Desktop Help
  • I'll cut to the point I have a very aged desktop now. It runs games barely and well I'm pretty much done with the space it takes up.

    Here's my question to you guys.

    I want something small to sit below my PC that can play movies and TV shows at 1080p. Maybe use a little for work purposes but not too regularly. Also just random surfing the web.

    I have never had a Mac before and I'm also interested in jumping into that Eco system just to check it out. You know something new.

    The Mac Mini seems affordable and small is it a good option for the uses I said above. I know it's not the best desktop and that's not what I'm looking for?

    I'm just looking for a little box to bang below my TV and watch videos on. Thoughts?

    Oh also an iPhone user and own an Apple TV. So I can sync my photos and get messenger on it right and the Apple TV remote works too I'm told which is a bonus.
  • I have three generations of mac minis and I completely cannot recommend the base model. Do a bit of digging around and you'll see many online echo the same sentiment. For the amount of money, even by apple standards, its a shitty product. If you're willing to go up a tier and pay a bit more, then its ok and will completely satiate your needs.

    If you get into 13" Retina Macbook Pro price territory, you should get that as you might find the laptop experience nicer and you actually get better specs.

    If you just want a box underneath the television, I would say forfeit the apple premium and build a pc. With the ecosystem syncing across your devices, the only exclusives are the messaging and the notes; with photos, contacts, music, etc etc all also syncing across PC with iTunes and the iCloud. I write this recommendation as someone who has a mac pro, 27" iMac, and a slew of macbooks.

    Building a PC doesn't mean having a large tower. My gaming rig uses this case:

    And here's a video showing that you can pack max specs/performance into that little case:


    If you'd like to get like 1.5x to 2x the value for the price, the PC that I would recommend for you goes like so:

    $50 tiny case
    $150 mini-itx motherboard (lga 1150)

    $250 quad core cpu, specially with lga 1150 socket (that's phasing out and being replaced by the new skylake stuff)
    $80 or $120 for 8GB or 16GB DDR3 ram (again, opting away from the newer DDR4 for value)

    $100 for a 500-600W power supply (this'll at most be a 1gpu pc, so it'll never need too much power and going for a gold rating is better)

    $140 for a 250GB SSD


    Roughly $770 for the above PC which is baseline mac mini money. For tier 2 mac mini money, you could add...
    For an extra $100, you could put in a 2TB HDD to increase your storage.
    For an extra $200-$300, you could put in a 960 graphics card and be able to run most games on high.
    Oh and the OS (Windows 10) you can get for like $40 OEM or just use your existing license for your old PC.

    None of any of this would result in the best desktop but at any tier, this would shit on the mac mini in terms of value.
    As nice as mac OS X is, if you're just doing light things, it won't matter as much to you. And I say this as someone who is very fond of OS X and spends most of my working life on it.


    On the Apple TV point, I have a home server that runs a program called plex. It pushes all my media over my network to my apple tv and all my apple devices. It works really well and is very flexible in how it works. Whatever box you end up getting, I would recommend having plex on it to serve your media needs. But the realistic question is, what about netflix?

    TL;DR: mac mini tier 2+ or build a tiny pc. Either way, get plex or netflix.


    Oh and on the point of not needing a gaming pc because you have a console, remember to factor in the long-term economic benefit of buying PC games (especially with steam sales / multiple sources for your keys). They're cheaper, especially if you'll wait. Over a few years, the amount of money you save is absurd for as good of a ride.

    PS. If you're uncomfortable with assembling your own PC, I'm happt to help you out. Even if its just yammering over a video skype conference to make sure you don't fuck it up. Pieces and connectors are all asymmetrical and you really can't fuck it up if you can put together legos.
  • Your advice is all well and good, @sloth, but I'm not sure you've provided enough information.  
    Noobied by 2Juic3 sloth
  • Lmao ^

    I agree with Sloth. Mac mini isn't a horrible idea though, you just save yourself the effort of having to build a regular PC. 

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