Buying a Mini if I already have a MBP?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cassady, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #1
    Hello all,

    I am quite nervous about starting this thread. I am certainly sincere in my question - but it's kinda one of those where I guess I already know the answer - and yet - here I am, trying to test the waters...

    As is clear from the title - I already have a mid-2012 13" MBP. It was my first Mac, and I cannot begin to explain the difference OSX has made to my everyday work-day. As an academic, the workflows I have been able to construct have literally saved me weeks of mundane hours! :)

    Currently, I have a cheap Samsung 23" monitor at home, in the study. I get home, and plug the MBP in - and use my BT keyboard and trackpad, together with the ActionsApp on my iPad, and all is good. In retrospect - I should've invested a bit more money on the monitor - after several hours, it feels like my eyes want to bleed! But regardless - it serves its purpose for reading, researching and writing.

    At work - I still have a Windows-based Dell desktop and 21" screen. As soon as I get in, I hook up my MBP via the HDMI (Dell works via VGA). I use the workstation for Varsity emails and appointments through Outlook, and especially OneNote. Anything academic related, and I hit the button on the Dell monitor, and switch over to my MBP - a few seconds at most...

    But I have this itch. :p

    And I cannot seem to get rid of it. It's a combination of lusting over the iMacs - but having this tempered with the rational thoughts of it not being wise to go for an all-in-one approach - since all the eggs in the same basket can work out expensive if something goes wrong. The original Mac Pros were/are, imo, things of beauty. They take me back to my youth, where the "best" computer on the street, was almost always decided by the size of Tower... ;) As for the new Mac Pro - I haven't really formulated an opinion on it - mainly since I am not a power user, and so cannot justify the Pro...

    Which brings me to the Mini. Relatively inexpensive. And something that could be upgraded in a multitude of ways - which would include, one day one of those gorgeous TB displays... The 27" one, naturally. :cool:

    The mini ticks all the boxes - makes the most sense, and will suit the pocket, to boot.

    But for one, little problem: How does having a Mini plugged in at home, permanently, as a desktop - change anything from my current set-up? How does it *improve* things? How does having a OSX desktop AND a laptop make my life easier? What good, justifiable reason would I have, for pulling the trigger on a desktop - when I would still be taking my laptop to work everyday, and still be plugging it in, just like I am currently?

    Anyone out there who also, like me, couldn't really see an obvious advantage to getting a Mini as a desktop in spite of already having a perfectly workable laptop solution - but who then took the plunge - and found it to be the best thing ever??

    If so - please share!
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    Buying a Mini does nothing to improve your situation...save the lack of needing to hook up to home monitor. And your eyes are still going to "bleed" after a few hours. Sell the monitor and spend the money along with the Mini money on a high quality monitor. When you Ned to upgrade computer down the road you can always buy a Mini to plug into the good monitor. Or if you hit the lotto, the new Mac Pro (though based on your stated needs, way overkill).
     
  3. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #3
    All true. An improved monitor would no doubt help...

    But dammit - I miss having a desktop I can tinker and play around with. Which is, quite frankly, silly. It's not like I would do much "tinkering" on a Mini, apart from maybe upgrading RAM and SSD's...

    And in any event, I have all my academic research on my MBP - the syncing nightmare that would need to be waded through in order to have it and the Mini work together seamlessly... no thank you... :eek:

    Not looking good, I'm afraid...

    But that damn itch!....:p
     
  4. Saltymac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Location:
    Rocky Mt State
    #4
    At the price you should buy 2 mini's one for home and one for office. Sell your MBP to finance mini's and get an ipad mini for your portable needs. Upgrade home monitor to a 24" asus or dell and start the savings account for your big 27 inch. From your description I am not sure you even need to upgrade ram on mini's. Wait to buy mini's as the mini is going to update in near future.
     
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #5
    What if I tell you there's a way to solve all your problems? Haha.

    But seriously... I too have a MBP that I carry with me almost everywhere I go.

    At home, I have a mini that doubles as a htpc and for running maintenance scripts for work. Sometimes I have to see the scripts I test and let it run beyond the point where I can stay at one place at one time, so I run it on the mini, go where I need to with the MBP, and remote back in to the mini to check on the progress.

    As for your workflow, simply install Dropbox on your MBP and mini and watch all the files you work on magically sync with each other. I think this is where Apple computing is headed anyway. In the near future, computers will probably be a commodity. Something's broken? Just go to the Apple store and get a complete, instant replacement; walk in and out.

    When you get home, log in to your Apple account, download the programs you commonly use, log in to your cloud sync'ed account to get a local copy of your work/personal data and you're now back in business. The iOS devices are already there... it's only a matter of time before the (soon to be non-upgradable) laptops do the same thing.
     
  6. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Ah, first world problems. :p

    I'm in the same boat and will probably pick up the rumoured new Mac mini when available.

    As others have chimed, adding a Mac mini won't really change things. Perhaps convenience of not having to plug and unplug any cables you may have hooked up to your MBP.

    The setup is to have the Mac mini as where I do most of my work, backing up all files to an external HD for archiving. The MBP is primarily for client meetings and portable requirements i.e. couch surfing. DropBox files and/or iCloud and you're good to go.

    It also may boil down to what your mobility your needs are. My home is multi-leveled. If you have an open concept one level area, it may not be as big an issue.

     
  7. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I was in exactly the same dilemma, well almost. My monitor is a 21.5" Dell IPS, which is pretty sweet, and only 1 year old! Hook up my 2011 13" MBP every now and again, but got fed up of having to plug it in etc. I was tempted to get a Mac Mini, even as recently as last night (see thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=18038761&postcount=27), but today, decided to take the plunge, and ordered a 21.5" iMac with 256GB SSD.

    I'll let you know if I change my mind, or if this is the utopia I so desire!

    So glad to see someone else with similar thoughts to myself. I'm sure there's plenty of us, but you seemed to put it into words that I connected with.
     
  8. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #8
    :)


    Thanks for the replies.... Glad to know I'm not the only one having this dilemma...

    Well - to be honest - it's not really a dilemma. It's just the burning desire to purchase more Apple hardware, regardless of whether or not it's justified! :rolleyes:

    I really need to stop gawking at those websites dedicated to awesome Apple Mac workstation spaces etc. etc.... :D

    In all seriousness - despite appreciating that I could use iCloud/Dropbox and a variety of dedicated apps for my various OSX programmes, to bring about synchronicity - the simple fact remains that I don't need to do that. I just want to...

    As the little one's grow up - the need for a home computer will become more relevant - and at that stage, it will be a no-brainer. The eldest is 7, so will be happening soon in any event. Using it as a home-media-theatre centre, together with an ATV, and all will be golden!

    I can wait until then. [I think]. I guess the single biggest advantage of running a desktop at home, would be the added benefit of there being another potential place where backups can be made/stored. As it stands, I have 1 external HDD that I TM on at work, and another attached to the router at home, that I simply copy and paste on to. But the thought of having a dedicated desktop that mimics all that is on my MBP will certainly provide additional peace of mind. Again - not essential, but comforting!
     
  9. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #9
    Just do it! The mini is my favourite computer; holds all my media, syncs my iDevices etc etc. I love it.

    It's cheap, runs efficiently. Scratch that itch damn it!
     
  10. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #10
    #Jealous!!


    Enjoy your purchase - please do pop up some thoughts in a few weeks/days!

    ----------

    Oh BELIEVE me I am tempted! Especially after dawdling in to one of the local resellers over the weekend - they had a Mini, Fujitsu 21" screen, Apple BT keyboard and Mouse/trackpad package deal for $1000 (9,999ZAR) - think it was the MD387... If my wife wasn't at hand to calm things down, think I would've done some serious damage to my CC...
     
  11. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #11
    Something which I have done over the last few of years, (out of necessity; kids, one income), is to chuck stuff on time payment. Apple offers 12months interest free here. Makes things fairly affordable. A new mini works out to be about $50 a month.
     
  12. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Even if you don't pay for stuff monthly, this is a good way to look at things, and something I generally do.
     
  13. mattbaar26 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
  14. MacPC, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    MacPC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    #14
    you can easily set up your mini as an afp server, if you know how to tinker your router for port forwarding and your IP address. This way you can have your own
    shared folder between the mini and the MBP, you can save all your work for MBP from where ever you are to the mini at home. You will have your own Mac eco system :) Who needs Dropbox :D

    Here is my set up. At home, I have an older iMac used as a server upstairs, downstairs in my home office I have a mini to do my work at home. I have a MBA I take every where. No matter where I go, I will always save my work to the iMac, it's like a giant personal dropbox. So when I get home I can always retrieve my works from the iMac to the mini :)
     
  15. jg321, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013

    jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #15


    It's due on Monday, I'm very excited! Will post back with my thoughts :)
     
  16. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    Yea I am in a similar situation. I have an 2012 11" MBA which I used to use 100% of the time as a desktop at home. I had it connected to a 24" Dell, bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. I have it in one of those book arcs. I recently got myself a refurbished 2012 mac mini mainly for the ability to run dual monitors. I don't really need 2 computers, but at the same time it's nice to actually have a designated desktop that I can run dual monitors plus have the portability of the MBA if ever needed. Having 2 machines is also not a bad thing in case one would ever fail you have a secondary machine to use.
     
  17. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #17
    I have an iMac and a 17" MBP.
    I would keep the MBP but I work with video and I need the horse power.

    As I type, I am in another country only with my 17" MBP from 2008! And I am doing just fine with Excel and Photoshop and Final Cut Pro to test things.

    In my opinion, having the Mac Mini would make you a bit more crazy realizing "what computer to do what" and having your info spread in a disorganized manner.

    Just get a nice monitor and a back up drive at home and use the MBP you have and vualá! Having another computer is another mouth to feed.
     

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