Owner of a 2011 mini, considering an air.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by childoftheko4n, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    I currently own the following 2011 Mac mini:

    Apple Mac mini MC815LL/A
    2.3GHZ dual core intel i5
    Upgraded 8GB RAM
    500 GB hard drive

    Considering (actually just ordered) the 2012 i5 air with 8GB RAM. Not for a performance thing because my mini fits my needs; but because I hate being constrained to a desk after working at a desk 9 hours a day. I have my mini hooked up to a Thunderbolt Display and here is my delima...

    I'm thinking the air, while only 1.7ghz i5, may perform on par if not better than the mini simply because of the SSD. If this is the case I would sell the mini as I could then use my air with the TB Display when wanting "desktop mode". Is thinking this air could produce just as good if not better wrong ?

    Slower processor but I keep hearing the SSD makes such a huge improvement. Is that not only with booting and opening programs?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    SSD makes booting and loading programs much faster. The MBA will be faster depending on the type of programs you're running. Web, email, etc? Yes, MBA much faster. But, if you're doing heavy duty stuff, the lines blur.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    I own a 2011 Mini and have a 2012 MBA issued to me by my employer. As long as you're not doing anything terribly intensive, I'd say go for it. The Air definitely boots and launches apps faster than the Mini, and for basic stuff I don't notice any difference in usability or responsiveness (once whatever app is open).

    That said, I've never tried to do anything real intensive on the Air. I haven't even bothered installing Photoshop or FCP on it.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2012
    The Air will be 'quicker' to use, more responsive, due to the SSD and faster bus and RAM. The Mini will probably have a bit more grunt for CPU intensive tasks, but not a lot.

    The Air will have a better GPU.

    The Air will always be more mobile/portable. :D
  5. macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I had a base model 2011 Mini with 8GB of ram and the 2012 air with 8GB of ram is a better machine. Cpu wise it is slower on paper but since it is an Ivy Bridge it is actually on par if not better. The graphics is also muched improved. Overall you are not losing anything performance wise by using your 2012 as a desktop. In fact thats my exact setup thunderbolt display + mba after I sold my mini. Only thing different would be the fact that you would have much less storage space.

    2011 2.3ghz i5 Mini Geekbench score is 5835
    2012 1.7ghz i5 Air Geekbench score is 5650

    Those are just the averages on their website my mini routinely did 6000 and so does my macbook air
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Ya, I feel like there's no point in keeping the mini if the air is on par (plus mini hogging up the Thunderbolt Display ;) )

    On.y reason I see myself not selling the mini is hard drive space and having my music and photo library there to sync with iPhone/iPads :/ makes it hard to turn down offer of $50 less than what I paid for it new over a year ago

    Pretty excited to get the air in non the less :)
  7. macrumors 6502


    May 11, 2012
    North East US
    Why don't you just add an SSD to your Mini?
  8. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Do it, my 2011 Mba is a quick little bastard, if i had no need for discreet graphics i would have got a TBD for it instead of the new iMac!


    "I hate being constrained to a desk after working at a desk 9 hours a day"

    This was in the OP....
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Ya didnt want to put anymore into the mini because of the desk thing.

    I think what i'l have to end up doing is see how the air does with pushing through the TBD (i keep hearing mixed things on this), and then see how much it annoys me or not to plug an external into the TBD with my music and such to use anytime i need to syn phone/ipad..
  10. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    The 2011 Mba has no issues feeding 1 TBD with the HD3000. The 2012 Mba with the HD4000 will drive 1 TBD with absolute ease.
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    So what is all this talk on see (a lot of it on macrumors) about horrible Lag if pushing video through TBD. Though most the negative comments i have read were in regards to 2011. I would still like you said, imagine both versions should be fine with it.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    The i5 is quite snappy. It's a great machine!
  13. macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
    Selling the mini would be a fair idea.
    I would have suggested an iPad and keep the mini, but an air to replace is just as swell.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have a 2012 MBA hooked up to my tb and it runs fine. Some lag sometimes when resizing windows and stuff but nothing you will notice unless you are looking for it. I can even game on it at 40-50fps (counterstrike: global offensive) with every thing on high as long as I lower the resolution to one under the thunderbolt displays native resolution.

    I can play a a lot of games on high settings if I game on the MBA's native res. The graphics performance of the HD4000 is about 50% better than the HD3000 so its a massive difference. My old mini could barley play CS at 20-30fps on 1920x1080 res.

    I would sell the mini and then spend that money on a nice thunderbolt external drive if you need the storage. Or upgrade the drive on the MBA. Make sure that you print out a label to stick onto your thunderbolt display cable saying EJECT DRIVES if you plug in external drives to your monitor. They do not auto eject when unplugging the MBA and I have corrupted one drive already due to forgetting to unmount the drives too many times ;)

    Also you will need a magsafe to magsafe 2 adapter to plug in and charge your new 2012 MBA to your thunderbolt display.
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Ya my only concern is if I sell mini for say 500, then I need to buy a decent hard drive (atleast a hundred) and Apple TV (hundred)

    Also just discovered plex on my mini ... o_O could be cool to keep mini as media server

    Can't decide! Haha

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