2013 mini, now what is my best choice?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Elho, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Elho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Hi,

    Like many of you I was waiting to buy the 2014 mini but I had the opportunity to buy a Mac Mini i7 at dollar prices (i'm from Europe, saves me about 380 dollars)

    My brother is taking it home for me tomorrow.

    But i do have some questions.

    First of all, the power connector will be of the US kind. Can I just plug in a standard European power cable or must I order one in the Apple store?

    Second, i'm gonna place an SSD next to the standard 1TB HDD.

    I'm not sure which one to choose.

    Option 1: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250 GB (150 eur)
    Option 2: Crucial M500 240 GB (115 eur)

    Third, i'm also going to update the RAM. I think for me 8GB will be enough.

    Is this a good choice?:

    Crucial 8GB (2x4) CT2C4G3S160BMCEU (76 eur)

    I'm not a pro user who is constantly multitasking between VM machines and indesign and photoshop. I just encode a couple of movies every week, that's the most intensive task for my current macbook...

    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  2. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Have a search in the forums, answers/suggestions on RAM and SSD there.

    As for the cable you can use a plug adapter (bad), cut the plug off and fit your own (ok) buy a European connector from Apple (quite expensive but "best")
     
  3. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    yes, i searched the forums for information about SSD and ram, it's just to much info out there ;-)

    As i can see on the apple website the mini comes with a standard power cord? Can i not use just a regular other power cord? I dont see much difference.
     
  4. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    Either of those drives will be fine, as long as you get a good quality SSD the speed difference is pretty negligible.
     
  5. SoCalReviews, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2012
    #5
    These are my preferences... I would lean towards your option 1... the Samsung SSD and you will absolutely want to go with 16GB of RAM... especially if you plan on running multiple VMs. Crucial is an excellent reliable choice for RAM. The considerably more expensive Kingston HyperX RAM will offer a slight edge in performance.
     
  6. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    OK, there are lots of threads but here is my view

    Samsung 256 EVO is the SSD of choice for most on here it seems, note I needed more storage and couldn't afford/justify a 500 SSD so bought a WD Black 750gb HDD running at 7200rpm and it's fine for me.

    RAM. I disagree with user above who said 16 was essential (perhaps he misread your VM needs) but 8GB is absolutely fine, Crucial is a good brand popular here. I bought Corsair which has been running fine for 8 months. You may even find 4GB is enough especially with an SSD.

    The power cord has an Apple specific plug at the computer end and of course a US plug at the other, you can change the US plug or use an adapter. My old Mini switches between UK and France and I just us an adapter.
     
  8. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #8
    thx jambalaye. I googled a bit about the samsung and crucial SSD. And the samsung is indeed the better choice.

    I also think 8gb will be more than enough.

    I've orderd the ifixit dual drive kit, the samsung ssd and 8gb of crucial ram :) Now i'm gonna search youtube for a good instruction video :)
     
  9. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #9
    BTW - what you have is a 2012 Mini, not a 2013.
     
  10. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #10
    yes, you are right. There are no 2013 mini's. My mistake :)
     
  11. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    If only there had been a 2013 mini!
     
  12. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #12
    Let us know how you get on. At that capacity, the Samsung is the better choice as the Crucial write speeds are slower in the 240GB model. Had it been the 480GB model then I would have said just go for the cheapest which would be the Crucial.
    8GB RAM is fine for your needs too.
     
  13. SoCalReviews, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I am sure 8GB will work but using that logic 2GB would work for running multiple VMs as well. The question is whether you want to needlessly decrease the performance of your Mac by not having enough RAM to avoid page outs to the main drive. Two years ago with my first Mini I made the mistake of thinking I would save money on my memory upgrade by purchasing only 8GB (2 x 4GB). After a week of noticing the performance degradation when running multiple VMs in Parallels I ordered 16GB (2 x 8GB) and my 2011 i5 Mini was back up to speed. Since that time the first Crucial 8GB dual memory kit of RAM I spent good money on has been sitting in unused in a box.

    As I type this my i7 Mini with 16GB installed running Mavericks 10.9.2 is currently using over 5.5GB with only a single browser running. If I only had 8GB total RAM then that would leave only 2.5GB available if I decide to open other programs and/or run VMs. 2GB-4GB is recommended for every Windows or Linux VM you run. Remember also that for the 2012 Minis that use on board GPUs up to 1GB of the total system RAM is allocated for video which means that 8GB total RAM is really only 7GB available for the operating system, background processes and running applications.
     
  14. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    The OP isn't looking to be running VMs hence why this comment was made. Also, look at it this way - unused RAM is wasted RAM. That is why modern OSs will try and use up what RAM is available to improve performance by caching as much in RAM as possible. That is why your Mini is using up 5.5GB for a single browser. It also depends on number of tabs open and the content of those tabs but if you only have a single tab open and you think that is the only thing using up 5.5GB RAM then you have a serious memory leak issue with your browser! 4GB RAM would probably suffice for the OP but 8GB is a sensible upgrade.
     
  15. SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2012
    #15
    Understood. ;)

    If the OP needs to run only one VM with no other large applications running at the same time then 8GB might be ok.
     
  16. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #16
    Hi, don't actually have a recent Mac Mini, but its pretty clear from the pictures that the mains connector takes a bog standard IEC C7 plug - same as the Apple TV, the MacBook and iPad power adapters etc*. You can get a suitable cable with your local mains plug from any decent electrical shop in Europe, but if you've ever owned any bit of mains-powered domestic electronics you've probably already got six in a cupboard somewhere.

    * Apple are fairly good with power connections - the official Apple cable sometimes has an extra doodat to make everything flush and beautiful when plugged in, but the actual connectors are usually compatible with regular IEC connectors.
     
  17. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #17
    Thanks voor all the advice. I'm awaiting the Samsung and crucial ram. Keep you guys informed :)
     

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