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Old Jun 17, 2013, 02:24 AM   #1
nigelly
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Concerned about upgrading to Mac Mini

Right now I am running a late 2008 unibody MacBook with a 2.0 ghz processor and 2 gb of ram. It has become quite sluggish in the past year and almost unbearable in the past couple weeks. I have decided I want a desktop computer, and I'm pretty sure it will be a Mac mini, but I'm not convinced. Will I see a huge performance difference from the MacBook? And will the mini last me very long before it too needs to be retired? I am leaning towards the i5 but should I go for the i7?
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 04:01 AM   #2
raniel
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Get the fusion one. or the base i7 and add your own SSD.

1. Will I see a huge performance difference from the MacBook?
- yes very big difference. like day & night

2. And will the mini last me very long before it too needs to be retired?
- Depends on your needs, but for most users definitely it will last for a long time

3. I am leaning towards the i5 but should I go for the i7?
- Go for the i7 for future proofing

I suggest to max out the RAM to 16GB(buy your own, not from apple).
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 08:29 AM   #3
fa8362
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It's not possible for anyone to give you good advice without knowing what's wrong with your current computer (why it's sluggish) or what you use your computer for. You didn't provide any of that information. For all anyone knows, your hard drive might be full. Which would mean that you don't even need a new computer.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 10:05 AM   #4
FreakinEurekan
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Ditto on the Fusion drive. Huge improvement. @fa8362 is correct in that you might be able to get your current MacBook working to your satisfaction, but it you want to go to a desktop regardless, a Mini with fusion drive is a great choice.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 10:55 AM   #5
Fishrrman
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If you get a Mini, spend the extra $$$ for the i7 -- you won't regret it.

The Mini will run pleasingly fast with an SSD -- either a factory installed one (fusion), or an SSD that you add yourself (can be either internal or external).

BTW, I wouldn't ditch the Macbook. What you should probably do with it:
- install a faster HDD or an SSD
- add some RAM
- do a clean system installation
- keep about 20% of the drive space "free"

It would make a nice project (don't spend a lot of money on it).
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 06:34 AM   #6
TC25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelly View Post
Right now I am running a late 2008 unibody MacBook with a 2.0 ghz processor and 2 gb of ram. It has become quite sluggish in the past year and almost unbearable in the past couple weeks. I have decided I want a desktop computer, and I'm pretty sure it will be a Mac mini, but I'm not convinced. Will I see a huge performance difference from the MacBook? And will the mini last me very long before it too needs to be retired? I am leaning towards the i5 but should I go for the i7?
1. There's no such thing as 'future proofing'. Ignore the phrase. If you want the i7, get it, but most people do not run apps that need a faster CPU.
2. Unless you have specific apps that will benefit from an SSD, there's no need for one.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 07:52 AM   #7
opinio
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2. Unless you have specific apps that will benefit from an SSD, there's no need for one.
The whole OS benefits from an SSD? Its snappier, loads faster etc etc. Pretty much any app loads and operates faster on a SSD? I use a question mark because it is rare to see an argument suggesting there is no need for an SSD. You need an OS to run an app (whether it benefits from an SSD or not), and the OS very clearly is faster.

Get the SSD.

Unless you're Amish.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 09:00 AM   #8
fa8362
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The whole OS benefits from an SSD? Its snappier, loads faster etc etc. Pretty much any app loads and operates faster on a SSD? I use a question mark because it is rare to see an argument suggesting there is no need for an SSD. You need an OS to run an app (whether it benefits from an SSD or not), and the OS very clearly is faster.

Get the SSD.

Unless you're Amish.
I disagree. I don't have an SSD and couldn't care less about that. I don't care about load times and I don't care if an SSD saves me a few seconds in Photoshop or Illustrator.

I know many other graphic professionals and none of them use an SSD.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by opinio View Post
The whole OS benefits from an SSD? Its snappier, loads faster etc etc. Pretty much any app loads and operates faster on a SSD? I use a question mark because it is rare to see an argument suggesting there is no need for an SSD. You need an OS to run an app (whether it benefits from an SSD or not), and the OS very clearly is faster.

Get the SSD.
The issue isn't whether an SSD is faster than a hard drive. The issues are whether the performance increase is cost effective for the person and whether they've implemented less expensive performance improvements, e.g., max memory. For most people, it's not.

Quote:
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Unless you're Amish.
Ah yes, hurl insults at anyone who disagrees.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 01:47 PM   #10
fig
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I disagree. I don't have an SSD and couldn't care less about that. I don't care about load times and I don't care if an SSD saves me a few seconds in Photoshop or Illustrator.

I know many other graphic professionals and none of them use an SSD.
Um, I'm a graphics professional and I have one machine with an SSD and my newer one has a Fusion drive.

Does it dramatically increase Photoshop or other graphic software performance? No. Does it make everyday use of the OS, apps, browsers, finder windows, etc., snappier, and quicker to get around? Absolutely. It actually took my old iMac's performance from barely tolerable to generally pleasant.

Do you need it? No. Is it nice to have? Absolutely.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 08:30 PM   #11
Micky Do
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Originally Posted by nigelly View Post
I have decided I want a desktop computer, and I'm pretty sure it will be a Mac mini
Good on you for looking to a desk top. Portable computers don't really do it for me. It feels good to leave my Mini behind on my desk when I go off to do something else.

That being said I am fortunate to have had a fairly settled existence for the past decade. However, with a more itinerant phase looking likely in the next little while, I could land up stumping up for an Air..... with misgivings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelly View Post
will the mini last me very long before it too needs to be retired? I am leaning towards the i5 but should I go for the i7?
My first Mini (and my first computer) was the first, which I used from 2005 until 2009. It had its shortcomings, and I slightly cynically felt the original Mini was a way for Apple to use up its stock of laptop parts on its way to making the move to Intel chips. I chucked it when the HDD failed. Fortunately I had most of my important data backed up so it was no big deal.

I replaced the original with my current Mini, the early 2009 base model, which is probably the first to be a fully fledged Mac, rather than the under performing baby of the family. With only 1 GB of RAM it became quite sluggish when handling updated software, probably designed with more in mind.

The addition of another 4 GB of RAM, and installing Mountain Lion last year gave it a new lease of life. It is more than satisfactory for my relatively simple needs, and should remain so for a few more years.

In short, if a laptop has served you needs thus far, chances are a new Mini (maybe with a "mid-life tune-up") will do likewise for a good few years.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 07:43 PM   #12
oldtime
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I upgraded from an 06 Macbook to an 11 Mini last year and it was like entering a new world. I assume the result will be similar for you. As others have stated, max out the RAM and go fusion.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:36 PM   #13
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Anyone who poo-poos SSDs, especially compared to 5400 RPM laptop drives, has either never had the pleasure of using a machine with one or has a sensory deprivation ailment.

It's such an overall smoother experience over a slower 2.5" HDD numbers alone cannot quantify it. Plus none of the HDD noise and less fan noise.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 09:02 PM   #14
fa8362
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Anyone who poo-poos SSDs, especially compared to 5400 RPM laptop drives, has either never had the pleasure of using a machine with one or has a sensory deprivation ailment.

It's such an overall smoother experience over a slower 2.5" HDD numbers alone cannot quantify it. Plus none of the HDD noise and less fan noise.
I couldn't care less about SSDs and I've used them and certainly don't have "sensory deprivation ailment."

HDD noise?? I rarely hear the HDD of my Mini.

Fan noise?? Never heard it.

To me, SSDs are a terrible value for little gain. I'll keep my money instead.

I'm not against them if they're standard, and the price of the computer wasn't raised to accomodate them. Otherwise, forget it.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=fa8362;17457898] SSDs are a terrible value for little gain./QUOTE]

Is that view based on current experience? When was the last time you did a cost/benefit analysis with current costs of SSDs with current speeds against current platter HHDs and their costs?

Terrible value for little gain? Seriously?
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 10:52 PM   #16
50voltphantom
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I upgraded from an '08 2.4 GHz C2D iMac to an i7 mini with Fusion drive and max'd RAM. The difference between the two machines is huge. Boot times, app launching, Handbrake rips; all those task times have been cut in half or more. Very happy with my mini. I strongly recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM. The great thing about the mini is that all the RAM slots AND drive bays are all still user accesible unlike the iMac, Air's, rMBP's. That alone was a big deciding factor for me.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 11:26 PM   #17
fa8362
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[QUOTE=opinio;17458302]
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Originally Posted by fa8362 View Post
SSDs are a terrible value for little gain./QUOTE]

Is that view based on current experience? When was the last time you did a cost/benefit analysis with current costs of SSDs with current speeds against current platter HHDs and their costs?

Terrible value for little gain? Seriously?
Yes, terrible value. I couldn't care less if boot times are shortened or a few seconds are save here or there. None of that matters to me. And of course it's based on current experience.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:19 AM   #18
fig
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[QUOTE=fa8362;17458538]
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Originally Posted by opinio View Post

Yes, terrible value. I couldn't care less if boot times are shortened or a few seconds are save here or there. None of that matters to me. And of course it's based on current experience.
In that case I've got a 2007 iMac I'd love to sell you.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 04:03 AM   #19
opinio
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[QUOTE=fig;17459157]
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In that case I've got a 2007 iMac I'd love to sell you.
Or this Mac.

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/25/...ice-of-671400/

It's a bit pricey but has extended boot-up times. No SSD to worry about. And no noisy fan.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 07:09 AM   #20
Chupa Chupa
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I couldn't care less about SSDs and I've used them and certainly don't have "sensory deprivation ailment."

HDD noise?? I rarely hear the HDD of my Mini.

Fan noise?? Never heard it.

To me, SSDs are a terrible value for little gain. I'll keep my money instead.

I'm not against them if they're standard, and the price of the computer wasn't raised to accomodate them. Otherwise, forget it.
OK. I suppose my hearing is too good and I'm impatient. Enjoy your 20th Century technology.
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