2012 I5 or I7?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by valerian22, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. valerian22 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    I'm having a hard time deciding which refurb to go with. I see a lot excitement over the I7 quad processor, but is this really the best choice for everyone?

    In other words, for what kind of users would the I5 be the best fit for, versus the I7? My thinking is I7 for intense gamers, transcoders, developers, video editing, process-heavy applications. I5 for everyday browsing, iTunes entertainment, email, photo library, word processing, etc.

    Am I correct? If true, wouldn't the I7 be a waste of money for the latter group? Or should the I7 be the case for everyone for future-proofing, regardless of computing needs?
  2. psymac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    At the bargain price of $589, the i7 resell value alone makes it a much better choice than the i5. Multiple threads here, as well as other reviews, speak to the much better value and future proof of the i7.

    But hey, I'm biased, just returned my 2014 (didn't even bother opening it) for the refurb 2012 being delivered on Friday.

    Use refurb.me and refurbtracker.com to get one, hopefully they will come again this week (given all the old stock from stores being sent back to the warehouse).
  3. valerian22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Good info, thanks. I see the future-proof and resale points of view. And I agree.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure a forum of techies and Mac Mini fans would likely recommend anything but the top of the line of anything, given their enthusiasm and dedication to the platform. I think it's harder to be objective about the average user or understand that perspective.
  4. loud0g40oz macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012

    Which one would you have bought had the 2014 mini not been released? That's the same one you should buy now.
  5. valerian22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Yeah, I think that's a good response and way to look at it.
  6. aajeevlin, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2010
    So besides the resale value, does it have any (or much more) advantage in terms of computation power, in terms of say engineering related work Matlab, Python etc? I was thinking to get in on the i5 for cheaper price, then take the difference to upgrade to SSD and max out the RAM maybe with in next year or so.
  7. gugy macrumors 68040


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    Well, besides the resale value would the base model i5 be enough power to use it as media center/file server/Time Machine back up?
    The thing is my hunch is that for these tasks the base model is enough and should last long time doing it. So the resale value won't be am issue if users keep it for several years.
    I just don't want to put too much money on the i7 if I don't really need to.

    Another point someone pointed out on another thread is that the new Minis are way more energy efficient so going to the new models might make sense in the long run due electricity saving since for the tasks I described these computers are always on.
  8. Jackintosh macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2009
    My own personal view is you're absolutely correct. For your and typical use, the I5 would be more than adequate. Media playback and file management isn't as processor intensive as the techie usage many here require with the I7.

    I also agree that over time, the cost effectiveness of the I5 would make more sense in this case, especially as the architecture is moving forward so fast. I also think the energy savings of the new models wouldn't be justified, especially with the 2012's starting to go on sale.
  9. gugy macrumors 68040


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    In regards the energy savings might be true. If I can get the base model 2012 like $100 less than 2014, it might take years to recoup the investment on the 2014.
    Not sure the difference in energy consumption between both models are big. I might be very minimal.
  10. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    The quad-core is not necessary for general usage. If your software can take advantage of multiple-cores, and rebalance core-load automatically, it's great. Great for digital audio (Logic Pro X), digital video (FCPX) etc. Totally unnecessary for general usage (word processing, email, web-browsing etc).
  11. valerian22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    As I suspected. Thanks.
  12. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    It looks like the i7 MacMini is sold out at refurb.me. I just saw a 2012 2.6 i7 Mac Mini with 16GB memory with just the 1TB hard drive bid up over $1200 on eBay. That's over original list price. The "Buy Now" listing are crazy prices!

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11 October 27, 2014