PC/MAC On a budget

17
Found 11th Jul
Hi All

I have around £300 to spend on a PC or Mac mini but don’t know what to buy.

It will be used as a family PC mainly to browse multiple open tabs and watch live sport streams. I would also like it to be able to handle 4K playback.

Would an i5 Mac Mini 2012 still be ok in 2018? Or am I better going for a Windows with a newer processor?

I have no experience in building PCs so ideally I’d like one that’s pre built.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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17 Comments
get some hackintosh. it will be cheaper then genuine mac. if dont like mac os then u can change to windows.
You would get more bang for buck getting a Windows PC
Used Ex-Corp Dell Optiplex 790 SFF from ebay.

Fast and very reliable. Can easily be hackintoshed at a later date if you decide you want a Mac
100% Windows
crazydealhunter3 h, 8 m ago

get some hackintosh. it will be cheaper then genuine mac. if dont like mac …get some hackintosh. it will be cheaper then genuine mac. if dont like mac os then u can change to windows.


Thanks

I found a 2012 Mac mini with 8gb ram and 128ssd and 1tb hard driver for £320 is a hackintosh cheaper than that and do they come ore built?
Beats8512 m ago

Thanks I found a 2012 Mac mini with 8gb ram and 128ssd and 1tb hard driver …Thanks I found a 2012 Mac mini with 8gb ram and 128ssd and 1tb hard driver for £320 is a hackintosh cheaper than that and do they come ore built?


usually hackintosh from ebay comes prebuild. probably not 100% working like genuine mac but its major things are working. i think +- £200 u can get a good hackintosh.
Uridium2 h, 21 m ago

Used Ex-Corp Dell Optiplex 790 SFF from ebay.Fast and very reliable. Can …Used Ex-Corp Dell Optiplex 790 SFF from ebay.Fast and very reliable. Can easily be hackintoshed at a later date if you decide you want a Mac


I saw one of those and it had a 2nd gen i5 for £180 I was told to go for 6th gen or above but on this price range is proving impossible
If you're not willing to slot components together you won't be interested in the trickier task of getting a hackintosh to work every time Mac OS is updated.

Beats851 h, 6 m ago

I saw one of those and it had a 2nd gen i5 for £180 I was told to go for …I saw one of those and it had a 2nd gen i5 for £180 I was told to go for 6th gen or above but on this price range is proving impossible



Intel's 7th generation processors would be better, the 6th only had partial support for 4K Playback. It is a new technology, so you're not going to find much second hand as they're too new for people to be getting rid of them just yet.

4K playback is the stumbling block for your budget. If it was £450 you'd have some options, but it just hasn't percolated down to become standard on the cheapest models.

Your best bet is probably to forget about getting built in and just buy an older PC and add it with a graphics card. An RX 550 or GT1030 for £80-100 will add the 4K capable outputs, playback hardware and DRM support.
Beats8511th Jul

I saw one of those and it had a 2nd gen i5 for £180 I was told to go for …I saw one of those and it had a 2nd gen i5 for £180 I was told to go for 6th gen or above but on this price range is proving impossible


Just add a cheap low profile 4k capable GPU and it would be fine.
EndlessWaves4 h, 15 m ago

If you're not willing to slot components together you won't be interested …If you're not willing to slot components together you won't be interested in the trickier task of getting a hackintosh to work every time Mac OS is updated.Intel's 7th generation processors would be better, the 6th only had partial support for 4K Playback. It is a new technology, so you're not going to find much second hand as they're too new for people to be getting rid of them just yet.4K playback is the stumbling block for your budget. If it was £450 you'd have some options, but it just hasn't percolated down to become standard on the cheapest models.Your best bet is probably to forget about getting built in and just buy an older PC and add it with a graphics card. An RX 550 or GT1030 for £80-100 will add the 4K capable outputs, playback hardware and DRM support.


What’s crazy to me is that older PC’s won’t play 4K but a tiny wee amazon fire tv box does
Beats852 h, 15 m ago

What’s crazy to me is that older PC’s won’t play 4K but a tiny wee amazon f …What’s crazy to me is that older PC’s won’t play 4K but a tiny wee amazon fire tv box does


There are various aspects to it.

There's the decompression of the video which is very computationally demanding for the newest codecs like HEVC and VP9 that are used for 4K. The most powerful processors can manage it, but everything else needs dedicated hardware for the task - which is also much more power efficient so standard on even those chips that can manage it. Because these codecs are new, so is the hardware. Neither were around back in 2012, but you could get a 2012 PC powerful enough to do it using the general purpose CPU.

There's also the ability to output 4K resolution (3840x2160). Higher resolutions on PCs have been something pushed for the last couple of decades, but because of the way the ecosystem evolved you can't just scale everything up, some co-operation from program developers is needed. That has been slow in coming, so HiDPI screens have never really taken off. Nevertheless, the hardware to output resolutions of 3840x2160 started appearing around 2012 in the form of DisplayPort 1.2. Unfortunately the TV industry chose not to adopt this but to modify HDMI instead so you either need a PC with an HDMI 2.0 output - again, much more recent - or an adapter.

So far so good, and you can in fact play 4K video on some higher end five year old PCs.

The stake through the heart is, as usual, DRM. Those services wanting to deliver copy protected 4K content are choosing to use the most recent DRM of an age that coincides with the rollout of HEVC/VP9 hardware and HDMI 2.0 - the last couple of years.
EndlessWaves11th Jul

There are various aspects to it.There's the decompression of the video …There are various aspects to it.There's the decompression of the video which is very computationally demanding for the newest codecs like HEVC and VP9 that are used for 4K. The most powerful processors can manage it, but everything else needs dedicated hardware for the task - which is also much more power efficient so standard on even those chips that can manage it. Because these codecs are new, so is the hardware. Neither were around back in 2012, but you could get a 2012 PC powerful enough to do it using the general purpose CPU.There's also the ability to output 4K resolution (3840x2160). Higher resolutions on PCs have been something pushed for the last couple of decades, but because of the way the ecosystem evolved you can't just scale everything up, some co-operation from program developers is needed. That has been slow in coming, so HiDPI screens have never really taken off. Nevertheless, the hardware to output resolutions of 3840x2160 started appearing around 2012 in the form of DisplayPort 1.2. Unfortunately the TV industry chose not to adopt this but to modify HDMI instead so you either need a PC with an HDMI 2.0 output - again, much more recent - or an adapter.So far so good, and you can in fact play 4K video on some higher end five year old PCs.The stake through the heart is, as usual, DRM. Those services wanting to deliver copy protected 4K content are choosing to use the most recent DRM of an age that coincides with the rollout of HEVC/VP9 hardware and HDMI 2.0 - the last couple of years.


I’ve been watching videos on YouTube about building my own...... I did not realise it was so easy. I am going to give building my own a try
Beats8537 m ago

I’ve been watching videos on YouTube about building my own...... I did not …I’ve been watching videos on YouTube about building my own...... I did not realise it was so easy. I am going to give building my own a try


On that budget you're going to get less for your money than buying a pre-built one, unless you go for second hand parts. I'd only do it for interest.
Are second parts a bit dodgy I take it? What sort of budget you reckon it would take to build a half decent PC?
There's nothing particularly wrong with second hand. They do have a slightly higher chance of being faulty, but it's a risk also present with new parts.

In terms of costs for a new machine you're likely looking at £400-500.
EndlessWaves2 h, 44 m ago

There's nothing particularly wrong with second hand. They do have a …There's nothing particularly wrong with second hand. They do have a slightly higher chance of being faulty, but it's a risk also present with new parts.In terms of costs for a new machine you're likely looking at £400-500.


Would it be a better idea to buy a cheap ready built PC and over time upgrade the components?
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