Considering Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by abta1, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. abta1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #1
    I currently have a 2013 MBA 11" base model (but with 256GB SSD) as my main computer and I usually connect this to an external monitor when I am home and I love it.

    However I would like something that is a bit more permanently setup at home and that's why I am considering the Mini as it has OSX and also the small form factor that I like.

    So the question now is what to get. My home processing requirements are not high, I don't do any image or video editing and I have a work machine/server for heavy processing. So for that reason I considered the 2014 mini, but judging by the specs, it's pretty much the same as my MBA and if anything slower because the MBA has an SSD. Is this right? I think the main use for the the mini would be to act as a media store/server and to play the odd game or two. (I am also looking into the Gigabyte BRIX etc but they seem expensive for what they are and I really don't like using Windows).
     
  2. Brad Bishop macrumors newbie

    Brad Bishop

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #2
    Maybe consider just getting a Thunderbolt display and docking your MBA with it. Then you get something semi-permanent and you're not synching across machines.
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #3
    Yes you are correct. The base mini is nothing more than the base MBA sans SSD.

    The question I have for you is do you have people in your home that would want to access media when you are not at home? If the answer to that question is no, do you want to have to hook up your MBA every time you want to access your media files?

    If the answer to the first one is Yes, then you need to get a second computer to do this.

    If the answer to the second question is No, then you need to get a second computer to do this.

    With all of that said, ANY computer can work as a media server. Many still use old Core2duo based computers to do this function. The key is that you really want something that can be accessed 24/7 with fairly large amount of storage. The whole point of a media server is convenience.

    As for gaming, the base Mini will be no faster at gaming than your MBA. For that reason, you would probably be just better off using your MBA for gaming. The Mid and high end Mini's would be marginally better since they have Iris graphics rather than just the HD5000.

    Just my .02 on this subject.
     
  4. abta1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #4
    This is what I do not with a mini display port to hdmi connector to an external monitor but I like having my laptop mobile and it would have to be hooked up most of the time in order to use it to stream content.

    ----------

    So in that respect, the 2014 mini would be slower than my MBA as the SSD really speeds up access.

    I guess an older machine would work, and I have been looking at older minis but the second hand market here in Austria isn't that great so I'd probably have to get it shipped from another country. I liked the look of the Gigabyte BRIX or Zotac equivalent but they are pretty expensive even for the barebones and ofcourse, Windows.

    I really don't do much PC gaming, Minecraft mostly and some steam games on the MBA but it's nice to have the option. But even the higher end minis aren't much of an upgrade as you say.

    Thanks for the suggestions though.
     
  5. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    As above, a Mini would be a bit of a duplicate in terms of processing, the main argument would be to have one as a media/file server. My setup is Mini plus iPad as once I got the iPad1 I stopped using my MacBook.

    What do you do when the computer is setup at home, just gaming/basic stuff/movie playing ? Might you consider an Apple TV linked to your main TV and then Airplay/Mirror the MBA to it ? Not sure that's what you are looking for but might be worth researching.
     
  6. Brad Bishop macrumors newbie

    Brad Bishop

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #6
    That's largely what happened to me:

    Got a MacBook Pro in 2009. It was great for the novelty of carrying it with me but the reality was that 99% of the time I was working at home at my desk and dealing with a small screen.

    I eventually got an iPad and it, oddly, took some time for me to use it on a regular basis. I use it quite regularly now for my portable stuff (perusing the internet, etc.) and finally picked up a Mac Mini + Thuderbolt display and it's AWESOME having a nice big display again. At first I was so used to the small display that the 27" display seemed too big. I'm now used to the larger display and really like being able to share screens and not have to scroll around or deal with compressed images, etc.

    I would only go back to a MacBook if I had to, at this point, like if I was traveling for business or leisure quite a bit and really needed my computer with me. As it is, I can do pretty much what I want with my iPad when I travel. I can't work on it but it's rare when I need to work and travel (rare enough where I can work around it without buying another MacBook).
     

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