Apple Device Question: Best usage of device (Media PC or Desktop Replacement)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by A4orce84, Apr 17, 2012.

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  1. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    Hello Everyone,

    I was looking to get opinions on what would be the best "Apple" device to get for my needs (mac-mini or Macbook Pro). I've been wanting to get more involved with Apple and learn more about OSX (since I've used Windows and Linux for years now) let's jump in!

    Currently, I have an old desktop running Linux and Windows 7 that's showing its age. In addition, I have an HDTV with a PS3 connected up to it for Netflix, hulu, and blurays.

    I was thinking about getting a mac mini or macbook pro(MBP) and use my existing monitor, keyboard, as a desktop replacement......however, it looks like a lot of people use mac mini as a media PC (where my HDTV comes in). I currently have a PS3 hooked up to my TV as I stated earlier. So I can already do the basics like Hulu, Netflix, blurays, streaming from home network....but was curious if a mac mini IS THE BETTER option to hooking up to my HDTV?

    Since a mac-mini would allow me a better browser (PS3s built in browser sucks for flash and java intensive websites), and basically turn my TV into a normal computer (IM clients, email applications, word processing, etc.) that isn't really an option with the PS3.

    So options that are going on in my head:
    1. Macmini as a desktop replacement and turn my old desktop into a server.....then maybe getting an apple tv down the line for my HDTV.

    2. MBP laptop as desktop replacement and actually use it as a 2nd monitor (which would be sweet) and something like this:

    Which would allow me to possibly hook up (or dock) my MBP with the TV at times if I wanted to surf the web on my HDTV.

    3. (not likely because its expensive) Get a macmini for TV get MBP for desktop usage....not really feeling this option as I said since it's pretty expensive.

    Maybe I'm over-complicating this by involving my HDTV, but either way wanted to get everyone's feedback and opinions.

  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    once mountain lion launches you will be able to airplay mirror your mac to the hdtv with an ATV3, currently you can hook any mac with a minidisplay port to the HDTV with a mini display to hdmi/dvi adapter.
  3. tshrimp, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

    tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    I might upset some mac fans here for saying this, but I would convert your Win7 computer into an HTPC if that is an option. I actually think Windows Media Center is the best interface you can use for an HTPC. You can add Hulu desktop plugin, it has Netfix, DVD interface in the gui, sports scores. You can also stream .wtv files from your PC to your PS3 which would be nice if they are in different rooms. (works best with xbox however if you also have one of those, but still good on the PS3)

    As for Mac mini or macbook pro. That is hard as they are so different. If you do not need portability and have a mouse and keyboard and monitor ready then the Mini might be the best choice for you and if you have not yet gotten into the mac world yet it would be your least expensive option to try out. I think you will like the Mac OS, but if you don't your losses will be less.

    Also you might check out the Roku 2 if you like a lot of content.

    Good luck with your decision.


    Just a though......The size of the Mac Mini is great for an HTPC. You could always get the mac mini and try it out as an HTPC, and if it doesn't work out for you then you can convert it to your desktop or put Win7 on it and see if Media Center works for you. Maybe hook up an HD Homerun for TV/DVR functionality.
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I use a mac mini with a 46 inch sony tv.
    works great.
    a lot depends on how you hook up to your tv the size of your tv etc.

    My sony has
    1)a mac mini
    2)a dvd player
    3)a blu ray player
    4)a pc attached to it

    I spin storage to a nas and a raid box

    pretty much fully covers me for all needs.

    it would be nice if the sony tv had 6 hdmi's not 4 .

    but that would be used for my pc mac mini modding business

    If you are going to go mac mini and can wait a bit wait for the 2012 models or at least until mountain lion comes out.
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