The Mac Sweet Spot

I’ve got an essay on The Farm about this little machine:

Photo: Mac mini.

…which includes a link to this beautiful infographic about the Mac Sweet Spot created by Paul “Nixlog” Nixon:

Screen shot: 'Mac sweet spot' chart from

Good insightful stuff, just the sort of thing you’ve come to expect from me, Tucows and The Farm. Read it!

On the file-sharing-and-posting site whose first rule is that you don’t

talk about it, I found this a little war of Mac opinion, waged in the

form of graphics.

Here’s the first salvo:

 Photo: Mac-PC comparison 1

After which a Mac fan returned fire:

Photo: Mac-PC comparison 2

Which led the PC guy to return fire:

Photo: Mac-PC comparison 3

Now that’s not necessariliy true, especially for the really intense 3-D

shooters. There’s no way the cheapo graphics cards on the $499 Dell

will play them; they’re built with the intent of becoming TPS

Report-writing machines. Someone responded that if you really wanted

great games at a low price point, you’d be better served with a

PlayStation 2 or XBox.

The final shot, with this apples-and-oranges logic in mind:

Photo: Mac-PC comparison 4

3 replies on “The Mac Sweet Spot”

Feh, what kind of software do you get with the PC, besides the spyware infestation? Certainly not iLife. Well, you get WordPerfect on a Dell. Also, no modem, not that it’s relevant. I’m still trying to decide whether Windows XP Home is a fair comparison to OS X 10.3. But feature for feature (not counting security and reliability and style) I guess it’s closer than XP Pro.

The differences are either worth it to you or not. Thankfully we have a choice and it’s a little more even a choice, now.


My only beef with OS X — and this Mac Mini — is that 1 GB is a minumum if I want to avoid a sluggish machine. Even my ancient 128MB-powered pc at work isn’t that bad. But even with 2 GB Ram in my wind-tunnel G4 I still experience a lot of spinning beachballs if I have too many apps open (oddly Photoshop and Final Cut are not factors)

But if I want 1GB in this Mac Mini it almost doubles in price because it only has one ram slot.

Hmm, well, for a dual G4 1.5GB is usually sufficient, so I’d think for a single G4, 768 would be good enough for the average person. Safari is the current worst culprit on my machine, followed by the OS, Finder, Mail and iTunes, wouldn’t you know it. Unfortunately, supporting two major (Carbon and Cocoa) and a few minor runtime environments tends to make your memory budget increase. Although actually I’ve got over 500MB free right now, which is surprising!

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