Mac Mini Setups

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by electric-mac, May 30, 2012.

  1. electric-mac macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    Hey everyone!! I am a new user to MacRumors. I am thinking of getting a Mac Mini and I need some ideas of how to set it up. I will be getting a new Mac Mini, so it would be great if you could post a pic of new one. Thanks and have a great day!! :D
  2. lecturenotes macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2012
    that depends on what you want to do.

    They're very versatile, so here's a few options, but definitely not what you're limited to.

    1. Use it as your main computer
    2. Use it with a tv as a media centre
    3. Use it as a server to other macs.

    I'm guessing you're probably going to go with option 1.

    If it's to add to the household, I personally like buying apple accessories (mouse, trackpad, keyboard, etc). I generally buy another manufacturers screen because I only need a basic one.

    If it's a replacement computer, Simply take your older external monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc and plug them into the mac mini. You just need to make sure the ports match up to the connections at the end of your peripherals.

    The ports are here

    Check this page out too

    I hope that helps
  3. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas
    Main mini here

    I have a i7 2011 mini as my main mac here. So far it has been an amazing little beast I have to say. It's my first intel mac and so far, aside from Lion weirdness I have no regrets.
    It was the best option for me as I was coming from a set of G5 powermacs, so I already had screens, keyboards and what not. The MBP's where just to dang expensive on my student budget and I have my PB 15" 1.5/2gig that fits my mobile needs perfectly.
    Long story short, if it will fill your needs? It is well WELL worth the money. Rock solid, damn near silent and a sleek little workhorse. At least it has been for me.
  4. dkersten, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
  5. electric-mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    So this is really my first Mac. I'm planning to use it as my main computer. My current computer is an HP Pavilion a1101n, that is running windows 7.

    My only problem with the Mac mini is that there is no optical drive, but I hardly use it. Any ideas for an external drive?:confused:

    I also want a type of boot camp where I don't have to restart the computer. Any suggestions?

    I also have a monitor, mouse, but my keyboard is one of those old fashioned ones with the purple connector.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Any USB external DVD drive will work.
    Virtual Box, Vmware Fusion, Parallels
    Buy a USB keyboard then or a some kind of PS/2 to USB connector (which will probably cost you as much as a cheap USB keyboard).
  7. electric-mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    I surely going to buy an apple keyboard.
  8. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    The only thing is if you are going to run Windows 7 and OSX at the same time, make sure you don't cheap out on RAM. Either pay for the extra GB straight from Apple or add it yourself (note that this is a little risky as there is the possibility of messing up). I would suggest 8 GB or RAM if you are frequently going to use Windows and OSX side by side.

    As for the the optical drive, you could try... if you want to keep the clean Apple look going, or something like these as a cheaper option:

    For the keyboard, I highly recommend Logitech keyboards, but the Apple keyboards work well too.
  9. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    a fine optical drive option for you if you can wait ...

    The new Mac Mini 2012 is just around the corner. In terms of an optical drive, there is a solution coming I am waiting on. Check this out:

    I just love that solution..
  10. jweek macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    Hi -

    I replaced my Dell Poweredge 2900III and 2 other servers with 2 mac mini's. Both run vmware fusion and have been upgraded to 16gb of ram and SSD drives. The one on the right hosts an exchange 2010 server, a webcam/video server and domain controller. The one on the left hosts a secondary domain controller, a terminal services gateway server, a PIAF pbx and another windows server that feeds audio from the scanner and uploads newsfeeds for my kindle and ipad. Each has it's own UPS and both mini's are backed up to the time capsule on the bottom shelf. The drive between the mini's is used for backup of the windows servers. The white thing on the far left is a hdd dock that use for copying files to external hdd's. I also have a seagate t-bolt adapter and a lacie t-bolt to esata adapter (not seen in the picture). The mini on the right also serves as my music server for my house (I use airplay to other tv's/speakers throughout the house) and control it with the remote app on my iphone/ipad.

    The cart is from ikea :apple:

    Attached Files:

  11. electric-mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    I have actually seen that before, and I may get that because it is SO convenient.

    The only problem with it is that I don't know the price of it. Do you know?:confused:


    Also, should I get a Mac mini with lion or mountain lion? Should I buy one now or later when the newer version comes out?
  12. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas
    Just my 2 pennies here ;)

    I forgot to add, if you go over to the mac setups discussion you can see my mini setup. On to keyboards. I have used a ton from no names to apple pro sets to really? You name it. It really comes down to how you type and what you like but this:

    So far is the best solution I have found, though I wish I could got the wireless trackball with mine.:(
  13. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I use two 2011 Mac mini's in my signature. The 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 is the HTPC. The 2011 Mac mini server is a dedicated encoding machine that can be connected to a 2010 27" iMac, but remote desktop is used to minimize clutter.
  14. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2010
    I have the high end i7 Mac Mini (2011). Just installed 16gb of ram and it makes a huge difference. Just bought a 240gb SSD yesterday that will be installed by owc in a week or two. As for the setup, I have it connected to two 24 inch Dell monitors and Bose companion 3 speakers. I purchased the Mac mini as a temporary computer to hold me for maybe 2 years tops, but after doing these upgrades, it will be my main computer for 3-4 years. Next on my list is a MacBook Air for my mobile solution! Good luck with your setup and have fun!
  15. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    VirtualBox is great for running Windows on top of your Mac.

    It might not perform as well as Parallels or VMWare, but it works plenty good enough and it's free!
  16. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    To the price issue, I think it will carry a high price tag. My prediction is arround 199 - 249$ for the empty box. That would be steep. However, putting a 1T WD Veloci Raptor with 10k rpm and 6g/Sata3 inside would double this price tag anyways. So for me I have factored a high price already.

    To the question of waiting or not, my bet is always on waiting. Its only two more month tops, and I would bite my ass, spending top dollars for outdated tech. This way you get Mountain Lion free, so I would not buy now. For the mini, you want to have the best gpu possible, because its the one and only big bottleneck since the beginning.

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