What Mac mini to choose?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by timsun, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Hey Guys,
    I'm planning on buying a new mac mini (late 2012).
    But i'm wondering if I had to choose between 2,5 GHz dual core with 8 GB of ram and 500 GB hdd or the 2,3 GHz quad core with 4 GB of ram. Or should I choose for quad core with 8 GB of ram (it's a little bit above my budget).
    I'm not planning to take the fusion drive, but is my mac much faster with the 1 TB hard drive instead of the 500 GB?
    I'm planning to play some games on my mac mini, so what should I take:
    More ram or more hdd space and quad core? (or both, only when it's much much faster)
    Hope you guys can give me some help!
    Thanks!:apple:
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    #2
    Put the RAM in yourself, you can find 8 GB for 40 bucks or 16 gb for 75 or so.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #3
    Do the ram yourself. You could do up to 16 gb for roughly 50-80 dollars depending on holiday sales. The size of the HDD 500gb vs 1tb will make no difference in speed. the Fusion or a SSD would improve speed some.

    You could always add an SSD in the future when you get more money. Easy enough to do or you could get an external Thunderbolt SSD to use as the boot device in the future if you are not comfortable with doing work in the Mini.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    That-Guy

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I purchased the Base Core i5 Mini upgraded RAM from 4gb to 16gb myself.

    Then added an SSD as Boot Drive and kept the 500gb HDD in there for Data.

    Works out so much cheaper :)
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #5
    I'm thinking on pulling the trigger on a base i7 and install 16 GB or RAM myself. Then down the road, add a SSD drive. Biggest thing holding me back is the video issue that has been reported.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    The video issue doesn't affect everybody/every mini; it's not clear what the correlating factor is (e.g. does it only affect some CPU types; does it only affect certain size/type/spec monitors; etc). I haven't had any HDMI problems.

    In any case, reports indicate it will just take a software/firmware update to fix, which is no doubt in the works. Alternatively, if you only have one monitor, get a MiniDisplayPort to DVI adaptor and plug it into the Thunderbolt port instead. (The TB port is the primary monitor port by default.)

    I would strongly recommend the Quad-core and put the RAM in yourself. An SSD will also speed things up; otherwise, I don't think the size of HDD will affect your speed. I'm loving the Fusion drive, but if money is tight, you may be able to fit third-party SSD and create a Fusion volume yourself for less.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    #7
    Video Problem

    I had tried both i5 and i7 2012, I had dual monitor one with HDMI and one with mini display port. Both computer had the same problem with black out screen. I hope that can be fixed by os 10.8.3
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #8
    I7 2.3

    I went for the i7 2.3 and upgraded the ram to 16gb myself using crucial. This cost me £60 and was done is 2 minutes flat.

    I did get screen blink on 2 occasions so I ordered a thunderbolt to dvi connector from amazon for around £6. I haven't had any further issues since.

    I'm made up with my mini and really glad I didn't go for the iMac. Just need a tb display to go with it now but need to save up for a bit first.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Location:
    Renkum
    #9
    definitely go for the quadcore!

    I bought the 2,3 Ghz Core i7 & added a second SSD (256GB) to it myself. this thing is FAST!

    most software in OSX makes use of all cores now so dual core is 2 times as slow as quad core.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #10
    I went for the dual-core i5, simply because it should run cooler. Half the surface area of processors to keep cool, and Apple's site claims the operating decibels are 3 dB higher on the quad-core i7. I think the i7's use a bit more power, if I'm not mistaken.

    The cooler chip and the slower fan, and the lower price is my reason for going dual-i5, and then 16GB Vengeance Corsair went in effortlessly, and I plan on sourcing a big ole' SSD for insane speed.

    I considered the quad-cores to be like an inline four cylinder motor, versus a twin-cylinder, air cooled motor with slightly bigger displacement. Regards.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Ayemerica

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #11
    This is the exact same reason I went with this option. I use my mini as my media server so it never gets turned off and I really wanted quiet and cool performance temps
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Location:
    Renkum
    #12
    still the i7 is very quiet and fairly cool. but it all depends where you use it for. I kinda use it as a Mac Pro / iMac replacement so I need power, which it gives me.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #13
    Thanks!

    Thank you guys for all the tips!
    I think I will go with the quad core and buy 16 GB of ram extra!
    I can then keep using my mac mini for a very long time (I think).
    I really appreciate all the help!
    Thanks again!
    timsun:)
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    South London
    #14
    Hi,

    Im thinking of getting the 2.6 i7, can you tell me, other than os, what other software does it ship with,

    Thanks
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #15
    There's not anything bundled except iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband). When I bought the Mac, they took a note of my AppleID, so the iLife apps appear in my list of Purchases in the App Store. If I reinstall the OS, I can download them again from there. (It also means I can install the latest versions on my other, older Mac!)

    Obviously, you get all the apps that come with OS X, like Preview, iTunes, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, etc. But if you're looking for games, World Encyclopaedias, MS Office demos, Stuffit Expander, or any of the things that used to get bundled with Macs, then: No.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    South London
    #16
    Thank you for that, the main reason im looking at a mac mini and not the new imac, is because you can upgrade the mini, where as the new imac is very hard to upgrade just the memory

    What kind of monitor would i need to use, or can i use a HD tv with hdmi

    Thanks again
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #17
    I would look at the tech specs on the Apple website and do some research before buying.
    You can use any monitor that takes a DVI or Mini DisplayPort connection (which includes Thunderbolt). You can also use the HDMI port to drive a TV, or use the included adaptor for a DVI monitor.

    This model simultaneously supports 1920x1200 on an HDMI or a DVI display (using the included HDMI-to-DVI adapter) and 2560x1600 on a DVI or Mini DisplayPort display or even a VGA display (with an optional Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, which is compatible with the Thunderbolt port).
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    South London
    #18
    I guess either option is going to be better than my 2008 imac

    Thank you for your knowledge in all things Apple
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #19
    I would only spend the extra money on an i7 if I needed it. It depends on what you actually do with your Mac and the software that you use. Many Mac users won't experience any difference between an i5 and i7 because their software does not benefit from the extra cores or they don't push their computer hard enough.

    It's simply a waste of money to spend it on something because it is "faster." It would be like buying a V8 engine when you never drive above 50MPH. A four cylinder engine is more appropriate...

    There is plenty of information here and elsewhere on the Internet that will assist you in determining what CPU will meet your needs. If a dual-core i5 does the job for you it will last just as long as the quad-core and maintain its relative resale value too. The only reason to buy an i7 based on future needs is if you reasonably expect to require a more powerful CPU in the near future.

    Folks on this forum are more than happy to encourage you to spend more of your hard-earned money. After all, it isn't their money that is being wasted.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    South London
    #20
    I do a lot of video conversion work, so just thought a more powerful cpu would do the job a lot quicker
     
  21. philipma1957, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #21
    yeah with video conversion you want the quad core.

    you can add the ram on your own.

    i might pick the fusion upgrade over the 2.6 quad upgrade. but that is a bit tougher to figure out. just checked the prices fusion 2.3 is 879 pounds. quad 2.6 is 759 pounds.

    so get the 2.6 add 16gb ram from uk amazon. keep an eye out for a good deal on an external ssd


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-Rugge...KQMA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355079950&sr=8-2

    ram link

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-16...1_6?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1355080034&sr=1-6
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    South London
    #22
    I didn't know you could boot the mini from an external drive

    Thanks for the info
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    #23
    Would Parallels require the quad core or would dual be fine?
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #24
    If memory serves me I have read some posts where the writer claims that a quad-core i7 is beneficial if your run software such as Parallels and Fusion. I suggest doing some research here on and via Google to see if that is indeed the case.

    I do know that if you plan on running a virtual PC 16GB RAM is the way to go so you can allocate sufficient memory for both OS X and Windows. I have done it with 8GB but it doesn't take long to run out of RAM if you open a lot of apps or use memory-intensive programs.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Location:
    West Midlands, England.
    #25
    Hi
    I bought the 2.6GHz quadcore with 4Gb and the std 500gb spinner. Boot time was around 35 seconds.
    Upgraded the spinner to a Samsung 830 256GB SSD and the memory to 16GB of Crucial RAM myself and the boot speed seconds are easily in single figures
    Saved £££ ...
     

Share This Page