Opinions? New Mini vs. early '08 15-inch MBP

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by *LTD*, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. *LTD*, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    The new (top end, possibly server) Mini looks pretty good on paper. I don't really need a notebook anymore, and since I use my old MBP almost excessively as a desktop, it isn't very mobile to begin with. Further, since I have it plugged in all the time I need to watch I don't kill my battery. It's happened before.

    I have an iPad 2, so when I'm out and about it more than does what I need. As for my videos and such when I'm mobile, I take full advantage of AirVideo. It works like a charm. I use iDisk regularly, so I can always access and edit my documents. I use VNC when I need it, and it works very well.

    My MBP these days is a glorified personal server, download machine, word processor and photo editor (at most Aperture and PixelMator.) I think the Mini would fill the MBPs position and save me some space to boot. Factor in the HDMI/TV capabilities . . . you get the idea.

    So, I'm thinking of getting the new (top end, possibly server) Mini. The 8GB RAM expandability looks like future-proofing for my needs. The videocard I'm not so sure about, but it looks like it'll do the trick, given my needs.

    Sell my old MBP, use the funds to get something newer (possibly better) for somewhat less than $1000. I can still get quite a bit for my (near-mint condition) MBP.

    So if this decision isn't completely nuts, I'll be downsizing a bit, but gaining a bit more, getting something new, for less than the cost of the average Apple notebook (so, cash to spare.)

    But, I'll defer to the experts!

    My notebook:

    Early 2008 MBP 15-inch, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
    6 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB

    My *maximum* needs:

    1080p playback (via VLC, so no stuttering, etc.)
    Needs to run Lion very well

    This I want:


    No screen is too big.

    It’s easy to connect Mac mini to the biggest screen in the house — your HDTV — courtesy of a built-in HDMI port. All it takes is one HDMI cable to start enjoying movies and TV shows from iTunes, surfing the web, and flipping through your photo library, all in brilliant HD. There’s also a handy control that lets you adjust the output on Mac mini to fill even the biggest HDTV screen. And when you just want to listen to music, you can play your entire iTunes collection through your home entertainment center, or stream it to a set of speakers in any room via an AirPort Express Base Station.

    Maybe the ability to play some recent (more or less) games, but not necessarily on max settings. Ok, I rarely game these days, but always *think* I'll at some point want to. It never really happens. I game more on my iPad 2 than on my Mac. Maybe the Civilization series. I sometimes pick that back up. I'll probably just end up installing the old Fallout series (1 and 2) for OS X. ;)

    It has to drive:

    At least a 1920x1200 display (24-inch, DVI)
    4-5 external hard drives (several TB, connected via USB hubs)
    External speakers

    Based on my needs it needs to last me about 3 years.

    I don't need a DVD drive or anything like that. I've used mine not more than twice this year, and only grudgingly.

    So, should I go for it?

  2. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    iWork will run on anything. Aperture, I don't know about. Hard to know what you mean when you say that you want your OS to run "very well". You might like to consider buying an SSD, which will lift the performance of everything that would otherwise be calling on a hard drive: that would improve your OS X experience.

    With regard to 1080p playback, that all depends on what you mean by "1080p". If these are dirty transcodes downloaded from torrent sites, they might work on the MBP. I don't know. If you're talking about unadulterated Blu-ray dumps, you'll need the new Mini.
  3. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    I think the 1080p playback will do alright on the new Mini.

    I should mention that I want this thing to run QUIET, at least as quiet as my MBP (unless I'm watching a YouTube video or something.)

    Lion runs just fine on my MBP. So I mean it should run just as well on a new Mini, if not better.
  4. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I think the new Mini is the right move for you.
  5. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    I agree, I'd go for the mini, especially if you have an iPad that you're using when mobile, and the MBP sounds like it's sitting as a desktop anyway.

    I'm using a new 2.5 mini with a cheap SSD connected to a 24" screen and it runs beautifully. Haven't used Aperture, but 1080p video has run beautifully without any noticeable fan/air noise.
  6. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Thanks, guys.

    Just out of curiosity, will it accept DDR2 RAM, 667 MHz?

    Maybe I can use the RAM I currently have in the MBP. I've got a 2GB module and a 4GB module. Will it accept the 4GB module? Either mixed, or exclusively the DDR2 modules.
  7. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    Don't get the early MBP. They are notorious for breaking down. After 2 years my MBP bit the dust. I don't make a lot of money and losing an expensive computer after such a relatively short amount of time really made me steam.

    Then again, I sold have purchased Applecare....
  8. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    The new mini needs DDR3 1333Mhz.
  9. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I would take a closer look at the mid range 2011 mini, the one for $799. You are trading a quad cpu for better graphics and two disk drive slots for one. It all depends on your needs. I would stay away from the 2008 mbp. Better to go new.
  10. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    yeah the new mini has what you need.

    If you want very good performance make sure you invest in the model with the best possible processor in your budget. Everything else, over time lowers in price and can be replaced later on, but not the processor.
  11. *LTD*, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Yes, the Mini is looking more attractive. However, I need to get over the fact that it's just not mobile. I'd still be tied to a desktop in terms of my "main" computer. Granted, a very small, relatively powerful desktop with some neat features, but still a desktop.

    I'll admit that my MBP isn't exactly new, but if I need to get up and go or if for some reason I need to take my "whole computer" with me, I'm not tied to an extra display or keyboard.

    If I still need to have a "main" computer it's nice for it to be mobile as well.

    But at least now I know that the Mini looks like a good contender. It's just so good in terms of small form-factor, and all the power that's packed into it for what appears to be a decent price (relative to Apple notebooks.)

    Thanks for the help, guys. Food for thought.

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