Advice on first mac purchase

allyc31

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2012
6
0
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?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,621
10,415
California
Hi Folks,

Just hoping i could get some advice on a mac purchase I'm going to make.
For a printer will i need to buy a specific type (that supports airport express) or will any wireless printer do?
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.

Also, what is the AirPort Express base station? Is this simply a router or something else?
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.

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?
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.

I have a ext hard drive; could i plug it into the mac mini and use it as the nas?
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.

edit: Sorry, also meant to ask about the noise and and how much they tend to heat up?
Sorry... I have never owned a Mini so can't help you there. :)
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,057
615
edit: Sorry, also meant to ask about the noise and and how much they tend to heat up?
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.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
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
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,522
709
Plano, TX
Sorry, also meant to ask about the noise and and how much they tend to heat up?
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:
 

allyc31

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2012
6
0
Big big thanks guys!

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

Cheers again. Really super helpful!
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,522
709
Plano, TX
Big big thanks guys!

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

Cheers again. Really super helpful!
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.
 

Dixi1801

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
46
0
South Yorkshire, England.
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.
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!
 

darthlinux

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2011
31
0
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!
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.
 

Dixi1801

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
46
0
South Yorkshire, England.
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.
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!
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
39,040
28,767
Behind the Lens, UK
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?
 

allyc31

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2012
6
0
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
 

darthlinux

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2011
31
0
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!
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.
 

Dixi1801

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
46
0
South Yorkshire, England.
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.
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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