3 options: update - buy - wait

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Elho, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Elho macrumors regular

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

    Since 2008 I own a first entry level alu MacBook. The core 2 duo with 2 gb ram. I've updated the ram 2 years ago to 4 gb ram.

    But recently i'm start noticing the slowness. Especially when i'm listening to spotify, browsing the web, importing some pics into iPhoto,... Things are just getting slower and my MacBook is heating up quick. (Clamshell with external screen).
    All of the above is all i do on my Mac. Browsing the web, word processing, managing family pictures, streaming music, and watching movies in high resolution.

    In my point of view i have 3 options.

    Max out the ram on my macbook (will it be faster with 8 gb?)

    Buy a i7 Mac mini and update it with 16 gb and maybe an extra ssd

    wait for the new Mac mini. (Because when Apple introduces an newer Mac, it always feels like they telling that the older one are like crap)

    Which option is the best for my humble Mac needs?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CoolHotCold macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #2
    I too was waiting on a Mac Mini Refresh. I had it all planned out. the i7 Mac Mini to take advantage of that quad core HT goodness, some 3rd party DDR3 1600MHz and I'll stick another HDD (the Samsung 840 Pro 256) inside and buy a new Dell 2713HM monitor, all in the total would be £1250

    BUT no, no new mini, and one disappointed potential buyer.


    As far as your question goes, if you can get by with your MacBook I'd wait it out as I'm sure (I hope) that the mini refresh is just round the corner and Apple will pull a iMac like refresh on Tuesday so people were not distracted by it.
     
  3. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #3
    Just get one. Mini's retain so much value, that it really does not matter if you buy an "older" one. I have no idea what you want to use it for, but if you're not into gaming, the new Mini will not offer much. Haswell is maybe 5-10% more powerful, so that is irrelevant. The HD4600 is 50% faster, and Iris Pro twice as fast as HD4000, but if you don't need it, no problem. PCI-SSD is also overrated. Nice on the Mac Pro, but on the Mini you just shop a SSD to your like and mount it yourself. Big chance the new Mini is no longer flexible on the HD department.
     
  4. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #4
    I think you're right. My gaming days are over and I always have my ps3.

    The only wish I have is that it have to manage my sony nex pictures smoothly and i would to like to watch HD movies with ease. Both is going really slow on my old alu MacBook...
     
  5. uidx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    #5
    Same here. I have an iMac 2009 and I'll wait for new Mac Mini, no matter how long it takes to Apple release it.
    It might be a silent update, maybe next weeks, next month. If not, I'll wait for it, anyway.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    [[ Which option is the best for my humble Mac needs? ]]

    If you can hang on a few months longer, waiting for the 2014 Mini might be your best option.

    I would expect to see it in either January or February next year.

    Some are insisting it will arrive sooner, perhaps it could happen, but that remains to be seen.

    If you choose to buy a "late 2012" Mini, I'd suggest you spend the extra money for the 2.3ghz i7 model. Remember that the CPU is the only thing inside that you won't be able to upgrade in the future.

    Is the hard drive on your MacBook easily upgradable?
    If it is, you might consider putting an SSD into it (keep your eye on dealmac.com for daily bargains, or wait until the Black Friday sales arrive).
    It will make it seem like a new computer! You'll get a couple more years out of it, at least.
     
  7. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #7
    Think I will wait and see what the specs are of the new Mac mini.

    If the new Mac isn't upgradable like the old one, i think i will go for the 2012 version. If it is, and i'm talking about ram and hard drive it will be best for me to buy the Haswell version.

    Think i'll just have to wait.


    About my MacBook and putting in an ssd, i dont know if it's worth the money considering my plans to buy a new mini soon. Upgrading the ram on the other hand. Will 8 gb make a big difference compairing to my 4gb?
     
  8. bounou macrumors 6502

    bounou

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #8
    I got tired of waiting for the refresh and i knew i was going to get a new rMBP so i decided to see if i could save a few bucks and buy a used mini still under warranty.

    Got it for 400$ which is 300$ saved after taxes in Canada and i can not tell the difference honestly, i was waiting for the event before getting RAM and AppleCare for it but with the money i saved the upgrade to 16GB and AC are basically free.

    You can find someone on CL and meet them at the Apple Store and have the genius's look the computer over to make sure it's in good working order and still under warranty! Just take a Genius Bar appointment!

    And since the mini keep their value i could probably sell it for the same amount of money i paid for it! Pretty sweet deal!
     
  9. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #9
    Watching movies isn't dependent on RAM, that's a CPU-based activity. Your photo activities might benefit from more RAM. Open the Activity Monitor while you're working on your photos to check and see how much RAM is in use. If you're maxing out your RAM (or are getting close to it), then an upgrade would help your performance there; if you still have a lot of RAM available, then a RAM upgrade wouldn't be very noticeable.
     
  10. jmhart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #10
    They usually don't refresh the Mini until all the other lines have had their refresh first. I suspect because the Mini is more than likely their lowest profit margin PC and they want to make sure it doesn't cannibalize sales of the higher margin Macbook or iMac so they always wait a bit. The exception was last year the the iMac was delayed due to production problems and the mini was announced at the same time as the iMac. I think they knew they screwed the pooch and didn't want to lose customers by holding back their entire desktop line until they could work out the production issues which didn't happen until well into 2013.

    I suspect the Mini will get a silent refresh in the next month or so. I'll be really surprised if it doesn't get refreshed in time for Christmas though.

    Queue the folks replying to this saying it won't get refreshed this year. While that's possible it's unlikely and would be a first...
     
  11. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #11
    There was no 2008 Mini. There have been very long wait times been product updates for the Mini in the past. It is not unprecedented.
     
  12. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #12
    So this is me on a average working day.

    Listening to itunes, iphoto is updating its icloud streams, and browsing the web.

    Seems like with mavericks and iPhoto 13 thing are already running "smoother".

    But do yo think i could benefit with an extra 4gb of ram? Shall i notice the speed bump?

    screenshot:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #13
    That was solved in 2009 when HD video acceleration GPU's became standard. So any mac after 2009 has decent FullHD playback.

    ----------

    Nope, it is a GPU based activity. At least, I hope you use software that makes it a GPU based activity. A Core2Duo needs to run almost full speed to decode FullHD H264, while a 9400M or later video card has a small section dealing with it under 5W power need.
     
  14. Ritte macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #14
    I'm thinking about a fourth option, a hackintosh.
    The new Mac mini will probably follow the path of MacBook Pro and Air and will not be upgradable in the future.

    Because of that I'm seriously thinking of a hackintosh, after using several macs for 8 years.
    I already have a dell um27hm, apple keyboard + trackpad. For the same price as a mini I can get a hackintosh with a i7 CPU comparable with the best iMac and the memory and storage will be upgradable.
    In Sweden we have to pay 460$ for 16GB ram (apple store), since the ram will probably not be upgradable, this is something to consider when you buy the Mac mini.

    Sounds tempting..
     
  15. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #15
    If the new mini is not upgradable i'm definitely getting the i7 quad core 2012 mini.

    Hackintosch, i dont know. Its cheaper for sure, but i also really like the alu design of the Apple products. I dont fancy a plastic tower under my desk...
     
  16. uidx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    #16
    So am I.

    I agree!
     
  17. yardbird macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    #17
    I thought about a Hackintosh, but one of the reasons I'm switching from linux is to stop having to fiddle with stuff so much. Reading the install procedure for a Hackintosh had me wondering how OS X updates would work and whether I'd be in there fiddling every time and..... I just don't want to. Maybe next time. But right now I want a quiet, tiny, shiny box that (hopefully) won't need a lot of fiddling to get stuff to work.
     
  18. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #18
    You make a good point, GPU acceleration for video playback has made a big difference. It isn't a guaranteed thing for everyone, though; while support has greatly expanded since it was first introduced, it depends on the video's codec and on your media player.

    Regardless, since we can't individually swap out processors or graphics cards, he's looking at a system upgrade.

    Based on your screenshot, the speed bump would probably either be very small or unnoticeable to you under average conditions. Your virtual memory is hardly above your physical memory, and your memory usage (app + wired memory) is around 60% of usage. An extra 4 GB wouldn't hurt, and it would certainly come in use if your non-average activities consisted of anything memory intensive (virtualization or heavy photo editing, for example). I wouldn't expect that it would make your computer feel new or much more powerful, though.
     
  19. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #19
    If you install a modern 250GB SSD, 8GB RAM, you'll probably bring new life to your mac. The SSD you can use later in a MacMini. Also, a brand new battery can improve battery life. The overall cost would be kind of $400 - but taking into account that the SSD can be used in newer hardware, the real investment on old hardware is around $200.
     
  20. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #20
    Hm okay, so only an ssd upgrade will bring back some vitality into my MacBook. Best option for now is to play the waiting game i think. Wait and see what the specs are of the Mac mini 2013 and than decide to buy that one, or the 2012 i7...
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    [[ About my MacBook and putting in an ssd, i dont know if it's worth the money considering my plans to buy a new mini soon. Upgrading the ram on the other hand. Will 8 gb make a big difference compairing to my 4gb? ]]

    My opinion, and mine only, but you will do far FAR better to upgrade the drive inside the MacBook, and "let the RAM be" @ 4gb.

    The speed differences will be ASTOUNDING.

    You don't have to spend a great amount of money -- I'd suggest a modest-capacity SSD (such as 120/180gb). The idea is to rejuvenate the MacBook so that it will remain useful for several more years, even after you pick up a new Mini.
     
  22. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #22
    That is also correct, it would be sad to unuse the MacBook after i buy a Mac mini. About the ssd, what you think is best, give up my superdrive for an ssd tray, so i can use a dual drive set up. Or would you just replace the existing HDD?

    My music collection and pictures do take up a "lot" of space. (150 gb or so).
     
  23. Rodster macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #23
    I'm in the market for a mini. Any rumor updates on an announcement?
     
  24. Vistan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    #24
    My wife's PC is slowly but surely dying. I want to convert her to a Mac Mini, but like many of you, I hate to buy the current Mini if a new one is about to hit the market. Looking back at the recent iPhone 5s/5c splashy launch on September 20th, it seems like the new iMacs were slipped into the Apple Store the following Tuesday without fanfare. My current theory, therefore, is that we'll see the 2013 Mini on Tuesday, October 29th, one week after the iPad/iPad Mini/Mac BookPro extravaganza of earlier this week. It will be a silent launch, like the iMacs.
     
  25. yardbird macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    #25
    If they do this, I'll be returning the 2.3GHz i7 I just ordered and swapping it out for the new one. I see Haswell as having the greatest benefit for mobile platforms, but the upgraded graphics would be nice. Just not a deal breaker for me though. WAit.... I also ordered a 16GB kit from Crucial, so unless the new one would use the same RAM, maybe I'd just keep what I'm getting. It's still worlds better than the dual core, AMD powered Dell ZinoHD I'm running now :)
     

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