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Which Mac to purchase for college


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  1. 1.

    • Buy the MacBook
    • Buy the Mac Mini

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I'm off to college this fall and I was thinking about what I wanted to do in my dorm room. Right now I have an airport express and a 15" 1.5ghz G4 Powerbook.

I am going to buy another Mac for college, but which one is still up in the air. the two options I was thinking of was getting either a Mac Mini or a new MacBook.

If I bought the Mac Mini:

I would store my music and videos and other stuff on the Mac Mini and hook it up to my TV to use as a DVD Player and for Front Row. I would access the music and stuff through Front Row and have it stream to the Airport Express (which I definitely plan on bringing to college). Then I can use my powerbook (which is 1.5-2 years old) for work and any other stuff. basically the Mac Mini would serve as the digital hub which it is advertised as.

if I bought the MacBook:

I would use the MacBook as my main computer and put the Powerbook in place of the Mac Mini in the above scenario.

I cannot decide between these two scenarios because I can either have the nifty, neat, grand new MacBook but I would have to use the Powerbook as a sort of server which I am not sure if it can handle. Or I can get the Mac Mini and save money but have to use the older and slightly larger Powerbook (which works well as of typing this) as my main computer.

the price for the Mac Mini I configured was ~$850

the price for the MacBook I configured was ~$1250

(prices'll go up equally if I get the AppleCare plan)

can anyone spare some advice about which I should choose?

(and for the record I have tested out Front Row on the Powerbook and while it is not zippy it is not unbearable. I can easily live with it.)

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I didn't think it would be this lopsided. I figured the fact that I already have a laptop would be reason why the mac mini would be feasible. Am I outdated in thinking that it is not suitable to keep laptops running all the time? wouldn't having a dedicated file dump in the mini be a better option to host my music and videos?

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Looks like most of posters in this thread didn't bother to read your initial post...

If I were you I'd get Mac mini. Despite the fact that I'm crazy about my Macbook and I'm recommending it to everyone. How come? You already have one laptop. If it's enough for your work go for media center scenario. It sounds very nice. Plus I'd get a fast FW external hard drive to keep multimedia files and backups there (it's somewhat essential if you're anal about security and keeping your computers in sync). Idea of having two portable computers is silly to me, I guess I'm attached to having something which is really "desktop". And the thing you mentioned - laptops aren't designed to work as servers, they may be some heating issues etc.

After all when you're in college you can get yourself a job, earn some $$$ and spend them on more powerful setup later - like iMac + Macbook Pro :D

Apart of that Mac mini is a beautiful, tiny machine, you won't regret having it in your room, bud ;)

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I also already have 2 dual bay firewire enclosures with two 120gig drives and two 160gig drives. I didn't mention this earlier because I wasn't sure if I would take them to college or not. Either way, I will potentially have plenty of storage if need be.

Right now I think I am leaning towards the mac mini just because I really would like to have a sort of crude media center. But the damn Mac Book looks so nice and is really quite ideal for college.....

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This is a dilema. The Mac Mini is a nice little machine, but the Macbook is also small and speedy. Just think to yourself, is the G4 Powerbook still in good shape? As long as it supports all the software you need for college, then keep it. Mean while, you can buy the Mac Mini and have a nice little media centre set-up in your room.

If I were you, I would keep the G4 Powerbook and go for the nice and cheap Mac Mini.

Edit: Although, the Mac mini might not have the best specs...

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Personally whats wrong with your Powerbook? I have my iBook running 24/7 and I have no problems. Getting an external HD soon for extra space. plays everything just fine. I'm buying a mac mini soon tho for a "desktop" pc. Personally i'd get the iMac. Bestbuy had an open box one for $1100 CDN. Not a scratch. someone opened it and didnt want it. I didnt buy it cuz i already had my iBook. Not bad find tho.

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there is nothing WRONG with the powerbook. it's just that I was planning on setting up something dedicated to listen to music and watch downloaded TV on the TV. that is why I was considering getting a mac mini. but the mac book also tempted me so I was torn between the two.

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The iMac is always cool...heh. *shrugs shoulders*

Duh, that was helpful :confused:

@Abba: Now I can clearly see that Mac mini would fit your needs better and the reason why you're torn is because of this inexplicable, irrational temptation to purchase something slim and white (ie Macbook :P). Take a deep breath, build that media center with mini and put teh sex away for later :D

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just noticed the $180 rebate is on every Mac model except the mini. what luck. anyway, if I do go the route of the mac mini, which processor should I get? the solo or the duo? it'll just act as a server for music and video. I seriously doubt I will do any sort of video editing. Maybe a little bit with photos and stuff but I seriously doubt it. Do you think the solo would be enough for the music/video/media center stuff?

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