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What size Mac mini?


usblues

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Hey Bob - If you use Apple Lossless you're going to need a much larger hard drive than even the 120 GB model. If your 350 CDs can be ripped into 100 GB you won't have enough room for your operating system and general free space needed by the OS. A typical 120 GB may give you around 108GB usable space without anything on the drive.

 

I suggest getting the 80GB Mini and an external firewire hard drive. You can get a very large drive for pretty cheap.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Right,I see now that Firewire 400 and 800 are compatible using the proper cable.I have a friend who works for Seagate here in Mpls,time to give him a call[$$$].Chris,one more thing,I am hearing bad things about external HD noise.Are there models you might recommend based on your particular favorites?Does one buy according to RPM speed?Unfortunately mine would be very close to the stereo,Bob

 

usblues

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Hey Bob - It sounds like you're in Minneapolis too. Sure is cold enough today. External hard drive noise can be a problem. There are many ways to mitigate this, but they often involve some technical skills and work that many people would rather not do. I don't know of any specific large size drives that are really quiet. I have head some positives things about the quietness of the Seagate Free Agent external drives. Personally I run my external drives connected to my Apple Airport Extreme wireless router. My disks are in another room and my Mac connects via wireless to the disk. Works awesome and whisper quiet.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Yes,here we are,its a small world,but I'd hate to paint it.Well,regarding the noise,I guess I better do the same thing you are.I was trying to keep this set-up simple as I am a rookie in this digital world,but will be able to survive with people like yourself.This is turning into a real quest as opposed to putting a record on a TT like the good old bad days when men were men,women were women and children worked in factories.Nevertheless,I will continue on with my shoestring budget[2K]and will be in touch fairly soon.You may not believe this,but its so cold today here in St Paul,I saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets......

 

usblues

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Just talked to Rory at Benchmark,he says if I want I can put their USBDAC1 between my preamp and my 2005 Dell PC that has 130GB left on the HD and add another 500GB hard drive whenever and I can be in business.He directed me to a tech feature on the Windows XP and how to rip CD's and playback using Itunes.I am not wanting to deal with problems that a 600$ Mac mini will alleviate.In the interest of ease of operating which should I do?As I have the final say,your advice is, of course,not a decision,just advice.Its nice to know they have a 30 day window.....TIA,Bob

 

usblues

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Rory at Benchmark is really great. I'm glad you talked to him.

 

You can be up and running with your existing Dell and that hard drive configuration and the DAC1 USB. However, this will not be the easiest solution. Windows also does not give you bit perfect playback unless you use an application such as foobar2k / ASIO.

 

I really think the Mac is the way to go as iTunes on a Mac provides bit perfect output and the Mac has virtually no maintenance. iTunes on a PC is not bit perfect. I was a long time PC user and will never go back to a PC since I switched to a Mac. I setup many home theater PCs and music servers on PCs and to be honest it was a bitch compared to a Mac.

 

Ease of operation = Mac (no doubt about it)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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I am also a Mac man now Chris and glad to hear your thoughts.Rory knows of you and said good things.As soon as I score the hardware I will be in touch.Perhaps sooner.This site has it going on.Its a good feeling to rest easy.Going now to throw another log on the fire and read-up on harddrives,routers and cables,thanks again,Bob

 

usblues

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Hi Bob. I shared your dilemma with being a PC guy. I now have a MacBook and a Mac mini. I have to have PC's for some of the app's I run for design work, but I just regard the Macs as music servers and it is great. I also needed more drive space and Chris guided me through setting up a 1Tb Western Digital My Book configured for 500 Gb plus 500Gb RAID backup. I am ripping locally for the speed factor and then will connect to my Airport Extreme in another part of the house. The slower speed is not an issue with playback. Incidentally I talked with Gordon Rankin of Wavelength today and he told me that is the same setup he used at CES and assured me there is no degradation of sound quality by streaming the playback wifi.

 

rom

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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I'm using a La Cie Porsche-design hard disk for my music, and it is truly quiet. Not silent, but it's right there on my desk when I play music and it's not annoying. On a warm day when the fan starts I hear it, but it's not obtrusive to me and shuts off soon.

 

I also have a G-Technology 500GB drive which is quite a bit noisier. I don't like to leave it running, but it's good for backup.

 

Some folks have had trouble with La Cie, others haven't. I'm among the latter and will probably pick up another one for my back-up.

 

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The iMac is a bit more than the mini, but it is absolutely quiet and the screen is absolutely gorgeous (it is also my DVD player since I don't have a TV, the Benchmark is happy to process the output from the Apple when playing DVDs).

 

I am amazed that Apple have managed to make the iMac as silent as they have, it is very similar in noise level (almost impossible to detect whether the computer is running without touching it) to my home-built PC but that one resorts to a mega sized heatsink without a fan and hard drives suspended in elastic bands!

 

I have mine with a 500Gb internal drive which is where I have all my music (the time when I have more than 1500 CDs will be when I have replaced the computer, I have about 700 now). Having everything internal also makes the energy management simpler since you know that the iMac can control the devices well.

 

I then use an two 500Gb external drives for backup, alternating them so I will have a decent backup of music even if one backup drive fails.

 

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Regarding the queitness of the drives, I'm using two WD 750GB Caviar drives based on testing you can read about here - http://techreport.com/articles.x/12673/13 .

 

The MacBook is dang near silent unless the drive is spooled up ripping. The two 750GB drives are very quiet. Absolutely silent no. But not offensive. I've had receiver fans that were WAY louder. If I put my head against the drive housing I can hear them. If they were attached to the MAC and sitting inside any cabinet, I think you would never know they were there. Sitting out, I doubt these would be offensive. The MacBook fan can spool up once in a while if it's feeling overworked (mostly DVD compressing). I just wanted quiet drives and that was the only real test data I stumbled onto.

 

We have an iMac too and love it dearly. I'd say the choice is proably based on how you view portability and your need for a monitor. Probably not going to take an iMac if you go on vacation or even to sit on the couch to fix the periodic miss in iTunes. If it's static the iMacs are really nice. So would be the mini, but less horsepower.

 

George

 

 

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