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  1. #1

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    Default Trying out some Apple gear

    So I do a lot of Craigslisting. In fact I have a page dedicated to some exploits of my own and my friend that I taught how to flip goods on there.

    http://textsfromcraigslist.blogspot.com/

    Yes, we're trolls sometimes - but most of it is generally just how it goes.

    Anyways back to the point - Apple gear for some reason retains it's value very well, so I decided to get some gear off Craigslist and flip it. Most of it was iPhone 4s, 5, iPads, and now I graduated to the actual Mac systems.

    One of the benefits of flipping these goods is I get to play with the gear before I sell it. I've had every iPad, iPhone, Android, tablet, etc etc that exists. I must say the Mac system works amazingly well. I love how iOS integrates directly into Mac OSX. Somehow I ended up with a Mac Mini 2.3 Mid-2011,a 20" Samsung monitor, and superdrive (newest models have no optical drive). I hated the small screen so a week later I struck an amazing deal on a 27" Thunderbolt display in mint condition. Let's just say it cost less than a 32gb iPad mini new. So far I love the ease of use. Most of the frustration lies in trying to find things in what seems like the non-logical places.

    Why is that? It's because after years (two decades for me) of using Microsoft products I have learned that we are trained to use computers the Microsoft way. That's fine and I still like it, however it makes the learning curve on any other OS very steep since all other OS' are logically laid out from any point of view. You don't have to "tweak" it to make it work better/right even though that PC side of me urges me to find a way. The monitor is insanely clear. The contrast ratio after calibration is pretty damn good. Most people hate the glossy screen, but I have a light controlled office so I don't have the problem. I do understand it, and if I had fluorescent lighting in an office it would drive me nuts. Oh, and you can't really use any PC gear with the monitor either - I know ASUS has Thunderbolt ports but people are having one hell of a time getting it to work properly.

    The hardware itself is very clean. there are only three cables - the power cable to the mac, the power to the monitor, and the Thunderbolt cable connecting the two. If I can somehow score a late-model Macbook Pro I can eliminate the power cord as the Thunderbolt display has a Magsafe1/2 built into the Thunderbolt cable. I wish it was that easy for my Dell Latitude (which I love). I am left a little wanting on the power of the device. I got a great deal on the Mac Mini, but it's still only a core i5, 4gb ram (for now - we'll see), 500gb hdd and Intel 3000 graphics. The last bit is what really gets it. You can't do much graphically intense, especially with the 2560x1440 resolution of the insane monitor. I tried to play League of Legends the other night an it averaged 30fps standing still and dropped to 10fps when actually battling. It's not a graphically intense game but the high resolution destroyed any chance of playing games with that video card. It was dumb to try, but I wanted to see how it fared. I have to say though, it looked marvelous in terms of image quality. I have a dedicated gaming system as is.

    Multitasking is a breeze. I can have multiple browsers open, Photoshop, mail, iMessage all without having to minimize. And using the multitouch mouse makes swapping between them nothing more than the flick of a finger (or two). Next step: I wold really like to get a Mac Pro or MBP fully decked out with retina display. I'll have to sell a few amps/speakers to make that happen. You never know. Would I have purchased any of this at full price? Probably not. The entry fee is far too high but I do like how streamlined it is and how well put together it is. At a discount however, this stuff is amazing and downright sexy.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  2. #2

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    After owning my first Apple product (an iphone) I can certainly understand the pop culture behind them. VERY intuitive, powerful, and logical device.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  3. #3

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    Once you go Mac you will never go back! I am glad you are enjoying the Mini. It is a powerful little system for the price. I have the 24" iMac form 2009 and a 2011 13" MBP and both systems are amazing. I am getting ready to do hard drive upgrades and put in solid state drives in place of the optical drive as I never use it.

    I am always looking for a good deal on the Mac Pros but they still go for a pretty penny. I am waiting to hear if they announce that they are going to refresh them at WWDC. If thats the case you will see more of them pop up on craigslist.

  4. #4

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    Default

    I have always loved the macs. Let me know if you have a apple time capsule or apple router for sale?
    Receiver: Denon 1912
    Speakers:
    Fronts: Polk Audio Monitor 70s (x2)
    Rears: Polk Audio Monitor 50 (x2)
    Center: Polk Audio Monitor 70
    KLH Sub GFX-550

  5. #5

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    I love the Mini, but I think it is underpowered for what I want to do. I have the 27" Thunderbolt and I want it to sing. So far though for the 80% of the tasks I do it's wonderful. If I can find a MBP or MacPro I will put the Mini to HTPC usage, as it is super quiet and only uses a handful of watts. I think they said WWDC will announce the next architecture of the Core i series of processors with a much updated GPU capable of 1080p 3D. Hopefully it will flood Craigslist with more MBPs, as I will go snatch some up as long as they have Thunderbolt. I want to go all out and get two 27" displays.

    I am not replacing my PC stuff with Apple, I am just adding another setup that is purely apple. Kind of like setting up a 2-channel system in addition to home theater. I have as many computer setups (probably more) than audio. It didn't used to be the case until we moved into the new house where my office is no longer a closet barely big enough to stretch your arms in. My one complaint is the audio output of the Mac Mini - I guess you have HDMI and Thunderbolt. Anyone know if the HDMI can output audio only when using the Thunderbolt display?
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    I love the Mini, but I think it is underpowered for what I want to do. I have the 27" Thunderbolt and I want it to sing. So far though for the 80% of the tasks I do it's wonderful. If I can find a MBP or MacPro I will put the Mini to HTPC usage, as it is super quiet and only uses a handful of watts. I think they said WWDC will announce the next architecture of the Core i series of processors with a much updated GPU capable of 1080p 3D. Hopefully it will flood Craigslist with more MBPs, as I will go snatch some up as long as they have Thunderbolt. I want to go all out and get two 27" displays.

    I am not replacing my PC stuff with Apple, I am just adding another setup that is purely apple. Kind of like setting up a 2-channel system in addition to home theater. I have as many computer setups (probably more) than audio. It didn't used to be the case until we moved into the new house where my office is no longer a closet barely big enough to stretch your arms in. My one complaint is the audio output of the Mac Mini - I guess you have HDMI and Thunderbolt. Anyone know if the HDMI can output audio only when using the Thunderbolt display?
    I suggest doing the solid state upgrade to the mac mini if you can or know someone can. I had a friend do mines after I saw his and it made a huge different. My mac mini is blazing fast. Right now it is strictly acting music server in my 2 channel but I would not be afraid to run other things on it.

  7. #7
    Audiophile
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    You pay the price for ease of use, but they do make nice products. I can't stand though that Apple doesn't adopt an industry standard no matter how good (USB vs Firewire), and changes their own standard (30 pin vs lightening) which only costs the consumer more money.

  8. #8

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    I can do the SSD upgrade, but it won't speed up what I want it to do - stuff that is graphically intense. It may load faster but things pertaining to actual processing will not be any faster. I want a core i7 based unit with some sort of dedicated GPU instead of the integrated.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    I can do the SSD upgrade, but it won't speed up what I want it to do - stuff that is graphically intense. It may load faster but things pertaining to actual processing will not be any faster. I want a core i7 based unit with some sort of dedicated GPU instead of the integrated.
    You're definitely looking for a MacPro. I've used a Macbook Pro with a Thunderbolt display and still had the graphics issues that you're describing.

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