Mac Mini - first time buyer

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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I'm at my wits end with Windows and I'm sick of it.

After being a member of this forum and seeing how most people have had no problems with Macs, I am going to take the plunge.

I used a PowerPC Mac today at college and was suprised at how fast they was and my dad's gave me some funds to buy a Mac Mini.

I'm going to be buying a Mac Mini tomorrow.

Will this be good enough for photo editing, web browsing and converting video files?

Is now a good time to buy a Mac Mini?

I'm buying the Mac Mini as I would like a Mac as it's killing me waiting for the MBP updates, and it'd be good to have a MBP and Mac Mini combo.

I look forward to having a Mac within two days.

Thank you very much.

:apple: forever :)
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
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Try to go for the mid range like mine with the dedicated gfx. Is it worth it? Most defiantly!
 

Liquinn

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Try to go for the mid range like mine with the dedicated gfx. Is it worth it? Most defiantly!
Well, I'm sorta getting the Mac Mini as I'm dying waiting for the 2012 MBPs, and also I can still use my Mac Mini when the MBPs come out and when I buy a MBP.

And the value of my Mini shouldn't go down too much.

I look forward to buying it tomorrow. Should I post here when I have it?
 

kappaknight

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2009
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Atlanta, GA
The mini will do fine for what you want to do. =) If you need a computer now, then buy it now. Don't worry about the updates as something new will always be around the corner. When your new mini dies years from now, I'm sure something much better will be around to replace it.
 

Liquinn

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The mini will do fine for what you want to do. =) If you need a computer now, then buy it now. Don't worry about the updates as something new will always be around the corner. When your new mini dies years from now, I'm sure something much better will be around to replace it.
It won't die xD.

What else shall I buy with my Mini? Shall I buy Applecare for it when I buy it or not? Hmmm... what accessories do I need if any?
 

Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
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Yup, for most cases It'll be more then enough, but I'd recommend upgrading your memory, 2GB wasn't enough for me.. I'm a Web Designer and I use Adobe Software and they run perfectly on the Mac Mini..

Also some light gaming is possible, I'm able to play most older games (Half Life 2, Age Of Empires 3, Halo, Torchlight, Vice City etc..) without issue.. If you can afford it the 6630M would be a worth it upgrade If you want to do more gaming..
 

Liquinn

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Yup, for most cases It'll be more then enough, but I'd recommend upgrading your memory, 2GB wasn't enough for me.. I'm a Web Designer and I use Adobe Software and they run perfectly on the Mac Mini..

Also some light gaming is possible, I'm able to play most older games (Half Life 2, Age Of Empires 3, Halo, Torchlight, Vice City etc..) without issue.. If you can afford it the 6630M would be a worth it upgrade If you want to do more gaming..
Not a gamer at all. :p

What other accessories do I need to purchase when I buy the Mini on Saturday?
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
Not a gamer at all. :p

What other accessories do I need to purchase when I buy the Mini on Saturday?
You'll need a monitor. The mini will support Thunderbolt, display port, dvi, and HDMI interfaces as it comes. Any other interface and you'll need a dongle to convert either HDMI or thunderbolt/display port to the interface your monitor uses. Pretty much any monitor will work. Doesn't need to be apple. The mini can easily drive two 27" monitors. I think the middle version with the enhanced graphics can drive 3.

You'll need a keyboard (usb or Bluetooth) and either a mouse or trackpad or trackball (again USB or Bluetooth). While any keyboard will work I'd recommend one made for Macs so you can take advantage of the usual Mac special keys and function keys easily. I'd also recommend apples magic trackpad as its the only product that supports the plethora of Lion gestures, but again any pointing device will work, you just won't be able to use all lions gestures.

If you are getting the 2gb version I'd recommend a ram upgrade. 4gb is all you need for light use, but since 8gb can be easily had for $40 or so I'd recommend that.

Other than that it just whatever you want. External hard drives, web cameras, speakers, printers, scanners, or whatever.

happy shopping!
 

Liquinn

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You'll need a monitor. The mini will support Thunderbolt, display port, dvi, and HDMI interfaces as it comes. Any other interface and you'll need a dongle to convert either HDMI or thunderbolt/display port to the interface your monitor uses. Pretty much any monitor will work. Doesn't need to be apple. The mini can easily drive two 27" monitors. I think the middle version with the enhanced graphics can drive 3.

You'll need a keyboard (usb or Bluetooth) and either a mouse or trackpad or trackball (again USB or Bluetooth). While any keyboard will work I'd recommend one made for Macs so you can take advantage of the usual Mac special keys and function keys easily. I'd also recommend apples magic trackpad as its the only product that supports the plethora of Lion gestures, but again any pointing device will work, you just won't be able to use all lions gestures.

If you are getting the 2gb version I'd recommend a ram upgrade. 4gb is all you need for light use, but since 8gb can be easily had for $40 or so I'd recommend that.

Other than that it just whatever you want. External hard drives, web cameras, speakers, printers, scanners, or whatever.

happy shopping!
Yep, my 24" Samsung (to be replaced with a 27" Thunderbolt Display in a few months) will support both HDMI and DVI.

Yep, I have the wireless keyboard and mouse (apple); will be buying the trackpad when I purchase the Mini.

I have a few external hard drives anyway :p

Anything else I should know about? What apps are good to download on my Mac?

Can I VNC from my Windows PC to my Mac? I should be able to.

Cheers.
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
Yep, my 24" Samsung (to be replaced with a 27" Thunderbolt Display in a few months) will support both HDMI and DVI.

Yep, I have the wireless keyboard and mouse (apple); will be buying the trackpad when I purchase the Mini.

I have a few external hard drives anyway :p

Anything else I should know about? What apps are good to download on my Mac?

Can I VNC from my Windows PC to my Mac? I should be able to.

Cheers.
AppleCare gives you a fully supported and worry free three years for a reasonable cost.

Because of OSXs core is *nix based, there are a ton of great open source, freeware, and low cost apps available for it. Sites like macupdate or apple itself list and review and make available many of them.

You get iLife and it's a very useful suite of programs.

Some sort of Office package is good be it iWork, MSOffice, or OpenOffice. If you need something Visio comparable try Omnigraffle. If you need something like MSProject try Omniplan.

OSX supports remote access in several ways and includes VNC. Lots of VNC clients available too.

Just stick to reliable download sites when trying out new software. Get something like Appdelete to help cleanup when you toss apps you try but don't like.
 

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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AppleCare gives you a fully supported and worry free three years for a reasonable cost.

Because of OSXs core is *nix based, there are a ton of great open source, freeware, and low cost apps available for it. Sites like macupdate or apple itself list and review and make available many of them.

You get iLife and it's a very useful suite of programs.

Some sort of Office package is good be it iWork, MSOffice, or OpenOffice. If you need something Visio comparable try Omnigraffle. If you need something like MSProject try Omniplan.

OSX supports remote access in several ways and includes VNC. Lots of VNC clients available too.

Just stick to reliable download sites when trying out new software. Get something like Appdelete to help cleanup when you toss apps you try but don't like.
Will I still be able to use my Windows machines alongside my Mac Mini (which I'm getting soon) and my MBP I'm getting in a few months when Ivy Bridge is released?

Would that be classed as a Mac or Windows set-up if I have a Windows laptop in my set-up too?

Eeeeeek, 330 pounds or so is for Applecare for 2 Macs... (the ones I'm getting); the accessories are adding up :(

OK thanks, will look into that. I'm looking forward to buying my Mini; shall I buy it from the Apple store? I was going to buy it on Amazon but they said they couldn't ship it until a few weeks time @_@

And do Apple offer college student discount on the Mac Minis?

Thanks ;P
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,271
191
Howell, New Jersey
Will I still be able to use my Windows machines alongside my Mac Mini (which I'm getting soon) and my MBP I'm getting in a few months when Ivy Bridge is released?

Would that be classed as a Mac or Windows set-up if I have a Windows laptop in my set-up too?

Eeeeeek, 330 pounds or so is for Applecare for 2 Macs... (the ones I'm getting); the accessories are adding up :(

OK thanks, will look into that. I'm looking forward to buying my Mini; shall I buy it from the Apple store? I was going to buy it on Amazon but they said they couldn't ship it until a few weeks time @_@

And do Apple offer college student discount on the Mac Minis?

Thanks ;P
yes there are college discounts you seem to be in the uk there are special warranty deals for college students in the uk. maybe some one will post the correct info.
 

Liquinn

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yes there are college discounts you seem to be in the uk there are special warranty deals for college students in the uk. maybe some one will post the correct info.
Would Photoshop CS5.5 run on the base Mac Mini?

Thanks if someone can clear this up :)
 

NeverhadaPC

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2008
410
2
Not trying to hi-jack your thread, but...

My wife's iMac G5 broke last October and life without a home-computer can only be extended so far with an iPhone.

Hence, I am in the market for a(n) (Apple) desktop and am torn over whether I should jump the gun now on a (cheap) Mac Mini or hold off (indefinitely?) until new Mac Pros are released.

Assumptions:
1) Money is not the main problem
2) I can wait to buy but not indefinitely --- say, 3 months max!
3) I would prefer a Mac Pro, but don't want to wait much longer...

Any advice/suggestions?

Thanks
 

Supra Mac

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2012
118
2
Texas
My wife's iMac G5 broke last October and life without a home-computer can only be extended so far with an iPhone.

Hence, I am in the market for a(n) (Apple) desktop and am torn over whether I should jump the gun now on a (cheap) Mac Mini or hold off (indefinitely?) until new Mac Pros are released.

Assumptions:
1) Money is not the main problem
2) I can wait to buy but not indefinitely --- say, 3 months max!
3) I would prefer a Mac Pro, but don't want to wait much longer...

Any advice/suggestions?

Thanks
If funds are not an issue, do you see another place/use for the mini when the MP comes out? I have a base mini connected to my tv/surround sound in my living room.
 

NeverhadaPC

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2008
410
2
If funds are not an issue, do you see another place/use for the mini when the MP comes out? I have a base mini connected to my tv/surround sound in my living room.
what do you use the mini for? Media server? Backup? Stereo? Do you need special software to run as Media Server?
 

eutexian

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2012
118
8
Mapperley, Nottingham UK
Hi.. I use my mini for RAW processing/editing and have an Asus Proart monitor.. it is a 24" - so a tad smaller than the Thunderbolt display. But.. it does have certain advantages. Might be worth your while checking out the many reviews before you fork out for the Thunderbolt.

Asus PA246Q Currently £400 from Amazon.
 

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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Wow

Wow. The Mac Mini is amazing. It's so silent and it looks good. OSX just works! No viruses, nothing. I'm happy with this Mac Mini.

I will never really go back to Windows.

How did I survive without a Mac for this long?

It's one thing using it in the store, but it's totally different when you have an OSX box in your lounge. I will never go back.

I really do think you get what you pay for.

Cheers :apple:
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
Wow. The Mac Mini is amazing. It's so silent and it looks good. OSX just works! No viruses, nothing. I'm happy with this Mac Mini.

I will never really go back to Windows.

How did I survive without a Mac for this long?

It's one thing using it in the store, but it's totally different when you have an OSX box in your lounge. I will never go back.

I really do think you get what you pay for.

Cheers :apple:
Macs aren't perfect, and you will still encounter the occasional hardware issue or software glitch but they are at the high end of the quality scale so issues are often fewer and less severe than the competition. They are not everything to everyone but what they do they do very very well. One of the reasons Macs have the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry.

Hope you enjoy your new Mac. And if you still need windows occasionally, try it in a virtual machine on your Mac. I find it runs faster and more reliably on my Mac than it did on any PC I've ever used.
 

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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Macs aren't perfect, and you will still encounter the occasional hardware issue or software glitch but they are at the high end of the quality scale so issues are often fewer and less severe than the competition. They are not everything to everyone but what they do they do very very well. One of the reasons Macs have the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry.

Hope you enjoy your new Mac. And if you still need windows occasionally, try it in a virtual machine on your Mac. I find it runs faster and more reliably on my Mac than it did on any PC I've ever used.
Yeah true, nothing is perfect. I just prefer OSX at the moment and how everything just works at the moment.

Cheers
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
1,112
15
Apple hardware build, quality, design is top notch. Even in bootcamp you get a very solid Windows machine, often more stable and better performing than an equivalent Dell or HP. OSX is not perfect, but far more stable, less buggy, and consistent than Windows 7. I currently have two 2011 Mac minis running 24x7 in bootcamp which are absolute beast ( Windows Experience Scores Processor: 7.2, Memory: 7.9, Disk: 7.9). Unfortunately, I have to schedule weekly and monthly tasks to keep the system running stable. Unlike OSX where I'm shocked when I have a reboot. Often no restarts between forced system updates.
 

Robrigu

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2012
7
0
B'ham, UK
Congrats on the Mac, Liquinn! :D I felt the same when I bought my Mini; definitely a leap of faith with (pretty much) no regrets!

@sunnyj... I'm interested in what mods you can do?