Thinking about selling my MacBook 12" and buy a Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by NICKXXXXXX, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. NICKXXXXXX, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    NICKXXXXXX macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I just kinda want yall input on this. Before I bought the macbook i wanted to buy a mac mini, but since it only supports 30hz at 4k i had to go with the macbook. However a couple of days ago i discovered this amazing software called Plex. I guess most of yall already know what it is but for yall that don't it's basically a software that lets you stream(?) your local files on the computer to the cloud so that you can access them on all your other devices with Plex.

    I had been using the VLC app to stream movies to the apple tv but idk if it's the app but it would always like stop and stuff in the middle of the movie etc. Also adding subtitles was a huge hassle. So I started air playing from computer instead but the quality was not as good. Plex however is flawless. The stream and everything is flawless. Way better quality than air play. So that had me thinking... If i use my mac mini as a server (since it will always be on) then I can just use plex on my apple tv to watch movies and that way kinda bypass the 30hz limitation right? Because all I really do on my computer is to manage music and download movies etc. I'm typing this from my computer but I wouldn't have a problem just using my phone (or perhaps if I get an iPad).

    So what do yall think? This Plex software might seriously change my life. For e.g. if i travel somewhere i can put shows etc on the plex cloud and stream them wherever in the world i am.

    Will going back to HDD be a big hassle though since I have flash storage in the macbook?
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #2
    Trying to understand why you bought a laptop in the first place, and why you now think it could be replaced with desktop? Also confused by your comments about 4k and the Apple TV, since it doesn't support 4k.

    But just to address your questions about the mini, the base 1.4ghz model has a CPU that runs at basically the same speed as the MacBook (slow, in other words ;) ) so that's pretty much a wash. I have one of these that I use as an iTunes server - it just runs iTunes 24/7 to make my large library available on my two AppleTV's and MacBook Air. Works great for that - almost any computer could do that also. But it is a very slow computer, especially in the base configuration with the 500gb hard drive. Takes forever to boot and there is a long delay between clicking on something before anything happens. You will find this very frustrating after using a computer with a fast SSD like the MacBook.

    In my application, this doesn't especially matter since it just sits in a cabinet running iTunes. I would find it unacceptable for general use though. You could buy a model that has an internal SSD as an alternative, but of course that is more expensive. You could also buy an external SSD, clone the internal drive to it, and then boot off the external. This will speed things up a lot. Again, that will cost more.

    Hope this helps yall. ;)
     
  3. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I bought a laptop because I knew I couldn't stand only having 30hz when surfing the web etc. The reason I think it can be replaced now is because I discovered PLEX. And the thing with 4k and Apple TV I meant was that if I would play a movie from the computer it would only be 30hz (laggy) but if I stream it through PLEX on Apple TV it will be 60hz. I wouldn't use the computer to browse really. I'd just use my phone or buy an iPad.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #4
    So basically, you just want a plex server? I don't use it myself, but know that it runs on different platforms such as a Linux based NAS or a cheap Windows PC. You should probably do a bit more research, my general impression is that a Mac is an expensive solution for something as simple as a dedicated plex server.

    And of course, if you don't need a laptop, you should sell it. That seems like a separate issue to me.
     
  5. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    So you are basically saying I could just get a windows computer instead? But how would itunes work on a windows computer? All id do is download stuff really. That's all I do now except when I surf. Another reason I didn't go with iPad before also because the multitasking was bad. But now you can pull up the iMessage when you are in other apps and such. Have a video box for YouTube etc
     
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #6
    Or a Linux computer. :)

    Quite well, actually. You can see the current requirements for a Windows machine by clicking on "Windows Requirements" down at the bottom of Apple's iTunes download page:

    http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

    It'd be a little harder to run iTunes on Linux, though; so if you're stuck using iTunes, Windows would be a better way to go.
     
  7. NICKXXXXXX, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I'll see what windows computers I can get. I just want it to be small like the Mac mini. Or perhaps a used Mac mini?

    Scratch that on a second thought though. Imo it's worth getting Mac mini for the Mac experience. Can't use windows. Besides selling my MacBook would cover the whole cost for a Mac mini regardless
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #8
    Hmm. I've gotta agree that Apple provides an amazing level of quality in their products and friendliness in their UI; but if you're just using it to serve media and browse the web, I don't think there's all that much difference what machine you get. :) (And really, Windows has improved greatly over the last few years...)

    But yeah, used / refurbished is probably the way to go with Minis, especially as Apple hasn't really been doing all that great a job updating them in recent years. You can often find refurbished machines on Apple's website. Other places also offer a decent selection of used Minis; one of my favorites is Other World Computing. They've got quite a few options available right now:

    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Apple-Systems/Used/Mac-mini?_ga=1.208271186.1779096136.1476684675
     
  9. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    I'd just get a new one. As I said the sale of the MacBook would cover the purchase of it anyways. And not to sound like a douche or anything but the money ain't a problem.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #10
    Sorry, I find it a little difficult to follow your thought process, but that's fine. :) You didn't post the exact specs for your MacBook, but this $900 2.6ghz/8gb/256gb ssd Mini should be comparable if not better in terms of performance.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod..._mac_mini_dual_core_i5_2_6ghz_8gb_256ssd.html

    And if "money is no object" you can go all the way up to $2000 for the 3ghz/16gb/1tb ssd model. Then just install plex and whatever else you want and you're good to go.
     
  11. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I have the base model MacBook. And just because I can buy something doesn't mean I'm gonna splurge just to splurge. The base model would be enough
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #12
    OK… the "base model" Mini is $450: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086735-REG/apple_mgem2ll_a_mac_mini_1_4_ghz.html

    Compared to your MacBook, the CPU is about the same speed. But it only has half as much RAM (4gb) and cannot be user-upgraded. It has a 500gb hard disk that is slow even by hard drive standards. The ssd in your MacBook is probably 10 times faster. I think it would be a significant step down from what you have. Only you would know whether that is acceptable.

    The $900 model in my earlier link has a CPU that's a little faster than your MacBook, the same amount of RAM and the same ssd. There would be a couple other options that fall somewhere in between these two choices.
     
  13. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Would be nice if I could try out the mini but unfortunately I can't. But the thing is that i'm literally only going to use the computer to download movies and shows when they come. And also albums that doesn't come on apple music (for e.g. free mixtapes). I don't think i'd need any more cpu power or ram for that? The most intensive task for that computer would be to run iTunes literally. I'm going to look up comparison videos on youtube to see some more real life differences.
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #14
    I imagine 4gb would be fine for that…. at least today, but future versions of MacOSX may require more resources. The 500gb hard drive is a real dog though. Like I said, mine just sits there and runs iTunes with home sharing, so it's fine. However, whenever I need to do something to manage that machine - something as simple as opening system preferences for example - I can't help but say "Man, this thing is SLOW!" :)

    Now I'm still a little confused by your mention of downloading from iTunes. If you are purchasing iTunes movies, they are copy protected and AFAIK they won't work in Plex. I think Plex will only work with your own media, such as ripping them from disks.
     
  15. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Not downloading from iTunes. But for e.g. on datpiff.com or livemixtapes.com you can download free albums. These albums i must put in iTunes and sync so that I can get them to my phone. That's mainly what i'd be doing. And then also when like for e.g. a new episode of Walking Dead comes out i'd download it and put it on plex and stream on the ATV.
     
  16. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

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    #16
    I would think it would be better go for the mid model with 8gb ram and add on the 1tb fusion for the ssd for os, the base model is slower than your mba.
     
  17. sorcery macrumors regular

    sorcery

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    #17
    You might wish to consider whether an older MM, such as the late 2012 i7, is a superior machine to the latest offerings..
     
  18. NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #18
    The price would almost end up to what i'd sell my macbook for though. 950$ and i know i'll get 1090$ for my macbook. But the thing is with the mac mini i'll have to buy a keyboard and mouse or trackpad as well. That a lone is another 240$. 190$ is i chose the magic mouse over trackpad. I know the base model will be a lot slower than i'm used to, but since I won't use it so much since I was planning on getting and iPad as well i think it will be fine. Like for e.g. i'll never play any music or anything from it. It will just be there to manage my music mainly and add content to my plex server. Thinking about it though i'm not even sure if i'll pay apple keyboard and trackpad. Might buy some cheaper all in one thing from another brand seeing as it's a kinda waste to put 200$ on something i'll rarely use (also more money for an iPad). Also a reason that I don't wanna spend too much on the computer is that you never know if they release a new one. Also if you are wondering why the prices are so high, it's because i live in Sweden. And that's with the 10% student discount as well.

    Wouldn't want to buy a second hand computer. Let a lone any electronic at all.
     
  19. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #19
    Watch ot for those cheap "all in one things". ;) I got a Kensington keyboard like that for my iTunes server, thinking I wouldn't use it much. Good thing I didn't because the trackpad was just terrible, very frustrating to use. After a little over a year, the whole thing started malfunctioning, some keys didn't work, others were sending the wrong characters (and no, it wasn't a dead battery). So I replaced it with another cheap "all in one" from Best Buy.

    The new one is beyond worthless, the trackpad is completely unusable. The Mini sees it as a "mouse", so you can't configure it with the usual trackpad options. It is all but impossible to just move the mouse across the screen without "clicking" on things, and somehow it frequently sends some kind of bogus "gesture" that deletes items from my iTunes library. I found an app that is supposed to give more control configuring keyboards/trackpads but haven't tried it yet. In the end, I will no doubt purchase a "real" keyboard and separate trackpad or mouse.

    Here in the US, the Apple wired keyboard is $50 and I think the wired mouse is $40. Personally, I prefer cheap PC three button mice and use them on my other two computers. I really like the Apple keyboard though. I realize your prices are different outside the US, but $200 sounds like way too much.
     
  20. NICKXXXXXX, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    NICKXXXXXX thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I've been looking at the Logitech K400 Plus. It has good reviews what I can see. Idk if I mentioned it before, but the computer will be hooked up to the TV, so having wires is not an option. And also now when I think about it I'd really need one of those all in one solutions since I wanna be able to relax in the couch. I know however that you can buy an adapter so that the trackpad and the keyboard from apple can be together as one. But still. The price for the keyboard and mouse/trackpad is a lil high imo. Should be included with the computer. I'm gonna put my macbook up for sale now. If it sells for what I want to i'll have 550$ for an iPad!

    Edit: i looked up the price of everything. I could get the mac mini, the logitech keyboard. iPad air 2 and smart cover for less of the price i'll get for selling my macbook. Question is if it would be stupid to get an air 2 though
     

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