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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:07 PM   #1
53x12
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Any reason not to upgrade from '09 iMac to '11/'12 Mac mini?

I have a serious buyer interested in my late '09 27" iMac i7. Great computer and does everything that I need. But I have the upgrade bug and would like to sell it and get a either a '11 mini or '12 mini + ATD with the eventual goal of using that to hold me over until the Haswell mac mini is released. Based on what I am going to get for it, I will only have to pay ~$200 out of pocket to get the Mac mini + ATD. With ~3 years of use on the computer, that seems like a fairly decent deal for me.

The only reason I can think of not upgrading would be due to losing the discrete GPU (Radeon HD 4850). I play occasional games as well as do photo and video editing. But from several posts on here, it seems many have no issue with the Intel HD 4000. So I should be fine with that.

The other issue is the ATD which is due for an update fairly soon based on what many are expecting. I want an Apple display because of the integrated webcam/speakers/thunderbolt/USB. But not sure I want to buy the current ATD based on the upgrade cycle and missing out on the new design by a few months. So I guess I could get the Mac mini, find a cheap monitor on Craigslist to hold me over until the new ATD is released.

Eventually I would be doing the SSD + 16GB RAM upgrades. So really, is there any reason not for me to sell my iMac and get a mini? Well except for Haswell coming out next year, but that is a completely different story.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
I have a serious buyer interested in my late '09 27" iMac i7. Great computer and does everything that I need. But I have the upgrade bug and would like to sell it and get a either a '11 mini or '12 mini + ATD with the eventual goal of using that to hold me over until the Haswell mac mini is released. Based on what I am going to get for it, I will only have to pay ~$200 out of pocket to get the Mac mini + ATD. With ~3 years of use on the computer, that seems like a fairly decent deal for me.

The only reason I can think of not upgrading would be due to losing the discrete GPU (Radeon HD 4850). I play occasional games as well as do photo and video editing. But from several posts on here, it seems many have no issue with the Intel HD 4000. So I should be fine with that.

The other issue is the ATD which is due for an update fairly soon based on what many are expecting. I want an Apple display because of the integrated webcam/speakers/thunderbolt/USB. But not sure I want to buy the current ATD based on the upgrade cycle and missing out on the new design by a few months. So I guess I could get the Mac mini, find a cheap monitor on Craigslist to hold me over until the new ATD is released.

Eventually I would be doing the SSD + 16GB RAM upgrades. So really, is there any reason not for me to sell my iMac and get a mini? Well except for Haswell coming out next year, but that is a completely different story.
Only one - GPU - that wont be solved even with haswell, so, you have to decide if you can live without powerful gpu (what games do you play, newest AAA games or some older eg source based...). Otherwise, new mini is a beast and you can upgrade SSD and ram from 3rd party - save a lot of bucks not paying apples bloody premium prices for upgrades.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:26 AM   #3
andyroberts
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hi ive just done the exact same upgrade as you're planning, i upgraded my 2009 27"imac which i love to a new mac mini, i'll tell you now its faster and snappier, i mainly use PS6, LR3 and it flies, also i feel happier that I only have to upgrade the mini at a lower cost than replacing the whole unit! as you only game once in a while you wont miss the discrete graphics at all, the HD4000 is moer than capable. give me a shout if you have any questions, my setup is in my sig. Go for it you won't regret it
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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hi ive just done the exact same upgrade as you're planning, i upgraded my 2009 27"imac which i love to a new mac mini, i'll tell you now its faster and snappier, i mainly use PS6, LR3 and it flies, also i feel happier that I only have to upgrade the mini at a lower cost than replacing the whole unit! as you only game once in a while you wont miss the discrete graphics at all, the HD4000 is moer than capable. give me a shout if you have any questions, my setup is in my sig. Go for it you won't regret it

Thanks mate. Just curious if you also had the 2.8 i7 CPU on your iMac? Your setup is exactly what I would eventually want: 16GB and a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro. That would be perfection. I was thinking of maybe going with a refurb '11 mini, but seems I would be better off with just getting a refurb/new '12 mini as I want Ivy Bridge to hold me over until I would upgrade to a Haswell/Broadwell.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Thanks mate. Just curious if you also had the 2.8 i7 CPU on your iMac? Your setup is exactly what I would eventually want: 16GB and a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro. That would be perfection. I was thinking of maybe going with a refurb '11 mini, but seems I would be better off with just getting a refurb/new '12 mini as I want Ivy Bridge to hold me over until I would upgrade to a Haswell/Broadwell.
A 2011 model will have USB 2.0, not 3.0, which is a big deal to me but may not be to you.

The only quad-core option on the 2011 was the Server (best processor options are i7 2.0 Quad core in the Server and i7 2.7 Dual core upgrade option in the regular Mini).
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FreakinEurekan View Post
A 2011 model will have USB 2.0, not 3.0, which is a big deal to me but may not be to you.

The only quad-core option on the 2011 was the Server (best processor options are i7 2.0 Quad core in the Server and i7 2.7 Dual core upgrade option in the regular Mini).
Yeah USB 3 is a great function to have and one reason I possibly want the '12. However Apple has an '11 i5 for $469. If I plan on upgrading to the Haswell no matter what, that $470 mini could easily hold me over for the next 6-7 months and I could sell it for not too much of a hit to the pocket. However, if I get the current 2.3 i7 like I am thinking I might, I would probably consider skipping Haswell and just waiting for Broadwell the following year.

But I agree, if I am going with a 2012 model I want the quad core i7. If I am going with the 2011 model I won't care as much.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
Thanks mate. Just curious if you also had the 2.8 i7 CPU on your iMac? Your setup is exactly what I would eventually want: 16GB and a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro. That would be perfection. I was thinking of maybe going with a refurb '11 mini, but seems I would be better off with just getting a refurb/new '12 mini as I want Ivy Bridge to hold me over until I would upgrade to a Haswell/Broadwell.
yes i had the 2.8 i7 iMac, the quad core 2.6 mac mini 2012 is much more responsive, given its not a fair analysis as I didnt have an SSD in my iMac. Everything points to the haswell chip being significantly faster again... so yeah if you're thinking of going for that chip then you will save some money by going for a 2011 model in the interim.
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