Planning to buy Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tantmay, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Tantmay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #1
    Hi Guys

    I am planning to buy a Mac mini for my home use

    There are reasons because of which i am inclined towards buying a Mac Mini

    1) I am windows owner all through out and I am going to use Mac for the first time
    2) It will be used for daily home use like watching movies, listening to music
    3) some official works that will involve word processing (is there something available for free in MAc domain like Microsoft word)
    4) Can i use Mac for downloading using torrent? monthly download of around 30-40 GB
    5) I have heard that VMs can be installed on MAC that can run Windows? For the initial few days I may have Windows as well till I am confident on Mac. Is VM software available for free?

    BR
    Tanmay
     
  2. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Standard Mini is good for what you want. If you read all the posts here and the buyers guide you'll see the Mini hasn't been updated by Apple for quite a while, so many people will say wait. I use a 2009 Mini (upgraded Ram to 8gb and larger/faster HDD) for pretty much the same usage. It runs all the latest software.

    If you want to save some money try and find a 2012 Mini for sale used (they hold their price well you may be surprised by how much you have to pay). I would suggest you get an Apple wireless keyboard (a few special keys which are very useful), you can just re-use your existing monitor. I have an Apple magic mouse which I like, also trackpad is an option. You can use a normal "windows mouse" although Apple have some nice mouse gestures which are useful. Do some research to see what you think.

    You can buy MS Office for Mac. You can use OpenOffice for free. You can read/write most basic Office files using the free Apple applications (Pages, Numbers, Keynote). In my view for normal documents Pages is better than Word. If you do big spreadsheets and want macros then Excel is better. You can run a Virtual Machine to boot into Windows if you want but I would suggest you just kick the Windows software habit given your usage, you won't regret it.

    I understand all the normal torrent apps run perfectly well on a Mini and does VPN software :cool:
     
  3. Tantmay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #3
    Thanks

    Any idea what software is used to install VM on Mac?
    and what are the available torrent clients on MAc?

    BR
    Tanmay
     
  4. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #4
    Hi, for VM you have Bootcamp (free, but you need to reboot for using it), Paralells, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox (free) and for Torrent, well, you have qTorrent, Transmission and many others.

    One of the better (non-bloated) Torrent clients is this:
    http://deluge-torrent.org/

    It is opensource and cross-platform.
     
  5. Tantmay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #5
    By the way

    since I come from a Windows background, we get access to many softwares free of cost. Most windows application installers are freely available on net

    in the Mac domain, i have heard it is difficult to get all softwares on net. is it true? for example, whenever i used windows, i had basic softwares like MS office (slides, doc, spreadsheets) etc in place. I have heard there are similar softwares like Pages, Numbers, etc in Mac. But are those free?

    Let's make this simple, what are softwares available by free on a new mac mini?

    BR
     
  6. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Free apps included link here

    Yes Numbers (excel equiv), Pages (word), Keynote (Powerpoint), Preview lets you create/write pdfs as does Pages, iPhoto is great for managing photo collection and synching with other devices.

    I switched over from Windows in 2008, never looked back. Most of the things you need are free or if you have to pay they are much cheaper than MS/Windows. Plus of course they work better (IMO). OS upgrades are free now and Mac users tend to run the latest software (I read 60% of Windows machines are still running XP for instance)

    Also I use VLC (free) for movie playback, most decent free software has a Mac version.
     
  7. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #7
    Yes, if these applications are freeware or opensource freeware.

    Microsoft Office is not free. Some brands of computers have sometimes the MS Office Basic (crippled) versions of Microsoft Word, maybe Excel and Powerpoint installed. Or they include on of the trial versions of MS Office. But after 30, 60 or 90 days you need to activate them/buy a license.

    Neither way, the "real" versions are all commercial packages, that you need to pay for a license.
    Or subcribe to Office365 service. Which isn't free either.

    The freeware Office packages are:
    - LibreOffice
    - OpenOffice
    - SoftMaker FreeOffice
    - Kingsoft Office Suite Free
     
  8. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #8
    Given the BitTorrent client questions, I suspect the OP wasn't particularly concerned about a legitimate copy of MS Office... (yes I know there are legitimate uses for BitTorrent, just as there are perfectly innocent explanations to give your girlfriend's dad why you're in her bed at 3am... :D )
     
  9. Tantmay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #9
    is this is a configuration to go for?

    Processor: 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
    RAM:4GB DDR3 RAM
    HDD: 500GB HDD
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Thunderbolt Technology
     
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #10
    Yes Jimmy, just like on a PC you can use a Mac and be a software thief too! :D
     
  11. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #11
    For watching music, listening to movies, text writting etc. it is OK. Also it can run light/older games without bigger problems.
     
  12. Tantmay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #12
    heavy download as well? like online streaming?
     
  13. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Yes, fine for what you want including the streaming. It will run better with 8GB RAM which you can add yourself. It's easy to add external drives too (via USB3) and if you wish it's easy to make them the boot drive.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    If you can afford it, get the i7 instead of the i5.

    Also - rather than buying new, consider an "Apple-refurbished" Mini. This will save you some money.

    Keep an eye on what's available in refurbs by using this page:
    http://www.refurb.me/us/
     
  15. SpinalTap macrumors regular

    SpinalTap

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bournville, UK
    #15
    Another VM to consider is CrossOver (which doesn't require a copy of the WindowsOS to run).

    It doesn't necessary run all Windows programs but it will run all MS Office programs. However, it will run all Windows games.

    You can download a free try-before-you-buy version.

    http://www.codeweavers.com/products/crossover-mac
     
  16. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #16
    For your demands any from the 2009 and newer will do. I would lean toward a new entry model as it offers USB3, 2 sata 600 bays, FW800, warranty. The dual core/4 thread i5 will offer plenty of oomph. If you have an extra 200 bucks, you can also take the i7. 2.3 model will do fine. Don't buy memory updates and drive updates at Apple, do them yourself (easy).

    For downloading: use uTorrent. It is lightweight and the only client I know that does not make a mess when selecting certain files from a torrent only.
    For Windows: use Virtual Box. Although Bootcamp is free and comes with the Mac, the usability is awkward. It needs reboots all the time and you must split your hard drive. With VB you can make an auto-growing diskimage for Windows, and if it gets too big, you can easily move it to an external disk.
     
  17. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    Just be aware that Apple will probably upgrade the Mac mini in a few months when Intel releases Broadwell CPUs.
     
  18. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    Transmission is the cleanest simplest easiest, most uncluttered yet incredibly powerful bt client for mac. Selecting individual file works flawlessly and it downloads at a very fast clip while using minimal system resources.
     
  19. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    We've been hearing that a Mini refresh is due "soon" for 18 months now
     
  20. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #20
    Yep. There's almost always a "newer/better/upgraded version coming in just a few months".
     
  21. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Except that now, Intel CEO promised Broadwell PCs on shelves for holidays. And given past cooperation, I'm pretty sure Apple will be the first in line to get the new CPUs.

    So yes, a new Mac mini (Mac nano?) is due soon, but we now have a known calendar target to go with this prediction.
     
  22. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    The holidays are 5 months away, a few of us here believe a Mini refresh is for 2015 as other models will get the Broadwell first. "Soon" can mean many things, I believe a new Mini is 9 months away at least. :(
     
  23. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #23
    http://www.itpro.co.uk/mobile/22111/intel-broadwell-release-date-specs


    If this is true, I'm wondering what Broadwell would realistically give us as opposed to the Mac Mini we have available today. I haven't watched Intel's roadmap - so I am not sure exactly what Broadwell would do in a mobile chip besides save power and give a modest boost in performance. Of course video performance will be much better than we have today.

    I guess I am trying to convince myself that if a new Mini doesn't show up soon, purchasing the existing Mini wouldn't be the worst decision one could make. What really hurts is that I don't *need* a new Mini, but would like to add another Mac to the house...
     
  24. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    If you don't need one, wait.
     

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