Advice on a mac desktop setup!

dlim

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 15, 2012
108
0
I currently have a 2011 13" base-model MBA, and recently picked up a 2011 base mini (i5 2.3). I've been using the 13" as my main for a few weeks but noticed that sometimes the fan would start spinning really loudly when watching movies or streaming Netflix). It doesn't happen every time, and if I restart my MBA the situation is fixed until the next time it happens.

I decided to pick up a mac mini to use as my main b/c of the fan issue though. I installed 8gb in it, but realized how spoiled I got using my SSD since the 5400 rpm hard drive is noticeably slow.

I'm now wondering if I should return the mini and use my MBA as my main (dealing with the fan issues as I have been), or if I should keep the mini and just install an SSD in it.

1. MBA + TBD (I would return my mini + ram, and sell the 2 23" monitors I have hooked up to it)
2. Mini + 8gb memory + SSD (most likely 128gb. Maybe a 256 if I can snag a good deal on a SATA III one) (I would sell 1 of my 23" monitors and use that to buy an SSD.)

Either way I'll be selling at least 1 monitor, I don't think I need 2 on this because I've gotten used to switching between desktops.
 

deadshift

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2011
48
37
hybrid drive?

Seagate Momentus XT. It's not quite SSD, but 4GB or 8GB of adaptive drive cache can help a lot. I think you'd regret getting rid of all the storage on your mini.

Also, iFixit's mac mini dual hard drive kit may get you booting and running from a small SSD while affording an old school hard drive for storage or time machine backup.

Them's my thoughts.
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
Is your sole purpose of having a Mac Mini to watch movies and to stream Netflix? If so, consider an Apple TV, PS3, or Xbox 360. Even an iPod Touch or iPad via HDMI adapter could do the trick.

If not, are you okay with splitting up your files/documents/etc between two computers and not always having them in sync and whatnot? If so, then maybe a Mac Mini isn't too bad an idea.

If I was looking to watch movies and stream Netflix on my computational device, I'd go with keeping the 13" and getting a TBD. But that's only because I like the SSD and like to keep all my files in one place.

Now do I actually do that? No I do not. I watch Netflix on my Xbox 360 and have my iMac hooked up via HDMI to my TV to watch Hulu/CBS/etc (I use Dropbox to sync important documents, etc between my two computers, but I only have 8GB to play with).
 

rogan

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2009
116
0
id say return mini, and montiors

get the TBD and hope wait for a new apple tv if it never comes no biggie

wouldnt it be nice if the new ATV hooked up to TB displays? heres hoping


I have a pro and an iMac and im wishing id just got the display as the extra cost for the imac is a bit wasted as i dont need the power and i have external drives anyway!
 

dlim

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 15, 2012
108
0
Is your sole purpose of having a Mac Mini to watch movies and to stream Netflix? If so, consider an Apple TV, PS3, or Xbox 360. Even an iPod Touch or iPad via HDMI adapter could do the trick.

If not, are you okay with splitting up your files/documents/etc between two computers and not always having them in sync and whatnot? If so, then maybe a Mac Mini isn't too bad an idea.

If I was looking to watch movies and stream Netflix on my computational device, I'd go with keeping the 13" and getting a TBD. But that's only because I like the SSD and like to keep all my files in one place.

Now do I actually do that? No I do not. I watch Netflix on my Xbox 360 and have my iMac hooked up via HDMI to my TV to watch Hulu/CBS/etc (I use Dropbox to sync important documents, etc between my two computers, but I only have 8GB to play with).
I do have a PS3 I use to watch Netflix on my TV now and then. I guess a little more detail for my needs:

I just started my 2nd semester in grad school and spend (for the most part) 8-5 on campus, at least half of that time spent on my MBA. Before school started I built a custom i5-2500k sandy bridge rig that I wanted to last me the next 4 years, but looking back on my first semester, all I used it for was: AIM, iTunes, Google Chrome, MS word, MS powerpoint, Netflix and other media I have stored on my computer.

I sold that ASAP (because we all know how fast windows based products depreciate) and considered waiting for the new iMac, using my MBA for the past few weeks. My MBA sufficed for everything I stated above, but during my study breaks when I wanted to watch a TV show, occassionally my fan would start noticeably spinning faster and my MBA getting hotter. If I restart then everything works normally again. And there's no set determinant I could figure out for the cause, sometimes I could go hours watching shows and nothing will go wrong, sometimes on the first show it'll start spinning faster. I then considered a mac mini b/c I realized that an iMac is overkill for what I do (and as much as I love the display + apple, I'm not a fan of all-in-one desktops).

Sorry for the long shot story of my life haha. But basically I'd use the mini for: iChat, iTunes, Chrome, MS word, MS powerpoint, and netflix/media watching while I'm at home. I link my documents on my MBA and mini through drop box since iCloud doesn't support Microsoft Office.

----------

Seagate Momentus XT. It's not quite SSD, but 4GB or 8GB of adaptive drive cache can help a lot. I think you'd regret getting rid of all the storage on your mini.

Also, iFixit's mac mini dual hard drive kit may get you booting and running from a small SSD while affording an old school hard drive for storage or time machine backup.

Them's my thoughts.
I thought about the Momentus but I don't need a large HDD in my mini. I have an external attached to it for all my media storage needs :] I'm leaning towards and SSD b/c before I purchased the mini, I saw that it's geekbench ratings were a lot better than the 2009 13" MBP which is what I used to have, and I never had any issues thinking it was slow (it also has a 5400rpm drive). But I got spoiled by the SSD in my air, I just can't go back now haha :[
 

dlim

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 15, 2012
108
0
Is the crucial M4 128gb for $150 a good deal? Or can I find better?
 
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