What do you use your Mac Mini for?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by LERsince1991, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I've recently inherited a Mac Mini 2012, dual core 2.5ghz i5, 4gb ram with 500gb hdd.

    But I already have my macbook, what to use it for?!

    I've already set it up as a plex server for films and TV shows as well as a download manager..

    I've also set up all the family iOS devices to sync with iTunes over night to back up, and sync new music to some (my own devices use iTunes match anyway).

    I've also plugged my external HDDs into the mini instead of having to plug them into my MacBook each time I 'dock' and networked these - which work perfectly (even aperture libraries).

    I've also set one external up as a networked time machine for my MacBook instead of plugging in (using OS X sever).

    But what else? Seems a waste just for this?

    Things I'm not sure about are that I'd ideally want to allow my family to access my iTunes match but don't want them signed in to my iTunes using my credit card for their purchases!

    I also thought about syncing family photos using folder sync which I will probably go ahead with anyway.
  2. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I use my mid 2011 Mac Mini as a HTPC. I have mine connected to a 46" Samsung HDTV along with a 5.1 surround sound system in my bedroom. I'm loving it...
  3. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    What software do you use? Plex? How do you control the mini? If I did it would need to be incredibly easy use for my parents?
  4. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I don't use any special software other than VLC. I have a 2tb HD connected with all my movies, music, pictures, etc. I use my PC to rip movies and music from DVD's and CD's. I use a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse to control it.
  5. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    2012 Mac mini 2.5 i5 - Headless. Server (runs OS X Mavericks Server) and music player.
    2010 Mac mini 2.6 C2D - HTPC connected to a 1080p projector and 5.1 sound system.

    I suppose everything the 2012 does can be done on the iMac instead, but it is still very handy to have a separate machine do those tasks.
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    2012 i7 2.3 quad; Was Yosemite on an SSD and Windows 8.1 on the OEM HDD. Since moving Yosemite to a 2012 MP 3.46 hexa-core the mini just runs Windows.

    Last week I installed W8.1 on the MP so I'm not sure what I want to do with the mini. In between the mini and the MP there was a 2012 mini i7 2.6 quad which I sold.

    I might fiddle around a bit, blow Windows off the mini, reinstall Yosemite and try it as a HTPC. I've never tried that so I've got the urge to get an HDMI cable and give it a whirl. A 2014 mini would make a better HTPC but people say their 2012s do a good job.
  7. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    My 2011 Quad-Core mini Server is my primary Mac and probably my favorite Apple device. I feel most comfortable at my desktop computer in a comfortable chair. It's a great computer, and I want to finally get a SSD in it soon.

    My Early 2009 mini Core 2 Duo 2.0 is my HTPC hooked up to plasma television. It's primarily used for internet streaming services that aren't available on Apple TV, Playstation, etc. For example, certain sporting championships have their own streaming service only available at the website, so I use it for that as well as quick browsing if needing to look up a full website in that part of the home. Early 2009 mini has served this job since brand new around April 2009. It's great. It has 4GB of RAM now (came with 1GB yikes), but it still has the original stock 120GB hard drive.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    2009 Mac Mini, used mostly for surfing, and for my kids (light game playing).
  9. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Mac mini 2012: Core i5 3210m, 128 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB external USB 3.0.

    Using for:
    - DTP and drawing/illustrations
    - 2d animations (Anime Studio)
    - movie editing (nothing fancy, max. 720p with Premiere Elements)
    - watching movies
    - web browsing
    - playing some older games (mostly on bootcamp)

    I do also have a PC with a "stronger" CPU and a dedicated graphic card (Radeon 7750). But nothing fancy.
  10. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    Early 2009 BTO Mini, 2.26, 4GB, 2 x 22 inch Dells, Snow Leopard. Used as general desktop m/c, since I cannot abide glossy screens.
  11. hank moody macrumors 6502a

    hank moody

    Jan 18, 2015
    i have a Mac mini max specs to browse internet!
  12. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    My Mini (presently a 2014 3GHz i7, previously a 2011 2.5GHz i5) is a desktop Mac for my office at work. It's connected to two 24" HP iZ24 1920x1200 displays.

    I use a 3.5GHz quad core i7 iMac at home as the home iTunes server (multiple AppleTVs, MacBook Airs and other iOS devices via HomeSharing) and my home desktop. I wanted a faster machine for home since I often run movies through Handbrake and MakeMKV.
  13. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    2007 2GHz Core2Duo. iTunes server to Apple TV.
  14. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    I just use it for my theater. You know to watch netflix and all that good stuff such as photos when people come over for a party
  15. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    As a HTPC connected to my TV and my NAS with Plex. Only for that.
  16. kanewtz macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Northern Ontario
  17. nollimac macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2013
    Check this guy's videos for more idea: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD1...Az5PcpgxHV7dDA

    Good luck!

    I use mine 2012 Mac Mini with SSD as a server(Server 4.0)/HTPC, headless, connected to 1080p projector with a 100 Inches screen and 7.1 surround sound for my home theater. I also run Windows 7 via Parallels.

    There is so much one can do!
  18. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Likewise….. though I don't do games or video editing.

    My Mac Mini and a Fujifilm X10 camera are the only pieces of 21st century tech I own. I got it for work (as a teacher) initially, to create material and to keep and calculate records. That remains its primary use, though it is used more for more entertaining things throughout the day.

    Initially I was not hooked up to the internet because my apartment doesn't have a phone line. Internet over the mobile network became available here in 1977. Since then my Mini has been my main form of communication, especially so since the rise of social media with its messaging services. My $25 Nokia mobile phone gets very little use these days.

    I don't have a TV and I don't listen to local radio. I stream radio from my home country and elsewhere. I watch the odd DVD or program on U-Tube (mainly documentary, especially science). All my CDs are loaded into iTunes…… but without a credit card I cannot purchase music on-line…..

    Nor do I really want to. I am not one for internet shopping. I prefer go to a shop and handle the product. Massive corporations a fine for mass production, but when it comes to retailing and service, I prefer go local.
  19. kweevuss macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2012
    I have a 2012 server model, and I use it for OS X server for profile management, open directory master blinded to AD, VPN server. Then I run VMs on it, I have server 2012 R2 for file sharing, AD and other services. I mostly run it headless now in my current config. I just got a OWC USB 3 external two bay raid, in the future I would love to do a bigger thunderbolt array for VM data storage.
  20. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    I've got four in active use currently. The oldest is from 2005, and at the moment, it's a dedicated scanning station. It's the only machine I've got for which I can find drivers to support an old HP scanner.

    That one was replaced by a newer model in 2009. The 2009 machine is currently in my wife's exercise room. We used EyeTV to digitize all her old workout video tapes, so it's currently full of exercise videos.

    That was also a hand-me-down, replaced in 2012 by our current version, which is running our entertainment center. It's mostly used for iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and EyeTV. It also stores our master photo and home video library.

    I've also got another 2012 model that is a dedicated station for a home recording studio.
  21. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    My i7 basically is my life :eek:
  22. karatekidk macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    My late 2009 2.53ghz core 2 duo Mini has been the primary machine at home. With 8gb ram and 500gb SSD (Samsung EVO), it's still going strong!
  23. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    now i just use it for looks. I don't use it at all because of an iMac and my retina mac book.
  24. diggy33 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2011
    I just got a late 2009 Mac Mini server and set Yosemite up on it. Runs pretty good, so I gave it to my mom. I've slowly introduced her to the Apple world, first with an iPhone 5, then got her an iPad mini last year. She's familiar now with it that navigating around on the Mini was second nature - all she really does is use Mail and web browsing.
  25. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    My Mac Mini(MM) 2012 i5 500GB HD with a upgraded RAM Stick of 16 GB.

    Use it for surfing the web, Youtube and Amazon Movie watching and light home office work.

    Also, have a 2012 Dell Inspiron PC Laptop with 6GB along side my MM and both are hooked up to a Ben Q 24 inch HDMI monitor via IBIS HDMI switch which works wonders.

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