Advice moving from rMBP to Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by r_some8, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. r_some8 macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015

    Just looking for advice hopefully from others that have some experience. I'll try to keep it simple.

    I'm a photographer that purchased a refurbished 2104 13.3" rMBP 5 months ago from Apple. It was a nice deal. Though I'm realizing I'm not happy with this setup anymore, due to the glossy screen, the limits of the 13" size, fixed 8GB RAM, and only a 128GB SSD. I could change out the SSD but I don't want to void Applecare.

    I've been considering getting a used Mac Mini, late 2012 model. I would install 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD. And purchase a 25" matte screen monitor. I'll probably opt for the i5 model based on cost.

    My question is will I notice a big difference in performance if I move to the Mac Mini? I'll be running Photoshop for post-processing images, nothing too intensive.

    I know my other option is to just get the external monitor and use it with the rMBP, but I'd still be limited with the 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. Also, I don't have a need for portability anymore.

    Any advice or related experience would be appreciated-
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    As nice as the late-2012 Mini was (I have one), isn't it getting a little late to be considering one now?

    I recommend instead a 2014 Mini, "top-level" model, with a 16gb RAM upgrade.

    It will come with a 1tb fusion drive inside (standard equipment) which is actually TWO drives:
    - 128gb SSD
    - 1tb HDD

    You can run it "as fusion", or you could even "split apart" the fused drives into 2 standalone drives and use it that way instead.

    And... the 2014 top-level Minis have considerably better graphics than the late-2012.
  3. r_some8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015

    Thanks for your reply, but that would be above my budget. That's why I was looking at the 2012. Plenty of them on eBay at a reasonable price, and I can upgrade them myself.
  4. borgusio, Dec 14, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015

    borgusio macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2011
    My suggestion would be to get a 2011 i7 2,7 GhZ with dedicated AMD graphics. Basically same power as the top 2014.
    They are pretty rare, but if you can find one, go for it!

    I own it since four years and at present configured with 16 GB RAM, 750 GB Fusion Drive. I also have a G-DRIVE in raid 0 attached via thunderbolt for Final Cut Pro X and a WD 4 TB via USB for Time machine.
    Amazing machine.

    P.S. it drives even 4K monitors (just 30Hz)
  5. r_some8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    I'm not borgusio, but yes, that is indeed the 2011 model with the Radeon graphics card. :)

    On the other hand, I don't think Intel integrated GPUs are all that bad for non-gaming purposes. I don't know exactly what you're planning on running, but I personally think the advantage in image-processing power of the quad-core i7s would make them more desirable...
  7. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    Just be aware the 2011 Mac has USB 2, not USB 3. I put off buying a Mini in 2012 waiting for a Mini that had USB 3 (and it came!). If you use USB flash drives and/or external HDD/SDD, you really need to consider this. There are Thunderbolt to USB 3 adapters (not cheap, around $70-$80) but then you either need to forego Thunderbolt/DisplayPort monitors or get a Thunderbolt hub, which cost even more.
  8. borgusio macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2011
    You are right. In my setup USB3 is absolutely not necessary, but everyone has other needs, of course. I find also the Firewire port very useful in the MacMini 2011 as I still access some older cameras/hard disks, but probably more modern users do not need it, as well

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