Mac mini good for a main machine?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by patseguin, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. patseguin macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #1
    A few years ago I had a Mac pro when Apple first went Intel. Then I had a 27" iMac when they first came out with the new form factor and i7. Now I have a 2011 Macbook Pro which I have connected to a Dell 27" 2560 X 1440 monitor and wireless keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. Since this is a 2011 machine, I've been wondering what a good machine would be on a budget. Since I am really just using my notebook off to the side on my desk as a desktop computer, would a Mac Mini be a good machine? Or is my Macbook Pro still good for a few years? I am mostly doing music, graphics work, web design on my Mac. I have a 2.2GHz i7 with 16GB RAM and a Seagate 1TB hybrid SSD drive. It only bothers me using it as a desktop because the slightest amount of taxing of the CPU causes the fan to rev up really loudly.
     
  2. McScooby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    #2
    I've got a 2011 MBP 2.4 i7 & the 2012 i7 mini server is a whole different beast, fan noise is non existent, granted I'm not heavily into graphics stuff, but if I was getting one again, I'd seriously look at the 2014 with a SSD, if only for the hi (er) res audio output on the toslink, if not wait for skylake minis to hit (then again, probably have to wait another year!)
     
  3. vdek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    #3
  4. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #4
  5. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #5
    I wouldn't worry too much about the fan unless the noise bothers you. The fan is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing inside the confined space of a notebook. The suggestion of a cooling pad is a good one and a cheap alternative to buying another machine.

    However, I have a late-2012 mini and love it. Doing serious video conversions will peg the CPUs at 100% and I can hear the fan but it's not loud by any means. The CPU can reach the upper 90's (C) for a while but it's still within the upper end of operating temperatures. The newest minis are very nice machines but I don't think you'll see great improvement over your 2011 MBP.

    If it were me, I'd keep the MBP for another couple of years until something much faster/better/cheaper/lighter/etc. is announced or until it can no longer run the latest and greatest OS. Set aside the money you were thinking about spending, add a few bucks to it each month, and you'll be all set when the time comes for the upgrade.
     
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    It is fine as long as you are not a gamer. Make sure you get it with an SSD (fusion drive minimum, but go all SSD if you can afford it) and plenty of RAM and it will be plenty fast for anything that isn't gaming.

    I've given up on gaming on my Macs and am building a dedicated Windows gaming rig soon. Not only do more games run under Windows, but they perform better on the same hardware, and I can keep my Macs longer because I don't need to always have the latest muscle for games.
     
  7. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #7
    Thanks for the advice guys. That advice for the cooling plate was great and I have it coming from Amazon tomorrow. Should make my machine run cool and be a nice desktop replacement for the next couple years.

    Zorilynx, you sure are right. I never understood why Apple couldn't make their machines more game friendly. I've tried playing Diablo 3 with medium quality settings and it's totally unplayable. I do have my home built i7 extreme Windows 10 box for that luckily. It if weren't for games, I'd probably never power on the Windows box. OS X is so much nicer than any OS MS has ever released
     
  8. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #8
    Hey, man thanks a bunch I really appreciate the advice. I got this cooling pad today and it's great. Quieter than a desktop computer and it keeps my MBP nice and cool.
     

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