What would be your ideal computer setup?

Sensamic

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 26, 2010
2,598
280
So I'm thinking of how my next setup should be and would like to get ideas from you guys.

If you had to start over tomorrow, how would you design your setup? I'm talking about everything computer-wise. ¿Laptop or desktop? ¿Mac or Windows? ¿Maybe both? ¿How? ¿What backup solution? ¿Which accessories?

And explain why. Also consider price. Not too high but enough for your needs.

For example, in my case I'm thinking about:

- Desktop Mac Mini or Windows tower. Core i5, 12GB RAM, 500GB SSD, USB 3.0. Probably a Windows desktop because I want a Blu-Ray drive to rip my Blu-Rays for Plex.

- A 4K monitor. I've seen some really nice ones from Samsung and others for 460€.

- USB keyboard (because I'm tired of having to buy batteries every now and then) and wireless mouse (because it's more comfortable).

- A TV turner for recording shows.

- A couple of USB 3.0 drives for backup of the main backup solution: a NAS. I could probably choose another NAS as the backup of the main NAS, but I think separate drives is a safer and cheaper solution to use as a second backup solution.

- A wireless PC gamepad for playing games.

- An old Mac Mini connected to the TV for Plex.

- Everything connected through an Ethernet network.

- A tablet or laptop to control everything wirelessly from the couch. Maybe a laptop that has the same price as an iPad.

So how would your ideal setup be? What would price be altogether?
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
You can add an external blue ray drive to a Mac Mini and use software such as MakeMKV to rip the entire disc or just the movie in MKV format (which Plex can play). The only catch is that if you use OSX, you cannot pass through HD audio just Dolby and DTS (not items like DTS-MASTER). However, you can install Windows (not virtual) and it will pass HD audio.

All things considered, the new Mac Mini remains controversial. Some think its great and others (like myself) are wanting a quad core model which better serves for heavy usage with apps that can exploit multi-core as well as for inclusion of virtual OS (Windows as example ran by VMware Fusion or Parallels as well as ripping software within Windows such as ANYDVD by Slysoft).
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,058
198
I'd just replace the setup I have now

11" Air
TV & Apple TV for entertainment
CrashPlan & Dropbox for Cloud Backups

I'd like to replace my desktop with a mac mini & nas combo, though.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Well, I've got too much gear and will be cutting back. I've got most of this list. My ideal:
  • 27" Retina iMac with a second display.
  • 13" RMBP for portability.
  • (Other family computers and iOS devices.)
  • Mac mini as a home server system with 12TB external Thunderbolt connected drive array, drive toaster for backups, and an Airport Extreme for wireless. This is my most critical component.
  • Base Mac mini connected to TV also with video capture.
  • Rokus for other entertainment servers. I don't like Apple TVs.