Thinking about buying the Mac mini - a lot of questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gryhsl, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Gryhsl macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2013
    Hey rumorers!

    I really need a new computer (my current one still runs on Win XP), I got quite some money for my high-school-graduation and I think the Mac Mini would be a good choice, but I still have a lot of questions in my head and I hope you guys can answer them :)

    I am new here, so if any of this does not belong in this area, I am incredibly sorry!

    I know a laptop is great for University, but I just don't like laptops. I know you will all be right, when you say that they are portable and stuff, but I just like desktop-computers better.

    My thought is to buy the configuration with a 2.6GHz quad-core i7 and otherwise the standart-things and add 16GB RAM from a cheaper source than apple.

    So here's my questions:

    1. Which are the RAMs I can use for the Mac Mini? I know there is an overview, but either there is a table missing/not showing on my computer (I am using an iBook G4, so that's possible :D) or I just don't get it. In that case: I'm sorry, but I really looked at it and tried to understand it, but I don't.

    2. I want to run Win 8 either via Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop to be able to be able to play games (it does not need to be on the best and hottest graphic-settings). Does it make sense to buy a SSD and install Windows on that one? I will mainly use OS X for just surfing or office-tasks, so the "normal" hard-drive should be fine I guess. What do you think? Another option would be to get another 1TB.

    3. I want to buy an external drive for DVDs other than the one from apple. Is there anything I need to keep in mind?

    I'm not a native English-speaker so I hope you understood everything. If you have any additional thoughts on this one, go ahead and share them with me, I'm happy about any answers :)


  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    1. PC2-12800

    2. Anything you want. On a separate drive you don't even have to worry about using Boot Camp Assistant.

    3. No worries. A dvd drive is a dvd drive is a dvd drive.
  3. driveparty macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008
    Russia / USA
    I was using 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz kit, and now using the same series 1866MHz 16GB kit (runs at 1600MHz on my mini), both flawlessly. You may also consider Kingston Hyper X kit as well: the fewer CL (latency), the better performance.

    In general – yes, it makes MUCH sense to buy an SSD (go with the Samsung 840 PRO), but rather for OS X Fusion drive, than for Windows separate install.
    If you want your Windows installation apart from OS X, you may be pretty happy with some fast USB 3.0 flash drive. Also you should be having in mind, that the internal 1TB drive is rather slow, and once you'll add an SSD and couple both internal drives as a Fusion drive, Boot Camp won't let you install Windows onto the SSD part of the FD, but only at the end of your (slow) internal HDD, so for better performance you'd better go with either Parallels setup, or with the afore mentioned USB 3.0 flash drive, should you prefer having it separate.
    You will be also able to run your Boot Camp Windows installation from within Parallels session, so you should consider buying Parallels Desktop software (there is a discount bundle on buying new macs from MacMall and other resellers).

    Not at all: any USB 2.0 / 3.0 external box or DVD/BD drive should work just fine.
    I was particularly happy with the Pioneer DVR-S19L DVD drive (reads and writes everything), and now using Pioneer BDR-2208 BD recorder. Both used with third-party external 5,25 USB 2.0 / 3.0 enclosures with no problems.

    Attached Files:

  4. Gryhsl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2013
    Big thanks to both of you for your answers!

    For the hard-drive: I realize that I will not be able to use Fusiondrive in that scenario, but booting Windows from a flash-drive seems to call for a little trouble and my guess is that I will be using Win at least as often as OS X so it really needs to work. But that is only from what I've read in the last 10min ;) I will take a deeper look into that as well as Parallels Desktop!

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