Alternatives to mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dazed, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    So at present I'm using a 2007 mini under the stairs as my media server. It's now about to be retired since it can't take the later os's.

    I now seem to have 3 options.

    . Buy the new mini even though it's not upgradable
    . Buy a refurb or used (assuming one can be found for a sensible price)
    . Buy a mini pc machine.

    Any recommendations for a pc machine? I'd like to keep the form factor as small as possibles

    My imac is my main machine so it doesn't need to be a powerhouse :)


    Thanks.
     
  2. CobraX80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    If you're using the mini as a media server, do you care of the ram is not upgradable?

    Check out this article 7 Mac Mini Alternatives

    I didn't read the article, but did a quick google, and this came up
     
  4. rrl macrumors 6502

    rrl

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #4
  5. foobarbazqux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    #5
    If that's all you need it for then power/upgradeability isn't really much a concern. I'd probably get the cheapest new mini.
     
  6. CobraX80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #6
  7. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #7
    I originally got a mini because of looking into small, quiet, efficient computers and I kept finding that the mini was pretty much the best value. That was in 2007, and still appears to be the case. The comments to the article point out that the highest CPU in any of those boxes is an i3, with most being Celerons. In other words, at $500, the mini is still in a class by itself, unfortunately.
     
  8. rrl macrumors 6502

    rrl

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #8
  9. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #9
    What have you upgraded in your current mini?
     
  10. CobraX80, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    CobraX80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #10
    The Gigabyte BRIX Pro is a loud beast. I quote from the Hexus review:
    Not to mention the high load temps of the BRIX Pro, which is 97°C according to Hexus.

    BTW, I have my own custom PC as a fileserver. It has a really old dual-core CPU (Intel Pentium E2160) and that CPU is already OVERKILL for its purpose.
     
  11. rrl macrumors 6502

    rrl

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #11
    It's like having your own airport inside your house.
     
  12. giggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #12
    Whatever a 2007 Mini had been doing until yesterday, a base 2014 499$ Mini can do today.
    Not to mention it's extremely energy efficient, probably will end up drawing 1/3 of what you draw now.

    Multi thousand dollar NAS/mediaservers have Atom + 4GB ram by the way.

    Also, keep in mind that 99% of the other "small footprint" solutions have external powerbricks (like your current Mini actually, except they're black and crappier), whereas current Minis have internal PSU and just use a standard IEC C7 power cord connector on the outside.

    Now since you're gonna keep it 7 more years, you might wanna max out the RAM online anyway. Then if and when you will feel like voiding the warranty, you can replace the 5400rpm HDD with a 2.5" SSD. It will be slightly harder but possible.
     
  13. icerabbit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #13
    I have a maxxed out nuc with dual drives around, pretty sweet thing, wouldn't mind it as a mini alternative, but my '12 mini is faster (quad i7 vs dual i5) takes a while to load it up though with drives, firmware updates, windows, all the drivers, windows updates, etc. Takes the better part of a day, with slow internet.

    Something you may be able to avoid if you can get a mfr's built out mini system, that has ram, hdd and os already installed.

    Thing is, if you're used to a mini and OSX, you may want to stick with that, because, well windows 8 takes a bit of getting used to and tweaking.
     
  14. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #14
    Have you considered a "chromebox"? (asus at bb $179)

    I've been using for well over 6 months and love it.

    For web browsing,video (utube 1080p no problem),simple office and pic editing,fb,twitter ect,it's perfect....Lots of nice free programs in chrome store,updates are fast and simple...If you ever need to reset (clean install) it takes all of about 30! seconds.

    My asus came with 200g of cloud storage,which works great with docs and spreadsheets (auto uploads them).

    Like android you can setup user to remember all settings,bookmarks ect ect.

    For the price you really can't go wrong!
     
  15. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #15
    Maxed out ram and replaced hd.

    I like the ability to upgrade as needed.


    Thanks for the feedback, I will have a look into the pc alternatives vs the older Mac mini.
     
  16. giggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #16
    Another 5 posts and he will be advised to buy a Raspberry Pi.
     
  17. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    #17
    Why not keep using what you have? As a media server it likely has enough power for what you need or is there an issue other than not being able to install a shiny new OS on it?

    Other than that I would suggest looking for a used i5 mini which will have more than enough oomph.
     
  18. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Location:
    Margarittaville
    #18
    Check out the zotac also. They build theirs to run either Windows including Win7 and Linux.
    http://www.zotac.com/home.html

    They build from small to Mac Mini sizes and just about any processor you want. Some even include discrete graphics cards.
     
  19. giggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #19
    2 years from now the world will have moved completely to ddr4 and ddr3 will cost its weight in gold (like ddr2 nowadays), you might want to max it out from the get go anyway.

    The hdd on the new mini is just as replaceable as on your current Mini, you just need a suction cup to open the base instead of a putty knife.
     
  20. germinator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #20
    Don't get the i7 model, get the i5 one and you should be OK.

    ----------

    Yeah, but rather expensive
     
  21. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #21
    So my local best buy has the 2012 2.5gz i5 for same price as the current 1.4gz.

    Anything I would be missing out on if I went with the 2012? I can add more ram later which is a nice option. Is 4gb enough for an itunes server streaming 1080p HD?


    Thanks
     
  22. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
  23. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #23
    One day down the road you just know Apple will build a version of OSX that won't support the gpu of the 2012 model (you won't be able to install it) but will support the 2014 today's model.

    Also it might be a good idea if we all wait to see some test scores before coming to a conclusion!
     
  24. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #24
    Test scores have been available. Just look at tests of the MBA and 13 rMBP. They use the same hardware as the new mini, just in a different shape.

    ----------

    Why does your media server need to have the latest OS? As long as it runs and other devices can access it's files, isn't that all you need it to do?
     

Share This Page