1. mrlyons841's Avatar
    I'm looking to get a PC for general use at home. Mainly surfing the web, listening to music, watching Netflix and eventually for my 6 year old to use for homework. I have a few simple questions. Please do no laugh at me I know a few things about iPhones and iPads but nothing about Macs.
    First, can I hook up an external disc drive to it for games and learning material?
    Second can I plug in a flash drive to save my pics on instead of saving it to the hard drive?
    Third, is the Mac software similar to iOS in that when a new update comes out you can upload it on older devices?
    Im pretty sure the answer is yes to these questions I just want to be certain.
    One last thing, would the base model that's $499 suffice for my basic usage? Would getting a new one be more of a benefit than an older model? For example I have an iPad 2 and still love it even though it's a much older model.

    Again any help with this or any other advice would be extremely appreciated
    10-23-2014 05:17 PM
  2. HAWK's Avatar
    I'm looking to get a PC for general use at home. Mainly surfing the web, listening to music, watching Netflix and eventually for my 6 year old to use for homework. I have a few simple questions. Please do no laugh at me I know a few things about iPhones and iPads but nothing about Macs.
    First, can I hook up an external disc drive to it for games and learning material?
    Second can I plug in a flash drive to save my pics on instead of saving it to the hard drive?
    Third, is the Mac software similar to iOS in that when a new update comes out you can upload it on older devices?
    Im pretty sure the answer is yes to these questions I just want to be certain.
    One last thing, would the base model that's $499 suffice for my basic usage? Would getting a new one be more of a benefit than an older model? For example I have an iPad 2 and still love it even though it's a much older model.

    Again any help with this or any other advice would be extremely appreciated
    Hey there are no stupid questions... And the answer is yes to all of them to be quick. The Mac does work in the sense that you can upgrade to new software on old devices. And as far as flash drives and storage concerns absolutely. If you are wanting a Mac in my opinion go new. Simple reason is it will last you a lot longer and be able to get updates a lot longer than an older one and handle them fine. If budget does not allow for it an older one will get you by until you can afford to make that step up. Coming from someone who owns a Mac I would never go back to Windows again of my life depended on it
    10-23-2014 05:31 PM
  3. Jerry_'s Avatar
    (First) yes you can connect external drives (be it by USB2/3, Firewire 400/800 or Thunderbird), depending on what connections are offered on the model you want to buy. When adding external harddrives choose the fastest possible ports, i.e. first check what port is fastest and then find a harddisk that offers the same connectivity

    (Second) yes, but as you will have a second harddrive with (first), why looking for an alternate (if you want to go simple&inexpensive)

    (Third) old is a relative term. But basically yes (f.i. i intend to install the latest OSX (Yosemite) on a 2008 model and am quite confident that this will be no issue. However, eventually to pay attention to, older models might not take as much memory as more recent models will do, if you want to upgrade.

    (Last) for the usage that you describe a base model should be ok. As for newer versus older, see the point about possible memory above, also the CPU clock speed might be slower on older models, but - again - should be mostly enough for the usage that you describe. However, if later on you will add video editing or -to a lesser extend photoediting- you might find it slow, including for the build-in graphics chip Same applies for "games", some require more ressources than others.
    10-23-2014 05:49 PM
  4. Algus's Avatar
    The new $500 Mini is a pretty good machine. You might find a cheap price on an old 2012 machine now that will be worth going for. The 2012 model has a few things going for it that the latest machines don't (ease of repair/upgrade) but nothing that is a deal breaker for your stated usage cases.

    You will want to invest in an external CD drive. I use the SuperDrive but there are cheaper external drives that are just as good and perform at the same level if you want to save some money.

    Owning a Mac is very helpful for managing your iOS devices. You can, of course, do the same thing with iTunes on Windows but the interface on OS X is very nice for managing your devices and a new feature called Handoff helps you move work between your desktop computer and your iOS devices.

    Mac Mini has a good selection of ports and access features including multiple USB, Thunderbolt, SD card, etc. so unless you have something older or somewhat unusual, you will be able to connect your peripherals including flash drives, etc. to your Mac. There are some good third party peripherals like the MiniStack Max that add additional ports, storage, drives, etc. (this is a fairly expensive example, there are also cheaper hubs and solutions to get your stuff connected)
    Speedygi likes this.
    11-11-2014 06:56 AM
  5. mrlyons841's Avatar
    Thanks everyone. This is very informative!
    11-12-2014 09:19 PM
  6. robertk328's Avatar
    Go for it! Will be buying my third Mini soon. They are great machines!
    11-13-2014 01:52 PM

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