Base 2011 Mini Performance vs. Macbook Core 2 Duo

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bgro, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. bgro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have a ~4 year old Macbook Core 2 Duo 2.13 Ghz w/ 4 GB Ram that I 100% use as a desktop replacement since getting an iPad.

    I use Garageband and iPhoto a lot and do notice some performance issues mostly the spinning beach ball but honestly it's not that bad.

    I've recently been offered $450 for my Macbook. I was thinking of taking this and purchasing a base Mac Mini and upgrading the RAM to 8GB. Would only be around $150 out of pocket which seems like a pretty good deal to me considering I am anticipating replacing my Macbook in about 2 years. Would rather spend $150 now and at least get what I feel is good value for my Macbook.

    So will I see a huge performance increase if I get a base mini (i5 2.3 GHz)? Or is it not really that much of a difference? Just trying to weigh my options to see if I should replace with a more powerful iMac or even another Macbook Pro
     
  2. dolphin842, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012

    dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #2
    In terms of raw CPU power, the new mini will be a little over twice as fast. The new on-chip intel graphics will be a nice improvement as well.

    The other big advantage is that you can push the mini to 8GB of RAM for $50.

    The only advantage I can think of for keeping your MacBook is that it's easier to swap out the hard drive for an SSD, which should go a long way toward making the computer feel more responsive.

    From a purely perceptual point of view, the SSD upgrade may very well have a more apparent speed benefit. However, if you're getting beach balls in the CPU-intensive parts of your Mac usage (as opposed to situations where you're waiting for things to load and/or swap back into memory), getting a new machine may still be a good call.

    The mini's biggest liability, like your MacBook, is the 5400rpm laptop drive they stick in there.

    Everything said and done... if it were me, I'd grab an SSD to use for now, and keep saving up for another 6 months: By then, the Ivy Bridge update to the minis should be here, and you'll have a more future-proof machine to take you forward. I have a 2010 Core 2 Duo mini that's already starting to show its age, and I'm taking precisely this approach.
     
  3. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #3
    One of the best things about apple products is their resale value. It makes upgrading so painless on the wallet.

    I had a broken MacBook and it sold for hundreds on eBay.
     
  4. eutexian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Mapperley, Nottingham UK
    #4
    No speed issues with iPhoto... or for that matter with Aperture on my base model mini. I have increased the memory to 8gig. which probably helps. Its a rare event to see the spinning beach ball. In fact, i can't remember the last time i did. Garage band.. which i've yet to play with seriously works fine too, from the little I've seen.
     
  5. ivkb macrumors newbie

    ivkb

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
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    Shanghai
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    if no dvd is okay and if lion and no snow is okay. go out and buy the new mini. amazon has it for 568


    http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MC815LL...CLM6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326641498&sr=8-1
     
  7. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #7
    I have a 2.53GHz 2009 15" MBP, and a new Mac mini base model, 2.3GHz.
    The mini is easily more than twice as fast doing intensive Flac to MP3 conversions, or the like, due to the Turbo function and the design of the new SB chips. In ordinary tasks, word processing, web surfing etc., there is very little difference, except as someone said, for the slow stock HD (mine has the Toshiba, infamous for being a slug).
    If you get the mini, upgrade the RAM, and the HD if possible. It is really a nice machine, and fast. I have had no issues with Lion at all (after customizing it to work much like SL with Onyx and Tinker Tool).:cool::apple::cool:
     
  8. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Seems like the base mini would suit my purposes. The only reason I don't want to wait for the ivy bridge version is because of the resale of my MacBook now. Would make for an extremely cheap upgrade IMO.

    Will definitely be upgrading RAM to 8gb and will look into an SSD for the mini.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
  10. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #10
    Yeah I hear ya. When the first intel Macs came out, I quickly sold my PowerBook before the value went down that much (it was the 12" model though, so it ended up holding onto its value for longer than expected!).
     

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