Mac mini or macbook air?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Silithas, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Silithas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    #1
    I am thinking of getting a cheap mac to start out with (want to learn the OS just as good as i know windows) But i can't seem to make up my mind of either a semi desktop or laptop :S

    The mac mini has i7 and 1TB hdd
    But the macbook air has i5 and 128GB ssd but is portable

    Hmm... performace/storage or mobility?
     
  2. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

    IlikeMacsSoMuch

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Blainville, Province of Quebec
    #2
    It really depends on what you plan to do with it and more importantly, do you need your computer to be portable? I have both: a 2010 mac mini and a macbook air. The mac mini is more powerful and you can upgrade it with non-apple pieces (hdd, ram). The macbook air is not user upgradable so you need to be sure before ordering it to make sure that the flash memory and ram are enough for your needs.

    Once again, the question is: Do you need your computer to be portable?
     
  3. Silithas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2014
    #3
    I think i'll go with the mac mini, nothing's likea i7 in a small package, and i can also just switch out the hdd with a ssd later :p

    Btw, does the mac mini with 1TB hdd support one more storage?
    Cause my current gaming pc (windows) has a third ssd in it which is a old agility 3 120gb that i could use in the mac to boost the startup of osx and other apps.
     
  4. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Bear in mind that it's real easy to put add an SSD to the 1TB mac mini as it already has the carrier, you just need the kit from OWC. I just did this using the new Crucial MX 100 which is $200 from newegg.

    I used the SDD as the main drive and home folder and put all the big stuff like movies and musing on the HDD, or you could use fuse the SSD and the HDD into a superdrive by a simple terminal command, in which case probably a 128 or 256 gb SSD would be adequate. You can do it now or sometime in the future.
     
  5. Silithas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2014
    #5
    The kit from what?

    And i already have a spare 120GB ssd that i don't use after i upgraded my main gaming pc to 2x 120GB samsung 850pro for windows :p
     
  6. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Well then you are set. Kit and pdf plus installation videos available at OWC, the cradle is already inside the mac mini.


    The only gotcha is reinstalling the antenna cover, it's not difficult but it slides into a groove in the case and it needs care. You make a little wire hook to pull up on it as you work it into place. This is not mentioned in the manual, and just takes a bit of patience. It needs to be seated correctly in it's groove for the screws to line up properly.
     
  7. Silithas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2014
    #7
    Alrighty. But can i switch out it's stock 5200rpm hdd with a 7200rpm?
     
  8. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    I tested the speed of the 5400 hdd that it came with and it runs about the same 100mb/sec that my 7200 drive did in my old 2012 iMac.

    The only problem that I can see might be a heat issue as I can see no other reason why they'd put in a 5400 drive in a desktop, unless it was simply due to the extra expense of the drive in a 2.5" form factor.

    My guess is that there's be no point in a 7200 drive unless it was more than 1TB. You might need more expert advice on this though, perhaps start a separate thread.
     
  9. Silithas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    #9
    Alrighty, but lets say i have done all this, and added a ssd. How can i then "clone" the old hdd's content over to the ssd to work just like it was stock? Cause i want the ssd to contain the mac reinstaller and all the stuff needed to easily reinstall mac later on.
     
  10. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    For a start you want to download SuperDuper, it's free until you use it to 'smart update'. I'd recommend buying it as it has performed flawlessly for years and saved my bacon many times. The initial Clone takes about an hour for 1TB but subsequent clones only update what has changed and take minutes. That's what smart update is.

    You can make a boot usb installer for Mavericks, (or wait till Yosemite is released) by downloading from the app store but don't install. It will be in your Application folder called "Install OS X Mavericks". You then use "DiskMaker X" to
    make a usb, or SD card, install disk. Basically you just run DiskMaker, it will find the Installer in Applications and reformat the usb or SD card which needs to be able to hold 8 GB's, and make a boot disk.

    You then have to decided whether you want to make a Fusion Drive, or have the 120SDd and the internal HDD Separate, I would choose to keep them separate. Load the OS onto the the SDD and run your home folder from there, but put big stuff like your Movie, Pictures, and Music folders, on the internal HDD and link to them.

    You can use SuperDuper, to keep a bootable clone of your SSD and also use it to clone your internal HDD.
     

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