Mac mini dilemma

Thread: Mac mini dilemma

  1. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Mac mini dilemma

    I need some advice, impartial or otherwise.

    I have been offered a mac mini, with trackpad and keyboard for 400. Its the 2gb i5 2011 model.

    Now my current setup is iPhone 4s, iPad2 32gb and Acer Revo. I only use the Acer for surfing the net a little, downloading and watching movies/shows...which are stored on twin 2tb external hard drives.

    I`ve always wanted a Mac mini, mainly because itunes is shite on a pc, or my pc, and I just prefer the Mac system.

    I`m trying to justify if this would be a decent upgrade.

    It`ll be plugged into a 32" HD TV so thats all good.

    Trouble is, the Revo is the r3610 4gb Ram, 500GB HDD model and I just cant work out if its worth swapping out! I also have the Windows 8 license code and download ready to go, but currently its running win7 64bit home premium.

    Obviously I can recoup some of the dollar by shifting the Revo and my current Apple wireless keyboard, but the money thing really isnt the issue. (by the way, this isnt a cheap-ass attempt to punt my wares...if it comes to it, they`ll be going in the BST).

    Being clueless, anyone know what the Revo is worth?


    Anyway, help...help me decide because I cant...is the Mac Mini 2011 2gb model better than said Revo?? Will I be able to use the Mac for everything the PC does? Will the phone/ipad sync to the mac better than the revo...help?!???!?!?!?
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  2. liveseytowers's Avatar

    liveseytowers said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    I love my Revo and wouldn't change it however I don't have an iPhone or iPad. I say get the Mac mini if you already like the mac eco system. It'll look nice next to your telly and you can still install xbmc on it. And Revos with the nvidia chipset are doing well 2nd hand due to people not liking the newer ati ones. Keep the windows 8 serial etc for another day

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  3. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Well, I like the look of Mac OS, but Ive never used it...is it a big learning curve? I think I need a Mac user to advise on this...

    My two main queries are: Is the Mac a wrothwhile upgrade over the Revo...and is the price good. for the Mac?
    Recent Mac convert...
     
  4. blaggard's Avatar

    blaggard said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Mac OS is a doddle, the Revo (I have a 3700) is great as a media computer but that's about it, the Mac Mini will piss all over it in every other respect.
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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  5. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    So will the Mac but ok to play media? I mean all I do is select the show/film...double click it and watch...nothing fancy like streaming...
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  6. blaggard's Avatar

    blaggard said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Welsh Pete View Post
    So will the Mac but ok to play media? I mean all I do is select the show/film...double click it and watch...nothing fancy like streaming...
    You'll have to find your way around the best software to use for your kind of media but OS X comes with much more native software than Windows. You will want to upgrade the Ram though, Crucial will sort that nice and cheaply. .
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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  7. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    I really dont want to go buying more stuff to be honest, will the 2gb not be enough? Is 400 a good price for the mac, trackpad and KB?
    Recent Mac convert...
     
  8. blaggard's Avatar

    blaggard said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    A RAM upgrade is dirt cheap, no idea about the price but Apple kit holds its value, see what they are fetching on the Bay. . .
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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  9. tagy's Avatar

    tagy said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    You could use it with 2GB of ram, but I would recommend at least 4GB, doesn't cost much. Would need to check on eBay to see how much they go for to see if it is a good price.

    Bit hard to say if it is worth swapping over the revo for you, but I would prefer it.
     
  10. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Ok, so Ive got the thing for a day to trial it. So far so good, but is there a way to override the default HDMI sound output, to use the 3.5mm jack through my hifi?
    Recent Mac convert...
     
  11. drdude's Avatar

    drdude said:

    Default Mac mini dilemma

    Per other comments the Mac Mini will piss all over an atom-based computer for pretty much everything you do.

    I sold my 2009 Core 2 Duo model (2.26GHz/2GB) in 2011 to get funds for a holiday to the US - it went for the same price that I bought it so they keep their value very well (admittedly I bought through the Apple Education Store).

    The 2009 model played 720p/1080p content fine with Plex (forked from XBMC), though it did have an NVIDIA GPU.

    Although I graduated a year and a half ago, the link to the Apple Education Store for my University still works... If a brand new model for 448.80 takes your fancy then send me a PM. My friend bought a MacBook using the link with his Hotmail address and had no issue. AppleCare uplift to 3 years coverage is only 36 extra, too.
     
  12. tagy's Avatar

    tagy said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Welsh Pete View Post
    Ok, so Ive got the thing for a day to trial it. So far so good, but is there a way to override the default HDMI sound output, to use the 3.5mm jack through my hifi?
    Have you looked in system preferences > sound > output, should be in there I think. Also FYI the 3.5mm jack also has digital optical output using an adaptor.
     
  13. spraky's Avatar

    spraky said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Agreeing with most of the above.
    I would get 8gb ram from Crucial,install the brilliant "Plex" on your mac mini, iPad and iPhone.
    Assuming your "hifi" has an optical input, get a 3.5mm to toslink convertor like so:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    You will have a fab system for years.
     
  14. Conkers's Avatar

    Conkers said:

    Default Mac mini dilemma

    Its a bloody expensive media client!

    I use a raspberry pi, 30 & does the same job.
     
  15. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Well I've had it for 18 hour now.

    Its ok...I'm liking the way the thing syncs from the cloud...pretty nifty. Funny thing is though, even though I have a Mac Mini sitting here, I'm still using my Revo to type this. I'm hoping its familiarity...

    Really am in two minds ATM though...
    Recent Mac convert...
     
  16. blaggard's Avatar

    blaggard said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Stating the obvious but unless you ACTUALLY USE IT you just won't get used to it and might as well give it back.
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  17. maltloaf's Avatar

    maltloaf said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    I recently replaced my revo with a "proper" PC just because it can do more and be more useful. I would have loved to go the Mac mini route, only money stopped me.
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  18. blaggard's Avatar

    blaggard said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by maltloaf View Post
    I recently replaced my revo with a "proper" PC just because it can do more and be more useful. I would have loved to go the Mac mini route, only money stopped me.
    +1, still have my Revo but while its a great media server it's way too slow for anything else. . .
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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  19. tombott's Avatar

    tombott said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    I'd stick with the Revo myself.
    I've got a few of them now (thanks Malty!)
    i've never used a Revo with Windows, have always had Ubuntu installed and have never really had any speed issues with what I use it for:


    • Web Browsing
    • XBMC
    • MythTV
    • Sabnzbd
    • Boxee (no longer used as Boxee removed support)
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  20. Welsh Pete's Avatar

    Welsh Pete said:

    Default Re: Mac mini dilemma

    Alright, well this is how I`ve gotten on.

    I had an i3 (or i5, no quite sure) mini mac circa mid 2011, running stock with a netgear wifi router. It wasnt the best...pretty dire especially with the wifi! With this, I decided to spunk 30 on an 8gb ram stick, so that quadrupled the default ram...a vast performance boost already...still shitty wifi though! So I now decided to rock on down to PCWorld and buy an airport extreme to handle the mac, a revo, 3 ipads and 2 iphones...awesome bit of kit...installed in 5 mins and wifi is running at full speed...great

    So, the mac is now running well, time for the media stuff. Wasnt keen on quicktime so I decided to install VLC...far better but still itching for a proper media centre...enter XBMC...OMG, this is awesome. Installed easily, configured fine and media library imported...so now I had to buy me an apple remote...cool!

    Now I was happy with the media side of things, time to get shot of openoffice. Beerman had a copy of Office for me, but for some reason I struggled to get the full file, but in the meantime I was downloading a hopeful backup in the guise of Office 2011 Home and Business...awesome...worked and installed fine...

    Ok, now time to sort out my media folders on my 2x2tb external HDDs. Damnation...NTFS...so faced with the possibility of reformatting both drives (fuck that), I found Paragon NTFS (?!?)...excellent...worked a treat and now looking to buy it...it is only $20 so not bad I guess.

    The next step now is to find a good backup program that will basically ensure for me that the contents of 2tb HDD #1 match 2tb HDD #2. Does anyone know of software that will do this...I really wanna try before I buy (or not buy) so answers on a SAE please


    Edit: retired my Revo last week too...full Mac now, and liking it so far.
    Last edited by Welsh Pete; 12th November 2012 at 05:42 PM.
    Recent Mac convert...