With the release of Logic Pro X, I decided it was time to upgrade my computer. I was originally running Logic Pro 9 off of a 2009 Macbook Pro, with Snow Leopard installed. It had an Intel Core 2 Duo, 500gb drive @5400rpm, and 4gb of ram. I couldn't justify investing money and upgrading to Mountain Lion and Logic Pro X on an outdated machine.
I was really only considering either an iMac or a Mac Mini, as the Macbook Pro and Mac Pro were beyond my budget. The two main reasons that I went with the Mac Mini are that it still had firewire, and you could open it up and upgrade the ram yourself.
Mac Mini specs:
2.3 Ghz Intel Quad Core i7
256 gb solid state drive
4 gb of ram
Intel 4000 graphics
Firewire, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and HDMI
This Mac mini cost me $1,200 from the Apple Store. I then bought 16 gb of ram from Crucial for $150 and installed it myself. To get 16 gb of ram from the Apple Store would have been $300. Installing the ram is very easy, and there are plenty of videos on YouTube showing you how.
For a monitor I bought an ASUS VS238H. 23" matte display, 1080p HD, 2ms response time, 50mil:1 contrast ratio. It cost me $160 and it is absolutely gorgeous.
Add this all together with a $60 keyboard, and we have an awesome audio production computer for $1,570. To get an iMac with the same specs would have cost $2,149. Of course with an iMac you'd get that gorgeous all-in-one display, a faster processor clock speed, and a dedicated graphics card, but is that worth $579? Maybe. For me it wasn't. What's also cool about the Mac Mini is that it's still completely portable. Just plug it into your friend's monitor, and you're good to go.
Anyways, this Mac Mini is hella fast! The solid state drive is amazing. I'll be keeping this drive entirely for the OS and software. I picked up two 1 tb Seagate USB 3.0 drives for $69 each. One for my sample libraries, and one for my audio data:
The Intel 4000 graphics are pretty good too. I don't play that many games, but I was rocking 60 fps on League of Legends with everything set high. Really smooth.
Can't wait to write some film cues on this thing!