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Old member, considering another Mac Mini!

 
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imola.zhp
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Joined: 29 Feb 2008
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Location: Mud Island, TN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject: Old member, considering another Mac Mini! Reply with quote

Hello!

My first Mac was a mac mini, quite a few years ago, I haven't been back on these forums very much (if at all) since buying my MBP and selling the mini off to my (now) ex...

As I am nearing the end of my MBP's applecare warranty period, I am considering purchasing a new Retina 13" MBP, however, it looks like it only comes with flash storage, and not too much at that, it gets pricy as you add additional storage...

Currently I have just a 250gb HD on my MBP with nearly 72gb free memory and nearly 100gb in movies and TV shows. I have two Apple TV's in the house, but I am close to needing a 3rd. An additional problem is that if I have my laptop with me at school or at work, no one at home can watch any of the previously mentioned content...

With all of this in mind, I recalled this sub forum on HTPC mac mini's. I am thinking about purchasing one instead of a 3rd ATV so that I can move all of this content to it and allow anyone at home access to said content. This would also allow me to buy the smaller flash-drive Retina MBP.

What would you guys suggest as far as which model(s) of mac mini would work the best and what software program(s) would be the best? Of the two mac's I've owned, they have both crashed their motherboards about 3 months out of their standard warranty period. Thankfully they both were under Applecare, but needless to say I am slightly anxious about used mac's, but hoping I can pick up a good used one for a good price.

I've looked at a few threads already, but sure wish there was a "getting started" sticky about this topic. Or two, one for "general info" and another for "software programs."

Thanks for any and all information and contributions in advance!
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--Marcus

Current
32g iPhone4; 13" MBP 2.4/4g Ram/250g hd; 1TB TC; 2 ATV2's; Airport Express

Previous
8g iPhone Edge; 32g iPhone 3gS
8g iPod Nano (2nd); 16g iPod Nano (6th)
Mini 2.0/4g Ram/120g hd
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mdgm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't go any older than 2009 (oldest Macs that will run Mountain Lion provided a sufficient amount of RAM is installed).

2011 or newer would best as you get Thunderbolt and the jump from Core 2 Duo CPUs in older Minis is a big one.

Though if you want an internal optical drive you'd need a 2009/2010 Mini. It is easy enough though to connect an external DVD drive or even a Blu-Ray one (would need to use 3rd party software with Blu-Ray if you get that).

You may wish to consider software such as Plex or XBMC
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HTPC - 2.0Ghz Mac Mini (Early 09), 120GB 5400 RPM HDD and 4GB RAM
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are looking at a new Mac mini (which I would).

The entry level model $599 with no upgrades would be a great choice for your very basic needs.

Apple remote $19.

Plex for software.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What they said!

But I would go to eBay the remote.

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

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Make sure it has pins!
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imola.zhp
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Location: Mud Island, TN

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys!

My first mini and my first nano were both refurbs and looked brand new when they arrived. I may keep checking the online apple store for a nice refurb...

I'm kind of torn on the optical drive, I like the ability of transferring my DVD's into iTunes and if I get a Retina MBP, it won't have an optical drive. So instead of buying an external, it would be great to have it in the mini, but then again, how much longer is DVD format going to be around? In all of this research I've found a nice external BluRay reader on Amazon for less than $100...

Does someone make a BluRay optical replacement for the mini?

*goes off to goole Plex software*
_________________
--Marcus

Current
32g iPhone4; 13" MBP 2.4/4g Ram/250g hd; 1TB TC; 2 ATV2's; Airport Express

Previous
8g iPhone Edge; 32g iPhone 3gS
8g iPod Nano (2nd); 16g iPod Nano (6th)
Mini 2.0/4g Ram/120g hd
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b0bb
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Joined: 04 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imola.zhp wrote:

Does someone make a BluRay optical replacement for the mini?


The last Mini that had optical drive slots is the 2010, you can add a SATA slot load bluray drive. You can see the optical drive towards then end of the video.
http://youtu.be/kxPElM5pDgs

Newertech makes a dock that looks like a pedestal for the Mini. BD-ROM is a build to order option. It is an external unit

http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/14/2703886/newer-technology-owc-ministack-max-hub-optical-drive-mac-mini
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blazer
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
What they said!

But I would go to eBay the remote.

SC

He could also skip on the remote and use something like Rowmote on his iPhone 4. If not, he could always use one the remotes that came with his Apple TVs.

b0bb wrote:
Newertech makes a dock that looks like a pedestal for the Mini. BD-ROM is a build to order option. It is an external unit

Yeah, that looks cool. I hope they come out soon though. They've been showing as "coming soon" for a long time.

You know, I would probably just go with one of the latest Mac minis. I think USB 3.0 is really ideal for storing movies and media. Which we all know takes up a ton of space. It's also fast and readily available. I think Thunderbolt is dead in the water at this point for external storage. The products released to date are just too expensive. Plus, the 2011 Mac minis don't offer anything else over the current models. Other than possibly being able to pick one up on the cheap. The 2010 Macs minis are also sort of toast now. All they really offer is the optical. The performance they offer doesn't even compare. I just think that I would rather spend my money on one of the new Mac minis at this point.
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