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Best setup suggestion for would-be Mac Mini owner

 
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downtoworthing
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: Best setup suggestion for would-be Mac Mini owner Reply with quote

Hi guys, great forum going on here.

Current: Mac Book Pro 5,1 unibody late 2008.
Usage: Mainly mail, ical, aperture & videos.

Am looking to sell off the above and invest in a Mac Mini/iPad setup. But first I'd very much like to know your thoughts in what seems like a downgrade on the surface (no offence intended there) to a Mac Mini. Your advice in aid of my impending purchase is greatly appreciated!

Qs:
1. 2.26GHz or 2.53GHz?

2. Intention to get the base model and upgrade RAM & HDD meself. Will warranty be void within warranty period?

3. Could someone point me to basic info on external booting through FW connection? Heard it runs cooler and slightly faster. how does that affect my future data?

4. Possible to output from MM to a HD monitor? What monitors would one recommend?

It'll be nice for anyone to share their insight and current setups to give me a good idea or any idea for that matter on my future mini setup.

Pardon the newbie questions and thanks for taking the time to reply. My schedule has been a bitch hence I don't really have the time to search further.

regards,
downtoworthing
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there!

1) Since the CPU isn't upgradable, you'll get more mileage from the 2.66GHz model.

2) The basic info on external booting would be this:
Install OS on external FW drive.

Go to Startup Disc (or whatever it's called in 10.6) and tell the mini to start up from the external drive.

Restart.

That should do it.

3) By HD monitor, what do you mean? Do you mean a teevee display with a HDMI, DVI, or VGA connection? Or do you mean a computer display with a resolution of at least 1920 by 1080?
The computer display will be much easier, as teevee displays can be difficult to get to work right, if the mini doesn't grasp what the display is from the get go.

Let us know if you have any more questions, we're here for you!

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

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downtoworthing
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Mac Mini Reply with quote

Hey Smithcraft! Thanks for the prompt albeit informative reply!

About the external boot, what plus will I stand to gain in terms of performance?

My other question, if i were to say save a file (eg. ps or ms word), will I be saving it to the native drive or to the same FW HDD where I boot from?

If for some really strange reason, I dont have the external boot drive with me, can i just boot my MM like normal as i would a pc?

Yeah I meant HD TV but i think i'll just stick with your recommendation on the LCD monitor Wink

Pardon my silly questions heh. I've never booted from an external drive before.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problems!

I can't really say what you will gain in terms of performance(or any other factor/metric), by booting from an external.

You can save your files where ever you want. If you just default to you user's Documents folder, then it would be on the external if you booted from the external, and the internal if you booted from the internal. Or somewhere else if you have something else(like a memory stick) set up.

Your mini would boot with out the external if there is an OS still installed on the internal drive. It might take it a bit to figure out where to boot from though.

Don't worry about the questions!

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

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jb
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Mac Mini Reply with quote

downtoworthing wrote:
Hey Smithcraft! Thanks for the prompt albeit informative reply!

About the external boot, what plus will I stand to gain in terms of performance?

My other question, if i were to say save a file (eg. ps or ms word), will I be saving it to the native drive or to the same FW HDD where I boot from?

If for some really strange reason, I dont have the external boot drive with me, can i just boot my MM like normal as i would a pc?

Yeah I meant HD TV but i think i'll just stick with your recommendation on the LCD monitor Wink

Pardon my silly questions heh. I've never booted from an external drive before.

By default, everything runs from and will be saved to the drive you Boot from, be it internal or external.
These defaults can be changed, but one must be careful because you can create a lot of pain for yourself if you mess up.

If you keep the internal and your external boot drive in sync, yes you can boot without the external being there.
There are some very good utilities for doing just this thing.
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papercut
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend the 2.53 model -- twice the memory, twice the hard drive capacity for $200 (USD). 4GB of RAM should take care of most of your needs and then you don't have to crack the case open and even have questions about the warranty (though I don't think it voids the warranty anyway).

Booting from the FW external drive is simple, and has already been answered.

Monitors -- I've always heard good things about Dell and Samsung. I'm using a Dell 20" that's about six years old and it's clear as a crystal and does HD just fine. This monitor is 1680x1050 so I get black bars top and bottom with HD. Most new monitors are 1920x1080 and correctly dimensioned for HD.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: Best setup suggestion for would-be Mac Mini owner Reply with quote

downtoworthing wrote:
Hi guys, great forum going on here.

Current: Mac Book Pro 5,1 unibody late 2008.
Usage: Mainly mail, ical, aperture & videos.

Am looking to sell off the above and invest in a Mac Mini/iPad setup. But first I'd very much like to know your thoughts in what seems like a downgrade on the surface (no offence intended there) to a Mac Mini. Your advice in aid of my impending purchase is greatly appreciated!

Qs:
1. 2.26GHz or 2.53GHz?

2. Intention to get the base model and upgrade RAM & HDD meself. Will warranty be void within warranty period?

3. Could someone point me to basic info on external booting through FW connection? Heard it runs cooler and slightly faster. how does that affect my future data?

4. Possible to output from MM to a HD monitor? What monitors would one recommend?

It'll be nice for anyone to share their insight and current setups to give me a good idea or any idea for that matter on my future mini setup.

Pardon the newbie questions and thanks for taking the time to reply. My schedule has been a bitch hence I don't really have the time to search further.

regards,
downtoworthing


As a follow up to 1) 2.53ghz

2) in USA all your new parts are not under warranty and if anything broke while upgrades were done warranty is void.

3) external booting go to dock go to preference box it is the full of gears click to open look for startup drive a picture of a drive click to open pick the drive ext fw will have name and a fw picture . an external drive can be much quicker even if it is only a fw800 hookup.

4) I would hook the mini up to a 24 inch dell with a dvi connection



3a) here is a very fast external setup



http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MEPT934AL2C/ 100usd

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=HD-HD103SJ&title=Samsung-SpinPoint-F3-HD103SJ-1TB-SATA2-7200rpm-32MB-Hard-Drive


a pair is need 138usd this is 238 usd a 2.53ghz with 4gb is about 760 usd about 1000 usd total and you have an external that will hold 2tb in a

raid 0 be very fast.

a 2.66ghz mini is about 1000 usd and has only 320gb internal storage along with the same 4gb ram. I had one and down graded to 2.53ghz picked up externals instead.
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