Two questions from a mac mini rookie, please kindly help!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Shawnyucpa, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Shawnyucpa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #1
    Hi everyone, I am a 30 y.o. accountant from Hong Kong and now want to buy the first Mac in my life, i.e. 2012 Mac Mini. Although my budget is not tight, I want to save money to purchase thunderbolt HD (which will cost me a few hundred USD). I found many useful posts here and hope experts here could kindly answer a few questions, thanks a lot!

    1) I have read the Geekbench results (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/24/early-impressions-and-benchmarks-on-apples-2012-mac-mini/) and understand that 2.3GHz i7's performance is well above 2.5GHz i5. But does that mean much to me as a user who:

    a) download HD movies from web, watch and copy to external hard-drives as backup frequently;
    b) check mails, browsing the internet, low level excel work
    c) does not play pc games often (i play xbox)

    2) I decided to try 4GB ram first and see if upgrade to 16GB is needed. I saw many people here mentioned about OWC, and then Crucial. I need the most reliable brand because I don't want to ship back malfunctioned RAM, not even one time. Which brand should I choose?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #2


    crucial should work.


    when you download the hd movie do you encode it with a program like handbrake?


    if you encode the movies you want the quad core. if you don't encode them the base model will work for you.


    encoding a 2 hour movie on the base model would be 110 to 130 minutes. on the quad core mid model 50 to 65 minutes. so if you run handbrake 20 hours a week and some of us do then the quad is what you need.
     
  3. Shawnyucpa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    Thanks for your reply! I have googled "Handbrake" and knew that "It converts video from nearly any format to a handful of modern ones".

    Recently I downloaded several .wmv movies from the web and can't play in Windows Media Player (WMP). It took me some time to figure out that those movies can only play with WMP 11 and eventually I downloaded WMP 11 to solve the problem. If I have the "Handbrake" do I have a better alternative to solve this problem?
     
  4. kdoug macrumors 6502a

    kdoug

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA USA
    #4
    In over 20 years of buying RAM, I've only encountered one bad stick and it was from Crucial. I've owned Crucial, Kingston, PNY, G.Skill, Geil, mushkin and Corsair. He'll, I've even owned some that was so generic there were no stickers on it and it worked great. OWC tries to make people think they have the best because they charge $120 for it. I say BS. Go to NewEgg and buy based on the reviews, $80 should suffice.
     
  5. Shawnyucpa, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    Shawnyucpa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    Thanks for your reply! I have one additional question about "1TB Harddrive vs. 1TB Fusion drive". Mr. kdoug and Mr. PhilipMa1957, which one will you recommend in my case? I just don't want to regret after buying the lower spec... (I had such experience before, bought wifi-only ipad and found it inconvenient, bought another wifi+3G ipad afterwards and sold the old one to my brother-in-law)

    By the way, why the Apple Store is under update now?
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    If Fusion works like the windows setup that I have on one diy pc I built it would be nice. It is new tech and may have a bug or two . I purchased my mini today with just the stock 1tb hdd.

    I will use a lacie little big disk to boot with and the 1tb inside will be my backup drive.


    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118


    this setup is fast and I have used it non stop since feb 2012 with my 2011 mini.
     
  7. kdoug macrumors 6502a

    kdoug

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA USA
    #7
    I to purchased the 2.6 quad i7 with the stock 1tb drive. With SSD prices falling and the ease of upgrading the internal drive, I'll eventually replace it with an SSD and use the 1tb foe external storage.

    ----------

    By the way, why the Apple Store is under update now?[/QUOTE]

    Preorders for the new iPad mini and iPad would be my guess.
     
  8. Shawnyucpa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    That means I could buy an external SSD as the boot drive. However I afraid I don't have the skillset/knowledge to move the OS from the factory HD to external SSD (any guide for dummies like me?). By the way, is thunderbolt always the best option to connect between HD/HD and HD/SSD?
     
  9. Bhunt, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  10. kdoug macrumors 6502a

    kdoug

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA USA
    #10
    No. Thunderbolt is NOT that much faster than USB 3.0. It's just not worth the expense especially if you're using a SSD in an external enclosure. There are a few SATA III USB enclosures that are really fast. OWC makes one of the better ones.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEPMU3ESK/

    Here's a link of a discussion we had earlier this year regarding this subject.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1399775&page=2

    ----------

    That's a no-no on this forum.
     
  11. Shawnyucpa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    Thz, the elite pro mini looks great, but why is it "0GB"? It's just a case? I m confused...
     
  12. kdoug macrumors 6502a

    kdoug

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA USA
    #12
    Correct it's just a case, you add your own drive.
     

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