Mini for Parents

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mopatops, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    mopatops

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Few questions:

    1) I plan to set the computer up with 3 user accounts running in Fast User Switching mode. Only light usage on each account such as Safari, iTunes, Mail, Messages and then the odd program like iPhoto or Pages. I plan to install 3rd party RAM to cope with the number of open applications but will this usage benefit from the quad core vs dual core.

    2) My parents don't upgrade often so I want the machine to last as long as possible - in the future is the HD 4000 likely to become a bottle neck before the dual core processor? What I mean is, there's no point upgrading the processor if the graphics are going to be the bottleneck, right?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #2
    Based on your description sounds like a dual core with 8gb ram would do. but ram is cheap so 16gb would be okay. does not read like you need a quad core.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    roxxette

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #3
    Did the same thing, gave away to my dad a 2011 mini with a superdrive and upgraded ram to 8gb.

    Hes really happy, since he mostly use for word and excel work plus mundane stuff will last him good time.

    Last desktop he had was over 7 years :p
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    #4
    I don't think you need a faster CPU or more RAM really for fast user switching. Only one user is really active at a time and the OS will ensure they have access to real RAM rather than than virtual memory, and I doubt the inactive user is using many CPU cycles.

    I wouldn't worry about graphics either unless your parents play games. The HD4000 is a really good integrated GPU.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    mopatops

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks for the advice! I had myself convinced that the quad core was a necessary upgrade so I'm glad I asked here first.

    Obviously a Fusion Drive is out of the budget- from what I understand OSX caches closed applications in the 'Inactive' part of RAM. Being that we're using fast user switching and sleeping the computer, is extra RAM something that will help application load times/system responsiveness. I doubt my parents would notice the other benefits of an SSD such as file copy times.

    Finally, it seems to be best value to buy an 8GB stick of RAM to give total of 10GB as this allows me to upgrade again in the future. Is it possible there will be any problems pairing an 8GB and 2GB stick?
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    roxxette

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #6
    Should work fine.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #7
    2gb plus 8gb = good
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    mopatops

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK

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