Mac mini vs. Basic Needs

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sbkgaucho, May 13, 2014.

  1. sbkgaucho macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2014
    Newbie here with a basic question:

    Main issue; Macbook pro HD is full (4 year old model). I try to clear space every month or so, but it's becoming a pain. The laptop is used primarily for work through Citrix, storing pictures and music mostly. About 500GB's give or take.

    Basic needs:
    * A machine that can act as my "file server." Storing mostly pictures, music and some videos. Allow me to browse the internet, maybe play back movies from iTunes or Netflix, etc.
    * No computer monitor available, so my only option is my 46" Samsung LCD TV.
    * I would like to play music through my soundbar and want the display to be clear enough to show pictures, etc.

    The mac mini looks like a great option for me. I know I would need a wireless keyboard and mouse pad, but is this my best option? Do I need the most updated version for my basic needs? Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I would say the 2012, maybe the 2011 version would work. The key is looking for the model with the HDMI port to connect to your TV (assuming your TV has HDMI).

    A mac mini would be perfect! that is exactly what I use mine for, media storage. I have everything loaded onto the mini (put in a 1 TB HDD for the storage of course) and loaded up on iTunes. With the iTunes home sharing, if I want to watch something from my mini on my macbook, iTunes home sharing is perfect.

    Im not sure what model macbook or what settings need playing with (maybe its back to my mac), but I can view and control the screen of my mini from my macbook. (you will need a keyboard and mouse for the mac mini's inital setup though)
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    My mini is hooked up to a 46" samsung lcd.
    You know that you could also cheaply exchange the hdd in your macbook.

    Otherwise the mini is awesome for your needs. Great media homecenter.
  4. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    A new 1TB internal HDD for your MBP would be far cheaper (around $80) than a Mac mini if you just need more storage space.
    Or move your files off to an external HDD?
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    All 2011-2012 models have 2 drive bays, so you could put in 2TB of storage (some even manage to fit in a slightly thicker 2TB 2,5 inch drive with a 7mm 1TB SSD).
  6. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2011
    I don't see why your current MBP doesn't suit your current needs. My 09 macbook is fine on Mavericks with 4gb ram. All I ever do is web browse and stream my files wirelessly to my tv.
  7. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    As above your cheapest option is an external drive. I don't know what you ware using currently for backup but with that much data you want to make sure your photos and movies are protected. You could put a 250 SSD into the MBP and use the current drive in a caddy either for data or backup. Another option is to look at external drives connected to your network, for convenience via wifi perhaps via ethernet to your router. You have enough horsepower in your MBP.

    As for the Mini I have 2009 machine upgraded to 8gb ram and it does the job you want and is connected to a Samsung 54" hd tv which works well for movies, streaming content and picture viewing. I put a 750gb HDD into it (cost vs storage) but these models with an optical drive which you can remove and add 2 drives. Any recent Mac Mini will do the job for you.

    My advice would be to buy an external drive and wait and see if there is a Mini refresh this year. If there is and you find you still want to switch then get the Mini, if you are happy with the external solution then perhaps spend some money on an SSD for the MBP
  8. pdafan, May 15, 2014
    Last edited: May 16, 2014

    pdafan macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Been using my mac mini 2011 for the longest time as a very capable home server.
    - 240GB OWC SSD internal
    - externally hook up to 2 x 4TB WD Thunderbolt Duo (chaining)

    Using it as
    - backup server to all my other iMacs
    - photos, videos, movies and music for home sharing.
    - web surfing, youtube on big TV

    Never see the need to upgrading further unless I go into photo/video editing.
  9. iBarça-Boy macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2014
    Even with my Mac Mini 2009 2GHZC2D 8GB Ram i can do these tricks...

    So with a 2011 or 2012 model you are for sure safe...

    Turned my mini also into a 'server' because of my 128GB flashdrive on the air...
  10. sbkgaucho thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2014
    Thanks everyone! You guys have been extremely helpful.

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