Interesting uses for the Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacNoobGuy, May 6, 2012.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    hey guys, i was just wondering what unique uses the Mac Mini has been used for. is there anything out there it can do better than a generic Windows mini box?
  2. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    I don't actually know if you can do this with Windows now... but what I bought my Mini for was to play high quality lossless music (CD rips or HD 24/96 downloads) through my hifi.

    Prior to Windows 7, getting "bit perfect" output from a Windows PC was not straightforward. But this can now be done easily on 7.

    However, the other critical thing for me was to be able to listen to music without having to turn the TV on every time. So I needed to be able to control the Mini from a remote app on a handheld. The Apple Remote app on iPhone or iPod does this perfectly. I can browse all my music and play what I like form the comfort of my armchair without touching the TV.

    There may now be apps to control a PC like this - not sure. But I have been able to do it on Apple for years (and actually had a 160GB Apple TV doing just the same before I got the mini).

    From a pure usability perspective, it's terrific. And sonically, it is really excellent as well. I have a pretty decent hifi and my Mini and DAC have replaced a £4,000 CD player, and I can honestly say the Mini/DAC combo sounds better.
  3. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    There actually isn't much a generic Windows box can't do. I control my headless mini with Screen Sharing, but I also use LogMeIn, which I hear works better with Windows.

    I got the mini because reviews of similarly tiny Windows PCs were at best mixed, with lots of talk of how to configure them to work properly. All I use it for is Handbrake and Home Sharing, both of which are possible with a Windows box.

    I almost bought a NAS, but the mini isn't much more expensive than an empty 4-drive NAS, and it can share iTunes video, which none of the NASs can do. At the moment I have a 3Tb and two 1Tb drives hanging off it.
  4. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Just in terms of what it can't/can do, you won't find much different between a Mac Mini and a Mini Windows box.

    But in terms of how it can do what it does, there's a bigger difference.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It can run OSX. That's pretty unique in comparison to a windows box.
  6. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    And then there are hackintoshes.
  7. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    I considered building a Hackintosh -- and I could certainly have gotten comparable or better performance cheaper, but I really didn't want to deal with being my own systems integrator. I get enough of that at work every day ;)

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