2011 Server Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by drpje2000, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. drpje2000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #1
    I currently own a 2011 Mini server. It has 8GB RAM and 2 750GB hard drives and the 2.0 i7 processor. I was waiting for the 2014 upgrade and like many of you on the forum, was very let down by Apple's offerings. After reading the posts my best option would be the 2012 server upgraded with 16GB RAM and SSD hard drives. It is very rare to find a refurbished unit. I was checking at Amazon and came across another option. I can upgrade the RAM to 16GB with a kit from Crucial and order a Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD. This upgrade will cost me $260. Would this be a good idea? The 2012 server would have the advantage of USB 3.0 and the Intel 400 graphics. I use my computer for Filemaker Pro, Filemaker Go iMovie and Handbrake. I have firewire 800 external hard drives the airport router and use an LG 48" full HD TV as a monitor
    What do you think? Thanks
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Going from a 2011 to a 2012 would give you about a 20% increase in performance for Handbrake and iMovie exports but you wouldn't see it for anything else, so that's probably not worth the time and expense.

    The RAM upgrade probably won't matter much especially if you get the SSD. Look at your current RAM usage and see if the memory pressure stays in the green when you are at your heaviest use -- if so, the RAM upgrade won't be worthwhile.

    The SSD upgrade will have the most visible effect and make your system perform better than it would with just a 2012 server mini. It would vastly speed up boot and program loading times and probably speed up FileMaker (database programs tend to be disk intensive at least if you have large databases). It probably won't make much difference for iMovie and none at all for Handbrake.

    If you can snag a 2012 i7 (non-server) mini and then add the SSD yourself, that would certainly give you the most improvement. I went from a 2009 server to a 2012 i7, but haven't installed the SSD yet (I need to get a mounting kit and move it from my 2009). Note that I actually use it as a server so it's basically doing nothing but database operations. I did the upgrade not particularly for increased performance but for the USB3 and Thunderbolt ports, eyeing future replacements of external FW800 drives.
     
  3. drpje2000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the reply Talmy. I would really prefer the 2012 i7 model but it seems like they sell out in seconds. The other problem is that you would need
    to upgrade the RAM and switch out the regular HD for a SSD unless you were lucky enough to find a unit with the RAM and SSD already installed. This would increase the price even further and make my $300 upgrade more of a bargain.
    What problem would I face by not having the USB 3.0 outputs? Is there any
    way to compensate for not having the USB 3 outputs?
    Another option I was thinking about is to purchase the 15" Retina MacBook Pro.
    I would get the quad core i7, 16GB RAM, 256SSD, USB 3, newer airport, Iris graphics and a nice retina LCD. If purchased through Apple refurbished the price would be closer to a refurbished 2012 mini server.
    Is it true about the problems installing a Samsung Evo 850 SSD if I use Yosemite?
    Thanks
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Yes, I didn't think getting a 2012 was really a good idea with your 2011. I can certainly see the difference coming from a 2009!

    None if you don't have any USB 3 devices. If you do, they would just run at USB 2 speeds (basically half that of FW800 so not particularly good for external drives).

    Up to you. Obviously a much more expensive option than any mentioned.

    I know nothing about this pro or con. The SSDs I've bought (and use on Yosemite) are all OWC.
     

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