Which Mac Mini is for me?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Romac, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Romac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #1
    So I've never owned any kind of Mac before, but after getting an iPhone earlier this year I quickly got hooked on Apple's polish and intuitiveness. Shortly after that I sold my laptop and my android tablet and picked up an iPad as well.

    So now I've gotten even deeper and I want a Mac. In particular, the mini based on its low entry cost, size and features. I would keep it in the living room hooked to my 50" HDTV, mainly using it as a htpc. However I did occasionally use my old pc desktops and my laptop for playing World of Warcraft. I've never had a super nice pc and I've never played the game on one, so medium settings at around 30 fps are perfectly fine to me.

    Will the base mini with a ram upgrade be able to do that? Or should I spend the extra $200 for the mini with a different video card? Truth be told I haven't played WoW in over a year, it's far from a priority for me, just something nice to have. I'm not a PC gamer by any means, and I know the mini is no gaming machine.

    So, for 95% hd movie and show watching, managing iTunes, and web browsing, is the base mini worth it as it is with another 40 bucks in RAM? Or should a random wild hair for WoW be worth an extra $200? I'm thinking it's not but others thoughts are welcome.

    Also,as a htpc, I have a HUGE library of DVDs and blurays. I know there are issues with blurays and macs for what I've read, but is it possible to rip my DVDs all to the mini or hdd and just watch them all right there? I watched a couple videos on YouTube of something called Plex and it looked pretty damn awesome as a ht tool.

    Any help appreciated it.
     
  2. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #2
    Base Mini + 8GB of RAM.

    I would have recommended an SSD, but it sounds like you need a lot of storage space.

    I also think it's not very wise replacing a laptop with an iPad, but that's just me.

    If I were you I'd get a Macbook Pro instead of a Mac Mini. Mac Minis are pretty much laptops that cannot be moved.
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    this is true but the macbook pro is twice the price the base mini is 568 at amazon and ram is 40 or 608 total. as long as he has a screen and a mouse the mini saves a lot of cash.
     
  4. SgtBullmoose macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    #4
    It is totally worth it to put the RAM in a base Mini. The difference is amazing.
     
  5. Romac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #5
    Yeah I definitely don't need a MacBook, the mini is perfect for me to use at home. I know some people think its crazy to switch from a laptop to purely an iPad but it has worked almost flawlessly for me so far. My girlfriend has a Netbook I can use in a pinch, but I've only needed it once so far to print something bc my iPad doesn't recognize my wifi printer. I never do any real heavy computing, and even if I do need to type something it's nothing to type it up and email it to myself so a real computer can finish the job. Don't get me wrong I understand the limitations, I just don't have any real need for a pc.

    I'm really excited about the mini, I think it will be awesome in my living room. And it's great to know I can get away with the much cheaper base model and just upgrade the RAM for my needs. $608 isn't a bad deal for the mini with 8 gigs of RAM imo.
     
  6. RoelJuun macrumors 6502

    RoelJuun

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #6
    I think the 12-core Mac Pro with 64 gigs of ram would suit you well.

    You need to state which programs you run, how many at the same time etc. We can't decide for you which Mac you need without this knowledge. Describe the needs.
     
  7. the read macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    #7
    Which Mac Mini is for me

    My advice is spend the little extra and get the better GPU which is indipendenet to the CPU when heavily used. I opted for the mid level mini and hooked it up as a media player of digital content. I watch everything from it. Plays back 1080p stereo3D movies with no problem. I also use the HDMI output on the mini so it supports 7 channel surround sound.

    One problem to note. Mac (lion) has a problem when hooking up a large TV. Please see the thread below. You can resolve but it depends on your TV.

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/17690986?ac_cid=142432#17690986
     
  8. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Is the 1080p playback "handled" by the GPU or the CPU primarily?

    ----------

    You're doing exactly what I want to do. I haven't played Warcraft - or any PC game, for that matter - in over a year, so I could take it or leave it. Though, Warcraft now has a free-to-play account, so it could be fun to play around with the starter zones every once and a while.

    I was eyeing up the entry level mini to connect to my 42" Samsung LED TV via HDMI. I'm still leaning towards this over the AppleTV 2 (or maybe 3 if it launches) because of the ability to use Flash-based programs like Hulu, as well as the ability to use my iPhone 4S as a trackpad/keyboard for the Mini. (Check the app store, there's a few apps out there)...

    I have a desktop upstairs that's definitely on the higher end, but I haven't really had a need for that type of power, and I disgust Windows 7. My old iBook is not really able to process any type of high-quality content from the internet, including streaming video, so I need a solution to get streaming video and my iTunes library over to my television.

    I suppose I could shift from my Desktop to my Mac Mini if I went that route, or I could stream from my desktop to AppleTV.

    Either way I'll be waiting on a hardware refresh because both of those lines are due for an overhaul. If the AppleTV has Hulu support as well as 1080p support, I may consider that and put the difference in price between the two towards an iPad 3.
     
  9. the read macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    #9
     
  10. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

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    USA
    #10
     
  11. Logic335 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    #11
     
  12. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #12
     
  13. Logic335 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 22, 2012
    #13
     
  14. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    That is an outstanding buy.
     

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