Should I keep my current Mac Mini when my new Mac Pro arrives?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by OnlyShawn, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. OnlyShawn macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2004
    #1
    Currently, my mac mini is something like a home server/general tech use, with it hooked up to my plasma (60" vizio...mmmm...only 720p, but i'm still *quite* happy w/ it). It's connected to two external usb drives, w/ one serving as media repository (itunes/iphoto libraries, torrents, ripped dvd collection, etc) and another as time machine backup for the mini itself and 2 macbooks.

    Now...I'm starting my own architectural graphics/planning company, and to that end i've ordered a mac pro. It would be situated close enough to the TV to be connected to it w/ ease (thank goodness for monoprice's cheap hdmi cables), and I suddenly realized that I might not need the mac mini.

    Can any of you think of a reason why having the mac mini preserve his current duties would be helpful at all, or can the mac pro do everything?

    One thing i've been considering is screen sharing/vnc connections. I use screen sharing a LOT to do work on the mini from my laptop (network maintenance, updates, etc.), and it would be really nice to be able to do general 'computing' on one display, while another display is being used to watch a movie/tv show from itunes. If I used solely the mac pro, and hooked it up to the TV and the 30" cinema, could I vnc/screen-share into only the 30" cinema and not disturb the tv?

    I'm sure there are details I forgot to mention; let me know what i've overlooked if you need it to answer the question.

    Thanks a lot for reading and your input!
     
  2. mrj412 macrumors regular

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    May 27, 2009
    #2
    Personally, I would keep the Mini on the TV to keep entertainment and work separate.
     
  3. OnlyShawn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2004
    #3
    ...that's a philosophical point (and a good one). Technologically, however, what would be the advantages/disadvantages to doing so?
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    #4
    You can't write off the Mac Pro as a business expense if you use it as a media center.
     
  5. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    USA
    #5
    seconded
     
  6. OnlyShawn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2004
    #6
    huh, alright, great point. well...

    1) i'm not incorporated yet, and so the receipts would be pre-dated to official 'business formation'. does that matter?

    2) and, even if the media center stuff is completely secondary, and/or I would use the TV to display/review things in large size for business purposes occasionally? Seems like that would be the same as listening to itunes on a computer at a business, no?

    thanks for the help here...I certainly hadn't considered the business purpose.
     
  7. 3N16MA macrumors 65816

    3N16MA

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    #7
    I have the same type of setup as you. I have my desk and TV close enough in the same room that the mini is hooked up to an external monitor and is my main desktop and acts as a HTPC/Media Server with the second connection to the TV. I might be picking up a 13" MBP before September and could hook it up to the TV when needed without any problem. That being said I prefer separate the two and have my mini act as my HTPC it currently has a FW800 RAID enclosure attached, Hauppauge HD PVR, running PLEX, eyetv 3, various games, and will be still be used for light browsing and tasks when I get my MBP. Also your setup may change in the future and your work area may not always be close to your TV.
     
  8. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #8
    Your Mac Mini should be paired with your HDTV to make it your media center. Your Mac Pro should be your main computer.
     
  9. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #9
    Get incorporated forst, then buy?
     
  10. eatbacon macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2003
    #10
    An often overlooked issue...

    Let's assume you work 8 hours per day, but like to have your media center available at all times (but really use it for around 4 hours per day).

    The mini uses about 13 watts of power and 110 at cpu max. The mac pro uses 115 idle and 263 at cpu max.

    If you run the mac pro 24 hours per day, using it at about 50% for 8 working hours and 50% for 4 entertainment hours and idle but not sleeping for the other 12 (just for sake of argument) that is about 3.6 KWh per day or around 1300 KWh per year.

    If however you use the mac pro for 8 hours (at 50% power) and turn it off when you are done, but leave the mini on 24 hours, 20 of which it is idle and 4 of which it is used at 50% power, that comes to around 2KWh or about 740 KWh per year. A savings of 560 KWh per year. In the US, that amounts to 750 pounds of CO2 per year not emitted into the atmosphere.

    (I know all of these are grossly simplified assumptions and you could obviously save more power by not running your media center 24 hours a day -- or letting it sleep -- but it gives you an idea.)
     
  11. codenamecueball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #11
    Why not get the biggest hard drive you can in the Mac Mini and turn it into a backup/experiment server.
    Or keep the mac mini for media centre duties/playing music and the mac pro for work. Using the Pro for a media centre would just be unenviromental, as eatbacon said.

    Be kind to the earth.
    :apple:
     
  12. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    USA
    #12
    Actually the more I think about it, I'm pretty sure you can still justify it as a business expense if it is mostly used for business purposes. Someone else might want to confirm/deny this though.

    If so, you can use it 8 hours a day for business, 4 for pleasure, and you can still write it off.
     
  13. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #13
    If you don't need the additional space (space in your room :) ), keep the Mini. Or send it to me :) Should I PM you the info? :)
     
  14. OnlyShawn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2004
    #14
    ...right after you paypal me the money it's worth. :)

    (edited to avoid censure and public flogging)
     
  15. OnlyShawn thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    w/ all due respect...I think the point here is *why* should this be so? Restating an option doesn't really help...
     
  16. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #16
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/index.html

    I'd reconsider this post since it's considered selling outside of the marketplace...I got a warning last year for something like this.
     
  17. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #17
    What marketplace? You mean like... outside of US? It was a joke, anyway, but this made me curious :)
     
  18. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #18
  19. OnlyShawn thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
  20. calsci macrumors 6502

    calsci

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #20
    I think you should just keep the mini as a server, another desktop if you should need one. Just keep it you never know when you might want the mini around.
     

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