Advice: Which Mini to get (late 2014)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Maroder, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Maroder macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014

    I would like to buy a Mac Mini 2014 for browsing and media consumption, light photo editing and some very light gaming.

    The configuration I am looking at is as follows:
    • i5 2.6 GHz or 2.8 GHz (not quite sure)
    • 16 GB Ram (certain)
    • 256 SSD or 512 GB SSD (not quite sure)
    Any suggestions regarding the specs?

    Also, could some one with a Mac Mini 2014 tell me how silent the machine is while idling and playing Hearthstone or watching a 1080p MKV Movie? I am pretty OCD about fan noise and this would help a lot with the decision.

    Thanks very much
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    There's only a modest speed improvement there (at least compared to the jump from 1.4 to 2.6) and I doubt for your usage it will make much of a difference if any at all.

    That's actually the one I would question the most. For your usage 8 GB should be fine.

    How much space are you using on your current machine and how much do you anticipate using in the future?
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The mid-range 2.6/8/256 should do you fine.

    Depending on your needs, the 1TB Fusion Drive would do you fine as well, but for the sake of pure speed and reliability I'd recommend the 256GB SSD + external storage.
  5. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Baloney, for photography get 16GB of RAM. Don't undercut your ability to work with really large files or giant panos in the future.
  6. Maroder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014
    Thanks for the input so far. I will get 16 GB RAM to future proof the device and probably will go for 2.6GHz/16GB/256GB.

    The main reason for 2.8GHz and the bigger SSD is the speed gain for the SSD. But then I probably wouldn't notice it anyway :)

    Any comments on the fan speeds and noise of the device?
  7. HomeLate macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2015
    Compared with my multi-fan PC next to my Mac Mini, this thing is a dream. I haven't heard the fan yet but I do hear the harddisk (1Tb, non fusion) sometimes.
  8. Maroder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014

    thank you for you input. I now ordered my Mini BTO 2.6/16/256 and it should be arriving here next week, shipping directly from China.

    Cant wait :)
  9. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    Even with a standard HD the Mac mini is a quiet machine. Equipped with an SSD, that mini will be absolutely silent most of the time. You will really have to work the CPU to get the fan cranked up above 1800 rpm.
  10. applelover4u macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2012

    trust me, you will only need the i5 1.4ghz 4gb , buy a ssd to install yourself or boot from via usb 3, unless you like blowing money

    I do lots of photo editing via Hype 3 And Affinity Designer and some photoshop. I never ran into a hiccup

    Save your money and get the 1.4ghz 4gb with a SSD if you can. You want an ssd for sure
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Booting externally isn't practical, since there's always a chance that it can accidentally get disconnected and freeze the whole thing. Besides, TRIM isn't supported over USB, which is very important when it comes to SSDs. Besides, regular SATA3 SSDs don't come anywhere close to the I/O performance and bandwidth of the Apple SSDs (although barely noticeable).

    Opening up the Mac Mini will void the warranty.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ Booting externally isn't practical ]]

    Of course it's "practical".

    I've been booting and running a late-2012 Mini since January 2013 -- more than two years -- from an SSD mounted in a "lay-flat" USB3/SATA docking station.

    The dock sits in an out-of-the-way place on the desk. It has NEVER ONCE come disconnected from the Mini, unless I personally made the disconnection.

    It boots EVERY TIME and runs with ZERO problems.

    TRIM has NEVER been an issue. It runs as fast today as when the SSD was first connected. And it sees HEAVY usage, from before 9 in the morning until after midnight each day.

    I figure on keeping this Mini at least 3-4 more years as my primary computer, and will continue to boot and run it this way.

    Not practical?

    Although this works great on the 2012 Mini, and it will work on the 2014 as well, I would still advise those buying a 2014 Mini to get the 1tb fusion drive option, because the PCIe "blade drive" changes the game, speed-wise.
    My USB3-mounted SSD yields read speeds @431mbps or so.
    The new PCIe drive will yield read speeds around 730mbps.
    That's a big enough difference to "go internal".

    And... it's actually EASIER to add a PCIe drive to the 2014 Mini, than a 2.5" SATA drive.
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Take every piece of software you could ever imagine using and look at its RECOMMENDED requirements.

    That will give you good performance today and a little bit of future proofing for software you may want tomorrow.

    Asking questions like that here will give you subjective answers based on other peoples usage. If thats what you want, I'd recommend near maxing out a Mac Mini due to its limited upgradability. But again, thats based on my usage.
  14. Maroder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014
    Quick follow up: Using the Mac Mini for a week now and loving it so far. Performance is fabulous for my usage and the machine is very quiet. Thanks for the helpfull input.
  15. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    It's a laptop/notebook computer, just without the integrated display/keyboard/trackpad ...

    No other magic here.
  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I just think that only a quad core processor and a discrete GPU would give you real future-proof. That is, a Geforce 650m still makes a HD 6000 eat dust by a high margin. Maybe the Macbook Air 2017 will give GPU performance comparable to a 2012 15" Retina Macbook GPU. Also, the 2014 Mini multi-core performance provides around half the performance of a 2012 quad Retina.

    CPU-wise, a 2012 quad Mini is a better deal. GPU-wise, a HD5000 is not impressive enough to make it worth the upgrade. The current Mini looks like a re-design to make the manufacturing feasible due to the lack of 2012 parts. They didn't choose to update the Mini lineup in terms of performance. They just kept it in the 2012 baseline, perhaps to increase the differentiation between a Mini and an iMac.

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15 April 26, 2015