Buying Mac mini soon, what do I need?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Frellwit, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Frellwit macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #1
    I'll finally be taking the plunge and buying a Mac, my first. I've decided I'll go a with the (relatively) cheap Mac mini (2.53 GHz, 4GB RAM.) I'm cautious, confused, and a little giddy. Anyway, I'll also be buying a 23" 1080p Vizio Razor LED LCD HDTV to use as my display (and a cheap MS keyboard/mouse combo, but that's irrelevant.) If I understand, I only need this and this to get video and audio out of the Vizio Razor (or any HDTV.) Is that right?
     
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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  3. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #3
    Really? That's a lot easier than I thought it would be. Would you happen to know of a good (wired) Mac compatible key/mouse combo for under $50?
     
  4. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #4
    Whatever you find that's USB will work 90% of the time.

    Logitech and Microsoft almost ALWAYS work without installing anything at all.
     
  5. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #5
    That's good to know, the Logitech site doesn't say anything about anything being Mac compatible. Thanks for all the help. :)
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #6
    Some people, (myself included), prefer to avoid televisions for use as computer monitors. Good monitors generally have better resolution than a 1080P television.

    I prefer Apple keyboards (personal preference). There are a few different keys than PCs... plus I like the various option keys (expose, etc) to be clearly marked.

    /Jim
     
  7. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

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    #7
    Yes, you should really get an Apple Keyboard, don't worry about the mouse, because the Mighty mouse can be annoying and the Magic Mouse can be cool but also annoying, i prefer to use a Logitech MX Revolution for that, about the keyboard i would thake the Full wired keyboard because the numeric right side keys are useful
     
  8. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I was thinking of getting a monitor, found some super-cheap at Best Buy. If I do, I could order my mini from Apple, along with the full keyboard. It's just that the HDTV I have is 19" and only 720p. I figured I could upgrade and use it as a monitor as well. I just didn't want to have to buy speakers. I guess it would be cheaper overall to get a monitor + speakers, though. To make it even cheaper, I may just get the 2.23GHz 160GB HDD mini and have Apple up it to 4GB RAM. I could probably find a cheap external HDD for cheaper than the difference of getting the high-end mini, right?

    OH!, and if I get a monitor I won't have to shell out 40+ bucks for the mini displayport/usb to HDMI cable, right? Thanks, guys. Looks like I'm getting a monitor. *HIGH-FIVE!*
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #9
    Never buy a BTO memory upgrade from Apple. For example, upgrading the $600 Mini's memory from 2 GB to 4 GB costs $100 (USD), but you can buy a 4 GB kit outright for $90 and still have the 2x1 GB set that comes in the computer to save or sell.
     
  10. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #10
    I probably don't even need the extra RAM. The notebook I have now has 4GB RAM, but runs like an old man. Usually it runs great, but occasionally Firefox will freeze or YouTube will stutter. Really, all I want to do with it is graphic/video editing and streaming HD shows/movies. Is the 2GB mini good enough for that?
     
  11. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Ok, I found this 20" HP LCD HD monitor with built-in speakers. It says it includes a DVI-D and audio cable. I know the audio cable will work, but I'm not so sure about the DVI-D cable. Mac minis come with mini-DVI to DVI adapters, right? Can a DVI-D cable fit into the adapter? I'm new to these types of cables, so I really have no idea.
     
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #12
    Sounds like you're leaning toward the Apple keyboard, which I like very much (the short throw leads to faster typing), but if you do decide to go with a 3rd party, wanted to add one very minor heads-up:

    If you get a generic Windows keyboard from, say, Logitech, it will almost certainly work fine with your Mac--I've hooked up several with the $15 cheesy one Staples stocks. However, while the MacOS happily maps the "Windows" key to the "Command" key (which is the default keyboard modifier key, equivalent to the way Windows uses Control), the positions of the Windows/command and option/alt keys are switched versus a Mac-specific keyboard.

    If you never use another Mac keyboard, this won't be an issue. However, if you do, you'll get used to aiming at the middle of the three modifier keys for Command, where on any Mac-specific keyboard it's expected to be immediately beside the spacebar where you'll be expecting the Option key.

    If you want a cheap option, you might check out the budget Apple-specific keyboards from Macally, like this budget mouse/keyboard set for $27 shipped:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009STJIW

    (Aside: there's a reason Apple put the key there--it's much easier than hitting the far outside Control key, since you can do it with your thumb comfortably and still reach two-thirds of the keyboard with the same hand, rather than having to use your pinkie or stretch way over with a thumb.)

    Almost any mouse will work; Apple's new Magic Mouse is pretty cool, but I personally use fancy button-encrusted Logitech mice myself.


    A second comment on which Mini to buy: It's good advice, in general, to never custom-configure RAM from Apple since they charge so much. The mini is a special case, however, in that it's a pain and a half to get into to add RAM and you'll have to toss the 2GB that's already in it and add 4GB since there are only two slots.

    Given that, and that the $200 from the base to higher end upgrade also doubles the size of the hard drive and adds an extra 10% to the processor speed, I'd personally say it's worth it if you can at all afford it. Not that you couldn't buy 4GB of RAM and a similar or larger hard drive for about $200, but you still need to install them, they won't be covered under the Apple warranty, and you don't get the processor bump.

    I bought a mini for my dad recently, and despite being quite able to do the upgrades myself I went with the higher model for both convenience and value.
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #13
    It's trivially easy to remap function keys in System Preferences. I wouldn't let that stop you. Personally, I disabled the caps lock key altogether. However, the Apple keyboard is the best I've ever used, so I suggest considering it for the reason of comfort. The low-travel keys take some getting used to since you're probably in the habit of hitting the keys relatively hard, but I think you'll like it after a short adjustment period. It's basically a high-quality laptop keyboard.

    Cleaning it is a bitch, though.
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #14
    Really? I actually find it easier than most keyboards to clean, since crap doesn't fall down underneath the keys at all and there aren't any key-sides to get dirty. Just get a slightly damp sponge and rub briskly across the surface--the keys are the right profile to get cleaned along with the separating aluminum, and it ends up looking like new.
     
  15. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #15
    Ok, I've settled on the Apple keyboard (along with my current mouse.) I'm pretty sure I can grab the high-end Mac mini, the 20" HP monitor I found is only 170 from BestBuy. That being said, the only issue now is that it comes with a DVI-D cable. I know nothing about DVI cables. I've also never ordered anything from Apple. Does the Mac mini come with the mini-DVI to DVI adapter and will a DVI-D cable connect to that adapter?
     
  16. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #16
    Yes.

    Yes.
     
  17. Frellwit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #17
    Then it looks like I'm set. Thanks for all the help. :)
     

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