Mac mini vs MBA + network storage solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by knarzie, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. knarzie macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2008
    Good day folks,

    I was set to get a mini see here: but have since changed my mind.

    I have the feeling that it is not actually what we want/need in our household. Let me explain. At the moment I have a late '08 13" unibody Macbook that I use for work (office and web/mail) hooked up to my display upstairs, and to stream movies/tv shows to my tv in the evenings. Yes I would like something a little faster, but it's not slow to the extent that it's annoying. (Really only when I open large itunes and iphoto library at the same time etc). Now I will start being away for work 5 days a week and my wife's aging 12" PB isn't up for the job.

    We also have a first gen iPad in the household (could that me used to control the mini, or would I need a keyboard?)

    I initially wanted a mini as media centre to keep a shared itunes and iphoto library on, and skip the need to stream movies but rather connect it straight to the tv. However, it turns out the Missus isn't too keen on the idea to have to turn the tv on everytime the kids hug the iPad. And I also think that for our needs, we don't really 'need' the faster mini (that said, my wife does dabble in light home video editing).

    What I/we (or as the other half says: 'I don't care, I just want it to work' :rolleyes: ) really want I think is a network storage solution. That way I could leave my unibody at home for various media duties and get myself a brand new MBA :) But I would need a few TB to be accessed from MBA/unibody with shared iphoto, itunes/movie libraries. That would still allow me to get a mini down the line as the network storage will always come in handy.

    Lastly: the reason I keep going back to the mini is that I am overwhelmed with deciding/setting up/maintaining network storage (airport extreme + USB harddrives?), and I would assume that I would be able to avoid these by hooking up a mini straight to tv and stack a couple of externals in the back.

    Thank you for reading!
  2. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    I think this is the best way for you to do it. It would be especially quick if you can use FW800 drives. You can even utilize iTunes library sharing to the iPad and MBA this way.

    People are suggesting to get a minimum of 4 GB RAM to run Lion.

    You don't have to get the mini though, you can use the MB as a file server too. I do this with an old polycarbonate MB. You just hook up your drives via USB (I guess that's what you're limited to) and set up file sharing/library sharing.

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