Advice on first mac purchase

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by allyc31, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. allyc31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    Just hoping i could get some advice on a mac purchase I'm going to make.

    Recently changed phone to iPhone and bought the iPad back in March so, have decided to unify my set up and buy a mac.

    I've had a look and, for what i need (which is pretty much an iTunes repository, web browser, media player (monitor will be my TV)) I've decided to go with a mac mini.

    So, anyway, having no previous experience with mac desktops I've just a few questions. For a printer will i need to buy a specific type (that supports airport express) or will any wireless printer do? Also, what is the AirPort Express base station? Is this simply a router or something else?

    I would also like a nas drive but i'm not sure i want to spend the money apple are looking for the time capsule. Again, will any nas do or does it need to be specific? I have a ext hard drive; could i plug it into the mac mini and use it as the nas?

    Would really appreciate any and all help with this as i'm looking forward to the purchase but want to make sure i get it absolutely right.

    Thanks folks

    edit: Sorry, also meant to ask about the noise and and how much they tend to heat up?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Any modern printer will work. I does not need to be wireless if you attach it to an Airport Express and the Airport Express will handle the wireless.

    http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

    It is just a wireless router, but it has the added feature of Airplay. There is a speaker jack output in the Airport Express that allows you to wirelessly stream iTunes music to speakers through the Airport Express.

    Time Capsule will work well and includes a built in wireless router also. If you want a NAS, you will want one that supports Time Machine. Beyond that, any will work.

    Yes. You can plug an external drive in and format to Mac OS Extended (HFS+) and use it for a Time Machine backup and also use it like a NAS to share files.

    Sorry... I have never owned a Mini so can't help you there. :)
     
  3. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #3
    The Mini is pretty much inaudible under light usage conditions. Load the system and you will hear the fans spinning up after 1-2mins. Can become rather intense unfortunately.

    With load I mean things like e.g. playing games or compressing recorded TV material in EyeTV/transcoding video in general. Importing material into iTunes also gives a higher noise level, but (for audio only) significantly less than gaming/video transcoding.

    Normal video playback should _not_ lead to higher noises - I had the mini on TV duty and it stayed very silent (except when compressing recordings).

    The surface feels warm to the touch, but it's not feeling uncomfortable (as in: not hot to the touch) unless you are very worried about anything that's warmer than cold.
     
  4. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #4
    In regards to the AirPlay audio jack on the Express, the speakers need to be powered. You can hook a stereo up to it, too. I have used a wide format Epson printer using the USB port on the Express and it worked fine except that the label printer wouldn't work unless directly connected to the computer.

    You can't connect a hard drive to the USB port on the Express, but the AirPort Extream has extra USB ports and will. Time Capsule is an Extream with a built in hard drive.

    And welcome to the party.

    Dale
     
  5. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    #5
    I just got my Mini on Wednesday. I had it on for close to two days straight during set up and updating to ML. There has almost no noticable heat. It was cooler than my iPad is after much less use. :)

    I am using it now and it is completely silent. It is sitting less than two feet from me on my desk.

    Enjoy your new Mini. :apple:
     
  6. allyc31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #6
    Big big thanks guys!

    Think i'll go pick it up today....if i can convince the wife:)

    Cheers again. Really super helpful!
     
  7. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    #7
    Enjoy it, I am so far.

    Just a tip, I checked on Best Buy's website for open box deals. I got the 2.5ghz model with 4gb for $10 more than the base model. Same warranty and they let me test it before I bought it.
     
  8. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, England.
    #8
    It's a long shot... but do you think any UK stores would do this?

    I'm thinking of getting a mac mini on finance and if I can get a deal like you did id pay the extra ten pounds!
     
  9. darthlinux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #9
    Some placed do refurbed ones but I just brought the Mac Mini and was the best thing I ever did, I even went and got the Iphone to match my stuff, I will invest in more apple products.
     
  10. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, England.
    #10
    I'll have to ask in pc world!

    And I can't wait to get mine... ill be getting an iPhone as soon after January as I can get it! Bday money is going to iPhone 4 fund! Had one before but got rid like an idiot!
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #11
    Don't pay apple for extra RAM. Much cheaper to buy and add yourself. It's easy to do and readily available. I was pricing one up for my boss Friday and by adding 4GB yourself (giving you 6 total) it worked put £70 cheaper than buying from apple. I'd give you the details but I get a discount which wouldn't apply to
    Jo public. Money off should work out about the same though. However isn't there likely to be a new Mac mini soon?
     
  12. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, England.
    #12
    Hoping so lol, waiting till this month is over before I buy mine!

    Hoping its released in a weeks time... early Xmas present from Apple if so!

    And what you said about RAM is very true. As I said before, £50 for 16gb or hundreds for an extra 2gb from Apple!
     
  13. allyc31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #13
    New mini due soon eh?

    Maybe it was a blessing in disguise when the wife suggested i 'stop being daft and wait until Christmas'.

    In terms of refurbed models, currys have a ebay site however it only ever seems to be macbooks that are available.

    Link to currys outlet on ebay

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Currys-PC-World
     
  14. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #14
    Maybe she's going to buy you one?

    Save YOUR $$. :)
     
  15. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #15
  16. darthlinux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #16
    You can get 16GB ram for £60 so you'll save £'s but I would wait for xmas specials you won't regret it.

    I am like you and I sold my Iphone 4 before and now I have the iphone 4s so will get the 5 next.
     
  17. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, England.
    #17
    That's a great idea! I'd not considered Xmas offers! Thanks!

    Lucky you, I decided to go to Android instead of a 4s, and then a blackberry which I lost! So now using a HTC desire lol, I NEED an iPhone to go with my mac when I get it!

    Ok, don't need... want :p
     

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