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After viewing Chris' lastest video featuring Parallels Desktop I've started considering making the switch to Apple for my next computer. Right now I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop that I've had for a few years and the screen has completly gone out on me so I'm having to relay on my Wacom Cintiq 15X LCD tablet as a main monitor til I can do better. In a few months I will be getting a new computer and the Mac Mini has caught my eye for it's price and size.

Mac mini

Processor: Intel Core i7 2.3 GHz quad-core (Boost to 3.3 GHz) / Hard Drive: 1TB 2.3 GHz / RAM: 4 GB (Will upgrade overtime) ($799)

My Inspiron

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40 GHz / Hard Drive: 288 GB / RAM 4GB (Maximum)


As to what I would be using it for I do digital art using Photoshop CS5 & Paint Tool Sai (Windows Only) and I would use Parallels to place my copy of Windows on the Mac Mini so I can keep using Sai and Microsoft Word and other Windows applications that may not be on Macs. I don't do much video editing but I may occasionally do some small videos here and there for YouTube. I'm also not a PC gamer; that's what my PS3 is for. I just need it for digital art, word processing, and Internet surfing.

Other Alternatives

For a few more hundred bucks I could go to the iMac 21.5" but it means not getting an iPad along with the Mac mini. And of course I could stick with Windows, however, I'm really not too thrilled about Windows 8 after trying it out in stores.

Anyways, should I try the Mac mini or one of the other two options?

asked Jan 04 '13 at 17:02

Natheren's gravatar image


edited Jan 04 '13 at 18:05

Fogarty's gravatar image

Fogarty ♦♦

If you build a PC you will be able to tailor the hardware to your needs. You will also get much faster hardware for less money.

If you do not want to build, then you will have to decide on which software you want to use. Windows has a wider selection of applications for your needs (though you can just install windows on the mac)

For the price of the mac mini, you can build a system that will be around twice as fast or buy a desktop PC that will be significantly faster.

PS running windows in a VM and using a program like photoshop or other demanding program, will make for a very bad experience as you will not get proper hardware acceleration and just get overall less performance.

for those specs and prices, the mac mini is a horrible deal

answered Jan 04 '13 at 23:00

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Jan 04 '13 at 23:01

I've never built a custom PC but I have thought about that as a means to avoid Windows 8. The main thing about the Mac mini is I like the size and how easy it is to upgrade (least with the RAM). I've never done anything with VMs which is another issue I'm having to think about. While my system is going down hill the specs of the mini are at least better then what I'm currently using. Long as I get something with a quadcore and the ability to add a god deal of RAM I'm good. I've been eyeing the HP Envy Desktops though in the PC area.

(Jan 04 '13 at 23:24) Natheren Natheren's gravatar image

wanted to also mention, the mac mini is basically a laptop with no keyboard or screen, the internal parts are laptop parts. If you want more desktop hardware, then you will need to go with an imac (though it will be a bit more annoying to use it with a Wacom Cintiq

(Jan 05 '13 at 02:54) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

Macs are very simple to use and are meant for what you are looking for in a computer.

Office applications are available on a Mac, so you don't need Parallels for that.

If you feel the Mac OS X environment is easy to use, and don't mind paying extra, then you would definitely love using a Mac.

Go for the Mini. It's the best bang for your buck. The iMac is very thin and would be hard to upgrade components such as the memory. You'll also have the extra money, your wallet will thank you. :-)

answered Jan 04 '13 at 17:34

joshua8790's gravatar image


Paint Tool Sai is the main reason I'd use Parallels, it's my favorite for linework on images but a Mac version was never made for it. It's very good for dawing and cheaper then Photoshop.

(Jan 04 '13 at 19:38) Natheren Natheren's gravatar image

I think the mini sounds perfect for you. It has just the right power and items to get the most for your buck. Do know you have to buy accessories along with the mini such as monitor, keyboard, and mouse. But with the mini as a stationary and later you have the extra cash for the iPad, now thats a good deal. So yeah mac mini all the way.

answered Jan 04 '13 at 17:58

Urgebot1777's gravatar image


Well I do have my Cintiq 15x that I can continue using as a monitor til I buy a decent one. I also have a usb keyboard I'm using (I have to keep the Inspiron closed in order to make my Cintiq the main monitor) and I've been uing my Intuos 4 as a mouse so until I get extra cash to get bluetooth versions I can always use them for the meantime. Mac Mini should be able to use them I assume.

(Jan 04 '13 at 19:34) Natheren Natheren's gravatar image

Those all should work, so I think your set!

(Jan 04 '13 at 22:46) Urgebot1777 Urgebot1777's gravatar image

if you are already looking at os x and iOS i think the mac mini and ipad would be a good pick for you software really isn't the problem with parallels you have already taken out any limitation besides budget in that regards. I think you would be better served with the mini and parallels you really can't beat that

answered Jan 08 '13 at 00:52

bryanminer's gravatar image


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Asked: Jan 04 '13 at 17:02

Seen: 2,166 times

Last updated: Jan 08 '13 at 00:52