Base Mac mini good choice or not?

Gzmikeo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 7, 2017
7
0
Berkshire
My 2011 imac has died and need to replace it, so was thinking of a mac mini base model, but could I cope with 128gb or would I regret it ?
my last imac was overkill top model which I didn’t need, and giving the fact will be using external hard drive for most data .
i use a iPad Pro mostly so this would be just for stuff I can’t do on iPad .
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
384
136
I seriously considered getting a 128GB internal SSD with my 2018 Mini and booting and running off an external SSD (e.g. Samsung T5). Then I realized that the real problem with the 128GB internal SSD is its low performance, not its small capacity.


I ended up getting a 256GB internal SSD because of its good performance/$ and am happy I did.

GetRealBro
 
Last edited:

richmlow

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
144
41
Hello Gzmikeo,


Recently, I purchased the following:

Mac mini (2018) 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5
8GB RAM
256GB SSD

I'm quite satisfied with the system configuration and expect to use the Mac mini for 7+ years.
It's rock-solid, quiet and "just works."

I would recommend that you get the 256GB SSD, as opposed to the 128GB SSD. The smaller SSD would fill up very quickly with macOS, applications, data, media, etc.

Good luck on your decision.


richmlow


My 2011 imac has died and need to replace it, so was thinking of a mac mini base model, but could I cope with 128gb or would I regret it ?
my last imac was overkill top model which I didn’t need, and giving the fact will be using external hard drive for most data .
i use a iPad Pro mostly so this would be just for stuff I can’t do on iPad .
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,476
785
Never quite sure
How much storage did you use on the internal drive of the iMac?

My gut feeling is that the base mini will be absolutely fine for your needs.
What display are you going to use?
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,643
537
Slovenia, EU
The most important question is: how much money can you spend?

And yes, the answer is: the i3 is enough for most tasks, but you need to know, how to manage the space on the 128 GB SSD.

Everything you don't need daily, you can put on external SSD/HDD.

There is also an option for i3/256 GB SSD...
 

iAssimilated

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2018
194
191
PNW
get the 256gb version or you’ll regret it.
I went out with a couple of friends for beers this evening and one of them was saying how he made a huge mistake buying the 128GB version of the Macbook Air. I know the mini is stationary vs. the air and thus easier to add external storage to, but the point is still valid.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,476
785
Never quite sure
I went out with a couple of friends for beers this evening and one of them was saying how he made a huge mistake buying the 128GB version of the Macbook Air. I know the mini is stationary vs. the air and thus easier to add external storage to, but the point is still valid.
Not really. It completely depends on your needs. Some people have very little actual media files, or have all their large media on network store, or have them on an external volume. Under these circumstances there is absolutely no need to have a particularly large internal boot drive.

Not so long ago, laptops (and even desktops) came with relatively paltry 120 GB or 160GB HDDs. What changed? Certainly not the OS. It takes up more or less the exact same size as it used to. The difference really is media, and if this media is either nonexistent, or held externally, then a 128GB internal drive is not a problem. Moreover, TB3 external we so fast, there isn't even a performance hit by going external any more.

Indeed, if in the future you find that the 128GB is too small, then simply attach a larger external SSD to a TB3 port and boot directly from that!

[Disclaimer: However, if you are using boot camp, which I understand requires its own partition on the internal drive, there may be another argument for a larger internal.]
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,643
537
Slovenia, EU
I have installer Windows 10 on external SSD and works without problems. Using a Transcend USB-C 480 GB SSD. Not a speedy champion, but it gets the work done.
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,643
537
Slovenia, EU
Your welcome.

There are some steps, to get a working Windows installation on external SSD...

Here is a summary, more or less:

Don't forget, that after finish, you eventually need to install bootcamp drivers or whatever it is called nowadays:

I am also using Paragon NTFS for Mac to access the NTFS partitions.
 

FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2015
289
129
Manhattan Beach, CA
i3 is fine. you have to put 32 gb or ram into it and I did a Thunderbolt 3 external boot drive that runs twice as fast. 1900 write, 2500 read. the 128 gb internal writes at 700 or something like that. ideally you want 256 gb if you are a lighter user or you want to do an external boot to a slower T5 or a thunderbolt drive. in total I spent something like $1250 for the i3, 32 ram and 2TB thunderbolt runs faster than I need it to. its dead silent too.