A couple of questions from a total Mac Mini newbie

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ijha, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. ijha macrumors regular

    ijha

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #1
    Hi, everyone.
    My old macbook pro (2007) started to give me troubles. So, I am thinking of buying a new mac. Especially, right now I am interested in MacMini since it is going to be used as a basic home computer. The main reason I'd like to buy Mini is that I am planning to hook it up with a generic 32" HDTV via HDMI. The usage will include pretty basic stuff like watching mkv, mp4 movie files, internet browsing, music..etc.

    Here's my questions.

    1. which model?: can the basic model handle all things that I want to do? Especially, I am wondering how it performs when it is connected to an HDTV. Especially I am wondering if there is any heavy CPU usage when it is connected to an HDTV? (thus causing heating or memory lackage etc) or there is no difference between using a regular monitor and using a HDTV?

    2. Can I swap memories by myself just like macbook pros?

    3. I noticed that the power button is on the back side. Isn't this bothering you guys whenever you turn it on? I am gonna put it on the backside of the HDTV where it is hard for me to reach. Or do you leave the computer always on (with sleep mode)?

    4. Trackpad or bluetooth mouse? which one would you prefer?

    Thanks a lot for your inputs!:)

    Best,
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Yes, quite easily.
    Extremely well.
    It depends on what you have running.
    Yes. The manual that comes with it will tell you how.
    It's fine to leave it on all the time, just sleeping when you need/want to.
    What matters is which one YOU prefer, since you'll be the one using it. What others prefer has no bearing on what works best for you. Try both and see which you like most.

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User
    Mac Pro & Mac mini Fast Start: The new user's guide to the Mac
     
  3. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    #3
    a 65" 1080p HDTV has lower resolution and takes less resources the run than a 30" monitor that runs at 2560x1600.
     
  4. craigsharp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #4
    Be careful connecting it to a TV, not that anything bad will happen, but how far away you sit from the TV. General TV watching distance on my 40" sony bravia is about 10-15 feet but at this distance having my mac mini display at 1080p is almost unusable, i have to change resolution to 720p which makes it much better, not ideal but i can deal with it. Definitely want to upgrade to 8gbs of ram, I have the bluetooth keyboard and trackpad and I must say I absolutely love the trackpad!
     
  5. ijha thread starter macrumors regular

    ijha

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #5
    Thanks a lot for your tips! I think I'm ready to buy it. But if you have any comments, tips, please share with us!
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #7
    Apple Wireless Keyboard, Trackpad, and Twelve South's MagicWand. Absolutely perfect combination for sitting on the couch and controlling your mini.
     
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #8
    I looked at the video and being Left handed i want the pad on the left. I can not figure out if I can put the trackpad on the left. If you can do me a favor let me know if it is possible. I may buy it thanks.


    edit i found the answer I can do either side.
     
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #9
    Yup - the trackpad can go on either side just fine!
     
  10. BrianMayFan123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    #10
    I have recently purchased the base 2.3 i5 2011 Mac Mini, and like yourself, I have it hooked up to a HDTV.

    Personally I have found the Mini more than capable at handling web surfing, emails, iTunes related things, watching films and video converting.
    In fact the only thing I would not recommend the 2011 Base Mini for is serious gaming. Anything that isn't Crysis 2 material at max settings is fine, but to a seasoned gamer, It doesn't cut the mustard.

    Having a HDTV as a monitor instead of a standard desktop monitor shouldn't make any difference to the CPU usage of the Mini. The only thing it might impact is display quality if you need to reduce the resolution to make the screen usable.

    Upgrading the RAM couldn't be simpler. Buy your RAM, twist the base plate off, swap RAM and replace base plate.

    The On/Off button placement isn't a major issue for me. I have an open tiered glass TV stand so actually finding the button isn't that difficult, but the mini should be fine left on sleep mode if that's easier for you.

    I use a magic Mouse with a 3rd Party (Keysonic) Bluetooth keyboard and prefer this arrangement over a track pad. GGJStudios is right However in saying it depends on what you feel most comfortable with.

    I hope the above helps
    :)
     
  11. ijha thread starter macrumors regular

    ijha

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #11
    Thanks A LOT guys! I really appreciate your replies.

    Having said that, I have one more question. I still don't understand the resolution thing that Craigsharp and BrianMayFan mentioned about. The low resolution of my TV affects the performance negatively?

    My HDTV is a pretty old generic model whose resolution I guess is 450p or 720p. Simply speaking, can I still hook up the Mini to this TV? I don't actually watch TV that much and because of my kids, I really don't have a plan to upgrade soon.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    I have 20 20 vision and sit or lie on a couch 6 or 7 feet from a 46 inch 1080p tv. my eyes can read the print on this post. if I change the display to 720p the print would be bigger. so depending on your eyesite and the size of your tv size the resolution matters for reading print
     
  13. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    Using a TV doesn't affect performance at all. A TV is just not a particularly good monitor. It your TV is really an HDTV, it is at least 720P.

    The resolution of a 720P TV is 1280x720. That's at 32" diagonal. In comparison, the 11" MacBook Air has 1366x768. So more pixies packed into about 1/3 the screen size. Your TV is not a good monitor for general computer use at typical desktop distance.

    For watching video from several feet away, your TV will look fine. For using the computer as a computer though, it isn't going to look very good. If by "internet browsing" you are talking about things like You Tube, you will be fine. If you plan to browse text heavy sites, you may find them hard to read.

    This is the only sort of performance that connecting to a TV is going to affect.
     
  14. Old Smuggler macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

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    Sep 8, 2006
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #15
    Try it and see.

    If you find you absolutely can't stand using your TV as a computer monitor, you can buy a decent smallish monitor these days for <$100, and a decent big monitor for <$200. The mini can handle two monitors, so you could have your TV and another monitor plugged in at the same time.
     
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #16
    good advice
     

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