thinking about getting a 1.4GHz Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kenny1999, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. kenny1999 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #1
    hi everybody I have an iPhone and iPad, but I never have a Mac computer before, I am thinking about whether going for a laptop Mac (Macbook air) or a small nice box Mac Mini. I don't know, which one is relatively better at their prices? I don't have a fixed budget but I don't like to waste things. I don't play games at all but I will want to run the computer continuously on long term basis, probably 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Shut down is possible, but I don't make it a habit. In that case I am concerned if the heat dissipation is a problem for Macbook or Mac mini.

    a little bit more silly question I hope you don't mind - how does the user of Mac mini or macbook air normally store their files? Can I connect my generic 2.5 or 3.5 HDD (by seagate or western digital) to a Mac computer?? Does their file system or protocol work well with each other? Or does Apple sell their own portable drive??

    What else one may have missed when changing from a PC to a Mac?

    Thank you very mcuh!!
     
  2. CryptoGraphic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    #2
    You can use your HHDs but file format is important. If they are NTFS, Mac OS X can read but can not write to them. So you should format them with ExFat. ExFat is ok for windows and mac os. If you won't use them with Windows you can format them with Mac file format.

    You don't have to shut down your mac. It will sleep when you don't use it.
     
  3. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #3
    Another Option for HDD Connectivity

    Both the Macbook and mini are great at energy usage and heat issues. The modern mobile guts and extensive use of aluminum both reduce the heat production and enhance heat dissipation. Mini's are amazingly quiet.

    Another solution for the HDD connection issue is Paragon's NTFS for Mac driver system. Once I installed it, my Mac was able to read and write with NTFS just like native Mac disks. The Paragon stuff is inexpensive, simple to install, and totally transparent in operation. The authors perform updates promptly when needed and they don't bother me otherwise.
     
  4. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502

    itsOver9000

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    #4
    No problems with my Mini. It's been on 24/7 pretty much for an entire year. I usually restart it once a month, or when an update requires a restart. Current uptime is 82 days. I powered it off twice in the last year, once to move it to a different location, once because of a really long power outage. Make sure you get a decent battery backup. Only time my Mini gets a little warm is when I need to run Handbrake.

    A MacBook should be fine left on 24/7 as well.
     
  5. Command macrumors regular

    Command

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    #5
    It's easier than you think. Programs are the only big difference and I really have to say - without a specific Windows need (work, etc.), you can do anything you need with a Mac. Including even running Windows, if it came to that. The Mini and MacbookAir are most easily viewed as 'the same thing'. I quote that because there could be a slight specification variance but basic difference is the portability of the Air. It's hard to decide what you need but a Mini is a great start. Just don't be surprised if it leads to the Air anyway. lol.
    Once you complete the ecosystem, I'd be willing to bet you'll be glad you did.
     
  6. GBNova macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #6
    Do you need portability? Do you already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse? If no, yes, yes, and yes, why pay more for the same specs?
     
  7. Command macrumors regular

    Command

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    #7
    That's pretty much the jist of it.
     
  8. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #8
    Nice summary…. to which I would add;

    To me, my Mini is easily occasionally transportable (which I do want), rather than portable (which I don't want). I occasionally take it to work to hook up to a LCD projector, but I don't want some dainty little thing to tote on a daily basis. Unplugging and setting up only takes a minute or two…… about as long as it takes to set up a portable to use an external monitor.

    Unless I need to use it away from home, or am going to be away for more than a few days, my nearly 6 year-old Mini is on 24/7, and it still has the original HDD. I set it (in preferences) to go into sleep mode after 20 minutes without use.

    If you want your choice of monitor, the Mini is the way to go. I prefer a decent sized matt screen. Playing around with Airs in a shop, I found the 11 inch screen too small for my less than perfect vision, and the 13 inch marginal. Late last year I replaced the monitor I got with my first Mini, back in 2005.

    Likewise for keyboard, mouse and speakers…. Use what you have, or choose what you prefer with a Mini.

    If you do use an iPhone and a iPad, having a Mac of some description does indeed complete the system. I know people who had one, or both, then got a Mac because they do work well together…..

    Though not me! The only 21st century tech I have is a Mac Mini. I seldom carry a phone; if I do it is a $25 basic Nokia. I get around on a bicycle or a 1997 vintage motorcycle, which my students kindly call a "classic".

    The Mini suits my present lifestyle. If it was more itinerant (as it has been in the past, and could well be again for a phase in future) the 13" Air would be the way.
     
  9. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

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    #9
    The new one is SO quiet i leave it on 24/7

    After a few weeks it's still stone cold to the touch !

    Amazing
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP:

    If you're thinking about a Mini, I would strongly advise AGAINST buying "the entry level" model.

    Spend $200 more and the "midrange" Mini.
    You'll get a significantly faster CPU, 8gb of RAM, and better graphics.

    You won't regret doing this.
     
  11. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

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    #11
    He's quite right , the 1.4 is seriously underpowered, the reviews on the net and YT confirm it.
     
  12. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    United States
    #12
    I think the MBA is a better value than the Mini (i.e. the money you pay for what you get), but the OP is so vague about what they're using it for and whether portability, screen size, etc. matters (do they already have an external display?), that it just turns into a bunch of random opinions.

    1.4GHz is too slow! 1.4GHz is fine!
    4GB is too little! 4GB is plenty!

    All that I can say no matter what the situation* is that you shouldn't buy a computer without an SSD or Fusion drive at the very least.

    * Exceptions would be very infrequent/light usage and/or literally cannot afford to spend more than ~$500.
     
  13. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Arizona
    #13
    Totally correct. I just posted "I am still of the belief that buying a 2014 mini with any less than the mid i5 and 8GB RAM is going to result in a mini that is harder to sell in the future. While I am an i7 fan the mini I would want to put on the market in 2019 would at least be a 2.8GHz i5 with 16GB RAM. Think about it. Right now who wants to buy a 2009 mini with 2.0 C2D and 2GB RAM?" on http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=20632824#post20632824 .

    The 2.8GHz i5 is the sweet spot in that you get a reasonable CPU, a relatively fast Fusion Drive and all of the OEM connectivity needed to upgrade either the SSD or the HDD later with a minimum of fuss. I still stand by 16GB RAM as a necessary evil.
     
  14. kenny1999, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

    kenny1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #14
    hi guys
    I am the thread starter, thank you every one for your advice and comments.

    I still haven't decided what to buy yet, but, can I conclude that, whether buying a mac mini or a macbook, running 7/24 should not be an issue with heat? do I need to use those all something like cooling pad or cooling things with my mac mini or macbook (especially macbook) ?? Or simply put it on a plain table and use it with common sense and that's good??

    Thanks, if I go for mac mini I will look for the mid range one, but I don't play ANY games (I dont play games at all) or do any graphic work , is the mid range really necessary?

    how about if I am looking for a macbook, can anyone recommend a model for me?


    edited: sorry one more question: can I use a mac min /book as a PC or can I install windows 7 /8 onto it?? Is it a kind of JB thing in iPhone or illegal?? I am working in a government-related sector where no suck tricks or anything theoretically illegal is allowed. (Since I will want to use some programs only for PC , it's an important consideration for me to buy a macbook or PC laptop)

    Thank you.
     
  15. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

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    #15
    the 1.4ghz is very slow with the standard drive. i wouldn't get the 1.4 unless i also got an SSD, the 5400rpm hard drive that comes standard is so slow.
    also 4gb of ram is fine for web browsing and listening to music, but you should opt for 8gb, which by that point addenda 8gb of ram and an SSD you might as well buy the mid range model.

    You can install windows 8/8.1 fine, and it runs pretty well.
    its an official install method, not like a jailbreak or illegal. apple even provides the tool called "boot camp assistant" on the install drive.
     
  16. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #16
    If your priority is running 24/7 then go for the Mini. That's what it's designed to do.
    You can also run the MacBook 24/7 but that is NOT what it's designed to do and IF you have any problems down the line, the repairs to the Mini will be much easier and cheaper than the repairs to the MacBook.
    Especially if you're going to be running Windows.
    Many of the power saving features of OS X are unavailable when running Windows and the Mini will take the stress infinitely better than the MacBook.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    OP wrote above:
    [[ Thanks, if I go for mac mini I will look for the mid range one, but I don't play ANY games (I dont play games at all) or do any graphic work , is the mid range really necessary? ]]

    Again, I will advise you as I did above:

    Do not, repeat, DO NOT buy the "entry-level" Mini. If you do, it's guaranteed you'll be back here asking, "how do I speed this up?"

    Spend $200 more for the midrange model. It will be the wisest $200 you will ever spend, "computer-wise".

    And if there is any way possible, consider paying about $200 more on top of that for the fusion drive option.

    Again, you will not regret having done this.
    You WILL regret it if you don't.
    Consider yourself as having been duly warned... ;)
     
  18. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #18
    Considering the mini is a Macbook without a screen and keyboard, I fail to see your point. Watching a movie my CPU temps get pretty high, the mini is certainly a headless notebook not a small desktop.

    I'll agree that there is less in there, and certainly more aluminium around it to help with heat dissipation, but the mini really is a notebook in disguise.
     
  19. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #19
    Yup

    And the iMac is a laptop with a much bigger screen and a better graphics card.

    The difference between the mid-range Mini and any new Apple laptop is portability and maybe an SSD, for most people.
     
  20. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    May 1, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #20
    Different fan, different airflow, different internals layout, different charging system (or lack thereof).
    The Mini is a notebook in specs but not in design.
     
  21. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #21
    True!

    Although the mini has notebook guts, it has certain desktop traits. Superior servicability and cooling advantages are linked to fact that the Mac mini is not saddled with the constraints posed by portable operation. When you consider the integrated keyboard, display, and pointing device coupled with those thin flat housings it is not surprising that the mini falls somewhere between the notebook and desktop performance-wise.

    I agree with both of Gjwilly's posts. My mini is on 24/7 with worries or problems. If I needed a mobile solution, I would choose a Macbook without hesitation. I do prefer the mini for 24/7 mostly stationary use. The thing can and will fit into my backpack.
     
  22. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2014
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    The Netherlands
    #22
    Apart from possibly the screen, I can see no reason why a Macbook Air couldn't also stay on 24/7 and provide the same reliability as a Mac mini. Apple packaging and marketing could try to sway you to believe otherwise, but they are almost identical machines.
     
  23. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #23
    Well yes, they share more similarities than differences.
     
  24. Stocks macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2015
    #24
    I would get the mid level Mac Mini with the 256GB SSD. $899 on Apple's website, less elsewhere.

    The SSD makes a big difference in my experience. If you need more space, USB 3.0 1TB external drives are around $50.
     
  25. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

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