Mac mini + MacBook Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by piazza31, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. piazza31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #1
    I loved the MacBook Air since the day it came out. I like to carry my mac wherever I want. Some years ago I bought a Powerbook 12inch, I was extremely satisfied with the purchase, but now it is very slow, has battery and recharging problems and it's not Intel based. So I think the Air would be an awesome replacement, even if not so powerful as the pb was at that time. But it's a real beauty and weighs nothing.
    I have a samsung monitor and an Apple keyboard and for this reason I think I could fill the needs left by the Air with a Mac mini, for my very simple editing needs (importing camcorder videos with firewire and garageband), no gaming at all. The total cost would be similar to the purchase of a MacBook Pro, which is a different machine targeted for professional use.
    There are no compromises in this scenario based on my needs, since I could have the thinnest and light laptop available when I need to use it everywhere and the simple desktop for my video and photo editing (iMovie and iPhoto).

    What do you think about this setup?

    Will the Mac mini be updated soon or should I buy it now? Will it eventually handle hd videos right? I haven't an hd capable camcorder now, but maybe in the next years...
     
  2. thesdx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #2
    Yeah, you could do that. The Mac Mini would have enough power. I'm not sure what to say about updates. If it does get updated, it will probably be replaced. Or, it will get discontinued.
     
  3. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    Jun 30, 2004
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    Scotland
    #3
    The current Mac Mini is pretty old but there have been no rumors of an update. A Mini might be just a tad underpowered for video-editing in iMovie and running GarageBand. Personally, I'd go with an iMac if you can stretch to it. If you do go with a Mini then make sure you max out the RAM. Same with an iMac, get as much RAM as you can if you are going to be using iMovie and GarageBand.

    If it were me, I'd probably go with an iMac and a standard MacBook as I think that would give you a lot more flexibility and power than an Air and Mini.
     
  4. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #4
    I agree with this advice. I have a MBP and Mini, and while the mini is a perfectly capable computer for daily tasks, I think the imac/MB would pack a lot more punch as a pair. The MBA is a neat a computer, I want one too, but it really is a special use machine, and if you are sacrificing computing power to get one, maybe this is not the time for what really is a vanity product.

    I think an MBP/Mini combo would even be better for about the same cost. You have a beastly laptop, and then a second system for home server/music/anything else. My mini handles all of my home music playback, connects to external drives to manage files, etc.
     
  5. piazza31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for your reply.
    But I'll try to explain better my situation. I want a small laptop, 13 inches is perfect for me, I used the 12 inch powerbook before. Having a laptop means you can bring it wherever you want, so the difference between the macbook and the air is relevant. I prefer portability over performance, and of course coolness factor, I admit. I love new technology, design ecc... I am willing to spend the plus for the air instead of the macbook.
    The Air would suit my coding needs as a developer, I think this blog post from Wil Shipley, aside from the title, explains perfectly the reason of this choice.

    My other concern is the mac mini because I already have a monitor and a nice keyboard, I want to use it, without spending more for my desktop computer! And the iMac costs more than the mini, even if is a all-around machine without and doubt.

    I could expand the RAM of the Mini as suggested, I don't need heavy computing, even if imovie or garageband, simple use, importing or playing, that's it. Nothing professional, as Final Cut or Pro Tools would be.
     
  6. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    The MacBook is 13" inches. In fact, the MacBook is both narrower and shallower than the MacBook Air.

    Remember the max RAM on the Mini is 2GB which is a little low for development, iMovie and GarageBand. You will notice both the Air and Mini being slow at times if you are using them for these tasks.

    It sounds like you've already made your mind up on a Mini and Air so I won't try to convince you to get another machine you don't want. However, I would caution you that, in my opinion, you are going a little for form over function. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as long as you are aware of the downsides before you make the purchase(s).
     
  7. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    The Black Country, England
    #7
    No it isn't, you can fit up to 3 GB.

    You can actually fit 4GB but it will only access 3.3GB, but you then get the benefit of dual channel memory access.
     
  8. piazza31 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #8
    You are right, I am going a little for form over function... I admit that.
    But I am not sure to get these two together... I'd like to make this choice because of the functionality/coolness combo, but I appreciate your suggestions and understand that I could go for power instead.
     
  9. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
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    Scotland
    #9
    You're right. I forgot that the Mac Mini now has 2 RAM slots rather than the 1 it had originally. With this in mind the Mini is a good choice if you max out the RAM. However, you do have to open it up yourself (and risk voiding the warranty) as you can only get 2GB at most from Apple themselves.
     
  10. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #10
    Upgrading the memory doesn't void your warranty, unless you break something doing it :D

    It is easy enough to do if you've got the correct tools for the job.
     
  11. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    Jun 30, 2004
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    Scotland
    #11
    Indeed, I've done it myself on three Mac Minis. I wrote that you *risk* voiding your warranty, not that you definitely would.
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
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    Portland, OR

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