Answered my Q about MacMini 2014

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Bodhi1968, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Bodhi1968, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

    Bodhi1968 macrumors newbie

    Bodhi1968

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Location:
    Malibu
    #1
    Quick Recap - My iMac melted, i do a lot of photoshop work and I write. Did not want to spend the money for a Mac Pro but was worried about the 2014 Mini being able to handle two 2560x1440 monitors, Photoshop, et al.,

    Decide not to go Windows either as I have too much invested in Mac. So, I kept watching the refurbished section on the Apple site. And the other night around midnight, a Mini with 3GHz i7, 16 GB ram and a 256 Flash drive appeared. Since they offer 14 day return, I figured if it doesn't work out, I'd trade it back and get the pro. I'm glad I went this way because it works quite well. Driving 2 Dell U2515H monitors (both out of the two thunderbolt ports) The "About this Mac" window (which I've included in the pic) show the Iris Graphics as 1536 MB and it handles the monitors just fine. In the attached pic I am running photoshop, have a large composited image with a ton of layers, ran thru various filters (both PS and thru NiK Collection filters) and the Mini was faster than my iMac. It is quite zippy actually. I am also playing a movie on the second screen next to my menu palettes and all of it was smooth. Yeah, the mini is pretty much maxed out (although 256 flash drive instead of 512). My G-Tech drive is usb3 and my old iMac was only USB2 so even external peripherals are quicker.

    Yup, it's 2.5 year old tech but it works well. Plenty fast. And has all the useful ports including SD card slot. If there is a new Mini it won't have those (heck, the way Apple is so focused on form over function these days, the new mini, if there is one, will be so courageously thin that it won't have any ports!) so this worked out well. I know ... no dedicated graphics card, ram soldered on ... but, I could also spend the time fretting about those things and instead think back on my MacClassic and in comparison I realize this is pretty freaking awesome.

    So, if you were like me and wondering will it handle Photoshop, the answer is yes.
    Will it handle two large monitors, the answer is yes,
    Is it bad like so many people are making it out to be? Nope.

    (I could have done without MacOS Sierra however).

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #2
    You bought the absolute best one available with maxed out RAM and a blazing fast SSD. Of course it will perform the most basic functions.

    What people are complaining (rightly) about is the models with soldered RAM and 5400 spinners.
     
  3. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    Yep, these little things are quite capable. Recently picked up a 2011 server version (i7 quadcore, 8 GB RAM, 2 x 500 GB HDD) for only about $350 and once I have replaced one of the spinners with an SSD it will be an amazingly fast machine (only drawback are the USB2 ports).
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I was thinking of buying the exact model that you have, but my priorities were a bit different. I don't care about driving two big monitors but wanted the fastest CPU for video rendering. So I ended up getting a 2012 quad i7 2.6ghz/16gb with the original Apple 256gb SSD from OWC - they also have a two week return/exchange policy (and 90 day warranty) so my thinking was like yours - I could return if I wasn't happy. A couple months later, I still love this machine. It's about 50% faster than the 2014 dual i7 3ghz machine and it was also cheaper. I also like that mine runs MacOSX 10.8.5 so it's compatible with my legacy software, and the firewire port is good for my Sony DVCAM/HDV tape deck.

    I think you made a good move though, you got a machine that fits your needs at the refurb price with a full Apple warranty. And you also got fast wifi, a newer graphics card and blazing fast SSD. Enjoy your new Mac! :)
     
  5. Bodhi1968, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

    Bodhi1968 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bodhi1968

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Location:
    Malibu
    #5
    Well, I wouldn’t classify the compositing work I do a “most basic function”, but okay. Granted, I’m not editing 4K video nor trying to perform super-computer models of long term weather, but it’s handling what I do well, with one of my primary concerns being driving the monitors.

    I drank the Apple juice as much as the next fan. And I agree there’s plenty to complain about. I reached the point where I gave serious consideration to going with the HP Z2 mini, but in the end I realized that my investment in Macs made that (at this point at least) unrealistic.

    I’m not onboard with old tech at inflated prices in what is becoming more and more a shiny objects marketing exercise. Nor am I a fan of having to buy Dongles For Everything (herein known as DFE Syndrome) and I’m especially not obsessed with “How THIN can we make this?” I am totally in agreement with the thinking that Apple does not care about desktop computers, have lost their focus on everything except profit margin, and are stymied in the area of the creative thinking / forward looking department. When all you’ve got to offer is the same old **** in a new thinner package, enlarged your trackpad, and think emojis are a big thing … you’ve got a problem.

    That said - Moore’s Law no longer applies and what I have noticed is that the perceived “need” for more power has become confused with “want” (or vice-versa), and that while, yes, what Apple is offering these days is seriously lacking, especially at their price point, the reality is that for a great many, myself included, it’s still more than enough. Would I have liked a “Pro” that is headless that allows me to expand? You betcha! Do I need it? No.

    We can complain (rightly) all we want, but ultimately we have to choose and take action. Buy what Apple is offering us or not. At the moment it made financial and practical sense to go the route I did. If nothing changes in a couple of years I will likely go another - and that’s more powerful than complaining. But hey, don’t let me take that away from you.



    Yes they are quite capable. Could they be better? You bet, but they certainly do get the job done.


    Thanks. I will enjoy it. And I think that, for your needs, the quad core is more appropriate. Speaking of legacy software … Adobe’s CC suite is an exercise in frustration. Like Apple’s obsession with thinness, Adobe is constantly adding “improvements” in the form new “features” that, quite frankly, are not needed and often don’t work. A lot of times it’s just changing stuff for the sake of changing stuff while not attending to the myriad of problems that need to be fixed. It feels like you’re forever using beta software. I’m using CC at the office and it drives me nuts quite often. I’m using CS6 at home and it’s greatly better.

    By the way … if Pine Barrens is the golf course, how is that? My grandparents lived in Bricktown, on an inlet just off the river. Spent a lot of time there, Princeton (Go Tigers!), and Short Hills. Haven’t been to Bricktown nor Point Pleasant in about 30 years so have not seen the course. Tend to visit the other mentioned towns each year though. Man, that area … good times. Miss it. Probably wouldn’t recognize it now.
     
  6. Dameatball macrumors member

    Dameatball

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    Curious, how much is Owc selling the 2012 2.6 for?
     
  7. Boyd01, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    There are a range of prices depending on disk options. I got a 16gb model with the original Apple 256gb SSD for $1250.

    --- Post Merged, Jan 12, 2017 ---
    I still use CS3. :D Works fine on 10.8.5 but I've heard it breaks under the newer versions. It really does everything I need. I actually still have CS2 on my Windows machine and it seems basically the same. Just picked up a copy of Photoshop Elements on sale for $40 recently, so I will have something compatible when I use Sierra.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 12, 2017 ---
    There is a golf course by that name, but I haven't played golf in over 40 years. :) The Pine Barrens is a region of about 1 million protected acres in Southern New Jersey http://www.nj.gov/pinelands/reserve/
     
  8. Dameatball macrumors member

    Dameatball

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    Amazing. It sold for $800 in 2012 (no ssd of course), about $840 today. That's not a jab at all, machines are awesome (I own two). Really high powered, small and low TDP. It's unfortunate the choices they've made in their recent hardware.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Yeah, I paid a premium price, but it was $150 less than the top 2014 Mini in the same configuration and 50% faster. I went with OWC because I wanted the 14 day return/exchange plus 90 day warranty for peace of mind. Would have definitely prefered a new machine…. if Apple offered anything comparable.
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    I have the same machine as the OP at work. Used to have two 24" 1920x1200 monitors on it, too. I don't use Photoshop and I'm not doing any BluRay to mp4 encoding on it, but it certainly handled every other task I ever put it through, including apps like Osirix (a medical DICOM/PACS application) and a Windows 10 VM without seemingly breaking a sweat. Most of what I do on it doesn't benefit much from a quad core machine. Even when multitasking, I rarely hit 100% on the dual-core, so a quad wouldn't really help me much.

    Granted the machine when new (bought it when it was released) with the 3.0GHz i7, 16GB of soldered-down RAM and Apple's overpriced SSD wasn't cheap, it's earned it keep quite well.

    The machine has been mostly replaced by my new 15" MBP, so I'm probably going to bring the mini home instead of leaving it at the office and try to find a use for it. My iMac serves as my home server (iTunes, macOS server cache & time machine), so don't need it for that, but I'm sure I'll find something for it to do.
     
  11. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #11
    Don't worry Bodhi1968! That setup is smokin' hot. :mad: How do you like those monitors?
     
  12. Bodhi1968, Apr 7, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017

    Bodhi1968 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bodhi1968

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Location:
    Malibu
    #12
    Love them. They're Dell U2515H monitors. Same pixel count as 27" mac screens (2560x1440) but crammed into 25" so they're super sharp (but text is a bit smaller). They're 99%of sRGB and pre-calibrated right out of the box. Color is great. I used to have a 27" iMac and had a Dell 25" monitor turned to portrait mode next to the mac. Used it for all the menus/windows for PS and also to see how images looked on a satin screen. While I love the mac screens the glossyness provides for exaggerated deep blacks. If you're compositing the glossy screen with crushed deep blacks can hide differences in areas where you've composited something whereas a satin monitor will expose problems. These monitors are satin (although they do have some kind of coating), but discrepancies in anything you add or delete in PS will show.
    They are sharp, clear, and I love them.
     
  13. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #13
    Yes that U2515H is a great match for a mini or any Mac for that matter. :apple:

    The screen and color are as good as you say but I also like the stands and ports on those Ultrasharp monitors. I have never run out of connections with that built-in USB 3.0 hub and those multiple HDMI, DP, and mDP ports available. :D
     

Share This Page