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Old January 16th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #16
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I'm seriously thinking about getting a couple, one for me, one for another member of the family.
This one has standard dvi interface so I can use my exisiting peripherals.
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Old January 16th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #17
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Here's a thought: the slow hard disk and lack of ports really hinder this little wonder from being very good for realtime work, but adding one or more of these to your existing setup and using VNC or console sharing hardware, perhaps it can make quite a cool rendering station, you can use it to render MPEG2 for your DVDs or install FCP on it and have it render stuff while you work on your main workstation.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper :
We don't allow platform wars on DVinfo, so we'd appreciate if you don't try and start one.

Thanks. -->>>

Dylan, my point is that you're comparing apples and oranges. The Mac Mini is a small form factor budget system. SFF systems inherently have a price premium whether the form factor is something that you personally value or not. Price comparisons to larger systems are pointless (unless you want to compare to other MacOS systems).

Additionally initial build quality, design, service, and support are items that do matter to people.

As for the specs of the mini, are they really any worse than those of the G4 laptops? People have edited on them with Final Cut Pro, haven't they?
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:28 AM   #19
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> As for the specs of the mini, are they really any worse
> than those of the G4 laptops? People have edited on them
> with Final Cut Pro, haven't they?

They seem similar, but the mini is more like an iBook. Aluminum Powerbook G4s have a PC card slot, which essentially is a PCI bus. You can add a Firewire card with one or more busses, thus you are not constrained to the single Firewire bus on the unit itself. This is important, because if you are running a disk intensive application like FCP and also using a DV camera through Firewire for real time video monitoring, you do not want to have both the camera and the hard disk on the same bus. There are even some firewire PC cards with multiple Firewire busses, thus you could even run a disk array on an Alum. PowerBook G4, and that is not possible wth the mini, just as it is not possible with the smaller PowerBooks or iBooks.

Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if someone finds a way to use the internal Airport bay to add storage. But that's for area 51 <grin>.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #20
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I think the key point made here is that it is, in fact, about the software (OSX, iLife, the "mac experience") and not hardware specs.

Prior to this option, there was no way to purchase a "basic Mac" at this price point unless you got used system somewhere like eBay. This model seems perfectly targeted at casual, (perhaps frustrated) PC users that would "like to try" a Mac, but didn't want to spend $1000 to get going, and also existing Mac users that would like to get additional machines for the house (get the kids off mom & dad's Mac, etc.). IMHO, this looks like a savey move on the part of Apple, releasing a product that probably had a relatively low R&D cost and can directly meet a segment of unfulfilled demand.
Another note is that Macs are still quite popular in schools and scientific R&D facilities. These minis will likely be a great option for upgrading or filling out computer labs.

I'm not sure that these would really be a viable option for "power" PC users, or even as render farms for mac users. The Mini will likely lack the power that an advanced PC user seeks. For render farming, most CGI and compositing apps (even Shake) will run on Linux, so you could get a new $550 Dell PowerEdge 3Ghz, 1Gig Ram, 80GigHD, Gigabit LAN, etc. and have loads of room for upgrades and expansion (even add a second processor). That doesn't address FCP, but I would guess that if you're far along enough to set up an FCP render farm, you could get a used G4 box somewhere for less than the Mini and set it up your self and likely get better performance than the laptop components in the Mini.

After my childehood Commodor 64, my computing life was dominated by Macs in the early 90's, working mainly on the MacII, MacIIfx, and smaller MacIIcx systems. I always loved those systems, but I've become a fairly entrenched PC user in the last decade.

I'd like to get back into Mac-land to work with Shake & FCP, but a Mac Mini just doesn't seem to be the path for that. One of the thinge is AM hoping for is that this price point will drive down the cost of older, used G4s and G4 Powerbooks. If so, I may pick up one of those to start dabbling with Macs in preparation for the day when I can finally justify/afford a Dual G5 loaded with FCP & Shake. :)
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Old January 17th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #21
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> That doesn't address FCP, but I would guess that if you're far along
> enough to set up an FCP render farm, you could get a used G4 box
> somewhere for less than the Mini and set it up your self and likely get
> better performance than the laptop components in the Mini.

Not in my market. The mini is so dramatically inexpensive that you can't get used macs about 1 GHz or dual 450 MHz for such a low price. Well at least not yet.

Then again, in my market the mini will end up costing a little more than in the US. Still, I would prefer buying one of those that a used machine, with no warranty and so on.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by briareus : <<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper :
We don't allow platform wars on DVinfo, so we'd appreciate if you don't try and start one.

Thanks. -->>>

Dylan, my point is that you're comparing apples and oranges. -->>>

I was referring to your comment about cheap cars. You know what I mean.
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