Which is the better mac set-up?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeremy6044, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. jeremy6044 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2007
    (these are set-ups while at home at a desk)

    Set-up Number 1:

    macbook attached to external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and time machine external hdd. (all of these things i have except for the hdd)

    Set-up Number 2:

    instead of buying a hard drive for a backup, buy a used mac mini for the home set-up, and then just sync the two computers with .mac.

    i suppose the mac mini would be more expensive than buying a hdd, but it seems like set-up number 2 is a valid option for a backup solution. and wouldn't require plugging and unplugging all the time.

    what do you think?
  2. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    Setup 2 if you can afford it.
    Setup 1 otherwise.
  3. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    If your concern is backups, don't complicate yourself with another computer.

    If you have a reason for, or even just want, another computer, then a mini makes a nice simple "just works" system for not a lot.

    If lack of backups is keeping you up at night, I say just get the hard drive. You'll end up buying two in the future anyway; One for the MB and one for the mini. ;)
  5. jeremy6044 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2007
    what for? wouldn't one just serve as a backup for the other? anyway, the thought occurred to me because i already have the screen, keyboard and mouse...and a mini isn't that much bigger than an external drive. so in a way, one isn't more minimalist than the other.
  6. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    Well, #2 would allow you to put the mini on your TV and use it as your DVR.... I'm just sayin':D
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I think he was saying that you have to worry about keeping two computers in sync... well, that or have to worry about having the right files on each one.

    I use a macbook with an external set up just like you describe, and it works well. That said, I'd love to have a second computer instead because the macbook is constantly getting hot as heck and having the fans come on full blast when hooked up to all that. Plus you get more usb ports on a mini (and I personally am out of usb ports on my set up). And finally, like you say, the constant plugging and unplugging is annoying.

    But if money's an issue, setup #1 works just fine.
  8. Bobfl macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2007
    Buy an HDD

    I got a 320 Gb external drive for $79 hooked it up, set up time machine and forgot about it. Works great for low $$$
  9. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Good luck finding one, but there are other eHD manufacturers as well. Instead of a Mac Mini which will be next to useless in a year...


    something like this if you're THAT concerned about backing your stuff up.

    I regularly archive onto DVD important documents and such. When BR or HD-DVD is established, it'll make larger projects easier to archive.

    I don't like #2. Just MHO.

    How often do your HDs fail you and why is backup so important? Regular backups to high quality external drives has worked fine for us.
  10. ivan1234 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2007
    I'd go with #1, its signifianctly cheaper and I don't like having more than 1 computer.
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Mini won't be useless.

    It can output HD video at 1080
    It has front row, similar to Apple TV
    It has gigabit ethernet
    It has remote
    It can play console games (such as NES, N64)
    And more...

    But as a backup solution, hardrive might be better. If you want an entertainment computer anyway, get a Mini. Choices...
  12. jeremy6044 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2007
    can't decide.

    external hdd is about $120 it seems

    mini on ebay about $400

    plus, if i do option one i'm going to want to get a wireless mouse and keyboard to get rid of the cords...and anyway, i don't have that many usb ports on my macbook....so that'll take the cost up to what $250?

    btw, does anybody use an ipod for backup (in addition to music)? seems like it would be a cheap substitute to buying an external hard drive.

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