Which Mac better fits my needs? Mini or Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MRiOS, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. MRiOS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #1
    I want to get a desktop Mac in the future, but I'm not sure which model the Mini (including server version) or the Mac Pro to get.

    Here's what I currently do, albeit slowly on my '08 MBP:

    Photoshop/Illustrator
    Mamp with multiple databases/websites
    Extensive Movie Library
    Some photo
    internet downloads
    and some gaming (mostly Blizzard/Activision)

    My '08 MBP seems to handle most of that pretty well for now, but I would very much like to get better graphics to be able to drive a TV and my LCD. (My current setup uses my MBP in clamshell mode most of the time.)
    The other stipulation is that I'm continually running out of space on my 200GB HDD which requires me to keep my entire Movie database on externals. With a Pro, I could move the drives out of the external enclosures into the main tower and not have to have too much peripherals, but I'm wondering if the Pro would simply be overkill in my situation?
    Another question I had was how would a Pro handle in a small home theatre situation? Do Pros have IR recievers for the Apple remote?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Is iMac out of question? It would be the best for you as it offers enough power and price isn't that bad
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    Have you considered a Mini with an external firewire drive? I'm using a 2008 Macbook with an external firewire drive and it's working pretty well. We also have some Mac Minis and I really like having a "computer" take up so little space.

    To me the Mac Pro looks like a throwback to the 1990s. It takes up so much space. But of course if you want expandability and the ability to move hard drives inside or upgrade your graphics card, the Mac Pro is the best choice. Just keep in mind you could buy a $999 Mac Mini server now and a new one in 2 years for less than the price of the Mac Pro if you are able to live with whatever lower end graphics are offered in the Minis.

    I upgraded one of our Minis. I had an old G4 Mini that didn't have enough RAM to run Leopard. It was under AppleCare and Apple would have upgraded the RAM for me if I was willing to pay their price. I got out my 4 putty knives and installed memory from Crucial myself. It's still running just fine down in the basement as a "spare machine" now that we all have Intel Macs.
     
  4. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    That's like saying "I want to drive in a 10 penny nail. Should I use this tack hammer or this sledge hammer?"

    But to answer your question, the mini will be sufficient for your needs.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Considering you can buy 4 minis for the cost of a Pro, yes the Pro is overkill. And it isn't really suitable as an entertainment center anyway. The mini is much better for the task -- small size, quiet, low power, IR and HDMI.

    The best bet is a mini for entertainment plus an iMac for productivity. Even if you need to add externals in the future, the size and power consumption will still be much less than a Pro. (I've got 4TB of externals hanging off of my mini server).
     
  6. BurningJah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium
    #6
    I agree!! a mac pro would be overkill! a mini would suffice! and easy to hang on your tv!
     
  7. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
  8. MRiOS thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #8
    Actually, yes, the iMac is not an option for me. I already have a 24" screen that I'm very happy with and using it as a second to the iMac isn't an option without getting a much larger workspace.
    I actually have about 3TB of externals daisy chained to my MBP via Firewire at the moment. My only problem with that is that I have to use almost the entirety of the outlets on my UPS Just for the externals, leaving no option to plug in another accessory or charger cable.
    I have thought about this and the upgradeable graphics are a tantalizing thought. The main reason I want to upgrade is because of the power situation and because my MBP keeps auto-sleeping while I do heavy graphics use because the graphics get overheated. (Don't get me wrong, this MBP is great for small photoshop concept stuff and works great on the road, but for the heavy stuff, and some of the games I play, It just won't cut it)

    Well, the Mac Pro has HDMI too (at least those with the ATI HD5770). and the noise isn't an issue since the computer would be in a different room as the TV it would be powering. the Mini would draw less power, which I would like... And you say the Mac Pro doesn't come with an IR receiver so I couldn't use my Apple remote if I wanted to? Hmmm

    I guess I do have a lot to think about, though TBH, I probably won't be buying a new Mac until next year, for budget reasons. Thanks for some info though, I'll have to give this more thought.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    Plug an outlet strip into the UPS! Although only the computer and external drives really need to be connected to the UPS. Just what needs to be kept running for an orderly shutdown.

    Budget? Even more reasons to go with the mini. :)
     
  10. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #10
    Not only does the mini suit your needs better, but for about the same price you could buy a new mini every two years for the next six years. Make that eight years if you sell the old minis. My guess is that the 2018 mini will look very good compared to a 2010 Pro.
     
  11. MRiOS thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #11
    I never said I was thinking of purchasing a 2010 Pro, I'm ok with maybe an '08 Pro and seeing if I can upgrade it every now and then. Though I am surprised at the overwhelming support of the mini...
     
  12. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Don't be. The little guys have really grown into nice machines from their humble beginnings over the years.

    I've said it before in numerous threads, I have a mini set up as an intern/assistant station in my edit suite. When I was setting it up I wanted to see what it was capable of so I edited one of my half-hour HD broadcast tv shows on it and the thing worked without a hitch (was bumped to 8GB ram though). I was really impressed with the little guy.
     

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