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iMac died... replaced it with a Mac mini

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So kind of out of no where, my iMac (20", 2008 model) died. The guys at the Apple store concluded that the logic board failed. I really wanted to replace it with one of the new iMacs but couldn't bring myself to drop 1300 on a base model iMac so I ended up buying a Mac mini ($599 version). Picked up a pretty nice 24" Samsung monitor to go with it ($180) and bought some memory for it on eBay (16 gb) for another $75. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I don't even really need the memory, but at that price I though why the hell not.

 

On a side note, the day before it died I picked up a cheap laptop for my wife to surf the net/play games. It came with Windows 8 installed, and man does that suck! She seems to like it though, so that's good.

post #2 of 13

I had a mac mini in high school, a G4 processor. Great machine if you've got the monitor and accessories.

 

But in all honesty a tablet or smartphone can do everything and is still pretty cheap. Look to see this model axed soon, IMO. Especially since both markets are getting pushed apart; desktops are becoming specialized for heavy processing and higher costs, while the cheaper and smaller machines are able to do more and get into better form factors. All the research money's making the chips smaller and more efficient, not so much for speed. Battery and screen tech are better too; you can't get a nice large monitor anymore for cheap. The cost per pixel is cheap with smartphone screens and the battery lasts most of a day, plus 4g cards and ubiquitous wifi make a workstation unnecessary for the #1 activity of most people, browsing and messaging. Even younger kids around 6-8 are getting iphones and tablets of their own these days. And there are more and more devices that can take care of browsing needs, my wii and 3ds can browse the web as well as my phone, iPod, and laptop.

 

If you don't tend to move around and you're using it for non intensive uses, it's a solid option though. I still like a laptop or desktop for doing actual work, smartphones and tablets suck for typing and fast browsing. I also prefer OSX to iOS by a lot. But by 2015 I expect Apple to have one or no desktops for sale. There's no drive whatsoever to make desktop PCs better anymore, unless you're doing heavy video editing, 3d design, or gaming. But so much market share is there to be had in the portable devices, that's where all the competition and innovation are. And right now cost is a bigger issue than form factor or processing power.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

For me, the bottom line is that I still prefer to use a desktop. I've never really liked laptops all that much, and especially now that college is done with, I really don't have a need for one. All my computer use is at home and I'd rather have something that I can sit a bit away from and have a nice, large screen. For the few times I need a computer when I'm away from home, I have the wife's laptop, or as you said phones and tablets can take care of most of everything else.

post #4 of 13

People have predicted the Mac mini's death since 2007. I don't know that it's going anywhere.

 

And a tablet or phone can't do "everything." Not even close. Plus they're far, FAR more limited on storage space. You said it yourself: you like them for "doing actual work." :)

 

We use a Mac mini downtown at our Academy. It works great.

post #5 of 13

Windows 8 does suck, I bought a new HP Envy Phoenix that came installed with it, it's horrible. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

So kind of out of no where, my iMac (20", 2008 model) died. The guys at the Apple store concluded that the logic board failed. I really wanted to replace it with one of the new iMacs but couldn't bring myself to drop 1300 on a base model iMac so I ended up buying a Mac mini ($599 version). Picked up a pretty nice 24" Samsung monitor to go with it ($180) and bought some memory for it on eBay (16 gb) for another $75. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I don't even really need the memory, but at that price I though why the hell not.

 

On a side note, the day before it died I picked up a cheap laptop for my wife to surf the net/play games. It came with Windows 8 installed, and man does that suck! She seems to like it though, so that's good.

post #6 of 13

I use a 2007 Mac Mini as an HPTC and beat the living cr@p out of it. No problems yet.

 

16gb of memory? Mine has 1gb but drawback is it doesn't handle HD well.

 

Not sure about exact seconds, but the bootup time is unbelievably quick.

 

It's still on Tiger - is that bad? Security wise?

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Windows 8 does suck, I bought a new HP Envy Phoenix that came installed with it, it's horrible. 

Which is why that laptop now has Windows 7 on it which I feel is better. The Metro UI in 8 is lame and there are a lot of things that just don't make since to me. I felt like MS was starting to get on the right path with 7 but whatever, it's the wife's computer, I don't use it often.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

16gb of memory? Mine has 1gb but drawback is it doesn't handle HD well.

Yeah... the base model comes with 4 (which is what I had in my iMac after upgrading it a few times) but it was so damn cheap online I figured why not; it can't hurt.

post #8 of 13
I did some surgery on my MacBook Pro last month. Went from 4GB of RAM to 8GB, and replaced the SuperDrive with a second hard drive.

I actually have a full copy of Windows 8 Pro from Microsoft's student program ("Dreamspark," I think it's called) on a DVD in my desk, but I still haven't bothered to install it. I don't really see the upside.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I did some surgery on my MacBook Pro last month. Went from 4GB of RAM to 8GB, and replaced the SuperDrive with a second hard drive.

I actually have a full copy of Windows 8 Pro from Microsoft's student program ("Dreamspark," I think it's called) on a DVD in my desk, but I still haven't bothered to install it. I don't really see the upside.

I had done "surgery" on my iMac twice... the hard drive crashed a few years ago and I replaced it and then about a year later that one died and I did the same... this time it was the logic board though. I took the drive out of the iMac though and put it in a hard drive enclosure so I have a new external drive as well. a1_smile.gif

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I did some surgery on my MacBook Pro last month. Went from 4GB of RAM to 8GB, and replaced the SuperDrive with a second hard drive.
 

 

How hard was it to replace the SuperDrive? What year MBP do you have? Mine is late 2009 and it would nice to have a bump in disk space. I rarely ever use the SuperDrive.

 

I wonder if there is some kind of chassis that turns the SuperDrive into an external DVD burner.

 

I changed the memory on my MBP it wasn't too bad. For the Mac Mini I had to dig out a putty knife.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

How hard was it to replace the SuperDrive? What year MBP do you have? Mine is late 2009 and it would nice to have a bump in disk space. I rarely ever use the SuperDrive.

I wonder if there is some kind of chassis that turns the SuperDrive into an external DVD burner.

I changed the memory on my MBP it wasn't too bad. For the Mac Mini I had to dig out a putty knife.

I have the early 2011 15-inch model. It wasn't all that hard. Being delicate was the key. I got a cheap hard drive enclosure off Amazon, and put the hard drive in it. Open up the bottom, unplug the battery. You have to pull a few plugs off the logic board - the connector for the webcam and Bluetooth. Then you take a few screws off that hold the SuperDrive in, remove a bracket that holds some connectors in place, pop in the new hard drive and enclosure, and connect everything back up. That might have been the toughest, the webcam connector was a bit finicky.

I was going really slow and it didn't take me more than 20-30 minutes.

They do make external enclosures for old SuperDrives that you can find on Amazon, but I have an external Blu-Ray/DVD drive that I use.

ifixit.com has a great guide.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

And a tablet or phone can't do "everything." Not even close. Plus they're far, FAR more limited on storage space. You said it yourself: you like them for "doing actual work." :)

 

To be honest, I considered buying an iPad as soon as I saw it had a hardware keyboard dock. As far as processing power and memory goes, I never do anything too taxing or let many apps run. I was the only person who got pissed when iOS made multitasking a feature, since I didn't know how to force quit on my itouch at first and I consider wasting battery life to be a cardinal sin. The only real work I ever do these days is either word processing where I need a hardware keyboard, or using Photoshop and Illustrator. I used Photoshop and Illustrator in HS with my G4 mini, and have no issues with my laptop with speed or stability. I wouldn't use a tablet for that, not because the tablet lacks the power to do it, since I'd be surprised if my G4 was faster than even a new iPhone; but because I used a wacom tablet with a very specific workflow that only works with a full keyboard and pen tablet. Plus the app versions of Photoshop are pretty weak, I use almost every ounce of power in that program at times.

 

I'd contest that storage space didn't mean dick back in high school when you could get 300-500GB per 100$ on external drives. I personally don't store swing videos or high res content in large amounts or anything like that, so I live happily on like 50 GB. I think my mailbox today has more storage than my first 2 ipods combined... Plus there's the cloud. I don't like relying on it, but we have fast enough internet available where the tradeoffs can be acceptable, and it will only improve. Unless you're archiving, in which case it's around 150$/2TB or less to buy space.

 

I think it's the move of mobile devices to solid state memory that's killing storage space. Really you need enough to store all your apps and to hold a few videos or whatever, anything more than that and you can rely on external storage like the cloud. Solid state memory isn't cheap at all, hence why they can't keep device size and cost down while keeping a 512GB drive. (check the custom options out on the macbook air, you can get a large solid state drive, but it's expensive as hell) But it performs faster by a lot and eats a lot less battery and weight, and is not prone to breakage from moving parts. Same reason they killed the disc drive, keeps device costs down and sizes smaller, leaving room for the essentials like battery and processor and screen.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

I'd contest that storage space didn't mean dick back in high school when you could get 300-500GB per 100$ on external drives. I personally don't store swing videos or high res content in large amounts or anything like that, so I live happily on like 50 GB.

 

That simply illustrates my point. I have 3 TB of actual data on my desktop, and two redundant backups here on-site, as WELL as cloud backup for almost all of it. It's gonna be awhile before a tablet or a phone has 3TB of data with redundant backups.

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