HughesNet Community

New Mac Mini M1....

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

New Mac Mini M1....

I decided that, after 26 years of Windows based computers, I would try a Mac.  The Minis are pretty inexpensive when it comes to a Mac, though still somewhat pricey overall.  Back when they came out with the iMac in the late 90s I wanted one, but it was far outside my budget.  When they changed to using Intel processors they lost their appeal, at least for me, as what set them apart was no longer there.  When Apple announced the transition to using their own CPUs, it sparked that interest again.   And I like mini PCs, so this is a perfect fit.  It's not quite as mini as my other mini PCs, but it runs circles around them.  

 

So far, it's been great.  It's quite a bit of learning, that's for sure, as some things are done very differently on a Mac, but as time goes on I'm getting a better hang of it and I'm learning to do new things more quickly.  I just got a new 2TB Western Digital Elements drive today, connected it, selected it for Time Machine, and in around six minutes it had written a nearly 12GB backup.  Six minutes.  And this is with a mechanical drive!  Just unreal.  I have it in the USB-C port with an adapter, but still.  

 

My next try is downloading Steam and trying one or two of the few games I have through them (Half-Life series, Half-Life 2 series, Portal and Portal 2).  I don't know how well they'll work with this new type of CPU, as I believe it will have to use Rosetta 2 to translate it, but we'll see.  

 

The responsiveness of this thing is amazing.  You click and whatever you're trying to open or do is practically instant.  It makes my Ryzen 5 3400G desktop seem ancient, even though I just built that early last year.  I'm so glad I got this.  I got the 16GB/1TB model.  I know they may be coming out with models that have the M2 processor later this year, and likely more RAM, but they'll be a good bit more expensive, I'm sure.  I'm happy with this.  

 

Has anyone else out there gotten one of these recently? 


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
29 REPLIES 29
MarkJFine
Professor

Plus, you've run Linux before, so using commands in the terminal window should be second nature on a Mini. Virtually anything you can run in Linux, you can rebuild under Darwin (Mac kernel).

 

You can even have a virtual Xserver running if you download XQuartz. And, if you install Homebrew, you can add all sorts of unix/Linux things that have already been rebuilt for Darwin. A good example is Pan, which has always been my newsreader under Linux, and now under Mac.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Actually, I was never very versed in the terminal.  The only command I even remember is the one to get an update.  sudo apt update or something like that.

 

I haven't used the terminal at all on this Mac yet.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I've been using this Mac Mini M1 solely for a week now.  It's taken a bit of getting used to, but I've not yet found something that I couldn't do with this and that I needed to reconnect my Windows desktop for.  I actually completely removed the desktop and put it in one end of my bedroom closet.  

 

The bad news is, no gaming.  The few games that I have through Steam cannot run in this environment, so that's a disappointment.  Granted, I hadn't played them in a while, but still.  Hopefully, as the Apple silicon based Macs come to replace the Intel based units, Steam will be working on a system that will allow their games to run on them.  It'll be quite the challenge, but I have a feeling these will start making more of a dent in the PC market.  

 

I had to go with Edge for a browser, as Safari doesn't have a warning if you're going to accidentally close a window that has a bunch of tabs open.  Edge does.  And Edge has quite a few more extensions available for it, though I only use a couple. 

 

So far, so good.  I'm glad I got this.    


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

i think with Safari you can do "reopen all windows from last session" or something like that, but a warning would be nice. I thought they used to have that, but I haven't used the Mac for a while. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@maratsade wrote:

i think with Safari you can do "reopen all windows from last session" or something like that, but a warning would be nice. I thought they used to have that, but I haven't used the Mac for a while. 


They did.  They removed it, for whatever reason.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

"They removed it, for whatever reason."

 

To show us who's boss. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

They just released the update for Big Sur to take it from 11.2.3 to 11.3.  And I thought Windows 10 version updates were big.  Sheesh!!!

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 10.26.47 PM.png

 

It installed without issue.  I'm so loving this thing.   The more I learn on the this the less need I have for my Windows based PCs.  Still, I can't print on this due to my printer being so old there's no driver for it, and I can't play any of my Steam games on the Mac, or at least not yet, so I'll still have to use my Windows desktop or laptop occasionally.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

And a Mac convert is born. 🙂

Yep, the OS updates are huge. I can never update my Mac at home because of that, which is why it's turned off and will have no updates until I go back to the office later this year. 

Good thing you don't develop. Xcode updates every time there's a macOS update, and it's now up to 12GB - and sometimes it fails the first time so it has to be re-downoaded - but that's another story.

 

So there's this machine that would need 18GB, right there, and then another 6GB for my wife's machine = 24GB in one morning, and that's not even a game.

 

I used to be able to capture the maOS updates in the system file structure (before macOS deleted it prior to install), copy it to a USB drive, then install it on my wife's computer. But Apple decided that wasn't safe and prevent you from file operations there anymore.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Good lord. 24GB would take pretty much all day. I don't think I could handle this, at least not while having to update at home. 

 


@MarkJFine wrote:

.

So there's this machine that would need 18GB, right there, and then another 6GB for my wife's machine = 24GB in one morning, and that's not even a game.

 

 

Needless to say, I get up real early and use Bonus time for all of it. Most of the time it goes pretty fast, at between 25 and 40Mbps. That said, I've been in NJ getting spoiled for the past 2 months. I think Fedora 34 comes out today...


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

I don't have much luck with the updates for the Mac. They seem very finicky and take an enormous amount of time.  The Windows updates are slow too, but they're smaller in size. 

 

Enjoy New Jersey!

 


@MarkJFine wrote:

Needless to say, I get up real early and use Bonus time for all of it. Most of the time it goes pretty fast, at between 25 and 40Mbps. That said, I've been in NJ getting spoiled for the past 2 months. I think Fedora 34 comes out today...


 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

This unit came with Big Sur 11.2, and it was about 3.5GB to update it to 11.2.3.  That it was nearly twice that to go to 11.3 was shocking.  Once it finished downloading it installed without issue, though their "about 15 minutes remaining" is a bit longer than my 15 minutes.  🤪

 

Yeah, I'm a Mac convert, though I really do wish my printer worked with it.  The Steam game issue I half expected, especially with it being a new type of system, but the thought of my printer not working with it never occurred to me. 


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

The experiment continues.  Well, it's not really an experiment anymore. 

 

I'm loving this thing.  I've not had any issues with it whatsoever, and with the exception of one time when I had both Safari and Edge open, and Edge with multiple tabs, as well as being in the midst of editing pictures and having a few of them open, I've not had any instances of the spinning wheel.  The one time was for a split second, and it was when I opened Adobe Reader.  Granted, I don't throw a lot at this machine, but what I do throw at it is no problem.  

 

Ironically, ACEPC is sending me a new mini PC to test.  It's a T6 Pro, I guess of a new design.  One of those stick PCs.  Come to think of it, maybe I can use that for printing when I need to, as it's very small and would be easy to switch over to just to print.  Better than spending $150 on a new laser printer when my old one still works perfectly and probably still has 1000 sheets worth of toner left.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

You're becoming an Apple acolyte.... 😁😁😁

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Though there are a few things I can't do with this Mac that I can with Windows, or at least I have to do some of them in a different, more difficult way, the one thing I absolutely cannot do with this Mac is use my mono laser printer.  It's at least 12 years old, with the actual model likely being older than that, and there is no driver for it for Big Sur.

 

Luckily, with having purchased a couple of ACEPC Mini PCs over the last couple of years and with being very active on their forum, including being one of two Moderators, I was invited to test a new model stick PC (T6 Pro), which I received for free.  The best thing is, it takes about 90 second to switch over to it so I can print something using Windows 10, and the stick PC is actually quite capable for being so darn small.  Two cable moves and that's practically it (monitor and keyboard/mouse).  I'll still stick with my Mac for everything else, however.  But, in the end, the printing issue is now solved!   

 

It's funny how things sometimes end up working out in ways you wouldn't expect. 

 

Over two months now.  I'm still loving this thing, though I really do wish I could play my few games on it, like the Half-Life and Portal series.  I don't know that they would play well on the stick PC, though I could always try.  Neither series is very graphics hungry, so maybe.


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Could you partition the hard drive and install a Windows virtual machine and use it to play your games?

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I'm not really sure.  The problem is that it would have to be an ARM version of Windows, and I don't know that it would support Steam, much less the games.   It also makes me a bit nervous playing with the system like that.  

 

It's just a big headache.  

 

The T6 Pro has the Celeron J4125 Processor, 6GB of DDR4 RAM and UHD 600 graphics, so it might be enough to run them.  I check the various system requirement sites, but the J4125 isn't listed on any of them.  Judging by what they do have, it may be enough.  I can always download them and try, or at least one of them.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

I think Mark runs a Windows virtual machine; maybe he'll have pointers. Or you can try your Windows machines. 🙂

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@maratsade wrote:

I think Mark runs a Windows virtual machine; maybe he'll have pointers. Or you can try your Windows machines. 🙂


Good idea.  I'd like to use the Mac, though the idea of messing with the system disk makes me very nervous.  Not so much on a Windows machine, though even with that I'd be hesitant.  Still, he may have some good ideas.  

 

I think I'm going to try a slightly different route, in that I'm going to try installing Steam and the games on my Beelink GK55.  It's got the same processor and graphics as the ACEPC T6 Pro, but more RAM and better onboard storage.  A 120GB eMMC drive vs a 256GB m.2 SATA SSD.  Plus, the Beelink stays a lot cooler.  

 

I'm updating the Beelink right now, as I haven't had it connected in a few weeks, and then I'll install Steam and download Half-Life 2.  

 

I forgot to add that, with the Beelink I can use my speakers, whereas I'd be relegated to my headset with the T6 Pro, as it has no 3.5mm audio connector.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro