Good price for Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by LCB1980, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. LCB1980 macrumors member

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    #1
    Is £380 good for this?


    https://uk.webuy.com/product.php?sku=SDESAPPMM6101A#.VQMwz4qQGnM

    From what I can work out its a Late 2012 model.

    I don't want to have to buy an expensive monitor to use it. Can I use my TV which has HDMI ports as a monitor? I only need a monitor to set it up and set up an iTunes account.

    What's the maximum size HDD I can fit in it?

    Will it work without a monitor?

    My intention is to put all my movies and TV episodes on to a 3TB external HDD (or internal if it's possible) and set up home sharing to stream to my Apple TV. I don't need a monitor once it's set up.
     
  2. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    Isn't 6gb of RAM a bit of an odd number? I was under the impression that RAM went 2, 4, 8, 16...
     
  3. Altis macrumors 68020

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    #3
    It could have 6GB if it came with 4GB (2 sticks of 2GB) and they replaced one stick with a 4GB.

    HDMI will work on a TV but text isn't all that crisp usually. It'll work well enough to set it up, though.
     
  4. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Great, so I'd need to change one of the sticks then as I've heard it's best to have both sticks the same.

    Yup, set it up is all I need to do. :)
     
  5. Micky Do, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #5
    No, you don't need to change one of the RAM sticks. Mine has 5 GB (1 GB original and 4 GB added) and works just fine. I know of plenty of others that have similarly non symmetrical setups, with no problems.

    While matching pairs may be optimal, non matching pairs work just fine in a Mac.

    A TV will be fine to set your Mac Mini up for your purposes, but if you decide to put it to other use (and a Mac Mini can do plenty) a monitor would give better results. It does not have to be an expensive one.

    Back in 2005, when I got my first LCD monitor they were expensive. I paid equivalent to £170 for a 15 inch ViewSonic. Late last year I replaced it with a 22 inch Samsung that was discounted to £65 to clear; it was last of a line. I don't know about the UK now, but here a 19 or 20 inch monitor can be had for the same or not much more, while 23 /24 inch models are around the £100 mark.
     
  6. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Great, thanks for that. Don't really want a monitor as I'm limited on space.

    Just a couple of other things I need to figure out before I go ahead with the purchase.

    •Find a way of shutting down the Mini as I don't want it on all the time. There doesn't seem to be a keyboard short cut for this. Is it possible to create one? Is holding the power button for 5 seconds to shut the mini down the same as shutting it down normally?

    •Does iTunes need to be actually open for the ATV to read the content? Again, there doesn't seem to be a keyboard shortcut to launch iTunes. However, I've discovered that I can create one to open the iTunes window after it's been launched. Actually launching iTunes seems to be the difficult part.
     
  7. Micky Do, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #7
    Yes, holding down the power button for five seconds will shut it down. Less than five seconds will put it to sleep, during which it will use just a couple of watts of power.

    At idle (not sleeping) a Mini uses around 10 watts (a little more for earlier models, less for the latest). Under load, it depends on the job, but the is reckoned to be the most energy efficient desk top around.

    My present Mac Mini has been on almost 24/7 since I bought it nearly 6 years ago. I have it set to sleep after 15 minutes of non use ( > System Preferences > Energy Saver). As recommended in the manual, I only shut down if I am going to be away for more than a few days (rare in my life at present). Otherwise it is just when an OS X or app update requires it, or I take it to use elsewhere…. another plus of the Mini is its transportability for those who don't need the day to day portability of a laptop.

    From the Manual for mine; the advice for yours will be similar:

    Putting Your Mac mini to Sleep or Shutting It Down

    When you finish working with your Mac mini, you can put it to sleep or shut it down.

    Putting Your Mac mini to Sleep

    If you’ll be away from your Mac mini for less than a few days, put it to sleep. When your Mac mini is in sleep, the display’s screen is dark. You can quickly wake your Mac mini and bypass the startup process.
    To put your Mac mini to sleep quickly, do one of the following:

    Â Choose Apple () > Sleep from the menu bar.

    Â Press the power (®) button on the back of your Mac mini.

    Â Choose Apple () > System Preferences, click Energy Saver, and set a sleep timer.

    Â Press and hold the Play/Pause (’) button on the optional Apple Remote for 3 seconds.

    To wake your Mac mini, press any key on the keyboard or any button on the optional Apple Remote. When your Mac mini wakes from sleep, your applications, documents, and computer settings are exactly as you left them.

    Shutting Down Your Mac mini

    If you won’t be using your Mac mini for more than a few days, shut it down. Choose Apple () > Shut Down. To turn your Mac mini on again, press the power (®) button.


    As for iTunes and ATV, I cannot offer much advice. I don't own a TV; have only ever owned one for a year or so, 15 years ago…. ATV is way beyond my realm!

    However, I would suggest you just open iTunes and leave it open. I don't know what version of OS X you have, but with Mountain Lion I have the option of having the desktop opening as it was when shut down. Start up again and iTunes will open too.
     
  8. Apple06 macrumors member

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    #8
    Do you have a bookcase? I'm limited on space as well so I've put my old 20" DELL monitor along with the Mini and external drives inside an Ikea Billy bookcase on the middle shelf.
     
  9. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    That's great info but without a monitor attached I won't be able to see where I'm clicking to shut it down through using Apple > Shutdown. I was hoping there would be a keyboard shortcut (or a way of creating one) for shutting it down.

    Good idea about having it set so that iTunes opens when the Mac starts. :)

    I haven't bought one yet. I was hoping someone might be able to advise if the one in the link I posted in the first post was a good price or not?

    ----------

    I'm kind of a minimalist and I don't like clutter. The mini will be hidden away in a small cupboard. I guess if push came to shove then I could just run a long HDMI cable to the TV and leave it there.
     
  10. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
  11. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
  12. ron7624 Contributor

    ron7624

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    #12
    You can use anything, but you will want something designed with Mac keys. I found a Bluetooth Mac style keyboard on Amazon for under 20 dollars shipped and it works great. I also have plugged a windows usb keyboard and it worked as well.
     
  13. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Thanks. :)


    Anyway, just picked up a new Mac Mini from Apple for £29 more than that used, old version I posted a link too. :D
     
  14. ron7624 Contributor

    ron7624

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    #14
    Enjoy it! I'm on the process of buying the iMac 20 Mountain Lion listed elseware in this forum. I bought my wife a Mac Mini earlier this year but want something of my own lol
    I have a decent Win 7 system and I need windows to run some of my work programs so I'll use this to learn and experiment on boot camp with. My home office/ man cave can always use another computer. There are 3 in there already. :D
     
  15. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Nice! :)

    I can't honestly remember the last time I had a windows based computer. XP maybe? That's wasn't exactly yesterday either.
     
  16. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #16
    Not as far as I know, but command + Eject will put it to sleep. It uses practically no power during sleep, so you might as well do that.

    No. Holding down the power button force shut down the Mac. The proper way via the Apple menu makes the OS shut down as it is supposed to. The former is not recommended.
     
  17. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    I went and asked at the Apple Store about a keyboard shortcut to shut the Mac down. The girl googled it and found that the three keys to the left of the space bar and the eject key would shut the Mac down. She tried it and it worked on a desktop Mac. However, when I tried the same thing in another store selling macs it disn't work. :(

    I'm a bit OCD and I have a thing about sockets being turned off when not in use.
     
  18. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #18
    Interesting, I did not know that also worked for the eject button. I only thought it worked for the start button, which is no longer available on Mac keyboards.

    But I can confirm, that command she quoted also works for me. Command + Alt + Control + Eject, shuts down the Mac.

    And uhm.. Better work on that OCD.
     
  19. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Brilliant! :)


    Ummm:rolleyes:
     
  20. Micky Do, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #20
    I just copied and pasted the page from the with relevant information re Sleep vs Shut down, and how to do it.

    Apple suggests only shutting down if you are going to be away for more than a few days. That is what I have done with my present Mini, which has lasted nearly six years so far.

    My previous Mini, which I used to shut down everyday, lasted just four years before the power supply and the HDD failed. Replacement was more cost effective than repair.


    As to keyboard shortcuts; here's a useful link:

    http://macmost.com/tag/keyboard-shortcuts

    Obviously there are people prepared to sell the computer you are looking at for as cheap as £220, because they don't want to bother with the hassle of selling it themselves for more.

    Chances are you could find something for similar for a bit less, if you are prepared to go through the hassle of taking time to look around.

    As it is the company probably prepares the product for sale and adds 70% mark-up to a price they feel people will pay. Either way, it is the price of convenience. Lump it or leave it.


    As others have said, any keyboard and mouse will do. A Mac configured keyboard will be more convenient, but a PC keyboard will work.

    I use a small form wired Apple keyboard (expensive, but I've liked it for six years so far), and a cheap'n'cheerful wired Logitech mouse. I like the Apple Magic Mouse, but not enough to justify the cost. Each to their own; choose what does it for you.

    Well done; probably the base model, which should suit your purpose, come with a warranty, and have more years of support ahead than an earlier generation.
     
  21. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #21
    Let It Sleep

    Fight that OCD and don’t touch anything! I suggest that you should first check your settings and run the machine to see how it does. In response to your original post you got some good advice about keyboards but I am surprised that no one mentioned a few things.

    1. Your new mini is air cooled. Be sure to provide ventilation if you hide that computer in “a small cupboard”.
    2. There are several reasons that many mini users do not turn their computers off. For you, two factors could be critical. First is the Mac mini’s position as a (The Undisputed?) champion of desktop computer energy efficiency. Modern laptop internals coupled with energy effective OS X power management schemes enable a running mini to be very green. A sleeping mini consumes surprisingly little energy. As a matter of fact, turning the computer off (0.29W) and sleep mode (0.71W) both result in a power usage of less than one watt. The second reason is the convenience of leaving the machine running. Key applications like iTunes won’t be a problem if they are already started. Your computer can put itself to sleep. That mini can also wake itself up! These events can be set to occur based on time, keyboard inputs, or other triggers. Do you really need to switch your mini off?
    3. It sounds like you will want to run that machine “headless” at times. If you only want to use the HDTV for setup, you should consider a dummy display dongle to preserve normal performance.

    If you use OS X sleep mode then you won’t have to fuss with the controls for machine power status. Running a mini without a monitor never worked well on the 2012 and prior minis. If you plan to run headless, you will probably need a dummy dongle for your 2014 mini.
     

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  22. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Thanks. :)

    The exact purpose of the dummy dongle?

    How can it use power if it's switched off at the wall?

    ----------

    Thanks. :)

    Yep, base model but more than enough for what I need. :)
     
  23. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #23
    The dummy dongle helps if you plan to run your mini without any monitor attached. Apparently OS X expects a real monitor to be connected to the computer. The dummy dongle allows you to maintain proper system performance and display control by simulating an actual plug & play connection. If you intend to leave a powered display connected then you won’t need the dongle.

    It is not uncommon for modern computers to use some power when they are turned off. Years ago, IBM PC clones switched to ATX power systems that provided continuous “standby power” to the motherboard. Paradoxically these systems save power by encouraging users to shut computers down. This practice does not hamper usefulness because this minimal standby power allows “wake up devices” to restore a dormant machine to running condition without user intervention.

    Unlike the rapid start technology on older CRT televisions this modern computer version uses very little energy. Now that the Mac mini’s sleep power use has evolved to approach its minimal standby power use, users have a real choice. Is it really worth the hassle of cycling the computer on and off for each usage session?

    Check out the stunning standby power usage of CRT TV sets!
     

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  24. dyt1983, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
     
  25. LCB1980 thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    Hmmm, I can't seem to find the dummy dongles for sale here in the U.K. Any other suggestions?
     

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