MBA + Mini = Perfect Thunderbolt Duo?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Enthios, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Enthios, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Enthios macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    I'm looking for a good use of Thunderbolt in the new MBA's, and was wondering if using Thunderbolt to connect to the new Mac Mini might provide the perfect solution...for someone like me, at least. I do a lot of photography and need reasonable "in the field" editing and workflow capabilities (Photoshop and Lightroom) but can do most of the heavy editing and archiving back home with a large external monitor and HDD's. It occured to me I could use a Mac Mini at home and the MBA for travel and photography. It wouldn't matter which of the two devices I use at home because they would be connected at warp speed.

    Am I missing something? What would the limitations be?

    Also: there is a lot of talk of daisy-chaining Thunderbolt devices, but I don't see how you can daisy-chain without two thunderbolt ports (or a Y connector) on each device?

    Forgot to mention - currently have MBP but am considering MBA as a replacement because I like to instant on and form factor, which should allow me to do quick writing, editing and blogging. I also do a lot other stuff (develop apps, work with Xcode, day trade on a XP VM) but none of it requires a dedicated video board.
  2. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    i dont get it. so u can hook a new mac mini to an air and use the mac mini with the air acting as a screen only?
  3. Enthios thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    No, as I said, I've got an external monitor for that. In effect, the Mac Mini would act as a docking station for the MBA, with the added advantage of 1TB of storage plus an extra CPU.
  4. Invisible Elf macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2011
    The CPU isn't that much better is it? It would work just as well to just hook up the MBA to the display, and you could also leave an external HD constantly connected to the display.

    Or you could drop the mini and just get an iMac for your workstation. Would be mostly the same cost.
  5. Enthios thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    Hmm...well the iMac solution would be about double the cost of a Mac Mini. I don't really need the extra CPU power of the Mac Mini (though I believe it is much faster than the MBA i5). The main purpose is to have an extra TB of disk space that is connected by Thunderbolt. The alternative is to get that Thunderbolt drive that costs $999, which is the same as the Mac Mini server so might as well get the latter; it gives me a second CPU and OS in case the MBA ever needs to go in for a repair, etc...

    But I think my main questions are:

    1) How can I connect a MBA to both an external monitor and an external device such as an HDD or Mac Mini at the same time?

    2) If I got an iMac as suggested above, could I run the monitor from my MBA (if I chose to do so), or is the only configuration option to boot up the iMac, then run the MBA in Target Mode as an HDD?

Share This Page