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Old Jan 13, 2013, 01:30 PM   #1
Cuechick
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Red face Considering Trading in Oldish MBP for a Mini?

Hi,
I currently use my older 15inch MBP (got in 2009, me thinks) attached to 30 inch Mac Cinescreen monitor (bought refurbished 2010), as my desktop set up...
The battery seems to be shot, but other wise it is fine though I have not updated the OS for a while, I am not sure which cat it is running but I think it is 2 kittys behind at least.

I use it rarely use it. I just started looking at Mac Minis as a way to update. I would use it primarily for photo editing...

Is this actually a big downgrade or with the new minis a good choice?

I gather from other posts that I will have no problem running Photoshop & Lightroom and would be able to attach external hard drives, which is all I need. I also would need to run my internet modem through it... that is really all.

Thoughts?

Here is picture of my current set up mac is under the desk to the left (it's pulled from a blog post hence the type):
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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It'd be an amazing upgrade. And if you don't plan on moving the computer anymore and you're sure you won't need a laptop, then a Mini is the best choice unless you want high end graphics capabilities. (Gaming, 3D rendering...)
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 01:44 PM   #3
Perkla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuechick View Post
Hi,
I currently use my older 15inch MBP (got in 2009, me thinks) attached to 30 inch Mac Cinescreen monitor (bought refurbished 2010), as my desktop set up...
The battery seems to be shot, but other wise it is fine though I have not updated the OS for a while, I am not sure which cat it is running but I think it is 2 kittys behind at least.

I use it rarely use it. I just started looking at Mac Minis as a way to update. I would use it primarily for photo editing...

Is this actually a big downgrade or with the new minis a good choice?

I gather from other posts that I will have no problem running Photoshop & Lightroom and would be able to attach external hard drives, which is all I need. I also would need to run my internet modem through it... that is really all.

Thoughts?

Here is picture of my current set up mac is under the desk to the left (it's pulled from a blog post hence the type):Image

Of course a new Mac Mini will ge a good upgrade from your 2009 Macbook Pro, the new mac mini is available with i5 and i7 processor.. are u thinking of getting a used Mac Mini i suggest u would try to get one from Late 2009 with 2.66Ghz Core 2 Duo processor and u will be able to upgrade with 8gb of ram as well.. maybe not a huge upgrade from what u allready have... but still a slightly upgrade.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 03:20 PM   #4
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It is a good upgrade in terms of processor power, storage space, and operating system. Considering you already have a pretty nice monitor, the mini should be a great fit.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 03:23 PM   #5
slickadam
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i used to use a 2009 15" MBP (top model), now i have a 2012 base i5 mini.
mini is waaay stronger.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 04:53 PM   #6
here2rock
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Looking at the photo, is the screen covered with some sort of protection?
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:39 PM   #7
Cuechick
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Originally Posted by here2rock View Post
Looking at the photo, is the screen covered with some sort of protection?
No, I just have a photo as my background on the screen, which is on... hard to see in that pic. Oh and it is also a matt screen!!!! I hate glossy/retna display for photo editing, they are worse than useless!



Thanks every one for the responses...

One more question, what is more important ram memory or harddrive space? I have a 2nd MBP, which is my primary computer, I will just be using this for editing and will be storing the images on external HDs for the most part. Do I even need anything extra than the $599 model offers?

I really don't want to spend to much but am thinking of getting the 8Gs which is $100 more... worth it?
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Last edited by Cuechick; Jan 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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For the hard drive, it depends on how large your photo library is and will be in the future. If you are storing photos on external drives, than the 500GB drive that comes with the mini should be adequate. Check the size of your current drive and see if you are running out of space on it.

As for RAM, upgrading is worth it. Doing it yourself is super simple in the new mini's and is a lot cheaper than ordering the upgrade from apple.
All you have to do is remove the bottom cover and the old ram pops out:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4432#1

You can get an 8GB upgrade for around $50
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengea...+1600+mhz+ddr3

Or a 16GB upgrade for around $80
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengea...+1600+mhz+ddr3
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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Since you don't use this one portably anyway and do have another laptop, I'd go for the upgrade. You can probably recoup close to the entire cost of a Mac Mini (perhaps even the mid-tier one; I strongly recommend that over the entry level based on the performance/price ratio as it is easily around 2x more powerful, but the entry level will be more than sufficient for your needs).

Also, never buy RAM from Apple. It's more overpriced than Gilette blade refills.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:08 PM   #10
Cuechick
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Fantastic! Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:38 PM   #11
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Since you don't use this one portably anyway and do have another laptop, I'd go for the upgrade. You can probably recoup close to the entire cost of a Mac Mini (perhaps even the mid-tier one; I strongly recommend that over the entry level based on the performance/price ratio as it is easily around 2x more powerful, but the entry level will be more than sufficient for your needs).

Also, never buy RAM from Apple. It's more overpriced than Gilette blade refills.
Performance isn't double. You double the number of active cores, but this doesn't mean they all operate at the same frequency that the dual core units achieve. Geekbench tends to exaggerate differences beyond what you'll see in real use. In 64 bit geekbench, the site tags the base model at 7243 and the mid range 2.3 quad at 11689. This is not double. Real world use in most cases will show less of a difference. Both have the same gpu. It's not a foregone conclusion which will offer the greatest benefit to the OP.

For the uses mentioned, the quad would be faster. Depending on the workload, the difference may not be that big of an issue. Before anyone mentions the HD 4000, it has a few potential bugs, but the OpenGL implementation in photoshop isn't that great and you shouldn't see much of a difference with one gpu vs another. A couple people on here have mentioned slight lag with extreme display resolutions. I haven't had a chance to test such a setup on one of these machines. The other more frequently mentioned issue relates to the use of hdmi. For the OP, dual link dvi to mini displayport should work. You can't use a thunderbolt cable, and I don't think the hdmi port will even support that resolution. There might be a better solution than the one I linked.

On the topic of ram, Apple does charge more. Everyone mentions this. What they forget to mention is that you must test every stick of third party ram you install in your machine prior to placing the machine back in service. After market ram tends to be cheap because the margins are not very high. I wouldn't trust their testing, regardless of where you purchase it.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:42 PM   #12
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Performance isn't double. You double the number of active cores, but this doesn't mean they all operate at the same frequency that the dual core units achieve. Geekbench tends to exaggerate differences beyond what you'll see in real use. In 64 bit geekbench, the site tags the base model at 7243 and the mid range 2.3 quad at 11689. This is not double. Real world use in most cases will show less of a difference. Both have the same gpu. It's not a foregone conclusion which will offer the greatest benefit to the OP.

On the topic of ram, Apple does charge more. Everyone mentions this. What they forget to mention is that you must test every stick of third party ram you install in your machine prior to placing the machine back in service. After market ram tends to be cheap because the margins are not very high. I wouldn't trust their testing, regardless of where you purchase it.

After many years of being a Mac user and many RAM upgrades I have yet had an issue with doing RAM upgrade myself. Not that hard finding RAM that will work especially if you stick with the big names like Crucial...etc.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Performance isn't double. You double the number of active cores, but this doesn't mean they all operate at the same frequency that the dual core units achieve. Geekbench tends to exaggerate differences beyond what you'll see in real use. In 64 bit geekbench, the site tags the base model at 7243 and the mid range 2.3 quad at 11689. This is not double. Real world use in most cases will show less of a difference. Both have the same gpu. It's not a foregone conclusion which will offer the greatest benefit to the OP.

On the topic of ram, Apple does charge more. Everyone mentions this. What they forget to mention is that you must test every stick of third party ram you install in your machine prior to placing the machine back in service. After market ram tends to be cheap because the margins are not very high. I wouldn't trust their testing, regardless of where you purchase it.
You're right, the scores are exaggerated, and you won't get consistently 2x the performance, but I think it will be considerable for lots of the CPU-bound tasks the OP does. In many tasks, it will be more than double the performance, but in others, considerably less. In my post, I state quite clearly that even the entry-level is more than enough for the OP, I am simply recommending the quad-core for its outstanding price/performance ratio.

Also, I disagree about the RAM -- Apple RAM is no more likely to be more reliable than that from any aftermarket brand. Every brand sources chips from virtually the same manufacturers, and reliability is very high with RAM these days. I have never had a problem with any RAM purchased in the last five or so years, including random brands like Avexir. Aftermarket is not synonymous with cheap or poorly tested; you wouldn't trust the testing of Crucial, Kingston, or Corsair? I reckon I'd trust them more than Apple, who just uses OEM chips like HP, Dell, etc.

Granted, I have not had any failures with Apple-provided RAM either, but the idea that you need to test third party RAM any more rigorously than Apple's is silly. With every stick of RAM you get, you should run memtest anyway, and that includes Apple. Theirs is not magically better in any way whatsoever.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:58 PM   #14
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Also, I disagree about the RAM -- Apple RAM is no more likely to be more reliable than that from any aftermarket brand. Every brand sources chips from virtually the same manufacturers, and reliability is very high with RAM these days. I have never had a problem with any RAM purchased in the last five or so years, including random brands like Avexir. Aftermarket is not synonymous with cheap or poorly tested; you wouldn't trust the testing of Crucial, Kingston, or Corsair? I reckon I'd trust them more than Apple, who just uses OEM chips like HP, Dell, etc.

Granted, I have not had any failures with Apple-provided RAM either, but the idea that you need to test third party RAM any more rigorously than Apple's is silly. With every stick of RAM you get, you should run memtest anyway, and that includes Apple. Theirs is not magically better in any way whatsoever.
With oem sticks, they're likely to test the system prior to shipping it out. I wasn't suggesting that third party sticks are any lower in quality, just that testing measures may not be there. It's fairly common to see complaints on here of system freezing where they didn't test the ram upgrade. Newegg has certain ram products with a ton of reviews involving sticks that aren't actually DOA yet produce errors during testing, and you have to remember not everyone will even test it. It's just a good idea to be sure you receive good sodimms. It has nothing to do with brand trust. Does that explain it better?
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 05:25 AM   #15
slickadam
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Performance isn't double. You double the number of active cores, but this doesn't mean they all operate at the same frequency that the dual core units achieve. Geekbench tends to exaggerate differences beyond what you'll see in real use. In 64 bit geekbench, the site tags the base model at 7243 and the mid range 2.3 quad at 11689. This is not double. Real world use in most cases will show less of a difference. Both have the same gpu. It's not a foregone conclusion which will offer the greatest benefit to the OP.

For the uses mentioned, the quad would be faster. Depending on the workload, the difference may not be that big of an issue. Before anyone mentions the HD 4000, it has a few potential bugs, but the OpenGL implementation in photoshop isn't that great and you shouldn't see much of a difference with one gpu vs another. A couple people on here have mentioned slight lag with extreme display resolutions. I haven't had a chance to test such a setup on one of these machines. The other more frequently mentioned issue relates to the use of hdmi. For the OP, dual link dvi to mini displayport should work. You can't use a thunderbolt cable, and I don't think the hdmi port will even support that resolution. There might be a better solution than the one I linked.

On the topic of ram, Apple does charge more. Everyone mentions this. What they forget to mention is that you must test every stick of third party ram you install in your machine prior to placing the machine back in service. After market ram tends to be cheap because the margins are not very high. I wouldn't trust their testing, regardless of where you purchase it.
You can easily test a 3rd party RAM. if it's faulty, just send it back (like I did with a random Corsair RAM for my notebook. but the new Corsair Vengeance works just fine in my mini).
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 08:52 AM   #16
here2rock
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No, I just have a photo as my background on the screen, which is on... hard to see in that pic. Oh and it is also a matt screen!!!! I hate glossy/retna display for photo editing, they are worse than useless!
Very artistic. The new retina displays are simply amazing!
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 08:16 PM   #17
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You can easily test a 3rd party RAM. if it's faulty, just send it back (like I did with a random Corsair RAM for my notebook. but the new Corsair Vengeance works just fine in my mini).
I never suggested otherwise. This forum receives traffic from a very wide range of users. Not all of them will know this, so I think it's important to mention it to them.

Here
is an example. It's a known brand. The product is labeled for Macs. Keep in mind not everyone tests their memory prior to use, and problems can sometimes be subtle. If you look at the one stars, bad ram does happen. That's why I mention that it's worth testing just to be sure. It isn't what I personally buy. I generally use Crucial.
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