Mac Mini (2011) right for me?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sunfighter, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Sunfighter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    Hello every!~

    I have a couple of questions and I'm hoping if you can help me determine if this machine might be the best fit for me.

    I currently have two macs that I use on a near-daily basis;

    -DP 1.8Ghz Powermac G5 w/ 4gb RAM, 23" Cinema Display, etc., that I bought new in 2004 (added the Cinema Display a year later)
    -2.0Ghz C2D white Macbook w/ 2.5gb RAM and 500gb HD that I bought new in 2007.

    The Macbook has really just been for web surfing and never for work while the signifcantly slower desktop has managed all of the other tasks. I'm running, regretably, Snow Leopard on both machines.

    My consideration is to purchase the $799 Mac Mini, add a 128mb SSD as the primary OS drive, add an external Blu-ray drive and a fast/large external HD. I recently bought a Canon 7D and find my other machines get pretty bogged down with digesting heavy images and cannot (in the case of the G5) even pretend to cut through the 1080p HD video that I pull off of the camera.

    Until I can afford a 27" Cinema Display, I'd pair the Mac Mini with my 23" Cinema display and use it for general use, light HD video editing, picture editing, desktop publishing, music and media storage, etc.

    I believe this should be a good option for me but just wanted to make sure I'm not overlooking any other options.

    I certainly know the iMac would be an option as well but I have always, always prefered stand-alone computers and just can't afford a Mac Pro at this point.

    Thanks guys!~
  2. radek42 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    I am looking to make the same/similar purchase shortly for my photography hobby as well. There are number of posts discussing using minis for photography with good results. It seems good choice for folks who don't like glossy iMac display and don't need mac pro.

    Of course another option is mini server with quad core processor and intel graphics. I'm personally leaning towards that. Once you upgrade cpu to i7 and faster HD in the high-end mini the price becomes irrelevant.

    I started another post here that has some good info.

    Cheers, R>

  3. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Hey there,

    I'm also a photographer using a Canon 7D. However, I don't own a Mini, I use a 13" Macbook Pro for image editing in Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5 and occasionally Canon DPP.

    My 13" Macbook Pro handles my RAW files easily, there are no hiccups unless I'm stitching multiple files in Photoshop CS5 or PTGui.

    Seeing as the $800 Mac Mini is more capable than my 13" Macbook Pro, I'd say you should go ahead without any regrets.

    Mind you, I did install 8GB of RAM and a Momentus XT in my Macbook so your mileage may vary.
  4. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010

    sounds like you did your research, and think you would be very happy with your purchase. im using an 2.5 amd mini coming from a 2.26ghz c2d mini, and the processing power with these i5's blows me away. so far it has handled everything i throw at it under 40% load, while my c2d mini would be at 100%. enjoy!
  5. darknite38 macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    woah woah woahhhhhhh. Please get the 27" iMac instead of the mac mini. You are paying 800 for the mac mini, 800 for the 27" cinema display which comes out to be 1600. The baseline 27" imac for 1699 is MUCH MUCH better than the mac mini. And you said you prefer standalone computers but what's the difference between that and the iMac?

    Seriously, get the iMac.
  6. radek42 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    Of course everybody has different preferences. I was deterred away from iMac due to its mirror-like screen. For photography it is generally not good. Moreover, OP already has decent external monitor to pair with mini. There are certainly other, significantly cheaper, alternatives to ACD. YMMV.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe upgrading HDD in iMac is significantly more difficult than mini and involves disassembling the screen. No, thank you.

    Some people, including me, are using their computers long time. I can see mini in couple years to serve as media server or HTPC.

    to OP: If you determine mini works you than get it. There will always be another purchase down the line ...

    Cheers, R>

  7. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Yes, and there's more room for discounting on the iMac than the Mini. I'd look at this closely. Or, perhaps a MacBook instead for around the same money? Then you keep the upgradability, gain portability and easier expansion.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    the 27 inch iMac quad is 1439. as an apple refurb

    this machine can use 4 8gb sticks of ram

    you can add a lacie t-bolt as a smoking fast external drive

    i would think long and hard about this purchase. as the imac setup would stay up to date longer then the mac mini will
  9. Sporty G macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Thanks for all of the feedback guys....

    I ended up going with the i7 Quad Server w/ 256mb SSD and the 750gb HDD and 16gb of RAM (not Apple upgraded).

    The unit itself is perfect because it will slip right into the place of my aging G5 (23" Cinema Display, BT Apple keyboard and mouse, desktop printer, studio monitor speakers, CF card reader, external Blu-ray burner, etc., etc.).... plus, it'll free up a TON of desk space, reduce power consumption, and prevent the room from getting incredibly hot during the warmer months....

    Not to mention, the speed of the unit should utterly SMASH the G5.... :)

    With RAM and everything it was roughly $1500... I know this is OBSCENE for a Mac Mini but given that it suits my needs to a tee plus will slip right into my already pre-existing desktop arrangement it's perfect. It also gives me the flexibility to pull the unit to the office and on assignment when necessary....

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