Question Wanting an Apple “computer” - help and advice please. What to buy ?

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
Hi

This will sound silly question and possibly a bit rambling but I’ll ask

I am heavily invested in the Apple infrastructure. Have iPhone XR, an Apple Watch, a 2018 Apple pro (soon to be “upgraded” to a 2020 as my dad wants an iPad so I will pass him on mine) even air pods.

i know they are expensive and I know some see as a label, but for me, I’ve just always been impressed by the fact they do what I want how I want.

Anyway (see said be rambling) I have an old windows pc (has to be 10 years old) which has had a few upgrades, but basically is a 10 year old i5 with an Nvidia GTX 7700. I don’t game on it but like the desktop experience for web browsing and photo viewing etc. As well as using it for word / excel

I’d ideally like a Mac Ideally something with the latest macOS
Now I did get a second hand Mac Pro but it will not run the latest macOS even with the dosdude patch as the graphics card is not supported. So I need to know what to buy

I have the budget for an iMac (budget of around £2500) but I’m just not convinced I would ever get close to scratching the surface of what it would do

I looked an a Mac book or Mac book air, but with the iPad that seems a little wasted and I really want the “desktop experience

so I guess that really leaves me with the Mac mini ?

Are they any good ?
I already have a 4K monitor, a mouse and keyboard. Would a Mac mini be worth the outlay ?

does it come up short in anyway ?

any other suggestions ?

cheers.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Hi
We are very similar in our needs and investment, and I get the full desktop experience hooking up my old MacBook Pro Retina to a decent non 4K Dell 24“ monitor. Official Magic keyboard, Magic Mouse etc.
My ex took my old iMac but probably wouldn’t buy another, so what would I buy to compliment my aged laptop?

I actually do not know thinking about it.....so I haven’t answered a question you’ve asked, sorry.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Interesting question, The nice thing about a mini is you can invest in the screen separately, I really wanted two matching 27" screens and the 5K's need some decent graphics to drive them so it was a MacBook Pro or a Mac Pro, if I was only buying one unit and only needed one screen the latest iMac's are very good indeed and can be specced up quite respectively for graphics, if you are happy with your 4K screen then the mini sounds ideal if you dont need portability
 

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
I think my iPad serves my portability needs and again I don’t even scrape surface of what it can do (I’d love to learn how to do proper photo editing etc)

id love an iMac. 27”. All singing. All dancing. They look gorgeous. Always love looking at them in store but at around 2500 for spec I’d go for As would want ssd drive rather than fusion I just not sure if would get the extra 1500 worth out of it ?!?

also, am I correct in thinking a new model is on route?

How does a similar priced Mac book compare with a mini ?

If I take apart my current desktop I would have 2 x 128gb ssd drives, 1 x 512gb ssd drive and a 2tb hybrid drive. I assume these can be partitioned and installed in caddy’s and used connected via usb 3.0 ?

I think minimum I’d go for would be the base i5 model.
what’s the boot time’s like on this and do the perform well as an everyday desktop ?

pretty much all my needs can be met by my iPad, but I guess I’m just a traditionalist and like being able to sit down for an hour and browse the web with mouse and keyboard, whilst listening to radio and viewing photos etc.

I guess I just want to try and harmonise everything

I did almost pull trigger yesterday on a mid tier iMac but I just think that extra money, especially with owning monitor etc, would be wasted.

anything else I should consider ?

is it worth the 200 quid for the extra ram ? Or am I Better seeing how get on with 8 and then upgrading myself in 12 months time etc ?

and I’m terms of the imac, I am correct that that would be overkill ?

are there any must have accessories for the mini ?
Hubs? Mounts ? Etc.
Thanks again
 

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
The Mac Mini seems a good choice with your current setup, monitor, etc. Don’t forget you can use the iPad as a second screen too. Not tried that feature myself as my MacBook is too old to support it. But gets good reviews for usability.

Spec the Mac Mini with as large an SSD as you can afford for future proofing ams if reasonably comfortable taking apart tech, I’d go for lowest ram option and then replace the ram sticks myself to save money.

Only accessory you might want is Apples touchpad if you like that style of interface. YouTube great resource for upgrade and accessories details.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I think my iPad serves my portability needs and again I don’t even scrape surface of what it can do (I’d love to learn how to do proper photo editing etc)

id love an iMac. 27”. All singing. All dancing. They look gorgeous. Always love looking at them in store but at around 2500 for spec I’d go for As would want ssd drive rather than fusion I just not sure if would get the extra 1500 worth out of it ?!?

also, am I correct in thinking a new model is on route?

How does a similar priced Mac book compare with a mini ?

If I take apart my current desktop I would have 2 x 128gb ssd drives, 1 x 512gb ssd drive and a 2tb hybrid drive. I assume these can be partitioned and installed in caddy’s and used connected via usb 3.0 ?

I think minimum I’d go for would be the base i5 model.
what’s the boot time’s like on this and do the perform well as an everyday desktop ?

pretty much all my needs can be met by my iPad, but I guess I’m just a traditionalist and like being able to sit down for an hour and browse the web with mouse and keyboard, whilst listening to radio and viewing photos etc.

I guess I just want to try and harmonise everything

I did almost pull trigger yesterday on a mid tier iMac but I just think that extra money, especially with owning monitor etc, would be wasted.

anything else I should consider ?

is it worth the 200 quid for the extra ram ? Or am I Better seeing how get on with 8 and then upgrading myself in 12 months time etc ?

and I’m terms of the imac, I am correct that that would be overkill ?

are there any must have accessories for the mini ?
Hubs? Mounts ? Etc.
Thanks again


I do believe there is a new iMAC due which will I am sure be a major change all the videos around this suggest a large change in design.

I would spec up a MacBook 16 vs a suitable spec Mac mini, I did similar and it was circular £600-800 more for the same epic MacBook, but it is portable and does have its own screen as well.

For me monitors and the quality are important, I wanted two very good 4k or 5k 27" and wanted it to be seamless, so ended up sticking with the apple approved and supplied LG's. But it was an expensive option as I needed the MacBook as well in a high spec to drive them. I would have bought a mini if it could have driven two 5k screens....

There will be an upgrade to the MacBook 16 this summer but just internal specs I suspect as the 2015 chassis was updated in 2019
 
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dUnKle

Distinguished Member
Cheers.
I’ve gone for the i5 mini.

I have 2 512gb SSDs in my desktop and a 2tb hybrid drive so plan on using a as external drives and then one of the SSDs with the Xbox as external.

I have read various reviews and the thing they state the mini will struggle with I’ve hardly heard of let alone do. The PC I have is a proper old workhorse so it’s basically just moving over to Apple for the OS and being able to have all my devices together. I’ve also seen you can use iPad as a second display which will be handy

I did look at the Mac books but again with an iPad Pro that just seemed a little overkill as well

I really appreciate the help and advice

thank you
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I think the Mac mini is a super unit and I also think the external eGPU's might be an upgrade at some point if you need more powerful graphics, I was going to buy one of these as I originally ordered a Mac mini and two 24" 4k screens, but after staring at a 5k screen on my old iMac I really missed 27, I intended to purchase a Blackmagic eGPU but they are no longer selling them, greyed out and they have been for about 2 weeks. So it all had to be rethought to use two 5k screens (27)
 

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
I think the Mac mini is a super unit and I also think the external eGPU's might be an upgrade at some point if you need more powerful graphics, I was going to buy one of these as I originally ordered a Mac mini and two 24" 4k screens, but after staring at a 5k screen on my old iMac I really missed 27, I intended to purchase a Blackmagic eGPU but they are no longer selling them, greyed out and they have been for about 2 weeks. So it all had to be rethought to use two 5k screens (27)

The eGPU thing I think, for me, know, is just way too much, but I like that its an option going forward

As I have zero idea about all things creative, in gaming terms, how much would an eGPU cost that would get quality 1080p 60 gaming ? if thats at all possible ?
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
The eGPU thing I think, for me, know, is just way too much, but I like that its an option going forward

As I have zero idea about all things creative, in gaming terms, how much would an eGPU cost that would get quality 1080p 60 gaming ? if thats at all possible ?
Apple list some 'recommended' (I use that word lightly) options at: Use an external graphics processor with your Mac

Most options are typically around £200-400 for an external GPU box (a box with a PCIe slot and a PSU), and then the graphics card on top; though you can find some bundles that include both the graphics card and external enclosure. Lots of GPUs can do 1080p at 60fps, but it will depend if you want to turn up all the quality settings!

A couple of options:
PowerColor Mini eGFX GPU Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure with RX 560 4GB - the RX560 isn't a brilliant GPU, but it'll do 1080p at low-quality settings in pretty much every game

PowerColor Mini Pro 240FU eGFX Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure with RX 570 8GB - not brilliant either but would at least let you dial the quality up
 

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
Cheers. Like say way out of my needs but it’s interesting to know it’s an option

a google had even shown one with a 2080ti. Wow
 

akkrozs2

Member
I’d ideally like a Mac Ideally something with the latest macOS
Now I did get a second hand Mac Pro but it will not run the latest macOS even with the dosdude patch as the graphics card is not supported. So I need to know what to buy

I would also consider about getting Mac with at least macOS Catalina, cause they've implemented a lot of security fixes and made some useful features, especially for devs. And talking of which, there a lot of security gaps can be in your MacOS, like written up in this article ( https://macsecurity.net/view/325-your-computer-is-low-оn-memory-mac-virus ). That's why it's so important to install the most recent updates with those fixes.
 
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gg13533

Well-known Member
Once the Apple shops reopen, you might be able to take advantage of a "Mac 101" learning session. I did that years ago and it was very useful. Failing that they have plenty of help available on line
 

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
Cheers. I’m quite enjoying having iPad next to it and watching and learning.
have just wall mounted it so desk looks tidy
 

dUnKle

Distinguished Member
Something I do need to ask is in relation to my monitor / display

it’s an LG UHD 27UL600 27” Monitor
I have it connected via usb c / thunderbolt to display port

I wasn’t overly happy with the picture. It certainly didn’t look as clear or as bright as it did when connected to windows pc

however it keeps seemingly reverting the monitor to HDR as well. The picture looks terrible. Too red. Too blotchy. But HDR is not enabled under the display settings

also, all of the monitors picture settings are unavailable

any ideas / suggestions.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
As a an opposing view.

I have an iPad and iPhone. Love them, would never go back to Android.

I had a Mac for a while, borrowed from a friend to see if I wanted to switch from Windows.
I couldn't get on with it at all. I think Windows is too ingrained into me and that combined with not being able to find apps and tools I wanted, that I used a lot and would need to compromise on to find alternatives.

It just wasn't for me.
 
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Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
As a juxtaposition.

I have an iPad and iPhone. Love them, would never go back to Android.

I had a Mac for a while, borrowed from a friend to see if I wanted to switch from Windows.
I couldn't get on with it at all. I think Windows is too ingrained into me and that combined with not being able to find apps and tools I wanted, that I used a lot and would need to compromise on to find alternatives.

It just wasn't for me.

Exactly the same here. Love my Apple devices, but it's always a Windows PC for me.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
When I was at school we had a few Apple IIe computers that I loved compared to the BBC Micro B that were also being used (yes I am that old). But once I left school I could not afford anything Apple and so once PC's started to become popular I moved onto them and was determined I'd never cross to the dark side - Apple

But then a few years back I was sent on a Mac course as the company were getting a lot of Mac's and they wanted me to support them. I then got a MacBook Air and loved it (still do). Since then I have bought 2 iPads, an Apple TV 4K and now an iPhone.

And I'm typing this on a Windows PC.

I like & use both Apple & Windows and think both have advantages & disadvantages. So I use the best tool for the job.

Mark.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I have a windows laptop the rest is Mac for me (just moved from iMac to MacBook Pro, two 27" screens), I use windows in the office, but integrate at home with Mac linking in to Sharepoint with no problems, I do a lot on excel using two Mac screens running office, works great and two 5k LG screens are much nicer to stare at than what my office has :)

For me its Mac at home and whatever is provided/supported at work
 

mudshark

Distinguished Member
I just ordered a new Mac Mini to replace my tired 2014 model. Upgraded to the i7 so hoping it will cover my needs for a few years, mainly ripping 4K movies and streaming them to my 65CX.
 

Voucher

Banned
A new macbook pro with i5 2.0GHz 16gb ram 1tb ssd will be 2 laptops in one, bootcamp OSX with Windows and you have 2 brilliant laptops! As the price of a half decent windows laptop is now £1000 or more and a macbook pro 2nd hand will be close to that - you might as well go the whole hog and then you wont have to buy another one for at least 6 years and longer. In the end you save money.
 

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