Mac Mini as a trial first Mac?

PDACPA

Member
Silver
Jan 16, 2008
542
8
18
Florida
#1
New to the iPhone and I love it and wanted to try out a Mac without spending a fortune until I have used it a while.

Work requires a PC and at home PC's are what we have and the family uses.

The Mac's primary purpose would be for me (specifically using it to link with the iPhone (maybe through Mobile Me) with iCal #1 priority and my contacts). I would try out the iLife programs (mainly the photo and movie), but gaming would not be used and nor would I load it up with tons of files (ie do not need a lot of hard drive space). Would also like it to have OS X.

I have multiple monitors and USB devices so a Mac Mini seemed like a good option and there are a few on Ebay in the $200+ range.

Can any of you Mac users chime in and let me know if the Mac Mini will work for what I am trying to do? There seems to be different HD and processor speeds changing the price so my number might be different based on the actual item.

Thanks.
 

fury

Evangelist
Gold
Oct 23, 2007
2,274
238
63
33
Louisville, KY
#2
Keep in mind a lot of the Mac Minis that are going for so cheap are a couple generations old, using G4 processors, so they will not be compatible with all the new stuff. If you can, make sure the one you get is at least equipped with an Intel Core Duo processor. That's my two cents; although you can get the general experience with anything that can run OS X Leopard, your experience will be best on Intel processors at this point.
 

FlwrPwer

Evangelist
Gold
Aug 7, 2008
1,855
77
63
39
Montgomery, NY
#3
I just traded my 4 1/2 year old Mac Mini for an iMac. While still functioning, for the most part, and was running Leopard and iLife '08, it was VERY slow. It was taking forever to load multiple things and basically, it became obsolete. It would've been fine if I was just using it for basic internet and surfing, but I was using the calendar and iTunes and everything to run my phone. I still have a powerbook G4 that I use for basic internet and word processing and while it is old, it's not that bad.

As for the Mini in general, I loved it! Why would you spend $200 on a used one when you can get a brand new one with a lot of features for like $600-$700? Personally, if you have the monitor and all the equipment to run a computer, I would say go with a brand new mini. The reason I didn't was because it was time for me to upgrade to an iMac. I really liked the portability of the mini, which sounds ridiculous, but let me tell you, it came in handy.

My dad is somewhat of a computer guru and i had major issues with my mini in that the hard drive was corrupted. I just packed it up in a little bag and off I went to my dad's and he recovered the entire computer. It was easy.

If you want a brand new Mac and don't went to spend a ton of money, I recommend the Mini wholeheartedly. :)
 

iHero

New Member
Bronze
Aug 7, 2008
87
0
0
Washington State
codyjk.com
#4
My Mac mini was my first "good" Mac. I got it right after I was given my iMac G3, and I learned most of it on the mini. The mini is a great starter Mac, it's pretty powerful, and gets most things done. If you are getting a used PowerPC one don't, get a Intel one you will be much happier.
 

JFN

Member
Bronze
Jul 12, 2008
273
14
18
Nor Cal
#5
After 2 PC crashes, I made the jump to a Mini Intel based 2 gig and had no problems other than normal switching to mac deal. Does everything I need plus I run windows XP for some programs not available for the mac. iTunes for the iPhone work great. I will probably get an I mac in the future and will put the mini in my motorhome.
 

smknSRT8

Zealot
Gold
Oct 13, 2007
1,325
1
38
#6
Get a new mac mini, otherwise you will be outdated. Outdated computers are soo five years ago. :)
 
Aug 4, 2007
60
0
6
Bay Area California
#7
Hi,
I bought a new mac mini a few months ago to go with my iPhone! :) I love it! It works flawlessly with my phone and after my phone was stolen I still loved it. When I finally got my 3G I brought it home and synced it with my "old phone" settings and voila! Its like my phone was never stolen. Awesome machine and I agree with everyone, spring for the new one with the intel duo processor and leopard. You wont be sorry, I promise.
Good Luck,
Colleen
 

PDACPA

Member
Silver
Jan 16, 2008
542
8
18
Florida
#9
Hey I donated two Osborne's with dual 5 1/4 floppys and a screen that was like half the size of the iPhone to Salvation Army. They had no clue what they were.

I have found that most of the Mac Mini's with the intel chip sell on Ebay for close to $500 (and some do not have Leopard). I was also watching the Apple store for a refurb, but will probably just buy a new one for $599 if no refurb's show up.

I have to have PC's for my office due to the programs we run and the related databases (others have tried to run WinXP on a Mac with the programs and it is getting there, but not 100%). The Mini is going to be to have the ilife and calendar and mobile me as well as for my iPhone.

New thought: Can I still keep my iTunes on my PC with Vista and have the Mac iTunes too (both with the same information)?
 

PDACPA

Member
Silver
Jan 16, 2008
542
8
18
Florida
#10
Can the 1.66 intel Mac Mini run Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard? Found a deal on one but it has the tiger OS.
 

FlwrPwer

Evangelist
Gold
Aug 7, 2008
1,855
77
63
39
Montgomery, NY
#12
I had one of the first minis that came out. Ordered it the month they were released. My mine at 4 1/2 years old ran Leopard. The problem was it was not going to run Snow Leopard when that is released. Think about it. We all know a new OS version is happening soon. Make sure the mini you get will be able to run it.
 

PDACPA

Member
Silver
Jan 16, 2008
542
8
18
Florida
#13
Any reason not to get a copy of leopard off ebay? My mini is just sync with my iPhone, iCal, and play with the Mac as PC's are what work needs.
 

FlwrPwer

Evangelist
Gold
Aug 7, 2008
1,855
77
63
39
Montgomery, NY
#14
Any reason not to get a copy of leopard off ebay? My mini is just sync with my iPhone, iCal, and play with the Mac as PC's are what work needs.
Yeah, I said this too when I got my iPhone on July 11th. By July 17th I had a brand new iMac. The older mini was just soooooo slow. In general. And trust me, I don't do much on my computer except surf the internet and chat...and run my iPhone.

I say go with a brand-new out-of-the-box mini. You won't be unhappy :)
 

Ramesh

Zealot
Gold
Jul 12, 2007
4,571
3
38
Irvine, Ca.
#16
Hey I donated two Osborne's with dual 5 1/4 floppys and a screen that was like half the size of the iPhone to Salvation Army. They had no clue what they were.

I have found that most of the Mac Mini's with the intel chip sell on Ebay for close to $500 (and some do not have Leopard). I was also watching the Apple store for a refurb, but will probably just buy a new one for $599 if no refurb's show up.

I have to have PC's for my office due to the programs we run and the related databases (others have tried to run WinXP on a Mac with the programs and it is getting there, but not 100%). The Mini is going to be to have the ilife and calendar and mobile me as well as for my iPhone.

New thought: Can I still keep my iTunes on my PC with Vista and have the Mac iTunes too (both with the same information)?
TuneRanger will let you sync your libraries over multiple platforms, so you should be fine.

As for your mini question - I was going to start with mini, and I figured for the cost, I would just buy an iMac. Looking back, I'm VERY glad I did. I like the display, and the Apple peripherals. I know I wouldn't have been happy on a 4:3 17" screen, using a logitech mouse. So plus the performace I relieved is much more powerful than a mini.
 

kneshoba

New Member
Bronze
Jun 25, 2007
166
0
0
#17
I have a mini running leopard. Had to upgrade ram. Spend the extra change and get an iMac you wont be sorry. I use MacBook Pro as a primary the mini is the kids machine.