Upgrading my gear

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tech198, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #1
    Hi all..

    Thinking of upgrading all my Mac products... However, since 99% of the time i can just use an iOS device for all my work, and use laptop very occasionally for handbrake, VMWare fusion (hardly ever), Thunderbird news group stuff... nothing big, I'm wondering what other users in the same situation do ?

    I already have a Mac Mini, so really a Retina may not be that important.

    Thinking of going for an 12' iPad Pro and perhaps a MBA if needed for light stuff, Alternatively, I could just start using my Mac Mini more than just a Yosemite running iTunes Home sharing to server my content throughout the house., but i would still need a mac unfortunately to remote in and do everything since i don't have display hooked up.

    Any advice what i should do in this situation ?
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    One opinion among many, but I used to do the desktop plus laptop plus tablet thing, and it ended up being very, very redundant. Now I use a tablet and a laptop, and I have an external monitor/keyboard/trackpad to use as a "desktop" workstation with my laptop. I don't see the need for both a laptop and a desktop anymore.
     
  3. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    #3
    I'm also a big fan of getting a laptop and getting a bit of a desk setup (how much is depending on how often you plan to use it at the desk, but an external mouse) if you plan on using the laptop elsewhere a decent amount of time. If you aren't going to use it as a main portable, then you could probably save some money and use an actual desktop instead.

    Honestly, if you can use iOS for the majority of your work, it might be worth getting the 12" iPad Pro and using something like Chrome Remote Desktop (I don't know what the current state of VNC clients is for iOS, or something like Back To My Mac + Screen Sharing) to get a UI for your Mini when you actually need it (especially if it is just kicking off some encoding tasks in Handbrake).
     
  4. akwarner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    #4
    The eternal question. :)

    Only this week did I take a bit of stock and realize I have 7 Apple devices in use that I control per se. These are separate from the additional three that my wife controls.

    I use the following:

    Mac Mini: mostly used as a server for video serving throughout the house with Plex server
    MacBook Pro: my main machine used for several hours each day, every day
    Apple Watch: worn daily all day
    iPhone 6 Plus: used a lot each day, every day
    iPad Air 2: used a lot at work and as a comic/book reader mostly
    Apple TV 4: Plex client and viewer for several online video services

    and technically under evaluation but I recently picked up and will probably keep:

    MacBook (2015): plan for it to be a very capable but smaller / more portable OS X machine. Wondering if it might replace the iPad Air 2

    It is tough to decide sometimes as to which machine is the "right" machine for which situation.

    Not sure if that helps or not but in the end you have to decide what works for you.

    A.
     
  5. Tech198 thread starter macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #5
    Perfect....

    Think i've come up with a way.

    Use iPad Pro 12-inch
    Install VMWare Fusion, Handbrake, VLC, or anything else i would want on Mac Mini,, also install Team viewer and install the iOS version of Teamviewer as well..

    This way i would have un-attented access any where i have internet connection, and still use desktops only app if i need via remote access.. LTE would be faster from phone, but probably not a viable solution.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your post, but you cannot run VMware Fusion, Handbrake, etc on an iPad Pro. You can only run iOS apps and not OS X apps on the tablet.
     
  7. Tech198 thread starter macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #7
    Correct,,,, install VMWare Fusion , Handbrake and VLC or whatever else on Mac mini,, and remote in with Team viewer on iOS to access them

    Kind of like backwards to the normal way u'd do things.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I wouldn't want to do that for extended periods of time. The display size, scaling, performance and lack of a mouse support make remoting into a desktop computer something that I'd look to avoid.

    I've done it before, and its handy in a pinch but not something I'd recommend. I also ran into an issue remoting into my iMac and running Vmware. I don't know why, but accessing a guest OS was problematic - something about Fusion registering the mouse in the guest OS. I haven't tried it lately and I used gotomypc, so maybe teamviewer is different.

    I'm a big fan of using the right tool for the job. If you're looking to run Fusion, Handbrake etc, etc. Then the iPad is not the right tool. I'd not buy it just because its cool, and a nice tablet.
     
  9. Tech198 thread starter macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #9
    ah ok... I tested Teamviewer on iOS tonight to my MBP and i'll more testing later.. Even over LTE (a mobile connection with latancy possible) it was still smooth.. I still think the Apple pencil would be better for pointing, but i doubt the Apple pencil would even work with third party apps let alone TeamViewer.... (I was really fiddling with trying to close windows with my finger)

    I may have a better think about doing all this or perhaps just scrap the whole idea, and keep what i have.
     
  10. ignatius345 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #10
    I did the "one laptop, docked at home sometimes, with me on the road other times" thing for years, and I've come to prefer having a permanent desktop for a few reasons.

    - it's great to have a home base machine that has everything on it, with massive amounts of storage and a backup drive hooked up, plus a good mechanical keyboard, a great external mic, etc. -- all stuff it's irritating to hook up to a laptop over and over.

    - I've come to rely on streaming music and video from iTunes through my apartment via AirPlay and Apple TV. Again, big storage, an always-available machine to run it. Plus I can use my laptop for whatever else while the desktop is streaming video/audio.

    - Having a well set-up desktop (it's a 5K iMac now) lets me skimp on the specs of my laptop -- an iOS device, in your case -- since I know I have a beefier machine to go to for video editing, graphic design, dealing with the output from my DSLR.
     
  11. h9826790, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    If your current setup is good enough, then obviously no need to upgrade. However, for your usage (handbrake and VM), nothing can beat the old Mac Pro in performance to cost ratio (only consider Mac, of course).

    A $400 used Quad core Mac Pro 4,1 can do the job very well, another $150 can get you a Hex core 3.33GHz Xeon (require flash the firmware to 5,1, $0), which does very well in Handbrake. $70 can get you 4x8G ECC RAM which allow you to run few VM at the same time (normal PC RAM will cost even less).

    Anyway, it seems that you mainly use it for Handbrake (on the performance side). This beast will be much much faster than the MacBook (if you can get a cheap dual processor model, that will be even faster).

    The downside, it's huge, power hunger, non portable, no QuickSync (only applicable on some single pass encoding).

    Other advantage, the old Mac Pro is the only Mac that has real upgradability, you can install USB 3.0 PCIe card ($20), or the current top of the line GPU (TitanX) if you need it. The Mac Pro has the best cooling system as well, you can use Handbrake to stress the CPU to 100% 24/7, and the fan still stay at almost idle.

    Since you don't need a monitor, so lack of monitor obviously is not an issue to you.

    Update 1: sorry, I miss read your post. It seems you need a Mac as client to remote control the Mac mini. In this case, I actually think iPad Pro may be a good choice, you can easily use you iPad to remote control the Mac (require 3rd party software), not necessary use a Mac to remote control a Mac.
     

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