From 24" iMac to 11"air + thunderbolt display + Mini...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shorn, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. shorn macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Right, decided its time for a new mac set up, so weighing up options.

    Currently have 24" 2.16Ghz C2D with 3GB ram.
    Main tasks that it performs are serving up iTunes library to ATV3. 3TB or TV/Movies in FW800 drives.
    Occasional transcoding and converting of videos.
    Photoshop, web developing, and photo editing.

    It manages this all OK, but not super. Things are slowing, and I have a feeling MLion will slow it further.

    So, originally consider Retina MBP, but saw it in store and wasn't fussed. Display nice, but think I can do better.


    MB air 11/13" as main computer, and a Mac Mini as my iTunes server. Hoping to place mini on the network and access it from the air.

    This means the Air, in addition to this would be doing the photo editing/web development, and for this I would like to connect it up to a 27" Thunderbolt display.

    This seems like I would have all bases covered. Mac mini to do grunt work, and Air to do proper work. Nicely displayed on a 27" display, and portable of needed without losing iTunes to the ATV.

    Spec'd this up for about £2200 in store (with Higher Education Discount)

    What you think? Good setup?
  2. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    I'm doing the exact same thing myself except it's my i3 iMac that I'm turning into a server. I'm going for the basic 13" MBA with 8gb ram and a thunderbolt 27" monitor.
  3. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Was considering an iMac, when they are refreshed, but think this gives more options.
  4. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Yeah. In my case I'll be able to use the 13" during my hour+ long commute. Hard to do that with a desktop only solution.
  5. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    That's a cool setup, man. MBA + that gorgeous cinema display should be the perfect combo. I am a web developer and I think it's the dream machine I'd like to have.
  6. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Looking more specifically, I'm thinking

    13" MBA
    8GB RAM
    1.8ghz i5

    Together with the thunderbolt display comes in at £1674
    With the education discount.

    Now I could recycle my old 24" iMac as a iTunes server. Or for an extra £476, add a Mini, 2gb, 2.3ghz i5, 500gb.

    This would be my preferred option as its nice all new kit, and I'm not running as extra display for no reason. Also gives the option of thunderbolting drives to it in the future.

    Also, I would really like to give my iMac to a family member to bring them into the world of mac!
  7. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    That is also the MBA that I'm getting.

    I prefer the iMac for a sever because of its screen. That way I can manage my libraries or use remote to start the atv without firing on my 60" tv.
  8. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    My problem is also space. My intention will be to relocate the mini + drives out of sight somewhere, and only remote in from the air.

    My hesitation is this. I only have student discount till September. The air is prime to buy now due to the update. I'd hate to get the mini and the display now as well and then find them updated in a month or so's time!

    I'm sure they will be perfect now, but I can see the addition of USB3 to both being quite useful.
  9. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Even if they are updated, the mini you buy will still do what you want it to do. Any update to the mini will go toward end user experience which won't have any impact on your use of it as a media server.
  10. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I'm doing a similar setup as soon as the new Ivy Mini's come out. I already bought a TBD from a friend and will keep my 2010 13" MBA as road warrior with its excellent battery life. So I will have:
    - 2010 13" MBA
    - Ivy Mini with dGPU
    - 27" TBD

    The only issue will be synching the MBA with the Mini, and I think I can do that with iCloud.
  11. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    What do you want to sync?
    My idea is to run them as separate systems. The mini will handle iTunes, and all the videos/work involved with that.

    I currently have over 2100 albums in iTunes, but Im gradually adding them to a new iTunes match library.

    Therefore I will have access to all my music on the air via iTunes match.

    I think TV Shows & Movies can be accessed via Home sharing on the Air.

    Emailed etc are not really important on the mini, as it will mainly be used for iTunes. The Air will be for main tasks.
  12. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Ok well it's on it's way!

    13" MBA, 8gb, 128gb hd, thunderbolt display, base mini, & 3 years AppleCare, & £70 iTunes card. Grand total: £2198, :eek:

    Shipped today, with est date 29/6 - seems a long way away!

    Hope it comes through a bit earlier!

    Any tips on tracking this? Not much info on the Apple tracking page.

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