Drobo + Mac Mini --- Buy Now or Wait??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BG-Mac, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. BG-Mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #1
    Alright. I'm about to pull the trigger on a Drobo and a Mac Mini to use as a dedicated iTunes server and as an ATV for my living room. Is this a safe move or should I wait to see what the rest of the year brings? I know there have been frequent rumors about Apple releasing a Home iTunes Server/Storage type product and New Apple TVs. I could always buy just an external to tide me over, but don't want to waste my money. Any input is greatly appreciated.. :D:apple:
     
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #2
    You can wait forever for Apple to release an upgrade, but it comes down to one thing: do you need it now? If you don't need this setup right now, feel free to wait until summer and see what the Apple pixies bring us. If you really want/need the setup now, just go for it. :)
     
  3. beaner454 macrumors regular

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #3
    Get it right now.

    Data robotics just released a new Pro level Drobo so they are probably going to wait a while before their next update. And as for Apple, we saw how long they took to update the Mini last time. So I wouldn't be too worried about a better Mini coming down the pipes any time soon.

    So it seems like right now is actually a perfect time to buy if you don't like seeing your purchase being upgraded soon after you received it.
     
  4. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #4
    Buy now, both the current Drobo line and Mac Mini are great machines, there won't be any updates for some time on either line. Buy now, enjoy :)

    Drobo + Mac Mini is a great setup idea by the way.
     
  5. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #5
    the drobo is epic. that would be an amazing set up.


    a simple external would suffice for me
     
  6. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #6
    I'm not as much worried about Drobo and Mini updates as I am about Apple releasing the iTunes Home Server that was rumored for Macworld earlier this year. That is ultimately what I'd be holding out for if I put off the purchase.. :rolleyes:
     
  7. beaner454 macrumors regular

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #7
    The whole home server idea has been around for ever. It just seemed to be recycled a little more this MacWorld. I guess because people were hoping for something exciting since it's the last Apple-Certified MacWorld and all.

    I'm not saying that it won't ever come out, I just think that there's only a faint glimmer of hope that it will come out soon enough that you should skip your Mac Mini+Drobo purchase right now.
     
  8. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    This is my dilemma. If I knew something like this would be released by the end of the year I would wait and just buy an external to tide me over.

    If I went with the Mini + Drobo now is there any reason to even consider the more expensive model? I won't need the HDD space and I'm assuming it would be pretty cheap to upgrade the Ram...?
     
  9. beaner454 macrumors regular

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #9
    Nope the upgraded one is just going to get more money out of you. Although I might suggest upgrading the ram with apple. While you can find the ram for less online, it's not that much more to have them preinstall it for you. That way you don't accidently botch the case removal process and your ram is warranted with the computer. I had problems with both of these, the case never snapped back together exactly right, and my ram died a few times and I had to deal with shipping it back to the manufacturers instead of getting it replaced at the Apple Store. Just a suggestion though.

    As for the waiting game. Just buy the combo now & worst case if it does come out towards the end of the year you can craigslist the mini + drobo to help pay for the server.
     
  10. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #10
    If I bought the base model from Amazon could I then bring it into the Apple store and have them upgrade the Ram to 2 or possibly 4GB?
     
  11. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    If you're going to be using the Mac mini as a simple iTunes server connected to the Drobo, even an old Mac mini G4 1.25GHz should be more than enough, as long as it has 1GB RAM.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #12
    I have that set up right now, except my Mac mini isn't connected to a TV. I should warn you it does at times choke on 1080p video.
     
  13. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    So if I'm only going to be using it for web surfing and as an Apple TV there is no advantage to upgrading the current base model? I'll be fine with 1GB of Ram and the 2.0 processor?
     
  14. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #14
    I dunno how well the older models play with HD content.
     
  15. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #15
    I was saying that I'd be buying the new Mini, just the base 2.0 1GB Ram model and was wondering if that was sufficient or if I'd see a benefit from any upgrades. I'm definitely going with the new one, not even considering an old model.
     
  16. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #16
    Oh ok, sorry miss read what you said, I'd say bump it up to 2GB of RAM and you should be good to go, my G4 1.4ghz Mac Mini 256MB RAM, plays SD films fine, but HD films is another ball park, guess I need to upgrade the ram :p
     
  17. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Do you know if an Apple store will upgrade the Ram for me if I buy the Mini off of Amazon? I have some Amazon Store Credit burning a whole in my pocket.. :D
     
  18. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #18
    Ah, they might, but they will probably charge you, you can do it yourself, it's pretty tricky, but apple does show you how to do it, plus there's plenty of guides out there, www.ifixit.com probably has one, google "Installing Mac Mini RAM" sure there will be plenty of guides if you feel up to it.
     
  19. beaner454 macrumors regular

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #19
    They do? I thought that the Mini was still considered a non-user serviceable machine. I think it is partly how they make some extra cash of of their cheapest machine, by "requiring" in-store upgrades.
     
  20. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #20
    One more question guys, thanks a bunch for the help. What cables am I going to need to connect the Drobo to the Mini and then the Mini to my Sony HDTV? Right now this is what I'm thinking...

    Drobo --> FireWire 800 --> Mac Mini --> Mini DisplayPort -to- HDMI --> HDMI Cable --> Sony LCD

    Is this the most effective setup? What is my best option for sound? Thanks again.. :D:apple:
     
  21. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #21
  22. glap1922 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #22
    I use this for sound.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P0ERAY

    It came with an adapter for the mini and connects to the optical input on my receiver. I would look into either this or something like this if you can use it with your setup.
     
  23. haze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #23
    Another option besides the Drobo is an HP Media Smart Server. I picked up a refurb on ecost for $375. It works great. I have 4GB in their right now and still haven't used the eSata port, can add a 4-bay enclosure and still have the USB 2.0 ports, also.
     

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