which one can choose a number of resolutions on the fly. We went to the color tab clicking calibrate. Calibration went OK except for one item, brightness. With the monitor brightness set to max we were not able to distinguish the different levels in the brightness target. It appears the output level of this mini is a bit too low. We've seen this mentioned elsewhere. Since we don't intend to use the mini for any critical graphical work it we are ignoring it.

Note that the monitor required two adapters to connect to the mini. The adapter must be screwed into the mini otherwise it will fall out with the slightest movement. The combined length of the adapters is quite a lever arm. One must take care not to give a big jerk on the monitor cable to avoid physical damage to the mini.

We put aliases of Mozilla, Mail, Word, and Excel in the startup folder so it's ready to go on startup. We have no intention of turning it off and have set sleep mode to activate after 20 minutes. It wakes from sleep with a keystroke right where we left it, wireless networking as well.

We find that the stock 256 memory works well in our environment. Remember it's for a salesman. A letter in Word that is longer than one page is a lot for him. He gets .doc files from customers. He feels he can't live without Word. Having it makes him happier. His spread sheets are about a page in size. HIs e-mails may have some attachments that could push a few hundred k. So 256 seems just fine. If in a month we have a different opinion we'll get out the putty knife and stick in some more memory.

Command tab switches between applications instantly. Since all the applications were opened at startup time, application opening time is a non issue. Command H hides unused applications. Or he can arrange letter, spread sheet and mail windows on the desktop to copy and paste between. Although he did decide that he liked that he could just drag highlighted text from one application to another, skipping copy and paste.

Yes more memory and a faster hard drive can be noticed under certain circumstances. You can easily see for yourself. Enter this array formula in the first cell of a spread sheet.
=SUM(IF(B1:DD65535=0,1,0))
Then hit command return in the Mac or control shift return in Windows. This formula sums over seven million cells. It took 28 seconds on a 512 mini at the Apple store. About twice as long on our 256 mini. About 8 seconds on a new 17 inch Powerbook at the store. Less than a second on a G5 Power Mac at the store. About four seconds on a new Dell, and 24 seconds on an older Dell. A cheap HP we use took four minutes. Your milage will vary depending on everything, perhaps even CPU temperature. Gives you a feel you can't get from some benchmark program you don't own.

We're using Mozilla because he uses it now and likes it. Mozilla seems to still be immune to popunders that certain companies have figured out how to get past other browser's popup blockers. Also Mozilla offers a great deal of customization. Try about:config in the address line and check out it's security and cookie features.

Yep, we're glad we bought it. Just what we need. And imagine there are lots of others who do about the same stuff that will find it just fine too.
( Last edited by asher b. a.; Feb 28, 2005 at 02:33 AM. )
     
Bill Harrison
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Feb 28, 2005, 09:17 AM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
You are living in a dream-world. Apple doesn't manufacture anything. Their notebooks are produced by the same companies (Asus, Compal) that make Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. etc. The mini, I believe, is also made by Asus (same company that makes the mainboard in my HP).

Elvis
Not really. First of all, the mini is made by Foxconn, a long time partner with apple (open up some older G3's and see what names printed on the cables). Second of all, the quality simply IS higher. Regardless of who manufactures it, they do it to apples specs. The mini screamed quality from the time i touched the box. The details are awesome. The packaging. The box itself is robust, smooth, and just a wonder to behold. I have build many pc's, and never have I laid my hands on a component, and thought, wow, this is an impressive piece of craftmanship. I have had that feeling every time i bought and opened an apple product:

Mac mini
Apple keyboard
iSight

All 3 are awesomely designed.

Trust me, only sony comes close in the computer world, and not really THAT close.

Bill
     
mbryda
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Feb 28, 2005, 10:12 AM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
What $500 computer? Mine was $824 after adding superdrive, RAM, HD, etc etc.
The one they sell on www.apple.com - the base model.
     
mbryda
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Feb 28, 2005, 10:32 AM
 
Originally posted by Xiaopangzi:

My wifeís 4-year-old Sony VAIO is amazingly fast compared to my 2-year-old iBook, even though they are both 800 MHz with 650 MB of RAM. Considering the famous Megahertz myth, her Sony VAIO should only be compared to a 400 MHz iBook, so you can imagine how much more blazingly faster it would seem in such a comparison.
Than there's something wrong with your wife's iBook hardware, OS, or browser. Browsing on an IBM a30p (2Ghz P4, 1GB) with Firefox over the same DSL connection is only a tad faster than the wife's iBook G3/800, 256MB. I know as I use them interchangeably all the time.

My experience with browsing is that RAM and graphics cards make all the difference rather than the CPU speed, when comparing Macs with Macs. The difference in an additional 250 MB of RAM is phenomenal.
RAM makes a difference, graphics cards make NONE. Graphics cards may sppeed up the UI (doubtful) and will definitely help in 3d games, but not in web browsing.
     
elvis2000
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:21 AM
 
Originally posted by abe2:
You weren't "duped", you're just bitter because you were naive.

Again, blame *yourself*.
OK I blame myself! Luckily, I was able to get my money back.
     
elvis2000
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:27 AM
 
Originally posted by sumtermug:

In closing, this has nothing to do with the OS or the computer, and everything with the fact that you did not do your homework or even look at every solution before you gave up. And that is exactly what you did, if you ever even owned a mini. You simply gave up without researching all the alternatives.
Not sure you read (or remember) my original post. I said, clearly, it is in the *feel* of the browsing experience, and its not even entirely obvious until going back to the PC. Then I realized the OSX felt less smooth, less responsive, less "liquid", whatever you want to call it. But it feels slower. Maybe it is loading pages just as quickly... I didn't pull out my stopwatch.

And I'm already a Powerbook user... which I don't use for web browsing (also already mentioned and again missed by you). It wasn't until I tried to make the Mac my primary home machine did I run into problems... specifically with the browsing environment. I don't do anything that requires a fast high-end computer. Yet I was still disappointed with the purchase.
     
elvis2000
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:30 AM
 
Originally posted by Bill Harrison:
Not really. First of all, the mini is made by Foxconn, a long time partner with apple (open up some older G3's and see what names printed on the cables).
Ahh... Foxconn makes Gigabyte motherboards and other OEM PC parts, and will be manufacturing the new Sony PS3.
     
OtisWild
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Mar 1, 2005, 02:31 AM
 
Er, because they build the browser into the OS?

IE is basically a wrapper around a system library (mshtml.dll) that loads whenever IE or Outlook is loaded, or when other files like GIF, JPEG, etc are viewed.

This makes stuff quicker, but obviously, one security flaw in that library means any apps which use it (that is, the ENTIRE OS pretty much) are boned.

MSHTML.DLL is the cause of many interesting exploits that aren't related to scripting, such as the aformentioned JPEG exploit as well as everyday HTML buffer overflows.

So, if Apple decides to embed their HTML renderer into the kernel (which, given it's now a fully-supported official framework called WebKit), it should run faster. Luckily, since it's opensource as well, it should be more robust and less prone to security flaws.

So, keep your fast browsing IE, as long as you stay patched every day and download your virus definitions every night. I wouldn't know about Safari being slow, since I run the Camino nightlies and they are WICKED FAST on my 667MHz laptop.
     
elvis2000
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Mar 1, 2005, 09:19 AM
 
Originally posted by OtisWild:Er, because they build the browser into the OS?



Nice try, but I use Firefox.


So, keep your fast browsing IE, as long as you stay patched every day and download your virus definitions every night. I wouldn't know about Safari being slow, since I run the Camino nightlies and they are WICKED FAST on my 667MHz laptop.
Again, I use Firefox. Though, perhaps my point is futile, as I'm discussing a "slow feel" with someone who thinks Camino is "wicked fast".
     
iREZ
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Mar 1, 2005, 02:08 PM
 
Let them be. Two guys who regret their purchase, and the rest of the zealots who love em. Let's stop this stupid "web is faster on my PC" or "try Camino/Firefox." I'm sure Apple isn't happy that you're not happy with your purchase and are in regret...but I'm also sure the speculated units that are going to be sold will somehow make up for it . Let the babies have their bottle.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
MrGoo
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Mar 1, 2005, 02:50 PM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
Let them be. Two guys who regret their purchase, and the rest of the zealots who love em. Let's stop this stupid "web is faster on my PC" or "try Camino/Firefox." I'm sure Apple isn't happy that you're not happy with your purchase and are in regret...but I'm also sure the speculated units that are going to be sold will somehow make up for it . Let the babies have their bottle.
Defenders of Apple products don't want to listen about apple quality problems. I suspect if Apple put a piece of dog crap in a pretty white box with an Apple logo on it, Apple Zealots would buy it by the groves and proclaim it's smelly greatness.

-Open up for Mr.Goo
     
iREZ
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Mar 1, 2005, 04:59 PM
 
Dude....out all the satisfied customers here at MacNN (don't tell me bout the Apple boards, your grandmother, or whoever else your going to tell me to take a look at), you and elvis are the only people that complain outright about it. Realize that Apple can't guarantee 100% of their products, especially on a first gen, especially when that first gen is brand new architecture. You keep on thinking I'm a zealot.... My arguments from the beginning have been to defend a $500 machine as not being a power users machine, so don't expect power user speed. Get over your self, I'm through with this argument.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
MrGoo
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Mar 1, 2005, 05:14 PM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
especially on a first gen, especially when that first gen is brand new architecture.
Brand new Architecture? The Mini is based on 2 or 3yr old G4/Ibook architecture...
     
Kyros
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Mar 1, 2005, 09:22 PM
 
Originally posted by MrGoo:
Defenders of Apple products don't want to listen about apple quality problems. I suspect if Apple put a piece of dog crap in a pretty white box with an Apple logo on it, Apple Zealots would buy it by the groves and proclaim it's smelly greatness.

-Open up for Mr.Goo
And people like you will always find something to complain about. Unfortunately, nothing is good enough for you. Except for WinXP because obviously any product that claims 95 percent of the market share has to be good right?
     
truckweb
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Mar 1, 2005, 09:57 PM
 
I'm not so sure now... With the DVI problem, i'm thinking that mabe buying the first release of the mini (Rev.A) was not a good idea...

I just hope that Apple can solve this problem soon.
Truckweb.
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iREZ
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Mar 2, 2005, 01:23 AM
 
Uhhhhh......
iBook dimensions 12.7 x 10.2 x 1.35
Mac mini dimensions 6.5 x 6.5 x 2

Oh yeah...I could see the similarities in just exterior cases alone.

Just because they use notebook components, doesn't mean they based the computer off the same architecture, just the same components, which aren't that similar as most think. RAM types are different, FSB is faster, DVI input, no internal mic, etc.... It is brand new architecture, genius.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
thebobs
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Mar 2, 2005, 08:37 AM
 
Originally posted by MrGoo:
Defenders of Apple products don't want to listen about apple quality problems. I suspect if Apple put a piece of dog crap in a pretty white box with an Apple logo on it, Apple Zealots would buy it by the groves and proclaim it's smelly greatness.

-Open up for Mr.Goo
ThinkSecret already announced this, it's called the iPoo and should be available this fall

We are all very sorry you are having issues, but you are probably not going to convince many people here (who own many Apple products that don't have problems) that Apple is not a decent company. Get over it...
     
DropTheHammer
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Mar 2, 2005, 12:55 PM
 
Yes more memory and a faster hard drive can be noticed under certain circumstances. You can easily see for yourself. Enter this array formula in the first cell of a spread sheet.
=SUM(IF(B1:DD65535=0,1,0))
This only took 19 seconds on my p2 350 running windows 2000 and 256mb of memory. I rebooted and ran this 3 times because I thought I was mistaken. :) Using office 2003.

Windows 2k and XP has been frustrating for me to use. I have ordered a mac mini with 512mb of memory..should be here in a couple of weeks. Look forward to sharing my mac experiences with you all! :)
     
245_Trioxin
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Mar 7, 2005, 07:34 PM
 
The mac mini is a sweet looking machine. Having said that, it is still junk. The HD is slow, the g4 is an obselete processor and its expandability is dick. In other words, it's a waste of cash.

It does look cool though.
     
xandro
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Mar 7, 2005, 10:44 PM
 
Originally posted by anthonyvthc:
This question applies mostly to previous Mac owners. I have had an iBook for just over a year now and I have been planning on buying a desktop (iMac or mini) [. . .]

So my question is this: do any of you regret your mini purchase? Does it live up to your expectations? Are there any times at which it feels slow?

Thanks.
I just got mine last Friday, and I am very pleasantly surprised. It's replacing a G3 iBook (which I'm keeping), and of course it's much faster than the iBook. But I also have a 1.0 GHz eMac with 512 ram, and the mini is definitely faster. The mini has 1Gig ram, which may be overkill, but I wanted it.

I'm not a power user, just Office and iLife stuff. I worked with iPhoto today on a bunch of photos of my class, and it worked great!

I haven't had any of the display problems others have had. I bought a cheap DVI LCD, and it works fine. So, no, I do NOT regret buying the mini at all! I love it.
     
 
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