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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:49 PM   #1
patricem
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Where do you think the extra money is better spent

New mac mini, where do you think its better to spend the extra cash upfront?

Either i5 versus i7
8g ram versus 16g
256 SSD versus 512 SSD

or perhaps 16g ram and a 750gb hybrid SSD

I can have 2 out of the 3 above. I do normal stuff but I do like to have many tabs open at once and do multiple things at once, work in Photosh, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, research online, read email etc, pretty much all at same time.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by patricem View Post
New mac mini, where do you think its better to spend the extra cash upfront?

Either i5 versus i7
8g ram versus 16g
256 SSD versus 512 SSD

or perhaps 16g ram and a 750gb hybrid SSD

I can have 2 out of the 3 above. I do normal stuff but I do like to have many tabs open at once and do multiple things at once, work in Photosh, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, research online, read email etc, pretty much all at same time.

Thanks!
Since you can have 2, I would suggest i7 with 512 SSD, and 8G RAM. The 8G vs 16G would probably have the least effect on general use, and it's the cheapest and easiest of the three to upgrade later if desired.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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Looking back at the set ups I am not sure I can have 2 if I do the 512 SSD. If I can only afford one which do you think it should be? The 512 SSD or the i7? Thanks
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by patricem View Post
New mac mini, where do you think its better to spend the extra cash upfront?

Either i5 versus i7
8g ram versus 16g
256 SSD versus 512 SSD

or perhaps 16g ram and a 750gb hybrid SSD
The i7 is the only thing you can't upgrade later. For light use (even with many apps open) you probably won't see much benefit with any of these. Certainly save your money on the RAM and SSD until you find you really need them.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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Get the i7 for sure, and then get the other when/if you want to.

i7 is nice because of the hyperthreading.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:50 PM   #6
hasenpfeffer
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i7 is nice because of the hyperthreading.
The Mac mini 2012 uses notebook processors, so i5 and i7 both have hyperthreading.

The notebook i5 is dual core w/ hyperthreading, the i7 is quad core w/ hyperthreading.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:56 PM   #7
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Definitely not the ram because that's easy to replace for cheaper. Get the i7 and then once ssd prices drop within a few years, grab a good ssd and throw it in there. As said above, you can't upgrade the processor.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Are you willing to open it up and do any upgrades yourself?

If not, get the SSD. It is an immediate and noticeable increase in performance in daily use.

If you are, then get the i7. Down the road when you have the cash, max out the RAM and add an SSD.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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Your original post indicates 256G SSD vs 512G SSD. If this means you are definitely getting an SSD just debating size, then it comes down to whether you need the extra space, not the performance. In this case I would recommend the i7 since it is not upgradeable later.

If you are deciding between an SSD at all and a mechanical drive, that's different because there are real performance differences in general use.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
patricem
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I would open it and go in there if it's easy enough. I've just heard so much great stuff about the SSD....and my Imac had hard drive failure suddenly and unexpectedly, so I'm not too thrilled about another HDD. I was looking at maybe a 2009 Mac Pro, but have been reading good things about this new mini. I found a seller who offers different configurations. So many I'll go with this:
NEW 2012 Apple Mac Mini 2.3ghz QUAD i7 / 8gb / 256GB SSD , have a little left over to get a new monitor which I will now need.

Thanks! Appreciate the opinions and feedback.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:05 PM   #11
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Now I'm wondering...is SSD the way to go?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:14 PM   #12
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Are you doing the RAM and SSD through Apple? If yes then you're spending $400. After market the same money would get you 16GB RAM and a 256GB (or thereabouts) SSD with a data doubler so you can keep the 1TB HDD and either run two volumes or enable the Fusion drive! This is my plan, although I might go for one 8GB module and take me to 10GB for ~$55.

My iMac is on eBay at the moment so hopefully that will sell for $600-700 on Sunday and I'll order the mini (already have screens). Also depending on where you live you'll be paying sales tax on a BTO Mac fron Apple, but a standard config with after market upgrades from OWC/Crucial etc... will all be tax free!

I was tempted by the entry level mini but the GeekBench scores for the i5 vs i7 (6000 vs 11000) justify the extra $200!
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:38 PM   #13
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No its from an independent seller. He sells new minis and macbooks with updated configurations. That set up I listed above cost about $1200. All brand new still covered under Apple warranty etc. I've been reading now about SSD , some people don't think its that great. What about that new seagate hybrid?

----------

The i7 with 8g ram and 1 TB HDD is $999. Tax free ship free. With 16g rams it's $1069. I want a reliable hard drive that hopefully is not going to go out on me in a couple years, like my imac did. I'm not brave enough to open this sucker up so am running off a external drive. I still would need a monitor.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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No its from an independent seller. He sells new minis and macbooks with updated configurations. That set up I listed above cost about $1200. All brand new still covered under Apple warranty etc. I've been reading now about SSD , some people don't think its that great. What about that new seagate hybrid?

----------

The i7 with 8g ram and 1 TB HDD is $999. Tax free ship free. With 16g rams it's $1069. I want a reliable hard drive that hopefully is not going to go out on me in a couple years, like my imac did. I'm not brave enough to open this sucker up so am running off a external drive. I still would need a monitor.
Concerning the second paragraph, is that in US dollars? If so, $999 for the i7/8RAM/1TB is overpriced IMO. The only upgrade is the RAM, and you'd be charged $200 premium. I'd get the $799 i7/4RAM/1TB off amazon (tax/ship free) and upgrade the RAM yourself. Its really easy, just unscrew the back plate and the RAM modules simply click/unclick into the machine. You can find 8GB of RAM for around $50...so it would save about $150 if you took 5 minutes and did it yourself.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:18 AM   #15
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The Mac mini 2012 uses notebook processors, so i5 and i7 both have hyperthreading.

The notebook i5 is dual core w/ hyperthreading, the i7 is quad core w/ hyperthreading.
Did not know that, you learn something everyday.

But i7 has double the cores, so it's still a no brainer.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:33 AM   #16
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Hi yes american dollars. Here's the seller's link: Easy Mac Sales

http://stores.ebay.com/EasyMac-Sales..._sid=110743605

Please tell me what you think of the prices. I have no problem putting in my own ram, or my own SSD drive, if it's not terribly difficult. I used to build pc's back in the day. In NY Amazon does charge for tax unfortunately. This seller includes 'studio software' as he puts it which would be nice to have.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 09:21 AM   #17
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I see I can get cheaper on Apple's site. Refurbished even better price. I've been so focused on imac (2011) prices I never clearly looked at the mini prices.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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This seller includes 'studio software' as he puts it which would be nice to have.
That "studio software" raises a red flag. Where he isn't sketchy about what's provided, he has mentioned Final Cut Studio (last sold for about $1k), FCPX (not available except from the App Store and not transferrable), Logic Pro, Aperture, and iWork (are these old versions with disks or the new non-transferable ones?) and a mysterious "Adobe" which could have a value from $0 to thousands of $ depending on what exactly it is. If this were legitimate software it would have a value greater than that of the hardware.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 10:34 AM   #19
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I really don't get this i5 vs. i7 discussions.

Today's processors are more than enough for almost all software that 99% of you use every day. I can guarantee you that you won't recognize the difference between an i5 and an i7, except if you render videos around the clock or do some other computational intensive stuff (which 99% of you don't do).
Almost all software these days can't handy hyperthreading and those that will in the future are specialized (rendering, media conversion etc.).

What you will recognize is the difference between 8 and 16GB of RAM if you open several programs at the same time. Even more you'll face significant performance improvements between a HDD and an SSD.

So my advice: get more RAM, buy an SSD (a no-brainer these days), a better monitor or a box of cookoes, but don't waste your money on a cpu that will idle 99.9% of your time.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:11 AM   #20
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That "studio software" raises a red flag. Where he isn't sketchy about what's provided, he has mentioned Final Cut Studio (last sold for about $1k), FCPX (not available except from the App Store and not transferrable), Logic Pro, Aperture, and iWork (are these old versions with disks or the new non-transferable ones?) and a mysterious "Adobe" which could have a value from $0 to thousands of $ depending on what exactly it is. If this were legitimate software it would have a value greater than that of the hardware.
Where do you see these specifics listed?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:42 AM   #21
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Where do you see these specifics listed?
I looked in his Ebay Store. Some of the listings mention various specifics. The most thorough description, listing all the software, was with a used system. Others will just say things like "Final Cut Studio" in the subtitle for the listing. He's pretty grey about it, though, which also makes it look questionable. If he were reputable I'd expect a decent explanation of exactly what is included and how he manages the license transferability of the Mac App Store software. Maybe if he were an authorized reseller, but is he? It would appear that the warranty coverage started when he got the machine not when he delivers it to you.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:45 AM   #22
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I really don't get this i5 vs. i7 discussions.

Today's processors are more than enough for almost all software that 99% of you use every day. I can guarantee you that you won't recognize the difference between an i5 and an i7, except if you render videos around the clock or do some other computational intensive stuff (which 99% of you don't do).
Almost all software these days can't handy hyperthreading and those that will in the future are specialized (rendering, media conversion etc.).

What you will recognize is the difference between 8 and 16GB of RAM if you open several programs at the same time. Even more you'll face significant performance improvements between a HDD and an SSD.

So my advice: get more RAM, buy an SSD (a no-brainer these days), a better monitor or a box of cookoes, but don't waste your money on a cpu that will idle 99.9% of your time.
This is an interesting view point and, I must confess something I was pondering. Macworld tested the stock minis and then the 2.6 with 16GB RAM and the Fusion drive and the performance increases are pretty considerable.

It would be good to know how the i5 with maxed RAM and an SSD performs compares to the i7.

I'm upgrading from a 2.4GHz C2D iMac with 4GB RAM and my main use will be Aperture and iMovie so in a similar vein to the OP's question, where's the money bet or more specifically, is the $200 for the i7 worth while? Will my intended uses tax the i5 if the RAM is maxed and I've got a 256GB SSD as my boot/application drive?

Last edited by chiefsilverback; Jan 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:55 AM   #23
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I really don't get this i5 vs. i7 discussions.
[...]
What you will recognize is the difference between 8 and 16GB of RAM if you open several programs at the same time. Even more you'll face significant performance improvements between a HDD and an SSD.

So my advice: get more RAM, buy an SSD (a no-brainer these days), a better monitor or a box of cookoes, but don't waste your money on a cpu that will idle 99.9% of your time.
The OP stated "I do normal stuff but I do like to have many tabs open at once and do multiple things at once, work in Photosh, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, research online, read email etc, pretty much all at same time." Indeed with that set of programs he won't get an improvement with the i7 (but perhaps Photoshop? I know Aperture will use all cores.). The point of recommending an i7 is that it is the only thing that cannot be upgraded later if he does decide to do video, for instance.

IMHO none of the upgrades will benefit the OP with his current workload. Running all the apps he mentioned at once won't use over 8GB of RAM. I run FCPX, a Windows VM, Keynote, iShowU HD, and SketchBook Pro simultaneously while teaching and don't use over 5GB. An SSD is an expensive option that makes booting and program launching faster (solution there -- sleep the computer and don't close applications when you are done) and speed up disk bound programs greatly (of which all the programs he mentioned actually spend most of their time idling waiting for user input).

I do like the idea to put the money in a good monitor. That will at least save one's eyes!
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