New to Mac: Mini or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ChrisR244, May 5, 2013.

  1. ChrisR244 macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Hey guys, new convert here. About 8 months ago when I started work, I was given a Macbook Pro laptop (2010ish model). I also bought my first iPhone, an iPhone 5, and love it. I'm personally using a custom-build Windows tower (AMD Athlon 2 x4 620, 8 gigs of RAM, Radeon 4670 graphics). I think I'm ready to jump ship to a Mac and convert to the ecosystem, considering all the software I use is either Mac specific of multi-platform.

    I'm a systems administrator and work with both Linux and Windows systems. I'm also a photographer, so photo editing in Photoshop would probably be the most intensive thing I do. I also own an iPad and love the thing. I really don't anticipate the need for anything mobile - the iPad does everything I'd need to do on the road, so I'm looking for more of a desktop option.

    Right now my favorite is a spec'd out Mac Mini. Besides the graphics card, the thing blows my desktop out of the water, and it's so small. A Macbook Pro wouldn't be bad either, but I'd probably use it in clamshell mode 90% of the time, so I'm not sure if it's worth it. I've looked at the iMacs, but I'm not a fan of the all-in-one type units.

    For those in similar situations, would you go for a Macbook Pro, even if it'd be used as a desktop 90% of the time, or would a Mac Mini be the way to go? I've seen a lot of people with Macbook Pro's as their desktop, but the Mini doesn't seem to have much of a following ;)
  2. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    if you had no mac experience, I would say go with the mini.

    But then you have tried a 3 year old MBP, then I would stick with that to be honest.

    Unless the MBP you are looking at is the Retina version.

    Reason: the MBP's (non-retina) currently available look and almost same as in 2010 (I suppose it's the unibody) the upgrade wouldn't be significant...

    Personally I'm waiting for the Haswell upgrade in June, going for a retina.
    the retina display of iPad and iPhone have made me "too used to" the nice screen, that I am hardly using my normal screen anymore (Speced out Mac Mini from 2011).
  3. ChrisR244 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    I should clarify - the MBP is a work machine, so not actually owned by me ;) Otherwise trust me, I'd just stick with that thing for everything and not be looking to upgrade.
  4. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012
    I'd go with the mini unless you need portability.
  5. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I was in your shoes and though the machine is docked most of the time, I wanted the option of taking it to client meetings or on the road. For this reason I purchased the MBP.
  6. Jord5i macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012

    In your case I would definitely go for the mini. My first Apple product (let's forget about that iPod Nano from 5 years earlier) was a Mini (2010), which I still use (using it right now actually).
    For me it's a great desktop, especially because it's so small with decent specs. I also have a mbp, which I mainly use for school. If you are indeed going to use it as a desktop 90% of the time, I would definitely go for the mini.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you decide to buy a Mini, I would STRONGLY suggest that you spend the extra $$ for the i7 CPU. You might even consider the 2.6ghz upgrade.

    DO NOT buy additional RAM from Apple. Buy it on your own -- very easy to upgrade. My favorite RAM supplier is (NFI).

    Insofar as drives are concerned, you will have to decide which suits you. Many folks seem happy with the fusion drive setup.

    I bought a "base configuration" (1tb HDD), and added an _external_ SSD drive as my "boot source". It runs almost as quickly as does a fusion drive, without having to "dig into" the innards.

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