Decision time ... What's next

Hi gang,

One week ago my mac mini 2011, which I used daily for the past 9 years died on me. (it saddens me to say it suffered a power and HDD failure)
Of course we played the right music, and covered it reverently before sending it on its way…

The issue prompted me to look at my setup and think it through for the next 4-5 years.

  1. My mac mini worked mostly behind the scenes, doing Hazel heavy lifting, OCR’ing for DT, serving my Plex library, overall network file storage, and sooo much more.
  2. I have a 2018 iMac, Synology and 2015 Macbook Pro still functioning perfectly.
  3. My main machine is a 2018 iPad pro, that I basically use to access all functions of the previous machines.

So, you say, “you’re still going, what is the problem?”

I’m starting to rethink my entire setup, and what I would need to stay in tip-top condition for another 4-5 years. I want to downsize the number of machines to administer, but still remain flexible to add a screen to a computer if needed (if ever)

To my mind my iPad is a no-brainer; that will either be replaced by a 12.9" 2021 version, or a 2020 12,9" version, because it’s soooo much easier and more fun to work on. Besides being just a beautiful piece of machinery.

For heavy lifting in the background, and file management, I’d buy another mac Mini, 2020 version, specced out with enough dongles and SSD’s to satisfy my need for storage. All backed up to Backblaze.

I’d then get rid of my iMac, Synology and Macbook Pro and go with this.

At least, that is what I think…

Any thoughts from you out there?

Seems reasonable to me. Be sure to budget local backup drives too.

We seem to have similar needs. My main machine is an 11 in iPad Pro. When my 2011 Mac mini died I replaced it with an entry level 8gb ram, 128gb SSD mini for $700, and added 2TB of external storage. It runs Plex, manages my files, and backs everything up to Backblaze B2. And once I year I use it to do taxes.

(In a previous life, the 2011 Mac mini had been a workgroup server for a team of 6 graphic artists. It was gathering dust on a shelf when I retired and my company let me take it home.)

You don’t need horsepower to serve files so I wouldn’t buy anything for that. Let your iMac take over those duties for now.

As far as the ‘heavy lifting in the background’ I’d want to see what the new Apple ARM, pardon 'Apple Silicon", machines have to offer.

Might be cheaper to put the 2015 Macbook Pro in the role that the Mini played, rather than get a new Mini.

second that… use the iPad with remote desktop to go back to iMac/MBP if needed. Only issue might be noise (fan) and size. You can switch off MBP display in terminal and keep screen open to deal with the heat. A mini tucks away a lot easier.

second option is a second hand 2014 mac mini.